CPU Coaching Certification - Information About the Course

The CPU offers a Coaching Certification that is available to both CPU members and non CPU members. The CPU Coaching Certification will provide fitness instructors, cross-fit instructors, athletes and coaches with knowledge about the sport of powerlifting, including rules about the sport of powerlifting and how to recognize technical errors in all three lifts (squat, bench press and deadlift) and learn to correct errors using varying coaching techniques.

The purpose of the CPU Coaching Certification is to educate coaches and instructors in three primary areas:
1. Fundamental techniques for the 3 lifts of powerlifting
2. Safe and effective training environments
3. a) Ethical guidelines and competition support (Coaches)
    b) Framework for utilizing the 3 lifts for group training (instructors)

Course Content

The CPU Coaching Certification is a 2 day (approximately 13 hours of instruction) course which will cover the following:

Day 1 - approximately 6.5 hours

  • Administration - Introduction
  • Purpose of the Certification Program
  • Physical Characteristics of a powerlifter
  • Experiencing the lifts - coaching the squat
  • Coaching Roles and Ethics
  • Experiencing the lifts - coaching the bench press
  • Coaching & Cueing Strategies

Day 2 - approximately 6.5 hours

  • Purpose of the Certification Program
  • Equipment, Etiquette , Safety
  • Experiencing the lifts - coaching the deadlift (sumo and conventional)
  • Program Design
  • Competition Lecture
  • Mock Competition
  • Exam and workshop
  • Final Day wrap up

There are two streams that are available:

  • CPU Certified Instructor Stream
  • CPU Certified Coach Stream

CPU Certified Instructor Stream
This stream is to certify individuals such as personal trainers, physical education teachers and coaches from other sports, in the basic powerlifting techniques and educate them on how to teach beginners to perform the powerlifting lifts property. Participants that wish to become a CPU Certified Instructor will also be required to complete 25 hours of coaching.

CPU Certified Coach Stream
This stream is for coaches that want to develop athletes to compete in competitions. Participants that wish to be a CPU Certified Coach will also be required to complete 50 hours of coaching. They must also be evaluated coaching an athlete at a competition by a course facilitator.

The following are the CPU course facilitators (Bios to follow):
Shane Martin - Alberta
Avi Silverberg - Alberta
Mike Souster - Alberta
Marc Morris - Saskatchewan
Ryan Fowler - Saskatchewan
Jeff Butt - Atlantic Provinces
Ryan Kells - Atlantic Provinces
Heather Ayles - Atlantic
Brock Haywood - Manitoba
Sandro D'Angelo - Ontario
Art Chan - Ontario
Barry Antoniow - Ontario
Jordan Foley - Ontario
Mark Giffin - Ontario
Joel Boulianne - Quebec
Kacey Bains - Quebec

Back to Course Registration page


Equipped or Classic?

For many years, "powerlifting" meant Equipped lifting, tight squat suit, bench shirts, kneewraps, etc were worn by almost all lifters. However the cost, technical difficulty, and "it's legal cheating" questions gave rise to the RAW or unequipped ("Classic" in CPU/IPF contests) movement, no supportive gear beyond a belt, wristwraps and kneesleeves. This lead to phenomonal growth in the sport and the CPU, membership has tripled in recent years, contests are 95% Classic lifters.

However many of these new lifters have a) discovered that they LOVE the sport and b) reached a point in their lifting where gains come slow, and they are starting to wonder what they could do with a squat suit or bench shirt on. But where to start?

On the reverse side, some of our older lifters that have always used the supportive gear in heavy training and competition are interested in lifting without it, but don't know what to expect.

This page has been set up to provide resources for both sides, starting with an excellent article on Equipped lifting by Shane Martin of Alberta. Submissions for this page are welcomed, send to Mike Armstrong, webmaster, This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

Equipped Powerlifting

CPU Login

Login to the CPU Database.

CPU World Team Information

Attending an IPF Worlds or other international contest is an experience like no other. Lifters from all over the world, possibly with some real legends in the powerlifting world, often held in remote and exotic corners of the world, places you might not normally pick for a vacation. You will enjoy the experience without doubt.

Lifting at an International meet, like an IPF World Championships, North American, Pan-Am or Commonwealth Championships (or other similar events) requires that you must have lifted in the most recent CPU National Championships, or possibly the previous year. Priority is given to the higher placed lifters in each class.

As of January 1, 2018 all age categories for unequipped must meet or exceed that particular age categories Wilks total to qualify for the International A & B teams. Details on the qualifying standards can be seen here. Final selection will be done by the CPU, according to our Bylaw policies.

Along with the fun are a number of obligations on your part, this page has been set up to explain what you need to do, deadlines, and so on.

The "Arnold"
Please see the section at the bottom of this page for information on lifting at the Arnold Sports Festival

The "University Cup"
Each nation may send a maximum of three teams, consisting of 8 men and 7 women from each of three schools. In other words, up to 15 lifters from school A, 15 from school B and 15 from school C.

Only Classic (unequipped) lifting, and only 3 lift competition. Entry is not limited to those that participated at nationals, but ALL lifters must have competition experience.

