How to Start Powerlifting : Maxener Wellness

Method 1 Training for Powerlifting

Get a membership at a powerlifting-friendly gym. Before you start getting into a training routine, you’ll need to get a membership at a gym that has powerlifting equipment. Different gyms have different intentions for their workout space, so choose one that has some quality bench pressing and squatting stations where you can spend a lot of time without inconveniencing other members.

Get the equipment you need. Using all of the necessary powerlifting equipment will allow you to train and compete safely and effectively. You can buy all of your equipment either online or at competitions, but it’ll likely be less expensive online. Make sure to get:

  • Flat shoes: These will allow you to distribute weight property.
  • High socks: These will keep your shins from getting cut up while you deadlift.
  • Lifting belt: When used correctly, this improves strength and also decreases the risk of injury by supporting your lower back.
  • Wrist wraps: These stabilize your wrists so that you can safely handle heavier weight.
  • Knee sleeves: These protect your knees by keeping the fluid inside of them warm.
  • Chalk: Put this on your palms to improve your grip strength.
  • Singlet: It’s a requirement to wear this when competing.

Warm up by lifting only the weight of the bar. Always warm your body up before you start lifting, whether you’re training at the gym or are about to compete. You can start warming up by squatting, bench pressing, and deadlifting with only the weight of the bar. Then work your way up to slightly heavier weights.

  • Warming up will prevent you from getting injured and also prepare your body for lifting heavier weight.

Start light and work your way up. You aren’t going to be able to lift an extremely heavy weight on your first day of powerlifting. Focus first on mastering the right form, and then start lifting low weights. Slowly increase weight as you become more comfortable with lifting.

  • Try increasing the weight by 5 pounds (2.3 kg) each time you feel ready to handle a bit more weight.
  • If you get ahead of yourself and try lifting heavy weights before you’re educated and ready, you can seriously injure yourself.

Practice your squats. Walk up to the bar and position the bar either above your traps (“high bar”) or below your delts (“low bar”). Remove the bar from the rack, and get into a comfortable position with your feet pointed slightly outward and placed about shoulder-width apart. Bend your knees and stick your backside out as if you’re sitting in a chair. Then stand back up.

  • Keep your shins vertical, your back straight, and your heels flat on the ground while you complete each squat.
  • For your safety, always have someone spot you.

Work on bench pressing. Get a comfortable grip on the bar, and make sure that your head, shoulders, and back side are comfortably contacting the bench. Rest your feet firmly on the floor. Once a spotter is present, lift the bar up out of the rack and then bring it down to your sternum. Extend your arms to push the bar upward in a quick, powerful motion.

  • Once finished, have your spotter help you guide the bar back into the rack.

Work on your deadlifts. Stand just behind the barbell with your feet pointed outward and positioned shoulder-width apart. Bend at the hips to get to the bar and let your knees bend outward as you do this. Grip the barbell and stand up with it. Then bend back down and place the barbell on the floor.

  • Grip the bar with your palms on the outside facing in towards you.
  • Keep your back straight and contract your abs while you lift the barbell.
  • You can also try a sumo stance, instead of doing a conventional stance. The sumo stance involves a much wider leg positioning.

Incorporate cardio into your routine. While squats, bench presses, and deadlifts will take up a lot of your training time, it’s also important to incorporate some cardio 2-3 times a week for at least 20 minutes. This can be anything from going for a jog to playing sports with friends.

Do alternative lifting exercises. You should familiarize yourself with exercise substitutions that require less equipment but still strengthen the same muscles. This will come in handy when you aren’t near your gym and you need to do an alternative workout. Try one or more of the following:

  • Barbell step-ups
  • Calf raises
  • Pull-ups
  • Dumbbell shrugs

Lift weights 3-4 times a week. When you’re just starting out, you’ll make good progress and push your body a healthy amount by working out 3-4 days a week. Try doing 2 days on, 1 day off, 2 days on, and then 2 days off. This will allow your body to rest properly and enable you to get stronger without hurting yourself.

Method 2 Changing Your Diet

Cut out processed food. Processed foods, such as soda, potato chips, cookies, and fast food, will make you gain fat, while you’ll want to focus on gaining muscle as a powerlifter. Instead of eating processed foods, choose chicken breast, tuna, egg whites, fruits, nuts, seeds, and fresh or frozen vegetables.

Eat protein with every meal. Protein is essential for building and maintaining your muscles. Try to consume 1 gram (0.03 oz) of protein per pound (0.45 kg) of bodyweight each day. This means eating a relatively large portion at every meal. Some different protein options include:

  • Red meat: beef, pork, lamb
  • Poultry: chicken, turkey, duck
  • Fish: tuna and salmon
  • Dairy: cheese, yogurt, milk
  • Whey powder to put into protein shakes

Incorporate fruits and vegetables into every meal. Fruits and vegetables are great because they contain antioxidants, fiber, vitamins, and minerals. Load up on fruits and veggies throughout the day to keep your fat-consumption low but also feel full. Try incorporating these fruits and vegetables into your diet:

  • Berries
  • Spinach
  • Bananas
  • Broccoli
  • Tomatoes
  • Apples
  • Beans

Eat carbohydrates after you work out. Carbohydrates are excellent for supplying short-term energy, so they’re great to eat after you work out. Avoid eating them at other times though, because they turn to sugar and can make you gain fat. Some healthy carbohydrate options are:

  • Whole grain pasta
  • Brown rice
  • Sweet potatoes

Consume healthy fats. Healthy fats, such as saturated, monounsaturated, and polyunsaturated fats, increase your testosterone levels, help you to lose fat, and promote good overall health. Consume these to help you get stronger and healthier:

  • Monounsaturated fats: olive oil and mixed nuts
  • Saturated fats: butter, eggs, and red meat
  • Polyunsaturated fats: seed, nut, and fish oils

Drink a lot of water. Dehydration makes you susceptible to injury and also can negatively impact your performance. Women should drink between 2 to 3 litres (8.5 to 12.7  c) and men should drink 3 to 4 litres (13 to 17  c) of water each day to ensure that you stay properly hydrated.

  • Try carrying a water bottle around everywhere you go so that you have easy, quick access to water 24/7.

Use supplements. Many powerlifters take supplements around their training time to get stronger. These have different benefits, including increased hydration, increased energy, and more. Consider looking into supplements like creatine, glycerol, and also pre-workout products.

  • Speak to your healthcare provider before beginning a supplement routine.

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