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A recent powerlifting study found Seventy percent of participants were currently injured, and 87% had experienced an injury within the past 12 months

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Why we are sought for by powerlifters
  • Injury prevention
  • Learning how to properly use accessory work to correct muscular imbalances
  • Mastering form
  • You are serious about your strength progression
  • You have no prior knowledge or experience in strength sports
  • You have the time and dedication to follow your coach’s plan
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What is Powerlifting?
Powerlifting is often confused with Olympic lifting

Powerlifting is an individualized sport in which competitors attempt to lift as much weight as possible for one repetition in the squat, bench press, and deadlift. Each lifter is placed into a specific division and classified by several variables including weight class, age group, and experience level. Further subdivisions are made between what is known as “raw” and “geared” powerlifters, indicating whether or not the individual is wearing supportive equipment during the competition.

Competitions are generally all-day events that begin with the squat, progress to the bench press and conclude with the deadlift. Every lifter is allowed three attempts at each lift, making for a total of nine competition lifts throughout the day.

Three officials serve as judges and collectively decide whether or not a lift is considered “good” or “bad.” Each judge’s decision is represented by a panel of red and white lights (white indicating a “good” lift and red indicating a “bad” lift) displayed after each attempt. Two or three white lights are for a “good” lift while one or less is disqualified.

At the end of the day, awards are presented to the lifters with the highest squat, bench press, deadlift, and total within their division. A lifter's total is determined by the sum of his/her best lifts, and the individual with the highest total is considered the all-around strongest lifter in his division.

 

Frequently Asked Questions With Powerlifting

Flat Shoes

If you go to any powerlifting meet you will see many lifters squatting and deadlifting in Chuck Taylors (Converse All-Stars). Typically, running sneakers or walking shoes have a raised heel. Flat shoes such as Chuck Taylors allow the lifter to distribute weight through the backside of the foot and effectively “spread the floor apart.” The bottoms of Chuck Taylors tend to be stickier than most shoes as well, which aids in gripping the floor to prevent the lifter from slipping.

When it comes to the bench press many lifters (especially shorter ones) prefer sneakers with a raised heel in order to get more leg drive throughout the lift.

High Socks

High socks protect the shins from becoming bloody. Numerous federations already made this a requirement. The last thing you want to do is worry about smearing someone else's blood into your cut-up shins while trying to break a deadlift record.

Lifting Belt

When a lifting belt is used correctly it can drastically improve strength and performance and decrease the risk of injury. The issue is when lifters become dependent on the belt for core stabilization, which can lead to back injury doing basic daily activities.

Wrist Wraps

Wrist wraps are most commonly used during the bench press, but many lifters opt to wear them during the squat as well. The wrist wraps help to add stability and prevent injury during heavy lifts. 

Singlet

Singlets are required in every federation, and if you are not wearing a singlet, you are not allowed to compete. These are different from suits used for squatting, deadlifting, and from bench press shirts 

Preparing For Competition Training

If your training program has been done appropriately signing up for a powerlifting competition should not require drastic changes in your current program. As long as you are making consistent progress with your program there is not any reason to change much. We will outline what you need to do now that you have a deadline set for when you need to be at your strongest. 

Establish Your One-Repetition Maximum (1RM)

Before you start training for your completion you should safely work up to your 1RM in the squat, bench press, and/or deadlift. A 1RM will allow you to see how much progress you made throughout the training cycle and determine appropriate opening attempts for each respective lift. Over a period of one to two weeks test your 1RM for all three lifts, giving yourself space between the lifts for proper injury prevention.

Establish Your Opening Attempts

Once you know your current 1RM, it is time to establish your opening attempts for the squat, bench press, and deadlift. Many lifters have trouble with this component and either open way too light or entirely too heavy.

First Attempt

Your first attempt should be 87–93 percent of your 1RM. Stronger individuals should go with the lower end of the percentage range while weaker lifters should go with the higher end.

Second Attempt

If hit your opener, go for a 5-10lbs personal record (PR) on your second attempt. Try not to get too hyped and attempt a 30-pound record here. 5lbs PR is still a PR. If you miss your first attempt, you can either retake your opener again or move directly to your second attempt. It depends on how you feel.

Third Attempt

If you hit your second attempt for a 5-10lbs PR, it is time to go for broke and push the boundaries a bit. Be smart, listen to your body, and gauge how easy (or difficult) your previous attempt felt, but safely challenge yourself on this attempt.

Openers 

As the training cycle comes to a close work up to your opening attempts roughly two to three weeks out from the competition. You do not wont to test all three lifts on the same day. Take your time and make it a process over the course of one to two weeks.

One Week Out Deload

Powerlifting competitions are almost always held on weekends, so initiate your deload on the Saturday or Sunday prior to the meet. This allows for roughly six to seven days to relax, recover, and get in the competition mindset.

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