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Beginner powerlifter looking for some advice!

crossrunner1497crossrunner1497 Member Posts: 18 Member Member Posts: 18 Member
Hello everyone!
So I am pretty new to strength world. I typically was an endurance athlete, primarily running and cycling (and the occasional triathlon), but would like to switch my focus more towards strength. I am a very goal-oriented person, and am interested in bettering my strength in the big three (squat, deadlift and bench press). I am tired of feeling weak. I’ve never done these type of workouts before, and was wondering how to begin. Also, I still do love my endurance activities, and was wondering if continuing some of these aerobic activities take away from my strength gains too much.
Thanks in advance! I appreciate any advice you have to give. 😁

Oh, and for reference, I am a 5’6 inch 22 year old female. I weigh about 140 right now, but am looking to drop about 20lbs (I am carrying a little extra).
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Replies

  • ChieflrgChieflrg Member Posts: 8,572 Member Member Posts: 8,572 Member
    Hi,

    Yes cycling and running can effect power lifting goals. More specifically recovery.

    This doesn't mean, you have to toss them to the side as of now I played catcher position for baseball, ran on average 9-10 miles a day every day, cycled 30-60 miles a week all at same time while competing as a powerlifter in my late forties Eventually my load management was impossible to recover from the stress I applied and yes I did eventually put powerlifting first.

    That being said cardiovascular activities within proper load management is also needed for powerlifting eventually in order to increase our work compacity.

    If you are interested displaying your 1rm strength by competing great, powerlifting is a sport many people enjoy and can reap benefits from the training for life.

    If you are interested in building strength(on any specific lift)without a display specifically on the platform that can be done within many conduits and we can obtain that without being a powerlifter.

    I for one didn't want to be a powerlifter for health reasons, but it just morphed that way and I personally am very thankful that I can reap the benefits into my health concern pool.

    For optimal results, I would look into a experienced powerlifting coach that can guide you and cut off the fluff of bad content you more than likely will have to filter by yourself through trial and error.

    There are also a few really good science based people out there that put out great content that would be extremely valuable for power lifters with less than 1-2 years experience and more to come as we grow as a powerlifter.

    edited August 2
  • iguttigutt Member Posts: 97 Member Member Posts: 97 Member
    If you want to compete in powerlifting then you’ll probably do the running and cycling a lot less but If you just want to get stronger then you can do both. I’ve seen a lot of endurance athletes do both so good luck on your journey
  • dr_mundodr_mundo Member Posts: 24 Member Member Posts: 24 Member
    You can also jump on youtube and check out the Mark Bell channel (About form Ben Pakulski is also good) helps a lot with people who are just starting out. But basically you have to concentrate on the three major lifts 1) Benchpress 2) Squat 3) Deadlift, they build overall strength, kcals are also important, longer resting periods during sets and smaller repetition range. LOTS of rest, if you're lifting heavy poundage 1 day train 1 day rest is best at least for me - if i go 2 - 3 days in a row i feel like utter trash, because you put your ligaments and joints under a lot of stress. Cardio shouldn't be neglected, but not be excessive and also what most people don't like but - BODY FAT does help a lot. Whenever i try to go for bigger lifts i bulk up and every pound you put does increase your max by a lot (also no junk food by kcal increase i mean clean food, but an occasional cheat here and there does help to restore glycogen a bit better - sugar is not the enemy, but when used in excess can be harmful) Also don't forget to have fun and throw heavy *kitten* around :smiley:
  • rayan256rayan256 Member Posts: 5 Member Member Posts: 5 Member
    I am as well new to powerlifting.
    I first started wanted to body build, but it seemed less challenging. My goal leaned more into strength! I am trying to combine both of them, but focusing more on my strength. I completely stopped cardio, since most research I’ve read said it wouldn’t help too much. I do get in some other lifting routines, but am focusing as stated above ^.. focus on squats, deadlifts, bench press.

    I am 5’5, 126lbs with a normal bf % of 22. I’d love to lose more bf, but that bf tends to help me lift heavier. So I am not focusing on that, because I’ve noticed I am able to lift a lot more when I’ve consumed a lot more before lifting heavy.

    I started as somebody that did HIIT, and a weight loss journey. My squats and deadlifts were so embarrassing, and I focused on my form the most. I ego lifted, which never worked out. That’s where I realized, form is key. My squats were at 95, and deadlift was only 75. Two months in now, adding weight from 10-20 or so each week. Each 1RM Pr performed I’ve done, focused on gaining more reps before adding weight. I will admit my bench press (105 1RM) now is weak due to my wrist being a little bit injured (from ego lifting).

    Heavy weight lifting doesn’t happen right away. I do recommend getting a belt! It has helped me tremendously since my back isn’t super strong yet. I’m planning on investing knee sleeves, still don’t know yet since it’s mixed reviews.

    Anyways, don’t put pressure on yourself and think you’re weak from the start. Everybody will start somewhere. I might not have given great advice, but as a female that’s focusing on strength.. that’s the easiest advice I could give.

