T Nation

Possible Power Lifting Start


Hey guys, my football coach is trying his damned-est to get a powerlifting program started at our school. no guarantees if it will happen, bit if it does, i have a few questions.

what lifts are usually done at a meet, or does it vastly differ?

i'm a senior with no PL experience, but i do lift. can i expect to compete with other schools who have done it for awhile? (I'd post stats, but I don't know what would be relevant or useful. ask and i will provide)

must you use squat suits/bench shirts? i would assume there is a "raw class".

also, what are some rules or etiquette things i should pay attention to or watch out for? any tips or advice on getting started?


Squat, bench, deadlift, in that order. Some federations do curls, or don't do squats.

Squat must be low enough that the hip joint is below the knee at the bottom. Bench must pause enough at the chest to demonstrate control. Deadlift must be locked out.

Equipment is optional, and raw is a growing movement. Anything beyond a belt and minimal knee sleeves is generally "equipped."

Check to see if your state's high school athletic association recognizes PL. That will give you a start.


For real? I've lived such a sheltered life.


Before you look into Feds, look into technical rules. No offense, but if your highschool has a football program without a standing PL program, theres a 90% chance you have been taught incorrect form in the lifts

(Powerlifting wise) What kills every football player i compete with/ against are their habits...1/4 squats or parallel squat need to be BELOW parellel...and the bench needs to STOP on yior chest without throwing your hips.

I didnt do a single squat below parallel until i began powerlifting so I know from past experience. its a GREAT sport and its alot easier to pursue outside of highschool when you graduate than football.


yah, me too i guess. i couldn't see power curling without probably laughing a little


none taken, but i learned how to lift properly at my old high school in california. we actually had an "intro to weightlifting" class, and i made sure i wasn't gonna be a statistic like what you mentioned.

it's kinda funny, but i actually had to step in for our previous coach (at my current school, we now have new head coach this year) to teach proper powerclean form. their knees were bowing inward so badly that they had trouble with their jumping reverse curls, so i couldn't help myself.

long story short, i'm quite confident in my form


For real. There's a few what do overhead press as well.


OH Press doesn't surprise me because for years, it was the big money lift against which all strength standards were measured. Now it's, replace by bench? I'm talking a loooong time ago though.

Curls though, that does knock me for a bit of a six.


Yeah, although I heard Bill Kazmaier curled 140kg at one meet.


The only fed in Canada that does strict curls is the CPA, and they've never run a meet outside of Quebec. It's where Hugo lifts when he's powerlifting though.

Their curl records are here:


well, that's something i guess. either way, i don't think i'll be curling, especially with the big dogs. any other advice?, i already like what i'm hearing.


If I am correct the high schools in your state go by USAPL rules. Gear is optional, but if worn will have to fall under the above guidelines. You can find the rules at www.usapowerlifting.com.

Good luck to you!


thanks! hopefully things go through the way i hope


No laughing at curls now, they are brutal exercise when done heavy and most organizations have switched to a strict curl which is up against the wall and allows for zero cheating. Also the original powerlifting competitions in the 60's started out with the big 4 (not 3) and included curls, because they were the biggest muscle that wasn't really measured by doing squats, bench, and deads (ie you could be strong in those 3 and still have wimpy bis).

Then over time curls were dropped, I am not sure why, probably because PL meets are pretty damn long anyway, but they are making a comeback. Now I am a bit biased because I do curl competitions, but can you really consider yourself strong if you can't curl a lot? I don't think so.

Have fun if you start powerlifting, I am sure you will enjoy it.


thanks, hopefully it works out. and to be fair, i am a bit anti-curl biased. working out at my high school (or any HS) will make you do that


Before powerlifting existed it used to be called the "strength set" the lifts were squat, bench press and curl


I believe it just goes with the weekend warrior sterotypes. All heavy curlers I know ONLY curl. Walk in wearing abercrombie clothes and gelled hair, curl while staring at their hyooggeee 'ceps in the mirror during and in between the sets, give a nice bicep flex for the bunnies then leave.

Im sure you see them yourself alot. Personally I dont curl, i get massive stimulation from reverse grip deads, barbell rows, heavy shrugs reverse gripped and farmers walks. But believe me, if curling was re-initiated back into the "Big 3" I would live next to that curl rack just as much as the weekenmd warriors.