Fusion Weightlifting is specifically geared for weightlifters and the sport of Olympic weightlifting, however sometimes weightlifters can cross to powerlifting and vice versa. It may sound strange to “purest” but weightlifting AND powerlifting are barbell sports that can have some translation to each other.
For some weightlifters that need new stimulus, this could be a good change of pace during a strength cycle or for weightlifters that are injured this can be a good way to still challenge themselves. As seen above, Toshiki Yamamoto (85kg Japan) who was dealing with an wrist injury at the time, squatting at a powerlifting competition.
With that said, this past weekend was the first time I coached a powerlifter at a USAPL meet. It was a test run for the lifter and for myself learning to manage the competition, warm ups, and attempts.
Rounds vs. Attempts Failure
Despite talking to experienced powerlifters, research through sites on what to watch out for, and rifling through the USAPL rule book, there was bound to be an issue and a big one blew up!
During warm ups, I was counting all the attempts ahead of us. I counted around 25, so we took the warm ups slowly. BUT I noticed many of the stronger lifters coming closer to their first attempt weight, so I went back to the board and it was FLYING DOWN the order!
Meaning, this was NOT like weightlifting, USAPL does not do attempts based on the weight on the bar but by ROUNDS. All the lifters will do there 1st attempt, then it’ll repeat at the top of the order for the 2nd attempt, and the same for the 3rd.
THIS is was a big miss on me and it’s a HUGE deal, I thought it was just like weightlifting, clearly was VERY wrong. I sprinted back to the warm up area, tried to remain calm so I wouldn’t panic the lifter, and explained that we had a game changer.
It really messed up our warm up attempts but that is why we were there and the lifter handled it like a pro. We rushed through the warm ups, skipped a warm up attempt, and then the lifter was rushed on the platform for his first attempt. Not ideal, but I figured adrenaline would kick in and we would be fine.
Now this isn’t the best choice for all lifters, however I knew the athlete could handle it, and it panned out well since the lifer qualified for Nationals with relative ease hitting all his attempts and skipping the 3rd attempt in the deadlift. BUT if you ever catch yourself in a bind, don’t panic, take the scratch, and let your athlete be fully prepared for their second attempt.
Also please note that unlike weightlifting, you will not follow yourself if you miss an attempt, the order will go down the list until the next round.
Luckily it all worked out in our favor, so I thought it would be good to go over a few things that were not mentioned in the articles and a few tips that were helpful from experienced powerlifting friends. Please note that I did review the USAPL competition rules, however I still missed that one key aspect, so hopefully someone can learn from my mistakes.
This basically means that you have to wear a t-shirt in the squat and bench press but in the deadlift for MEN you can wear be sleeve-less or shirt-less, WOMEN must wear a t-shirt in the deadlift.
USAPL rule below:
“T-shirt MUST be worn during the squat and bench but deadlift you can be sleeve less.
According to USAPL Rule Book (as of 2017)
“A t-shirt must be worn under the lifting suit by all lifters in the Squat and Bench Press and by women in the Deadlift; men do not need to wear a T-shirt in the Deadlift. The only exception to those requirements is that a Supportive shirt is permitted to be worn instead of a T-shirt as per rule “Supportive Shirts” below; a combination of T-shirt and supportive shirt is not allowed. The T-shirt must conform to the following specifications:
(a) the shirt must be constructed entirely of fabric or a synthetic textile and shall not consist, in whole or part, of any rubberized or similar stretch material, nor have any reinforced seams or pockets, buttons, zippers or other than a round neck collar.
(b) the t-shirt must have sleeves. Those sleeves must terminate below the lifter’s deltoid and must not extend onto or below the lifter’s elbow. The sleeves may not be pushed or rolled up onto the deltoid when the lifter is competing.
(c) the T-shirt may be plain i.e. of a single color and with no logos or emblems, or may bear the logo or emblem :
- of the lifter’s nation
- of the lifter’s name
- of the event in which the lifter is competing
- as per the rule “Sponsor’s Logos”
- in national and lower level contests only, the lifter’s club or individual sponsor, where that logo or emblem has not otherwise been approved by the IPF”
According to USAPL rules it seems that you’re allowed to wear “athletic supporter” such as compression underwear. However the interpretations are a bit grey, as part C can be construed that tights like Virus compression shorts are illegal to wear. So we didn’t want to take the risk and just wore compression tights.
“(a) A standard commercial “athletic supporter” or standard commercial briefs (not boxer shorts) of any mixture of cotton, nylon or polyester shall be worn under the lifting suit. Underwear must be worn (by both men and women) and may not have legs. (b) Women may also wear a commercial or sports bra. (c) Swimming trunks or any garment consisting of rubberized or similar stretch material except in the waistband, shall not be worn under the lifting costume. (d) Any supportive undergarment is not legal for use in IPF competition. (e) Swimming trunks or any garment consisting of rubberized or similar stretch material (except in the waistband) shall not be worn under the lifting costume. (f) Any supportive undergarment is not legal for use in IPF/USA Powerlifting competition.” USAPL 2017 Rule Book
Skin Between Singlet
Just like weightlifting, there must be space between the socks, knee sleeve, and knee sleeve and singlet.
