Understanding what equipment is approved for use is an essential part of any powerlifting competition. If a piece of gear is not approved for use in a given powerlifting federation, an athlete will not be permitted to use it on the platform.
This guide covers all approved powerlifting gear for the IPF and US APL. Here you’ll find the recommended IPF approved equipment for powerlifting.
Check Price Learn More Lift Vault earns a commission if you click this link and make a purchase at no extra cost to you. While all the gear in the above section will serve you well for many years, if you’re willing to pay extra for arguable improvements in quality and a bit of vanity then this is where I’d do it.
This list of IPF and US APL approved powerlifting equipment is valid from January 1, 2019, to December 31, 2022. This list applies to both men and women, all divisions and weight classes.
The following wrist wraps are approved by the IPF and US APL for use in competition. Titan Signature Gold Wrist Wraps (Click to visit Amazon.com)I personally use Titan Signature Gold Wrist Wraps (Amazon) and have been very happy with them.
I got about 2 good years of training out of them before they lost enough stiffness that I bought a new pair. Another good “less stiff/more flex” option are the Super Training Gangsta Wraps, which can be “cranked” quite tightly around the wrist while feeling less stiff than the Titan Signature Gold wraps.
Any shoes and socks are approved by the IPF and US APL for use in competition as long as they meet the technical rules. I’ve used the same pair of Adipocere for 5 years without any issues, and they offer me great support in the squat.
Collapse List + Skip to Next Section The “underside” of the shoe (i.e. the heel and sole) cannot exceed 5 cm. The following knee sleeves are approved by the IPF and US APL for use in competition.
These were also created to compete directly with SBD and appear to be fairly close in terms of quality, fit, and durability. They give a great pop out of the hole in the squat and are made to last.
In my opinion, a singlet shouldn’t be made any more complicated than it needs to be and either of the above should get the job done. Collapse List + Skip to Next Section Barbells from the following manufacturers are approved for use in IPF and US APL competition.
The following knee wraps are approved by the IPF and US APL for use in equipped powerlifting competition. NOTE: IPF rules require that knee wraps must not exceed 2 meters in length.
Collapse List + Skip to Next Section The following squat suits are approved by the IPF and US APL for use in equipped competition. Collapse List + Skip to Next Section The following bench shirts are approved by the IPF and US APL for use in equipped competition.
Note: Only single ply bench shirts can be worn in IPF /US APL competitions. Collapse List + Skip to Next Section The following erector shirts can be worn in IPF and US APL competition.
On June 6, 2021, US APL announced that all Metal Sports brand equipment is banned from competition. Only these logos can be displayed on equipment worn in IPF and US APL powerlifting competitions.
If a piece of equipment is IPF approved, that means it is US APL approved. Some of the most popular brands for IPF approved knee sleeves are Stoic and SBD.
Approved Powerlifting and Weightlifting Equipment by Federation For your reference, here are the most accurate lists of approved equipment by federation to ensure you're buying gear you can actually use on the platform! The Best Nose Took and Ammonia Caps for Lifting Ammonia smelling salts, aka “nose took,” triggers the flight or fight mode in your brain, which in turn releases adrenaline and gets you amped before a heavy lift.
Lifters most commonly use nose took before heavy top sets and 3rd attempts in powerlifting meets, though… Even if you own the pound version of the Ohio though, rest assured that it uses the same 205k steel for the shaft, has the same aggressive knurl, and is built to the same high standards.
The approved gear is shown below, grouped by equipment type and brand. For more details, including which equipped lifting gear is USA approved, see the sections below.
Check Price Learn More Lift Vault earns a commission if you click this link and make a purchase at no extra cost to you. If you’re willing to spend a bit extra, then check out these “top of the line” pieces of equipment.
Costume and gear include a singlet, knee sleeves, wrist wraps, belt, elbow sleeves (squat and deadlift only), shoes, socks, shirt, etc. If you already own a belt, review the USA technical specifications below to see if it is permitted for use in competition.
This essentially means that any manufacturer that follows the rules is permitted. Personally, I’ve owned SBD knee sleeves for several years and I still love ’em.
Schick Sports Serious Steel Fitness Sovereign Powerlifting Strongbox Strength Strong house Project Knee Sleeves 7 mm *Competition knee sleeves with diagonal gray line are not USA approved. American Barbell Club All wrist wraps up to 1 meter in length Could not find anyone online selling these.
All USA approved knee wraps cannot exceed 2.5 meters in length. The Iron Rebel elbow sleeves are a popular choice for just $34, plus you can save 10% with code LIFTVAULT10, bringing them down to $31.
Collapse List + Skip to Next Section Similar to belts, the USA does not restrict manufacturer brands for shoes eligible for competition. Any shoe that meets the requirements laid out in the equipment specification is permitted.
No full length leg stockings, hose, or pantyhose are permitted. If you want to look at more options, any can be worn in a USA competition, so you can use that list for reference.
Backside Ironware Intense Attire Iron Bull Elbow sleeves are no longer approved for 2021 Still approved for 2021: knee wraps, wrist wraps, knee sleeves. Metal Sports powerlifting equipment is no longer approved for USA or ILL competition.
This decision was announced on June 9th, 2020 on the official USA Instagram account and is effective as of then. Metal was banned from USA competition because the owner, ANO Curtained, posted racist comments on Twitter regarding the murder of George Floyd.
The official USA list of approved equipment for 2021 can be viewed here. Instead, they just require that any belt used meets a set of specifications, regardless of the manufacturer.
No pockets, zippers, button, collars, or reinforced seams are allowed. No part of the lifter’s costume can bear the name, logo, or image or any other powerlifting organization, other than the USA/ILL and its affiliate countries.
There’s a few other tiny odds and ends that you can read up on in the official rule book, but those are the biggies. The USA approved list of equipment is updated every year.