Powerlifting – What Is It & What Are the Benefits


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Powerlifting is a strength sport and it consists of three attempts at the squat, deadlift and bench at maximal weight. It’s a sport not only for men, but more females (including myself) are getting into it. Also, it’s a sport that the young and old can do. Check out this 93 years old powerlifting competitor, yup, he still competes!

Powerlifting moves or lifts are compound, full body exercises meaning that several joints are involved in each lift. These lifts work more muscles than isolated exercises (aka bodybuilding exercises – bicep curls, shoulder press, etc.). Therefore, it’s more efficient and saves you time in the gym.


Powerlifting: 3 Main Lifts


The squat is known as an exercise that targets the glutes (one of the best exercises in my post on how to grow the glutes) and legs. However, it also develops the muscles of the lower back, upper back, trunk, core, shoulders and arms. Hence, why it is a compound exercise. It creates an anabolic state which is the process of growth for tissues and organs (aka muscle growth/mass).

The squat is also a movement that mimics real life movements. It’s one of the best functional exercises that promotes mobility and balance. It improves joint strength and knee stability. Also, it is one of the most efficient exercises in terms of calorie burning.


The deadlift, another compound exercise, works the major muscle groups. It actually works even more muscles than the squat. Although a compound movement, it’s a relatively simple exercise to perform. Therefore, it can be included in a beginner’s strength training program.

The deadlift is also another lift that can be used in real life situations (ie. lifting things from the ground). It’s my favourite lift of the three and it just makes you look badass when you can lift hundreds of pounds off the ground.

Bench Press

The bench press is known for more of a chest and upper back and shoulder workout, however with good form, the legs are also engaged to drive strength into the press. Your feet should be flat on the ground. Ladies, do not be afraid of the bench press. Yes, it’s an exercise that will grow the chest muscle and this will give you a ‘lift’ without any surgery!

As these powerlifting lifts are all compound exercises, they are quite complex and it takes time and patience to master. Also, there are specific muscles that must be activated when doing these lifts in order to prevent injury. The technicality of these lifts makes for a more interesting workout session. And in the end, when you hit a personal record it makes it even more satisfying!

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  • Reply Michelle

    I like to do do squats and deadlifts.

    May 25, 2017 at 11:31 pm
    • Reply appowerfit

      Me too! I’m not so much into bench, but I know the benefits of it so I stick to it. 🙂

      May 28, 2017 at 11:31 am
  • Reply Kelli

    Thanks! How do you know when to increase weight and how much should I go up at a time?

    May 26, 2017 at 12:32 am
    • Reply appowerfit

      I suggest going up approx 5-10lbs, but it’s according to your progress. You will know if you need to increase weight when you can do several reps at that weight with some left in your tank.

      May 26, 2017 at 7:42 am
  • Reply Shilpa Bindlish

    I can comfortably squat for any longer. Wish some images were there with these topics..

    May 26, 2017 at 4:52 am
    • Reply appowerfit

      Hi Shilpa, for future posts I will be getting into more detail with these movements. Just wanted to give an overview in this post first. Stay tuned! 🙂

      May 26, 2017 at 7:44 am
  • Reply Chemady

    I can’t remember the last time I did powerlifting because it’s a compound exercise. Though it requires self discipline.

    May 26, 2017 at 7:36 am
    • Reply appowerfit

      Yes, it’s a great workout! Thanks for reading.

      May 26, 2017 at 7:45 am
  • Reply Amber Myers

    I really need to start doing something like this. At some point I’ll try it out. I’m impressed by that 93-year-old!

    May 26, 2017 at 8:25 am
    • Reply appowerfit

      Hopefully, you’ll have time to give it a try. It’s so much fun! I hope I can continue doing this at 93! 🙂

      May 28, 2017 at 11:27 am
  • Reply jhilmil

    Couldn’t get much of Bench Press but yes I love Squatting! I practise it most of the days but need to go on power lifting!

    May 26, 2017 at 9:05 am
    • Reply appowerfit

      That’s great! Keep it up! 🙂

      May 28, 2017 at 11:34 am
  • Reply Liz

    What a great workout. My husband use to do something like this. It’s hard to fit the time in for the guy, but it’s so important to be healthy!

    May 26, 2017 at 10:25 am
    • Reply appowerfit

      Yes, we must make time for our health. 🙂 Thanks for reading.

      May 26, 2017 at 10:51 am
  • Reply Tasheena @

    This is great information to know. I have to get back into my squatting routine.

    May 26, 2017 at 1:54 pm
    • Reply appowerfit

      Thank you! 🙂

      May 28, 2017 at 11:35 am
  • Reply Milica

    I will use some of these tips at the gym. Thanks!

    May 26, 2017 at 7:49 pm
    • Reply appowerfit

      That’s great! Thanks for reading.

      May 28, 2017 at 11:36 am
  • Reply Gokul Raj

    I would have loved some pics or videos to go with this post. Would have been helpful.

    May 27, 2017 at 3:23 am
    • Reply appowerfit

      More to come! Keep in touch. 🙂

      May 27, 2017 at 11:16 am
  • Reply Amrita

    I love weight lifting. It’s energising and empowering.Deadlift gets my vote.It’s a personal favourite

    May 27, 2017 at 4:25 am
    • Reply appowerfit

      Mine too! 🙂

      May 27, 2017 at 11:15 am
  • Reply Anosa

    Squatting I can do no issues the rest not so much I am such a lazy lut. Thanks for sharing this and the benefits

    May 28, 2017 at 5:11 am
    • Reply appowerfit

      Keep at it and you’ll be able to do them too. Thanks for reading. 🙂

      May 28, 2017 at 11:15 am
  • Reply Andrea @ The Petite Cook

    Great post! I had no idea what powerlifting was until now, thank you so much for sharing 🙂

    May 28, 2017 at 8:19 am
    • Reply appowerfit

      Thanks for reading! 🙂

      May 28, 2017 at 11:13 am
  • Reply Raushan Kumar

    Loved it.
    I am also a gym lover

    May 28, 2017 at 8:52 am
    • Reply appowerfit

      Thank you! 🙂

      May 28, 2017 at 11:13 am

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