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Powerlifting, a popular strength sport, has numerous prestigious championships across the United States and around the world.

This article provides an overview of the most important powerlifting tournaments for both professionals and amateurs alike.

Most Important Powerlifting Tournaments:

  1. USA Championships
  2. IPF World Championships
  3. Arnold Sports Festival
  4. USAPL Raw Nationals
  5. IPF Classic Powerlifting Championships
  6. USPA National Powerlifting Championships
  7. The US Open Powerlifting Championship
  8. IFA World Championships
  9. SPF National Championships
  10. WPC World Championships
  11. IPF Sub-Junior and Junior World Championships
  12. NIPF National Championships
  13. World Raw Powerlifting Championships
  14. Russian Powerlifting Championships
  15. Canadian Powerlifting Championships
  16. British Powerlifting Championships
  17. European Powerlifting Championships
  18. Australian Powerlifting Championships
  19. South American Powerlifting Championships
  20. African Powerlifting Championships

#1 USA Championships

  • πŸ“Location: Varies across the United States
  • πŸ“… Established: 1964
  • πŸ”„ Held: Annually
  • πŸ‘₯ Teams: Individual competitors

The USA Powerlifting Championships is a high-profile national competition for US athletes, governed by USA Powerlifting. The event features top American powerlifters, with multiple age and weight categories.

The championships have a storied history, with notable champions like Ed Coan and Jennifer Thompson. It serves as a vital showcase for up-and-coming talents, as well as a pathway to international competitions.

#2 IPF World Championships

  • πŸ“ Location: Varies globally
  • πŸ“… Established: 1973
  • πŸ”„ Held: Annually
  • πŸ‘₯ Teams: Individual competitors representing their countries

The International Powerlifting Federation (IPF) World Championships is the premier event for global powerlifting competition, attracting top athletes worldwide.

Regarded as the pinnacle for powerlifters, it features both equipped and classic divisions. Notable moments include Blaine Sumner’s world-record-breaking performances in recent years. The event showcases the diverse talent in powerlifting and continues to drive the sport’s growth.

#3 Arnold Sports Festival

  • πŸ“ Location: Columbus, Ohio, USA
  • πŸ“… Established: 1989
  • πŸ”„ Held: Annually
  • πŸ‘₯ Teams: Individual competitors

The Arnold Sports Festival, named after Arnold Schwarzenegger, combines powerlifting with various other strength sports. Including the prestigious Arnold Pro Powerlifting Championships, it’s an event that sees top-level competitors battling for victory.

The festival has contributed significantly to the powerlifting community by providing a platform for exposing the sport to a larger audience and offering substantial prize money for winners.

#4 USAPL Raw Nationals

  • πŸ“ Location: Varies across the United States
  • πŸ“… Established: 2008
  • πŸ”„ Held: Annually
  • πŸ‘₯ Teams: Individual competitors

The USA Powerlifting Raw Nationals is the largest U.S. raw powerlifting event, featuring unequipped powerlifters.

The competition has grown substantially in size and popularity since its inception, drawing both seasoned athletes and new talents. It serves as a qualifier for the IPF Classic World Championships and has been a key factor in the growing trend of raw powerlifting in recent years.

#5 IPF Classic Powerlifting Championships

  • πŸ“ Location: Varies globally
  • πŸ“… Established: 2012
  • πŸ”„ Held: Annually
  • πŸ‘₯ Teams: Individual competitors representing their countries

The IPF Classic Powerlifting Championships is a worldwide competition focused on raw or unequipped powerlifting. Since its introduction, it has been widely embraced by athletes and has rapidly gained popularity.

The championships provide a platform for raw lifters from around the globe to compete against each other, while also boosting the visibility of raw powerlifting as a distinct sporting discipline.

#6 USPA National Powerlifting Championships

  • πŸ“ Location: Varies across the United States
  • πŸ“… Established: 2010
  • πŸ”„ Held: Annually
  • πŸ‘₯ Teams: Individual competitors

The United States Powerlifting Association (USPA) National Powerlifting Championships is a major annual event featuring both raw and equipped divisions.

The competition attracts top American lifters and serves as a stage for showcasing the best talent in the nation. With growing interest in the sport, the USPA Nationals has become a pivotal event for both seasoned competitors and new talents in powerlifting.

