Powerlifting Competition Rules: Deadlift Guidelines

Powerlifting Competition Rules: Deadlift Guidelines

Powerlifting Competitions are not exactly for everybody, but anyone can turn himself into a great candidate for a powerlifter. The hardest part aren’t only within the training journey of a powerlifter. Instead, there are specific rules that each powerlifter must keep in mind and follow, which is not always easy. In this article, we will be discussing one of the areas that is covered by powerlifting competition rules: the deadlift.

Deadlifting Movement Standards

Deadlifting Movement Standards

In a powerlifting competition, you will have three judges checking that you comply with the following motions standards.

A referee’s assessment of your movement criteria may be subjective. One referee may believe you’re locked out, while another may believe your shoulders are rounded and not “back.”

This is why, rather than getting unanimous backing from all officials, you only need a’majority’ of referees (two out of three) to believe the lift was good (three out of three). If you finish the lift and see two or three white lights, the lift was successful. However, if you observe two or three red lights, the lift was defective.

The best way to ensure you pass your lifts in competition is to first understand the movement standards listed below, and then to follow these standards strictly in training. I have a proverb:

In competition, your worst rep in training is your best rep.

If you approach your training with this in mind, you will see white lights when competing. Without further ado, let’s go over the standards in further depth.

This article’s regulations will be based on International Powerlifting Federation (IPF) and USA Powerlifting (USAPL) standards. While most powerlifting contests have similar regulations, each federation will have different differences.

The IPF rulebook also specifies what you may and may not wear during competition. Certain brands and models of equipment are permitted. Check out my top choices for powerlifting-approved competition gear.

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  1. The bar cannot descend farther before reaching its final position.

The bar cannot go downward after you begin the up phase off the floor.

This involves having one side of the bar dip down or the entire bar dip down. If you read my bench press technique rules, you would know that on the bench press, one side of the barbell can dip down and yet be a solid lift. This is not the case with the deadlift. Any downward movement is deemed a failed lift.

Sometimes the bar will slide downward because it will slip in your palm from its starting position. This is why it’s crucial that once you’ve set your grip, it stays fastened to the bar. Please read my article on how to improve your deadlift grip. Other reasons for the bar to drop down include losing your balance, losing mid-back strength, or having the bar come off of you in the mid-range.

Now, I just claimed the bar cannot travel down, but can the bar stop? Yes.

The bar can stop halfway through the range of motion and the lift will still be good as long as the bar continues upward.

  1. You must stand tall with your shoulders back.

Let’s break this down into two parts: “stand erect” and “shoulders back.”

Standing erect means having your torso straight or perpendicular to the ground. This represents your torso’s final position. This means you don’t have to ‘lean back’ any further than this straight up and down position. Many lifters will lean too far back, and this extra range of motion is simply wasted effort that will not earn you any more points with the officials.

Shoulders back refer to your shoulder blades being retracted. You want to keep your shoulders from curving forward. If your upper back is rounding, it’s because your muscles aren’t strong enough to bring your shoulder blades back into place. Therefore, your torso can be erect, but your shoulder might be rounded, which would be deemed a terrible lift.

  1. At the end of the lift, you must stand with your knees straight.

To complete the exercise, your body must be erect and your shoulders back, and your knees must be locked.

Flexing your quads is the simplest technique to lock your knees. When you flex your quads, your knees are forced into extension. So, if you’re unsure whether your knees are locked, engage your quads while standing at lock-out and you’ll avoid any bending.

If you’re having trouble locking your knees in the lock-out, it could be because you’re leaning too far back with your body. Remember what I said about your torso being erect? If you pull any further than is absolutely necessary, your knees may droop.

  1. During the lift, the bar cannot rest on the thighs.

When the bar sits on the thighs during the deadlift, this is called a hitch.

Remember that the bar can come to a stop (as long as it doesn’t fall), but it cannot come to a stop and rest on the thighs. It’s also worth noting that hitching is permitted in the sport of Strongman. However, in the context of powerlifting, it is not.

  1. During the ‘up phase,’ you cannot step forward or back or move your feet laterally.

This guideline only applies to the ‘up’ part of the movement.

