About us


Mission Statement

The United States Powerlifting Association (USPA) is a leading powerlifting organization in the United States. It is the mission of the USPA to provide education, gym affiliation, and powerlifting competition of uniform high quality which is available to all athletes who meet the criteria for membership throughout the United States.

The USPA is a premier powerlifting federation created by lifters, with the goal of ensuring lifters are provided an opportunity and location of showcasing the result of their efforts in a safe and competitive environment. The USPA provides opportunities for a range of lifters from the beginner, to the elite level. Participate in a USPA event. "Experience the Difference!"


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.

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.
  • All "three-lift competitions" must include and be performed in the sequence of the Squat, Bench Press, and concluding with the Deadlift.
  • Competition takes place between lifters in categories defined by sex, bodyweight and age.
  • Powerlifting competitions may be comprised of one, two or all three of the lifting disciplines.
  • The rules apply to all levels of competition - Local, State, Regional, or National.
  • Each competitor is allowed three attempts on each lift. Any exceptions are explained in the appropriate section of the rulebook. The lifter’s best valid attempt on each lift, disregarding any fourth attempts for record purposes, counts toward the competition Total.
  • The winner of a category shall be the lifter who achieves the highest total. The remaining lifters shall be ranked in descending order based upon total. Lifters failing to achieve a total are eliminated from the competition.
  • If two or more lifters achieve the same total, the lighter lifter ranks above the heavier lifter. If there is still a tie both lifters will be re-weighed immediately after the competition has ended and the lifter with the lighter body weight will be declared the winner.
  • Competitive lifting shall be restricted to competitors age 13 years and older. The lifter must have attained minimum age on the day of the competition. The following age categories are recognized by the USPA for both men and women: Teen: 13-15, Teen: 16-17, Teen: 18-19, Junior: 20-23, Open: 13-80+, Sub-Master: 35-39, Master: 40 to 44, 45 to 49, 50 to 54, 55 to 59, 60 to 64, 65 to 69, 70 to 74, 75 to 79, 80 and older.
Rulebook clarifications or questions can be answered by USPA officials, USPA Executives, or by using the USPA Contact Form.

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USPA Sanctioned Events

The USPA is responsible for sanctioning local and regional events where powerlifters can compete in hopes of qualifying for the national level events. The USPA sanctions the National Powerlifting Championship, National Benchpress Championship, and National Deadlift Championship in all age groups, giving athletes a chance to see how they fare against competitors across the country.

Top competitors are selected by the USPA to compete in World championships- the World Men’s and Women’s Powerlifting Championships comprised of the Open, Junior/Teenage and Master Divisions and the World Bench Press Championships, and World Deadlift Championships comprised of the Open, Junior/Teenage and Master Divisions.

USPA Sanction Application

Representative and Volunteers

The United States Powerlifting Association is looking for representatives and volunteers in all states. Each state representative is responsible for overseeing the development and implementation of USPA local competitions, state championships and maintaining state records.


USPA Executives

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    Steve DenisonUSPA / President

    "My mission and expectation for the USPA is to provide the highest quality meets for our members."

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    Johnny LayneUSPA Raw/ Vice-President

    "There are no question as to your strength when it's just you and the iron."

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    Ken WheelerUSPA Multi Ply / Vice-President

    "Powerlifting...no one cares what you can lift in the gym, bring it to the USPA"