First and foremost, it is important to understand what powerlifting is. Powerlifting is one of the most exciting sports and tests physical and psychological strength. What makes it so interesting is the fact that you will always be a winner. When you set your personal goal and attain it, it really does not matter whether you came in third. You will still get the self-satisfaction of meeting your target.
Many people, however, often confuse it with bodybuilding. On the contrary, powerlifting is about competing to lift as much weight as possible is three exercises – squat, bench press, and deadlift. Therefore, to be a successful powerlifter, you will need sufficient training in all three lift categories.
Today we will get you through the basics of becoming a powerlifter.
What you need to be a powerlifter
Like any other sport, there are a number of things that are a must-have for any powerlifter to be able to both train and compete effectively. Different advertisers have their own lists and the sheer number of requirements is pretty mind blowing. However, not all these are an absolute necessity. Many are things you can do without. Additionally, depending on the federation you decide to join, the list of requirements may differ.
There are however some items that go a long way in ensuring that you are able to push your limits without causing physical damage. These are what we say are a must-have.
Flat shoes: Unlike sneakers and other footwear that have raised heels, Flat shoes allow for even weight distribution through the back of your foot. This is very important in ensuring your leg muscles are worked evenly and also improves your overall balance.
High socks: Considering the intensity of powerlifting and also the fact that your legs do a lot of work, blood flow in usually heightened in the legs, especially the shins. High socks are therefore important in aiding blood circulation by applying constant pressure to your legs and so blood flow through the veins is not slowed.
Lifting belt: These are great for improving strength and performance while at the same time reducing the risk of injuries. You should, however, be careful not to become overly dependent on them as this can cause you to overlook some important elements of your training. Therefore, train as often as possible without the belt and only use it during competitions.
Wrist Wraps: Their sole function is to stabilize your wrists when lifting weights. They consequently allow you to lift heavier weights more comfortably without the risk of injuries. Though they are most commonly used during bench presses, you can still wear them when doing squats too.
Training and Training Programs for Beginners
Now, after getting these items, you are ready to begin training. However, many people expect to go from 15-ounce curls to doing 400-pound squats overnight. This is a very misleading mentality. When beginning a training program, it is important to bear in mind that it will take some hard training, discipline and time to get you there.
If you are new to resistance training, it is imperative that you do base training. This should not be based on power lifts only. Bench presses, squats, and deadlifts will definitely be predominant in your training but should be incorporated with other forms of exercise to help you build a firmer base. Additionally, you should start with moderate weights and add 5 to 10 pounds every week or two. This way, you will be assured of making gains the more you train.
As a beginner, you should also consult with your coach or trainer on the best training routine for you. Some famous training routines are the Westside, Metal Militia, hybrid, 2×2, and 3×3. Not all of them are however conducive for beginners. But a good routine for beginners is the 5×5 routine. This will help you get into good form and also familiarize you with lifts, and also the use of partial movements in a training routine.
It is also great because you will not be required to do single sets of three respectively and so possibility of injury does not arise. By the time you get to more demanding routines like the Westside and Metal Militia, you will already be well introduced to do the sets comfortably.