3 Advantages Disadvantages of Powerlifting

Anyone who's ever tried to get serious about bodybuilding knows that it's a lot more complicated than simply going to the gym every day to pump your lungs out. That's part of it, of course, but choosing the right training methods is just as important.

Today, there are so many training techniques that no one has the time to try them all, and it can be difficult to determine which methods work and which ones don't.

Take powerlifting for example; some people swear by it, others advise against it. 

In this article, I will give you the knowledge to form a well-considered judgment about powerlifting yourself, by explaining the most important advantages and disadvantages of powerlifting. This article is structured as follows:

  • Why do people do powerlifting? 3 benefits
  • Where does powerlifting fall short? 3 disadvantages
  • Conclusion: Is powerlifting suitable for bodybuilders?
Advantages Disadvantages of Powerlifting

Why do people do powerlifting? 3 benefits

As I mentioned in the introduction, there are people who swear by the effects of powerlifting. You can already deduce from this that there are important benefits to powerlifting. I'll start this article by laying out the most important of those benefits. It concerns the following benefits:

  • Powerlifting is great for building strength
  • Powerlifting is a targeted way of training
  • Powerlifting teaches you good technique

Advantage 1: Powerlifting is very suitable for building strength

Perhaps this is a bit of an open door because anyone who sees the word "powerlifting" can imagine that you can use this training method to build strength. Still, I think it's worth mentioning because it's not only the great power of powerlifting but also something that far too many bodybuilders overlook.

Most bodybuilders are mainly focused on training a beautiful body, and that is of course quite understandable. The whole idea of ​​bodybuilding, of course, is that you're trying to train a body that looks its best, so it makes sense that bodybuilders would focus on the most visible muscles.

However, this means that many bodybuilders have little strength. Training the most visible muscles may provide a beautiful body, but not a body that can do a lot. This also makes it more difficult for yourself to train because you can do fewer exercises that require a little more strength.

“If you've ever gone hiking with a bodybuilder, you know that in practice you can do very little with an average gym body.”

If you want to get the most out of yourself in the gym, you will just need a certain amount of strength. If you notice that all those exercises in the gym don't get any easier the more you perform them, then you probably simply don't have the strength for it. 

Powerlifting is a great way to build that all-important strength, which will generally help you tremendously in your workouts.

Advantage 2: Powerlifting is a targeted way of training

As a bodybuilder, you naturally want a beautiful body, and that includes balanced muscle growth. You have to train all the muscle groups in your body, otherwise, you will end up with a body with very strange proportions. 

It is therefore not a problem in itself that bodybuilders do a lot of different exercises, because that is simply necessary for a beautiful body.

However, what often results from this is that bodybuilders lose their focus. If you don't have a clear plan, or if you're constantly changing plans, you won't stick around long enough to see real results. 

One day you decide your arms need more work, the next you think your chest muscles are more important, and a week later you decide to focus on your back muscles. In the end, you have not really managed to improve any of those muscle groups.

“It is better to do one thing well than thirty things badly.”

The great thing about powerlifting is that it is a very targeted way of training. Powerlifting focuses on the bench, the deadlift, and the squat, and really nothing more than that. 

Because you focus on a limited number of exercises, you are actually training the right muscle groups effectively. You will also master the technique of those exercises, which of course benefits the effectiveness of your training.

This is a bodybuilding site, not a site for professional powerlifters, so it's not really possible for you to focus solely on powerlifting. After all, bodybuilding has to focus on his entire body, and with powerlifting, you don't train everything. 

However, I would recommend making it a regular part of your routine, especially if you're not happy with the results you've had in the past.

Advantage 3: Powerlifting teaches you good technique

A good workout involves a lot of different factors. First of all, of course, you simply have to be willing to put in the work and sacrifice time, otherwise, you won't get anywhere. 

In addition, you have to choose the right exercises, because the right way of training is very much related to the goal you want to achieve. However, what is also important, and often forgotten, is applying the right technique.

“A bodybuilder is like a surgeon: it's nice when he works hard, but you prefer that he also knows what he's doing…”

Certain exercises are very effective for training certain muscle groups, but of course, that is only so when you do them correctly. Many people spend day after day at the gym without seeing significant results, and for those people, the technique is often exactly what goes wrong.

