Beginner Powerlifting- 3 Quick Tips

By Daniel Dalenberg

Everyone was a beginner once! Many of the choices made in those early years of powerlifting will define the rest of your competitive career and set up long-term progress for better, or worse. Powerlifting isn’t that complicated of sport though, so thankfully the choices can easy. Beginner or not, these tips might help refine the direction of your training.

Get personal

Find ways to learn from people in person, whether it be going to seminars, seeking out an experienced group in your area, or visiting gyms. In person instruction will be far better than anything you can read on your own, or do online. The small investment to do this is worth hours upon hours of video study and reading. Seminars have become commoditized, with costs affordable for most. Most, if not all, training groups will welcome another person if you are willing to work a little bit. Put in some spotting and loading in repayment for learning. Finally, just ask to visit a place! Most gyms are open to it with a little heads up.

Avoid Distance Coaches

Most online coaches suck. The ones that don’t, you probably don’t need yet. In the early years, you are going to be generally weak and won’t need specificity. Hiring a programming coach is a waste of your money at this point since just about anything will work for you and will make you stronger. It will also never replace in-person coaching (see point 1!). Early on, find a simple and logical way of training, deload often and take care of your body. Compete, at most, 2-3 times a year. Rinse and repeat for a few years. Eventually, you will get stuck and need help; then the coaching is going to make a lot more sense.

More than three reps isn’t cardio

Doing some volume work isn’t cardio, doing actual cardio isn’t going to kill your progress and pizza is not a good post workout meal. Curls aren’t just for bros either, bro.

Avoid these stereotypes and do the stuff that some powerlifters would tell you isn’t for powerlifters. The more of an athlete you are, the longer you will last, and the more efficient your body will be. Some cardio is going to keep your fatness down and heart ticking right, not to mention that marathon squat and deadlift days will be infinitely easier to finish. Don’t neglect the bodybuilding workouts either, some machine and cable work are going to be easy on your joints and keep your less focused on, but essential, musculature strong.

Think like an athlete, move like one and eat like one. The key to powerlifting success is longevity, thinking like an athlete is going to support that.

In closing, keep it simple and be patient. Powerlifting is a long-term game, one that takes many years for most to be good at it. As a beginner, this is the most natural and most fun time to be training. Enjoy the rapid progress and take care of yourself for the long run.

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Daniel Dalenberg

Dan Dalenberg is a pro level raw and equipped powerlifter with elite totals in the 220, 242 and 275 class. Best official raw meet lifts include an 804 squat, 507 bench press, 715 dead lift and 2006 total. Best equipped lifts include an 950 squat, 715 bench, 735 deadlift and 2400 total at 242. Dan has been training under Brian's guidance using the 10/20/Life methodology since late 2010.
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