Power lifting is a strength sport that consists of three maximum weight attempts on three lifts: squat, bench press, and deadlift. World Strongman contests, which discover the strongest of the strongest from across the world, follow regulations similar to Power Lifting. The following are the top ten best powerlifters of all time.
What is Powerlifting?
Powerlifting is recognized as the “strongest sport in the world.”
So, precisely what is powerlifting? Powerlifters compete to see who can squat, bench press, and deadlift the most weight in one rep. Powerlifters are rated based on body weight and age and have three attempts to achieve their maximum weight. The one with the highest amount of powerlifting wins.
As you can see, powerlifting is a sport that puts your physical strength to the test. We’ll go through the sport’s regulations, how powerlifting varies from other activities, the distinctions between raw and equipped powerlifting, and who participates in powerlifting.
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Discussing Powerlifting in Depth
Powerlifting is an individual sport in which the goal is to achieve the greatest squat, bench press, and deadlift in a certain weight and age category.
Athletes must make three efforts to reach their full potential and must follow certain technical standards in order for everyone to be equally compared. For example, if everyone squats to a certain depth, the lift will be rejected (more on powerlifting regulations later).
An athlete’s best squat, bench press, and deadlift are added to their “powerlifting total,” which is used to compare athletes. So having a great bench press does not ensure that someone will be a strong powerlifter.
Powerlifting is overseen by a number of federations worldwide. Technical standards, weigh-in procedures, and drug testing rules differ slightly amongst federations.
Nonetheless, with over 100 member countries, the International Powerlifting Federation (IPF) is the most powerful governing organization. The International Powerlifting Federation (IPF) is the world’s most competitive drug-free federation, attracting the best natural powerlifters.
USA Powerlifting is the IPF affiliate in the United States, with a presence in all 50 states.
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Bodyweight & Age Categories
In powerlifting competition, athletes compete in bodyweight and age groups.
The bodyweight classes are as follows:
- For Men: 59kg/130lb, 66kg/145lb, 74kg/163lb, 83kg/183lb, 93k/205lb, 105kg/231lb, 120kg/264lb, 120kg/264lb+
- For Women: 47kg/103lb, 52kg/114lb, 57kg/125lb, 63kg/139lb, 72kg/158lb, 84kg/185lb, 84+kg/185lb+
You can compete in an additional bodyweight category if you are a sub-junior or junior athlete – 53kg for men and 43kg for women.
The age categories are as follows:
- Sub-Junior: 14-18 years old
- Junior: 19-23 years old
- Open: Anyone can compete
- Master 1: 40-49 years old
- Master 2: 50-59 years old
- Master 3: 60-69 years old
- Master 4: 70+
Levels of Powerlifting Competition
Depending on your power and desire, you can compete at five different levels. To advance to the next level, you must normally compete at each level in the order shown below.
Powerlifting beginners will begin by competing in a local competition hosted by a gym or powerlifting group. Because competition is not always as severe, certain weight classes may have only a few participants. It is not about ‘competing against someone else’ at this level, but about doing your best for your own unique talents.
2. State or Provincial
After a few local competitions, you may be eligible to compete in the State or Provincial Championships. Participation at this level will be contingent on a variety of requirements in each jurisdiction, such as competing in a number of local tournaments or achieving a qualification threshold. You may encounter more opponents your age and weight class at this level.
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A regional competition sets you against some of the best lifters in your area.
Qualification conditions exist in order to compete in a Regional Championship, as the goal is to improve the level of competition at these events. However, not every nation has a population large enough to hold a Regional Championship.
The National Championships include the top lifters from each state/province/area. These events have a tight qualification process that entails lifting a specific powerlifting total for your weight and age class. At this level, the competition is severe, with numerous people vying for the position.
Athletes chosen for the National Team are those who win in their weight class and age group. These athletes often stay on the roster for a year, allowing them to compete in any international competition, including the World Championships. You are now one of the world’s most powerful people.
IPF Points: Determining The Best Overall Lifter
As previously indicated, participants compete in weight and age groups, and their powerlifting totals determine who places first, second, and third.
However, another award given to athletes is the “Best Overall Lifter,” which is based on the IPF Points system. The IPF Points system mathematically compares athletes in various weight divisions.
