Frequently asked questions

GENERAL

How to I become a member of USA Powerlifting?

Purchase your membership online. You will need to show proof of membership at lifter check-in on meet day. This can be done by printing your membership card OR showing your card via electronically.

What are the rules for competing in USA Powerlifting federation?

Many of your questions can be answered in our Lifter's Handbook.

Please also see USA Powerlifting Rulebook for more detailed information.

It is the lifters responsibility to know the rules.

How much does a USA Powerlifting Membership cost?

The pricing for each division for both annual and auto-renew memberships is as follows:

  • Open, Masters, Junior, Non-Competing, Adaptive Athlete, Para Bench $65

  • Teen $40

  • Youth $25

  • Special Olympian $20

You may select more than one division. For example, Open and Masters, $65. Open and Teen, $65. If you intend to compete in the Open division, you must select Open.

NEW Lifetime memberships also available.

How do I qualify for Nationals?

Do I have to have a team to compete in the USA Powerlifting Georgia High School Meets?

No, both individuals and teams are allowed to compete without a coach, even though we encourage lifters to bring a coach.

What do I need to know about State and American Record attempts?

Please check the USAPL Lifters Database for current records.

State Records can be set at all local, regional, national and international events. These records will be automatically recorded.

American Records can be set at state level meets and higher. If attempting to set an American record, it is your responsibility to let the scoring table know so that we can have National level referees in place to judge your lift.

DRUG TESTING

Where do I find information on USA Powerlifting Drug Testing?

Please check out the USA Powerlifting's Anti-Doping page to find more resources.

Drug Testing. What is it and how does it work?

USA Powerlifting requires all Meet Directors to drug test a minimum of 10% of the competitors participating in every sanctioned event. This is a literal requirement – eg: with 51 competitors, 6 tests must be done. All open American Records must be tested. All World Records must be tested. All returning Open National Champions must be out-of-competition tested with little or no advance notice prior to defending their title.

If you enter this event, you may be selected to be drug tested. Lifters are notified by the Drug Testing Officer (DCO) generally at the completion of the lifting session. If you have completed all your attempts and want to leave prior to the awards ceremony, you must check in with the DCO to make sure you have not been selected for drug testing. This includes if you have weighed in and decided not to lift, injured yourself during the competition and withdraw or bomb, you are still in the drug testing pool.

Failure to be available when called for drug testing will be considered a doping failure and subject to a possible 4 year suspension.

I am taking medication prescribed by my doctor. Is that ok?

Medications prescribed by your doctor may be considered a prohibited substance. You must check all your medications. If the medication is prohibited, it may be allowed by receiving a Therapeutic Use Exemption (TUE).

NEW LIFTERS

I'm interested in competing in a USA Powerlifting event. What do I need to know?

A good place to start is with the USA Powerlifting Lifter's Handbook. We also recommend coming to one of Upcoming Events to get a feel of what a USA Powerlifting event looks like.

I've never competed before, what are the basics I need to know about the squat, bench and deadlift rules?

  • Squat (Click for Video): The lifter will unrack the weight and get set up and then stand "locked out" until the head referee says "squat". The lifter will then squat down until the top of the hip joint goes below the top of the knee and then come back up. The lifter then has to wait, standing erect until the head referee says "rack".

  • Bench (Click for Video): The lifter will unrack the weight (a lift-off person can help if desired) and hold the bar in the locked out position until the head referee says "start". The lifter then lowers the bar to the chest (cannot be lower than the sternum) and holds the bar motionless on the chest until the head referee says "press". The lifter then presses up and holds the bar in the locked out position until the head referee says "rack". Other considerations: The entire foot must remain flat on the floor. The head, shoulders and butt must remain in contact with the bench at all times. The thumb must be around the bar. "Thumb-less" grip is not allowed.

  • Deadlift (Click for Video): The lifter will pick the bar up, stand erect and wait for the referee to say "down". Knee high socks must be worn when deadlifting.

What is difference between Raw and Equipped lifting?

Raw/Unequipped lifting is defined in USA Powerlifting competition as using only the following gear and accessories as previously described above:

  • Non-supportive singlet

  • T-shirt

  • Briefs

  • Socks

  • Belt

  • Shoes

  • Wrist wraps

  • Single-ply neoprene knee sleeves without attaching and/or tightening mechanisms like Velcro, clips, or straps

Equipped Lifters wear single-ply squat suits, bench shirts, and deadlift suits.

If I am lifting Raw, what equipment do I need to have?

The only things that are required are a singlet, t-shirt, long socks to deadlift and shoes. You must wear standard underwear that is not supportive when competing (no spandex). In the raw division, you are allowed to wear knee sleeves (neoprene), a belt and wrist wraps. For more specific equipment rules see our rulebook. USA Powerlifting Rule Book

- High School Only meets allow form fitting shorts and a t-shirt instead of a singlet.

RULES OF PERFORMANCE

SQUAT

  • Squat (Click for Video): The lifter will unrack the weight and get set up. There are two referee commands for the squat. "Squat" and "Rack". You must wait for both commands!

    1. Stand erect with knees locked, wait until the head referee says "squat".

    2. The lifter will then squat down until the top of the hip joint goes below the top of the knee and then come back up.

    3. Wait, standing erect until the head referee says "rack".

BENCH

There are 3 commands for the Bench Press. "Start", "Press", "Rack". You must wait for all your commands!

  • Bench (Click for Video):

    1. The lifter will unrack the weight (a lift-off person can help if desired) and hold the bar in the locked out position until the head referee says "start".

