How to Get Strong with Powerlifting


Regardless of your reason for increasing strength, powerlifting is an excellent way to do so. While powerlifting is not sport specific, outside of powerlifting competitions, the general improvements in strength and power that occur transfer into any sport, functional movement, or other physical feat. The path to greater strength and power through powerlifting is a straightforward one, but not necessarily an easy one or a quick one. Any good powerlifting program will provide immediate results, that is an increase in strength in the first 4-8 weeks, but to see exceptional improvements in strength and power, you must train for months, if not years. Understand that the law of individual differences applies. This law, which is common to exercise and training programming, states that no two people are the same. As a result, the exact path taken, results achieved, and time it takes to achieve the same will vary. Regardless of your starting point, you must engage in a program that includes the bench, squat, and the deadlit as well as variations of the same. Additionally, it is beneficial to include an overhead pressing movement for the greatest overall improvements and body balance. You must assess your one-rep max on the major movements. The reason for this is all weights for a powerlifting program are based on your current one-rep maxes. If the program does not consider you current one-rep maxes, it is flawed and almost guaranteed to fail you or, at the very least, provide you with less than optimal results. The program should be periodized, meaning the intensity, sets, reps, and other aspects of the program change over time. The program may follow a linear path, meaning intensity increases in intervals over the duration of the program, or the program may have a staggered approach, meaning intensity increases over a set interval before backing off and then increasing again. These are just two ways to approach the periodization part of the program and there are others that may be considered. The length of the program must be sufficient. A 4-8 week training cycle is not good enough. Ideally, the program runs 12-16 weeks in length. For optimal results, you will need to run the program multiple times. You or your trainer must be intuitive when working through the program. During almost every training cycle there is a reason to adjust. You or your coach need to know how to do this. A failure to do so does not equal a lack of results, but you results will be impacted—the degree to which is in question. At the end of the program, you must test again to determine if your one-rep max has increased. You or our train must also assess the quality of the training program as it applies to you specifically, and determine if changes need to be made for you to achieve your best results. Powerlifting for greater strength and power follows a straightforward path. However, each coach or trainer applies is or her touch to the program. Regardless, he or she should be able to help you see starting results in 4-8 weeks, with even greater increases over time. If this does not happen, or the results are sub-optimal, your trainer or program is failing you. I've helped people add hundreds of pounds to their maxes, sometimes in a matter of months. I can do the same for you.

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