• North Shore Barbell

Your First Powerlifting Competition | Top 5 Things To Know

Updated: Mar 5

Competing in Powerlifting is pretty simple on the surface - Turn up and complete your 3 attempts of the squat, bench press, and deadlift.

However, being heavily involved in the Auckland Powerlifting scene, we help out at a lot of novice events and in doing so notice a number of things often missed by first-time powerlifting competitors.

The purpose of this article isn't to act like we know everything about lifting in competitions, rather impart some wisdom that we wish we knew back when we started competing in powerlifting.

Aside from reading the rules and knowing how to squat, bench press and deadlift here are our top 5 things to know for your first powerlifting competition:

Remember Your Socks

(And remember to put them on)

To be specific, bring some long socks that reach the bottom of your knee. These are mandatory for hygiene purposes and some people tend to make their shins bleed when they deadlifting. On a number of occasions, we've had to stop lifters entering the platform because they've still got ankle socks on.

You don't need any other powerlifting-specific gear for a novice competition (Lift a soft-suit) and won't be made to purchase approved gear until you're registered.

Talk To The Referees & The Spotters


Novice competitions are a bit more relaxed than higher-level competitions (Such as provincial Championships). It's not uncommon to see novice lifters fail a lift on a technicality such as buttocks lifting off the bench, or not having feet flat on the floor. If you fail on a technicality, quickly ask the referees for clarification on what you did wrong. 9 times out of 10 they'll be happy to tell you.


Do you normally get a lift-out when you're benching in the gym? As you enter the platform for the bench press tell the center spotter how you lift your lift-out. Don't be embarrassed, be descriptive.

Referees are a great source of information when trying to become a better lifter.

Bring A Mate

If not to give you moral support, then definitely to help hold your headphones and attempt cards while you're on the platform and film your lifts.

Ideally, you'd have a powerlifting coach "handling" you on the day, helping ensure you put in reaso