Have you ever watched those World’s Strongest Man competitions or any other strong man competitions where those big and burly men and women lift ridiculous amounts of weight? That is what powerlifting is. You do squats, deadlifts, and bench presses, and you lift as much as is possible at once.
It may sound a little bit boring, but once you really get into it, it can be pretty fun, not to mention extremely rewarding as well. The benefits of powerlifting are far wider in scope than just becoming a big muscle man. There are a great number of benefits that you can get from doing some basic powerlifting and you should start to take advantage of them today.
What Is Powerlifting?
Powerlifting is so much more than just regular old weight lifting at the gym. Weight lifting involves doing a larger number of repetitions and sets of the same exercise over and over again, and it usually does not involve that much weight. On the other hand, powerlifting is a sport where you try to lift as much as humanly possible and it usually only involves one single rep. Powerlifting exercises consist of three main exercises, those being the squat, the deadlift, and the bench press.
Generally speaking, in a powerlifting competition, each contestant gets to attempt each of the three lifts three times. Just in case you might be worried about the safety of lifting such large amounts of weight, you can always give this article a read. In case you didn’t bother to read it, the article confirms that powerlifting as well as weightlifting are among some of the safer sports that you could participate in.
Benefit #1: Building Bigger Bones
If you thought that powerlifting was all about building bigger muscles, you are missing another really big benefit that you get from doing it on a regular basis. Powerlifting is considered to be a weight bearing exercise. A weight bearing exercise is any type of exercise which puts an increased amount of weight on your bones and joints, such as powerlifting 300 pounds up over your head.
A weight bearing exercise is very beneficial for your bones in the long run and it is because any weight bearing exercise is one which helps to build stronger bones. In case you did not know, your bones are not static in nature, or in other words, they have the ability to grow in size and in strength, just like your muscles.
Just like lifting weight increases the strength of your muscles, holding up weight increases the strength of your bones. This is due to the fact that when you engage in a weight bearing exercise the osteoblasts in your bones are forced to lay down new bone mass, much like your muscles growing after you exercise them.
The more weight bearing exercises you do, and the more weight you hold up when you do them, the more bone mass your osteoblasts will lay down. In the long run this means that your bones will grow thicker, denser, and will also get bigger in size. This is pretty important for your health, especially when you consider that as you age your bones start to degrade and lose mass.
Good strong bones courtesy of weight bearing exercises will prevent degenerative bone diseases such as osteoporosis in old age, plus having stronger bones will also prevent them from breaking as easily when you slip and fall.
Benefit #2: Increasing Muscle Size & Strength
Of course, one of the main benefits that you can reap from some regular powerlifting is that it will help to increase the strength of your muscles exponentially. To give you a quick tutorial as to how your muscles grow, it is actually pretty simple.
When you exercise your muscles through basic weight lifting, and eventually powerlifting, your muscles develop small tears that are referred to as micro tears. These micro tears are not necessarily a good thing in the heat of the moment because of course, they do hurt a little, plus it means that your muscles have sustained a minimal amount of damage, but things always get worse before they get better.
These micro tears in your muscles, over a pretty short amount of time, heal and grow over with scar tissue or more muscle tissue, which ultimately results in your muscles growing bigger and stronger. Something that plays a large role in the healing and growth of your muscles is of course protein, so if you are going to be powerlifting, make sure that you get more than enough protein to help your muscles grow and recover.
Lifting a massive amount of weight like powerlifters hoist will make your muscles grow pretty darn quick. An average powerlifter can lift anywhere from 700 to 1,200 pounds in total. We aren’t saying that you will be able to ever lift that much, or even that you should aspire to do so, but with a lot of training and dedication you can definitely achieve something close to that.
Nobody is going to argue that being stronger is not beneficial. Having stronger muscles is great for things like increasing your physical performance, or in other words, sports like hockey, football, boxing, and any other physically intensive sport is made easier with stronger muscles. Even things like carrying your children up the stairs, hauling groceries from your car, or moving furniture are made easier when you have stronger muscles.
There is also the fact that with powerlifting and stronger muscles also come having bigger muscles. We aren’t sure about you, but we certainly like having bigger muscles. It makes us look better when we look in the mirror, plus that date you have tomorrow night won’t be able to take their eyes off of those big biceps that you have either.
Benefit #3: Burning Calories & Losing Weight
You may not think that powerlifting can help you burn calories and lose weight, because after all, powerlifters are some pretty big guys and tend to weigh in excess of 200 or even 300 pounds. While it is true that powerlifting will not help you gain lean muscle mass, nor will it give you that nice toned look, or make you look skinny, it does require a whole lot of energy to execute any of the big 3 power lifts.
