Q&A for New Powerlifters
Q&A for New Lifters/Members
Refer to the USA Powerlifting Rules & Bylaws Page for official rules and regulations.
Q: Is the USAPL Drug Tested and how do I know what I am allowed to take?
A: Yes the USAPL is drug tested. You can download the Prohibited List HERE
Q: I've never competed before, what are the basics I need to know about the squat, bench and deadlift rules?
A: 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.
Q: If I am lifting Raw, what do I need to have?
A: 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.
- High School Only meets allow form fitting shorts and a t-shirt instead of a singlet.
Q: How to I become a member of USA Powerlifting?
A: The easiest way is to purchase your USA Powerlifting membership is to apply online. This should be done ahead of time here at the online membership application but keep in mind, you have to show proof of being a member. Please print your receipt and bring it with you to the contest!
Q: How much does a USA Powerlifting Membership cost?
A: $65 if you apply for your membership online. $40 for Teen Membership.
Q: When does my membership expire?
A: Memberships purchased January - October expire December 31 of that same year. Memberships purchased in November-December expire December 31 of the following year.
Q: How do I qualify for Nationals?
A: Refer to the USA Powerlifting Qualifying Totals page.
Q: Do I have to have a team to compete in the USAPL Georgia High School Meets?
A: No, individuals can compete in any USAPL High School event, even if they are the only person from their school.
Q: Do I have to have a coach to compete at the USAPL High School Meets?
A: No, both individuals and teams are allowed to compete without a coach, even though we encourage lifters to bring a coach.
IF YOU HAVE OTHER QUESTIONS, PLEASE SUBMIT YOUR QUESTIONS HERE