T Nation

Powerlifting Meet Rules?


I'm hoping to enter my first meet on October 29th through the APF here in Orlando. The APF website like it seems almost all powerlifting websites is ridiculously underdeveloped and the rules link doesn't work.

Thus, I'm looking for some basic rules. For example I just learned that your hands must be on the rings on the barbell for all lifts.

One of my big questions is I know Suits are Geared. What about Knee Wraps or Elbow Sleeves? Are you allowed to compete in a competition barefoot?



Hey try this website, it does have the apf rules. I think the contest you listed is listed in the meets link on the site as well.



Thats the site I was at. The Rules button is a .doc and it doesn't seem to be an existing file any longer unless there's a second link somewhere I'm missing. I clicked Rules at the bottom.


I know I've pulled up the rules from that site before and I've never had trouble with it. Its on the right side, gray font, "updated 12/09"

To answer the question about wraps/sleeves/shoes... For raw: the APF does not allow knee wraps. Wrist wraps are allowed. Elbow sleeves are not allowed on bench. And "Footwear more substantial than basic socks must be worn. The only restrictions to such footwear is that no metal cleats or spikes are permitted."


ah thanks buckeye girl, the link on the right did work - I just didn't see it. the link for rules at the bottom of their page isn't working.

also your back looks super :slightly_smiling:


I heartily concur! Buckeye Girl's back ROCKS! Those big, round deltoids really top it off nicely. Great work.


enders- hands only need to be on the rings for bench. the way you have it written sounds like squat/dl too



Reading the rulebook should answer a lot of your questions.

It's also very helpful to talk with someone in person who has competed before.


Really? Usually feds have a max width for the grip, but I've never heard of fingers having to be on O rings. I have benched narrow grip in meets to protect an injured shoulder and seen other lifters do the same.


My bad enders, i should've specified. Glad you found it though.


The guy who told me about the O-Rings told me it was the same for all lifts, and this is a competitive powerlifter from my gym. I just wanted to find the actual rules for myself is all so I could read them for myself.


That guy doesn't know what he's talking about.

Hands are clearly outside the rings.

For the deadlift, hands are clearly inside the rings.


You're definitely right here (at least for the IPF). At one contest, a judge tried to tell my wife otherwise so she became somewhat of an expert on the topic afterwards. There is no minimum grip in the rules.


There is no minimum grip for any of the lifts. For the bench press you can't be any wider than having one finger on the ring (pointer finger). Some feds allow a thumbless grip on the bench, some don't, not sure about the APF. For deads and squats your grip can be as wide as you want, although most feds say the hands must be on the bar and can't be out on the weights (as some might do with squats). For the O rings you should clarify if the person is talking the rings in the normal part of the bar that you hold when you lift, which should be 81 cm apart, or the sleeves of the bar where the weights go. You usually can not grip the sleeve in a meet.

If you compete in gear you can wear knee wraps, bench shirts, and squat suits, nobody currently allows elbow wraps. Nobody allows barefooted lifting to my knowledge.

Good luck with it and hope you enjoy the meet. Open light and go from there,


sorry, thats right, the widest grip has to cover the rings in the IPF. i think its the same in other feds except reverse and thumbless are/arent allowed depending on fed.


I have a little question.I'm about to enter my first competition and the rules says that there's two weigh-ins.One's 24 and the other's 2 hours before the meet.Why is there two and whitch one determins actual weight class?


Some feds require the two-hour weigh-in if you want to set/break records. Otherwise, you can weigh in 24 hours in advance if the option is offered.