What Does it Take to Be a Powerlifter?


Taylor Babillis, Staff Writer

Want to know what it takes to be a powerlifter? First, you have to know what it is. Powerlifting is a strength sport that consists of three attempts of max weight on squat, bench, and deadlift. Just like every other sport, it takes a lot of hard work and dedication. It’s not just meathead guys throwing weights around. Anybody can do it!

When you begin training, your diet has to change if you want to succeed. Your diet should consist of numerous clean meals throughout the day.“I went from eating 3 meals a day to eating 5-6 small clean meals every 2 hours,” said Kelly Babillis. On days that you lift, protein packed meals are vital. For example, for breakfast you may have a cup of oatmeal, 2 egg whites, and a protein shake. Meal prepping is helpful in keeping your diet on track.Every Sunday, I cook ground turkey meat, rice, and veggies. Since it’s already made, it makes it easier to grab a healthy meal on the go. It is recommended that you drink a gallon of water everyday, as it is easy to get dehydrated when you’re pushing your body in the gym.

If you’re wanting to try something new, make new friends, and change your body, then you should give powerlifting a try! ”

— Taylor Babillis

Training is the biggest part of any type of sport. The work you put in the gym prepares you for your meet. I train 4 days a week, 2 hours a day. Monday and Friday is leg day and Wednesday and Sundays are arm day. When you first begin powerlifting, the most important thing to get right is your form. If the form is not correct, then your lifts will not be accurate and you have greater odds of getting hurt. Once the form is perfect, the fun part begins. Sundays and Fridays are speed repetition days. Therefore you will do 60% of your max weight on squat, deadlift, and bench for 3 sets of 10 reps. Mondays and Wednesdays are heavy days. This day will consist of working up to a single rep of max weight. It’s important to train with experienced powerlifters if possible. They can critique your lifting and help you transition into the lifestyle correctly. Even though you need to be strong to lift, it is just as much mental as it is physical. “You have to be self motivated and have the willpower to resist things that are harmful to your body. I was the one always refusing to go out with friends on the weekends because I knew that I needed rest and that alcohol and food didn’t fit my diet,” said Kelly.

All of the training is working towards the main event, the meet. Your first meet can be nerve wracking but it’s so worth it. I just had my first meet last weekend and it was so exciting! I was nervous but not nearly as much as I thought I would be, and that’s because of my training. I was ready, I was strong, and I was confident. I knew what I was going into from watching my mom compete in the past. I would recommend attending a meet as a spectator to see what it’s all about. It’s so satisfying to see all the lifters that are competing and accomplishing their goals.“The best part about powerlifting is hitting a new PR and realizing that all of your hard work is paying off!,” said Kelly.

When you get to the meet, make sure to check the flight list to see when it’s your turn to lift. Know how long it takes for you to warm up so you can plan accordingly to your position on the list. The warm up should be about 20+lbs under your first attempt so you’re prepared for the opener. When it’s your turn on the platform, just relax and pretend it’s just another day in training. Make sure to listen for your commands because if they are not followed, the lift won’t count.During the whole meet, my adrenaline was on another level. It’s the most exciting experience ever and with the proper training, you’ll excel. If you’re wanting to try something new, make new friends, and change your body, then you should give powerlifting a try!