Powerlifting 101: A quick primer

A student deadlifts more than the writers weight.

When looking at powerlifting, there are three main exercises.

“There are the squats, the bench press, and the deadlift,” said gym staff and trainer, Britney Chol at Crunch Fitness in Stockton. “These in powerlifting are what we call the big three.”

These exercises focus on most of the body muscle groups and help create strength and mass.

Strength gains come from powerlifting.

“In powerlifting it all comes down to lifting the most weight as possible,” said Chol. “It’s very important to focus on form, without form there could be injury.”

Chol has taken a liking to powerlifting. She thinks strength is important and lifting heavy weights is fun.

“Squats focuses on the lower part of the body which are the quads, hamstrings, and glutes. Squats requires a huge amount of strength in the leg in order to push the weight up,” she said.

The next exercise in the big three is the bench press.

“For the bench press, it’s important to keep the hip flap on the bench and keep your shoulder blade contract in order to push the weight up,” she said. “Again form is very important.”

For Chol,  bench press is her weakest area.

“For the deadlift, there are two types of stance, there is the regular stance and the sumo,” she said.

The main difference between the two stances is that the sumo stance stands with the person’s feet wider apart.

When performing the deadlift, it’s important to focus on the form in order to properly lift the weight off the ground.

The goal for powerlifters is to  purely build strength and mass. When looking at powerlifters, their bodies  are usually big and bulky. That’s because their size is built mainly for strength.

But not all powerlifters have to be big or bulky.

“I think as a powerlifter or powerlifting just in general, you don’t have to be big to be able to lift lots of weights,” said gym member Keith Lor. “I think it depends on how long you been training for and your weight.”

In powerlifting, form is key to lifting because with good form, it allows the muscle in the body to handle the weight more effectively.

“When performing a squat or bench press or a deadlift, it’s important to focus on perfecting the proper form of that exercises,” said gym member Angel Gilbert. “Because it helps not only yourself from injury but more strength in performing that exercise.”

Gilbert lifts more than 400 pounds when deadlifting.

“I really enjoy it when lifting heavy,” he said.