How To Become A Powerlifter (Part 2)

In Part 1 of this article, we looked at the rules and regulations and all the do’s and don’ts that a novice powerlifter needs to know.

Now that you know what it takes to become a powerlifter, you must be all set to train your mind and body to step into the world of powerlifting.

But where do you start?

Is there a particular routine or program which you need to follow? Or would you need to rely on your genetics alone in order to enhance your strength and power?

Fortunately for you, help is on hand! Let me be your guide through some training protocols which would prove to be indispensable, whether you are a beginner who wants to lay a solid foundation or a seasoned warrior who wants to take his lifting to the next level.

Let’s take a look.

Part A: Powerlifting Training For Beginners

The Basics

Here is what you’ll need to start with!

As a beginner, there are two things that are non-negotiable:

  • Start a Training Program
  • Adopt a Quantified and Structured Nutrition Plan

both preferably under a good Coach. Then, start following them to a T.

This will eventually help you enhance your lifts and will also contribute to the whole musculoskeletal development. Most of all, It will help you stay consistent and enable you to track your progress. This way, you can estimate and understand what works best for you, as one size doesn’t fit all.

Mind-Body Connection

As a novice, your primary goal should be to master the Three Big Lifts viz. Squats, Deadlift and Bench Press. Instead of continuously shuffling between your training programs, you must perfect your lifts from every possible aspect, especially Form & Technique. Practice these lifts regularly and keep doing them till every single motion and method of the lifts is engraved inside your brain. As you progress in your training, this practice will gradually help you build strong proprioception. Emphasising more on relatively higher intensity as well as volume will help you with that.

Try to feel and understand the engagement of muscle groups involved in different lifts.

E.g. Focus on the engagement of your posterior chain while you squat, the involvement of your core while benching  & deadlifts etc. This will help you in figuring out your lagging body parts, and you can put in some more work by adding accessory workouts for those particular areas as you proceed towards advanced level.

For instance, if you figure out that your glutes are not properly firing up while you squat, you can add in some accessory workouts such as Step Ups, Lunges, Leg Press, Hip Thrust etc. to increase your glute activation and thus improve your lifts.

Do NOT Do This!

Here’s something you should avoid as a beginner: Never ever start off too heavy. If you cannot perform a deep squat with a loaded bar, the reason is simple: it’s just too heavy for you to lift. The solution: off with the plates!

Avoid fooling yourself. Don’t let your ego dictate your lifting. Always start from scratch and understand the basic methodologies before rushing towards a lift. Ego-lifting and the resultant bad form could knock you down within seconds.  

Do THIS!

The most workable and universally accepted training protocol for a powerlifter, even a Beginner, is “DUP” (Daily Undulating Periodisation).

Part B: Powerlifting Training For Advanced Lifters

Tips & Strategies

If you’re an advanced lifter, then the most critical part of your training routine is the evaluation of your lifts.

Be your own worst critic. It’s probably the fastest route to improvement. Judge yourself and expect more from yourself than anybody else ever could. The path from Advanced Lifting to Elite Lifting is a hard one, and most people give up in the middle. It’s necessary to keep that hunger alive.

Show up every single time! Most advanced level lifters wouldn’t dream of missing their training sessions but sometimes, life knocks you down and presents you with an injury or a disturbed mindset. Just accept the fact that you’ll not always wake up with a monster mindset to bend the iron but that you have to do it anyways!

Learn to tackle demotivation. There will be days when your mind will be preoccupied with pain and gloominess. Your lifts will hit a plateau and you might even think about giving up. You need to recognize the fact that it is humanly impossible to keep yourself mentally and physically lifted every single time. A real athlete is not the one who doesn’t feel demotivated but the one who can work his way through it, keeping the commitment made to self as his top priority accompanied by a willingness to make sacrifices.

Mindset

To prepare yourself internally, you need to go back to the beginning and ask yourself these questions:

“Why did you start in the first place?”

“What was the thought behind getting into powerlifting?”

“How did it feel after your first successful attempt of the lift?”

Powerlifting is a demanding sport as it demands passion, perseverance & persistence to add a winning streak. There is no secret or shortcut to success but pure grind and consistency.

After everything you’ve read above, you might ask yourself: are you strong enough to do this?

Trust me, just step in and start doing it! Your capabilities are way beyond your imagined limitations.

AUTHOR: RISHI MANUJA