If you are going to do powerlifting, it is instilled from the start that technique is vital. This is something you have to take seriously if you mainly work with weights, otherwise, you risk serious injuries. That's why most powerlifters first take the time to learn the technique well before they go with the bigger weights.

This will not only help you with powerlifting but also with training in general. As a powerlifter, you learn to use your full range of motion, and you build the strength you need to perform certain exercises well. As a result, you will automatically perform a lot of other exercises better.

Where does powerlifting fall short? 3 disadvantages

I've just explained the main benefits of powerlifting to you, but that doesn't give you the full story. There are also a number of important drawbacks to powerlifting (as with any training method). 

It is important to know those disadvantages as well, otherwise, you will of course not be able to form a well-considered judgment about powerlifting. I will therefore discuss the following drawbacks in the rest of this article:

  • Powerlifting is bad for your condition
  • Powerlifting can also teach you wrong techniques
  • Powerlifting focuses a little too much on the same exercises

Disadvantage 1: Powerlifting is bad for your condition

One of the things powerlifters are known for is that they do very few reps of all their exercises. More than 5 reps are rare for powerlifters, and they joke that anything above 5 reps should be considered cardio. 

You are then no longer effective enough with training strength, and you are working more on your endurance.

“Powerlifting is good for one purpose, but not for most other purposes.”

Of course, it makes sense that powerlifters focus almost exclusively on maximum strength because that's the goal of powerlifting. 

However, as a bodybuilder, you also have other goals, which you also have to take into account. For example, your condition is very important as a bodybuilder, because otherwise, you will not be able to work intensively with different muscle groups every day.

For powerlifters, 1 to 5 reps are fine, but for everyone else in the gym, I would recommend a lot more reps per exercise. About 6 to 12 reps per exercise are much more effective for training your muscles for most purposes, and you also build up a bit more fitness that way.

Disadvantage 2: Powerlifting can also teach you wrong techniques

I just explained to you that technique is very important in powerlifting, and therefore powerlifting can be very useful for athletes and bodybuilders who neglect their technique. When you do powerlifting, you can't help but learn how important technique is, and that's a lesson that will serve you for the rest of your life.

I still stand by this, but I would like to add that you are taught a fairly specific technique when you do powerlifting. That technique is very useful for powerlifters, but not necessarily for bodybuilders. As a result, you can also learn the wrong techniques through powerlifting, which you then apply to the wrong exercises.

“Technique is very nice, but it has to be the right technique.”

For example, powerlifters are used to spreading their feet wide when squatting, trying to let their hips do the work as much as possible. That's fine for powerlifters, but it's not the best position in all cases. For example, if you want to train your quadriceps by squatting, it is much better to put your feet closer together.

More generally, powerlifters try to perform all their exercises as efficiently as possible. That sounds logical, and it is for powerlifters too, because they want to lift as much as possible. 

However, if you want to give your muscles a good workout, it is often better to adopt an inefficient posture. That way you put your muscles to work better. These are just two examples of how powerlifting can teach you the wrong techniques, they are certainly not the only ways.

Disadvantage 3: Powerlifting focuses a little too much on the same exercises. As I mentioned earlier, one advantage of powerlifting is that it is very focused on certain exercises. 

This in itself is positive, because training only makes sense if you have a clear goal in mind, and you choose the right exercises for it. However, there is also another side to this: for bodybuilders, powerlifting is simply not varied enough.

“Powerlifters have completely different goals than bodybuilders.”

The three exercises that are central to powerlifting (the deadlift, squat, and bench) are enough for powerlifters, but not for bodybuilders. If you want a muscular body, which means that you train all muscle groups well, these exercises will not be enough. 

Of course, that doesn't mean that powerlifting doesn't make sense, but you will still have to do a lot on the side.

Conclusion: Is powerlifting suitable for bodybuilders?

I have in this article as many advantages as disadvantages of powerlifting data, so maybe you wonder what exactly is the message of this article. Is powerlifting a good way of training for bodybuilders or not? Ultimately, of course, you will have to make that decision yourself, but I can give you my conclusion on this question.

As far as I'm concerned, powerlifting is a great addition to your workout, as long as you keep in mind that it's not a complete workout for bodybuilders. You will have to do a lot in addition to powerlifting to get a nice, balanced body. If the benefits of powerlifting appeal to you, I think it's a great idea to incorporate it into your workout.

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