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Powerlifting singlets usually retail above $70, while wrestling models start from $20. That’s why beginners often think it’s better to buy a wrestling singlet to save money for more important gear.
However, can you wear a wrestling singlet for powerlifting? No, you cannot wear wrestling singlets in powerlifting. Almost all wrestling singlets don’t follow the technical rules required by the International Powerlifting Federation. Even if you find a compliant design, the brand itself needs to be IPF-approved. The IPF doesn’t approve any wrestling singlet brands.
In this article, I’ll discuss all the differences between wrestling and powerlifting singlets so you can decide which one suits your needs the most.
Looking for the #1 best powerlifting singlet? I tested 5 of the most popular powerlifting singlets and the Titan Triumph Singlet came out on top (click for today’s price on Amazon).
Why Can’t You Wear a Wrestling Singlet in Powerlifting? (2 Reasons)
In a nutshell, it’s all about guaranteeing fair competition.
If a lifter participates in a Raw event while wearing a highly elastic singlet, they’ll have a significant advantage over the other lifters. For example, certain singlets are tighter than others, and non-approved singlets can support a lifter more when they reach the lowest squat depth, meaning they can lift way more than other competitors.
Besides, some suits may be too long to the point that it hides the lifter’s muscles, preventing the judges from evaluating the technique (i.e. if the lifter is low enough in the squat).
That’s why the IPF prohibits the use of any singlet that doesn’t comply with its technical rules.
IPF Technical Rules for Singlets
The IPF was the first federation to set the following rules, but other associations, like the USAPL adopted them later.
- When worn, the singlet must fit you tightly without any looseness.
- The shoulder straps should stay over your shoulders at all times.
- You can choose between natural and synthetic fabrics.
- The fabric must not majorly support the execution of any lift (in Raw events).
- The fabric thickness must be uniform throughout the whole singlet.
- You can reinforce the crotch area with an extra layer measuring no more than 12×24 cm.
- All singlets must have legs longer than 3 cm and shorter than 25 cm.
- By default, only three logos are allowed: your name, your nation, and the manufacturer.
- You must stick to the approved brands.
IPF Approved Brands
If your singlet satisfies all the previous rules except that it comes from a non-approved brand, you still can’t wear it to the meet.
Well, this also aims to establish the fairest experience possible. Some brands may fall short in terms of quality assurance.
However, brands also need to pay a fee to the IPF, and not all brands have the resources to pay the fee.
The IPF keeps track of its approved manufacturers. It constantly adds and removes brands from the official list according to the feedback gathered from competitions.
At the time of writing, the IPF accepts the following singlets:
- A7 Black Singlet
- Beast Genetics Singlet
- Eleiko Women’s Singlet
- Eleiko Men’s Singlet
- Stoic Singlet
- Inzer Power Singlet
- Iron Tanks Conquer Soft Suit Singlet
- Lifting Large Basic Singlet
- ONI Singlet
- Titan Triumph Singlet
- SBD Singlet
- SBD Men’s and Women’s Eclipse Powerlifting Singlet
- Strength Shop Singlet
- Strength Shop Unbranded Powerlifting Singlet
- Strength Shop Red/Black Powerlifting Singlet
- Strength Shop Camo Powerlifting Singlet
- Signature STrong Singlet
- Signature POWER Singlet
- Classic STrong Singlet
- Stars & Stripes Singlet
- Leopard and Lace Singlet
Wrestling Singlet vs. Powerlifting Singlet: 5 Differences
To better illustrate the difference between wrestling and powerlifting singlets, I’ll compare them in terms of fabric thickness, what you wear underneath, design, color, and logos.
Powerlifting singlets usually provide more support than wrestling singlets.
As stated in the IPF rules earlier, non-supportive powerlifting singlets (the ones used in Raw events) must not be made of elastic material that contributes to the actual lift. However, they can be tight enough to promote your proprioception.
You can wear supportive singlets in Equipped competitions, but these are commonly known as squat suits (or deadlift suits) rather than singlets.
On the other hand, the United World Wrestling (UWW) doesn’t have any fabric thickness rules.
Because wrestling involves lots of high-skill movements and strikes, wrestling singlets are usually made of thin fabrics that prioritize flexibility.
What You Wear Underneath
In powerlifting, you must wear a t-shirt underneath your singlet in all three lifts: squats, bench presses, and deadlifts.
In wrestling, you have to wear the singlet over bare skin.
