Certification Program


USA Powerlifting offers a Coaching Certification and Educational Course program available to all USA Powerlifting members 18 years or older. We provide three levels of certification: Club Coach, Senior National Coach, and Senior International Coach. The program covers coaches from beginning to international levels. Our goal is to provide coaching candidates with information and technical expertise to allow them to coach at any level.

USA Powerlifting has compiled information on powerlifting coaching from various sources throughout the world. This information will be invaluable to powerlifting coaches, competitors, fitness industry practitioners, personal trainers, strength and conditioning coaches, sports performance specialists, and specific sport coaches.

In this course, USA Powerlifting analyzes the rules of performance and execution of each of the three disciplines: squat, bench press, and deadlift.  Experienced international level coaches and staff will share coaching techniques that can be transferred to athletes at any level.

The USA Powerlifting Coaching courses are held in a one-day format of approximately eight to nine hours.  (Larger groups may require two days.)  Participants are expected to perform powerlifting movements during the practical portion of the course. Participants may also coach and critique their colleagues during the execution of the lifts.  A CEU certificate is provided at the end of the course per simple attendance and an optional written exam is available to become certified.

The optional written examination is given at the conclusion of the course. A USA Powerlifting coaching certificate will be issued after evaluation of performance and successful completion of the written exam.

Certification Levels

Club Coach (USA Powerlifting-CC): coaching novice to local and state level lifters, club team coach

Course includes:

  • Basic human anatomy and physiology
  • Biomechanical aspects of human movement
  • Exercise descriptions and movement performance
  • Rules of performance (squat, bench press, deadlift)
  • Basic review of USA Powerlifting & IPF Technical Rules
  • Methodology, principles, and theories of meet preparation and strength training
  • Evaluation of performance

Senior National Coach (USA Powerlifting-SNC)coaching state to regional and national level lifters, collegiate team coach, and assistant coach at international events

Course includes:

  • All topics listed for Club Coach
  • More thorough review of USA Powerlifting & IPF Technical Rules
  • National team and meet management & strategy
  • Advanced meet preparation and training
  • Roles and responsibilities of an assistant coach at international events

Senior International Coach (USA Powerlifting-SIC)coaching national to international level lifters and teams, national team assistant & head coach.

*In order to sit for this exam you must have served as an assistant coach on a national team competing abroad.*

Course includes:

  • All topics listed for Club & Senior National Coach
  • Intense examination and review of USA Powerlifting & IPF Technical Rules
  • Drug testing parameters and protocol
  • International team and meet management & strategy
  • Roles and responsibilities of the head and assistant coaches at international events

Additional Course Details

  • Courses are structured as one-day seminars held at various locations and national meets throughout the year. Courses may be scheduled at any location. We require a minimum of 12 confirmed participants and the venue must accommodate both the classroom and practical portions.
  • Course materials include various articles, USA Powerlifting & IPF technical rulebooks, and texts approved by the Coaching Committee.  The curriculum is updated intermittently to reflect any changes in technical rules or as a means of including new and valuable training information.
  • Coaches with previous (extensive) experience may start at the Senior National level. (TBD by the Coaching Education Director)

Here’s additional information on hosting a course.