Many people don’t realize that the sport of powerlifting is open to kids 8 and up, the same age that Olympic lifting begins. Instead we think of powerlifting as an adult sport, or as movements in our workouts. Powerlifting, just like Olympic lifting, is a sport that is open to kids and can be done as a standalone sport, or as part of your training to help improve your athletic performance in other sports like football and soccer.
The difference between Olympic lifting and powerlifting, is the type of lifts that are performed. Olympic lifting consists of the Snatch, and Clean and Jerk. While power lifting consists of the bench press, the squat, and the deadlift.
In Olympic lifting the divisions for each competition are split into weight classes and age groups. There are three divisions in youth power lifting: Ages 8-9, 10-11, and 12-13. Powerlifting competitors over the age of 14 are considered to be teenagers, and have their own category and weight classes. The weight classes for girls are; 30K (65lbs), 35K (77lbs) and 40K (88lbs). The weight classes for boys are (65lbs), 35K (77lbs) 40K (88lbs), 44k (97lbs), and 48K (105lbs). Both male and females also have additional weight classes, that are preset with the teen and adult divisions.
Local and regional youth powerlifting competitions are usually held in conjunction with adult meets. While the national meet, is held independently. Of course, not all local meets hold youth divisions, but with 3 to 5 meets happening around the country every weekend, there are still many opportunities for young lifters.