Lift How You Want to Lift

The Canadian Powerlifting Federation offers you the lifter a choice in how you want to lift and who you want to compete against.


The CPF offers Raw (bare knees), Classic Raw (knee wraps or knee sleeves) and Equipped (single ply and multiply) categories in the open class. Most regional or local meets are Open meets. The Pro category at the Nationals is an Open meet.

For 2019 there are no qualifying numbers required to lift at Nationals but a lifter must have competed in at least one meet prior to the National Championships to be eligible. Any meet sanctioned by a recognized powerlifting federation (not just the CPF) will do. This qualifying meet does not have to be from 2018, it can be from any year.


Only a lifting belt, wrist wraps and a singlet are allowed - no knee wraps and no elbow sleeves.  You must wear underwear that is a brief or boxer. Legs of the underwear garment cannot extend down the leg and at no time can they extend pass the end of the leg of the singlet.  

As of 2018 knee sleeves will be allowed in the raw division. Sleeves are only legal in CPF meets and for CPF records. If a lifter wishes to set a WPC World Records then WPC rules shall take precedence and knee sleeves will not be legal in the raw division, similarly if a lifter wishes to compete internationally with the WPC they must do so without sleeves.

Knee sleeves must consist of a one ply knee sleeve or knee cap made from commercially available neoprene or woven elastic that is covered with polyester, cotton or combinations of either materials of not more than 30cm in length. A knee sleeve may not have any Velcro on it and must be both non-adjustable and non-fastening. Knee sleeves shall not be in contact with the socks or lifting suit


Classic Raw:

The same rules apply as with the raw division with the exception that knee wraps may be worn during the squat. Knee wraps may be up to 3 meters long. Knee wraps may only be worn 15cm above and below the knee cap and may not touch the lifting suit or socks. A combination of a knee wrap and knee sleeve is strictly forbidden.


The basic specifications for the type of lifting equipment a lifter may wear are as follows:

Squat – a one piece lifting suit may be worn made of unlimited number of plys, that is it can be single, double, triple.. and it can be made of polyester, denim, or canvas, but it must all be made of the same type of material. For example, you cannot have a suit made of polyester and canvas together. One pair of briefs may be worn with the same rules as for the lifting suit – unlimited plys and same material throughout. Knee wraps may be up to 3 meters long. Knee wraps may only be worn 15cm above and below the knee cap and may not touch the lifting suit or socks. Wrist wraps up to 1 meter long may be worn also as desired. A head covering or hat may be worn but must not have a brim, something like a beanie or scarf can be worn, but not a ball cap. The lifting belt may be up to 4 inches in width but may not have padding in it. Lifting shoes may be of any kind and only one pair of socks may be worn. A t-shirt must be worn under the lifting suit.

Bench – a one piece lifting singlet must be worn. A bench shirt may be worn and may be made of unlimited plys of polyester, denim or canvas but again must be made of only one type of material. The bench shirt sleeves must not cover the elbows and the top of the shirt may not show the armpit crease. The lifter may wear a belt but it must be worn on the outside of the lifting singlet. Wrist wraps may be up to 1 meter in length.

Deadlift – a one piece lifting suit must be worn. It may be a singlet or a supportive lifting suit with the same rules as the squat lifting suit. Lifters do not have to wear a t-shirt under their suits in the deadlift. Knee sleeves or wraps are allowed. Baby powder may be used on the lifters legs. Water may also be allowed but oil, such as baby oil, is not allowed as it would get on the deadlift bar and make the grip slippery for the next lifters.


All the rules are the same for the amateur division as for the Open/Pro Division with the only difference being that the Amateur division is drug tested. Failure of a drug test or refusal to take a drug test results in a lifetime ban from Amateur competition.  Amateur divisions are offered at National meets and at International competitions as well. Amateur meets are held at meet director’s discretion and can be either a complete meet or included as separate flights within a meet. At these meets 10% of the amateur lifters will be randomly chosen and tested. Because we offer the lifter a choice, drug free lifters have a division where only drug free lifters lift. Lifters must sign a waiver prior to the test which defines that they will accept the results of the test whether they agree with them or not and declaring themselves lifetime drug free. The CPF follows the AWPC rules for banned substances. A list can be found HERE

Raw – same rules for lifting equipment as in the open category

Equipped – same rules for lifting equipment as in the open category

Canadian records may be set at all CPF meets. World records may only be set at National or World competitions. Raw records may be set at any CPF meet as well. For lifters competing in the U.S. or internationally, you may set records in the WPC affiliates, for example in the APF, and they will count as Canadian records, but you should notify a CPF manager after the meet.

The CPF welcomes all lifters from all organizations to lift together, lift how you want to lift with us while you still support your other organizations.