When people think of exercising with weights, generally, training heavy isn’t viewed as being the healthiest of training methods.
If followed correctly, however, a heavy training method can potentially provide countless health benefits.
Today we’re looking at powerlifting.
Specifically, we’re looking at the benefits of powerlifting in a bid to determine why powerlifting is now more popular than ever before.
Lifting weights is often seen as a way of enhancing the way you look.
Whilst it’s true that weightlifting is indeed great for aesthetics, if you use the right weights with the right form, you can reap the rewards in other ways too.
Powerlifting isn’t just about throwing heavyweights around, it is an art and is a highly respected discipline in the health and fitness world.
Here’s a look at what powerlifting is, and at several strong powerlifting benefits.
What Is Powerlifting?
We’ll get to the benefits in just a few moments. For now, though, we’re going to take a look at what powerlifting actually is.
Powerlifting is a sport that is based around lifting heavyweights.
It is a strength sport where the aim is to literally lift as much weight, with perfect form and technique.
In powerlifting, athletes are required to perform 3 lifts.
They will perform the lift in front of 3 judges.
Judges will then press either a red light or a white light.
White light is a good lift, and a red light will count as a ‘no lift’.
2 or more white lights mean that the lift is indeed approved, whereas 2 or more red lights count as a ‘no lift’.
In the end, the 1 rep max from each lift is added together, giving the athlete a total amount of weight lifted.
The athlete with the highest total in their class is the winner.
What Are The Benefits Of Powerlifting?
Now that we’ve looked at what powerlifting is, the next logical step is to take a look at what it is that makes powerlifting so beneficial.
Whether you’re thinking of taking up powerlifting, or if you’re just curious about what makes powerlifting so popular, here are several awesome benefits.
1. Burn Fat
Powerlifting is an incredibly physically demanding sporting discipline that requires a lot of energy.
Because it is so physically demanding, you often find that powerlifting burns off a lot of calories.
Now, you’d be forgiven for assuming that powerlifting isn’t especially weight-friendly when you look at the physique of the average powerlifter.
Powerlifters consume thousands upon thousands of calories a day, and eat well above maintenance, due to the fact that they need heaps of energy to lift the weights.
Powerlifters do not eat to look good, they eat to fuel their bodies and so they don’t particularly care how they look shirtless.
If you were to track your macros and clean up your diet, though, you’d find that the weight melted off of you when following a powerlifting routine.
2. Build Muscle
Despite the fact that powerlifting is most certainly not the same as bodybuilding, another of the awesome benefits that we’re going to look at today, is the fact that powerlifting is great for building muscle.
The three exercises you perform are all compound lifts that hit multiple muscle groups in your body.
Not only that but when training for powerlifting, you’re also required to perform a lot of assistance work in the gym, so you’ll be working for different muscle groups and doing lifts other than the big 3.
Needless to say, heavy training with compound exercises will result in heaps of new muscle being built, and who wouldn’t want that?
3. Bragging Rights
Whilst arrogance isn’t a nice trait to have, occasionally it is nice to be able to brag and big ourselves up slightly.
This isn’t necessarily arrogance, it simply indicates that we’re proud of our achievements.
When talking about the benefits, the fact that powerlifting helps you to lift heavy weights is great for showing off.
Being able to brag about a 3-plate bench, a 4-plate squat, and a 5-plate deadlift, for example, is something that very few people in the world will be able to do.
With powerlifting, who knows, you could be one of them?
4. Great Instagram Videos
Instagram is great for people looking for inspiration and motivation when it comes to training.
When getting psyched up for a workout, a lot of people will scroll through the social networking page and watch videos of other lifters working out and showcasing their most impressive lifts.
When you hit a brand new personal best on deadlifts, make sure you get it on video as it will most certainly make an awesome video on Instagram.
Your video might even be used by a would-be powerlifter who happens to be looking for motivation themselves.
5. Strong Bones
Your bones also benefit when it comes to powerlifting.
Having strong and healthy bones is essential if you value your health.
With the risk of osteoporosis, and fractures greatly increased as you grow older, it’s easy to see why bone supplements are so popular.
Instead of relying on supplements when it comes to the health of your bones, how about lifting heavyweights?
You see, weightlifting has been found to help promote and increase in bone strength and density.
This, in turn, means that your bones become stronger and healthier, and there is less risk of an injury.
6. Strong Grip
Having a strong grip can be beneficial in everyday life, so one could argue that powerlifting is in fact very functional.
You see, when people speak of the benefits, often they fail to recognize the fact that grip strength is so important.
