Training powerlifter

Published on February 4th, 2014 | by Joe Starks


Exercise Spotlight: Powerlifting

Powerlifting is, according to the vast majority of its athletes, a man’s sport. It is all about lifting the highest amount of weight possible and having the muscles to show off the effort. Many confuse powerlifting with Olympic lifting. The basic idea might be the same, but powerlifting is more like a manly event of power and not an extremely strict, one way sport. In powerlifting competitions you usually lift in three different positions. Men competing in raw strength are as ancient a phenomenon as the first male ape that begun to walk on his rear feet. It is a very primal sport, so there can’t really be given a date of when it begun. Showing off your strength comes very natural to men and doing so in an orderly, sportsmanlike manner, is a very human way to do it.

How to Start Powerlifting

First of all this sport isn’t for everyone. There are women’s federations in some places, but it is a male dominated sport. You have to be sure your health can actually take it. You must have an injury free, strong back and a generally pristine health record. It takes a lot of perseverance, stamina and strength to become a good powerlifter, so make sure you actually want the lifestyle as well as the results.

You have to diet strictly if you want to be as strong as possible. Powerlifters might not look like male underwear models most of the time, but their body mass is by a magnificent percent pure muscle. You must know that fatty foods and sweets will be a thing of the past. Lean meat, non-sweet starchy foods and fruit will be the basis of your diet. You have to avoid excess fat by all costs so you will probably never eat deep fried food or pre-prepared meals.

If you are ok with all this you have to find a federation. Just find one that does competitions often enough for you in your area. Sign up and be there when an event happens. Make sure you have a Singlet (the characteristic powerlifter piece of clothing) with you because you can’t compete in any kind of clothes. You need to get some food with you and any type of equipment you need to be comfortable, like a music player and a few towels.

How to Train for Powerlifting Competitions

The most important part of powerlifting is of course the training. No matter how well you eat and how good you prepare mentally, you need those muscles to perform. There are hundreds of different training regimes out there, telling you how many repetitions and what kind of weight is ideal to lift when. In truth things are much simpler.

You do many repetitions of weights that are light for you, so you grow stamina, and you do a few repetitions of heavy weights once in a while to establish your records. Every two weeks you either increase repetitions or the weight you lift. If you work out carefully, but with all your passion you simply can’t fail. Powerlifting is all about strength and training for it is no different. You have to test your strength daily, meaning both your endurance and how much you can lift in one go.

Dangers of Powerlifting

Powerlifting is not for the faint of heart. Here is a list with some of the negative points of powerlifting as a sport:

  • Children should NEVER powerlift. It can stunt growth and cause orthopedic problems. This is a sport for men not children (including the occasional adult woman of course).
  • The elderly should not powerlift. While lifting some weights can be great for people of old age, trying hard to break your records can end up with immense injuries when you are old. You might even end up with a broken back… or dead.
  • Never powerlift alone. Always have another equally strong individual with you, just in case you need help.
  • Do not test your records when you are not in peak condition. Only lift extreme weights when you are rested, have eaten well and are well hydrated and in excellent health.
  • Do not lift weights while injured.

All in all, powerlifting is a sport for the daring, healthy men who want to test their limits. There are of course extraordinary women who try their might, but it is always men that hold the highest records and usually have the most drive to do this kind of sport. Remember to always make sure you are doing things safely and that you enjoy the journey just as much as the destination!


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