Strongest States in the USA (By Powerlifting Results)

Strongest States is an open-data analysis of the statistics from OpenPowerlifting and other reputable open sources. Our team performed a considerable investigation of various powerlifting competitions held in the USA by the beginning of 2023. When making this analysis we were influenced by the idea of our friend Kyle from Lift Vault (cheers, Kyle!).

As a result, we presented this well-considered and accurate infographic for you to show the following information:

  • the strongest state*
  • the strongest athletes in different exercises and generally
  • getting to know more about the powerlifting sports


Our methodology

We prepared an extended review of the results for the top 10 strongest men and women for all states in the USA and collected detailed statistics of their best lifts in SBD exercises considering the Wilks Coefficient.

The Wilks Score estimates an athlete’s overall strength, compared to other powerlifters in different weight categories for both genders. Generally, it’s not used to track progress, but it shows who is the superior powerlifter, even competing in different divisions.

Here you’ll find scoring tables of the powerlifters’ performance that indicate:

  • totals for each state with men’s and women’s best lifts in all three exercises with the Wilks average points
  • top 10 men's and women’s results showing the Wilks coefficient, and best SBD results, with the totals, athlete’s weight, and the state of origin
  • top 10 women's results in Squat, Bench press, and Deadlift by showing their weight, best squat result, and the state of origin
  • top 10 men's results in Squat, Bench press, and Deadlift by showing their weight, best squat result, and the state of origin.

All the used statistics were taken from the OpenPowerlifting project's official website. You may download a copy of the data at

The competition results with the following specifications were utilized to measure the Wilks score to define the strongest states in the USA:

  • Event: SBD
  • Equipment: Raw
  • Drug tested: True
  • Age: 18+

Note: SBD means that the records were taken from the contests in squats, bench presses, and deadlifts separately. Raw means the equipment category under which the lifts were performed, that is bare knees or knee sleeves. Drug tested: means whether the lifter entered a drug-tested category. Age: shows the age class in which the filter falls.

The general records were taken from all powerlifting exercises, i.e., squat, bench press, and deadlift, with the same criteria as for the previous range:

  • Event: All
  • Equipment: Raw
  • Drug tested: True
  • Age: 18+

What is powerlifting: a general overview of the discipline

The majority considers powerlifting as an umbrella notion for weightlifting and bodybuilding or is used interchangeably with these terms being functional strength training as well. Although, powerlifting quite differs from them and has its special properties, making it unique. So, what distinguishes it from the rest of strength-oriented disciplines?

Powerlifting is a separate strength sport that follows a defined structure and requirements of a powerlifting competition. There are three main exercises that you can find on the web naming as SBD which means squat, bench press, and deadlift that all done with a weighted barbell. That means you won’t see any dumbbell or kettlebell at powerlifting competitions.

For each of the three lifts, a powerlifter gets three attempts to make his highest possible one rep at the max. Each competitor performs all three lifts and the top lifts of each exercise are added to the competitor’s total rating. This gives athletes of different strengths a chance to win. So, even if your deadlift or squat isn’t of a proper level, you can gain your top by performing a strong bench press.

The final scores are compared to other competitors of the same weight class and body weight. This way the competition is fair. Also, the age is also considered in competitions.

Compared with weightlifting and bodybuilding, powerlifting has one major goal: to perform at best. Powerlifters don’t care about being jacked and have shredded lean muscle mass. Powerlifting is all about lifting heavy weights with three main and simple lifts. The key concern for powerlifters is to build maximum muscle strength.

Athletes with best results and best overall performance

Powerlifting exercise set

As we already mentioned, powerlifting competition includes three major lifts that are squat, bench press, and deadlift by applying a weighted barbell. Let’s describe each exercise separately and find out the proper technique for its performance.

Best results in every lift (Squat, Bench Press, Deadlift)

Best Squat Results (Female athletes)


It’s believed to be the king of exercises, which develops your legs more dominantly than any other exercise, by activating quads, hamstrings, and little calves, and also requires a solid tight core. The proper squat form should be parallel, with stable feet and locked knees, without bouncing. Here you are a proper technique on how to perform squatting:

  1. Grip the barbell and stand up to lift it off the rack.
  2. Step back from the rack, setting up your feet for the lift
  3. Lower yourself until your thighs are parallel with the floor at the max.
  4. Raise yourself back up to the standing position.
  5. Step forward to rerack the barbell.

Best Bench Press Results (Female athletes)

Bench press

This exercise aims to increase the power and size of your chest, by building your upper body muscles. The correct form to execute this exercise requires a flat bench, bar that touches the chest, with no bounce, and someone’s help:

  1. Lie on a flat bench.
  2. Grip the barbell with both hands.
  3. Unrack the barbell and hold the bar directly above your shoulders.
  4. Lower the barbell to your chest.
  5. Press the barbell back to the starting position.

Best Deadlift Results (Female athletes)


Deadlift is a basic hip-hinge exercise that promotes the ability to lift heavy weights off the ground. It increases the whole body's strength, endurance, and adds up confidence. The standards of deadlift performance require: straight arms, stable feet, locked knees, keeping shoulders back, and the bar always moving up. The proper technique of the exercise looks like this:

  1. Begin with the barbell on the floor.
  2. Grip the barbell with a hook or overhand grip.
  3. Look straight ahead and start lifting the bar controlling your movements.
  4. Stand up and lockout.
  5. Lower the bar down with total control.

Best Squat Results (Male athletes)

Best Bench Press Results (Male athletes)

Best Deadlift Results (Male athletes)