Powerlifting consists of three exercises. The squat, the deadlift and bench press. Most CrossFit coaches and Personal Trainers believe these core movements to be the base from which all great movements can grow. Gaining strength in the squat, the deadlift and bench press will build the foundation for increasing bone density, improving speed and positively affecting the body's engine or metabolism.
Building a strong base is essential for all movements, especially dynamic movements such as the Olympic Lifts (the clean, the snatch and the jerk) that one commonly sees in a CrossFit class or workout. Technique aside, a person doesn't move up to any significant load (weight) on any of these lifts without having a strong squat or deadlift. The majority of power for an Olympic Lift is generated through the hamstrings, quadriceps, hip flexors and glutes. Heavy squats and deadlifts are essential in building strength in these areas. The bench press has the same effect but on the opposite end of the body. Focusing on the chest, shoulders and triceps, gains in the bench press are essential for strength in pressing and overhead movements.
Powerlifting should not be limited to workouts in the gym. Our personal trainers have many clients who wish to improve their activities outside of the gym as well. For example, one member competes in numerous races in Los Angeles throughout the year and was hoping to finish with better times than she had previously. Her personal trainer had her build strength in her legs through sets of heavier squats and deadlifts which resulted in her demolishing her previous scores. Her speed improved immensely as well as her ability to maintain a faster pace for a longer distance.
The squat, the deadlift and bench press are not the end-all-be-all movements for building a strong base. There are many other strength building exercises out there in the fitness world that have positive benefits and effects. But establishing a sturdy foundation of strength is beneficial to any fitness-related goal, from building muscle, to burning fat and losing weight.
Adam & Amanda
We have spent most of our adult lives training and guiding thousands of people toward better health & fitness. We have created this A4 Blog in order to better educate our friends & members. We will answer any of your health / fitness / nutrition questions as well as keeping you posted on what's new at A4.