“I think the first thing people do when they decide they want to compete in powerlifting is compare, compare, compare. It’s totally understandable, but in the long run experience is key.”
Welcome and thanks for clicking over and checking out my blog, I hope you find it helpful and it encourages you to compete!
With the sport of Powerlifting becoming increasingly popular by the day, I thought I would put together my top 5 tips to those lifters who are just getting started.
I think the first thing people do when they decide they want to compete in powerlifting is compare, compare, compare. It’s totally understandable, but in the long run experience is key. Don’t put off your goals to step up on the platform because you ‘think’ you are too weak. Make a plan and work towards it. Don’t discount yourself because of your strength level. Powerlifting as a sport offers people so much more than just medals and trophies. Make your first competition about YOU.
The real win is prepping, turning up and posting a total at your first competition.
Lifting heavy ass weight can be dangerous! An estimated 80% of adults experience back issues. The goal is to become stronger, not weaker! You don’t want to injure yourself or make previous injuries worse. Hire a coach that understands what YOU need and how to get you there. There can be a lot to learn when you first start out and it can be very overwhelming at times. Invest in a coach and take your health and well being seriously. Healthy is strong, not injured.
I offer online coaching which you can learn more about by heading to LETMECOACHYOU.NET.
Technique, technique, technique. This is a fundamental. If powerlifting is something you are really interested in, then put in the long hours and the hard work to become efficient at the movements. You won’t get extra points in competition for lifting with good form but you will avoid injury and secure more longevity in the sport. Listen and learn, process and apply. Write your cues down in a notepad every time you walk into the gym, run the cues through your head, record and review then rinse and repeat.
These last two points are the most important when it comes to technique, efficiency and safety. When lifting really heavy amounts of weight you want to use as many tools as possible. One of our best tools in powerlifting and strength sports is our air. Used correctly, air can create tension. We want to use our breathing to create maximal stability in those key areas that are challenged to breakdown throughout a lift. We call it torso rigidity.
By learning how to breathe deeply and effectively you will add another line of defence to your body when lifting. You see, when we pick up, push or squat heavy weight certain parts of our body are vulnerable to breakdown, particularly the lower back/core and torso area. As we exert maximal force we also transfer force throughout our body and the weakest link will experience a level of breakdown. When squatting and deadlifting our body pretty much just wants to fold over due to all the force. Our breathing and air intake can create a brace that helps us withstand this, allowing us to lift the weight safely.
How do I breathe correctly?
Well, to start you want to focus on taking deep breaths and holding them for 20 seconds. As you do this, push that air all the way down into your belly and try and expand the air in a complete 360 degree direction. This is creating total lower back, abdominal and torso tension. Keep doing this until you feel comfortable with the drill and you have control over your breathing. Then begin to apply it during your warm ups and when comfortable to your working sets.
Here is a great breathing drill:
Once we have used our air to create maximal tightness throughout our torso we then stack our brace with muscle tension. This tends to be overlooked in the traditional teaching of ‘bracing’. It was common for people to utilise their air but overlook their musculature tension. This is so important.
When locking down our torso we can utilise big strong muscles to enhance our stability and brace. Using our lats, rear delts, rhomboids, teres major/minor, spinal erectors, obliques, abdominals, pelvic floor and more, we can create a strong, safe brace. We just scratched the surface on this so ask your coach about it and get to work!
Written & Edited By Brogan Williams