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How is Powerlifting Judged
There are many different powerlifting organizations, all of which have different rules for the judging of form in the bench-press, squat and deadlift. Without going into the complicated specifics of each organization we will briefly examine the accepted judging of the squat and the bench-press below.
BENCH PRESS: When the signal is given to perform the lift the competitor must immediately begin lowering the bar towards the chest touching the base of the sternum with the bar. The lifter/competitor then holds the bar in this position until there is an audible command to "press" whereupon the lifter pressing the bar full arms-length with elbows locked out completes the movement.
The lifter holds this position until he/she hears the command "rack" whereupon the weight can be released and recorded. There are no exceptions in performing this movement as the arms need to be completely locked out before "rack" will be called by the judge.
SQUAT: Unfortunately the squat depth standards are not as universally accepted as the bench-press. There are some federations that have developed a reputation for over-emphasizing the rule and some other organizations that have become notorious for the opposite reason and being too lax on the squat depth.
If the accepted depth of the squat is not reached the lifter will automatically be disqualified even if the lift was successfully completed. After lifting the barbell from the squat rack the lifter waits for the "squat" command to start his/her decent.
When the squat depth is reached the command "rack" will be given to begin the return to a straight legged stance. If the bar moves downwards, left or right the lift will be disqualified and if the feet move position the squat will not count. If the bar is dropped you will more than likely be disqualified from the competition.
The specifics of both the squat, deadlift and bench-press need to be examined by using a video so that you are 100% aware of the minimum requirement when competing a powerlifter. It is strongly advised that anyone who wants to compete as a powerlifter gets their specific form looked at from someone who knows the minimum requirements.