#7 The US Open Powerlifting Championship

  • πŸ“ Location: San Diego, California, USA
  • πŸ“… Established: 2016
  • πŸ”„ Held: Annually
  • πŸ‘₯ Teams: Individual competitors

The US Open Powerlifting Championship is a prestigious event known for its significant cash prizes, attracting the strongest men and women from around the world.

Hosted by Gracie V and organized by the United States Powerlifting Association (USPA), the competition provides high-caliber, international competition in both raw and equipped categories. In its short history, it has already become a significant event on the powerlifting calendar.

#8 IFA World Championships

  • πŸ“ Location: Varies globally
  • πŸ“… Established: 2013
  • πŸ”„ Held: Annually
  • πŸ‘₯ Teams: Individual competitors representing their countries

The International Federation of Automatic Powerlifting (IFA) World Championships is an inclusive global competition open to all powerlifters, regardless of their affiliation.

The event features multiple categories, highlighting the diversity of competitors in the sport. With a focus on both equipped and raw disciplines, the IFA World Championships offers a platform for athletes to showcase their strength and dedication to the sport, fostering international camaraderie.

#9 SPF National Championships

  • πŸ“ Location: Varies across the United States
  • πŸ“… Established: 2009
  • πŸ”„ Held: Annually
  • πŸ‘₯ Teams: Individual competitors

The Southern Powerlifting Federation (SPF) National Championships is a respected powerlifting event in the United States. Governing both raw and equipped categories, it invites powerlifters of different levels to compete.

This event is crucial for promoting novice athletes and encouraging the sport across the nation. Its accessible atmosphere fosters growth and supports continued development within the powerlifting community.

#10 WPC World Championships

  • πŸ“ Location: Varies globally
  • πŸ“… Established: 1999
  • πŸ”„ Held: Annually
  • πŸ‘₯ Teams: Individual competitors representing their countries

The World Powerlifting Congress (WPC) World Championships is an international event that encompasses the sportsmanship and talent of powerlifters from around the world.

Facilitating both equipped and raw categories, the competition is a testament to powerlifting’s versatility in format and styles. The WPC World Championships continue to drive the progress of the sport, exposing the impressive abilities of athletes from various nations, and promoting powerlifting around the globe.

#11 IPF Sub-Junior and Junior World Championships

  • πŸ“ Location: Varies globally
  • πŸ“… Established: 2001
  • πŸ”„ Held: Annually
  • πŸ‘₯ Teams: Individual competitors representing their countries

The International Powerlifting Federation (IPF) Sub-Junior and Junior World Championships specifically highlight the upcoming young talents in the powerlifting realm.

This event nurtures the growth and development of future champions, emphasizing the importance of cultivating new generations within the sport. It encourages international cooperation and fosters a strong sense of community among powerlifters worldwide.

#12 NIPF National Championships

  • πŸ“ Location: Varies across the United States
  • πŸ“… Established: 2004
  • πŸ”„ Held: Annually
  • πŸ‘₯ Teams: Individual competitors

The Natural Powerlifting Federation (NIPF) National Championships focuses on drug-free powerlifting, attracting athletes committed to clean sportsmanship. The NIPF emphasizes the importance of competing naturally, ensuring an ethical and level playing field for powerlifters.

The dedicated, hardworking athletes at this competition showcase the potential of natural strength in the sport, encouraging more powerlifters to maintain and promote drug-free lifting.

#13 World Raw Powerlifting Championships

  • πŸ“ Location: Varies globally
  • πŸ“… Established: 2010
  • πŸ”„ Held: Annually
  • πŸ‘₯ Teams: Individual competitors representing their countries

The World Raw Powerlifting Championships is a global event that emphasizes unassisted powerlifting, celebrating the raw strength and tactics of athletes from different countries.

The competition is highly anticipated each year, bringing together premier competitors to vie for the esteemed titles. This prestigious event is contributing significantly to the global powerlifting community, inspiring more athletes to pursue raw lifting and building collaborative relationships between nations.

#14 Russian Powerlifting Championships

  • πŸ“ Location: Varies across Russia
  • πŸ“… Established: 1990
  • πŸ”„ Held: Annually
  • πŸ‘₯ Teams: Individual competitors

The Russian Powerlifting Championships is a prominent national event that showcases the impressive strength and technique of Russian powerlifters. Governed by the Russian Powerlifting Federation, the competition pits the country’s top contenders against each other.

