It’s also a whole culture. Tournaments that look more like rock concerts, the sky-high thrust of Yuri Belkin, crowds of newcomers and veterans who are 60 years stronger than most of the audience, families with children in the auditorium – all this is powerlifting. This sport can make anyone strong who knows how to endure, work in the gym and plan their life.
What is powerlifting?
At the beginning of the 20th century, strength gymnastics was born in Russia. The athletic club of Dr.Krayevsky promoted simple truths:
- a man must be strong and tough, whatever he does;
- resistance training allows anyone to get strong;
- you need to exercise regularly and according to the plan, do squats, deadlifts and presses.
But in the first half of the 20th century, only weightlifting developed. Weightlifters squatted, bench pressed while lying and standing, performed deadlifts with different grips, lifted the barbell to the biceps to become stronger. Among themselves, they competed in these movements behind the scenes. Over time, squats, deadlifts, and bench presses have become popular among casual gym goers. The first unofficial US championship in these three movements was held in 1964. And in 1972, the International Powerlifting Federation (IPF) was created.
From now on, the competitions are held according to modern rules:
- Athletes are divided into weight categories.
- Men and women compete separately.
- There are three attempts per exercise.
- The tournament starts with a squat, then a bench press, completes all the deadlift.
- Exercises are performed according to certain rules. Squatting starts at the command of the judge. The athlete should reach a seated depth where the pelvic bones are below the knee joint and stand up. In the bench press according to the rules of different federations, either three (start, bench press, stands), or two teams (bench press and stands), but everywhere you need to touch the chest with the bar and press only on command. In the deadlift, you must raise the weight and wait for the judge’s command, only then lower it.
- Sets not made on command, with double movements and technical errors (under-sitting in the squat, separation of the pelvis from the bench in the press, uncommitted shoulders and un-straightened knees in the deadlift) are not counted.
- The winner is determined by the sum of the three exercises in each weight category and in the overall standings. To calculate the absolute weights, the coefficients are used – Wilks, Glossbrenner or the new coefficient used in IPF.
Powerlifting is a non-Olympic sport . The Paralympics program includes only bench press, but all federations hold World Championships, where the strongest athletes gather.
Norms, ranks and grades
In the FPR, the categories are assigned from the 3rd junior to the honored master of sports . In alternative federations, the title “Elite” is assigned instead of the ZMS. The standards differ in weight categories, they are different for men and women. In the NAP and VPU there is a “veteran coefficient” that lowers the requirements of standards for persons over 40 years old.
For example, the following table shows the IPF standards for the discipline “classic powerlifting”:
Benefits and harms
- All muscle groups are strengthened and an athletic figure is formed.
- Strength indicators are improved.
- Develops flexibility and coordination.
- Posture is corrected.
- You can lose weight or increase muscle mass – it all depends on your diet.
- A good base is being built for practicing any kind of sport.
Potential harm is also present:
- Fairly high risk of injury.
- Workouts are hard and long.
- Becomes dependent on working weights and competition results. This leads to inappropriate use of sports pharmacology and psychological problems, especially in beginners.
Program for Beginners
Beginners are offered several schemes for classes:
- Simple linear progression . The squat, bench press, and deadlift alternate on a daily basis, meaning they are performed on different days (for example, Monday-Wednesday-Friday). In the first week, the athlete performs 5 repetitions in 5 approaches, from week to week his working weight increases by 2.5-5 kg, and the number of repetitions decreases by 1. After the athlete reaches 2 repetitions, a week of light training and further repeat the cycle. In addition to the basic movements, a certain amount of auxiliary is supposed – exercises that develop the necessary muscles for the three basic movements. It is recommended to perform this scheme first and switch to Sheiko cycles or others, as soon as the athlete stagnates in the growth of strength.
- B.I.Sheiko’s cycles. For pre-CCM athletes, these include sit and bench workouts on Monday and Friday, and deadlifts and bench press workouts on Wednesday. The athlete works in the range of 70-80% of the one-rep maximum for 2-5 reps. The load cycles in waves.
- Simple undulating periodization . The athlete alternates between light and medium workouts, performing heavy workouts only at the end of the 6 week cycle. For the easy one, he works at 50-60 percent of the maximum in 4-5 reps, for the medium – 70-80 in three reps. Workouts can be built according to the same weekly layout as Sheiko’s. Supporting exercises are tailored to all muscle groups.
Below is a program for beginners in the preparatory period for 4 weeks. To successfully complete it, you need to know your one-repetition maximum (RM) in the main three exercises. The percentages in the complex are indicated exactly from him.
Non-supportive equipment is allowed in all federations and divisions. It includes a belt, soft knee pads, wrestling shoes, weightlifting shoes, leg warmers to protect the legs when pulling.
Reinforcing (supporting) equipment is allowed only in the equipment division. This includes a heavyweight squat and deadlift jumpsuit, a bench shirt, and bench slingshots. Also included are knee and wrist bandages.
People who rarely encounter powerlifting are often surprised – what kind of sport is it, where the equipment itself lifts weights for the athlete. But they are not entirely right. Of course, additional support allows you to throw on a few kilograms in each movement (from 5 to 150 kg and even more), but this requires a developed base, a certain technique and skill.