powerlifter intense face

I can’t add in a section about powerlifting without a few words of warning…

The Dangers of Powerlifting

Like any sport, powerlifting can be dangerous, especially when performed incorrectly. If you are just starting out, you really should find a good coach or at the very least, an experienced powerlifter at a nearby gym.

Reading and watching online videos can be a big help, and you can post your own videos on YouTube to get critiques of your form, but it’s a distant second place behind personal real-life coaching.

If you have bad form, it can lead to serious injury. The injury could be immediate, perhaps from screwing up the lift and dropping a loaded bar onto your chest or neck, or it could develop over time. Injuries that develop over time generally affect your ligaments and joints (knee, hip, and shoulder injuries are common,) and if these go far enough, your body might never be the same.

Just think about it. You’re pushing and pulling HEAVY weights. Anything can happen.

Plus, if you start using chalk on your hands for better grip, you might get some in your eye! Or you’ll drop a weight plate on your toe!

So, before you begin powerlifting, please please please get checked out by a doctor to see if your body is up to the task of powerlifting. And please get at least some coaching before you start throwing weights around all willy-nilly!

Powerlifting Can Be A Safe Sport!

But before you get scared off, I want to say something. I believe that powerlifting is a very safe sport.

For one thing, you’re probably healthier and less injury-prone if you do lift than if you’re a coach potato. A sedentary lifestyle will pose more health risks than exercising.

If you begin powerlifting properly with good coaching and put an emphasis on good form before worrying about heavy weights, you’ll do well. If you use that good form on each lift, and you exercise common sense, you will avoid almost all risk.

If you think about it, there are a lot of reasons powerlifting is safe:

  • You have a spotter to help you out and protect you.
  • You’re not competing directly against anyone.
  • Everything moves rather slowly.
  • It’s a controlled environment.
  • You generally don’t fall down.
  • It’s not a contact sport.

Compared to football, hockey, or basketball, powerlifting is tame. You’re not getting hit or tackled nor are you running and jumping on a hard surface. There’s nothing to trip over. No punches are being thrown and there aren’t baseballs flying through the air.

Injury-wise, so much more can happen out on the road or trail than in a powerlifting meet.

Powerlifting Safety Tips

Finally, here are a few tips to help you minimize risk of injury:

  • Learn from a good coach.
  • Have a spotter; never lift alone.
  • Always use good form; don’t compromise form in order to lift a heavier weight.
  • Eat a healthy diet with plenty of calories for energy; stay hydrated.
  • Get plenty of sleep.
  • Always make sure your equipment is in good shape.


Now go enjoy powerlifting!

Photo Credit: J Griffin

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  1. Thank you for this article I have been training for 6 months) with a coach who has still not moved me to a heavy (powerlifting) programe, was thinking about quitting (blaming coach for slow progress) but this article made me realise that he is not responsible for my slow progress, and is keeping me in the safe zone.

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