Russian athletes have a long history of success in powerlifting on the international stage, and the national championships play a vital role in promoting and maintaining the high level of competition and achievements associated with the Russian powerlifting community.

#15 Canadian Powerlifting Championships

  • πŸ“ Location: Varies across Canada
  • πŸ“… Established: 1980
  • πŸ”„ Held: Annually
  • πŸ‘₯ Teams: Individual competitors

The Canadian Powerlifting Championships, governed by the Canadian Powerlifting Union (CPU), celebrates and showcases the strongest lifters across Canada. Comprising both raw and equipped categories, the competition serves as an important event in the Canadian powerlifting community.

It has consistently produced globally competitive athletes, adding to its national significance and fostering the growth of the sport within the country.

#16 British Powerlifting Championships

  • πŸ“Location: Varies across the United Kingdom
  • πŸ“… Established: 1982
  • πŸ”„ Held: Annually
  • πŸ‘₯ Teams: Individual competitors

The British Powerlifting Championships, organized by British Powerlifting, is the premier event for powerlifters in the United Kingdom. The competition includes both raw and equipped categories, offering a platform for the UK’s best powerlifters to shine.

The event has had a significant impact on the sport’s community and has cultivated numerous internationally renowned athletes, showcasing the strength of British powerlifting.

#17 European Powerlifting Championships

  • πŸ“ Location: Varies across Europe
  • πŸ“… Established: 1975
  • πŸ”„ Held: Annually
  • πŸ‘₯ Teams: Individual competitors representing their countries

The European Powerlifting Championships offers a continental showcase for elite powerlifters from European countries.

Governed by the European Powerlifting Federation (EPF), this prestigious event has fostered countless achievements from top competitors, such as the exceptional performance of Andrzej Stanaszek of Poland. The competition contributes significantly to the European powerlifting community, promoting the sport and its athletes across the continent.

#18 Australian Powerlifting Championships

  • πŸ“ Location: Varies across Australia
  • πŸ“… Established: 1980
  • πŸ”„ Held: Annually
  • πŸ‘₯ Teams: Individual competitors

The Australian Powerlifting Championships, hosted by the Australian Powerlifting Union (APU), highlights the strength and grit of powerlifters from all corners of the country.

The event encompasses raw and equipped categories, providing a platform for athletes to showcase their skills. With a significant impact on the Australian powerlifting community, the national championships help cultivate talent and propel the sport forward.

#19 South American Powerlifting Championships

  • πŸ“ Location: Varies across South America
  • πŸ“… Established: 2005
  • πŸ”„ Held: Annually
  • πŸ‘₯ Teams: Individual competitors representing their countries

The South American Powerlifting Championships invites the top powerlifters from across the continent to demonstrate their prowess.

Governed by the South American Powerlifting Federation (SAPF), the championships have promoted the sport and fostered competitive spirit within the participating nations. The event serves as a stepping stone for South American lifters to gain invaluable experience and recognition on an international stage.

#20 African Powerlifting Championships

  • πŸ“ Location: Varies across Africa
  • πŸ“… Established: 2011
  • πŸ”„ Held: Annually
  • πŸ‘₯ Teams: Individual competitors representing their countries

The African Powerlifting Championships is a celebration of powerlifting talent from across the continent, bringing together the strongest athletes in Africa.

Governed by the African Powerlifting Federation (APF), this event aims to elevate the sport and its athletes within African nations. The championships create opportunities for powerlifters to network, cooperate, and contribute to the growth and development of powerlifting in Africa.

FAQ

What is the most important powerlifting tournament?

The International Powerlifting Federation (IPF) World Championships is regarded as the premier powerlifting competition worldwide.

What is the oldest powerlifting tournament?

Established in 1964, the USA Powerlifting Championships is the oldest powerlifting tournament.

What is the hardest powerlifting tournament to win?

The IPF World Championships is likely the hardest to win due to the global competition from top athletes.

I'm a sports enthusiast who loves all kinds of ball and water sports. I run stand-up-paddling.org (#1 German Paddleboarding Blog), played competitive Badminton, took part in the German Mini Golf Championships, started learning 'real' Golf and dabbled in dozens of other sports & activities.

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