What To Wear Under Singlet? The Best Type For You

What To Wear Under Singlet? Different Cases Explained


If you’re asking yourself ‘what to wear under singlet’ then you’ve come to the right place to find the answer! Figuring out what to wear under powerlifting singlet includes many considerations from the type of singlet you’re choosing to wear in the gym, to the equipment you may want to wear alongside your singlet. 

So let’s get to the bottom of this and talk about the commonly asked question; what to wear under singlet?

What to wear under singlet is a popular question with a simple answer Powerlifters may choose to wear additional equipment beneath a singlet, along with underwear, and a sports bra for women. To abide by competition rules, lifters need to wear an appropriate t-shirt beneath their singlet.

What Are Singlets?

Singlets are essentially a one-piece that fits on the upper body like a tight vest, extending through to the lower body, usually cutting off at the mid-thigh level above the knee. You may be picturing a classic wrestling one-piece, but powerlifting singlets are quite different!

They are generally made from flexible materials such as lycra, or polyester as these allow the material to stretch, in turn, creating an abundant range of motion through exercises such as the squat, deadlift, and bench press. 

Weightlifting Compression Singlet S-2

This singlet offers superior comfort and durability, empowering athletes to push their limits.


Materials like lycra have been proven to have a tight structure, making them ideal for use in powerlifting singlets. The design of singlets is simple but effective. The material covers key areas, stays close to the body, and provides ample room for stretching and movement through exercises. Some may say singlets are revealing, but that’s part of the idea behind the design!

By revealing most of the upper body and a substantial amount of the lower body, it’s easy to see where lifters may be attempting to use enhanced equipment to support them through lifts – something that’s not tolerated in competitions, as stated in the IPF Rules Book.

What Are Singlets

It’s possible to find men’s powerlifting singlet and women’s powerlifting singlet and it’s essential to purchase the right type for your gender and body as they both fit slightly differently to cater for the main differences between the male and female body. 

4 Types Of Singlets and How to Wear Them

Although most may associate the word ‘singlet’ with the one piece you see worn by powerlifters during comps, there are a few different types of singlets, each with varying uses.

Opting for the correct type for you is essential as some offer more support than others, and competitions have specific rules not only about the equipment you can use but also about the clothes you wear during lifts. 

1. Wrestling Singlet

Wrestling singlets and lifting singlets may initially look the same, and they are normally made from similar materials. However, wrestling singlets can be even stretchier than lifting singlets, providing a huge advantage in comps as lifters will have an increased range of motion due to the flexible fabric.

Wrestling singlets have a less conservative design, exposing more of the chest and upper body areas when compared to lifting singlets. They can be worn in the same way as lifting singlets; stepping into the one-piece and pulling it up and over the shoulders to cover the trunk of the body. Competitors may wear compression shorts or underwear under a wrestling singlet.

2. Powerlifting Singlet 

A powerlifting singlet that abides by the rules set out by individual competitions is a key piece of non-negotiable equipment. Wearing a powerlifting singlet is a mandatory part of powerlifting uniform in comps, so it’s crucial to purchase one that’s the correct thickness, fabric, size, and style to ensure you hit all the right marks before competition day. 

Weightlifting Singlet 

A common question is what do you wear under a lifting singlet, and the answer is straightforward. Along with wearing the correct type of powerlifting singlet, you’ll also have to wear a suitable T-shirt beneath for warmth and protection.

3. Weightlifting Singlet 

There isn’t too much difference between a weightlifting singlet and a powerlifting singlet. The main being that powerlifting singlets and uniforms have to follow strict rules and guidelines set out by competitions, and if these aren’t followed, competitors may be disqualified. 

Powerlifting Singlet

Those competing in Olympic weightlifting also benefit from the use of a lifting singlet, where lifters are supported through each movement by durable fabric and design that enables them to move smoothly through lifts. For comps, a singlet has to be a one-piece, collarless fit that doesn’t cover the knees or elbows. 

4. Olympic Lifting Singlet 

Just the same as the other lifting singlets we’ve talked about, Olympic lifting singlets also need to follow the rules set out by competitions. When choosing an Olympic weightlifting singlet, it’s essential to find the right fit, where the fabric feels snug, but not too tight where seams rub against the skin or freedom of movement is affected.

Olympic Lifting Singlet

Many Olympic lifters use singlets not solely because it’s what competition rules state, but also to provide support and stabilization to muscle groups throughout heavy load lifts.

Pro Tip:

Buy once, use time and time again! Purchasing additional kit for the gym has a cost. Investing in yourself with your training and the gear you use in sessions, however, is ideal for paving the way for a positive lifting experience going forward. My biggest tip is to invest in quality gear that will see you through years of training over buying cheap, poor-quality kit you’ll likely have to replace in a short space of time.

What to Wear Under Singlet for Training and Competitions?

Why do powerlifters wear singlets? Because that’s what is stated in the rulebook! Wearing singlets for competitions is compulsory, so if you want to enter a comp, it’s wise to get familiar with a one-piece sooner rather than later.

During competitions, lifters have to wear a t-shirt under a singlet, and it’s also possible to wear compression shorts, provided these don’t extend below the knee. For additional support and comfort, women can wear a sports bra under their singlet.

