Powerlifting is the definition of an inclusive sport. When you come to a competition you will see people ranging in age from 13-85. You will see monsters squatting 700lbs and a person stepping on the platform for the first time squatting 135lbs. The best part is the crowd loves them all.   The sport involves 3 lifts: the squat, bench press, and deadlift. For those that can’t squat, you can do Bench Press and Deadlift only. Many people will see someone on the platform that they can resonate with and say “I can do that!” For the most part they are correct. They can. Powerlifting is in the reach of most people.


Hire a Coach, not a personal trainer

There are some people that show up to their first competition with no assistnance. They have watched a couple of YouTube Videos and have figured it all out. This usually doesn’t workout great, but I have seen some people succeed with this approach. The thing that will boil my blood is seeing someone that seeks out professional guidance and then they hire their friend’s grandson who is a certified personal trainer.. Trainers should know the basics of how to lift, but powerlifting is a sport. In sports you need to hire an experienced coach that not only understands the technical aspects of the three lifts, but also has a knowledge of how to prepare for a meet, teach you the rules of the meet, and how to prepare you for the long day that is awaiting you. 

I can’t count the number of times I see lifters show up with a trainer and from the moment they start the weigh-ins they are already confused and stressed. They don’t make weight because they registered for the wrong division and weight class. Then they show up on meet day don’t time their warm ups appropriately.  They then go to step on the platform  and haven’t trained commands appropriately. They don’t understand how to get their net attempt in to the score table. All of these things add to an already stressful day. The worst part is, they paid someone good money to prepare them.

What to look for in a powerlifting coach

One of the key things to ask is have they competed in the sport and know the rules of the federation you plan to compete in. Experience varies but having a coach with at least 3-4 meets under their own belt should be a minimum requirement.  Experience on the platform is crucial. This doesn’t mean they need to be a world class lifter and have super human strength themselves, but they should be able to guide you from where you the beginning until you finish that last deadlift on meet day.

Ask them what type of programming philosophy they follow. If it’s Starting Strength walk the other But seriously ask them about their training philosophy. If everyone they train is on the same program, it is not a good sign.

A good powerlifting coach should be able to set you up on a program that will prepare you and not over work you. If you are an adult with other responsibilities besides lifting heavy, they need to be able to make sure you are on a program that meets you where you are and doesn’t drive you into the ground before meet day. 

Most of the time most trainers in a big box gym can’t help you. Seek out a locally owned gym that specializes in the sport.

Feel free to reach out with any questions. If you aren’t close to us we will help you find someone that can guide you in  the right direction.


Check out some of our past blogs on Powerlifting!

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