USA Powerlifting, established in 1981 as the American Drug Free Powerlifting Association, Inc, is the leading drug-tested powerlifting organization in the United States.
Distinct from weightlifting, a sport made up of two lifts: the Snatch and the Clean-and-Jerk, where the weight is lifted above the head, powerlifting comprises three lifts: the Squat, Bench Press and Deadlift. Powerlifting competitions may be comprised of one, two or all three of the lifting disciplines.
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.
USA Powerlifting is responsible for sanctioning local and regional events where powerlifters can compete in hopes of qualifying for the national level events. USA Powerlifting sanctions several National Championships in all age groups, giving athletes a chance to see how they fare against competitors across the country. Top competitors are selected by USA Powerlifting to compete in the USA Powerlifting Pro Series with an opportunity to achieve their Pro Card.
In the United States, USA Powerlifting has representative chairs in each states. Each state chair is responsible for overseeing the development and implementation of USA Powerlifting’s local competitions, state championships and state records. USA Powerlifting operates as a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization. An Executive Committee, headed by the President, is responsible for the operations of the organization. Additional responsibilities include directing the national office and supervising sponsorship and membership activities.