So You Want To Be A Powerlifter?

Posted on June 4th, 2020 by Caitlyn Miller


Are you thinking about starting powerlifting? Whether you’re considering training in a powerlifting style or training to compete, I am so excited! Powerlifting is truly a rewarding sport and a great way to train. Let’s jump right in!

Table of Contents 

  1. What Is powerlifting?
  2. Pros
  3. Cons
  4. Training 
  5. Finding A Program
  6. Powerlifting Workout Plan Example 

What is powerlifting?

Powerlifting consist of bench, deadlift, and squat. These are the main lifts you want to focus building your strength on. However, you will still need to train with different movements than just those three to build up your strength. You can perform what is called “raw” or “equipped”. When you perform raw you are allowed to wear knee wraps (my favorite), a lifting belt, and wrist wraps. 

Pros

When I’m considering starting something, I like to break things down into pros and cons. So the pros for powerlifting are, this is a great sport that focuses on strength. This sport is focused on a one rep max for the three lifts listed above. You truly realize just how strong you are and how strong the human body can be when fueled properly. 

Cons

The biggest con is risk of injury. Powerlifting, like all sports, comes with a chance of injury, especially, when one is not training properly. What I mean by training properly is, focusing on technique, mobility, and stretching. If you are considering starting powerlifting, I highly recommend stretching, foam rolling, and focusing on mobility regularly. This will reduce your risk of injury. 

Training

Some advice when training in a powerlifting style is have variety. If you keep training the same for a long period of time (over 12 weeks), then your strength could plateau. Sometimes a plateau happens before the 12 weeks, it just depends on how fast your body adapts. My husband for example, his body adapts insanely fast to his training and will start plateauing around 6 weeks. He has to constantly change up his exercises and rep/set combos. You will also quickly realize what lift you are better at than others. Obviously, the one you are the weakest at, is the one you should put the most energy into. You should also work on your lifting technique extensively. Making sure you have good form is what helps prevent injury and can also help you lift heavier. I would suggest lifting with light weight, while still working on proper technique. Technique is key to becoming a successful powerlifter. 

Finding A Program

I suggest either hiring a trainer that is skilled in powerlifting or doing extensive research on powerlifting programs. I suggest looking into West Side Barbell, as this is what my programs are based off of. West Side Barbell was founded by Louis Simmons and his programs consist of amazing variations that help prevent your strength from plateauing. The man is truly a powerlifting genius. 

Powerlifting Workout Plan Example 

Disclaimer: Please consult your doctor and get cleared for exercise before attempting any workout plan.

Back Workout 

Deadlifts: 3 sets, 8 reps

Pull-Ups: 3 sets, 8 reps 

Bent Over Rows: 3 sets, 8 reps

Pull Downs: 3 sets, 8 reps

Good Mornings: 3 sets, 8 reps

Dumbbell Rows, 3 sets, 8 reps

Chest Workout 

Bench Press: 3 sets, 8 reps

Incline Bench Press: 3 sets, 8 reps

Decline Bench Press: 3 sets, 8 reps

Flys: 3 sets, 8 reps

Incline Flys: 3 sets, 8 reps

Leg Workout

Squats: 3 sets, 8 reps

Glute Hams: 3 sets, 8 reps

Leg Extensions: 3 sets, 8 reps 

Pause Squats, 3 sets, 8 reps 

Leg Press: 3 sets, 8 reps 

Calf Raises: 3 sets, 8 reps 

Shoulders & Arms Workout

Side Laterals: 3 sets, 8 reps

Bent Over Side Laterals: 3 sets, 8 reps

Tricep Dips: 3 sets, 8 reps

Tricep Push Down: 3 sets, 8 reps 

Curls: 3 sets, 8 reps 

Dumbbell Curls: 3 sets, 8 reps 

Let me know how the program goes and if you have any other questions! 

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