If your school is interested in applying, please complete the World Team Application Form.


Note: The information on this page is primarily focused on lifters going to the various IPF World Championship meets. Other international meets, the Commonwealth Championships, NAPF Regionals and so on are set up very similar, but may have some differences. If you are interested in one of these contests, please contact Championship Secretary This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. at least 90 days before the event.

Step One, Lifter Entry Form:,
Each lifter must complete the World Team Application Form at least 90 days before the start of the event

Entry Form Deadlines
Team Applications forms must be received by 90 days, 3 months prior to the first day of the international event, without fail.

Shortly after the 90 day deadline to submitt your application, the final team slections are made. If you are selected, you will be required to forward a $175 fee payment to cover the required IPF fees and coaching compensation, payable to the CPU, or PayPal to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.. The fee will be returned if you are not selected or withdraw before 30 days from the first date of the event. The fee is forfeited if you withdraw within 30 days of the event.

If you need to withdraw from the team, please respect there may be "Alternate" names on the team that can only lift if someone else drops out, so please let us know ASAP.

Step Two: Personal paperwork
A valid passport is ALWAYS required for international travel. In some cases, a visitor visa may be required, this information will be communicated if required. You must take your passport to the weigh-in to prove your identity and age.

Step Three: Team Uniform
All lifters and coaches must have a team uniform, including personal coaches that will be in the warmup or lifting area. The uniform should be worn at all times when at the contest venue, and must be worn during the medal presentation. These are IPF rules, as well as CPU.

To order your team tracksuit, contact Rhaea Stinn at Inner Strength Probusct at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. at least 6 weeks prior to the event. Each uniform is custom made and takes time to make and ship. Older uniforms are acceptable if in good condition.

By THIRTY days out from the contest, you must confirm your attendance, including your weight class, and forward a number of other details:

1. Travel Details
Full details of your travel schedule, date, time and flight numbers if possible, as early as possible. This must include full names of any persons travelling with you, like personal coaches, friends or family. Airport pickup is sometimes included, so they must know the full "when, where, and how many" details.

2. Hotel Needs
At one time, all hotel bookings were made through the meet director, and required advance payment. This is still the case for most events, but some now request the team members to make their own bookings, usually via the internet. You will be advised as to which is the case for your event.

Lifters are required to stay at the official meet hotel. Also, if you withdraw within 21 days of the event, you may still be required to pay the full amount of the accommodation costs.

3. Closing Banquet
Closing Banquets at IPF events are not included, they must be paid for separately, so we must know if you will attend the banquet. Payment may be required in advance.


Weight Classes Changes
The CPU submits all of the above info and a final list of names and weight classes to the IPF by 21 days prior to the event. After this date, NO WEIGHT CLASS CHANGES ARE ALLOWED. If you show up at the event, and are unable to make weight for your class, you will NOT be allowed to lift. This is an IPF rule, not from the CPU.

If you do want to change your weight class from your original, you must work with the team coach to determine if there is room for you in another class, and communicate this in time.

Team Coach
If a Team Coach is found for your team, they should be in touch to discuss your training, travel details, attempt selections, and other coaching specific details.

National Records
If you set a CPU national record at a World Championship, you must still complete the CPU Record Application within 7 days of the end of the Championships.

IPF Information:
While all team nomination lists are sent in by the CPU, not by individual lifters, the contest "Invitation" can contain a lot of valuable information about the event, like links to the contest websites, hotel info, possible airport transport, schedules, and other good details. All of the invitation documents can be seen here on the IPF website, click on Championships > Information.


Each team will be assigned a head coach (based on volunteer willingness). That person will be the main contact for all information to and from the athletes after completing the Team Application form (next section). Contact information will be placed here for upcomming events.

In some cases personal coaches may be used, but there are limits on the number of coaches that may be used in each session. Please discuss this with the head coach BEFORE you book a plane ticket for your coach.

In conjunction with the head coach, you may determine what you would like for your attempts. However, the head coach has the final decision on your attempts, to achieve the best team placing, not personal bests or records.

Interested in coaching a World Team? If so, review the Coaching Job Description, and contact the head of the Coaching Committee.

Opening and Closing Cermonies
The IPF requires two persons from each team to attend the opening ceremonies for the event, as determined by each team, in the team uniform. Also, all as many team members as possible should attend the closing ceremonies and awards banquet.

The Arnold Schwarzenegger Sports Festival
"The Arnold" is the largest multi-sport festival of it kind in the world, and anyone who has been there says there is nothing else like it. A number of powerlifting meets are held as part of the festival, Canadians can enter ANY of them except for the ones named as the "Ohio..." contests.

The traditional IPF method of "one entry form per nation" is not used here. Because the meets have limits on entries, they accept entries direct from the lifters until the maximums are reached. ALL lifters, including us Canadians, must enter directly.

The meets have required Wilks totals that you must have acheived. Canada does not set any criteria, other than you must be a CPU member in good standing. Ideally with some experience lifting at the national level.

Go to arnold.usapowerlifting.com to get more information and use their online entry form.

They will post a list of entries on the site, so we will monitor it for Canadian's that may not be CPU members.