Powerlifting and strength training are two similar activities. Both systems try to increase the strength of the person doing them. Strength training routines focus on getting a person stronger in all areas of the body. Powerlifting routines only focus on getting stronger by doing three specific exercises. The exercises in powerlifting routines include the bench press, squat, and deadlift. Since powerlifting is a sport, a powerlifter is only going to concern themselves with increasing strength in the three competitive lifts.
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The Sport of Powerlifting
Powerlifting is a sport that has a lifter lift as much weight as possible in three different exercises. The powerlifter will squat as much weight as possible in three attempts. Following the squat, the person will bench press as much weight as possible in three attempts. Following the bench press, the lifter will deadlift as much weight as possible in three attempts. Following all three exercises the judges will add up all of the lifter's best lifts and that number will become the powerlifter's total score.
Powerlifters spend all their time trying to increase their maximum weight total for the three lifts. They will use the maximum effort training method. The maximum effort training method is when a lifter works out at over 90% of their maximum level. An example of the max effort method is when someone who can bench 225 pounds for one rep will perform repetitions with weights between 210 to 225 pounds of the 225 max. Powerlifting routines also use the dynamic effort training method, also known as a speed day, to increase power. The dynamic effort method is used to increase the amount of force in the exercise. The speed day increases a powerlifter's ability to lift the competition lifts faster.
Strength Training Overview
Strength training is not a competitive sport like powerlifting. While powerlifting routines focuses on increasing the bench press, squat, and deadlift, strength training focuses on getting stronger in a wide variety of exercises. Strength training routines incorporate different forms of resistance such as free weights, resistance bands, body-weight calisthenics, and machines.
Strength Training Routines
Strength training routines vary for the person. Some people are just using strength training to promote better health. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, strength training can help treat chronic conditions such as back pain, arthritis, Type 2 diabetes, obesity, insomnia and osteoporosis. Athletes will often use strength training routines to get themselves stronger for their specific sport. Senior citizens tend to use strength training routines to strengthen their bones, joints, and tendons. Other people use strength training to increase muscle mass.