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Additional Information for New Lifters.


The Rulebook is available on the IPF’s website ( and it is worthwhile to read it through, giving special attention to rules of performance and reasons for failure for each lift.




You should aim to arrive before the start of weigh-in.  Some competitions will call you in lot number order and, if you miss your turn, you will have to wait until everyone else has weighed in.  The weigh in period is an hour and a half and begins 2 hours before lift-off.


At weigh-in you will be asked for your GBPF membership card.  You MUST produce this card.  Don’t leave it until the morning of the competition to find that you have lost it – if you check in advance and can’t find it, get in touch with the competition organisers and the membership secretary and arrangements can be made.  You will also be asked for your openers, that is your first weight in each lift.  If you are unsure about any of your equipment, now is a good time to get it checked: at some competitions, there may be a formal kit check.  If you are overweight or underweight for your category, then you have the option to try again later in the weigh-in.  You can have as many attempts as you like within the weigh-in period (an hour and a half) until you make weight.  If you do not make weight, then you will lift at the discretion of the organisers as a guest.  This means that you will not be eligible for win or place in the competition but you can still set divisional records and also register a qualifying total for national competitions.


Once your weight and openers are recorded, you will be given entry slips to use during the competition, 3 x squat, 3 x bench and 5 x deadlift.


















It’s good practice to fill your name in on each slip as soon as you get them which will save time during the competition.  If you need to change your opener, put the weight you want into the “1st attempt” box and hand it in at the desk (where the MC and laptops are).  You can do this once only and it must be more than 3 minutes before the start of your group.  When you have completed your 1st lift, you only have 60 seconds after you leave the platform to put in your next attempt so fill in the relevant box and hand it in at the desk.  BRING YOUR OWN PEN!  If you do not hand in your next attempt in time, you will be given a 2.5kg increase (or the same weight if it was a failed lift).


Once you have put in your next attempt it cannot be changed.  The only exception to this is in the deadlift where you can have two changes to your third attempt.


Don’t set your opener too high.  I can’t stress this enough, especially if it’s your first competition.  It’s often said that your opener should be a weight you can do for a triple even on a really bad day but you should also pay attention to how you feel in warm-up.  Make sure your first attempt, especially on squat, is EASY and this will give you the confidence for the rest.  It’s where you finish that matters, not where you start.



After Weigh-In


You will need to get your rack height on the competition rack but make sure you are wearing your squat shoes and not wearing a bulky hoody or you might well end up with the wrong height!  Bear in mind that you are trying out the rack with an empty bar and a weighted one might sit lower.  After you squat, if you feel that your rack height was incorrect, you can ask for it to be changed when you hand in your next attempt slip.  You should also indicate whether you will require blocks on the bench.

The order of lifting will only be finalised once weigh-in is complete so keep an eye out for the spreadsheet going up on the monitor (it will be displayed in several locations).


Your session may be split into a number of groups, usually 2 but sometimes 3 or more.  In the case of two groups, Group A will warm-up and start at the allotted lift-off time.  When Group A go out to the platform to squat, Group B warm-up for squats.  When Group A finish squatting, Group B will go out to squat and Group A will start their warm-up for bench press.  And so on.  Where there are more than two groups, the same procedure will be followed ie everyone will squat and then everyone will bench etc.

Once the competition starts, remember that you must have finished adjusting your kit (wrist wraps, knee sleeves etc) BEFORE approaching the platform and only approach once you hear “Bar’s loaded!”.  Once you are called to the bar, you have 60 seconds in which to begin your lift.

When you leave the platform, you have 60 seconds to hand in your attempt slip at the desk.  If you do not hand in your slip in time, you will be given a 2.5kg increment for your next attempt (or the same weight again in the case of a failed lift).





Take the bar in your own time and step back.   Once you are standing upright with your knees locked, the centre referee will say “SQUAT!” and give a downward movement of the arm.  You have 60 seconds from “Bar loaded” to start your attempt so you don’t have to rush any of this.  Take your time and set up strong.  Squat and return to standing, knees locked.  Hold at the top until you get the “RACK!” command and then the spotters will help you into the rack with the bar.  If you cannot complete the lift, it is vital that you STAY WITH THE BAR and help it up as much as possible.  Never dump the bar on your spotters as this may well cause injury.  Exit the platform the way you came in – DO NOT step forward through the rack.




It’s entirely up to you whether you want a hand-off from the side or the centre and someone will be available to do this for you.  Feel free to talk to your spotters about how to hand the bar to you.  Equally you are more than welcome to unrack the bar yourself.  When you have the bar at arm’s length with your elbows locked, the centre referee will give the “START!” command and you should lower the bar to your chest and hold it there until you hear the “PRESS!” command.  Once your arms are locked out, you will get the “RACK!” command and the spotters will help you into the rack.




On the deadlift, approach the bar and begin the lift in your own time: there is no start command.  Once you are standing erect with knees locked and shoulders back, the centre referee will give the “DOWN!” command accompanied by a downward movement of the arm.   Do not drop the bar.  Even if you don’t make the lift, return the bar to the platform rather than just letting go.  It’s understandable if your grip fails but not if your temper fails.  Equally, DO NOT intentionally slam the bar into the platform after a successful lift, this shows disrespect for the equipment provided. Exit the platform via the back, do not step over the bar.

Make sure you read the rules of performance and reasons for failure for each lift and make sure you wait for commands.



Competition Day Checklist


  • Singlet and long socks

  • Correct underwear!  Briefs – no boxer shorts.  Ladies – no under-wiring or moulded cup bras.

  • Squat shoes / Deadlift shoes

  • Belt, knee sleeves and wrist wraps

  • Plain, round neck T-shirt with short sleeves that cover the deltoids

  • Any warm up equipment (e.g. foam roller)

  • GBPF membership card and a PEN!

  • Food and drink


Attempt card used in British Powerlifting Competitions
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