The benefits of powerlifting are numerous. They include stronger bones and muscles, weight management, confidence, and improved athletic performance.
If you’ve been powerlifting on your own for any length of time, you’ve seen the benefits for yourself. However, you’ve probably also wondered if there are more benefits to enjoy.
Working with a powerlifting coach can help you maximize the benefits of the sport. Read on to learn more about how a powerlifting coach can improve your practice.
The Benefits of a Powerlifting Coach
Powerlifters enjoy many benefits. Like any athlete, however, powerlifters also face risks for injuries. They face setbacks. They struggle with motivation, nutrition, and sleep. As a powerlifter, you’ve likely encountered these obstacles as well.
Working with a powerlifting coach ensures that your lifting regimen produces the greatest benefits. It can also help you overcome—and even prevent—obstacles.
Coaching to Prevent Injury
All athletes face injury risks. Fortunately, powerlifters experience injury rates that are comparatively lower than athletes in other sports.
From time to time, however, injuries do happen. Injuries mean pain and medical expenses. They can also mean time off from training and competition. However, many injuries can be prevented.
Factors that affect the likelihood of injury include:
- Training frequency and intensity
Powerlifting coaches address each of these factors.Training Frequency and Intensity
A coach can help you avoid pitfalls related to training frequency and intensity. Especially as you begin training, you’re excited and eager to see results. You want to be your best. You assume that being your best means working at the highest intensities possible as often as possible. In fact, this is not a recipe for your best self. Instead, it is a recipe for injury.
In general, the best training program templates are incremental. They increase weights and intensity gradually. They also use intensity strategically. They incorporate adequate rest and proper nutrition, and they don’t rush results.
Training schedules for powerlifters are not “one size fits all.” The best training program for you takes into account several factors:
- Your level of experience as a powerlifter
- Your expectations for yourself and for any competitions you’re targeting
- Your history of injuries
- Your schedule and obligations outside of lifting
A coach can discuss these factors with you and design a powerlifting workout program that meets your needs and helps you achieve your goals.Technique
Effective training—and training that avoids injury—also pays attention to form. Injuries result not only when you do “too much too soon.” Injuries also result when you perform lifts using improper technique. Combining improper form with inappropriate training frequency and intensity is a recipe for disaster.
When you repeatedly perform a lift improperly, you are not building strength. Rather, you are repeatedly forcing your body to work against itself. Thus, you are not enjoying the full benefits of your “intense” training plan. Instead, you are running the risk for serious injury.
Again, a coach can help you avoid the pitfalls associated with improper form. Whether via in-person or online coaching sessions, a coach can evaluate your form. He or she can identify potential problems with your technique. Your coach can also suggest ways to fix those problems. They can do so, moreover, before improper form becomes ingrained as a habit. Mobility
Another factor associated with injury is limited mobility. Features of our modern lives—from sedentary careers to excessive screen time—leave us all at risk for poor posture and limited mobility. Our shoulders are rounded. Necks are stiff. Lower backs are painful. Our glutes are weak. Lastly our hips are tight.
For powerlifters, however, mobility can be even more of a challenge. One study comparing mobility found that lifters were less flexible than non-lifters on all but one measure.
A lack of flexibility is associated with increased injury risk among powerlifters. Thus, improving mobility must be the goal of any lifting regimen. Expert coaches can advise you on ways to improve mobility. These include:
- Static and dynamic stretching
- Foam rolling and deep tissue release
- Core strengthening exercises
A coach can also assess your postures and muscle condition to identify imbalances. Once identified, these imbalances can be corrected to improve mobility and reduce the risk of injury.Nutrition
One of the benefits of powerlifting is a significant increase in your ability to burn calories. Powerlifting is among the most calorie-intensive workouts. It also builds muscle, which can boost your metabolism. The energy you expend on activity and your metabolism determine the amount of energy your body requires.
If you lift but don’t provide your body the calories it needs for energy, you risk injury. You also won’t enjoy the full benefits of your workouts. A body that doesn’t receive the energy it needs from calories is sluggish and weak. It also struggles to maintain weight and muscle mass.
A powerlifting coach can help you determine your daily calorie needs. Importantly, these needs can change throughout your training.
If you lose or gain weight—or if you want to do so to compete in a different weight class, your calorie needs will change. Your calorie needs will also change as you change the frequency or intensity of your workouts. A powerlifting coach can monitor and adjust your nutrition plan.
Proper nutrition for powerlifting requires more than eating the right number of calories. It also includes eating the right foods. Eating 2,800 calories of candy, cookies, and potato chips will not serve a powerlifter well.
The most important nutrients for a powerlifter come from proteins, carbs, and fats. Fish, poultry, lean red meats, and low-fat dairy provide good sources of protein. The best carbs include whole-grain sources, fruits, and root vegetables. Coconut and olive oil, oily fish, avocados, nuts, and seeds offer healthy fats.
