Frequently Asked Questions

Quick Links

How to enter a Powerlifting Meet
What do I wear to a Meet?
High School Lifters info
What is the state record for ...?
How do I set a State record?
What's the difference between Raw and Equipped Lifting?


  1. Q: How do I enter a Powerlifting Meet?

    A: Before entering a sanctioned USA Powerlifting meet, be sure to
    • Read and familiarize yourself with The Lifter's Handbook. This explains the rules of the competition, the required costume, and acceptable equipment for use in the meets.
    • View the Events page for a list of upcoming meets.
    • Prior to checking in at the meet (and in some cases, prior to registration for the meet), you will need to become a USA Powerlifting member. You can register at the USA Powerlifting Member's Area. Make sure your registration is current prior to checking in at the meet. Expired memberhips will not be allowed to participate in the meets.

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  2. Q: What do I wear to a Meet?

    A: The short answer: Bring a cotton T-shirt with sleeves that fully cover the deltoids. A non-supportive singlet for raw lifting must be worn. The singlet can be of any manufacturer for local meets, but Regional meets and above, the singlet must be from an Approved Vendor. Non-supportive briefs must be worn. That is they can not have a leg. Think "tighty-whiteys". No, you cannot wear boxer briefs! Socks that fully cover the shins must be worn during the deadlift. Most types of shoes are acceptable. "Toe shoes" such as Vibrams are not permitted.

    Be sure to check the USA Powerlifting Lifter's Handbook for the most up-to-date costume and equipment guidelines.
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  3. Q: As a High School Lifter, what divisions can I lift in?

    A: This largely depends on the type of High School membership you hold. Seasonal high school memberships are valid from December 1 through May 31 of the following year. With a seasonal membership you may only lift in High School Only events or High School Championship events. With a High School full membership, or if a High School Seasonal upgrade was purchased (upgrading you to a full High School membership), you may lift in any meet that accomodates High School weight classes. Furthermore, with a full High School membership, you may also add Teen and Open divisions to your membership. If these divisions are on your membership, you may lift in any meet that accomodates these divisions, however you must lift in the weight class for the Teen/Open divisions, and not the High School weight class, if they differ.
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  4. Q: What's the State Record For XYZ?

    A: State records are kept for the following:
    • Squat
    • Bench Press
    • Deadlift
    • Total

    See the Athlet's Info home page for links to the current Lifter's Database to find the State Records for each Age Division and Weight Class.
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  5. Q: How do I set a State Record?

    A: State records apply to the combination of Age division and Weight class. To set a record you must achieve a good lift better than the current record for that lift in your age division and weight class. In addition, you must post a total for the meet in which you set the record. That is if you bomb out (i.e. miss all 3 attempts, or get 2 or more red lights on all 3 attemps) on any lift, you will not post a total, and the record will not count. You may still perform the lift and get the "unofficial" record.

    There are some caveats as defined by the IPF Rules. For Teen and Juniors, if a record set in the Teen or Junior division for a given weight class exceeds the record for the age division above it (up through Open), the record is also awarded to the lifter for that weight class above it, if the lifter is both registered for and competing in that division. Likewise, for Masters, if a Masters 2 record is set and exceeds the record in a weight class below it (down through Open), the record is also awarded for that weight class below it. The link in the previous question also has more information to address any further questions about this rule.
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  6. Q: What's the difference between Raw and Equipped (geared) lifting?

    A: Raw lifting is done without supportive clothing, such as a squat suit, supportive briefs, or a bench press shirt. Equipped lifting allows this type of gear (limited by approved manufactureres). Equipped lifting also allows the use of a supportive singlet. Both in Raw and Equipped lifting, the lifter may wear a lifting belt (limited to 13mm thickness, and 10cm width), knee sleeves (limited to 7mm thickness) and wrist wraps (limited to 1m long, 8cm wide). For equipped lifting, knee wraps may also be worn, but may not be worn in conjunction with knee sleeves. Knee wraps are limited to 2m in length and 8cm width. For lifters wearing any kind of knee wrap or sleeve, the singlet and/or socks may not touch the wraps or sleeve. For the most complete description about what gear is permissible for your lifting category, check the USA Powerlifting Rulebook.
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