I have been working on the “Big 3” lifts for a few months now, but it wasn’t until the beginning of this year that I decided to switch completely to a powerlifting split and pursue that.
It’s been quite the crazy ride already and I am only a month and a half in. My body hurts in ways I have never known it could hurt, I am realizing that I never TRULY knew what it meant to “struggle” to lift something, and I am spending the same amount of time I used to spend on my entire workout doing one lift.
And I freaking love it.
Let’s talk about my 1 Rep Max’s!
January: 95 lbs
Current: 105 lbs
January: 185 lbs
Current: 225 lbs (BARELY. Let’s just say, it wouldn’t pass in a competition)
January: 195 lbs
Current: 225 lbs
First, let me just say that my deadlift should be quite a bit higher than my squat. It’s definitely my favorite lift and I’m improving rapidly, so I think it will increase quite a bit in the next few weeks. My squat on the other hand…. I don’t see that moving much for a while. I hit 225 with my trainer (he wanted me to “feel” that heavy weight), so I felt secure having a good spotter, but it definitely wasn’t perfect form.
Second, the reason that my 1RM’s are increasing so drastically is because, as I said, I never before really knew what it felt like to hit my max. I was so used to doing 8-15 reps that I continually amaze myself with how much I can lift just one time. I will pull a deadlift and think it was really hard, but everyone around me will tell me how easy it looked and how I could definitely up the weight. They’re right, too. My deadlifts are definitely continually improving, I’m happy to say.
Clearly, deadlifts are my favorite. By far.
So as I mentioned above I hired a trainer! Best decision I have made. I wanted to hire him to help me work on my form and learn to lift heavier for less reps (believe it or not, that takes more getting used to than you might imagine!). Each week he has helped me with a different lift. So far we have worked on bench, deadlift and squat.
Next week (the fourth and final week I have paid for so far!), we are doing bench again because it is my worst lift. I am least comfortable with my form on bench press and it’s the hardest lift to go heavy on without a spotter, so I’m happy we’re working on that twice. I think I will most likely pay for another four sessions because I still see myself benefiting from it. Even if I know what the correct form looks like, it’s easy to miss something doing it alone and nice to have an outside, expert opinion.
Something else I am looking into is joining an actual powerlifting gym. My gym is definitely powerlifting “friendly” but not many people there are training for it and they don’t have as many squat racks, platforms and benches as a powerlifting gym would. The issue is there aren’t all that many true powerlifting gyms and the closest one to me is not doable during the week. That being said, I truly think that being in that type of environment around people lifting like me with plenty of equipment I need will be worth it even if I can only go there once a week or a few times a month.
A few things I’ve learned while powerlifting too… For one, if people aren’t into it, they won’t get it. For example, when I tell my mom about my latest training session, her first question is “did you do cardio?”. She doesn’t get it. It’s probably the same thing for me when it comes to running. I have run outside a lot…done races… I just don’t “GET” it. That being said, unlike running, most people haven’t even tried powerlifting and don’t get the appeal of it. For me, I love powerlifting because I get the most amazing rush from it, love seeing myself get stronger, and love the mental challenge. It’s okay that most people don’t get it, only I have to 🙂
Another thing I’ve learned is powerlifting draws a lot of attention to yourself. I used to HATE that. If you’re not 100% confident in your form, getting an audience at the gym is a sure-fire way to make start questioning it! For example, I used to try to control the weight while going down on deadlifts. I thought it was so stupid to drop the weights so loudly (I would always think of that obnoxious “lunk alarm” at Planet Fitness), I thought it was all for show. Well, turns out, when you lift heavy enough, you just sometimes have to drop the weights. And hey, whatever, I’m strong– I should attract attention 😉
As for actual powerlifting competitions, my goal was to do 2 this year, but I think I will reduce that to 1. I want to wait until I know I will do well. I’m too competitive to do it any other way 🙂
I am racking my brain trying to remember what else I wanted to update y’all on. I think that’s all for now! Did I ramble enough? I’m pretty sure I did. Can you tell this topic gets me excited?
Do any of you powerlift? Can you relate to others just “not getting it” when it comes to your favorite form of fitness?