“What equipment do I need for Powerlifting?” is a common question asked by beginners looking to compete in the sport for the first time. The other big question comes form those who are experienced with general strength training in the gym who ask “Can I use my (insert Object) at my first powerlifting meet?”. Below I will look at the essential powerlifting equipment, optional powerlifting equipment and specific powerlifting federation rules.
Essential Powerlifting Equipment
A T-shirt must be worn under the lifting suit by all lifters in the Squat and Bench Press and by women in the Deadlift. The T-shirt must also meet the following requirements.
- The shirt must be constructed entirely of fabric or a synthetic textile
- The T-Shirt cannot be reinforced
- The shirt must have a round neck collar and sleeves
- The Shirt must be a plain single colour and with no logos or emblems unless otherwise approved.
Powerlifting Singlet (Soft suit)
A powerlifting singlet or soft suit must be worn, In the IPF of which Powerlifting Australia is a part then, Only non-supportive suits from manufacturers accepted onto the “Approved List of Apparel and Equipment for Use at IPF Competitions” shall be permitted for use in competitions.
Titan is a well respected brand and their powerlifting softsuit is highly recommended.
Socks may be worn, however Shin length socks must be worn to cover and protect the shins while performing the deadlift.
Shoes must be worn. Shoes include only Sports Shoes, Weightlifting Shoes, Powerlifting Shoes or Deadlift Slippers.
For improved depth in the squat, Adidas Performance Men’s Powerlift.2 shoes are a good basic option.
Optional Powerlifting Equipment
Optional equipment can be divided in equipment for RAW Powerlifting or Equipped Powerlifting, equipment in the RAW list can be used in Equipped events, but the items in the Equipped Powerlifting list cannot be used in RAW events.
Different Federations have slight variations on what can be used in each type of event, my list is based on the IPF rules.
Competitors may wear a belt. Only belts from approved manufacturers can be used in IPF powerlifting meets. The belt may have a buckle with one or two prongs or be a “quick release” lever type belt.
If you are unsure of how to get the most out of your Powerlifting Belt then take a look at Weight Lifting Belts and How to use them.
This Belt from Lifting Large is not only IPF approved but come in a distinctive pink.
Wraps made of medical crepe or bandage and sweatbands are allowed as are Wrists wraps not exceeding 1 m. in length and 8 cm in width. The IPF also requires such wraps to be from registered manufacturers.
My personal choice is the Inzer Wrist Wraps.
Sleeves, being cylinders of neoprene, may be worn only on the knees by the lifter in the performance of any lift in competition. Only knee sleeves from manufacturers accepted onto the “Approved List of Apparel and Equipment for Use at IPF Competitions” shall be permitted for use in competitions.
Equipment used in Equipped powerlifting Meets cannot be use in the RAW division.
Bench Press Shirt
A supportive shirt, in the form of a Single Ply bench shirt may be worn, some federations allow for multiple ply. For the IPF the bench shirt used must be on the Approved list.
Knee wraps may be used in equipped powerlifting competitions, Wraps are not to exceeding 2 m in length and 8 cm in width. Again, for the IPF the wraps chosen must be on the Approved Equipment List.
Squat and Deadlift Suits
A supportive lifting suit may be worn for all lifts in competitions which are designated as an Equipped, The suit-straps must be worn over the lifter’s shoulders at all times in all lifts in all competitions. For IPF competitions, the suits must be listed on the approved equipment list.