What is the difference between the APF and AAPF?
APF stands for the American Powerlifting Federation. AAPF stands for the Amateur American Powerlifting Federation. The only technical rule difference between the two is that the AAPF tests for anabolic substances, while the APF does not. The APF was the original organization started by Ernie Frantz in the early 1980s. The AAPF was created in 1997 by Ernie, developed to bring amateur (tested) lifting to a venue that is already established with the powerlifting community, so that all lifters may compete on the same platform. Almost all local, state and regional meets in Illinois are sanctioned by APF and AAPF. Some states only have APF meets, not wanting to worry about the drug testing. The only meets that are completely separate with the APF and AAPF are the National and World Meets. In addition, separate records are kept at the State, National, and World level with the APF and AAPF.
While the only technical difference is that of testing, the practical difference is that the APF is the place for the higher level of competition. The APF leads to the WPO, the professional (paid) organization that have the best of the best powerlifters in the world [see below for a further explanation]. The AAPF is a better place to start for the novice or the younger, beginning lifters, and is the place for those lifters who choose not to take any banned substances. AAPF lifters are certainly not all novice lifters, however, as many great lifts and lifters are in the AAPF. While the APF is not tested, however, it does not mean that all the lifters are quote “juicing.” Many lifters who lift in the APF as opposed to the AAPF due it for the higher level of competition.
So, again, in short, the only technical difference between the APF and AAPF is that the AAPF conducts drug testing while the APF does not. The drug testing the AAPF is done on 10% of lifters in a meet by urinalysis. The banned substance list only includes anabolic steroid type substances, not like the IOC or NCAA banned substance list which includes other drugs. If your test comes up positive in the AAPF, you will immediately be banned for life from the AAPF. You can immediately lift in the APF, however. If you have taken banned substances in the past, you must be “drug free” or off of banned substances for five (5) years before entering the AAPF. While practically this limit is hard to enforce, if is always difficult to determine how long some substances may take to leave your system. Some lifters have tested positive after supposed being off for 18 months to 2 years or more. You are playing with fire if you enter the AAPF before the five year time period is up, and remember that the first positive test is a lifetime ban.