The first lift in a meet is the squat, it is
followed by the bench and then the deadlift.
Powerlifting is by weight class and in teens by
age group. The age groups are 14/15 , 16/17 and
18/19 yrs. Your weight classes are 114, 123,
132, 148, 165, 181, 198, 220, 242, 275, super
Squat: the hands are
placed as close to the shoulders as possible.
The bar is centered 3 to 4 inches below the base
of the neck. Raise the elbows to support the
bar. Feet should be 3 to 4 inches wider than
shoulder width. Toes should be pointed out at a
30 degree angle. Your head should be straight
ahead with eyes looking up. If you drop the head
there is danger you will lose the weight. The
referee will give the signal to squat. The
lifter will begin by thrusting the hips back. He
now begins a controlled decent where the hip
joint is below the top of the knee. He now
begins his drive out of the hole. Once he is
fully erect with knees straight, he is given the
signal to rack. He must make an attempt to rack
Bench: the lifter assumes a flat position
on the bench. Feet should be flat on the floor
and the back should be in a moderate arch. The
lifters butt and shoulders will be on the bench.
The lifter should now grasp the bar about 2
inches wider than shoulder width. With the
assistance of a spotter the bar is handed off to
the lifter. The bar is now lowered in a
controlled manner to just below the sternum.
There is a slight pause and the lifter is given
the command to press. (the rules here differ
from federation to federation. You will always
have a rules briefing at your meets) once you
have locked out the bench ,you will be given the
command to rack. To have a good lift. The
shoulders and butt must not come off the bench.
Your feet cannot shift position, however you can
raise and lower the toes or the heels.
Deadlift: there is a saying that "the
meet begins with the bar on the floor." The
loaded bar is on the floor. The lifter
approaches the bar with about an inch distance
to the shins. An alternate grip is used. Feet
should be 2 inches inside the shoulders: arms
should be close to the sides of your legs. Keep
head straight ahead. Keep back straight as
possible. Drop at the knees while flattening the
back. Pull the bar in a continuous motion. The
final movement would be locking the knees. The
lifter does not want to lock the knees at the
start of the lift or the back will arch over.
The lifter will finish in an erect position.
After a slight pause the bar is moved to the
floor in a controlled manner. You can not drop
the bar or you will be disqualified.
Squat Suit: most organizations permit
high school lifting in shorts. For the serious
powerlifter, a squat suit is a must. Basically
the suit is for support coming out of the hole
and will add to your squat total as much as 20
lbs. Two good choices are the Super Suit by
Marathon (1-800-321-5064), and the Z Suit by
Inzer (1-800-222-6897). A good suit is tight
from the waist down. Most lifters switch to a
loser suit for the bench and deadlift. You can
use a suit one size larger, or a wrestling
singlet for these lifts. Staying in the squat
suit through the meet is not a good idea.
Powerbelt: a power belt is a must and
provides support during the lifts. There are
numerous sources that can be found in the
magazine, Powerlifting USA. Some lifters switch
to the thinner belt for the bench and deadlift.
They come in colors, double or single prong, or
with a lever.
Knee Wraps: these again will add to your
squat total and provide support coming out of
the bottom of the lift. A good wrap is the
double gold line from marathon. Wraps wear out
and lose their elasticity over time. So a new
pair of wraps for a big meet is a good idea.
Wrist Wraps: These are used by some
lifters in all the lifts. These basically give
the wrist more support and are legal.
Bench Shirt: The Inzer shirt is used by a
lot of lifters today. You must take measurements
of chest, arms, shoulders and phone them in and
they will fit a shirt to your build. When you
get it, I'm sure I'll get an e-mail saying that
it doesn't fit. Wrong!!! It will fit, It must be
carefully rolled on, and you will need help.
Shoes: often overlooked, but important.
Generally you want a flat shoe with good
support. Wearing a pair of worn out basketball
shoes is not a good idea.
POWERMAG: Yep there's a mag out there.
it's run by Jake Jones. You can subscribe 1-
00-268-2248, or online at
has a listing of meets around the country for
the next year. It is the one thing that has held
the sport together over the yrs. There are
excellent articles on training, nutrition, etc.
Organizations: there are
numerous organizations which sanction meets. And
can give you who to contact for meets in your
area. Through them you can also get info on
bench, deadlift meets, etc. For info motor over
they've got them. several states have active
teen programs and state championships, one which
comes to mind is Wisconsin. Several
organizations run high school Nat's in
March/April and Teen Nationals in July each
year. If you're in college there's the
TRAINING FOR A
MEET: essentially what the lifters do
is a strength building cycle, called a power
Cycle. Over a 8 or 10 or 12 week period you
increase weight and decrease reps. the plan is
to be at your maximum strength on the day of the
meet. I have cycles for the lifts on excel
programs and given a current max can pop out a
If you want one e-mail me at
Otherwise I recommend the routines on the
lastly I steer you to the MuscleMedia2000 bench
routine. It is an excellent bench cycle. You'll
find it at
Questions: should you need a routine or
You may e-mail me at
Good luck and good lifting,