So, once you started upward movement of the barbell, you cannot shift your feet from the start position to lock-out.

During the down phase, this rule does not apply. You may move your feet after receiving the ‘down’ signal from the head referee. Most lifters will not move their feet during the ‘down’ phase, but if you do, it is not grounds for failure.

  1. You must return the bar to the floor while keeping both hands in control.

When the head referee gives the ‘down’ command, your hands must be gripping the barbell the entire time.

This regulation prevents you from dropping the bar from hip height after locking the weight out. In other activities where you see deadlifts taking place, like Crossfit or Strongman, it’s acceptable to drop the barbell during lock-out. In powerlifting, however, these would be grounds for failure.

You can drop the barbell to the floor quickly, i.e. you don’t have to gently put the weight down. But you must keep your hands on the bar at all times.

Deadlifting Instructions You Must Follow

Deadlifting Instructions You Must Follow

Now that you understand the technical movement criteria, you must also obey the referees’ directions.

Failure to comply with any referee directions will result in the lift being disqualified, even if all other movement standards are met. It can be exceedingly upsetting to miss an attempt because you did not follow the orders when you were physically capable of doing so. However, there is a law that you must obey the directions because it is the referee’s responsibility to guarantee you keep control of the movement at particular stages of the lift.

In the deadlift, there is only one command – “DOWN.”

Unlike the squat and bench press, which include orders to begin and end the activity, the deadlift does not. Once the head referee believes you have achieved the “lockout position” with your hips, knees, and shoulders locked, the only command you will hear is “DOWN.”

Rules for Choosing Deadlift Attempts

You will choose the next load to hoist after each attempt.

For example, once you’ve completed your opener, you must choose your second attempt. You can either repeat the same weight (if you failed the previous time) or go up. If you decide to go up, you cannot select a load that is below the weight that you just lift. At minimum, you must go up by 2.5kg, and after you select the load, you cannot adjust the weight. The same rules apply once you’ve completed the second attempt and are deciding on weights for the third.

With the exception of the third attempt deadlift, these principles apply to the squat, bench press, and deadlift. On the third attempt deadlift, you have the opportunity to adjust your initial third attempt up to two times.

For example, let’s imagine on your second attempt you deadlifted 100kg successfully and you’re in a competition for 1st place. You next walk over to the score-table and select 110kg for your third attempt. After seeing a few lifters go before you, you understand that all you need to accomplish to place 1st is 105kg. At that moment, you can reduce your weight from 110kg to 105kg. You may drop the weight as long as it does not fall below the weight you lifted on the second try (remember, this exception only applies to the 3rd attempt deadlift).

As an alternative, suppose you needed 115kg to win. You might increase your starting weight from 110kg to 115kg. You could also adjust your attempt a second time if you wanted to. So you might lower your attempt from 110kg to 105kg, then back up to 115kg. But, once you submitted your change request for the second time, you must go and lift the designated weight.

General Powerlifting Competition Rules That Apply To Deadlifting

If you are going to compete in powerlifting, I recommend you to understand the regulations as it doesn’t really matter how strong you are unless you’re playing by the rules.

The following are some general guidelines to follow:

  • After loading the bar, you have 60 seconds to begin the deadlift (initiate movement on the bar)
  • You have 60 seconds after the lift to submit the load for the next attempt to the score-table.
  • You must wear the appropriate lifting attire for the day, which includes a singlet, t-shirt, shoes, belt, wrist wraps, and knee sleeves. Everything must be in accordance with the equipment requirements.
  • No adhesives may be used on the shoe’s bottom (an advantage for sumo deadlifts who have a wide stance)
  • No straps can be used to enhance your grip on deadlifts. Double overhand, mixed grip, or hook grip must be used.

Final Thoughts

When competing in a powerlifting competition, you must observe the competition regulations, including movement requirements and referee directives.

It makes no difference if you have the strength to complete the movement. If you do not conform to the technical standards of the sport, you will not pass the lift in competition.

Each rule establishes a regulated method for every athlete to follow, and this is the primary distinction between deadlifting in the gym and deadlifting in a competition.

