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Why Should I include Powerlifting in my routine?

The Fundamentals:

Q. What is powerlifting in every day applications?

Powerlifting is training for strength and power in a strategic, calculated approach. (Typically squat, bench and deadlift). Below we’ll explore some questions I am frequently asked about Powerlifting.

Q. How will this help me?

Utilizing all types of training (Power/Strength – Hypertrophy – Endurance/Aerobic) can optimize your results. With that being said, let’s make an example for powerlifting. A bikini athlete should primarily be concentrating on hypertrophy based training but can greatly increase her progression by adding powerlifting days or the rep ranges referred to above to increase her percentages and overall volume. This will lead to more calories burned, additional muscle development, and more enjoyable or challenging workouts to look forward to.

Q. What rep ranges should I be in? (relative)

Power training 1-4 reps. Strength training 4-8 reps.

Q. How does this help competitors or people who want to gain muscle?

At a certain point, gym go-ers following the same workout routines will stop gaining muscle or strength and essentially reach a plateau. A progressive overload program and linear progression is almost guaranteed to break a plateau. By definition, progressive overload is the increase of stress upon body during exercise. So, increase the volume, increase the strength, and muscle mass. Adding power days is great for this.

Q. What scale should I be using RPE or Percentages?

Both RPE and Percentages can determine the load/weight. By using percentages of your one rep max, you can best determine the optimal load to be lifting. I feel that using the percentage scale is priority. RPE can be a fantastic addition. Let’s say you’ve had a great day, ate well, are feeling flexible and ready to smash in the gym, you can use RPE on top of Percentages gauge your strength or drop it down on a not so great day.


1. Preventing Injury

In my opinion, preventing injury is the number one concern when powerlifting. Exerting that much energy can be taxing on many parts of the body including the central nervous system. A warmup of 5-10 minutes on the treadmill is not enough. Take a solid 20 plus minutes and use bands, foam roller, tennis balls to stretch. Also don't be scared to add in cardio!

2. Adaptation

As most people know, workouts can get boring and routine. Progressive overload/linearity helps you break the plateau, experience great strength gains- giving you new goals to look forward to.

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