Make a power play

Whether you want to get big­ger and stronger or lose some of that ex­tra pad­ding around your mid­dle, it’s time to per­fect your power lift­ing

Men's Fitness - - Contents -

Get into pow­er­lift­ing to build a big­ger and stronger body with our big-move mas­ter­class

If you’re read­ing this mag­a­zine there’s a strong chance that you’ve dipped your toe into the sport of pow­er­lift­ing, even if it’s by ac­ci­dent. When we talk about pow­er­lift­ing we’re fo­cus­ing on the three moves that you per­form in pow­er­lift­ing com­pe­ti­tions: the squat, dead­lift and bench press. Your best ef­fort in each lift is added to­gether to form your total score. It’s hard to say what con­sti­tutes an im­pres­sive total be­cause that’s heav­ily de­pen­dent on your weight and train­ing ex­pe­ri­ence, but one thing’s for sure – the total achieved by MF ex­pert Tom Hamil­ton at the World Drug Free Pow­er­lift­ing Fed­er­a­tion world cham­pi­onships in Novem­ber was im­pres­sive. His score of 665 (242.5kg squat, 270kg dead­lift and 152.5kg bench) in the 82.5kg class earned him first place and the right to call him­self a world champ. Fresh from vic­tory, he shares his ad­vice about how to con­quer the big three – and get big­ger and stronger than ever.

WHY ARE THE THREE POW­ER­LIFT­ING MOVES USE­FUL AS A FOUN­DA­TION TO A TRAIN­ING PRO­GRAMME?

“They in­volve a large ma­jor­ity of mus­cles in the body and can al­low for the most weight to be lifted,” says Hamil­ton, who also works as head of pro­gram­ming at W10 Per­for­mance. “This makes them a good choice as foun­da­tional ex­er­cises within a pro­gramme be­cause they can help to in­crease total work­out vol­ume, which is vi­tal for build­ing strength and mus­cle.”

WHY DO YOU LIKE POW­ER­LIFT­ING?

“I re­ally en­joy the pro­gres­sive as­pect – it’s a con­tin­u­ous jour­ney that pro­vides an ob­jec­tive-based mode of pro­gres­sion,” says Hamil­ton. “That’s com­pared with train­ing solely for aes­thet­ics, which is largely sub­jec­tive. Try­ing to im­prove in the three lifts helps to keep me mo­ti­vated and I get clear re­sults that tell me if what I’m do­ing is ac­tu­ally work­ing. I also like the dis­ci­pline it re­quires to progress.”

HOW SHOULD SOME­ONE BE­GIN TO IN­COR­PO­RATE POW­ER­LIFT­ING INTO THEIR TRAIN­ING?

“The first step would be to make sure you per­form the three lifts at least once a week. As a start­ing point, per­form­ing some form of test­ing to gauge your cur­rent level would be ideal. For a gen­eral rule, test your five-rep max in the three lifts and then plug these numbers into a rep cal­cu­la­tor to find out your pro­jected maxes. A be­gin­ner test­ing a 5RM will find this in­creases quickly com­pared with some­one who is at an in­ter­me­di­ate level.”

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