In a world of hashtags and fitness inspiration, it can be hard to choose a fitness regimen to which one can commit themselves. One website might say running is the best way to stay healthy while another says that running is torture on the joints and should be done sparingly.
The truth is, there are pros and cons to every type of exercise. All you can do is find something you enjoy and do it as much as possible. If you are interested in weight training and want to keep things simple, you should try powerlifting.
What is Powerlifting?
Powerlifting consists of three different lifts: bench presses, squats, and deadlifts. While the sport is only made up of a few movements, athletes who powerlift often incorporate different variations and accessory work to support their overall strength. So, if you like doing bicep curls, you won’t have to give them up to channel your inner powerlifter.
The bench press is as it sounds: you lie on your back on a bench and bring the bar to your chest from the rack overhead in a slow, controlled motion. Then, you propel the bar upward using muscles in your arms, back, chest, core, and even legs.
In the squat, you place the barbell on your back while it is resting on a squat rack. While holding the bar securely in place along the top of your back, you squat down to a parallel or below parallel position and drive the bar back up with explosive force.
Deadlifts are named as such because you are moving weight from a dead stop without momentum or inertia to help you. For this lift, you will grab the bar while in a partial squat position, then use your legs to push upward until you are fully erect while holding the bar.
These are simple explanations to give you an idea of the three powerlifting movements, but the lifts themselves are quite technical. When powerlifting, form is key.
Benefits of Powerlifting
Powerlifting is an exercise that engages your anaerobic energy system. This means that you are exerting an extreme amount of energy for a short period of time. Some of the benefits of this form of exercise include:
- Stronger bones
- Muscle growth
- Better body composition
- Weight management
Powerlifting has also become an empowering sport for women who are entering the strength training world and leaving behind the idea that females should only do cardio while lifting small weights, so as to not get too bulky.
To be able to powerlift, you will need to find a gym that has squat racks or a monolift, barbells, weights, and a bench. For personal gear, you will want to invest in a quality powerlifting belt and wrist wraps. As you progress, you may be interested in more gear, but these are just the basic must-have items.
If you decide to build your own powerlifting sanctuary at home, some additional research will be required. According to gym equipment Brisbane experts Atomic Mass, you will need sturdy benches and squat racks, made well with high-quality steel. The same applies when purchasing barbells and weights.
To ensure you are doing the lifts properly, you might require assistance in checking your form. Consider posting to online powerlifting groups for critique, or working with a coach who can assist your training. A coach can also provide you with a program that focuses on progression and can help you meet your goals.
Whether you decide to work with a coach, a training buddy, or on your own, be sure to follow proper safety precautions. Use a spotter when trying a new weight and use safety rails when you are benching or squatting alone. Powerlifting can be a great way to get in shape when the moves are done correctly, but can be dangerous for even the most experienced lifters as the weight increases.