Having a strong grip will not only help you out in the gym, but it will also help you out in the real world outside of the gym as well.
Powerlifting is a great discipline for anybody looking to strengthen their hand and grip strength, so if this is one of your goals, it is certainly well worth bearing in mind.
7. Strong Core
Needless to say, we can’t mention the benefits, without talking about how strong it makes you.
Before we get to overall strength however, we first need to talk about core strength.
Because of the nature of the 3 lifts, you perform when powerlifting, you’ll find that powerlifting is a great activity for strengthening your core.
The stronger your core is, the stronger you become as a result.
Powerlifting helps to build a strong and stable core, which in turn will make you stronger, it will improve your posture, and it will make you less susceptible to injury.
If your body fat is low enough as well, it will also help to really give your abs a lean and defined look.
8. Increase Your Strength
Another fantastic reason to take up powerlifting is due to the fact that it, not surprisingly, helps to increase your strength and make you a stronger individual.
With powerlifting, the aim of the activity is to literally lift as much weight as you possibly can, and the more you train and perform, the stronger you will get.
Powerlifters lift considerably more weight than the average gymgoer, and they train hard and intensely for a number of hours each week.
The harder they train, and the heavier the lift, the stronger they become.
With powerlifting, you also perform heavy compound exercises that recruit multiple muscle groups in the body, including large ones that are responsible for generating strength and power.
If you want to get stronger, powerlifting is a sport you should definitely take up.
9. More Confidence
One often underappreciated advantage associated with powerlifting is the fact that the activity itself will help you to build up your confidence.
Not only will it help you to look and feel better thanks to the changes in physique it promotes, but on top of that, it will also make you more confident in the gym when training.
When you know for a fact how much weight you can lift unassisted, the psychological benefits it provides are enormous.
The confidence that comes with being able to lift heavy weights means that you’re far less likely to fail a lift, or, more seriously, suffer from a debilitating injury.
Talking of which…
10. Injury Prevention
Even though powerlifting can be a dangerous discipline, if you train smartly warm-up, and stretch, you will actually find that injuries become less likely if you power lift regularly.
Powerlifting helps to train and acclimatize your body to what you’re about to put it through.
It also helps to stretch out muscle fibers and increase muscle elasticity, which means that rips and tears are less of a risk.
Not only that, but training with heavy weights also means that you’re less likely to suffer an injury due to training with heavyweights, as your body will be so used to them.
This, combined with the fact that powerlifting also helps to strengthen your bones, means that an injury through powerlifting, and through the exercise in general, is far less likely to occur.
11. Meet New People
As if you needed yet another reason to get into powerlifting, how about the fact that it will help you to meet new people?
Powerlifting is a great way to meet new individuals who share the same interests as you.
At a powerlifting meet, you’ll meet people from all walks of life, who all share the same passions and interests as you.
You’ll have plenty to talk about, you’ll meet new friends, will find new training partners, and you might even form new romantic relationships.
Then, of course, there’s the online powerlifting community, who many people consider to be family.
If you want to meet new people that have common interests, powerlifting is ideal.
12. Improved Athletic Performance
Because of the fact that many of your fast-twitch muscle fibers get such a great workout when powerlifting, you’ll find that your explosive speed and power improve drastically.
This means that you’ll be able to run faster, you’ll be able to jump higher, and you’ll perform better athletically.
So, whether you’re looking to become a better runner, a more efficient basketball player, a better lifter, or a more athletic human being in general, powerlifting is hugely beneficial and will do wonders for your performance athletically.
Okay, some would argue that only sick and twisted people would find powerlifting fun, though we’re not sure we’d agree.
Yes, powerlifting is very physically demanding, and yes, you will constantly feel sore, tired, bruised, and battered and you will be exhausted.
Ultimately, though, powerlifting is one of the most enjoyable and rewarding pastimes and activities you could ever wish to perform.
The workouts can be fun and enjoyable, and there is no better feeling than smashing out a new personal best after struggling with a plateau for countless weeks/months or even years.
14. Mental Health
Finally, when talking about the benefits, we can’t overlook how it benefits your mental health.
Powerlifting will put you in a good mood because of the endorphins you produce when lifting.
You’ll also feel more confident, and it will help you to become a more mentally driven and mentally focussed individual.
So, now is probably a good time to bring this article to a close.
If you’ve enjoyed reading about the many benefits of powerlifting and you’re ready to give it a shot yourself, what’s stopping you?
Who knows, it could be the best thing you ever do!