What Is The Difference Between Powerlifting And Weightlifting?

If powerlifting or weightlifting is something that you are interested in, or you are someone that wants to get into either type, then you might be wondering what actually makes them different.

From an outside perspective, they may look like the same things, but these are two different competitive sports that have many differences.

In this article, we are going to look at both powerlifting and weightlifting and comparing them so that you can find out what really makes them different.

This will help to give you a better idea of what they are and what they involve, so you can decide for yourself which one would be a better fit for you.

We are also going to take a look at the benefits of powerlifting and weightlifting, which may end up being your deciding factor.

What is the Difference Between Powerlifting and Weightlifting

What is Powerlifting?

Powerlifting is a type of strength sport that involves three different attempts at maximal weight on three different lifts. These lifts are squat, bench press, and deadlift.

Just like with weightlifting, it involves the athlete attempting a maximal weight single lift of a barbell that is loaded with weight plates.

What is Weightlifting?

Weightlifting is another strength sport that involves lifting barbells or other heavy weights. There are two standard lifts when it comes to modern weightlifting, which are the snatch and the clean and jerk.

The first of these is a single-movement lift from the floor to an extended position and the second of these is a two-movement lift from the floor to shoulder position, followed by shoulders to extended position.

Weightlifting is a common type of strength training for developing strength and muscles, and it utilizes the force of gravity in the form of weighted bars, dumbbells, or weight stacks. This will oppose the force that is generated by muscle through concentric or eccentric contraction.

What is the Difference Between Powerlifting and Weightlifting?

There are lots of differences between powerlifting and weightlifting, but the main difference is that powerlifting is a sport of strength, whereas weightlifting is a sport of explosive speed.

Both of these sports involve a lot of repetition, but lifters in both sports work really hard to perfect their form and technique for their required exercises.


In powerlifting competitions, they are self-regulated, and they take place within various federations. One of the most recognized is the International Powerlifting Federation, but each federation will have its own rules.

On the other hand, weightlifting is an Olympic sport that is ruled and regulated by the International Weightlifting Federation.


A powerlifter will perform the following:


Powerlifting and weightlifting will both divide their competitions into categories, like weight, class, age, and gender. The IWF has ten categories each for men and women, but the IPF has nine categories for men and eight categories for women.


When it comes to strength training, powerlifters are able to build an impressive amount of body mass, and the more body mass a person has, the more strength and power they will have behind them. This is really important as powerlifting competitions rely on picking up the heaviest weight.

Weightlifting is quite different, as it focuses more on speed and technique. Weightlifters do not have to lift the heaviest weight to win, but they do need to take the weight from the ground to above their head.

The Benefits of Weightlifting

There are lots of different benefits when it comes to weightlifting, and we will leave some below for you to consider.

Strong and Healthy Bones

Your bones need to be challenged just as much as your brain to stay in top working order, and when a person turns 30, small percentages of bone density will be lost each year. Weightlifting helps to keep everything working as it should.

Boosted Metabolism and Weight Loss

You can easily boost your metabolism when it comes to weightlifting as you are burning more calories if you have more muscle. This also allows you to burn more energy at rest in comparison to fat.

Improves Posture and Sleep

As well as all of the other benefits that come along with weightlifting, it can also affect the way that you feel and think. It has been proven that weight training can improve the overall quality of a person’s sleep.

In addition to this, the activity will help to improve your posture and even your mood at times.

Strength and Endurance

When you are training, your body is going to grow stronger, which means that the effects will benefit you with other aspects of physical activity.

For example, when your legs get stronger, you can spend more time walking or hiking. Weightlifting can simply improve your overall efficiency when it comes to physical activity.

The Benefits of Powerlifting

Now that you know about the benefits of weightlifting, it is time to look at some of the benefits that powerlifting has to offer.

Building More Muscle

The first benefit that powerlifting has to offer is that it will help you to build more muscle. The fact that there are several muscle groups working when taking part in this activity means that you are also stimulating the production of muscle.

Burning Calories

You will also burn more calories as you are targeting more than one muscle at a time. This means that your body will require more oxygen, and you will end up burning more calories.

Improving Efficiency

You will also be able to improve the overall efficiency of your workouts, as you are getting the most out of your training by working the whole body instead of one muscle at a time. The exercises involved in powerlifting allow you to become more efficient.

Improve Balance

There is a great deal of balance, coordination, and stability involved in powerlifting, and this will help you to work on your intermuscular coordination and improve your overall functionality. After time, you will start to reap the benefits of powerlifting in all forms.