Powerlifting is a phenomenal sport in which competitors measure power and strength against each other. Months of training and preparing leads up to one huge event. But when it’s all said and done, it basically comes down to you against the weight.
But first of all, what exactly is powerlifting?
Powerlifting includes three different movements; the squat, the bench press and the deadlift. The sports primary focus is the amount of weight lifted, with little focus on technique or precision.RELATED: RECOMMENDED PLANS FOR YOU
Now this isn’t to say that precision and technique aren’t used, it’s just not the primary focus in a competition. Each participant is placed in a particular division depending on experience level, weight class, and age group.
At the end of the competition, awards are given out to the competitors with the highest/heaviest squat, bench press, deadlift, and total in their division.
The total is determined by the sum of his or her best lifts, and the lifter with the highest total is considered the all-around strongest lifter in that division.
But before entering any competitions, there’s that fun, but drooling tasks called training. Training to be a powerlifter doesn’t mean you have to change up your entire workout routine.
If your progress is consistent, and you follow a well prepared and designed program, you’re already on the right track. All you really need to do is find out your 1 rep max in each of the powerlifting categories (Squat, Bench Press and Deadlift).
Now even though the squat, bench press and deadlift should be a major part of your program, they should not be the only exercises you perform.
There are several other exercises you can perform in order to build a strong base. Some examples are curls, bent-over rolls, pull ups, military press and lat pull downs, which are all good upper body exercises.
For the lower body, lunges, leg press, leg extensions and leg curls are just a few examples.
Remember, the squat, the bench press and the deadlift use every muscle in your body, so be sure to build a strong foundation.
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Several lifters seem to only train the 3 big lifts which are tested in the competitions, but it is important to train all your musculature in order to lift better.
The teres minor, glute medius, and the transverse abdominis are all muscles that provide a support system for your bench, squat, and deadlift.
Make sure to stretch your muscles before lifting weights. Making sure your muscles are warmed up before your workout is a great way to avoid strains, sprains, tears and other common weight lifting injuries. Proper form when training is extremely important. Always make sure you have near perfect form for all reps in all sets.
If your form starts to go out of whack in the middle of a set, that means that weight is too heavy and needs to be dropped to a more manageable weight, bad form can cause injuries.
Weight lifters often make the problem worse by continuing to work out, even though they begin to feel pain or discomfort. One of the best steps for lifters in preventing injuries is to be aware of their body.
Always listen to your body, if you begin to feel a new pain, especially if it is felt during a specific movement or exercise, consider taking a break from your workout.
Cutting back on painful activities will give your injuries time to heal, and in most cases make you a little stronger physically as well as mentally.
With good preparation, a well-designed routine and a solid work ethic, powerlifting can be a fun and rewarding sport.