Anthropometric dimensions of male powerlifters of varying body mass

Justin W.L. Keogh*, Patria A. Hume, Simon N. Pearson, Peter Mellow

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review

56 Citations (Scopus)


In this study, we examined the anthropometric dimensions of powerlifters across various body mass (competitive bodyweight) categories. Fifty-four male Oceania competitive powerlifters (9 lightweight, 30 middleweight, and 15 heavyweight) were recruited from one international and two national powerlifting competitions held in New Zealand. Powerlifters were assessed for 37 anthropometric dimensions by ISAK (International Society for the Advancement of Kinanthropometry) level II and III accredited anthropometrists. The powerlifters were highly mesomorphic and had large girths and bony breadths, both in absolute units and when expressed as Zp-scores compared through the Phantom (Ross & Wilson, 1974). These anthropometric characteristics were more pronounced in heavyweights, who were significantly heavier, had greater muscle and fat mass, were more endo-mesomorphic, and had larger girths and bony breadths than the lighter lifters. Although middleweight and heavyweight lifters typically had longer segment lengths than the lightweights, all three groups had similar Zp-scores for the segment lengths, indicating similar segment length proportions. While population comparisons would be required to identify any connection between specific anthropometric dimensions that confer a competitive advantage to the expression of maximal strength, anthropometric profiling may prove useful for talent identification and for the assessment of training progression in powerlifting.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1365-1376
Number of pages12
JournalJournal of Sports Sciences
Issue number12
Publication statusPublished - Oct 2007
Externally publishedYes


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