(A weightlifting competition in which participants compete in the squat, dead lift, and bench press.)



scott mendelsonpaul andersondead lift


In America, Olympic weightlifting was declining, while bodybuilding and powerlifting were increasing in popularity. In 1964, an unofficial American Powerlifting Championships took place in York, Pennsylvania.

USA Powerlifting used the same weight classes as Olympic lifting (123, 132, 148, 165, 181, 198, HWT). In 1967 a 242 lb class was added and contested at the American 1967 Senior National Powerlifting Championships.

—During the 1970's the records were improving because the sports popularity was still increasing at a rapid rate. Lifter registration in the US was closing in on 5,000+ by the mid-70's and nearing 8,000 by 1980. Television coverage was being provided of some events.

—The first mainstream publication ever written about powerlifting was released in 1978.


The International Powerlifting Federation was born in 1972 and had nearly 20 nations participating in the IPF World Championships before the decade was over.

—The movie “Pumping Iron” with Arnold Schwarzenegger also came out in this time do to the new fascination in powerlifting.

—In 1980 the US Powerlifting Federation was founded

—In the 1980s also came the steroid revolution of the sport

But by 1982, drug testing was getting so advanced, that very few powerlifters made the cut, the almost all got “dinged” for illicit or illegal steroid use.

At the beginning of the 1990’s, the IPF and Powerlifting were now well organised, leaving national teams to prepare for the various World Championships

In the 90s America still dominated World powerlifting producing Gold medal winners every year, Kirk Karwoski, the big squatter, was unbeatable in the first half of the decade setting up the current 125kg class World record squat of 455kg in 1995. Dan Austin, Dave Ricks and Ed Coan helped keep the USA at the top.

Since ththe 1990s to now the sport has grown in popularity and in amounts of competitions. The sport is still growing at a slow rate but it allows for the expansions to uphold the iintegrity of Powerlifting.