Classic Powerlifting Approved Equipment

by Rhaea Stinn
Have you decided to compete at your first competition, but you aren’t sure what equipment you need, and what brands are approved? Well, we’re here to help!  In the article below, you’ll find all the details on what are competition day essentials, and also what are some things you might want to add to your kit if you’re competing in a raw/classic/unequipped competition.  We’re going to discuss what would be acceptable/mandatory for International Powerlifting Federation (IPF)/Canadian Powerlifting Union (CPU) meets, but these would all likely apply to other federations as well.  

Absolute Essentials

You’ll be required to have the following attire on competition day: 

  • Singlet
    • All singlets you can find on this page are approved brands.  The SBD men’s and women’s fit singlets are the most comfortable and flattering we carry, while the Inzer singlet is your most economical option. 
  • T-shirt
    • You’ll be required to wear a tshirt for all lifts underneath your singlet.  This tshirt could be a plain cotton/polyester t-shirt (with no logos) you might have at home, or you might want to choose a shirt that compliments your singlet. 
  • Athletic shoes
    • Your footwear on competition day doesn’t need to be an approved brand, but they do need to be ‘athletic footwear’.  If you have something you’re training in already, I would plan to wear that, but, if you are needing a new training shoe, we have a lot to choose from here.  For squats, people normally squat in a heeled shoe, such as the Inner Strength Ascend or a flat shoe like any of the Notorious Lift.  For bench press, either of the previous options would be good choices - the biggest things with the shoe you choose for benching is that you want to ensure the edges of it don’t round up and make your heel appear to be off the ground, and you want it to have good grip so your feet won’t slide on the carpet.  For deadlift, most people wear a flat soled shoe, and the Notorious Lift shoes we mentioned earlier are a perfect option for this.  The stability a good shoe gives you in your lifts can be a game changer, so this is typically the first item I’d suggest someone upgrades if they’re looking to add something to their kit.
  • Knee high socks for deadlift
    • Whether you like it or not, you’ll be required to wear knee high socks for deadlift.  
  • Legless/short legged underwear
    • You’re required to wear underwear under your singlet, but it can’t have long legs on it.  Either get a pair of legless underwear, or if it has legs, make sure they’re no longer than an inch (this is a rule that is open for interpretation on how long the leg can be, so that’s why it’s easier just to get a pair of legless underwear and not be worried.  A thong under the singlet is fine too if that’s your preference).

Nice Additions

These aren’t essential for your first competition, but if you don’t have them for your first competition, you’ll likely want to add these soon if you loved your first experience.  

  • Powerlifting Belt
    • The powerlifting belt is one of the first things most lifters will purchase (hopefully after shoes as mentioned above..).  The Inzer 10mm Lever Belt is our best selling belt, while the SBD 13mm Lever Belt is also extremely popular with its unique easily adjustable lever.  If you’re looking for a less common but extremely high quality belt, you might want to consider the Wahlanders Belt - these are handmade in Sweden and has its own unique tightening mechanism.  
  • Knee Sleeves
    • The warmth and compression a knee sleeve can provide is one thing that can instill more confidence in your squats, and additionally decrease any pain you may experience in your knees. We carry a variety of brands, but the SBD 7mm version are the most common ones you’ll see on the platform at competitions, although the SBD 5mm versions can be a good fit if you’re just starting out with sleeves as they provide a bit less compression and allow for less restricted movements.    
  • Wrist Wraps
    • If you’re finding wrist stability to be an issue, adding a pair of wrist wraps to your kit can be make a noticeable difference.  The two most common choices for a new lifter would be the SBD Medium Flexible Wrist Wraps, or the 20” Inzer Iron Z Wrist Wraps.  Both of these options allow for easy wrapping due to their flexibility, while also providing enough rigidity to support the wrist for squats or bench press.  

We have all of our IPF/CPU approved equipment for raw/classic/unequipped lifting listed on this page for your convenience so you can purchase knowing it will pass equipment check without any issues!

Do you still have questions about what you can wear on competition day?  Feel free to reach out to us with your questions and we’ll gladly help you out!