Powerlifting: How to see faster progressions
Powerlifting is the king of all strength training. There is truly something primal about lifting the heaviest weight possible. With that in mind, making progressions in powerlifting requires some of the most technical and scientific principles.
Making faster progressions comes down to training volume, efficiency training, overload, and supplementation.
Powerlifting puts an excessive amount of stress on joints and muscles. Every movement requires multiple joints to work in harmony in order to maximize power and avoid injury. Training with volume in mind creates an effective training arena in which to make simple progressions. In powerlifting high volume is 5-7 reps/set - but keep in mind we always want to be training around 75-90% of our max.
Training for volume always requires a goal - say a competition coming in 3 months time. At the start of a program the volume should be high, and intensity low. As you progress closer to your goal/competition the intensity should rise (and peak in some cases) and volume should decrease. This will prime your muscles for the exact requirements of the competition - lifting as heavy as possible.
Broken movements not only lead to injury, and setbacks, but they don't work for total force production. The goal for any great powerlifter is to exercise at an intensity where the form is rarely sacrificed. This is called efficiency training. One of the best ways to train for efficiency is during a deloading week.
The bread and butter of any great training program is overload. From a simple perspective, overload refers to the progressive increase in weight, tempo and overall resistance placed on muscle. Simple overload techniques for powerlifting work off a percentage of your max lifts.
Lets use BenchPress as an Example:
Week 1,2: 5x5 @80%max
Week 3,4: 4x6 @90%mx
Week 5,6: 5x5 @70% max (deload)
Week 7,8: 3x3 @95% max
Week 9,10: 2x2 +1x2 @100%
Keep mind that overloading can be done using the prime movements and complementary movements. From a specific perspective, if you want to get better at the Bench press, you should bench press but working in other complement movements such as incline fly can help drastically with power at the bottom range of movements.
Your diet can only take you so far. Supplementing clean products can help to elevate performance by accelerating recovery, reducing swelling on the joints and priming muscles prior to training. In powerlifting, Creatine is King - it helps to rapidly replenish ATP (Adenosine Triphosphate) stores to promote energy production, glycogen reloading and more.
Atomic strength has created a unique blend of Creatine that does not need to be loaded or unloaded, causes little to no water retention and is just as effective as Creatine Monohydrate. Find Atomic Strength Creatine Matrix here.
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Making faster progressions in powerlifting requires high attention to detail and a specific focus on avoiding injury. Powerlifting, by nature, deals in high loads - use deloading weeks and emphasize efficiency and volume over strict weight increases.