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Shifting Gear: A Historical Analysis of the Use of Supportive Apparel in Powerlifting – Iron Game History – December, 2015

In many ways, powerlifting is an odd sport. Competitors do not run or jump; no balls, bats, or rackets are used; and only one competitor “plays” on the lifting platform at a time. Judging can be highly subjective; three judges intently watch as the athlete lifts the loaded barbell nine separate times over the course of the competition. There is no instant replay and most lifts take less than ten seconds to perform. At the end of the lift, each judge throws a switch; if at least two white lights appear, the lift is good; if two or more lights are red, the lift does not count. Three squats, three bench presses, and three deadlifts constitute the nine attempts of a powerlifting contest. At most, lifters spend ninety seconds “competing” during what is generally a day-long contest.