Best Powerlifting Tips For Beginners

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A powerlifting primer for beginners

A powerlifting primer for beginners

We've all seen those hulking, ripped guys in the gym who load up a barbell with so many 45lb plates that the steel bar trembles, right? He then squats and lifts the power bar. And you're left wondering, "How is he doing that?!?"


Bodybuilding, on the other hand, is the pursuit of a specific physique. Powerlifting is the pursuit of as much strength as a single human can muster. It isn't always beautiful, but it is always impressive. You may also rest assured that you will never have to struggle to transfer a couch or a washing machine again.

Intrigued? So, if you're new to powerlifting and want to get stronger, this is the place to start.

What is the definition of a powerlifter?

Powerlifters are committed to achieving their aim of discovering how strong they can become and then pushing themselves to become even stronger. A powerlifter excels in every facet of three simple exercises: the deadlift, squat, and bench press.

Powerlifting is defined as the one-rep maximum of the squat, bench press, and deadlift when competing. You'll get three chances to raise your maximum weight in each of the three exercises. Your powerlifting total is the sum of your highest weights from each exercise.

But we're throwing ourselves into the deep end right now. All newcomers need to know is that powerlifting is nothing more than lifting weights to become stronger. And that it's practically addictive once you get started. Because they are constantly pushing themselves to their physical limits, powerlifters often develop a mystical feeling during their training.

Powerlifting is no laughing matter. It's not possible to fake it. It's difficult and intellectually and physically exhausting. Anyone who can deadlift 500 pounds is a superhuman. Powerlifting could be your next adventure if you're looking for the ultimate challenge to test yourself and your strength.

It's not simply about lifting and lowering large objects. Breathing, bracing, rooting, optimal foot and bar positions, activation, head position, and gaze are all things to learn. Physical strength, on the other hand, teaches you a lot about your body and your character.

There are four compelling reasons to begin training as a powerlifter.

Are you still undecided about whether or not powerlifting is right for you? Here are four reasons why you should start powerlifting.

Everything is based on strength.

How many times have you heard someone say, "Oh, I wish I wasn't so strong," "Oh, I wish I could carry less goods from the car," or "Oh, I wish I needed help lifting the dryer?" Never, ever. One of the most valuable investments you can make in yourself is in your strength.

Increased Mental Fortitude

Powerlifting, like running a marathon, is an endurance test of your lungs. It also necessitates a tough mental attitude. Powerlifting training pushes you to your maximum limits.

Train with caution.

Under the watchful eye of a good coach and with sufficient preparation, the average injury rate in soccer and basketball is significantly lower. Furthermore, powerlifting has been demonstrated to reduce the risk of osteoporosis in recent studies.

There is no upper age limit.

By the age of 30, players in many other sports (and even in life) are considered 'old.' Powerlifters, on the other hand, are often at their peak between the ages of 35 and 40.

Making progress in any physical endeavor will demand more effort and attention as time goes on. Anything worth accomplishing takes time and dedication, and getting to 90% is relatively simple. Increasing from 90% to 100%, on the other hand, necessitates serious commitment.

To begin powerlifting, you'll need the following items.

Technique is the starting point. While these three motions are the foundation of powerlifting, they are more more complex than most people realize. So, before you add plates to a barbell, perfect your technique and become comfortable with those motions.

An air squat is similar to a squat, and a pushup is similar to a bench press, so if you're not sure where to start, master these two actions first.

Move to an empty barbell and complete 3-5 rep sets as you focus on your technique. Bench and squat 2-3 times per week, and deadlift once per week, for those just starting out. Gradually increase your weight by a small amount each week. However, keep your attention on your technique and strive to improve and become more efficient.

If you're serious about becoming a powerlifter, picking a gym is an important first step. Choose a gym that caters to powerlifters, not only because it allows you to take your time at the various weight stations, but also because you'll be able to observe and learn from more experienced powerlifters and coaches.

Don't know where to begin? To find a powerlifting gym near you, use USA Powerlifting's gym search tool.

To begin, you won't require much equipment. Powerlifters frequently wear powerlifting shoes with a sturdy, slightly elevated heel that assists them in getting into a better posture under the barbell while engaging their posterior chain. Simply choose something with a thin heel, such as a pair of Converse or deadlifting slippers, for deadlifting. This will limit your range of motion while increasing the contact between your foot and the ground.

Many powerlifters purchase specialist equipment such as knee sleeves and lifting belts, but you can wait until you've committed to powerlifting seriously.

Rep or don't rep, that is the question. This is where form and technique come into play; every gym has a guy who claims to be able to squat 500 pounds and then performs the worst half-rep you've ever seen. When you first begin, make sure you're exercising through a full range of motion, and then gradually increase the weights.

A skilled coach or trainer is worth their weight in gold. As a beginner powerlifter, having a coach or trainer who can plan out your training and show you the best ways to work and build your gains would be quite beneficial. A coach can also help you figure out the finest food plan to help you gain strength and achieve your objectives.

Make use of chalk. It will improve the tightness of your grip and help you with deadlifting.

Powerlifting Tips For Beginners

A beginning powerlifter's training program

If you're not sure where to begin, our beginner powerlifting training plan can help you get started. It entails three workouts each week, with each visit to the gym resulting in a weight gain. With 1-1.5 hours of lifting three times a week, you can make significant gains and growth

Powerlifting routines are all about huge, complex movements, which may not sound like much. As a result, this workout plan puts your musculature and central nervous system to the test, allowing you to make increases without overworking your body.

As a powerlifter, I'm getting ready to lift.

A good warmup will make you feel ready to begin and will prepare your muscles for what's to come.

Warm up by doing three rounds of the following:

  • 10 squats in the air
  • ten excellent mornings
  • ten deadlifts in Romanian
  • ten push-ups
  • ten pull-ups (can scale down to ring rows if necessary)
  • 15-20 seconds of clamshell hip stretches

How do you figure out what your benchmark weights should be?

You'll be establishing your bench and squat benchmarks on your first day as a powerlifter. Rather of pushing yourself to your limits, you should work inside your comfort zone and expand from there. Each session after that, you'll gradually raise your weights.

Do 10 reps of squats and bench with an empty barbell once you've warmed up (45lbs). Increase the weight of each set by 5-25 pounds, depending on how comfortable it is for you. The ultimate goal is to find a weight that you can lift for eight reps but that isn't your maximum. You should be able to do three more reps.

Remember to take a 3-5 minute break between sets.

Plan for Powerlifting Training


  • Warm-up
  • 3 sets of 8 reps squat
  • On the bench, do three sets of eight repetitions.
  • 3 sets of 10 reps on your chosen row (seal row, pullups, bent-over rows)
  • 3 rounds of planks for maximum time


  • Warm up
  • 3 sets of 8 reps squat
  • 3 sets of 10 repetitions on the overhead press
  • 3 sets of 10 repetitions on the Romanian deadlift


  • Warm up
  • 3 sets of 8 reps squat
  • On the bench, do three sets of eight repetitions.
  • 2 sets of 5 repetitions on the deadlift (Start 15 lbs heavier than your starting squat weight.)
  • Single-arm 3 sets of 12 reps on the rowing machine

Each workout session, increase your weight:

Squat and deadlift: 10 pounds per session, increasing by 5 pounds as the workout progresses.

Bench press and overhead press: 5 pounds at first, then lower amounts as it becomes more difficult.

It all starts with your posture and technique. Consider powerlifting to be similar to a golf swing, and you're working on perfecting it over time by repeating it. You'll improve your strength, efficiency, and ability to lift greater weights by repeating the same actions.

Make the same amount of research as you would for any new sport or interest; being well-informed will aid you in your quest to become a powerlifter.

Find a coach to work with; they'll help you achieve your goals far faster than you could on your own. They'll also make sure you're performing in a safe manner to avoid injury.

Don't forget about getting enough nutrition to help you achieve your goals. You may improve your game by eating well and using vitamins that assist your gains.

Is powerlifting suitable for novices?

In truth, powerlifting is an excellent sport for both beginners and advanced lifters, as well as everyone in between. If you follow a well-designed program and practice good technique, it's one of the healthiest and safest methods to keep in shape.

What makes powerlifters so strong?

To build maximal strength, powerlifters typically concentrate their efforts on lower repetition ranges of 1–5 repetitions with high weights and extensive rest periods. In the long run, you may need to train at greater rep ranges in order to maintain and grow muscle size.

What is the maximum weight a beginner should be able to lift?

Begin with a weight that you can lift 10 to 15 times without losing form. Begin with one or two sets of 10 to 15 repetitions and gradually increase to three or more sets. Gradually increase your weight. After you've completed the appropriate number of sets and reps, increase the weight by 5 to 10%.

Powerlifting Tips For Beginners

To begin powerlifting, how much should I lift?

Before entering a powerlifting competition, how much weight should you be able to lift? The answer, according to most seasoned powerlifters, is 45/45/45. Nobody but you will be keeping track of your weight totals unless you intend to win.

Is it possible for me to begin powerlifting at the age of 30?

Many people start lifting weights when they are young. It is easiest to grow muscle throughout your teenage years and early twenties, thus this is the optimum time to start powerlifting. Having said that, getting into powerlifting in your 30s and beyond is still viable and a smart idea.

Why do powerlifters have such a large waistline?

Powerlifters might gain weight for three reasons: To Gain Muscle More Quickly. Expenditure of energy is reduced. Overeating as a result of underestimating needs.

What factors do powerlifters consider while choosing a weight?

So, how should you choose your powerlifting attempts? Select an opening attempt that you can do for three reps as a general rule of thumb (90-92 percent of your 1RM). Your second effort should be hefty enough to allow you to determine your maximum capacity (96-98 percent of your 1RM)

Do powerlifters engage in cardiovascular exercise?

While it's true that powerlifters shouldn't run marathons, that doesn't mean that serious lifters shouldn't perform any cardio at all. Many 12-week powerlifting cycles, in fact, contain cardio as a required component of training.

Is powerlifting beneficial to one's physique?

Powerlifting technique isn't usually the same as physique or performance training method. The concentration on maximal strength above all else in powerlifting isn't ideal for most lifters. Most people would be better suited focusing on being incredibly strong with a moderate rep range.

How do I get started lifting weights at home?

"Beginners should bench and squat twice a week, maybe three times a week, and deadlift once a week." Every week, I want to get better and more efficient while adding a little more weight." "You should be able to gain weight practically every week for the first three to six months."

Powerlifters train for how many days a week?

The majority of powerlifters train three to five times each week, with some even exercising six times per week. This is because you only need to train certain muscle groups or activities 2 to 3 times per week for optimal strength increases.

Powerlifters perform how many reps?

Any set of 8 reps or more is considered high reps by most powerlifters. When the great majority of powerlifters train high rep sets, they usually do 8 to 15 repetitions per set. Although it is uncommon for powerlifters to reach 15 rep sets, some do.

Do powerlifters ever take a break?

While cutting and training for powerlifting isn't rocket science, it appears that many lifters who aren't educated about the process wind up worse off than they started. In this essay, I'll explain how to alter your diet and training to achieve a successful weight loss.

What effects does powerlifting have on your body?

Your metabolic rate will increase when your body composition changes to increase muscle mass and reduce fat cells, as powerlifting programs are meant to promote strength and power. This means you'll be able to consume more calories than before. As your muscle mass grows, so does your body's need for calories.

What should a powerlifter's diet consist of?

A powerlifter's diet should consist of 5-8 grams of carbohydrates per kilogram of body weight, 1.4-2 grams of protein per kilogram of body weight, and 30 percent of total calories from fat each day.

What makes slim powerlifters so powerful?

A skinny-ass person's high strength is due to the fact that they have proportionally more fast-twitch muscle fibers than the other guy. This cannot be raised, but you can improve the efficiency with which you recruit these motor units and the number of motor units you have.

On rest days, what do powerlifters do?

Athletes Should Do These 6 Things on a Rest Day

  • Pay attention to your body. 
  • First and foremost, no one knows your body better than you do.
  • Get Enough Sleep. 
  • When it comes to allowing your body to recover, both mental and physical rest are essential....
  • Hydrate, hydrate, hydrate.... Eat well.... Exercise regularly.... 
  • Stretch or foam roll.

Should I do sumo or traditional weightlifting?

Those with strong glutes, hamstrings, and lower back muscles should use the traditional deadlift. Pulling sumo makes more use of the quads and adductors than usual, but it also necessitates above-average adductor flexibility.

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