The objective of powerlifting is simple – lift as much weight as possible. If you’ve been wanting to learn more about the techniques and benefits of powerlifting but have never gotten around to it, today is your lucky day. Read on to discover all of the benefits of powerlifting – and why you should try it!
What Is Powerlifting?
Powerlifting, not to be confused with Olympic lifting, is a sport in which an individual tries to pull a maximum one-rep weight in the deadlift, squat and bench press exercises. During a competition a competitor is allowed three chances at their one rep maximum for each exercise, which means they have a total of nine lifts to complete.
Powerlifting is about more than competitions however. In fact, not all power lifters compete, but instead use the training techniques to maximize strength, power, and physique.
A typical powerlifting routine is broken down into four training sessions a week, with two sessions focusing on bench press and two focusing on the squat and deadlift. These sessions are then divided into dynamic effort days or maximum effort days. A dynamic effort day focuses on explosively lifting the weight while a maximum effort day is all about lifting very heavy weights to achieve maximum strength.
One very important aspect to a power lifters training is to focus on the weak points in their lifts. Power lifters use their training sessions to iron out any kinks or weaknesses in the movement of their lifts, such as the ability to lock out elbows during a bench press. Working on these weaknesses ensures that when competition time comes, the competitor will be able to pull their heaviest weight without any flaws in technique to hold them back.
You don’t have to be a powerlifting competitor to benefit from the following powerlifting training techniques:
Increase Muscle Size
Prolonged heavy lifting is one of the best ways to increase muscle strength and size. While volume training has its place in building muscle as well, powerlifting increases mass far more so than volume training does. Powerlifting helps to build not only desired muscle mass but also strength.
Greater Caloric Burn
Have you ever noticed how power lifters are completely out of breath after their one rep maximum? That’s because heavy lifting, especially lifts that engage the leg muscles, use an incredible amount of energy and strength. This type of training causes an increase in heart rate which means you will be burning calories and shredding fat. Lifting heavy also causes an increase in metabolism similar to aerobic exercise; however increase in metabolism lasts far longer with heavy lifting than with aerobic exercise. The increase in muscle mass also turns your body into a calorie-burning machine, which leads to a far better physique in the end.
Improved Bone Health
Weight lifting helps to build strong bones, which is why power lifters are known for having bones as strong as steel. Lifting heavy can help combat symptoms of aging such as osteoporosis as well as joint problems, as long as the lifts are done with proper technique.
You don’t have to be a powerlifting competitor to benefit from their training methods. Start implanting the techniques of powerlifting into your current lifting routine today and watch your strength, mass and fitness all improve.
Fancy yourself as the next greatest powerlifter? Check out our awesome 1 Rep Max Calculator, and see how you perform.