The Sport Enjoyed
by both men and women in over 78 countries around the world, Powerlifting
is without doubt the ultimate strength sport.
It is distinct from Weightlifting - a technical event made up of two
lifts, the Snatch and the Clean-and-Jerk, where the weight is lifted
above the head.
As in most sports, regional, national and international championships
provide the setting for athletes to compete against each other, with
all the associated glory and recognition that one might expect, but
Powerlifting is essentially an individualistic sport where self-improvement
is the greatest motivating factor.
In Powerlifting competition, athletes are categorized by sex, age and
bodyweight. Each competitor is allowed three attempts at each lift,
the best lift in each discipline being added to their total. The lifter
with the highest total is the winner. In cases where two or more lifters
achieve the same total, the person with the lightest bodyweight wins.
Powerlifting is a test of pure, unadulterated, brute strength, and comprises
three lifts :
The Squat is the first, and by far the biggest, of the three lifts.
Standing upright with the barbell resting across the back of the shoulders,
the lifter sits or 'squats' down to a required depth and then attempts
to stand up again, returning to the original position.
This may sound simple .... but not when the barbell concerned weighs
3-4 times your bodyweight!
The Bench Press:
Probably the most famous and best-loved exercise practiced by millions
of people in gyms throughout the world, the Bench Press is the second
lift in a Powerlifting competition.
Lying flat on their back on a bench of a certain height and specification,
the lifter holds the barbell at arms length above the chest. The bar
is then lowered until it stops on the chest and then pushed or 'pressed'
back up again.
The final lift of the 'Big 3', the Deadlift, as the name suggests, involves
lifting a 'dead' weight.
Gripping the barbell, which sits flat on the floor, the athlete attempts
to lift the weight until they are standing upright with their shoulders
In Portugal, Powerlifting as well as Bodybuilding ,Fitness and Arm-Wrestling,
were modalities represented, till 2000, in Portuguese Powerlifting Federation.
The first Championships appeared in the 90's, and Clube Naval de Lisboa,
which Ana Bravo represented as Masters 1, awarded the first places in
National and Iberic Championships. In 1999, another athlete of that
Club, Mário Fonseca, awarded the 4th position in World Championships,
in South Africa.