What Exactly is Powerlifting?

Chances are that you have heard the term powerlifting several times during your workouts and how incredibly beneficial it is. 

But what exactly is a power lift and how is it done?

A power lift is a competitive strength sport that has a goal to enable a person to lift the most amount of weight for one repetition in three lifts- squat, bench press, and deadlift. Its objective is to release the maximum muscular force possible during the given movements through leveraging and recruiting the largest muscles in your body.

Usually, the number of repetitions in powerlifting exercises is low due to the heavyweights and it involves longer optimal rest periods. 

When powerlifting is done competitively, the lifters are judged on their heaviest attempts. Their best lifts are added together to make up the total. 

Which are the best powerlifting exercises?

Wondering how to do powerlifting?

Powerlifting is not limited just to competitions. Powerlifting exercises are also done by gym-goers to increase their muscular strength. Here are some of the best powerlifting gym or home exercises:

  1. Bench press: In powerlifting bench press is undoubtedly the most common and effective exercise when it comes to upper body strength. Here is how you can do this exercise by maintaining the best powerlifting bench press form:

  • To start the powerlifting bench press exercise, lay on the bench with your feet resting flat on the ground.
  • Hold the bar with a medium-width grip.
  • Lower the bar to your mid-chest area.
  • Raise the bar till your arms are straight.
  • Hold the bar here for 3-4 seconds before lowering.

Sets and reps: You can do 6-8 sets of 1-3 reps of a bench press powerlifting workout.

  1. Powerlifting squat: Squats is an excellent exercise to build the muscles of your core and lower body including the calves, hamstrings, and quadriceps. Follow these steps to perfect the powerlifting squat form:

  • Stand facing the bar and step under it.¬†
  • Put your hands around it on either side. For proper wrist alignment, you can opt for a thumbless grip. Try to keep the grip narrow for proper placement of the bar on your upper back.
  • With the weight placed on your shoulders, step back slowly from the supports.
  • Keep your feet slightly wider than hip-width apart.
  • Now engage your core, squeeze your glutes, and take a deep breath.¬†
  • Move your hips back and lower your body slowly.
  • Continue to squat till your legs are parallel to the ground.
  • Get back to the starting position.

Sets and reps of powerlifting squat workout: You can do 4-5 sets of 1-3 reps of the powerlifting squat workout.

  1. Powerlifting deadlifts: Deadlifts are a great exercise to activate your hip extensors. It also strengthens your core and helps you lose weight. Here’s how to do this powerlifting workout with the proper form:

  • Stand with your foot placed beneath the barbell.
  • Bend over and hold the bar in a shoulder-width grip.
  • Slowly bend your knees till your shins touch the bar.
  • Lift your chest slowly and straighten your lower back.
  • Inhale deeply and stand up straight holding the weight.
  • Hold this position for 2-3 seconds.
  • Return the weight to the floor by moving your hips back and bending your legs.

Sets and reps: You can do 2-3 sets of 6-8 reps of this powerlifting exercise. 

What are the benefits of powerlifting?

Here are some of the most important benefits of powerlifting exercises:

  • One of the best benefits of powerlifting is that it is immensely beneficial in increasing your overall strength. The three major powerlifting exercises i.e. squats, bench press, and deadlifts, are compound movements that engage and activate the largest muscles in your body. This helps in building muscles and gives you an aesthetic appeal.

  • Better body strength through powerlifting helps in improving your bone density. This prevents the risk of injuries and fractures.

  • Powerlifting is an excellent exercise for improving your circulation. This builds your immunity and enhances your brain health reducing the risk of neurodegenerative conditions.

  • One of the most important benefits of powerlifting is that by improving circulation, it makes your cardiac system healthy. This prevents the risk of serious issues like arrhythmia, heart attack, stroke, hypertension, etc.

  • Powerlifting is a great way to improve your posture and reduce posture-related pains and stiffness. This is because these exercises work on most of the muscles in the core, legs, and lower back.

  • It is a great weight loss exercise. By helping build muscles, increasing your metabolism, and expending calories, it helps you get to your optimum weight. This prevents several serious obesity-related health issues like diabetes, heart problems, hypertension, etc.

  • Powerlifting gym exercises have shown a significant impact on athletic abilities. For instance, squats help improve sprint speed and help athletes run faster.

  • If you have the basic equipment, powerlifting can be easily included in your regime of workout at home. You can do these exercises anywhere with a minimal setup.

  • Powerlifting exercises are modifiable. Men and women both can do them. These exercises are customisable depending on the lifter‚Äôs age, health, and exercise experience.¬†

How to do powerlifting exercises safely?

Now that you know how to do powerlifting, it is essential to know the correct way to exercises. Since these exercises involve heavyweights, certain things need to be kept in mind to avoid injuries. These include:

  • Make sure to warm up before lifting weights. Not doing so may cause muscle pull and strain.¬†
  • Maintaining the correct form is critical. Not just powerlifting bench press form but also that for squats and deadlifts. Try your best not to round your back during these movements. Try different stances and ranges of motion to find the best form according to your body type.
  • Don‚Äôt start doing powerlifting workouts on your own. Learn the proper technique from an experienced trainer. This is especially important during powerlifting for beginners.


Like any exercise, consistency is the key to building muscle through powerlifting. This, and keeping yourself motivated is essential, especially in powerlifting for beginners. Don’t hesitate to try out different variations and alternatives to get that enviable body. 

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