Training Day Gym Educational Article - All About Powerlifting

What is Powerlifting?

Officially internationally founded in 1972; Powerlifting is the sporting measure of absolute bodily strength.
-The sport consists of an athlete performing three exercises (Squat, Bench Press, and Deadlift) under the setting of a competition. These lifts are carried out using specific equipment – a barbell, calibrated weight plates, a specialised combo rack to hold the barbell, and a reinforced platform/flooring.
-The judges of a powerlifting performance/competition are the referees, which will confirm the validity/execution of the lifts.
-Spotters are the safety measure for the athlete when performing their lifts. 3-5 spotters will be presently spaced around and close to the athlete when a Squat or Bench Press is being performed. 1 may be present behind the athlete during the Deadlift. They will catch the athlete and/or barbell if a failed lift occurs, if needed.

The Three Lifts

Barbell Back Squat

1.       The athlete, with the bar placed on their upper back, and each hand gripping the bar on either side of their desired placement, will hoist the barbell from the hooks on the combo rack, by performing a partial squat.

2.       From here, the athlete will take a few steps backwards until a stable footing has been found, with both feet flat and steady on the platform.

3.       Upon the athlete’s body being stable, with the knees straightened out, and with the hips in relative alignment with the legs and torso, the centre referee, upon hand signalling from the side referees, will call “Squat”

4.       The athlete will descend by bending at the knees and hinging at the hips until a depth of the crease of the hip meeting a horizontal alignment of the top of the knee, has been achieved.

5.       The athlete will then ascend upwards until they’ve arrived at the same starting position they held upon being given the “Squat” call

6.       The centre referee will then call “Rack” to signify the completion of the lift. The athlete will then walk forwards to the rack and place the bar upon the hooks that they initially hoisted it off

Barbell Bench Press

1.       The athlete, on their back, with their shoulders, buttocks, and head in contact with the bench, and feet flat on the floor, will grip the rack-supported barbell with both hands and hoist it from the hooks of the rack, out towards their chest line

2.       Upon the athlete’s arms being straight, and all points of contact being maintained, the centre referee, upon hand signalling from the side referees, will call “Start”

3.       The athlete, by bending at the elbows, will lower the bar until it sits still on the chest

4.       After this motionless state has been achieved, the centre referee will call “Press”

5.       The athlete then presses the bar upwards by extending at the elbows, until the original state of having been given the “Start” call, is reached

6.       With the bar now motionless and in the original starting position, the centre referee will call “Rack” to signify the completion of the lift. The athlete will then replace the barbell into the hooks it was hoisted from

Barbell Deadlift

1.       The athlete, standing behind the barbell, will bend down and grasp it with both hands

2.       The bar is then pulled from the ground, all the way until a position is reached, where the torso, legs, hips, and shoulders are in alignment, with straightened knees and an overall straight posture

3.       After this straightened bodily position has been met, the athlete will stay motionless until the centre referee gives the “Down” call

4.       The athlete, with hands still grasping the bar, will place the bar back to the platform and then let go of the bar

Matt Crundall

-          Powerlifting/Strength Coach/Trainer

-          World Powerlifting & Powerlifting Australia Sub-Junior Bench Press record holder

-          2017 Oceania Powerlifting Championships gold medallist

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