Weight Lifting, Weight Training, Bench Press & Bodybuilding
June 23, 2024
A PowerLifting Primer - Powerlifting Tips
By Roger Broeg of weighttrainersunited.com

powerlifting tips

I have been asked several questions about powerlifting by people interested in starting out recently. Although I do not consider myself an expert, or even good at it, I have been involved with powerlifting competition since 1978. And I feel competent to give some beginning advice.

First thing I see people wanting to start out do is try to find out the records. Be they state or be they national don't do this. When you are looking up the records you are looking for the very best lifts in the sport. You are not looking for what your actual competition will probably do. Although there are some out there who will set records in thier fist competition this is rare. And can be discouraging. It would be better to get your hands on the results of competition in the area where you are able to compete. This could be thru Powerlifting USA or it could be on a website. Deepsquatter probably knows where you could find such a site if he does not have this info on his own.

Second comes equipment. A belt, as far as I am concerned, is a must. And wraps are a good idea, if you don't go RAW. But don't concern yourself with a shirt or suit for your first competition. It would be a shame to drop the cash on that stuff and then find out you really don't like competition. Get your feet wet. If you like competing then look into purchasing your assistance gear.

Third be ready for anything. Competition is NOT like what you do in the gym. First comes the crowded warmup room. You will wait in line between warmups. Using the 10s and 5s during a warmup will slow this process down even more. Get used to warming up using only 45s and 25s. After your warmup it may be a half hour before your first lift. You must be ready for that. Then it may be an hour or more between your attempts. You simply are NOT lifting under ideal conditions.

Fourth get the rules of lifting. The way you are benching in the gym is probably not what the judges want. You must pause on your chest in competition. This will take anywhere from 15 to 25 lbs off of what you can do. In the squat the tops of your hips must go below the tops of your knees. I keep hearing guys tell each other "yeah that was parralel" Parallel is NO GOOD! The deadlift must be done without the bar riding on your quads or hitching.

Fifth chosing your first attempt. You don't want go as heavy as you can from the offset. I like to use the best weight I have been able to do for 3 reps on my first attempt. My second attempt is what I believe my max to be. My 3rd attempt is a personal record. Here is the reason why. If you miss an attempt, the weight will not go back down. You must use the same weight or more on your next attempt. So if you try to much your first attempt and miss it on your next 2 attempts you are disqualified from the competition. This is called bombing out.

I figure what ever I can do for 3 reps is probably about 90% of my best. So if I miss my next 2 attempts my score will not be overly pathetic. Yet if I can do it 3 reps it is a pretty sure thing I will get it for one in the competition. Provided I have been doing my lifts LEGALLY in the gym. That is one of the reasons it is important to train the way you will compete.

Finally if you have already purchased a suit or shirt, the meet is NOT the place to try them out. They change your form drastically. You should be practicing with your equipment at least 3 workouts before you competition.

Overall if you are at all interested in competing. COMPETE. Don't wait until you think you are ready. You must compete to learn what I have just told you. To learn how to be ready to do your best. I recall one individual concerned that better lifters would not like beginners jumping in because meets are overcrowded. I can tell you from experience that since we have all these new federations now, they rarely are. Other concerns are that someone will not lift much weight and make a fool of themselves. I have seen nothing but respect for other lifters at these meets. Regardless of what they lift. In fact often the better lifters will aproach the less endowed lifters and offer training advice. The grass roots lifters are the ones supporting the sport so the elite lifters can go to the world championships and make us proud. So become one of them.

I believe this covers all the little pearls I wanted to drop at this point. Hope it has been some help to somebody. It has been good typing practice for me. Good Luck

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