Powerlifting – The Best Sport You Have Never Heard Of

Lisa Wilson, Staff Writer

Powerlifting is a style of weight training; a strength sport that focuses on three primary lifts: the squat, bench press, and deadlift. The sport does not get attention in the way of major team sports like football, baseball, or basketball, or even individual sports like MMA or Boxing do, leading to many not knowing about the sport or what it entails.
Unlike bodybuilding, which focuses on aesthetics and muscle size, powerlifting is about pure strength and lifting as much weight as possible. The ultimate goal is to get strong and lift heavy.
Competitions are called Meets. Lifters are put into smaller groups called “flights” based on their weight class and how much they plan to lift. Each flight takes turns trying the squat, bench press, and deadlift once. This process is repeated for two more rounds, totaling three attempts for each lift. Each exercise is done separately, one after the other, by all the lifters in each flight. The lifter with the highest total in their weight class wins. There are also awards for the best overall lifter. 
So why should you try powerlifting? Here are three great reasons:
Build Strength: Powerlifting exercises target multiple muscle groups simultaneously, leading to more balanced strength development. The sport can bring gains in many areas including being stronger for daily activities, improved, sports performance, and huge fitness improvements as well.
Boost Confidence: Setting a new personal record (PR) is an amazing feeling. Progressing in powerlifting and seeing tangible improvements in your strength can boost your self-esteem and confidence in what you are capable of. Each gym workout has a purpose when you know weeks to months in the future you will “test your 1 rep max” and see how much progress you have made.
Build Friendships: Powerlifting communities are known for their supportive atmosphere. Joining a powerlifting gym or club can help you connect with like-minded people who share your passion for fitness. These relationships can provide motivation, camaraderie, and friendly competition that make the sport even more fun.Getting started with powerlifting is easier than you might think. Many college gyms and fitness centers offer powerlifting equipment and guidance from experienced trainers. While CSUEB has weightlifting equipment at the gym in the RAW, please note that deadlifting and overhead lifting is not allowed at this facility. You would need to train at a public gym to work on these exercises. The best option is to join a powerlifting gym or a “strength gym.”  You can find such gyms through social media, word-of-mouth recommendations, or a simple internet search to find out what’s in your area. You can also find numerous online resources to help you learn proper form and technique. In addition, if you join a class or a team you can often get connected with a coach to show you the proper form and technique of the movements, as well as to help you determine the best training program to suit your needs.
Powerlifting is an amazing and rewarding sport that can help you build strength, feel great, and create strong friendships. Take a chance at this sport and see how strong you really are.