What is Power Lifting? Beginner’s Guide

September 8, 2020 by No Comments

powerlifting is a discipline within strength sports whose main objective is to lift as much weight as possible in 3 different exercises.


The beginning of this sport was in United States at the end of the 50s . He was born in gyms where bodybuilding was the main sport practiced.

They started by holding small tournaments in which competitors demonstrated the strength and amount of weight they were able to move in the 3 exercises that we will describe below, in a simpler way in terms of movement complexity, as occurs in weightlifting.

In the mid-60s it had place the first national competition in the USA. A few years later, in 1971, the first competition worldwide. The following year, in 1972 the International Powelifting Federation (IPF) was founded.

In Europe, the arrival of this sport was much slower since it began to be practiced only in England. It was not until the year 1977 the first European championship was held, in the city of Brimingham.

Currently, in Spain, there are three associations:

  • GPE or Global Powerlifting Spain
  • WPC or World Powerlifting Congress
  • AEP or Spanish Association de Pwerlifting

What exercises are practiced?

As we have mentioned, the powerlifting consists of moving the greatest amount of weight in 3 basic exercises that are the squat, bench press and deadlift.

Squat: involves the lower body. Glutes, hamstrings and quadriceps are worked.

This exercise in powerlifting, the type of squat that is performed is a deep squat in which the hips must be below the knees once we have flexed and descended. In competitions mainly, the performance of any movement of the bar on the shoulders is prohibited.

  • Bench Press: only upper body exercise in which strength is measured of arms and chest. The main condition is that you cannot bounce the bar on your chest. It is also not allowed to take off the gluteus from the bench.
  • Deadlift: mainly involves the lower body, although the upper body is also involved due to the grip and hold of the bar.

What are the benefits of practicing this sport?

Remarkable increase in body strength and improvement of physical condition.

Our overall strength will increase progressively as we perform the workouts. In addition, our muscles will adapt to this type of stimulus, not only internally, but also physically. It favors muscle development and hypertrophy.

Low risk of injury.

As long as it is performed with the supervisor of a professional, and with loads appropriate, the risk of injury is low. The weight in each movement will depend on the current condition of the person and will change over time.

Improves mental strength.

The to achieve different goals and weights in each movement, seeing the progress and evolution is a great incentive to continue maintaining effort, discipline and motivation.

High caloric expenditure.

It is a sport in which the calories consumed during training are very high. It is important to eat correctly to have enough energy to face this demanding sport.

What is a powerlifting competition like?

In a powerlifting competition, each competitor executes the three exercises described above, with a complete course and according to the regulations of the federation. From one federation to another the rules of each movement can vary considerably.

Each participant has 3 opportunities to lift the maximum weight possible in each exercise. The valid lift will be the one with the heaviest load. The order of performance of the exercises is first squat, then bench press and lastly deadlift.

The winners:

An individual winner is selected for each event and one for the sum of the 3 events. In the event of a tie, the winner will be the competitor with the lowest body weight.

Tips for your first class or training

  • Select the appropriate loads . In time you will progress. It is important to start executing the three movements with a correct technique, which we must perfect and improve.
  • Quality versus quantity : it is important that the repetitions you perform in each series of each exercise are of quality versus quantity.
  • It is not necessary to train every day. Rest is a fundamental pillar. You need to recover after every workout. Allow at least 2-3 days to pass.
  • Look for a specialized coach in this discipline, especially if it is the first time you work with weights. It is also important for you to periodize your training, the progressions of strength.
  • Establish a taking of initial marks so that you have references with which to compare your progress. The purpose is to find out our RM or Maximum Record in each exercise.

What equipment is necessary?

The clothes : you can buy an elastic jumpsuit so that the movement is released even though it is not necessary unless you are going to compete. Try to wear comfortable clothing that allows all movements and is elastic.

Footwear : there are specific footwear for lifting. Also, if we are starting out, we can do it with a shoe that is completely flat. It is important to have a good support surface.

Belt : it can help us avoid injuries as it helps to keep the back in the correct position and have a base on which to exert force .

Wristbands : to support the joint especially in the bench press and deadlift as they can suffer and thus avoid injuries.

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