    2. The lifter then lowers the bar to the chest (cannot be lower than the sternum) and holds the bar motionless on the chest until the head referee says "press".

    3. The lifter then presses up and holds the bar in the locked out position until the head referee says "rack".

    4. Other considerations: The entire foot must remain flat on the floor. The head, shoulders and butt must remain in contact with the bench at all times. The thumb must be around the bar. "Thumb-less" grip is not allowed.

DEADLIFT

  • Deadlift (Click for Video): There is one command for the deadlift, "down".

    1. The lifter will pick the bar up, stand erect with knees locked and shoulders back, WAIT for the referee to say "down".

WHAT TO EXPECT ON MEET DAY

STEP 1 : CHECK-IN

HAVE READY:

  • Valid State-Issued Photo ID

  • Current USA Powerlifting Membership

STEP 2 : EQUIPMENT CHECK

Please read USA POWERLIFTING LIFTER'S HANDBOOK , p. 7-13 and Appendix A, for specific requirements for lifter attire. Each item has its own specifications and will be rejected if not in compliance.

Please see our UPDATE to Apparel Policy and Approved Club and Gym logos.

Apparel may be plain, i.e of a single/multi-color fabric with no logos or emblems.

And/Or

Apparel may bear the logo or emblem of;

    • Lifter or coach’s nation

    • Lifter or coach’s name

    • Event in which the lifter is competing or any previous USA Powerlifting, NAPF or IPF event.

    • USA Powerlifting

    • USA Powerlifting Corporate Sponsors

    • IPF Approved equipment manufacturers

    • Lifter or coach’s registered USA Powerlifting club name or logo

    • Lifter or coach’s registered USA Powerlifting affiliate gym

    • Official High School and Collegiate logos at local, high school, and collegiate only meets

    • United States Army, Navy, Air Force, Marines, Coast Guard, National Guard, and Reserves branch logos

The logos or emblems of commodity sportswear brands^ not on the “Approved List of IPF Equipment Manufacturers” nor on the addendum of approved logos or emblems established by this rule “Sponsor’s Logos”, may be worn only on t-shirts, shoes or socks, where the logo or emblem is printed or embroidered and is no more than 5 cm x 2 cm in size (note, manufacturer logo/emblems on shoes are exempt of the 5 cm x 2 cm requirement and may be any size.)

All Equipment MUST be clean, not torn and in good repair AND meet our equipment specifications as outlined in our rulebook/handbook.

Place all required attire/equipment that you plan to wear/use for this competition on the equipment check table:

  • T-shirt

  • Singlet

  • Shoes

  • Knee High Socks (required for deadlift)

NOT REQUIRED, BUT IF USING NEEDS TO BE CHECKED

  • Belt (no padding or velcro)

  • Wrist Wraps

  • Knee Sleeves

EQUIPPED LIFTERS

  • Knee Wraps

  • Squat and Deadlift Suits, Bench Shirt

NOTE: Although we do not check underwear, you must wear standard underwear that is not supportive when competing (no spandex). NO SPANDEX OR SUPPORTIVE UNDERWEAR IS ALLOWED IN COMPETITION!

STEP 3 : RACK HEIGHTS

Proceed to the designated rack to get your rack heights for squat and bench. Most Georgia meets will use the ER rack. All ER racks are the identical as far as rack and safety measurements.

Record your rack heights. You will need for weigh-ins.

for example

  • Squat (10-in) - 10 is the rack height. You can ask for uprights to be positioned In or Out. If not indicated, they will be out which is most common.

  • Bench (12/6) - 12 is the rack height, 6 is safety height.

STEP 4 : WEIGH-INS

ALL USA POWERLIFTING MEETS HAVE A 2 HOUR WEIGH-IN. NO WEIGH-INS THE NIGHT BEFORE!

WEIGH-INS are most often done by Lot Number. Your Lot Number is indicated on the roster. Please know your lot number and be ready in line to weigh-in. Refer to meet schedule for weigh in time. If you are not ready to weigh in when called, you will go to the end of the line.

WEIGH-IN in approved undergarments or less. Youth lifters must be accompanied by coach or parent and weigh-in in t-shirt and singlet.

ITEMS NEEDED FOR WEIGH-IN:

  • Valid Photo ID

  • USA Powerlifting Membership Card

  • OPENING ATTEMPTS IN KILOGRAMS

  • All Rack Heights

  • All Equipment Checked

You will be asked to initial your lifter card. Please check your recorded bodyweight and openers for accuracy.


STEP 5 : WARM-UP

Eat and Hydrate!

Be prepared with planned warm ups! Don't just wing it.

Check the lifting order on Liftingcast.com and know what flight you are in! If you missed weight, your flight may have been changed to reflect your new competition division.

USAPL uses the round system. All flights lift in order of increased weight on the bar, lightest to heaviest. All flight A will do their first attempt squats in this order, then second attempts, then third. Please be aware that lifting order can change from first attempts to second and third based on the attempted weight. Flight B immediately follows after the last lifter in flight A, so be ready!

FLIGHT A will go first so they warm up first. If you're in Flight B, please do not enter the warm up room until it is necessary for you to start warming up. Keep the warm-up area for people warming up!

A good plan is to get to the staging area (area behind the platform), anywhere from 8-10 minutes before you lift. Don't wait till last minute and miss your attempt!

OTHER QUESTIONS

PLEASE email us at statechair@usaplgeorgia.com