Powerlifting is a sport comprised of three lifts: the Squat, Bench Press and Deadlift. Powerlifting competitions may be comprised of one, two or all three of the lifting disciplines. Athletes are categorized by sex, age, and body weight. Each competitor is allowed three attempts at each lift, the best lift in each discipline being added to their total. The lifter with the highest total is the winner. In cases where two or more lifters achieve the same total, the person with the lightest bodyweight wins.
Most powerlifting programs are comprised of 3 distinct phases; hypertrophy, strength, and peaking. The hypertrophy phase is designed to add muscle using higher volume reps and sets. The strength phase uses your newly created muscle to get stronger, typically lowering the volume to sets of 3-6 reps. Finally, the peaking block is designed to reach your peak strength for competition with sets in the 1-3 rep range for 2 weeks to 2 months.. The hypertrophy and strength phases or blocks of a mesocycle are generally 4-8 weeks long with a deload every 3-7 weeks to allow the body to recover.
If you love lifting big weight and pushing yourself to your limits, then give powerlifting a try – you’ll either love it or hate it.