Powerlifting is an excellent way to achieve strength and is typically a valuable addition to any changes in lifestyle, health regimen and exercise routines. The great news about power lifting is that you don’t have to be a professional powerlifter to reap the many benefits of powerlifting exercises. Typically, when we think of powerlifting, we think of shredded men and women who compete in fitness competitions and have a ridiculously low percentage of body fat. Powerlifting, however, can easily be recommended for everyone to add to their daily routines: men and women of all shapes, sizes, physical shape, strength and age. Bodybuilder or not, powerlifting is important for every healthy routine.
Further according to the website, there are many benefits from power lifting, and these benefits include: “Increased strength is the first and most obvious benefit. Powerlifting can further assist in developing your sense of balance. It also increases stability and encourages the body to work effectively under stress by lifting maximum weights, and most importantly, power comes from the intense heavy lifting that will improve all of these areas over time and also provide advantages in your everyday activities. Great examples include lifting groceries, pushing a lawnmower, getting up and down off the floor, getting in and out of chairs, as well as staying independent longer into your golden years.” (1.)
Why is powerlifting so important? If you really “get into it,” powerlifting can become a sport for some, but for the average person, powerlifting can do wonders to your entire body. It can help strengthen your body while assisting with fat loss, but most importantly, reduces your risk of injury in other sports and activities. The main benefits from powerlifting are improved strength, fat loss, skeletal health and athletic ability. Let’s dive into those in more detail…
Powerlifting strengthens the muscles of your legs, back and upper body. Nearly every skeletal muscle is strengthened with a powerlifting routine. The squat works the muscles of your legs and hips better than many other training alternatives, according to a 2001 study published in ‘Medicine & Science in Sports & Exercise.’ The deadlift strengthens your back and legs, and the bench press strengthens most of the muscles of your upper body. The few muscles that are not worked directly on these three exercises are trained using assistance exercises to improve the three competitive lifts. According to thenest.com, “Powerlifting builds absolute and explosive strength. As you get stronger, you can lift heavier weight, which in turn, helps you become as strong as your genetics will allow. You will find that as you grow stronger, basic household tasks such as carrying a grocery bag in one arm and your cranky toddler in the other, will become easier.”
According to livestrong.com, “Powerlifting is a very intense form of exercise and burns a great many calories. One of the benefits of intense training is not just the calories you burn while training, but the long-term effect this has on your metabolism. In a 1994 study published in the ‘American Journal of Clinical Nutrition,’ study participants undergoing resistance training increased their caloric demands over a 24-hour period by 15 percent. Resistance training such as powerlifting has long been shown to be effective for fat loss.” When it comes to fat burning, powerlifting not only burns calories, but for every pound of muscle you have gained means you have eaten approximately 3,500 more calories than you have burned. Adopting a powerlifting routine will allow you to say goodbye to those last stubborn pounds forever. This vigorous activity burns about 331 extra calories an hour, increasing your calorie-burning potential throughout the day.
Another lesser known benefit of powerlifting is skeletal health. Osteoporosis afflicts one out of every five women in the United States and resistance training can combat the onset. In a 10-year review of literature published in “Medicine & Science in Sports & Exercise,” in 1999, it was shown that resistance training specifically increases bone mineral density. It was further shown that intense resistance training decreases numerous risk factors for osteoporosis by increasing bone mass.
Thenest.com also adds some helpful information as far as overall health benefits from powerlifting are concerned. They write, “Powerlifting can help get your heart and lungs in shape. You’ll be amazed at how it changes you inside as well as outside. As your heart and lungs get more efficient, you’ll find yourself able to fend off colds better, and you’ll be less likely to develop chronic health problems including Type 2 diabetes or high blood pressure.”
Finally, powerlifting can improve your overall athletic ability, making you better at other sports and athletic activities. Many of the activities in powerlifting improve other abilities like speed and vertical jump. For instance, a 2004 study published in the ‘British Journal of Sports Medicine,’ showed a direct correlation between squat strength and sprint speed. There was also a direct correlation between squat strength and vertical leap. So if you want to run faster or jump higher, get yourself under a squat rack. Additionally, the strength of your back contributes to many other activities and can even prevent you from having back pain later in life. This is achieved by building up the back muscles which help support and align your spine, reducing risk of injury.
Regardless of your day to day health regimen, powerlifting can add just the boost you need to help maintain or improve your current exercise regimen. In addition, when it comes to shedding those final, unwanted pounds, powerlifting can aide in just that. The benefits and rewards from tacking on a powerlifting regimen to your already existing routine, as you can see, will be highly beneficial and rewarding for achieving optimum health and fitness, after strengthening the powerhouse that is your body. Just by adding a simple powerlifting regimen to your routine can help reduce the risk of injuries from other sports and daily activities as a whole. You can’t go wrong with strong.