After becoming a 1st Phorm sponsored athlete I was asked to write my first blog on powerlifting related topics. I figured the best way to start the blog off was to talk about the sport in general to help educate people on powerlifting. Many people use the term powerlifting, but really don’t know anything about it. In this first blog I intend to explain the sport and in later blogs I will talk about different routines, nutrition for powerlifters and ways to improve strength, which in turn will pack on the muscle. Along the way, feel free to ask any questions and I’ll try my best to answer them.
Powerlifting is broken down into three lifts;
You are given three attempts at each lift and your top weight of each counts towards your combined total score.
There are three judges (two sides and one head) that accept or decline a lift. After each lift you need two judges to pass the lift in order for it to count. If for some reason you don’t complete a single lift, you’re out of the meet (bomb out).
Powerlifting has many different federations. In my opinion, too many. The reasons for these different federations vary from drug tested vs. non drug tested organizations, single ply vs. double ply (equipment used) and different variance of rules. I compete in the United States Powerlifting (USAPL). I feel that the USAPL is the best drug tested, most legit organization out there. The USAPL is the only United States organization that falls under the International Powerlifting Federation (IPF). IFP is the most prestigious world federation there is, and over 100 countries compete in it. The IPF is also responsible for organizing competition for the World Games, which is affiliated with the International Olympic Committee. Although powerlifting is not an Olympic sport, being recognized by the IOC is the closest any organization has gotten.
There are two different divisions inside of the USAPL organization; raw and equipped. What this means is you either compete raw which only allows the use of knee sleeves and a belt, or equipped which allows the use of singly ply bench shirts, squat suits, knee and wrist wraps.
There are also many different age categories and weight classes which powerlifting follows. I compete in the open 275 pound class. In the USAPL we have to weigh in approximately two hours prior to when we lift, which doesn’t give us much time to do dramatic weight losses before the meet without disrupting our strength levels. Therefore, I try to stay as close to my lifting weight as I can while in my training cycle.
Unless you’re lifting on a World team, powerlifting is as much of an individual sport as you can get. You basically compete against yourself on a meet to meet basis. My goal is never to catch the top guy, but to get stronger every time I compete. If this happens, the rest will take care of itself.
I hope this gives everyone a little insight on the underground sport I compete in. Like I said before, my future blogs will include powerlifting training, techniques and nutrition which might give you some new ideas how to improve on your own lifting.
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