Powerlifters are some of the strongest people on earth. Powerlifting is a competitive international sport, where the goal is to lift as much weight as possible. Perhaps, you’ve seen them on television in the “World’s Strongest Man” competitions.
Those athletes lift trucks, pull airplanes, and throw kegs over high walls. How did they get that strong? The simple answer is – from lifting lots of weight, and of course the proper diet.
Your fitness goal may not include lifting trucks, or pulling airplanes; nevertheless, a powerlifting training routine is one of the most effective ways to gain brute strength. Unlike a traditional bodybuilding routine, which is geared towards sculpting your muscles, a powerlifting workout aims at increasing your overall strength, power, and muscle size.
Safety During Powerlifting Training
Because of the amount of weight involved, it is best to approach this routine with caution. When performing powerlifting movements, you will need to use strict form to help prevent injury to your joints.
One of the areas of the body that is susceptible to injury during these moves is the lower back. For that reason, it is crucial that you protect your back by keeping your abdominal muscles engaged, while performing the exercises.
If you are a novice, start slow, and gradually build up to lifting heavier weights. It is always best to work out with someone during this type of training. A partner can spot you during heavy lifts, and help motivate you at the same time.
Benefits of Powerlifting Training
You will definitely need to be motivated to stick to a rigorous weight lifting routine, but the rewards can be well worth it. A powerlifting program will offer you the following benefits:
- First and foremost, you will get stronger. Lifting heavy weights is perhaps the most important component to increase muscle size and strength.
- The explosive nature of this workout burns loads of calories. According to a study completed by Harvard University, a 185 pound person will expend 266 calories during 30 minutes of vigorous weight lifting.
- Done correctly, powerlifting helps reduce the risk of osteoporosis. Research has shown that lifting weights actually help your bones to grow thicker.
- Powerlifting helps reduce stress, therefore reducing the risk of heart disease. Because of its intensity, this kind of training will also increase cardiovascular and muscle endurance.
- Another natural byproduct of powerlifting training is increased self-confidence. As you notice yourself getting stronger, you will gain an enormous sense of accomplishment.
A successful powerlifting routine should consist of compound movements, such as squats, deadlifts, and presses. During training, concentrate on lifting heavy weight with low repetitions.
This sample routine can be done 3 days a week and should have 1 day of rest between workouts.
Perform 4 sets of 3 to 5 repetitions of each exercise, and remember to increase the weight after each set.
Also, many of these powerlifting exercises require strict adherence to proper form as well as the assistance of a spotter.
- Bench Press – Start with your back flat on the bench and both feet on the floor. Lift the bar off the rack and lower it to your chest. Perform this exercise by pressing the bar straight out away from your chest.
- Dumbbell Military Press – Start in a seated position and have your spotter hand you two dumbbells at shoulder level. Press the weights straight out above your head and then lower them to the starting position.
- Dips – Find a set of parallel bars or a dip station. Grab the handles and push your body off the floor upright into the starting position. Lower yourself until your elbows are about parallel with the floor, and then push back up to the starting position. Keep your elbows tucked in, close to your body.
- Squats – Use a barbell and a squat rack for this exercise. With your legs about shoulder width apart, dismount the bar from the rack and rest it on your shoulders, behind your neck. With the bar in this position, squat down until your knees are about parallel with the floor, and then stand back up to the starting position.
- Dumbbell Lunge – Grab a pair of dumbbells, and lunge one leg forward with a long stride. Your back knee will almost be touching the ground, as you step forward. When you feel your front heal, touch the ground, step forward with the other leg.
- Deadlift – Place a barbell on the ground and add your desired amount of weight. Stand next to the bar with feet shoulder length apart. Squat down and grasp the bar with one palm facing towards you, and the other facing towards the bar.
- Lift the bar by standing straight up, and then lower the bar back down in a controlled movement.
- Bent-Over Dumbbell Rows – Place a pair of dumbbells next to a weight bench. Place one knee and opposite arm on the bench and bend over to grab the weight. In this position, pull the dumbbell towards your chest, and then lower it back down to the ground.
- To work the other side of your body, you will switch the weight to the other arm and repeat the same amount of repetitions.
This basic powerlifting training can be modified by adding additional exercises if needed. The strength building exercises of this program are the squat, deadlift, and the bench press. These compound movements are essential to the foundation of this program.
Those simple power movements combined with heavy weight and a proper diet will significantly help build mass and muscle on your body.