    My deadlifts (205 1RM) eventually went higher than my squats (185 1RM) for sure. Don’t try out for sumo deadlifts, unless you want to work glutes more. I was just told that..

    Goodluck and just enjoy the celebration each new accomplishment! It does feel good lol
  • rayan256rayan256 Member Posts: 5 Member Member Posts: 5 Member
    Oh.. practice that breathing too!
  • ChieflrgChieflrg Member Posts: 8,572 Member Member Posts: 8,572 Member
    dr_mundo wrote: »
    You can also jump on youtube and check out the Mark Bell channel (About form Ben Pakulski is also good) helps a lot with people who are just starting out. But basically you have to concentrate on the three major lifts 1) Benchpress 2) Squat 3) Deadlift, they build overall strength, kcals are also important, longer resting periods during sets and smaller repetition range. LOTS of rest, if you're lifting heavy poundage 1 day train 1 day rest is best at least for me - if i go 2 - 3 days in a row i feel like utter trash, because you put your ligaments and joints under a lot of stress. Cardio shouldn't be neglected, but not be excessive and also what most people don't like but - BODY FAT does help a lot. Whenever i try to go for bigger lifts i bulk up and every pound you put does increase your max by a lot (also no junk food by kcal increase i mean clean food, but an occasional cheat here and there does help to restore glycogen a bit better - sugar is not the enemy, but when used in excess can be harmful) Also don't forget to have fun and throw heavy *kitten* around :smiley:

    In all do respect, M Bell is probable the worst guy to get info from. Though a well rewarded business man and put out a excellent product in the slingshot, he is far from anybody to give advice on how to program not alone coach a power lifter especially if we are talking a natural one. I would stay far away from his content as possible.
  • quiksylver296quiksylver296 Member Posts: 27,122 Member Member Posts: 27,122 Member
    I agree with @chieflrg, get a coach!
  • ChieflrgChieflrg Member Posts: 8,572 Member Member Posts: 8,572 Member
    rayan256 wrote: »
    I am as well new to powerlifting.


    Heavy weight lifting doesn’t happen right away. I do recommend getting a belt! It has helped me tremendously since my back isn’t super strong yet. I’m planning on investing knee sleeves, still don’t know yet since it’s mixed reviews.
    A belt is definitely a good investment for a power lifter or anybody that trains for that matter. The idea that a belt is good for a weak back is not valid. A back can have weakness at any level because we are human. One has to use the valsalva manuver with a belt or not. In other words, a belt doesn't work by itself.
    rayan256 wrote: »
    I am as well new to powerlifting.
    My deadlifts (205 1RM) eventually went higher than my squats (185 1RM) for sure. Don’t try out for sumo deadlifts, unless you want to work glutes more. I was just told that..
    No. When we are talking powerlifting, a person who does sumo is because they can pull more weight than conventional and vise versa.

    Sumo is just as good as conventional. One shouldn't stay away from a lift because it recruits a extreme slight different ratio of muscle. Sumo and conventional recruits the same amount of muscle motors so that also would mean we shouldn't "try out"conventional deads because it works hamstrings more?

    I would steer clear of anybody giving you that advice. Seriously.
  • JBanx256JBanx256 Member Posts: 561 Member Member Posts: 561 Member
    rayan256 wrote: »
    IDon’t try out for sumo deadlifts

    I can pull substantially more sumo than conventional. And lifting more is the exact point of powerlifting, correct? So to make the blanket statement NOT to try a particular stance...sorry, nah.

  • MohsenSALAHMohsenSALAH Member Posts: 181 Member Member Posts: 181 Member
    Important advice is to let ego outside before you enter the gym.
  • Karen_can_do_thisKaren_can_do_this Member Posts: 1,150 Member Member Posts: 1,150 Member
    I started out with stronglifts 5x5. It starts very light and builds your lifts up slowly each session. The app has videos explaining form and how to do them.
  • billkansasbillkansas Member Posts: 250 Member Member Posts: 250 Member
    The book Starting Strength, Rippetoe is a great resource when starting out.
  • CowboySarCowboySar Member Posts: 405 Member Member Posts: 405 Member
    Welcome to the wonderful world of PLing... I have been at for a little over a year now and absolutely love it.
    A PL specific coach is well worth it if you can, or make sure you train at a gym that allows powerlifting.
    Read lots (Starting Strength a good read)
    5x5 is a good starting point, as is 5-3-1.
  • deputy_randolphdeputy_randolph Member Posts: 884 Member Member Posts: 884 Member
    I competed in 4 pl meets. Personally, I didn't really enjoy the competition aspect to powerlifting. I really enjoy the training style. I am a very goal oriented person also, so I thought training towards a goal with a specific timeline would be motivating. In reality, the finite timeline (with the meet as the culmination) was very stressful. I ditched the meets...continued lifting...and have never been happier. That's just my experience though.

    Nothing...NOTHING beats an experienced, real life coach to train you, talk you through your moments of disappointment or self-doubt or panic. There will be points where you want to give up or question why you're even doing what you're doing. My coach reminded me that I love lifting and to cut the bs.

