I lift in the USAPL. The USAPL is the IPF (International Powerlifting Federation) affiliate. The IPF has the most member nations that have full teams competing at it's world championships. The IPF is the federation that sends its lifters to the World Games. The USAPL is a drug tested federation.
I got started in the USAPL during college. The USAPL has a collegiate national championships. The meets I have been to have been extremely well run and done in a professional manner.
I have competed in the WABDL and the USPF. The USPF meets are very well run as well.
I've only competed in the APF and I've had a good experience at every meet I've been to...
we workout sometimes with some local usapl lifters and they're all really cool people...
I've also been told by people I trust that uspf meets are great also...
a good friend of mine has told me that the meet director has more to do with the over-all quality of a meet than the federation it's listed under...he's been to both good and bad meet run by numerous federations...
I suggest you try the different federations for yourself and form your own opionions...
Another quick question about APF. Going through the rules:
I didn't see anything specific to a bench shirt. I don't know if it's included in the following statement about undershirts:
"Undershirt...Its construction may consist of multiple plies but must, as a whole, be a singular component. "The thickness(es) shall not be designed to increase, enlarge, or enhance the body?s natural musculature..."
Does that mean bench shirts are not allowed at APF (or any WPC) meets?
I have no problem with it if they're not allowed, I just don't want to show up without one if they are allowed.
Since you are new to powerlifting buy single ply polyester equipment. This way you can compete in other federations without buying too much equipment. So look at the rules and buy stuff that is applicable to all feds.
I'll probably have to buy a second shirt after this winter anyway. I'll compete a couple times in a couple different federations, then I'll probably start gaining weight so I don't think I'll fit into the same shirt (I need to lose 7lbs to get to 165, then I'll compete at 181 next year).
As far as material, would that go for squat suits too (polyester)?
I've only looked at Inzer's web site and was looking at the champion and Z-suit (don't realy know the difference).
Does the squat suit count as a singlet that's required, or would I need both (I might just go with a singlet only anyway until my squat gets more competitive)?
Polyester is allowed in every federation. Titan or Inzer gear should be fine all feds. I have used Inzer before and now I use Titan.
In terms of the Inzer suits, the Inzer Z has an extremely tight and painful leg opening. Starting out, I would NOT use this suit (even though I did). The champion suit is a good starter suit. The bottom end blast shirt is a waste of money. You might get 10 pounds out of it.
You should buy your gear to fit at 165. As you use it, it will stretch and you can grow into it.
Thanks, would you suggest Titan for both the bench shirt and sqaut suit?
As for the singlet, it can be any cheap singlet right? I've seen them much cheaper a while back when looking to buy one for wrestling. They just want to be able to see it your ass is still making contact with the bench right?
I'd say the Titan gear is a bit much for somebody just starting out in powerlifting. Many people have trouble touching weights in properly fitted Titan bench shirts. Unless you have experienced training partners, I'd go with less supportive gear (low-end Inzer stuff) and move up to tigther gear if you like powerlifting. The "problem" with Titan is that they don't really make the equivalent of a Champion suit for the beginning lifter.
I am a member of both the IPA and the APF. Both are very competitive 2 ply federations. The APF/WPO will always be the biggest and best fed in the world. Very fun for the lifters and brings a lot of excitement to the sport. I mean what other fed has their Finals at a huge event like the Arnold CLassic? none.
I've competed a few times, but only once before with a shirt (long time ago), but I did practice with the shirt for about 3-4 weeks before the meet, which I plan to do this time.
What did you mean by having trouble touching weights?
I've heard of some guys who felt like they actually had to pull the bar down to their chest. That's what I first thought of when I read that, but I'm not sure if that's what you meant.
I still have to find someone to help put the shirt on me since the team I was with before was from a gym that closed down years ago. I wanted to go with a friend of mine, but he stopped training for powerlifting a few months ago when he hurt his shoulder (and he doesn't want to start training for it again).
If I can get in with a bunch of guys at my gym who compete, I know they can help me a lot with the shirt (one went to the Arnold classic and has a world record in the 181lb class). I just have to talk to them and see if they're going first, and second if they wouldn't mind helping me out.
I might not be able to use a shirt at all if I can't find someone to help me get it on. I remember it taking a while the last time, and (no offence to my wife) I don't think she'd be able to get in on right (but I might be wrong).