If you’re looking to get as strong as possible, or even if you’re using weight training as a means to an end of a great physique, powerlifting training is extremely beneficial. There are tons of weight lifting programs out there, but all of the successful things have one thing in common – they focus on gaining lots of strength! Here is what you should look for in the best powerlifting routines:
1. Focus on the Squat, Bench Press, and Deadlift
If you’ve been in the powerlifting game for long, or even if you’re researched the sport itself, this will be a no-brainer to you. However, it’s surprising how many people (don’t be ashamed if this is you!) are unaware that they should be doing the basic power exercises in their powerlifting routines.
These important exercises are the squat, bench press, and deadlift. Even if you are not training specifically for powerlifting, and many of you probably are not, you should always focus on variations of these movements for maximum muscle growth.
All good powerlifting routines (or bodybuilding routines, for that matter) will have you performing various squats, presses, and deadlifts to build most of your muscle mass. Gaining strength on these basic movements will take you further than any other supposed “bodybuilding” technique when it comes to building lots of muscle mass.
2. Use Many Methods of Weight Lifting
You have probably heard about using low reps, high reps, medium reps, etc. These are often referred to as the different “methods” of weight training. Though people often try to categorize these methods as “powerlifting training” or “bodybuilding training,” successful lifters and physique builders of any type use a combination, not just one.
Using very heavy weights with which you can only perform 1-3 (and sometimes up to 5) reps is referred to as the maximal effort method. This is what most people think of when they think powerlifting routines – heavy weights, very few reps.
Using light or moderate weights for sets of 8, 10, 12, or even more reps is usually referred to as the repetition, or repeated effort method. This is what people traditionally think of as “bodybuilding” training. However, powerlifters, competitive and recreational, use this method to build up their muscle mass, as well.
The third method of importance is called the dynamic effort method. This is when you use a weight that is around 50-60 percent of your max for a given movement and perform sets of 1-3 very fast reps. Though this method can be great for building speed, it is best left to very advanced lifters.
3. Eat to Grow
The most important piece to the muscle-building puzzle is eating. You must eat more food than your body expends each day, so that your body can use the surplus to build NEW muscle tissue, and not just repair what you already have.
Eating enough food is one area in which competitive powerlifters tend to outdo bodybuilders and other fitness enthusiasts. Many trainees, even advanced ones, will often avoid eating enough to gain muscle for fear of fat gain, as well. While this is a legitimate concern, you can’t be worried about it so much that it inhibits your muscle gains.
You should be eating 2 times your bodyweight in protein grams per day (that’s a lot!), as well as enough carbs and fats to supply the additional energy to train and grow. Focus mainly on “clean” sources of food such lean meats, fish, grains, oils, nuts, and produce. However, don’t be afraid to cheat on your diet every once in a while. You’re already going for a calorie surplus, it’s not like a few hundred extra at one meal is really going to hurt you in the long run.
4. Keep Learning More About Powerlifting