Powerlifting is a sport for experienced lifters. It focuses on three main lifts: Squat, Bench and Deadlift. The training style for Powerlifting is to lift heavy weight at minimal reps to build strength and increase your 1 Rep Max over time.
What equipment do you need for Powerlifting?
To perform the main three powerlifting movements (squat, bench and deadlift), you will need a barbell and plates, a squat rack and a bench. Powerlifting is about lifting as heavy as you can, so it's worth investing in equipment with a high tensile strength and maximum load relative to your abilities. For example, our Phase 1 Olympic Barbell has a maximum load of 200kg, so if you're able to deadlift more than that, you may want to purchase the Phase 2 version, which has a higher maximum load of 600kg.
As you'll be lifting heavy, it's important to make sure you have equipment that will keep you (and your floor) safe, so it's a good idea to make sure you use rubber bumper plates and protect your floor with rubber tiles.
How to train like a Powerlifter
Strength training principles involve regularly training at 85-95% of your 1 Rep Max for 2-6 reps, with lots of rest in between sets. You will perform multiple sets in your training, reducing your reps and upping your weight as you go until you reach your 1 Rep Max - the aim being to increase the weight you can lift on your 1RM over time.
If you're new to training, it's very important to consult with an expert before trying to perform heavy lifts. It takes time to build up base strength, and if your form is off to begin with, you may have negative impacts further down the line and risk injury.
What makes good Powerlifting equipment?
The most important feature of Powerlifting equipment is safety. You're going to be using heavy weights, so you want to make sure your kit can handle the load. When investing in a bench for bench press, make sure you check the maximum load capacity. For serious lifters, a rough guide for how much you should aim to bench (eventually) in relation to your body weight is 160% for men and 120% for women, so make sure your bench can handle your bodyweight and the weight you will be benching.
If your goal is to compete one day, make sure you're training with bars and plates that are regulation size.
All MuscleSquad kit is meticulously tested to make sure it's safe, sturdy and durable. The toughest of our racks are those labelled 'Phase 3', as they are made with the thickest steel of our rack range, so this is a good range to shop if you're going to be lifting heavy.
Performing a lift on your 1RM is extremely tough. It's a good idea to have a training partner to help you in case you need it and to have a tough pair of spotter arms on your rack for the inevitable times when you can't quite finish your rep.