Evidence Strong Logo

Evidence Strong

What is the difference in strength between novice and elite athletes in powerlifting

Summary of an article looking at performance differences between recreational and elite (international level) athletes competing in powerlifting.

Who

2,137 novices and elite athletes aged 14-82 years competing in 90 powerlifting competitions in Australia and internationally:

  • 879 women, weight classes: 47, 52, 57, 63, 72, 84, 84+ kg
  • 1,258 men, weight classes: 59, 66, 74, 83, 93, 105, 120, 120+ kg
  • age categories:
    • sub-junior (SJ) below age 18
    • junior (JU) 19-23 years
    • open (OP) 24-39 years
    • master 1 (M1) 40-49 years
    • master 2 (M2) 50-59 years
    • master 3 (M3) 60-69 years
    • master 4 (M4) 70+ years

Design

Competition records from 2017:

  • local and national (Australia only)
  • international (international).

Outcome measures

  • back squat, bench press, deadlift and total (squat, bench press and deadlift combined) maximal weight lifted in kg

Main results

  • women
    • there was a significant difference between local and national competition total scores (across all weight classes), but the difference was not significant between national (Australia) and international (World) competition scores.
  • men
    • there was a significant difference between local and national competition total scores (across weight classes, excluding 66 and 105 kg weight class), but the difference was not significant between national (Australia) and international (World) competition scores (apart from 105 kg weight class).
  • age groups:
    • for women in SJ, JU and OP there was a significant difference between local and national total scores, but not for masters athletes. Between national and international competition total scores there was a difference for OP and M1-M4 classes, but not for SJ and JU.
    • for men in JU, OP and M2 there was a significant difference between local and national, and national and international total scores, but not for M1 and M3-M4 athletes.

Take home message

For a clinician
In general, athletes progress substantially beteen local and national level, but not between national and international level of competition. Women junior (SJ and JU) and open class athletes' scores differ between local and national competitions, as do scores for open and master athletes between national and international competitions. Men junior (JU), open and master (M2) athletes' scores differ across all competition levels.
For a parent
Women junior (SJ and JU) and open class athletes' scores differ between local and national competitions, as do scores for open and master athletes between national and international competitions. Men junior (JU), open and master (M2) athletes' scores differ across all competition levels.
For an athlete
Women junior (SJ and JU) and open class athletes' scores differ between local and national competitions, as do scores for open and master athletes between national and international competitions. Men junior (JU), open and master (M2) athletes' scores differ across all competition levels.

Original article

Latella C, Van Den Hoek D, Teo WP. Differences in strength performance between novice and elite athletes: Evidence from powerlifters. The Journal of Strength & Conditioning Research. 2019 Jul 1;33:S103-12.

© 2021, built by @ognus
To the top