A lifting coach can advise you on how to balance the proteins, carbs, and fats you consume. They can also recommend additional sources of these nutrients and help you find healthy and convenient recipes. Finally, they can recommend supplements that might benefit your powerlifting program.
Coaching to Improve Motivation
Besides injury, one of the biggest obstacles powerlifters face is themselves. Like all athletes, powerlifters struggle with motivation.The Causes of Low Motivation
Struggles with motivation may be rooted in a lack of confidence: I’ve seen what elite lifters can accomplish, but I’ll never be that good.
They may be rooted in the aging process or the passage of time: My best days are behind me; I’ll never surpass—or even live up to—my past successes.
They may be rooted in boredom: I’ve done this workout for months; I could do it in my sleep.
They may, finally, be rooted in the demands of our modern lives: I have so many other things to accomplish, and so many people are counting on me. How can I make time for lifting—for me?
Whatever the cause, low motivation afflicts almost every lifter from time to time. Qualified coaches understand the causes of low motivation, and they know how to address them.Coaching Solutions for Low Motivation
An experienced powerlifting coach can eliminate boredom as a cause of low motivation. In fact, variety is one of the greatest benefits of working with a coach. With a coach guiding your training, you won’t perform the same workout over and over again.
Good coaches know how to balance repetition and variety. And they know that this balance promotes motivation, while also making workouts safer and more effective.
Besides introducing variety, a good lifting coach will also take the time to get to know you. He’ll know you as a lifter, and he’ll know you as a person. He’ll seek to understand the mindset you bring to your practice. And he’ll help you identify obstacles—in your mindset and in your life—that impede your success.
When your obstacles are rooted in your mindset, he’ll help you see your training and your progress from a different perspective. Maybe you can’t compete with elite powerlifters, for example, but you can compete with yourself. You can work toward your own personal best.
When your obstacles are rooted in your life outside of lifting, a coach can help you identify ways to fit training into your schedule. Importantly, he can also provide an objective perspective, reminding you that taking time for you is not selfish.
Simply put, when all else fails, a coach provides an external source of motivation to counter any excuses. Once you’ve hired a coach, you’ve made an investment. Giving your all—even on days when you don’t feel like it—allows you to make the most of that investment.
Coaching for Improvement
You started powerlifting because you wanted to be stronger. You wanted to be better. Maybe, for a while, you were pleased with the improvements you saw. Maybe, though, you’ve hit a plateau. Your training doesn’t seem to be producing the same gains.
An expert coach can help you troubleshoot weaknesses that are impeding your progress. Here again, objectivity is key, and objectivity is precisely what a coach provides.
It can be difficult to identify and acknowledge our own weaknesses. We get comfortable with the way we’ve always done things. Next, we also fall victim to our egos. And we like to think that we’re doing our best. And perhaps we are doing the best we can on our own.
However, the objective evaluation of an outside observer can always identify areas for improvement. Fresh eyes can suggest subtle tweaks to your form or your routine. Over time, subtle tweaks can produce significant results. This is true for all lifters from beginners to elites.
Finding a Coach
The benefits of a powerlifting coach are undeniable. However, you’ll only enjoy those benefits if you hire the right coach.
Online or In-Person Coaching
As you look for a lifting coach, remember that you are not limited by geography. While in-person coaching is one option, an online powerlifting coach can be just as effective. Online coaching also adds an element of convenience. Furthermore, it opens up a wider range of coaches offering a wider range of expertise and experiences.
The right coach is qualified and experienced. He/she has years of powerlifting training, competition, and coaching. Coach is certified as an athletic or personal trainer. Lastly, also maintains his certifications and keeps his knowledge current through continuing education.
A qualified and experienced lifting coach should also boast a wide range of current and former clients. He should be able to direct you to these clients and their reviews so that you can learn more about his approach.
The Coaching Relationship
Choosing the right powerlifting coach depends a great deal on the coach himself. However, finding the right coach depends on you. Remember to investigate any claims a potential coach makes. Search for him in competition results. Check out the degrees and certifications he claims.
Also take the time to get to know each other. Ask a potential coach to describe his philosophy and approach. An experienced coach should be able to give you an overview of his style in just a few minutes.
Remember, finally, that you are a key part of the coaching relationship. To enjoy the full benefits of a powerlifting coach, you’ll need to be honest with him. Be open about your expectations for training and competition. Identify any obstacles—fears, former injuries, lifestyle demands—that might impede your progress.
Honest conversations such as these set the foundation for a productive coaching relationship.
Power Up: Take Your Powerlifting to the Next Level with an Expert Coach
The benefits of powerlifting are significant, but maximizing these benefits requires the insights of an expert powerlifting coach.
As you explore these benefits, count on Kafui Fitness to help you pursue your powerlifting goals. Contact us through our website today.