    Also to address sumo vs conventional deadlifting...pull which ever way allows you to pull more weight. That's the point of powerlifting. If sumo is legal and you pull more that way, have at it.
    edited August 10
  • imxnianneimxnianne Member Posts: 216 Member Member Posts: 216 Member
    sumo and conventional, doesn’t that all depend on which muscle part is stronger?

    Is it true that if you over workout, strength will weaken?

    How long of rest should you be taken after each deadlift/ squat or either or?
  • ChieflrgChieflrg Member Posts: 8,572 Member Member Posts: 8,572 Member
    imxnianne wrote: »
    sumo and conventional, doesn’t that all depend on which muscle part is stronger?

    Is it true that if you over workout, strength will weaken?

    How long of rest should you be taken after each deadlift/ squat or either or?

    1. No, depends more on leverages. Strength is misunderstood. Some people think just because you moved more weight, added reps or sets...that equates stronger which isn't usually definitively true.
    2. Define over workout, and how you believe you lose strength by training.
    3. Depends on your goals and desired affect. If we are talking just general fitness, I would keep it in the 2-4 min range.
  • imxnianneimxnianne Member Posts: 216 Member Member Posts: 216 Member
    Chieflrg wrote: »
    imxnianne wrote: »
    sumo and conventional, doesn’t that all depend on which muscle part is stronger?

    Is it true that if you over workout, strength will weaken?

    How long of rest should you be taken after each deadlift/ squat or either or?

    1. No, depends more on leverages. Strength is misunderstood. Some people think just because you moved more weight, added reps or sets...that equates stronger which isn't usually definitively true.
    2. Define over workout, and how you believe you lose strength by training.
    3. Depends on your goals and desired affect. If we are talking just general fitness, I would keep it in the 2-4 min range.

    1. Ah, I guess it depends on the individual. What does define “stronger”?
    2. Mostly where you hit a plateau on bigger lifts.
    3. 2-4 for strength?

    Thanks!
    edited August 15
  • DevilsFan1DevilsFan1 Member, Premium Posts: 340 Member Member, Premium Posts: 340 Member
  • ChieflrgChieflrg Member Posts: 8,572 Member Member Posts: 8,572 Member
    imxnianne wrote: »
    Chieflrg wrote: »
    imxnianne wrote: »
    sumo and conventional, doesn’t that all depend on which muscle part is stronger?

    Is it true that if you over workout, strength will weaken?

    How long of rest should you be taken after each deadlift/ squat or either or?

    1. No, depends more on leverages. Strength is misunderstood. Some people think just because you moved more weight, added reps or sets...that equates stronger which isn't usually definitively true.
    2. Define over workout, and how you believe you lose strength by training.
    3. Depends on your goals and desired affect. If we are talking just general fitness, I would keep it in the 2-4 min range.

    1. Ah, I guess it depends on the individual. What does define “stronger”?
    2. Mostly where you hit a plateau on bigger lifts.
    3. 2-4 for strength?

    Thanks!

    1. Exactly what? Is it pulling a 1rm, pulling five reps at RPE9, pulling over a twelve month or one week period?

    Let me give you an example. I pulled sumo at Raw National on a Sunday so I was very fatigued. I came in Tues and began a washout block and pulled conventional instead at nearly the same e1rm that I pulled at Raw Nats. This being when my CNS was extremely toasty. No way could I've done that with sumo. Does that mean I'm stronger at Vens instead? No, I have plenty of data that shows otherwise. I just utilized slightly different muscles motors that weren't as fatigued so I could do it for one day, not three days later.

    2. That doesn't mean you lost strength, just means you didn't use proper load management to disperse fatigue. The strength is still there, just not the ability to display it. If that makes sense.
    3. Sure, of course this is generally speaking but certainly reasonable. I wouldn't advice unless you were on gear or a equipped lifter to take long breaks as a goal.



  • Drake940Drake940 Member Posts: 38 Member Member Posts: 38 Member
    Yes doing endurance activities will affect your ability to perform power lifting exercises as it will be harder to recover from.

    However, if you eat enough and get adequate sleep, you can easily avoid it from affecting your recovery providing your not overdoing it. About 2 times a endurance exercises should be fine. Plus, in the early stages of lifting, you won't be lifting much weight so you won't need to worry to much about it at the start. Only when you start lifting heavier weight you may notice a few plataeus in lifting.

    In terms of powerlifting, the best way to start is by doing the starting strength program. Perfectly designed for your goals. It incorporates all the big 3 and a few more. Its main aim is to get you as strong as possible, as quick as possible.
    You should also buy the book if you do his program. As he explains how to do every exercise properly. He has tutorials of these on YouTube as well. And the book is pretty long so you might not be able to get through it all.

    If you decide to create your own workout program, ideally you should workout 3 times a week with at least 1 day break between each workout. This will allow adequate recovery for strength gains.

    But youtube it as well, there's a lot of info out there.
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