Powerlifting training: What is it and how can it benefit you?

Powerlifting is a strength sport that includes three main lifts: squat, bench press, and deadlift. The goal of powerlifting is to lift the heaviest weight possible for each of the three lifts with participants competing in various weight classes. Powerlifting requires an exceptional level of strength, muscle mass and technical proficiency, and athletes generally undergo rigorous training to improve their performance in each of the lifts.

What are the benefits of powerlifting training?

  1. Increased strength and muscle mass: Powerlifting involves heavy lifting with a focus on three main lifts (squat, bench press, and deadlift). These lifts help to build strength and muscle mass, particularly in the legs, chest, back, and arms. Lifting heavier in the gym also makes lifting outside the gym a lot easier.
  2. Improved bone density: Powerlifting is a weight-bearing exercise that helps to build bone density, lowering the risk of osteoporosis and other bone-related conditions
  3. Improved cardiovascular health: The intense lifting sessions can elevate your heart rate and improve blood flow, leading to better cardiovascular fitness. The benefits to cardiovascular health will be more prominent to people who are new to training.
  4. Increased metabolism: As powerlifting builds muscle mass, it also increases metabolism. This is because the more muscle you have the more calories you burn at rest meaning that powerlifting can help with weight loss if that is important to you.
  5. Improved joint health: Powerlifting can help to improve joint health by conditioning muscles around the joints of the knee, hip and shoulder. This can reduce the risk of joint injury and increase mobility. It can also help with joint conditions such as knee osteoarthritis.
  6. Reduced risk of chronic diseases: Regular powerlifting can help to reduce the risk of chronic diseases such as diabetes, cardiovascular disease, and hypertension.
  7. Increased body coordination: Controlling and activating all the right muscles to move a heavy weight develops a significant amount of body coordination.
  8. Improve pain in chronic lower back pain: a 2022 paper by Gibbs et al. showed that a powerlifting program paired with pain education significantly improved pain in individuals with chronic lower back pain. Powerlifting style training can help people that live with chronic pain be more active, overcome fear of movement and improve secondary health conditions.

Overall, powerlifting can provide a range of health benefits, from increased strength and muscle mass to improved bone density, cardiovascular health, and joint health. Powerlifting can help improve someone’s confidence with movement. Powerlifting training isn’t the only form of exercise to achieve these outcomes, however, it can be a great way to get active if you are having issues with your strength.

Reference List

  1. Gibbs MT, Morrison NM, Raftry S, Jones MD, Marshall PW. Does a powerlifting inspired exercise programme better compliment pain education compared to bodyweight exercise for people with chronic low back pain? A multicentre, single-blind, randomised controlled trial. Clinical Rehabilitation. 2022;36(9):1199-1213. doi:10.1177/02692155221095484

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