As such, the UWW requires all wrestling singlets to be made of a smooth fabric that doesn’t irritate either contestant.
This doesn’t mean that powerlifting singlets will feel like sandpaper. But some products may have a rough exterior that helps you grip the bar while squatting. Using a smooth singlet may make things unduly challenging.
Wrestling singlets aim to reveal more skin than powerlifting.
For example, the UWW requires male wrestling singlets to have their neckline within 12 cm below the shoulder straps. Female singlets can extend up to 15 cm in the front and 10 cm in the back.
Side panels are similarly revealing. The under-arm cut can extend up to 30 cm in male singlets and 21.5 cm for females.
IPF doesn’t specify similar measurements. However, almost all manufacturers opt for high necklines and side panels. Besides, you already wear a t-shirt underneath, so it doesn’t really matter how revealing the singlet is.
Powerlifting singlets can be colored according to your preferences, while wrestling models must be blue or red.
IPF doesn’t specify color requirements because it doesn’t really make a difference.
On the contrary, the UWW must guarantee that the two constants don’t wear similar colors. Otherwise, the judges won’t be able to tell them apart midmatch.
The IPF permits three logos by default: your name, your country, and the manufacturer.
If you want to add sponsor logos on your powerlifting singlet, you’ll have to apply an official request and pay about €500/year.
The UWW is less strict in this regard; they allow up to five sponsor logos with no extra fees. Such a design will be strictly forbidden in any powerlifting meet.
3 Powerlifting Singlets That You Can Wear in Competition
If the previous rules seemed too overwhelming, don’t worry. I’ve compiled a list of the best singlets that go above and beyond these rules, guaranteeing the best performance possible.
If you wat to read my full review of these products, check out my guide on the Best Powerlifting Singlets.
Titan Triumph – Best Overall
Titan Triumph is the only singlet that makes use of all the legal compressibility allowed by the IPF. Its fabric can stretch up to 600%, meaning that it’ll be superior in terms of form-fitting.
I also like that it features ultra-broad shoulder straps because this design provides extra support for the bar.
Inzer Powerlifting Singlet – Most Affordable
Inzer wanted to cater to beginner lifters who don’t want to spend a fortune on their gear, but they overlooked some quality standards in the process.
The fabric feels comfortable over the torso but way too tight over the crotch. The legs are also shorter than average, which is why they might ride up your thighs while squatting.
It’s not an awful purchase, but serious lifters should get a better option.
Although the SBD singlet is pretty famous among many lifters, I don’t think it’s worthy of that reputation.
Because it’s made of lycra, this singlet gives little to no support. Plus, the fabric thins down as you squat deeper until it becomes almost see-through at the maximum depth.
Still Convinced You Need A Wrestling Singlet? Here Are 3 Options
Before ending this article, I wanted to quickly suggest the best wrestling singlets, just to cater to all your needs.
Remember, all of the following singlets won’t be allowed in any official powerlifting competition.
ASICS Snap Down Wrestling Singlet – Best Quality
The Asics singlet is one of the few wrestling models that can be used for recreational powerlifting. The thing that makes it unique is the fabric materials.
Made of polyester and spandex, this singlet provides pretty good support, and it stays tight for a long time. The legs are equipped with thick elastic bands, ensuring that they won’t ride up your thighs during squats.
Elite Sports Wrestling Singlet – The Cheapest
Elite Sports makes the most affordable singlet on the market without sacrificing too much quality. The fabric fits well, and the stitching holds for a pretty reasonable time. But of course, you should expect to see a few rips after a couple of months at best.
Roar Wrestling Singlet – Best Designs
If you want to rock a hardcore look in the gym, the Roar singlet should be your best bet. Made of lycra, this singlet is available in lots of vivid colors and patterns. The only issue I noticed is that it runs a bit small, so order one size up.
You can’t wear a wrestling singlet at powerlifting competitions because this goes against the IPF rules. And even if there were no such rules, you should still wear a powerlifting singlet because it’s designed with powerlifting needs in mind.
For instance, the Titan Triumph is made of a fabric that can stretch up to 600%, which is still legal for Raw events. It also features high cuts and broad shoulders, and it retails at a reasonable price.
Now that the singlet is taken care of, did you settle on the rest of your gear? If no, take a look at my complete list of competition gear for powerlifting.
If you’re a wrestler looking to get into powerliting, you may also be interested in the following articles: