With recent world events, many people have avoided going to the gym. But with gyms reopening, there’s never been a better time to take up a new sport.
So why not take up powerlifting?
Not to be confused with weightlifting, where competitors use the snatch, clean and jerk method, powerlifters have three attempts to lift as much as they possibly can in all three disciplines. These are deadlifts, squats, and bench press.
“No powerlifting disciplines involve directing weight upright above the head” states powerliftingbelts.org.
So, what are the health benefits of the big three, as they are often called, and what can you gain from the sport of powerlifting?
As with any other resistance training, powerlifting is a sport that has more benefits than just improving strength. Here are just a few advantages of taking part in powerlifting:
Bigger, Stronger Bones
Approximately eight million women and two million men suffer from osteoporosis in the United States.
The weakening of the bones can lead to falls causing injuries such as hip fractures. It’s good to know then that powerlifting not only builds muscle, but it’s also a great way of adding strength and size to your bones.
The type of exercises involved in powerlifting puts an incredible amount of pressure on your joints and bones. Because bones are not static, they can grow in size, especially when carrying out the exercises involved in powerlifting.
Every time you take part in a powerlifting session, osteoblasts (cells that form new bone) will be forced into your bones, creating new mass, resulting in bigger, stronger, and denser bone structure.
Muscle Strength and Mass
The big three includes squats, deadlifts, and the bench press and is named that for a reason. These, above any other, can often involve lifting incredibly large amounts of weight.
You wouldn’t think twice of doing a barbell curl with 10kg on the bar, but you might have a good think before twice of performing a deadlift with 20x that amount. Because of these huge amounts of weight involved in powerlifting, muscle tear occurs a lot quicker.
These micro-tears begin to heal over a short period, creating more scar and muscle tissue, resulting in bigger and stronger muscles. The muscles grow to compensate for the increased amounts of weights that are added during powerlifting sessions.
Soreness can often occur because of these tears, so it’s important to keep up with your protein intake to help support your muscles’ healing and growth.
Crush Those Calories and Burn That Fat
Often overlooked as a calorie burner, powerlifting is a great way to shed those extra pounds and remove excess body fat. It stands to reason that the more energy you exert, the more calories you will burn. You can lose a lot of fat if you get your diet right.
When you consider the huge volumes of weight involved in powerlifting, you can guarantee your levels of exertion will be off the scale, resulting in a more significant calorie burn than you could have imagined.
Unlike aerobic exercise, which burns both muscle and fat, powerlifting almost exclusively burns body fat. Considering the aim is to build strength and muscle mass, powerlifting is a great way of achieving your goals.
As you increase in strength, your metabolism also increases resulting in a higher requirement for calories. So you naturally burn more fat. You’re also likely to gain weight rather than lose it from powerlifting. This shouldn’t be a concern, as any weight gained will result from muscle, not fat.
Put simply, the more powerlifting you do, without overdoing it, the stronger you will become. Strength plays a major role in all of our lives in so many ways.
Stronger legs from weighted squats will enable you to walk further, climb stairs easier, and run faster. It will reduce the risk of lower limb injury, improve endurance, ensure you have more independence as you get older, and even help you live longer.
Increase your ability to push and move objects with chest presses as well as improving posture and strengthening your back muscles. The bench press will also contribute to your overall upper body strength.
One of the most important benefits gained from deadlifts is its ability to strengthen the core. A strong core makes it much easier to carry out other exercises. This is especially true for runners. The core muscles help keep your torso upright as you run, allowing your pelvis and hips to work in harmony.
If you Look Good, You’ll Feel Good.
Confidence. If this is something you lack, then chances are, the more powerlifting you do, the more it will grow, and your self-esteem will be boosted as you get stronger.
You’re likely to catch yourself looking in the mirror more often, and why not. With bigger muscles, a toned body, and a strong core, who could blame you for feeling fantastic about yourself.