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USPA Classification Standards for Raw Elite


Much argument has gone back and forth on the subject of “what is elite?” in powerlifting. Fortunately, Kevin Meskew has given us a new chart of standards. It has been mentioned these may be changed slightly for accuracy. This list includes both Elite, International Elite, and more.

Steve Denison says:

The original classification standards going back to the late 80’s or early 90’s that I got from Don Haley, who recently passed away at 90+, were Single ply based standards from old single ply gear. Back then there was no raw, classic raw, or Multiply. Just one category so the standards were based on that type of gear in those days. The original classification was also put together based on the average totals for each wt class from say the 1985 to 1990 IPF Worlds. From those totals they derived the elite, master, class 1,2,3, and 4. Then from those base totals we developed our own standards based on percentages for Raw, Classic Raw, and Multiply. Everything is based on the original single ply standards from those days. Those standards were never adjusted for the new generation single ply gear. That’s the basic synopsis for the Classification standards we have today. The USPA is the only federation that has put this together in more detail for each category. Now if you look at the Classification standards from the APF they will be somewhat higher because of the gear and that’s where our MP classification standards may be more in line with the original APF standards.

Below you will only see raw, and classic classifications in the Open division. For the full lists including age divisions, single ply and multi ply visit the Mens Classification Standards and Womens Classification Standards.


The chart below represents the Classic division. Here, knee wraps are allowed.

Raw Standards

Classic Raw Standards


For comparison, here are the older standards for raw elite by the 100% RAW powerlifting federation.

100% RAW elite classifications

Click to enlarge

Which chart is most accurate? You be the judge.

  1. I think people should worry less about getting an “Elite total” and worry more about getting as strong as possible. Who cares what an Elite total is?!?!?!?!? I thought the goal was to be the strongest no matter what, not limit yourself to reaching an Elite total…..I view it the same as people that argue pound for pound lifting vs overall total strength…Sure Jesse Norris is amazing because of how strong and how light he is, but that would be like saying Andrey Malanichev’s total over 2500 raw is crap because he weighs over 300 pounds…Get as strong as you posssibly can and put up a big total and nobody will give a fuck about your weight.

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