Powerlifting Singlet vs. Tank Top

Powerlifting Singlet vs. Tank Top

When it comes to powerlifting, every detail matters—from your training routine to your nutrition and, yes, even your choice of apparel. The debate between a powerlifting singlet and a tank top is more than just a matter of personal style; it's about finding the right balance between comfort, functionality, and performance.

Powerlifting Singlet: What Sets It Apart

Powerlifting singlets are the traditional choice for competitive lifters. Crafted with a snug fit, these one-piece apparel provide optimal support and flexibility.

The design is meticulously engineered to adhere to powerlifting federation rules, ensuring a fair and consistent playing field. The material is often chosen for its elasticity, allowing lifters to move freely without hindrance.

Tank Top: A Trendy Alternative

On the other side of the spectrum, tank tops have gained popularity as a trendy alternative in the powerlifting community. Known for their breathability and comfort, tank tops offer a more relaxed fit, making them a favourite for training sessions. While not always competition-friendly, they provide lifters with a sense of freedom and style, breaking away from the traditional mold.

Performance Comparison: Lifts and Mobility

In the world of powerlifting, every lift counts, and your choice of attire can impact your performance. The snug fit of a powerlifting singlet provides support during squats, ensuring proper form and stability. However, tank tops excel in breathability, contributing to a cooler and more comfortable workout environment. 

Regulations and Guidelines

For those aiming to compete in official powerlifting events, understanding the regulations regarding attire is crucial. Powerlifting federations have specific rules about what is allowed and what is not.

IPF Rules on Singlets

(a) The suit’s material shall be of a single thickness.

(b) There must be legs to the suit, extending a minimum of 3cm and a maximum of 15 cm, from the top of the crutch down the inside of the leg, as measured when worn by the lifter in a standing position.

(c) Any alteration to the costume which exceeds the established widths, lengths or thickness imperviously stated shall make the suit illegal for competition.

(d) Although alterations/pleatsto form a tightening of the suits and supportive shirts do not make them illegal, these must be made on the original seams. Non-factory alterations to tighten suits and shirts are not illegal when done in the form of pleats. However, the pleats must be made only on the manufacturer’s original seams. These pleats must be made on the inside of the suit or shirt. Any alterations made on areas other than the manufacturer’sseams are illegal. Pleats may not be sewn back onto the body of the garment.

(e) Where a tightening has been made in the shoulder straps and the excess material is longer than 3cm’s, this must then be turned inside the suit and not sewn back onto the straps. No more than 3 cm length may protrude outside the suit.

(f) The suit may bear the logos or emblems - of the approved manufacturer of the suit - of the lifter’s nation - of the lifter’s name - as per the rule “Sponsor’s Logos” - In national and lower level contests only, of the lifter’s club or individual sponsor, where that logo or emblem has not otherwise been approved by the IPF.

Training Environments: Singlet vs. Tank Top

Consider the atmosphere of your training environment when choosing between a singlet and a tank top. While the singlet might be the go-to for competition preparation, the laid-back nature of tank tops may better suit the atmosphere of some gyms. Temperature is also a factor—tank tops offer a cooler alternative for those intense workout sessions. 

Cost Considerations: Singlet vs. Tank Top

Let's talk about the budget side of the equation. Quality powerlifting singlets can come with a price tag, given their specialised design and materials. On the other hand, tank tops often offer a more budget-friendly option without compromising on style. Consider your financial investment alongside your commitment to the sport when making your choice.

Pros and Cons Summary: Singlet and Tank Top

In summary, the choice between a powerlifting singlet and a tank top boils down to personal preference, intended use, and adherence to competition regulations. The singlet offers unparalleled support and conformity to rules, while the tank top prioritises comfort, style, and individual expression. Consider the pros and cons of each to make an informed decision based on your unique needs and goals.

Where to Buy Powerlifting Singlets & Tank Tops?

That where SBD Ireland comes in!

Expect soft and breathable singlets that provide optimal compression with lasting durability. All our Singlet designs are IPF & IWF approved. Suitable for competitive lifting.

Our classic SBD Singlet is available in either men or women's fits and can be purchased in our online store!



Our range of SBD tanks are some of the top quality, if not the top gym tank in the market! Developed with athlete feedback to ensure you benefit from the best possible design.




In the dynamic world of powerlifting, the debate between a singlet and a tank top is not just a choice of clothing; it's a statement of identity and a reflection of personal philosophy.

Whether you opt for the traditional singlet or embrace the freedom of a tank top, the key is to find what makes you feel empowered and confident in your pursuit of strength.


  1. Can I wear a tank top in a powerlifting competition? While tank tops may not be allowed in official competitions, some federations have relaxed rules for certain divisions. It's crucial to check the specific guidelines of the federation hosting the event.

  2. Do I need a powerlifting singlet for training? Training attire is largely a matter of personal preference. While a singlet provides competition-specific benefits, many lifters find tank tops more comfortable for their day-to-day workouts

  3. How can I make my powerlifting singlet last longer? To extend the life of your powerlifting singlet, avoid machine drying, wash it in cold water, and store it flat or hung to maintain its shape.

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