Training Day Gym Educational Article - Competing in Powerlifting - Matt Crundall

Competing in Powerlifting

In the previous part of this Powerlifting article, the competition execution of the Squat, Bench Press, and deadlift, were explained in detail.

This second part of the article will discuss how a competition generally runs, and how you can step into the competitive sphere.

The Competition

Prior to arriving to the designated competition venue (usually a sanctioned gym), athletes will have been informed of the times that cover the weigh-in period, and competition period. Within a 2 hour window before the commencement of the competition, athletes will be officially weighed in on calibrated electronic scales, to determine their eligibility for their desired, pre-selected (upon signing up for the competition) weightclass. Athletes must not be above the weight limit for their desired class in order to secure their position in the competition.

For men – the categories are:


For women – the categories are:


After all competitors have been weighed, and their details confirmed, all will commence warming up in a separate warmup room, prior to the start of Squats.
Squats, Bench Presses, and Deadlifts will all be preceded by ~30 minutes worth of warmups.

-The aforementioned lifts run in that particular order, and each competitor will be granted 3 attempts to lift an ascending amount of weight. An attempt lasts for 1 minutes, where in the window of time, an athlete will attempt to perform the required lift.
-Lifters are grouped into flights whereby all/most athletes within the flight are in/in the vicinity of the same weightclass and sex.
-Attempts run from lightest to heaviest, with each person having 1 attempt within the round of attempts. – e.g. Person A calls for 100kg squat, Person B calls for 120kg, Person C calls for 140kg. When all attempts have been completed, the next round of attempts arises. When all rounds (3) have been completed for Squats, then a short intermission occurs before the start of Bench Press warmups, etc.

When all 9 attempts have been run through, for every individual lifter, the competition has now come to its conclusion. With a tallied scoreboard, the lifter (in each weightclass) with the highest total kilograms lifted as a sum of all successful attempts made across the 3 lifts, wins their respective weightclass. A coefficient called the “Wilks” is used to compare totals across different weightclasses, for the determination of highest relative strength to bodyweight. A “best lifter” trophy in the male/female division is also awarded for the highest scoring Wilks.

Getting into Powerlifting

The national body for Powerlifting competitions is Powerlifting Australia. It is the only body in Australia that is recognised by ASADA (Australian Sports Anti-Doping Authority) as the official federation for drug-tested Powerlifting.
To gain more info about further intricacies of the rules and regulations of the sport, and where you can register for membership to enter contests within the competition sphere, head to .



-          Matt Crundall

-          Powerlifting/Strength Coach/Trainer

-          World Powerlifting & Powerlifting Australia Sub-Junior Bench Press record holder

-          2017 Oceania Powerlifting Championships gold medallist

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