Michael Grogan is a Personal Trainer/Movement Coach in Melbourne CBD & Clifton Hill, Australia. He uses a combination of Gymnastic Strength, Advanced Mobility and Barbell Strength & Power exercises to achieve increased levels of performance and body composition with his clients. For more information follow him on instagram: https://www.instagram.com/michaelgrogan_movement/ facebook: https://www.facebook.com/MichaelGroganMovement and for enquiries contact [email protected]
Powerlifting a.k.a. ‘The big 3’ a.k.a. ‘The Mecca of training ‘ a.k.a. ‘lets do this’ a.k.a. what up biTc$e$!
Yes, this article is about Powerlifting or more specifically the Squat, the Deadlift and the Bench Press. In the world I live in, all females’ train these big three exercises and absolutely love them and the benefits they receive from regular performing these movements.
As with anything in life, you tend to get caught up in your own world and daily experiences. This led me to thinking that the majority of females in the wider community would regularly perform these movements in their training – it was only recently when I came across a few new view points that I realized that a number of females actually do not powerlift! What? This is madness! After I calmed down, I decided to write this article highlighting the benefits of powerlifting and why all women should perform these movements.
After reading this article, if you are female, I envision you falling into one of 3 viewpoints:
1. “Wow, I have never heard of this powerlifting thing, it sounds great and something beneficial to me…I’m off to go powerlift now”
2. “I do weights often and maybe one or two of the powerlifting movements already, I am now going to struture all 3 of the lifts into my training…I’m off to go powerlift now”
3. “I already Powerlift and understand the benefits so therefore I enjoyed reading this article as it affirmed my already strong beliefs on the subject…I’m off to go powerlift now”
If you are a male reading this, I expect you to fall into 1 viewpoint:
1. “…I’m off to go powerlift now”
1. Why All Women Should Squat!
The Barbell Back Squat! Massive movement! A Super-beneficial exercise for developing strength and endurance in mainly the lower body but also the upper body. The first aim of is to get to a full range in this movement which means getting you’re a$$ as close as you can to the grass whilst maintaining a neutral spine. Once you have achieved this you can start building weight and intensity in the movement. It will develop you Glutes, hamstrings, lower back into an enviable physique which will look good in Lululemon and Lorna Jane tights alike. The back squat is also great for developing muscles that increase the speed and efficiency of your running.
Old School Thinking/Excuse for not Back Squatting:
“I don’t want my legs to get bulky” – If your worried about this then squatting will only help this as it will give you a leaner and better shape around your lower body. Plus there are probably other reasons you feel like this that won’t have anything to do with squatting…
“The Bar hurts the back of my neck so I stopped” Its just in the wrong position – ask your trainer/lifting squad for advice.
“I’ll just do leg press instead” Really? Just stop right there and get squatting.
2. Why All Women Should Deadlift!
Dead’s for days!!!! The one true barometer for your overall strength is your deadlift. Which means, theoretically, if you do not deadlift then you have no strength, not in reality, but it is the absolute best for testing your strength because it the exercise you can generally move the most amount of weight in.
1st goal is maintaining a straight spine throughout the movement and then you can work on shifting more weight through differing rep ranges. It will develop your glutes, hamstrings and build strength in your lower back perfect for increasing athletic performance and building shape for that region of the body. Also, I did a quick Google search of ‘female celebrity deadlift’ and Angelina Jolie came up all over the place, and I believe everyone, including me, would like to look like her, but that’s a story for another article – Get Deadlifting!
Old School Thinking/Excuse for not Deadlifting:
“I don’t want to hurt my back” Great, if you don’t want to hurt your back you should deadlift to build strength and flexibility through the area in order to prevent injury
“Ill Just do Hamstring Curls instead” No, you won’t, you will deadlift.
3. Why All Women Should Bench Press!
Its all about BENCH BRO! Its actually not, but it is an amazing exercises to make sure you have that upper body strength covered in your training. This is a very important movement. We tend to lose our upper body strength when we don’t train because we rarely use the upper body muscles in daily life compared to legs. Which means you may start at a very low base with the bench press so the first goal is to ensure you have a full connection throughout your whole body by pressing your feet firmly to the ground while you bench and ensure you bring the bar all the way down to your chest. Once you have done this gradually work the weight and reps up.
Bench is a fantastic exercise to firm up those ‘spaghetti arms’ and also balance out your upper body and lower body strength.
Old School Thinking/Excuse for not doing bench bro:
“I only want to work on legs so I don’t need to do upper body” This is like saying to the car mechanic; “just maintain my tyres and don’t worry about the engine” You have to work on the whole package otherwise you will never develop strength overall.
“But I don’t want my arms to get bulky” Once again, doing bench isn’t your problem here, bench will only work to tone and shape your arms. It is other factors in your life making your arms bulky.
In a really tight nutshell; that’s why you should powerlift. This article is also applicable to men regarding powerlifting, it just has a female focus to try and get more women in on the action! What you can now do is structure your training around these 3 lifts knowing that improvement in these areas can lead to massive progress in your training. You also now have the tools to check how your are going strength wise: If you bench improves you know you are getting stronger in your upper body, if your squat improves, your lower body is improving and if your deadlift is up then your overall strength is much greater.
Right, I am off to go power lift now…..
For all those wanting help with their Powerlifting training please get in touch: [email protected]
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