Powerlifting, often confused with Olympic lifting, is an individualized sport in which competitors attempt to lift as much weight as possible for one repetition in the squat, bench press, and deadlift.
Each lifter is placed into a specific division and classified by several variables including weight class, age group, and experience level.
Further subdivisions are made between what is known as “raw” and “geared” powerlifters, indicating whether or not the individual is wearing supportive equipment during the competition.
Competitions are generally all-day events that begin with the squat, progress to the bench press, and conclude with the deadlift. Every lifter is allowed three attempts at each lift, making for a total of nine competition lifts throughout the day.
At the end of the day, awards are presented to the lifters with the highest squat, bench press, deadlift, and total within their division. A lifter's total is determined by the sum of his/her best lifts, and the individual with the highest total is considered the all-around strongest lifter in his division.