A Sport for All
Powerlifting is a variation of Olympic weightlifting. A strength sport focused on the execution of the squat, bench press and deadlift. There are certain guidelines and rules as there are with all sports and the main aim for powerlifters is to lift the heaviest possible weight of each exercise for 1 repetition with ideal form. However, the benefits that powerlifting bring to someone far outweigh just lifting.
As mentioned above powerlifting can require very heavy lifting creating a high intensity burn throughout the body allowing lifters to burn large amounts of calories and as a result fat. In the long term, you can increase your metabolic rate. Given you are eating in a caloric deficit tailored to your needs powerlifting can be very beneficial to your fat loss requirements. One study showed a 15% increase in caloric demand over a 24 hour period.
Powerlifting is hugely beneficial to increasing overall strength through the body. The squat, bench and deadlift are huge compound movements all requiring multitudes of muscles across the body. There are very few muscles that don't get targeted in any 1 of these movements and accessory movements will be implemented to ensure these muscles are targeted. The squat and deadlift strengthen your core, back and legs, and the bench press strengthens most of the muscles of your upper body. Strength training builds muscle, increases bone density, and per recent studies on brain health, even slows neurodegeneration.
Better Skeletal Health
As mentioned above powerlifting or/and strength training can improve bone density. Bone density is the amount of bone mineral in bone tissue. The higher your bone density, the stronger your bones are and the less likely you are to receive an injury or fall victim to a disease like osteoporosis. Now a days it's well known that intense resistance training, such as powerlifting, decreases numerous risk factors for osteoporosis by increasing strength and bone mass.
Increase in Athletic Ability
Many of the activities in powerlifting improve other abilities by default. A study conducted in the UK shows a direct correlation between squat strength and sprint speed. There was also a direct correlation between squat strength and jump height. So, if you want to run faster or jump higher, build a bigger squat through powerlifting. The strength of your back contributes to many other activities. There are few activities that being strong does not help in one way or another.
Increase in Muscle Mass & Improvement in Posture
Powerlifters are often as big and muscular like weightlifters & bodybuilders despite not training specifically for muscle size. Increased muscle mass can be useful in sports and can add a pleasing shape to an otherwise skinny physique. The three powerlifts ensure that all major muscles are worked and assistance exercises are also done to shore up any muscular development gaps. A balance increase in muscle mass can also assist in poor posture. Poor posture is usually caused by overuse or over activation of a muscle or group of muscles regarding one motion of a joint compared to the opposite. The deadlift is an extremely beneficial exercise to improve any poor posture. The deadlift works most of the muscles in the legs, lower back and core. It's most commonly associated with building strength and power but performing the deadlift correctly strengthens the spine, which can improve posture. Squats strengthen the leg and core muscles. They also stretch the hip flexors, adductors and lumbar spine, which when tight can cause bad posture. Accessory work also includes many horizontal and vertical back exercise variations which will also assist in improving poor posture.
Powerlifting Slows the Aging Process
Here's why. No one lives forever and break down of our body is inevitable and eventually, our muscle mass will decrease, our bone density will reduce, and our memories will get fuzzy. Strength training can help us slow this process down. Strength is the foundation of physical ability. Strength enables us to walk to work, go up and down stairs, carry groceries, lift children, perform essential daily activities and remain able and independent. Nothing compares building strength more effectively, efficiently, and safely than squatting, benching, and deadlifting. There is many articles and thesis' that provide evidence to support that these lifts are supreme among the exercise world.
Building and testing your strength in the squat, bench press and deadlift is one of the most satisfying feelings. Developing strength requires sacrifice, discipline, discomfort and determination, but it will all be worth it when you lift a weight that previously was just a dream. Many people exercise without clear-cut goals but powerlifting training is very specific and once you reach your goals you reach a new height of satisfaction with yourself and your training and isn't that what we all want to feel when we train? At least I do.
*Disclaimer: Individual results vary based on agreed goals. Click here for details.