If you practice the movement requirements in training, you’ll find that you’re capable of reaching your full potential in competition.

Nolvadex Bodybuilding Review: Everything You Need to Know About the Drug

Nolvadex Bodybuilding Review: Everything You Need to Know About the Drug

As we will see, Nolvadex is quite selective in its targeting of breast tissue, making it useful both medically and for steroid users concerned about certain adverse effects. As a result, Nolvadex is known as a “selective” treatment, referring to the fact that the drugs in this family only affect certain regions of the body.

What is Nolvadex?

Nolvadex’s chemical ingredient and generic name is Tamoxifen Citrate. It is available in tablet form in dosages of 10mg or 20mg per tablet. This is a prescription-only medication that cannot be acquired without one.

Nolvadex was originally created as a breast cancer therapy drug, and as expected, it plays an important role in decreasing estrogen levels, so preventing cancer progression.

It achieves this by connecting to estrogen receptors in that area of the body, preventing estrogen from binding, and lowering or eliminating estrogen’s action on breast tissue. It just so happens that men who use anabolic steroids want this exact effect: to halt breast tissue growth caused by increased estrogen action.

Nolvadex has no direct influence on the body’s estrogen levels. Instead, it binds to specific estrogen receptors, blocking the estrogen from attaching and hence from working normally. While Nolvadex is very helpful in the breast area, it can also be an estrogen agonist in other parts of the body, which means it can act like estrogen, primarily harming the liver.

However, before you get concerned about estrogen activity, bear in mind that some estrogenic activity in the liver has a benefit for cholesterol, and with some steroids having a negative effect on cholesterol, this added benefit of Nolvadex is welcomed by steroid users.

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How is Nolvadex Used For Post Cycle Therapy?

How is Nolvadex Used For Post Cycle Therapy?

Nolvadex is commonly used in post-cycle therapy to increase natural testosterone levels after anabolic steroid use has decreased them.

Nolvadex is well-known for its ability to boost testosterone while restricting estrogen’s impact, allowing the pituitary gland to produce more luteinizing hormone (LH).

This hormone is necessary for testosterone production, and Nolvadex excels at restarting regular testosterone function so you may avoid the symptoms of low T and retain your cycle gains.

Most users will require 4 weeks of Nolvadex for PCT, however longer or stronger steroid cycles may necessitate 8 weeks of post-cycle therapy combining Nolvadex with other medications such as aromatase inhibitors.

While it may be tempting for new users to exceed the maximum recommended dose of 20mg per day during post cycle therapy, it has been proven that doing so has no effect on testosterone levels. An aromatase inhibitor and HCG are commonly administered with Nolvadex during post cycle therapy to cover all bases.

Benefits of Using Nolvadex

We now know what Nolvadex is and how it can help with gynecomastia.

We’ll now go through some of the most typical benefits of using Nolvadex as part of your PCT regimen.

The following are some of the most significant advantages of using Nolvadex:

  1. Prevents gynecological issues.

Yes, we just talked about how Nolvadex can help you avoid gynecomastia. However, because it is one of the key advantages, we believe it is worth repeating.

The abnormal development of male breast tissue is known as gynecomastia. It is characterized by nipple pain in mild cases, but in severe cases, fatty deposits resembling breast tissue occur. Nolvadex is one of the best PCTs to utilize, and it is unequaled when it comes to preventing and/or treating gyno.

  1. Hormone Balance is Restored

However, the main reason people perform PCT after a steroid cycle is to restore hormone levels to pre-steroid levels.

Steroids are testosterone mimics that work similarly to testosterone. The issue is that when you use steroids, your testosterone levels will be far higher than they would be otherwise.

Even if your body naturally produced a lot of testosterone. When the body recognizes elevated testosterone levels, it assumes it is producing too much. As a result, it panics and switches off all testosterone production in the testes in order to defend itself from further harm.

When utilizing steroids, this is allowed because your testosterone levels will be extremely high.

However, after you come off cycle, your testes are typically unable to produce any more testosterone. If men do not do PCT after a steroid cycle, they may be compelled to see a doctor and receive testosterone replacement therapy for the rest of their lives.