Singlet for Training and Competitions

Knowing how to wear a singlet and how to put on a singlet, are both vital in going into a competition both abiding by the rules and feeling confident in your attire. Although not essential for every gym session, it’s wise to wear your singlet during some training sessions so you can get used to the fit, fabric, and how the singlet feels through lifts.


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How to Choose Lifting Singlet: Two Considerations

A considerable amount of thought is necessary before diving in and purchasing your first weightlifting singlet. Everything matters, from the size and style to the thickness and durability of the fabric used. 

1. Durable Material

The body goes through a lot when completing resistance training, and it can incredibly ease discomfort with conditions such as arthritis and fibromyalgia. To complete lifts safely, effectively, and reap the rewards, it’s crucial to have good form and use equipment that can withstand regular use.

Singlets need to be made from durable material able to support muscles through a variety of exercises, whilst being thick enough to be squat-proof too.

2. Abides By Competition Rules

As stated in the USA Powerlifting Rulebook, a singlet must be a single-thickness tight-fitting one-piece with the crotch being the only area permitted to have a second thickness. The singlet also needs to fit between 3 cm and 25 cm down from the inner legs and cannot have any additional parts such as zippers or rivets.

If you’re serious about upping your lifting game and want to take part in competitions, it’s a good idea to invest in a singlet that abides by these rules.

Our Recommendation WBCM Weightlifting Compression Singlet S-2

Our WBCM men’s compression singlet has a classic aesthetic, able to take your weightlifting to the next level. Constructed from robust material, this singlet promises to provide support and flexibility to push you through heavy sessions getting you prepped for comp day!


Do You Wear Shorts Under a Singlet?

Depending on the singlet type and intended use, individuals may wear compression shorts, briefs, or a jockstrap underneath a singlet. Powerlifting competitions have strict rules about what can and cannot be worn under a singlet, so it’s best practice to check out individual comp rules and make sure your shorts fit the criteria.

What Do Female Wrestlers Wear Under Their Singlets?

Female wrestlers often choose to wear a sports bra and close-fitting underwear underneath a singlet. Wearing a sports bra aims to decrease discomfort and improve support to the breast while in motion, which can be extremely useful in active sports such as wrestling. 

How To Wash the Singlet?

Washing a singlet either with cold water or low-temperature water and mild detergent is a great way of freshening it up! Be sure to not tumble dry any gym clothes, including singlets as this can negatively affect the material and elasticity. 

What is the Difference Between Men and Women Powerlifting Singlets?

Male and female powerlifting singlets are almost identical in design, with just a few small differences. A woman’s powerlifting singlet typically fits snugly at the waist, with a short torso and wider leg space than a male’s singlet. Male singlets also tend to have a wider cut-out under the arm when compared to female singlets. 


From exploring the different types of singlets and their uses to the rules set out by powerlifting competitions, it’s clear that singlets are a valued piece of equipment. Whether you’re interested in trying out a singlet for additional comfort and support during gym sessions, or you’re investing in a singlet in prep for a competition, choosing the right one for your body is essential!

Have you used a singlet before, or do you currently use one? If so, what are your thoughts so far?


  1. Abul Fazel Mohammad Fahad Halim, Iftar Khairul Alam, Tahmina Akhter, “Comparative Study of the Effect of Lycra on Single Jersey and 1×1 Rib Made from 100% Cotton and Cotton/Lycra Yarns”, The Asian Institute of Research, https://papers.ssrn.com/sol3/papers.cfm?abstract_id=3419653 (Accessed January 16 2024).
  2. International Powerlifting Federation Technical Rules Book, https://www.powerlifting.sport/fileadmin/ipf/data/rules/technical-rules/english/IPF_Technical_Rules_Book_2024_Dec_16.pdf (Accessed January 16 2024).
  3. Wayne L Westcott, “Resistance Training is Medicine: Effects of Strength Training on Health”, National Center for Biotechnology Information, https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/22777332/ (Accessed January 16 2024).
  4. International Powerlifting Rulebook, https://www.usapowerlifting.com/wp-content/uploads/2023/09/USAPL-Rulebook-v2023.1.pdf (Accessed January 16 2024).
  5. Francisca Margarita Ocran, Xiaofen Ji, Lina Zhai, “The Impact of Sports Bra Features on Measured and Perceived Pressure for Torso Movement of the Upper Body”, Journal of Engineered Fibers and Fabrics https://journals.sagepub.com/doi/full/10.1177/15589250221127393 (Accessed January 16 2024).
Sergii Putsov

Author: Sergii Putsov

PhD in Sport Science, Olympic weightlifting, Strength & Conditioning coach and fitness expert

Sergii Putsov is a professional weightlifter with over 20 years of experience and multiple national medals. He was a member of the National weightlifting team, competing in the 94 kg weight class. Sergii holds a master’s degree in Olympic & Professional Sport Training and a Ph.D. in Sport Science. After his athletic career, Sergii transitioned into coaching and is now responsible for designing training programs, writing blog articles, providing live commentary for international weightlifting competitions, and hosting sport and fitness seminars worldwide.

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One Comment

  1. This is an interesting article that describes in some detail what is best to wear under a singlet for Olympic weightlifting, powerlifting, etc. Personally, I prefer wearing a compression T-shirt as it makes me feel as comfortable as possible. Indeed, I’ve encountered rules similar to those described in the article for both training and competitions.

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