Dubai: The roots of powerlifting are in traditions of strength training stretching back as far as Greek and Roman times. The modern sport originated in the United States and the United Kingdom in the 1950s.

Previously, the weightlifting governing bodies in both countries had recognised various ‘odd lifts’ for competition and record purposes. During the 1950s, Olympic weightlifting declined in the United States, while strength sports gained many new followers.

In 1958, the AAU’s National Weightlifting Committee decided to begin recognising records for ‘odd lifts’. A national championship was tentatively scheduled for 1959, but it never happened.

The first genuine national meet was held on September 4, 1965 under the auspices of the York Barbell Company, owned by Bob Hoffman. In 1970, a team from Great Britain was invited to the USA for an “unofficial world championships” by Hoffman and the following year Hoffman invited them again for an unofficial World Championships in York, Pennsylvania, in the US where only lifters from Great Britain and the US took part.

Hoffman repeated his invitation in 1972 and, after that event, a meeting attended by delegates from the participating nations was held on November 11 in Zembo Mosque, Harrisburg, Pennsylvania and the International Powerlifting Federation (IPF) was founded. The first official World Championships were held in November 1973.