Unlike other exercises or weight training, powerlifting is unique in a sense as it requires the lifter to pay more attention to his weight than usual. But why is this so? It is known that powerlifting is usually a competitive form of exercise and it is classified based on weight during competitions. Each participant is sorted into categories depending on how much they weigh because a person cannot compete in any other category or weight class that is lower or higher than his weight. All the weights and categories of the participant are evaluated using a standard metric system. Numerous federations decide on the weight class accordingly. However, the class decided by the international powerlifting federation (IPF) is most commonly used.

The table below specifies the different weight classes identified by the IPF.
Male Female
59 kg / 130 lbs 47 kg / 104 lbs
66 kg / 145 lbs 52 kg / 115 lbs
74 kg / 163 lbs 57 kg / 127 lbs
83 kg / 183 lbs 63 kg / 139 lbs
93 kg / 205 lbs 72 kg / 159 lbs
105 kg / 231 lbs 84 kg / 185 lbs
120 kg / 265 lbs > 84 kg / > 185 lbs
> 120 kg / > 265 lbs

The most misperception is that one has the option to choose his weight class when deciding to compete. The category you will fall into allows you to carry as much weight as your body mass will apparently allow you to. However, one can increase their chances of winning by making sure they lie on the top of the table of their weight class.

Another common misconception is that gaining fat might help you alter the weight class and will allow you to enter a higher weight class by improving your leverages. Fats work differently than muscles, they tend to be more compressible and thus little or nothing in terms of leverage as approved. It is not completely untrue that fat might help you in bench press or squats by reducing the spectrum of movement and allowing you to lift heavier weights. However, it is pure fictional that it enhances your performance to a great extent. This is because consuming excess calories leads to an increase in the number of glycogen levels. Glycogen is a form of glucose which are consumed by our body to convert into energy. The more energy produced by our body, the more the powerlifting performance increases.

It can be concluded that numerous factors contribute to work on the weight class in powerlifting. However, a person’s muscle strength and weight are the major contributors. Therefore, a person targeting powerlifting must focus on his nutrition intake to manage his weight.


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