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Female Powerlifting, how to start

Women’s Powerlifting how to start

If you don’t already know Fitenium is a free, mobile, video-based social network for athletes who train strength or bodyweight exercises. At Fitenium users can follow their performance, compete and get discounts in nutrition and sports equipment stores. Download it here.

In case you’ve been training in your garage for 10 years and you haven’t noticed, Powerlifting has long ceased to be a discipline practically exclusively for men. In the United States alone, women’s powerlifting has doubled the number of female competitors since 2019 and this number only takes into account competitive powerlifters and not the huge number of women who powerlifted in the privacy of their gym.

Historically there has always been a series of negative stereotypes about female powerlifting, many people have an ideal of the extremely thin female body with hardly any muscle mass, but fortunately this trend is reversing in recent years as society increasingly values more physiques. functional, strong and healthy feminine. The explosion of women doing Crossfit, Calisthenics or the discipline that concerns us in this article: Powerlifting is no coincidence.

It is very important to make it clear that doing Powerlifting is not going to make you lose your feminine figure and be a mass of muscles. In fact it is completely the opposite, lifting weights will make you gain muscle mass and lose fat, you will have a much more feminine figure and everything “in its place”. Let’s assume now that you have to leave the 2kg pink weight and start moving real iron, and women are perfectly capable of training heavy.

mujer powerlifter
@SmashleySvendbye competes in Powerlifting and Strongman.

We believe that soon, any woman will be able to enter the gym and see another woman doing Powerlifting to help her get started in the world, however until then we have a series of recommendations if you are going to start lifting irons.

– Get a coach or failing that, a program: as we have been commenting, if you are going to start in Women’s Powerlifting it is very important to have a scientific and intelligent approach. For this, if we can access a coach (preferably live) our progress will be much greater and safer, but if this is not the case, there are general Powerlifting programs that can work quite well. Examples of these programs are Stronglifts 5×5 or Wendler’s 5-3-1.

best female powerlifters
Share your progress in Powerlifting on the Fitenium App!

– Perfect the technique of the basics of Powerlifting: it is related to the previous point, having access to a personal trainer will help you to fine-tune the technique of the Bench Press, Squat and Deadlift. Alternatively, fortunately today there is an enormous amount of information on the correct technique for these exercises. If you master Shakespeare’s language, we recommend Layne Norton’s trilogy of articles: Squat, Bench Press and Deadlift; but in the language of Cervantes we also have the Powerexplosive videos that explain step by step how to execute the basics safely.




– Increases loads: strong Once we have a program and master the exercises, progress in Powerlifting is based on a progressive increase in loads. There may be a problem progressing on the Bench Press if the gym you go to only does 2.5kg plates, so make sure they have at least 1.25kg plates. However, once you are intermediate or advanced, progressing kilo by kilo with 0.5 or 0.75kg discs is ideal.

– Watch your diet: forget about 1000 calorie diets designed to create weak and unhealthy women, in this sport you will need to build muscle and for this you have to eat more. However, this does not mean that you should eat what you want, calculate a diet based on macronutrients and not so much on calories (also), and choose quality ingredients. Protein of high biological value (meat, eggs, fish, whey protein, legumes…), slowly absorbed carbohydrates (oats, whole wheat pasta, potato, whole wheat bread…) and healthy fats (olive oil, avocado, nuts, Serrano ham…) are your workhorses to improve your strength and physique.

– Keep in mind the physical differences: Although men have more capacity to create muscle mass and have a larger torso that makes them capable of moving greater loads in the Bench Press, women have greater flexibility than men, so they will have an easier time doing deep squats. or adopt a better starting position in the deadlift.

There are other particularities such as that women have wider hips and narrower knees and are prone to valgus. This is dangerous and if left untreated greatly increases the chance of cruciate ligament injury. To make up for this deficiency you have to make your glutes stronger and warm up squats with a knee band.

– Women recover better: a study from the University of X suggests that women need mentos time to recover their maximum voluntary contraction (MVC). This may be due to the estrogen levels present in the female sex. On the other hand, it also seems that this affects recovery between sessions, although there is no conclusive evidence in this regard.

– Download every 4 weeks: menstruation is a factor that has a lot to say in our programming. It’s quite likely that on period days you won’t feel as eager to train as hard as you normally do, so it makes a lot of sense to unload at that time of the month. Take into account how the body feels and try to determine when you feel strongest and when you have the most discomfort to plan your training around that. Also do not worry if you gain a few kilos during your period, it is common due to swelling and fluid retention.

– The aesthetic objectives are not the same: Assuming that we all want to get “strong” and that if you do women’s powerlifting you’re going to have to do squats, deadlifts, and bench presses, it’s quite likely that a woman would prefer to develop her glutes more than her quads and isn’t very worried about growing his pecs. This is why you shouldn’t be afraid to stick to a 2:1 ratio in posterior vs anterior chain attachments and back vs pectoral exercises.

At Fitenium we celebrate the increasing adherence to female powerlifting and the elimination of those ridiculous stereotypes that strength training will eliminate the femininity of your body when it is a perfect method to lose fat and have a more feminine figure. Your future self will thank you not only for the increase in self-confidence but for innumerable benefits at the health level, among which the reduction in the risk of osteoporosis stands out according to scientific evidence.

We must bear in mind that those physiques of female Bodybuilders, professional Crossfitters or elite Powerlifters, although they are quite unsightly, are the result of the use of anabolic drugs, since women naturally do not have the capacity to create such a cultural mass. We are aware that these sports are tainted by the indiscriminate use of chemistry in elite athletes, but that should not make us ignore all the advantages that strength training has for women at an amateur level. Transferring to other sports and improving quality of life when you have developed a base of strength and mobility through Women’s Powerlifting will have you wondering why you didn’t start hitting the gym sooner.

We invite you to share your progress in our Fitenium app, where you can upload videos of your workouts and our community will validate the workouts. Join the community!

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