You want to start powerlifting, well there are a couple of things you need to consider before you start.
Before you start, you need to understand the fundamentals, so that you can build upon these and improve your overall strength. We have put together this article, to help you understand how to start powerlifting.
What Is Powerlifting?
Powerlifting is a type of sport that is centered around strength. It is all about maximum strength in the deadlift, squat, and bench press. When athletes are competing, they are put in age and weight categories.
The goal of powerlifting is to lift as much weight as you can in a rep. Then at the end of the competition, your heaviest bench press, deadlift, and squat are all added up and this then gives you your powerlifting total.
However, not everyone who takes up powerlifting ends up competing. A lot of people will power lift, as they just want to improve their overall strength. A lot of people enjoy the training style of powerlifting, and enjoy the reward for increasing their raw strength.
In essence, powerlifting involves you completing the main movements frequently when you work-out. However, there are a lot of variations of these lifts that you can complete as well. Thus, the overall goal of powerlifting is very different from bodybuilders.
Powerlifters want every muscle that they can to pull off the one move. While bodybuilders will isolate the muscles that they want to grow and get stronger. However, bodybuilders are all about appearance, while powerlifters are about strength, not appearance.
Benefits Of Powerlifting
You may not be sure if powerlifting is right for you, and it does provide you with a couple of benefits.
Powerlifting is all about how much you can lift. As a result, if you want to lift some really heavy weights, then you need to build up your strength in your upper and lower body. This will then improve your overall physical health and your strength will increase rapidly.
However, powerlifting isn't just about strength. It has other benefits too. Like if you play another sport such as hockey or baseball, powerlifting can help with your performance in that sport too.
You will have learned how to move your body correctly, whilst also increasing your body’s muscle mass. You will become tougher and perform better.
There are also health benefits powerlifting can achieve, such as preventing muscle loss. This is because as we get older, we lose muscle mass a lot quicker. After we reach the age of 40 years old, we lose 8% of our muscle mass every 10 years.
However powerlifting, or any high-intensity training can slow down this process. Thus, it slows this process down, but also at the same time increases our bone density. This is more important for older individuals and any athletes that take part in contact sports.
The following will help you perform the perfect squat for powerlifting.
- For the right squat technique, you want to start by practicing on a low bar position. This will help build up the strength and muscles in your glutes. You need to be in the best squatting stance for you. This may be sumo or the traditional squat stance. You should also be holding a barbell in your hands.
- When it comes to powerlifting and squats, you need to learn and make sure that you brace your core properly. This will help you with the weight, but also help support your back while squatting.
- Once you are ready to squat, you should bend both your knees and hips at the same time. You should squat low. You need to watch out for your knees, they can go forward, but you need to keep an eye on them so that they don't go inwards.
- Now you have squatted low, you can stand back up. As your hips go up, then the barbell should move upwards as well.
- The barbell adds more weight, but also makes you focus on your balance and stance while squatting.
The following will help you to perform the perfect bench press technique for powerlifting.
- When it comes to powerlifting and the bench press, you need to know how to perform a proper bench press arch. This is when you try to extend your mid-back to reduce the motion and activate more muscle fibers in your lower pecs.
- Start off with the best bench press grip for you. For most people, this will be around 2x the distance between their shoulders.
- Bring the barbell down quickly but carefully, so you don't waste any energy.
- You want your elbows to be directly underneath the barbell or just slightly in front. Whichever is more comfortable and natural for you.
- Then, you will want to use all your body, and press your feet into the floor. This will provide you with a stable stance.
- You should drive the barbell from the floor to your chest and then up and slightly back. Try to drive through your body, and lockout strongly. With this motion, you want to be strong and aggressive as you lock out, as they are thought out and direct decisions.
The following will help you achieve the perfect deadlift technique.
- It is up to you which style of deadlift you use. It can either be traditional or sumo, the choice is yours.
- Again, you want to find your preferred deadlift grip width. You don't want to grip the bar too wide apart, otherwise, this causes you to have to deal with a lot more motion. Make sure that you are gripping hard, as you want to be reassured that you have a tight grip on the barbell.
- When you are deadlifting, you always want to keep your back straight. You need to learn how to breathe properly while deadlifting. As you don't want to pass out, it will help with the weight and protect your back and spine.
- Ready to deadlift? Then you want to really push from the floor, as this will activate your quads.
- Once you get the barbell to your knees, you want to try and pull the barbell up by thrusting your hips forward.
- Be aggressive in your pulling actions and in the end lockout everything. Your knees, hips, and shoulders should all be locked out.
Once you have got the basic techniques down, you can start thinking about a powerlifting training program to follow. This will help you improve and in the end improve your overall strength.
There are lots of training programs out there, so you could find one online, or you can make your own.
When looking at training programs, you want to make sure that you are completing the powerlifting movements at least twice or three times a week.
The more you complete these movements, the better you will get at them, and then you can move on to bigger and heavier weights.
Always think about what your goals are. The short-term goal is typically to build bigger muscles and increase strength. However, it is always important to think about your long-term goal as well. This is even more significant if you are going to compete in competitions.
You should be able to do a certain weight for so many reps for a certain period of time before trying to move on. However, you should always be ready to move on, before adding more weight.
There are varieties of the common powerlifting movements, so you need to find one that works for you. This can be a bit of trial and error and come back to different variations over time.
Alongside this, the best training program should always have plenty of recovery time. This is because when lifting heavy weights, your muscles rip. They then need time to recover so that they can grow and get bigger.
Which then means that we get stronger over time as well. If you don't have enough recovery time, then your performance will suffer, and you will peak and stay at one level.
A good tip is for each workout to be centered on one of the powerlifting movements. Then you will give enough time to each movement to improve and get better at. Which will then improve your overall performance.
It is quite easy to start powerlifting, and anyone can start at any age. It is all about the three main lifts: squat, deadlift, and bench press. Your workouts should be focused on these lifts and over time increasing the weight that you use for each lift.
You don't have to compete to be a powerlifter, but powerlifting will make you much stronger. Which can help with other sports and overall health.
When you start powerlifting, you want to make sure that you got the basics secured, and then you can slowly and gradually move on. The basics include the proper techniques and once they are secure you can start adding and increasing the weights used.