What to Wear: Powerlifting Edition

The “what to wear” post for figure was way more fun- I met with a suit designer, picked a fabric, talked about sparkles, was measured in places I’ve never had a measuring tape before, shopped for sparkly jewelry… it was so much fun! Also I got to be painted like a house with a spray gun until I looked like a baked yam, and there was glitter.


Powerlifting is diffrent. In every. Possible. Way.


Nobody gives a shit what I look like on the platform, it turns out. Which is great, because there will be maybe two abs present, total. If that. Unless one of my spotters is hella jacked, I guess.

Spot me, though, would you mind, Shawn?


But my abs are giving the slow wave goodbye as I continue to increase my macros, thereby decreasing my muscle definition. And the outfit… not flattering. Obviously, powerlifting isn’t about posing and flexing and makeup and glamour, it’s about chalk and function and grunting and strength. Obviously, I’m going to show up with makeup anyhow- this girl never leaves the house without brows on point, but shopping for my outfit for the day has gone much differently. I was super sneaky about my posing suit, leaving the color a mystery until the day of the show. I received no input on anything I was wearing, except dragging my husband along to Charming Charlie’s for wrist and ear bling. Powerlifting gear, though? I’ve all but crowd sourced for all of it. When it comes to being functional, over being just plain pretty, I am not ashamed to defer to people with more experience and expertise than me, in order to best set myself up for success. Luckily, I have a few social media outlets to rely on in these matters.


I started with my singlet. Ahhh the singlet. Literally the least attractive piece of clothing a girl could ever hope to shop for- right on par with my post-surgical bra. Now I realize powerlifting isn’t about looking or feeling sexy, but damn, this thing can’t even pretend to be flattering. The worst part is, it’s a onesie, and I’m 100% made out of torso. I’ve never been able to find a one piece bathing suit that fit, and for all my searching for an amazing leotard for a photo shoot one time, there’s never been a garment that meets this description that doesn’t climb so far up my lady parts that I can damn near taste it.


All arms and torso. Please, if it ever becomes possible, if someone could donate me an inch of inseam to add to my stumpy little legs, I would happily trade you an inch from between my ribcage and pelvis. Until this becomes a reality, however, I’ll just appreciate that this combination of proportions make me obscenely good at sumo deadlifts. But that’s besides the point. Anyhow I took to social media to ask for suggestions, being as I couldn’t find anywhere to try on a singlet, and was pointed towards a few that “might” be ok via r/xxfitness. USPA, the federation I will be competing in, doesn’t restrict brand, or even color or patter, so I immediately began looking for fun singlets, with kittens and tacos and space and shit, but settled on a black one in the end and decided to accessorize it instead, in the interest of hoping for a better fit. I ordered one, and fingers crossed it doesn’t give me a front wedgie. Unfortunately, it’s on backorder, but it should ship this week, and when it gets here, you can be sure I’ll model it proudly… camel toe or not. Wish me luck.


As an added bonus, because my singlet has been delayed, Eastbay sent me a 15% off coupon, no restrictions. Shoutout for awesome customer service! Because I need an excuse to buy another goddamn pair of Flyknits. Gahhhhhh, that 3.0: obsessed. Let this serve as my public apology to Zack, as my shoe collection grows.



I also have found that, as my squat has progressed and I’m regularly squatting 1.5 to 2 times my body weight for reps, my knees, well, frankly I worry about them. I don’t have pain, but as I also near 30, I don’t want them to start hurting. Preventative measures are in order, if I plan to continue putting so much extra weight on them.

So, while I will not be competing with wraps, it is time to start training with knee sleeves. These serve the purpose of keeping the knee joint warm, keeping blood flow in the region, and providing stability, whereas wraps sort of act like a spring at the bottom of a squat, helping you to get back up out of the hole. I’m not looking for any assistance, I just don’t have any time for a busted ass, and knees, well, as you get older, those are one of the first complaints you hear about, right? In the interest of my continued lifting career, sleeves it is. I searched the archives from the strong ladies over at Belle of the Bar– a group for female strength athletes- for their suggestions, and decided on a pretty teal set of Rehabands– my favorite color, of course. I looked at other brand, including Titan, SlingShots, and SBD, but the Rehabands had more reviews from people my size that seemed favorable, so, I chose them. Also: Amazon Prime. My first pretty accessory! I can’t wait to start training with these- I think my knees will be pleased with the addition, and future-Stephanie-whowillsomedaynotlongfromnowbeinher30s-will be as well.


The rules of many federations dictate that you wear a t-shirt under your singlet, though mine only states that ladies can wear a sports bra at the very minimum. I’ve already decided on my undershirt, though. This pretty rad company called Life Limited is run by these super cool dudes, who also happen to lift and rave, and I told them I’d rock their gear at the meet. I love their “free yourself,” message, and their honest commitment to it, so while I toyed with the idea of wearing one of my Lift Heavy shirts, I think I will be rocking an LL tee. Or maybe hat. Ok it turns out I haven’t decided, but I have a couple of t-shirts in mind that make me feel femininely badass as fuck.


The last remaining accessory then, is my deadlift socks. To me, this is the most important accessory. This is where I can let my personality shine! This. Is powerlifting’s equivalent to glitter. Of course I have a drawer full of knee-high socks already. I love deadlifting, how could I not? The problem lies herein: Remember how I’m all torso? That mean’s I’ve got almost no leg. When it comes to knee-high socks, this means that standard, adult-sized socks come well over my knees, and require folding over in order to remain below the knee. Folds, however, are not allowed in competition, on the grounds that they may offer additional compression and support. Additionally, socks may not overlap knee sleeves. I may not wear my knee sleeves to deadlift anyhow, but that doesn’t change the folding bit. So I took to the internet in search of children’s sized deadlifting socks. I narrowed it down to 5, but Zack vetoed the peanut butter ones on account of their atrocious peanut butter hue, and I was left with 4 options, which I crowd sourced after being unable to decide. I posed the question on both the Squat Rack Shenanigans Facebook page, and my personal Instagram page. After tallying the votes, the raccoon with a doughnut won out with more than twice the votes of the next highest, BUT, when I went to order them this morning, I realized that they were the ONLY socks that were in women’s sizing and not kids, as the photo on the website would have me believe, meaning they would give me the same problems as all the socks I already own, rendering them useless for competition. Thanks to everyone who weighed in on the decision, an I’m sorry to have led you down this disappointing path with a non-option… just look how tall they are on model legs though… models have legs at least three times the length of mine. That said, I have taken all comments into consideration, and will decide on some appropriate socks this week.

Later this week: singlet modeling, anticipated struggles with knee sleeves, shopping for Nike’s, and trying on of tall socks!



2 thoughts on “What to Wear: Powerlifting Edition

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