by Andrew Richardson uploaded 5th September 2013


A lot of people are asking me what is Powerlifting and why do it do it and how do I try it out?


Here I will help out those who have asked these questions give you the low down on the sport, why people do it and how to egt involved in it.


First off what is Powerlifting:


Powerlifting is a strength sport made up of 3 events in the order of the Squat, Bench Press and Deadlift. Powerlifting is for both Male and Females of all ages and sizes. There are 11 weight classes for women and 12 for men, there are 14 age categories from 13 to 84 athletes (within the Irish Drug Free Powerlifting Federation).


Powerlifting is for anyone who is looking to start a new sport at a young age or in later walks of life. It can be described as a Lifetime sport as it can be done by anyone at all ages just like the sport of golf. Powerlifting isn't for the gym freaks, scary guys, it is for the teachers, doctors, car salesmen, nurses, lawyers. It is the sport for everyone.


So what is the Squat, Bench Press and Deadlift?


1/ The squat is the back squat exercise where the bar is on your upper back (resting) and you "squat" down until your hips go past your knees (so they break parallel) then you squat back up until you lockout your legs. The referee then says "rack" and you rack the bar. This movement is performed once. Each lifter is given 3 attempts to squat as much weight as they can.


2/ Bench Press is when you are lying down on a bench, you take the bar from the rack and lower the weight on the bar down to your chest with control until it touches your chest and there is a definite pause. Once that pause has occurred and the referee has seen it he/she will then say "press" you then press the weight back up until your arms are locked out.  Same as the Squat each athlete is given 3 attempts


3/ Deadlift is when lift the weight on the bar from the floor, the exercise is called the deadlift because no momentum is used hence the name "deadlift" as it is a dead weight. The lift begins as the athlete starts to pull the weight up off the floor, his/her back mustn't round as this can cause injury, they must lift the weight in one continuous motion until you lockout the weight with the bar at your hips. Then the referee says "down" and you lower the weight back down with control until the bar is on the floor at rest. Same as the Squat and the Bench Press you have 3 attempts at this as well.


So what sort of competitions are within Powerlifting?


1/ Full Meets: Which are doing the Squat, Bench Press, Deadlift one after the other. this all happens in one day.


2/ Single Lift Meets: Which on one day all you do is just the Squat, the next the Bench Press and so on


3/ Push/Pull Meets: Which you only do the Bench Press (push) and the Deadlift (pull)


4/ Bench Only Meets: Which is Bench Press only meets


5/ Deadlift Only Meets: Which is Deadlift only meets.


I haven't seen a squat only meet but I would like to see that in the future as the squat is a great event.


For those that were asking me about competing in a powerlifting competition there are few coming up in the next months.


I compete primarily within the IDFPA (Irish Drug Free Powerlifting Association), but have competed in the NIPF (Northern Ireland Powerlifting Federation). 

But to do any of these competitions you must first become a member of that federation which is hosting the competition. ...

To become a member you go onto their website and there is a link which opens up the downloadable file for you to print off and fill out. Once filled out send it with the required payment to the address. 

The federation website is listed below, googling them works as well.

 You can also Facebook these federations and talk directly to them. The IDFPA are very quick to reply and very helpful with any query. 

The competition dates are as follows: 

 - September 21st IDFPA National Bench Press Championships Mallow Co.Cork 


- October 19th IDFPA Intervarsity's Championships CIT Cork 

- November 30th IDFPA  Push/Pull Saturday 30th November 2013 Work Gym Gorey

 There are International meets in September and November but it is best to get the experience first in these national competitions to see if you really enjoy the sport and you will be committed to try and represent you country at these international events.


When you go on the IDFPA website you will get more information on entry fees per event and what location they are held and timings etc. 

There are other federations within Ireland but the biggest and best is the IDFPA having the most members and it competes within the WDFPF which stands for World Drug Free Powerlifting Federation. 

Hope this helps 





Andrew Richardson

How to get into Powerlifting and What is it?


Andrew is an 18 year old student at Coleraine Academical Institution. Andrew holds the world records in the squat and deadlift at -90kg T3 and is one of the brightest young talents in the country. He aims to pursue a degree in Sports Science.


Andrew also operates as a trainer and coach out of Coleraine, Co.Londonderry

Phone 07747303084 mobile.


Trains at Coleraine Health and Fitness, Coleraine University and Coleraine Academical Institution (preferred choice)