Fact Check: 4 Common Misconceptions of Powerlifting for Beginners

When you picture a powerlifter, what comes to mind?

4 Powerlifting Myths Busted

When you picture a powerlifter, what comes to mind? Do you see a man who looks like Arnold Schwarzenegger? Do you think that powerlifting is something people do solely for competitions?

Powerlifting isn’t a sport that most of us have a lot of exposure to. There are also a lot of myths floating around making it harder to have a clear picture of what powerlifting is really like.

Let’s dispel these myths so you can discover if powerlifting may be a good fit for you or your child.

Myth #1: Powerlifting is a guy’s sport.

It is true that more men than women participate in powerlifting, but that does not mean that it is a male-only sport. Women are increasingly joining in and enjoying the physical and mental strength gains that come with this sport. Powerlifting is about developing your mind and body to be the strongest and best they can be whether you are male or female.

Myth #2: You have to be strong to be a powerlifter.

Strength comes with training and practice. It is something you build over time by actual powerlifting. Don’t let worry about your current strength level stop you from taking the journey to grow even stronger. Everyone starts from somewhere and working with a skilled coach will help you “triumph through training.”

Myth #3: Powerlifting is only for people who are young.

While it is true that your body will be able to support the heaviest lifts when you are younger, there is no age cutoff for participating in powerlifting. When you focus on being your own personal best, on reaching the maximum potential of the body you have today, you will realize that you can powerlift well into adulthood.

Myth #4: Powerlifting is an individual sport.

Powerlifting is a very community oriented sport. While each lift is performed alone, each athlete receives support from other athletes, coaches, and families. Those athletes know firsthand the work and dedication it takes to be a powerlifter. Those who have been lifting for a while can offer support and guidance to lifters who are just beginning.

What is powerlifting?

Powerlifting at its core is a personal test of physical and mental strength. In Special Olympics powerlifting competitions, powerlifters are placed into groups based on ability level, age, gender, and weight class. Athletes age 16 and up are eligible to compete in bench press, deadlift, squat, or a combination of these events.

In each event, the powerlifter is given three attempts to lift the heaviest weight possible. The heaviest successful attempt in each event is counted. For combination events, the best lifts from each event are added together to determine the lifter’s total.

Training to be a powerlifter is a communal event with athletes growing together and encouraging each other. Athletes who have been training for years love to share what a positive and rewarding experience it has been. New athletes are always welcome to stop by and learn more about powerlifting to see if it may be a good fit for them.

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