“Powerlifters are big, bearded and bulky.” FALSE. Powerlifters are simply stronger than the average. Lifting big does not equate with overall girth. Lean muscle can be built through strength training but it won’t turn you into Zangief from street fighter- if you didn’t get the reference then google it, find a copy of Street Fighter 2, get your retro gaming on, and then workout. Fit a scoop of ModernPRE+ in there somewhere and you’ll be gold.
Powerlifting has become popular among women for more than just building strength. Holly Helton, Powerlifter and Bikini competitor, discusses what she enjoys most about the sport and how she finds balance.
A few of my favorite powerlifting perks are:
- Routine – There are simple, easy to follow programs for powerlifting. You can get a simple schedule set and get into a nice weekly routine. It can be as simple or complex as you want it to be.
- Progress – This is the goal for every lifter. With a common goal, it’s easy to be encouraging and supportive for everyone.
- Support – At the end of the day everyone walks out as friends, unlike many other sports.
- Challenge – You will have a chance to challenge yourself and if you compete you can show off all of your hard work. There’s an adrenaline rush from conquering a new challenge and once you feel that, you’ll be hooked! Powerlifting is you versus you, and the goal is to exceed your last numbers or improve on something.
- Health - Stronger bodies can boost your immune system.
- Dual combo – Adding lean muscle helps your body “feel the burn” even outside the gym. Powerlifting can be a great way to fuel your metabolism.
If not powerlifting, try a simple weight routine a few days per week at your local gym or even at home. The same above benefits apply!
With Powerlifting, I felt strong, muscular, confident and healthy; I did, however, realize that I needed to find balance between weight lifting and high volume work. I was strong but knew something was missing…
Powerlifting & Jiu-Jitsu… (MY favorite balance)
The balance could be different for you; however, the goal for us all should be strength training equally balanced with high volume, high intensity, cardiovascular training. I am not a runner and definitely not a treadmill or elliptical phenom… So, I had to find another way.
Hooked from the first class and about a month into Jiu-Jitsu, I started to see new changes:
I felt happier, more relaxed, more confident, patient, more agile, more endurance, clarity of mind, better problem-solving skills, less stressed, stronger from my core, leaner and healthier. I could be spending hours at the gym trying to achieve just a few of these physical changes but with one hour of jiu-jitsu training my body AND mind are in constant action. It’s not just using one set of muscles but instead using the whole body as one core unit which uses both endurance and strength muscles. The thought part reminds me of geometry class back in elementary school... If this, then this, if not this, then that… It’s a trial and error almost chess match way of thinking which also follows into daily life at home and work. Wouldn’t you rather increase your knowledge at the same time as improve your body? For me, it’s a life pursuit of constant improvement.
LIFT Like a Girl | Day 2
Barbell Bench Press | 5x5
(Use a medium grip, with a moderate weight and add 5-10 pounds each week)
Dumbbell Bench Press | 4x10
Close Grip Barbell Bench Press | 4x8
(Add 5-10 pounds each week)
Tricep Pushdown | 2x10
(Dropset; drop 3 times)
That’s my balance. What’s yours?
Do you lift weights? Do you combine weights with volume or cardiovascular training? Do you want to try?
You do NOT have to be in shape to start. It’s the process that will build you and create change.
Let’s live a life of prowess! (Having exceptional ability, skill or strength)
Prepared by Holly Helton
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