Source: USPF


When people ask me what I think “elite” means in powerlifting, this is it: this is the original USPF classification that was established before gear and used all the years I competed. It was also the only classification Louie used at Westside.

There are other rankings, but for me this is the only one that matters as it was one of the first (or the first) ever established.


These were established BEFORE gear and the only real wraps being used were ACE wraps.  No knee sleeves that help you lift more weight or super wraps, no multiply, just singlets, and belts.

This was also at the same time of no 24 hours weigh in's. At best you might have 3-4 hours after weigh in's to squat.

Also before the rounds system that is used today. Meets used to run on a round robbin system where there were many times you might follow yourself. This was for sure if you were at the top of bottom of the roster.

Most squat stands at the time required the lifter to walk behind the base, tire or whatever held the stands in place. There was no way to only take 2-3 tiny step walkouts.

When the multi-ply gear began to provide bigger carry overs many of the top meets had to make a new division (Pro) because an elite total was what was needed to qualify for National Meets.  The Pro total was 150-200 more than Elite and was first used to qualify for the WPO meets.



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