IPF and USAPL approved list of gear, updated for 2021.
I am not affiliated with the IPF or USAPL in any way. This page is based on my best understanding of their published equipment rules.
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 USAPL.
Related: USPA Approved Equipment for 2021
- 1 Summary of Recommended Equipment
- 2 IPF vs USAPL Equipment Rules
- 3 Pro Tip About LiftingLarge.com
- 4 Approved List of Powerlifting Gear for IPF and USAPL Competition (Classic/Raw)
- 5 Approved List of Powerlifting Gear for IPF and USAPL Competition (Equipped)
- 6 June 2020 Update: Metal Sports Brand Banned
- 7 IPF & USAPL Approved Logos
- 8 Frequently Asked Questions about IPF & USAPL Approved Equipment
Summary of Recommended Equipment
Here you’ll find the recommended IPF approved equipment for powerlifting. This excludes multi-ply lifting gear, which is listed below in the equipped gear section.
Best IPF Approved Equipment – Starter Pack
This is excellent gear that will serve anyone well in competition and help you save a few dollars. This is not a budget pack – this gear is high quality and will last you for years, it just isn’t the most expensive gear either. You could successfully use this gear at the highest levels of competition.
Also available in 13 mm, the single prong belt is a classic staple of any lifter's tool kit. 10 mm tends to break in a bit quicker than 13 mm and is a great choice for most lifters.
Strength Shop strikes the perfect balance between quality and price with their Inferno knee sleeves. Much less expensive than SBD sleeves. 7 mm thick, 30 cm long - the maximum allowed by the IPF and USPA.
These are the 2nd stiffest wrist wraps from Titan (the stiffest are the "Signature Series Gold" wrist wraps). Titan is the standard for wrist wraps. Nuff said.
Best IPF Approved Equipment – Upgrades
While all of 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. No judgement here!
Rogue's 13 mm black leather belt is as durable as it is beautiful. Available with a lever or a single prong, it provides excellent support to the core when you need it most.
IPF vs USAPL Equipment Rules
The USAPL mirrors the IPF with regards to approved equipment: only equipment permitted by the IPF may be used in a sanctioned USAPL powerlifting meet.
IPF approved = USAPL approved
Equipment is often disallowed for two main reasons:
- The equipment does not follow the specifications laid out in the equipment rules for a federation. An example would be knee sleeves that exceed maximum thickness or wrist wraps that exceed maximum length.
- The equipment is not from an approved manufacturer.
So even if a piece of equipment honors the specifications of a federation’s equipment rules, it can still not be permitted for use in competition if it is not manufactured by an IPF approved brand.
Pro Tip About LiftingLarge.com
Lifting Large is a great brand that carries a ton of lifting gear that is difficult to find elsewhere. Their Ebay Store offers free shipping on more items than their website, which typically has a $60 minimum for free shipping. Many items under $60 still get free shipping on their Ebay store!
Approved List of Powerlifting Gear for IPF and USAPL Competition (Classic/Raw)
This list of IPF and USAPL 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.
I tried to provide international options where available, but let me know if I missed a particular international vendor. Prices were last updated May 9, 2020 and may have changed since then. As such, pricing accuracy is not guaranteed.
IPF & USAPL Approved Belts
The following belts are approved by the IPF and USAPL and can be used in equipped and classic (i.e. “raw classic”) competition, including with knee wraps.
Single Prong or Double Prong?
If you’re unsure whether to get a single or double prong belt, get a single prong belt. They’re just as secure as a double prong and easier to get on and off since you only need to hook into one hole instead of two.
Lifting Large and Strength Shop: Best Bang for Your Buck
The cheapest IPF approved belts are the Lifting Large 10mm Single Prong Belt (available on Amazon and Lifting Large’s Ebay store) and the Strength Shop 13mm Single Prong Belt, both usually available for about $50.
These are solid belts from respected companies. I own a Lifting Large 13mm Single Prong and am very happy with it.
Inzer and Rogue: Excellent Belts at Reasonable Prices
On the upper end of the spectrum, Rogue makes terrific belts. I used to own their (unapproved) Ohio Lifting Belt before selling it to a gym buddy. The Rogue 13mm Powerlifting Belt (single prong) and 13mm Lever Belt are highly regarded and IPF/USAPL approved.
IPF & USAPL Approved Wrist Wraps
The following wrist wraps are approved by the IPF and USAPL for use in competition.
Recommended Wrist Wraps:
Titan Signature Gold Wrist Wraps
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. You can usually get them for around $34 for the 24in/60cm length, which is a pretty great value.
Titan THP and Titan Titanium Wrist Wraps
If you’d prefer something a little more flexible try the Titan THP Wrist Wraps or Titan Titanium Wrist Wraps, but also available on Amazon. If you’re not sure between the two, I’d go with the THP wrist wraps.
If you’d like more detail, Lifting Large wrote a great Titan Wrist Wrap Comparison Guide.
Super Training Gangsta Wraps
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. They’re around $45 from Rogue.
IPF & USAPL Approved Shoes and Socks
Any shoes and socks are approved by the IPF and USAPL for use in competition as long as they meet the technical rules. All manufacturers are permitted.
I’ve used the same pair of Adipowers for 5 years without any issues and they offer me great support in the squat. I also love benching with the raised heel.