“(d) When worn by the lifter in competition, knee sleeves must not be in contact with the lifter’s suit or socks and must be centered over the knee joint.”
USAPL Rules Book (2017)- Knee Sleeves (p64)
Just so that we didn’t have to worry about anything, the lifter wore ankle socks for the squat and bench press, then switched to deadlift socks during the deadlift.
“(a) They may be of any color or colors and may have manufacturer’s logos.
(b) They shall not be of such length on the leg that they come into contact with the knee sleeves. (c) Full length leg stockings, tights or hose are strictly forbidden. Shin length socks must be worn to cover and protect the shins while performing the deadlift.”
USAPL Rule Book (2017) P62
At ALL USAPL meets, lifters must wait till the very end of their competition to see if they were chosen to be drugged tested. If you leave after your lifts but were called to be drug tested you will get a suspension.
“NOTIFICATION OF DRUG TESTING DURING A COMPETITION At all USA Powerlifting competitions, a “Drug Testing Notification Form” should be signed by the athletes immediately after they are informed they will be drug tested. Lifters chosen for testing will be notified after they have finished lifting. Refusal to test, failure to show after notification, and leaving the venue to avoid notification are all considered drug test failures. Lifters who want to leave the venue before the end of the contest (bench only lifters in a 3-lift meet, lifters who bomb or get injured) must check with the drug testing official(s) before departure.”
USAPL Rules Book (2017) P35
Change of Weight (1st attempt)
If you want to change your openers you have 3 minutes BEFORE the start of the first round of attempts.
“A lifter is permitted one change of weight on the first attempt of each lift. The change of weight may be higher or lower than that originally submitted and the order of lifting in the first round will change accordingly. If he is in the first group, this change may take place at any time up to within three minutes before the start of the first round of that lift. The following groups are accorded a similar privilege up to within three attempts from the end of the previous group’s last round of that lift. Prior notice of these deadlines shall be announced by the speaker. If proper notice of these deadlines is not given, then an announcement authorizing such”
Order of Attempts (I)
USAPL Rules Book (2017) P39
2nd and 3rd attempts
You have 1 minute to submit your second and third attempt after completing your previous attempt. If you do not choose a weight, you’ll be given the automatic 2.5kg increase for the next attempt.
If you failed the attempt, the round just keeps going until it’s your turn in the next round and you’ll repeat the same weight that you failed at, unless you request differently.
“A lifter must submit his second and third attempts within one minute of completing his preceding attempt. The one minute will begin from the time that the lights are activated. If no weight is submitted within the one minute time allowance, the lifter will be granted a 2.5kg increase on his next attempt. Should the lifter have failed his previous attempt and not submitted a weight for a further attempt within the one minute time allowance, then the bar will be loaded to the failed weight”
USAPL Rules Book (2017) Order of Attempts (j) P39
Unlike Olympic weightlifting, where you can manipulate the clock, in a USAPL meet you may not change your submitted weight. However in the THIRD round of the DEADLIFT, two changes are permitted. The changes maybe be higher or LOWER then the previous attempt BUT you must submit the change before you are called.
“(k) Weights submitted for second round attempts on all three lifts cannot be changed. Similarly, third round attempts on the squat and bench press cannot be changed. Under this rule once an attempt is turned in, it cannot be withdrawn. The bar shall be loaded to the turned in weight and the clock will be run. “
(l) In the third round of the deadlift, two changes are permitted. The change of the weight may be higher or lower than the lifter’s previously submitted third attempt. However, these are only permitted provided that the lifter has not been called to the bar (already loaded to his previously submitted weight) by the speaker”
USAPL Rules Book (2017) P39
IF you choose a handoff for the bench be very specific with the person:
“Lift on ONE – ‘3,2, 1-Lift’.
“Lift after ONE- ‘3, 2, 1, LIFT’.
If you have any questionable issues tell them ahead of time. Our lifter is missing a bone in his wrist, which is why he stopped weightlifting, so the looks lop sided and shaky, which may effect the judges call, despite being locked out. This is similar to showing the judges your elbow position in the snatch and jerk before you lift, if you have a funky lock out.
A good tip we were also told was to make sure on your first attempt to get below the required depth. This will give the judges confidence that you get full depth.
Most articles and experience lifters will tell you this but I think it’s important to mention it. Make sure you hit your FRIST attempts! So choose a weight that is a definite in all 3 lifts.
For us we take the same approach as we do in weightlifting:
- 1st attempt- an always number.
- 2nd attempt- an achievable but challenging number, sometimes a competition PR.
- 3rd attempt- IF the lifter looks good, go for the PR.
That’s it for today. I hope this was helpful for you guys!