Powerlifting is a strength sport that consists of three attempts at maximal weight on three lifts: squat, bench press, and deadlift.  In competition, lifts may be performed equipped or un-equipped (typically referred to as 'raw' lifting or 'classic' in the IPF specifically). Equipment in this context refers to a supportive bench shirt or squat/deadlift suit or briefs. In some federations, knee wraps are permitted in the equipped but not un-equipped division; in others, they may be used in both equipped and un-equipped lifting. Weight belts, knee sleeves, wrist wraps and special footwear may also be used, but are not considered when distinguishing equipped from un-equipped lifting.
Powerlifting has been a Paralympic sport (bench press only) since 1984 and, under the IPF, is also a World Games sport. Local, national and international competitions have also been sanctioned by other federations operating independently of the IPF.

Currently, powerlifting has too many different federations to be considered which federation will be considered to be an Olympic level sport. Although the sport is fairly simple (Squat, Bench, Deadlift, 3 attempts each lift), every federation has different rules. For example, some federations take squat depth very lightly while others are too strict on squat depth. Also, there are federations that are drug tested and not drug tested. The IOC (International Olympic Committee) will certainly not allow any federation that is not drug tested be affiliated with them. Equipment is another problem. There are too many competitions to choose from: Classic raw, Raw, Equipped (Single ply, Multi ply). Each one of those competitions use different types of equipment.

The International Olympic Committee (IOC) didn't agree to add Power Lifting as Olympic Sport for 2020 but still IPF is working to make Power Lifting an Olympic Sport.