woman powerlifter at squat rack

Are you on the fence about beginning powerlifting? Well, listen up!

Whether you want to improve athletic performance, compete in powerlifting, or just get strong, there may be a reason for you to begin powerlifting.

Here are my top 10 reasons to start powerlifting today:

#1 – Powerlifting Is The Safest Style of Weight Lifting

While all weight lifting (and exercise for that matter) has an element of danger, powerlifting is relatively safe.* Why? Because it rewards proper form. If you are powerlifting with the goal to set a personal best, your form absolutely must be spot-on. In bodybuilding, with the goal to fatigue muscles so they grow bigger (rather than focusing on the weight itself,) proper form isn’t essential and is sometimes thrown out the window.

With that ideal form, you are less likely to get injured.

*Obviously the safety part is up to you. Talk to your doctor before beginning any new exercise regimen, and make sure you are under the supervision of a good coach if you’re new to the sport.

#2 – Increase Bone Density

All resistance training will increase your bone density. Stronger bones means you avoid osteoporosis when you’re older. Also, you’re less likely to break a bone during a pile-up in a corner or just during daily life.

Powerlifting, with its focus on heavier weights, should theoretically be the best training to improve your bone health.

#3 – Develop Full-Body Strength

When you do powerlifting exercises properly, each one is a full-body exercise. Each exercise requires you to drive power from your lower body through your upper body. Learning this technique is very useful for lifting heavy objects in real life (that you’d never be able to lift using your muscles in isolation.)

It’s no secret that most endurance sports do not develop full-body strength…

#4 – Improve Athletic Performance

Unlike in bodybuilding, the strength and power gains from powerlifting will actually help you in sports. For starters, you’ll end up running faster and jumping higher. With some on-bike work, you’ll be pushing those big gears easier than ever.

Play football? You’ll be able to tackle bigger players and/or run through anyone in your way. Play basketball? You’ll jump high enough for any rebound.

#5 – It’s Simple

There are three lifts. You learn those lifts, then do them. That’s it. While there are plenty of finer details for each lift, it’s easy to get the basics down quickly.

This is essential for anyone who already participates in skill-intensive sports (mountain biking, for instance) that take up a lot of time and energy.

#6 – It’s Rewarding

It feels great to see your weight totals go up every single week! It’s actually common to see steady gains if you’re on a good program.

With every little gain, you’re motivated to keep training. You don’t have to wait months or years to see progress – it’s almost instant gratification!

#7 – Build Muscle

Though you aren’t doing a plethora of exercises, each designed to enhance a certain body part, you’re still going to build some muscles and look good. While some of the popular 250+ lb powerlifters are just plain big, check out the guys weighing under 200lb and you’ll see some ripped, athletic physiques.

It’s no problem to maintain a 160lb body weight for bike racing and still have some fun and success with powerlifting.

#8 – Build Self-Confidence

Confidence in yourself is essential for so many things in life. Being more confident will bring you more success in life.

As a powerlifter, there’s something empowering about grabbing hold of a heavy, loaded barbell and ripping it off the ground or heaving it into the air! You just don’t get that with running or cycling.

#9 – Practically Everyone Can Do It

If you get a gym membership or put together a home gym, you can do it. No fancy machines are necessary! You don’t have to be able to run a marathon or anything like that.

You can even compete in your weight class amongst others with the same goals – 130lb skinny guys and 300lb massive men are both welcome. Women are, too!

#10 – It’s Fun to Be Strong

Being strong is just plain fun. You can always open bottles and jars for weak people, move furniture yourself, hoist people onto your shoulder and carry them out of a burning building, etc. You can do all sorts of neat stuff that you normally wouldn’t be able to do if your only training was for endurance sports.

Ready to start powerlifting? Check out my article “What Is Powerlifting?” for a good introduction.

Photo Credit: Greg Westfall

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