T Nation

Squat Depth Powerlifting Comps


ive seen so many squats online that get 3 white lights, but the depth is so high its unreal.
most feds rules state you have to go to paralell or the crease of the thigh has to be below the knee, and even on world record lifts i keep seeing people getting no where near this.

not sure where this is going. but why do some lifts like this get red lighted#?


i have my first competition in october and am trying to perfect my technique in terms of depth. ive always gone ass to ground so am trying to get used to squatting the minimum required depth so i can add a few extra pounds to my max.

any examples of videos would be appreciated
and your thoguths on the above


Listen to the judges and what they expect if their is a meeting before the competition. Watch all the guys squatting before and after you to get a feel for what the judges are calling and nitpicking. Also, bury your opener, act confident with it, and have a smooth setup so you look more legit.


Advice -

1 - quit being an internet judge

2 - ask the judge at your meet, then observe him judging other lifters

3 - ????



Judges are human. They make mistakes and will pass poor lifts, or redlight good lifts. I've also heard that some feds have different depths generally, like SPF? Not that the rules are different, but the judges will pass higher squats regularly. Never experienced it though.
Just take a lighter opener and make sure you get good depth. Watch the other lifters to see what is passed and try to go as deep as them. Helps to have someone else call your depth too.


I dunno man, I went and watched an SPF meet last year, those judges were intensely strict.


The rules for the squat are the same across the board, but judges in different feds are briefed on different interpretations of those rules as per their federation.

It's usually safe to say that the higher level of competition you see, the more strict the judging becomes - a squat that may pass at a local or regional competition may not pass at a major national or international comp.

Some of the world record squats (and even deadlifts) that have been claimed in the last few years have been suspect in my opinion, and that just comes down to poor judging.


I'm not hatin'. I've never seen a SPF meet, so I wouldn't know. Just banter that I've heard. I wonder how you get to be a PL judge anyhow? Seems like most of them are former or current lifters themselves.


I competed in an SPF meet 2 months ago and the judging was pretty fair. I didn't see any high squats called good.


It depends on your fed and local organization. I just took the written test for IPF for the 'entry level' but still have to do the practical. There are different levels i.e. provincial, national, international that can only be achieved (in the IPF) by reffing at a level for a period of time (sometimes years) and a certain percentage of the lifts you ref must be squats.

However, the written test was created locally by our Provincial referee chairperson and other provinces have their own tests so standards may vary.

Most of our refs are current or former lifters and typically. If you're interested contact your local fed. I found having to learn the minutiae of IPF rules very helpful even if you aren't going to ref.


Oh I know youre not, just throwin out my experience with the SPF. Heres to hoping I get some of those easy judges come July.


Awesome post. One of my favorite episodes.