As far as sports go, powerlifting is relatively easy to get into without having to fork out much cash money for gear. Equipment gear I mean.
You can just wear shorts and a t-shirt, a pair of fairly boring, non-specific shoes, and get started at almost any old gym.
A Weightlifting Belt
It won’t be long though before you bump up against someone wearing a pretty sturdy looking belt, which they do up and then undo as soon as their set’s finished.
Eventually you’ll get chatting, and ask them about it, at which point they’ll let you borrow it for a set, and you’ll leave the gym thinking about getting your own belt.
Maybe you’ll check Marketplace or just google ‘powerlifting belt’ and voila, you’ll find something or other for $100 (subtotal $100), and you’re now the proud owner of a belt, and you can start carrying it around knowing people will realise you’re kind of a big deal.
Eventually, you’ll start to wonder, ‘what are those shoes that that girl is wearing?’ and you’ll start googling again. After a few hours of YouTube you’ll find out all about using a heel when you squat, and you’ll discover that Marketplace is completely bereft of second hand weightlifting shoes, and you’ll be forced to spend $260 (subtotal now of $360) on a pair of shoes you’ll maybe wear twice a week, at best. Now though, you’re committed. You’ve got a belt, you’ve got shoes, you’ve found a bag that’s suitable to carry all your important gym gear that doesn’t make you look like a stringlet douche, and you’re ready to get serious (subtotal now $520 because you bought the bag and bought some wrist wraps while you’re there, because they look pretty professional, and of course the ubiquitous knee sleeves).
Your New Powerlifting Gym
At this point, you realise you’re way too elite for your crappy commercial gym, so you start googling ‘powerlifting gym’. Not that much pops up, but there are a few options, so you start looking at websites. You pick one, rock up and HOLY SHIT WHAT’S WITH ALL THE CAMERAS? Not really, the first thing you’ll notice is the relatively sedate clothing choices, and the second is that almost everyone seems to be doing something productive that involves a barbell. At this point you’ll start asking questions about what gear you’ll need and, aside from a competition singlet (eventually) you’ll realise you already have everything. EXCEPT, your current gear is nowhere near expensive enough.
A New(er) Belt, Shoes, Knee Sleeves etc.
You’ll need a new belt (new subtotal $330), new wrist wraps (your old ones were fine but new gym new you, subtotal $380), your shoes are still good, but you’ll need to get a shirt or two to rep your new gym (subtotal $440), then there’s lifting straps, ammonia, knee wraps for when you start competing and get pressured into sanctioned comps filled with overly large, tattooed characters and various other odds and ends that just gradually accumulate over time, like the tripod for your camera, so you can get a good angle for your instagram ‘training log’.
By this stage, you’re well and truly a powerlifter and whatever you’ve spent is now irrelevant (subtotal $infinity), because you’ve joined the upper echelons of society. New equipment is just a natural progression and you’ve stopped counting the cost. It no longer matters, it’s just part of who you are now.
In summary, you’ll need a belt, maybe some lifting shoes, knee sleeves, and wrist wraps. Don’t skimp on the belt or sleeves (it’s really SBD or nothing), everything else don’t spend too much – they’re all much the same.