PCT works by restoring your hormone levels to where they were before to beginning to use steroids.

  1. Easy to Use

Although Nolvadex is frequently used during or near the end of a steroid cycle, it is more easier to take than other steroids. There are no painful injections to contend with; simply swallow the tablets like a headache tablet or vitamin supplement.

Needless to say, there are far fewer risks with taking a tablet than with inserting a sharp needle into your body.

  1. Stress-Relieving

After completing a steroid cycle, cortisol levels in the body are typically elevated. Cortisol is a stress hormone that causes anxiety and tension. It might weaken your immune system, cause spots and blemishes, and even make you melancholy.

Cortisol normally inhibits testosterone production. Too much cortisol in the body is obviously undesirable, and this is where Nolvadex can help.

Nolva can help to relieve stress and promote rest and relaxation by preventing cortisol production.

Nolvadex: Possible Side Effects

Nolvadex: Possible Side Effects

The majority of the side effects of Nolvadex have been connected to its use as a breast cancer treatment SERM for women. However, because it has been used by male anabolic steroid users for a long time, there is enough anecdotal evidence and personal experience to highlight some of the negative effects that are typical in guys. For the sake of this essay, we will not discuss the negative effects of Nolvadex for women who are taking medication to treat breast cancer.

Not only does the medication affect the female body differently, but when taken as cancer medication, it is used for a much longer amount of time than when used by men to reduce estrogen side effects when on steroids or during post cycle therapy. As a result, the long-term negative effects of Nolvadex use aren’t particularly concerning.

So, what are some of the long-term side effects to be mindful of when using Nolvadex, either during the cycle or after it?

  1. Acne – While it is not the most common adverse effect of Nolvadex, it is regarded the most likely. This is because your testosterone levels will start to rise, and acne is merely a natural side effect of rising testosterone levels in some men; not all guys are predisposed to acne, and if you aren’t, you’re unlikely to suffer this side effect.
  2. Nausea or stomach cramping – Although conceivable, this is an exceedingly unusual side effect of Nolvadex that the vast majority of men will never experience.

Cognitive impairment, hot flashes, and even other types of cancer are side effects of Nolvadex for cancer medicine; nevertheless, they are not recognized as a danger factor for males using this drug for performance enhancement objectives.

The simplest way to prevent or eliminate the possibility of long-term Nolvadex side effects is to keep the dosage at a safe range.

Nolvadex Dosage Recommendations

Nolvadex is used during a steroid cycle to avoid male breast tissue enlargement, often known as gynecomastia. Any anabolic-androgenic drugs you consume that have aromatizing effects will necessitate gyno therapy, and Nolvadex is a low-cost, simple, and safe option.

It just takes a low dose of Nolvadex (10mg to 20mg per day) to protect against gyno since it binds to estrogen receptors in the breast tissue, blocking estrogen from acting. If the aromatizing effect of the steroids you’re taking is too high for Nolvadex to work at this dose, aromatase inhibitors will almost certainly be required.

Dosage For Women 

When women take Nolvadex for performance enhancement, it is typically used for just that: to enhance performance as a result of elevated testosterone levels. This may make Nolvadex a viable alternative for women who do not want the more potent effects of steroids, which can lead to masculinization.

In addition to performance enhancement, women can use Nolvadex to improve their bodies, resulting in a leaner and tighter physique without the risks associated with steroids. Females only need a small amount of Nolvadex. 10mg per day is usually more than enough.

Where Can I Buy Nolvadex?

Tamoxifen citrate is widely available and can be purchased in nearly every developed country on the planet. Indeed, if you have a prescription, you may be able to get it over the counter.

The drug is also extensively available on the black market. Given its low price and widespread availability, the counterfeit product does not appear to be a serious threat.


Nolvadex is a female breast cancer therapy medication that reduces estrogen and aids in the restoration of testosterone levels. It is usually used in tandem with Clomid. Because Nolvadex has less negative effects than Clomid, it is a popular choice, and most steroid users will use it for PCT for 4-8 weeks.