T Nation

Female New to Powerlifting

Female New to Powerliftingrea, CA and I’ve been training heavy (or so I think I do or other people tell me I do) and I’m interested in getting into powerlifting. I have no idea where to start. I don’t have any friends whom I can ask about powerlifting - who am I kidding I don’t have that many friends at all since I’m new to the area.

Started training heavy after reading Pavel’s “Power to the People” and have been reading T-Nation for the past 3 months and it has helped me in my training and my job (am a PT).

Here are my stats and I think I can do better if there is a someone whom I can train with or a strength coach to teach me somethings.

Height: 5’ 2"
Weight: 140lbs

Lifting stats

Bench press: 145lbs x 6
Military press: 110lbs x 6
Squats: 185lbs x 6
Deadlifts: 185lbs x 3 (don’t train these enough obviously)

Where should I start? I’m really itching to get into powerlifting.

Welcome. Nice numbers.

First thing you need to make sure your technique is correct with PL form. Post videos of your lifts if possible. Secondly, you need to pick a training routine. Starting Strength, 5x5, something like that which can give you a guide to go by.

If these are all competition legal lifts, you are doing awesome!! Definitely work on powerlifting. If you want to talk training of anything you can PM me.

If your lifts are PL legal, than they’re great. Keep going.

I imagine just reading all you can on this site will help, and most members who have a lot of posts and post often will be able to help you out if you ask them things in the threads.

At your stage, getting stronger shouldn’t be too hard. Lift low and heavy in big movements, eat, sleep.

That’s a big bench. Where in Cali are you? Looks like you were writing it but something got chopped. There are some good teams in the state.

Powerlifting is awesome, I hope you will enjoy it. If you want to do a competition first find a competition near you, plwatch.com is a great website for this. Find one that is close and go for it. If you are particular about being drug free or not and lifting with similar lifters than check that out. You will need to get a singlet, join a federation, and pay the entry fee for a competition. If you want to see where you rank this might be helpful


From that you can see your bench is your strong point and your deadlift is your weak point but you would be competitive. Pick a meet 3-4 months out and find a good routine, hopefully a training partner to join you, and blast away. Good luck with it, if you have any questions let me know

I don’t compete but just wanted to say that for your body weight, you have an outstanding bench press and military press.

As a fellow newbie I have to say, don’t be afraid to seek someone out locally. I was a bit intimidated because I didn’t know any powerlifters and am completely new to the sport with what I would consider weak numbers. I decided to seek out someone locally to give me some pointers and I am extremely happy I did. The guy was helpful in giving technique pointers that I never would have figured out on my own.

He also kept me grounded when I started asking about all of these crazy questions when in actuallity I should only be concerned with the basics. Seeking someone out will pay off in dividends for you, plus you may make a friend along the way since you’re new to your area.

What are your 3 rep maxes or your 1 rep max numbers? Give em’ a try. When you exert yourself to your limits the exhilaration is about as good as winning the lottery. Form, speed, power, strength. Make it happen. I’ve seen some very strong women powerlifting and your numbers indicate you have potential. Make it happen.

Wow, you’re a powerlifting noob and you’re already my benching hero! Good on ya!

If you’re anywhere remotely close to sacramento I would get ahold of mark bell and supertraining gym and make a trip down there. That would be the amazingly helpful.

Sounds like you’re doing very well already! Try hitting up the EliteFTS Q&A for coaching information, I’m sure they would be happy to help.

[quote]kblk3125 wrote:
If you’re anywhere remotely close to sacramento I would get ahold of mark bell and supertraining gym and make a trip down there. That would be the amazingly helpful.[/quote]

This. There are a bunch of strong-ass women in that gym that would put a majority of the guys on this forum to shame.


Oh wow. Thanks all for the information, didn’t expect to receive such quick response. Replying questions in order:

In terms of training routine, because I’m a big BB fan I have been doing 6 days body parts split but I squat/deadlift/bench heavy to start off my training and end with isolation exercises. Is there anyone here who trains that way too and give me some pointers on how I can indulge in both my BB and PL passion?

In terms of my technique I think I’ve gotten the bench and squats down since I’ve watched a lot of Christian Thibaudeau and Dave Tate’s vids. Will get a video of my lifts soon. But I don’t deadlift that much cos I’m still iffy on my technique for that.

I don’t always lift heavy. I try to do a one week heavy one week light since my training volume’s high.

I’m in the East Bay Area, CA (Danville) so I think Sacramento is really out of the way sadly. I know there’s a Diablo BB club but they are super expensive from my research. Do I have other options?

I haven’t tried doing 3 rep or 1 reps yet. I don’t know why. Too afraid of failing lol. So I’ve been uping it everytime I get to a 6 rep. Maybe I’ll try that this week with a spotter.

How can I find a PL training partner around here? On the forum or do I need to craigslist it? Kinda scary.

Oh yeah this are raw stats btw.

Oh no, please don’t do a craig’s list request for a partner. Best to get someone you know well you can interest in training with you or seek a trainer with powerlifting experience that doesn’t try to get you doing some cardio crap or bodybuilding.

You can search for powerlifting gyms on powerliftingwatch.com.


[quote]dollytan86 wrote:
How can I find a PL training partner around here? On the forum or do I need to craigslist it? Kinda scary.

Go to a local meet. Get to know some lifters.

At last year’s Olympia, my girlfriend and I met a couple that lift in Berkeley. The girl was pretty strong, 400lb+ pull that day.

Its been my experience, through observing my GF, that the women lifters are especially supportive of each other.

Well I kinda like power building, Mike O Hearn’s style.

Anyways I’ll look into getting a partner because these powerlifting gym fees and coaching fees are way out of my budget. Thanks all for your feedback.