T Nation

Need Opinions


I'm 16 and looking at going into powerlifting I've been training for around a year within the gym, and really want to start getting into powerlifting properly.

After training for a year, at 165lbs bodyweight, my 1rm is

Bench press- 176lbs
Squat- 242lbs
Deadlift- 242lbs

I'm not asking if my totals are good or looking for anybody to go "woah", I just wanted opinions on whether for now I should look at going into powerlifting or keep working out to increase strength first?

Any opinions are greatly appreciated, thanks


What is the difference between going into powerlifting and working out to increase strength? Do you mean if you should start competing?


If you're thinking about getting into powerlifting, then get into powerlifting! To me powerlifting is about testing your progress in front of judges, meeting people with obviously something major in your life in common, and just having a great time. If you win 1st place great! If not then who gives a shit. Just strive to improve each and every time you step on the platform and have a good time with your friends.

There will be different opinions on this, but for a solid program I would read Jim Wendlers 5/3/1 material.


Before, I just trained my whole body in different body parts but strength training, I'm wondering if I should start concentrating my workouts on the big three or to just carry on doing general strength training and get stronger before concentrating on powerlifting


I would do both.


I think I probably will do some more strength training just to build them up a bit more before focussing my workouts on them


Dude, the great thing about powerlifting is that it's for everyone. Young, old, weak, strong, it doesn't matter. I agree 100% with what Mighty Mouse said - no matter what your total, powerlifting is about having the balls (or ladyballs) to get on the platform and prove yourself. Where a lot of people get lost, though, is WHO they're trying to prove themselves TO.

Powerlfiting is an individual sport - as long as you show yourself that you have the mental fortitude and the drive to improve each and every day, who gives a shit what your total is? No one gets into powerlifting to get famous, or make money. Even the elite level guys in most federations end up paying their expenses out of pocket. Just do it because it's fun, and because it's an honest hobby.


Also, this:


good for her but,,, fk that pre squat yelling reminded me of this.


That's what I meant when I said I wasn't looking for anybody to tell me my totals were good, I'm impressed with how much I've gained strength-wise since I've been training, and impressing myself is exactly what I train for! I just needed some advice on whether to look to doing a powerlifting program or increase my base foundation of strength first, but thanks for the advice. I agree about the hobby! I train to enjoy myself and impress myself, and that's what interests me in powerlifting, it's all about PERSONAL records, not world records


I agree that you have to want to improve for your own reasons and self-judge to some degree, but to me powerlifting is about winning. If not now, then in the future. Seriously, if you are happy competing "against yourself" then what's the point? The fact that lifting is a pure, individual, athletic event means that a lifter has the chance to redefine perceptions of human potential. Fuck being satisfied with a small PR, aim for the world records! The only way to advance strength sport is by trying to win instead of messing about with 3rd place trophies.


So how's your world record contention coming? I'm not writing this to start shit with you, but your bravado is comical and misdirected, IMO. Powerlifting is indeed about winning against yourself, that is entirely THE POINT to many of us. Sure, you try to beat the next guy but in the end it's you against gravity and a number of weights. Besides, often times the strongest guy doesn't win the meet.... the most PREPARED guy wins the meet. Look at the meet recaps of most of the guys say at elited fts. They never say "I out lifted" so and so"... they say "I went 9 for 9 ( on a great meet) or I set a PR in the Bench etc. Or they say "I left "X" number of pounds on the platform" I'll do better next meet and so forth. win or lose it is they who compete to be better each time.


I do not claim to be ANYWHERE near a world record. If we aim there, however, we can always push further. Do you not agree?
In other sports, competition against oneself is simply a tool to advance to the stage of the elite... For those who want to. It is not the only aspect, otherwise why not lift without the competition or audience?


If you were to be given one chance to compete, and you could either: 1. Lift PRs but come last; or 2. Lift 20lbs less than in training but still break a record, which would you choose?


If your answer to this is not the same as mine, that's fine. Just try to understand that I have a competitive mindset and believe that targets should be set high. It is not "bravado" lol. It's competitive sport.


Ok you are in fantasy land with these unlikely scenarios but I'll play. If one was lifting in an obscure federation such as the raw,over 30 , beltless,guy with an eye patch division then yeah, one MIGHT set a record but in the real world, in a fairly establish fed, the odds of one breaking a state / world record are slim even if you win the meet.
I'll one up your fantasy realm... what If you won every meet for the next 5 years. You beat everyone but didn't set any PR's? Would you be more awesome? Would you be satisfied with yourself? NO you probably wouldn't, IMHO.

All this bullshit aside, the fact remains that we compete for various reasons. I lean to ultimately competing against one's self. I just took exception to your "why bother" comment.

So what's Wales like this time of year, lol?


I would rather lift PRs.


If you compete against yourself, fine. I can't understand that though. If I could be the best lifter in every room I walked into and every competition I went to for 5 years (or even a year), then, assuming the competitors included the best among humanity, I would feel incredibly happy with the achievement and very fortunate. That would be the ultimate goal in lifting, regardless of "progress" or PRs, to me.

While a PR is a nice and far more realistic goal, it is not on par with being the best at something. It is a step towards a further goal, and a further goal, etc., leading to the ultimate goal. Without an ultimate goal, a '10/10', how can lesser achievents or a '9/10' be graded?
To be honest this is going too far off track now. The OP should aim for whatever he feels he wants to achieve, and always aim to move towards that. Other than that, this is all rambling.

P.S. Wales is nice at this time of year, thank you. Lol


Powerlifting IS strength training. The vast majority of your training should consist of the big three lifts (or variations), because that is the best way to improve your strength.

Find a program that has a barbell in your hands or on your back the majority of the time. 5/3/1, WSFSB, SS, any of the 5x5 variaitions are all solid options for someone in your position. Pick one, read up on it a bunch, stick with it for 6+ months, log everything and then reassess from there.


This is where you're failing to see the point. The "assuming the competitors included the best among humanity".

StrengthDawg is talking about the concept between being the best when it may not really matter, and being able to best yourself consistently and improve. Being the best when it doesn't matter, doesn't matter. Beating your previous best does matter. One shows improvement while the other is irrelevant.

Your "I just want to win" fails for that reason. You'll probably never be competing against the strongest men alive, and so it's irrelevant whether you're the best in any particular comp. Who cares when there are comps filled with people who are still significantly stronger than you out there?

Breaking PRs and getting stronger than you were previously is a much more sustainable and practical goal. If you keep it up, maybe one day you might be strong enough to compete with the strongest.