Should Women's Powerlifting Have One More Weight Class?

Is the current weight class structure in women's powerlifting appropriate? The goal of this article is to present the facts, and let you determine whether or not female powerlifting could benefit from adding a weight class.  We would love to hear your feedback, so please use the comment section, our email, Instagram, or Facebook to give us your opinion... just don't be a dick about it.

weight class distribution

 A look at the weight class distribution among men in powerlifting.  These stats and these graphics are provided by  Open Powerlifting . *The lifters in IPF weight classes were switched to match the other federations for the purpose of these charts. 

A look at the weight class distribution among men in powerlifting.  These stats and these graphics are provided by Open Powerlifting. *The lifters in IPF weight classes were switched to match the other federations for the purpose of these charts. 

 A look at the weight class distribution among women in powerlifting.  These stats and these graphics are provided by  Open Powerlifting . *The lifters in IPF weight classes were switched to match the other federations for the purpose of these charts. 

A look at the weight class distribution among women in powerlifting.  These stats and these graphics are provided by Open Powerlifting. *The lifters in IPF weight classes were switched to match the other federations for the purpose of these charts. 

Pros of Adding a Weight Class

These charts from Open Powerlifting support the case for adding an additional female weight class on the top end of the classes.  The male weight classes hit a peak at the 220 class, and steadily trail off.. all the way through the final SHW division. 

The women's weight class hit a peak at the 148 weight class, then they start to taper off like the men's weight classes do.  But in the women's divisions, the final 198+ class actually has more competitors than the previous division.  If one additional class was added (possibly 220+?), we could see a more consistent taper like the men have.

In addition to that, there is a discrepancy in the number of weight classes between the sexes.  There are twelve male classes and only ten female classes.  Adding an additional heavy class for the women would narrow that gap.

USAPL/IPF lifters are included in these charts, but the charts are obviously not divided by the IPF classes.  We would need to look at just the IPF lifters in their designated classes to see if the same blip occurs at the top end of the female weight classes (185+ having increased competitors in comparison to lighter classes).

Cons of Adding Another Weight Class

Powerlifting is diluted as it is.  Everyone and their mother gets a gold medal with the current divisions.  Not everyone needs to get first place.  Maybe we need to look at fewer weight classes instead of stacking on more?

conclusion

Like we said at the beginning... we want to hear your opinion!

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