IPF & USAPL Approved Knee Sleeves
The following knee sleeves are approved by the IPF and USAPL for use in competition.
Recommended Knee Sleeves
Best Value Knee Sleeves:
- Strength Shop Knee Sleeves
- Stoic Knee Sleeves
Strength Shop 7mm Inferno Knee Sleeves
If you want to spend a little less cash for IPF approved knee sleeves, a great value pick are the Strength Shop 7mm Inferno Knee Sleeves for about $50.
Here’s a helpful review of the Strength Shop knee sleeves from The Bar Athletic Club.
Stoic 7mm Knee Sleeves
Stoic Knee Sleeves (around $65 on Amazon Prime). These were also created to compete directly with SBD and appear to be fairly close in terms of quality, fit, and durability.
Alan Thrall actually compares SBD knee sleeves, STrong sleeves, and Stoic knee sleeves below if you’d like more detail.
Overall Best Knee Sleeves
If cost is not a concern you should go with the SBD Knee Sleeves or the Super Training STrong Knee Sleeves.
The standard 7mm SBD Knee Sleeves are the most popular knee sleeve for a reason. They give a great pop out of the hole in the squat and are made to last. I’ve used SBD knee sleeves for several years and still love ’em.
The Super Training STrong Knee Sleeves are the new kids on the block and they’re giving SBD a run for their money.
STrong Sleeves were seemingly made to compete with SBD for the title of “best IPF approved knee sleeve” and they came out with an excellent product. You can see a more detailed comparison here (Review: SBD vs. STrong Knee Sleeves) but some reviews suggest the STrong Sleeves a little stiffer/more supportive than SBD. Plus, STrong Sleeves are on Amazon Prime, which can be an advantage to some. Ultimately, they’re both great knee sleeves.
IPF & USAPL Approved Singlets
These singlets are all approved by the IPF and USAPL for use in competition.
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.
IPF & USAPL Approved Barbells
Barbells from the following manufacturers are approved for use in IPF and USAPL competition.
- Rogue Fitness (USA)
- Eleiko Powerlifting Bar, $1,071 USD
- Leoko Powerlifting Bar, 699,90 €
- Pallini Powerlifting Bar (Price Unknown)
Rogue also makes a fantastic deadlift bar, but it is not IPF approved.
Approved List of Powerlifting Gear for IPF and USAPL Competition (Equipped)
IPF & USAPL Approved Knee Wraps
The following knee wraps are approved by the IPF and USAPL for use in equipped powerlifting competition.
NOTE: IPF rules require that knee wraps must not exceed 2 meters in length. Any knee wrap that exceeds 2 meters in length is not permitted for use in IPF/USAPL competition.
Recommended Knee Wraps:
There is much more personal preference with knee wraps than knee sleeves, as there is more variation in stiffness and overall feel with knee wraps. Still, there are some generally popular knee sleeves that many lifters see benefit from.
For a less stiff option to “ease” into using knee wraps, Inzer Z Knee Wraps are a good choice.
IPF & USAPL Approved Squat Suits
The following squat suits are approved by the IPF and USAPL for use in equipped competition.
IPF & USAPL Approved Bench Shirts
The following bench shirts are approved by the IPF and USAPL for use in equipped competition.
Note: Only single ply bench shirts can be worn in IPF/USAPL competitions.
IPF & USAPL Approved Erector Shirts
The following erector shirts can be worn in IPF and USAPL competition.
IPF & USAPL Approved Deadlift Suits
The following deadlift suits can be worn in IPF and USAPL competition.
Full List of IPF & USAPL Approved Deadlift Suits:
June 2020 Update: Metal Sports Brand Banned
On June 6, 2020, USAPL announced that all Metal Sports brand equipment is banned from competition. This is because of racist remarks made by the owner of Metal Sports. As such, all links to Metal have been removed from this page.
IPF & USAPL Approved Logos
Only these logos can be displayed on equipment worn in IPF and USAPL powerlifting competitions.
The logo of any approved manufacturer is permitted for display in competition. In addition to those logos, the following are also permitted:
- German Powerlifting Distr.
- Progressive Rehab
- Athletic Alliance Sport
- Barbell Medicine
- Quest Nutrition
- LVD Fitness
- LFT Performance Nutrition and Apparel, Inc.
- TOR Equipment
- Dedicated Sports
- Prevail Lifestyle
Please let me know if any corrections should be made. Thanks!
Frequently Asked Questions about IPF & USAPL Approved Equipment
Is there a difference between IPF approved and USAPL approved equipment?
No. The USAPL uses the same approved equipment as the IPF. If a piece of equipment is IPF approved, that means it is USAPL approved.
What are the best IPF & USAPL approved belts?
Popular IPF approved belts include:
- Strength Shop 13mm Single Prong (Great Quality, Low Price around $50)
- Inzer Forever Belt 10mm (Very High Quality, Mid Range Price around $100)
- SBD Lever Belt (Very High Quality, Most Expensive Price around $227)
What are the best IPF & USAPL approved knee sleeves?
Some of the most popular brands for IPF approved knee sleeves are Stoic and SBD.
Stoic knee sleeves cost around $65 and are probably the best bang for you buck knee sleeve on the market today.
SBD knee sleeves are also top quality sleeves and are frequently seen on the legs of record breaking squatters. These cost between $82 and $90 for a pair.