Your First Powerlifting Meet….What You Must Know

You need to use full range of motion.

Half rep bench press, quarter squats won’t count here. Every federation has their own idiosyncrasies when it comes to rules. For example: Bench press - your feet must be flat on the floor vs. only a portion of your foot needs to be on the floor. I’m not going to go into full detail but you can click on these links for more detailed description of the rules.

Here are the common rules:

All lifts

Singlet must be worn for all lifts. If you do not successful complete your first attempt, you cannot decrease the weight. You are only allowed to try the same weight or increase weight. You have :60 to complete your lift. You only have one try during the :60




Un-rack the bar. Wait for the judges start command (you may need to lock you knees before you start check your federation rules). Squat so the hip crease comes below parallel to the knee. Stand up. Wait for the judge to say rack, then rack the weight.  

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Un-rack the weight. Wait for the judges start command. The bar touches the chest. When the bar stops moving the press command is given. At that point you must fully lock your elbows (unless you have a preexisting issue with your elbow that you cannot lock out, in that case you must let the judge know before you start your lift). Wait for the rack command. Then rack the weight. Butt needs to stay on the bench, feet cannot move out of position.




Stand up with bar in your hands. Hips and knees fully locked out. At that point you will be given a down command. You are not allowed to hitch the bar or ramp the weight up. You are not allowed to drop the weight from the top, you must control the weight with hands on the bar.


Dropping a deadlift not only doesn't count in Strongman it also doesn't count in Powerlifting




There are three judges responsible for determining whether you met the criteria of a good lift or not. They will vote using a light system. White = good, red = bad. The majority votes determines  whether the lift was good or not. In a case where you get one, two or three red light(s) during a lift and are unsure why immediately ask the judge(s). They will be more than happy to tell you why they relighted you. Keep in mind you need to play within the rules so. This will help you whether you are going for your next attempt or you find out you are doing something that you were unaware of.   

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Reach out if you have any questions and good luck with your first meet!