10 Reasons Why You Should Start Powerlifting
A quick look at Instagram, fitness forums, Bodybuilding.com and YouTube tells you all you need to know - powerlifting is IN right now. Instagram alone has 12 million posts with the hashtag #powerlifting, and that number is growing every day. From form checks to PRs, people love sharing their successes in what is one of the fastest growing strength sports, but is it all hype? We’re sure it’s not, and here’s 10 reasons why you should get under a bar, and move some weight.
1. Low Barrier to Entry
Compared to other sports, Powerlifting can be almost free to start. All you need is a gym membership where you can start moving weight. Most gyms will have a squat rack and weightlifting bench where you can start getting used to the movements and see if you like the sport. Once you commit, you can get specialized equipment, like a belt, knee sleeves, and squat shoes, however, it can be up to and over a year before you need any equipment at all!
2. Increase Bone Density
Strength training doesn’t just make your muscles stronger, it’s good for your bones too! One of the best ways to build bone density is by performing load-bearing exercise. This is one of the reasons that powerlifting is particularly beneficial for women - who are at higher risk for bone ailments like osteoporosis.
3. Safest Method of Weightlifting
Powerlifting involves being incredibly controlled under weight, and often reps are done very slowly and along the body’s natural planes of motion. Because of this, there is limited damage to joints when the movement is done correctly. As you start powerlifting, make sure to drill good form early - before heavy weight may cause you to deviate from good alignment. As long as you keep your back tight, you should be able to move weight for a long time.
4. Full Body Workout
The squat builds legs, the bench builds chest, and the deadlift builds back, right? Wrong! The three compound lifts in powerlifting are total body exercises that not only target specific parts of the body but rely on bracing to protect the spine and stability to stay in good form. Did you know that doing a few heavy squats can be as good as 50 situps? Now you do!
5. Builds Stability and Proprioception
Proprioception is the scientific term for body awareness - which is one of the major benefits of powerlifting! Because you need to stay in good form, and often monitor your form by feel, instead of visually, powerlifting develops an innate sense of body awareness. How else do you know if you’ve hit depth on a squat if you don’t know your hip crease is below your knees.
6. Provides Purpose in the Gym
To build strength you need a plan - a goal that has objectives that are consistently pushing you forward. Powerlifting comes with the innate need to always lift more weight, always chase gainz and keep getting under the bar. You’ll be amazed by what you can do when you have a mission to keep moving forward.
7. Builds Confidence and Mindset
If you can stand up with your own bodyweight on your back, what can’t you do?! One of the best things that powerlifting will do, is show you that you and your body can do absolutely amazing things. Be secure in knowing that whatever obstacle you encounter, you can pick it up, push it away, or stand up under its weight.
8. Builds Strength
We put this benefit at number 8 because it’s so obvious that it almost doesn’t need to be said. Powerlifting helps you get strong!
9. Contributes to Functional Strength
If you can deadlift 200 pounds, you can definitely get all the groceries into the house in one trip. And if you can squat a couple of plates, there’s no doubt you can get up after falling down. Ever need to push a car up a sloped driveway? Thank god for bench!
10. Provides Community
If you’ve never watched a powerlifting meet on TV, you should. When the heavyweights try to pick 1000 pounds off the ground, you’ll hear the crowd screaming like it’s the last out at a world series baseball game. Powerlifting meets are less about competition between opponents, instead, the competitors are fighting themselves - and everyone wins.
If you’ve never seen what you’re capable when a bar is loaded, it’s about time you did! The world is so much brighter when you can stand up with it on your back.