It is just a measure of “relative strength,” or the ability of someone who weighs more to lift greater absolute weight than someone who weighs less. Because of their relative bodily weight, someone who weighs less may be stronger.
The IPF Points approach is used in this circumstance. IPF points are calculated in powerlifting by multiplying your total and weight by a coefficient. Each competitor receives one award based on IPF Points at the end of the powerlifting competition to determine the “Best Overall Lifter.”
Our Top 10 Best Powerlifter Picks
10. Joe Sullivan
Joe Sullivan is tenth on our ranking of the top Powerlifters. On September 24, 2022, during the 2022 USPA Raw Pro in North Kansas City, MO, Joe Sullivan bodybuilder squatted 385 kilograms (848.8 pounds) for a new All-Time Squat World Record in the 100-kilogram class.
Joe Sullivan is also known as the “World’s Strongest Man,” which may have you wondering, “What does Joe Sullivan have to do with our list of the best Powerlifters?”
“This is due to Joe Sullivan’s incredible story.” He was living in a homeless shelter and barely making enough money to support himself in 2008. But then he discovered an article on powerlifting that featured the ARI Worlds in Columbus, Ohio, and his life changed. So Joe resolved to become the world’s strongest powerlifter. That is quite an impressive story, but it is not his only one. Joe Sullivan went on to become the youngest person in history to bench press 800 pounds at the age of 22 and was a real-life superhero for children with cancer fighting leukemia!
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9. Mikhail Koklyaev
Mikhail Koklyaev of Russia is ninth on the list of the top ten best powerlifters of all time. He is a national champion in weightlifting, a powerlifter, and a strongman competitor.
Koklyaev has become quite a YouTube star, thanks to his frequent video postings of remarkable feats of strength. He is also the second person in history to clean and jerk Vasily Alekseyev’s famed 501 lb barbell.
8. Eddie Hall
Eddie Hall of England is eighth among the top ten finest powerlifters of all time. He has three times won Britain’s Strongest Man, five times won the UK’s Strongest Man, and twice won England’s Strongest Man.
Given his track record, he is a formidable weightlifter who holds the current world record in strapless deadlifting.
7. Andy Bolton
Andy Bolton of England is ranked seventh. He is a strongman and three-time WPC World Powerlifting Champion.
He is the first person to deadlift 1000 pounds, has the fourth-highest squat of all time (1213.63), and the third-highest three-lift total of 2806.34.
6. Brian Siders
Brian Siders of the United States is ranked sixth among the top ten finest powerlifters of all time. He has won two World Championships and five National Championships in powerlifting.
Brian is also a frequent competitor in strongman tournaments. When it comes to pushing actions, he is widely regarded as the strongest ever.
5. Paul Anderson
Paul Anderson of the United States is ranked fifth among the top ten finest powerlifters of all time. He is widely regarded as one of the strongest individuals in recorded history, having set the record for “largest weight ever carried by a human person” when he lifted a massive 6270 pounds on his back.
He is also an Olympic Gold Medalist and World Weightlifting Champion.
4. Bill Kazmaier
Bill Kazmaier of the United States is ranked fourth among the top ten finest powerlifters of all time. When it comes to strength competitions, he is one of the finest competitors of all time.
Bill is a world champion powerlifter, strongman, and wrestler. He has two IPF World Championships and three World Strongman championships to his name.
3. Mark Henry
Mark Henry is ranked third. He has been among the strongest in his age group since he was a youngster. He has won the WDFPF World Championship and the USA National Championship twice as a powerlifter.
Aside from that, he owns other records, including the WDFPF squat, deadlift, and total, as well as the USAPL deadlift. Aside from weightlifting, he became one of the most popular WWE superstars of all time.
2. Zydrunas Savickas
Zydrunas Savickas of Lithuania is ranked second among the top ten best powerlifters of all time. He is widely regarded as one of the strongest persons of all time.
He has won the Arnold Strongman competition eight times, Lithuanian Strongest Man eleven times, and Europe’s Strongest man three times. His 880-pound squat, 900-pound deadlift, and 629-pound bench are also national records.
1. Ed Coan
Ed Coan of the United States is ranked first among the top ten best powerlifters of all time. Despite not being as big as his opponents, Ed Coan has set 71 world records in powerlifting and is the lightest person to cross the 2400lb barrier.