This post may contain affiliate links. Please see the Disclosure (found in the menu bar) for additional information.
Powerlifting is a strength sport and it consists of three attempts at the squat, deadlift and bench at maximal weight. It’s a sport not only for men, but more females (including myself) are getting into it. Also, it’s a sport that the young and old can do. Check out this 93 years old powerlifting competitor, yup, he still competes!
Powerlifting moves or lifts are compound, full body exercises meaning that several joints are involved in each lift. These lifts work more muscles than isolated exercises (aka bodybuilding exercises – bicep curls, shoulder press, etc.). Therefore, it’s more efficient and saves you time in the gym.
Powerlifting: 3 Main Lifts
The squat is known as an exercise that targets the glutes (one of the best exercises in my post on how to grow the glutes) and legs. However, it also develops the muscles of the lower back, upper back, trunk, core, shoulders and arms. Hence, why it is a compound exercise. It creates an anabolic state which is the process of growth for tissues and organs (aka muscle growth/mass).
The squat is also a movement that mimics real life movements. It’s one of the best functional exercises that promotes mobility and balance. It improves joint strength and knee stability. Also, it is one of the most efficient exercises in terms of calorie burning.
The deadlift, another compound exercise, works the major muscle groups. It actually works even more muscles than the squat. Although a compound movement, it’s a relatively simple exercise to perform. Therefore, it can be included in a beginner’s strength training program.
The deadlift is also another lift that can be used in real life situations (ie. lifting things from the ground). It’s my favourite lift of the three and it just makes you look badass when you can lift hundreds of pounds off the ground.
The bench press is known for more of a chest and upper back and shoulder workout, however with good form, the legs are also engaged to drive strength into the press. Your feet should be flat on the ground. Ladies, do not be afraid of the bench press. Yes, it’s an exercise that will grow the chest muscle and this will give you a ‘lift’ without any surgery!
As these powerlifting lifts are all compound exercises, they are quite complex and it takes time and patience to master. Also, there are specific muscles that must be activated when doing these lifts in order to prevent injury. The technicality of these lifts makes for a more interesting workout session. And in the end, when you hit a personal record it makes it even more satisfying!