The fact of the matter is that powerlifting is a very calorie intensive type of exercise. It takes a whole lot of strength and energy to lift several hundred pounds at once, and an exercise that requires a lot of energy is one which will make your body burn a great many calories in order to have enough energy to lift. If you thought that normal weight lifting or strength exercises required all of the energy that you could muster, just wait until you try some real powerlifting.
It is shown that just one day of a powerlifting routine can help you to increase your caloric intake needs by up to 15 percent. In other words, one little powerlifting session will force your body to require up to 15 percent more calories every single day just so it can sustain normal energy levels, plus of course to help you actually do the lifting. While powerlifting does build muscle mass, which will make you gain weight, it is of course weight in muscle and not fat.
If your body does not have enough calories at hand to be converted into energy it will resort to the fat reserves on your body. Your fat is the body’s energy reserve, and when your body is forced to use it to complete tasks such as powerlifting, it results in a melting away of that belly fat, those love handles, and those thunder thighs.
There is an even bigger bonus involved here, which is that this same powerlifting process will also rev up your metabolism past any point of recognition. An increased metabolic rate means that your body will burn more calories on average than it otherwise would. There is also the fact that a daily lifting routine will even increase your EPOC or exercise post energy consumption, which means that your body will continue to burn an increased number of calories long after your powerlifting routine is over.
In essence, powerlifting will make you burn a great number of calories, it will melt away fat around your body, it will increase your metabolism to keep fat off, and it will also help convert that fat right into muscle, all benefits which no one can argue with.
Benefit #4: Increased Confidence
The next thing that powerlifting can help you with is to feel more confident, hold yourself in higher regard, and increase your self-esteem. One of the reasons for an increase in your self-esteem is because of the simple fact that you are stronger, and everyone feels better when they are stronger.
There is also the fact that having bigger muscles and a toned iron man like body will make you see yourself in a whole new light. Looking in the mirror is never better than when you get to flex those big biceps at yourself, not to mention that getting a date is easier when you look like a muscle god.
There are so many different ways in which powerlifting can make you a more confident person, and even if it is just because you know that you are a stronger person than the guy standing opposite of you in the boxing ring.
Benefit #5: Getting To Meet New People
Another thing that you should be able to appreciate about powerlifting is that it brings you into a new community. Nobody likes being along and joining a powerlifting community is a great way to avoid the loneliness that many of us experience. There are giant powerlifting communities out there which are always accepting of new people and that includes you.
Benefit #6: Better Athletic Ability – Jumping & Running
Something else that powerlifting can do for you is to make you better at running and jumping. One of the main lifts that you do in powerlifting is the squat and that is an exercise that can increase the strength of your legs exponentially, especially your calves and thighs.
It is shown that powerlifting squats directly contributes to stronger legs, which in turn directly contributes to an increased ability to sprint and jump. Yes, powerlifting can help you run faster and it can help you jump much higher too.
Having stronger legs will also make you better at balancing due to having a more solid base to stand on, yet another bonus that you can get from lifting excessive amounts of weight. There is also the fact that powerlifting involves using explosive strength to lift those tremendous loads.
Now, just imagine how much faster you will be able to explode without 300 or 400 pounds on your shoulders. What we mean is that powerlifting gives you this explosive speed that can come in pretty handy in a number of situations.
Benefit #7: A Stronger Core & Better Posture
Yet another big benefit that you can get from powerlifting is that it goes a long way in increasing both your core strength and the strength of your lower back muscles. Of course, being stronger is a good thing for a variety of reasons, but that is not really what we are getting at here.
A stronger core and back results in having better posture due to an increased ability to hold yourself in an upright position. Having better posture is a good thing because it makes you stand upright, in other words, it makes you stand up straight and it makes you look more confident. Nobody wants to walk around with a hunched back and powerlifting is a great way to solve that problem.
There is also the fact that having a straight back results in less back problems and a reduction in back pain. Back pain is not a fun thing to have to deal with and some regular powerlifting might just be the solution that you need. Having a stronger core is also useful for other things like being a better martial artist, wrestler, or boxer too. Core strength is essential to so many different things.
If you have not already considered powerlifting, you may want to give it a serious try. If your power level is not that high yet, you may want to start out with some basic weight lifting and then move your way up to powerlifting. This is not an easy sport by any means and it takes a lot of dedication, not to mention raw power, but the benefits of powerlifting are excellent for your health and you definitely won’t regret giving it a shot. Stronger muscles, bigger bones, better posture, and a more confident outlook on life can all be gained from some regular powerlifting.
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