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Can powerlifting get you ripped? [Article]

Posted by Pascal Landshoeft

Jul 10, 2019 9:30:00 AM

Can powerlifting get you ripped

Can powerlifting get you ripped?

No, your diet will. The sport of powerlifting does not reward specific physiques. 
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What is your why 

Before we go into whether powerlifting can get you ripped, let me ask you a couple of questions:
  • Why do you want to get ripped 
  • Why do you want to build muscle 
  • What happens when you do 
  • What happens if you don’t 
These four questions make the difference between your success and failure. Sit down and write your answers on a piece of paper. Only when you are committed to success it will materialize. Most people skip this step and never get to their goal. Usually, people go about their goals like this: 
  • What do I want 
  • How do I get it 
  • Why do I want it 
If you put what you want in the center you will go nowhere. What you want changes hundreds of times a day depending on whom you are with, where you are and what you do. This will spread your time and resources thin. Something interesting happens when you flip the order of these questions on their head: 
  • Why do you want something 
  • How do you get it 
  • What needs to be done 
This way you will focus on what matters to you. It will also make it more likely that your actions and thoughts will become more connected and streamlined. If you want to know how this works on a psychological basis read Daniel Kahneman's thinking fast and slow. Simon Sinek's TED talk on the golden circle will change your life. 


The sport of powerlifting is majorly concerned with moving the maximum weight on the bench press, squat, and deadlift.
For each of these lifts, you get three attempts and n competition. Out of these nine lifts, you want to create the highest total. This means the biggest weight lifted for each exercise gets added up. Based on this result athletes get ranked per weight class. 
The sport of powerlifting is not concerned with aesthetics. There are no extra points for looking a certain way while lifting. Big and strong muscles are helpful, but if they are covered in a layer of fat nobody cares. Especially when you are competing in the open weight class. Therefore powerlifting is not set up to focus on getting ripped, even though it might come as a side effect of a powerlifting lifestyle. 

Powerlifting programs to consider

How to get ripped 

A common misconception is that getting ripped has mainly to do with how much you work out. It is easy to fall into that trap as the magazines, Instagram accounts and fitness role models would suggest that. Training on a regular basis to make your abs bigger helps, but is not the main determining factor of getting ripped.
The main driver to get a six pack is your diet. The definition that many want to obtain usually materializes when you get below 10% body fat. This is mainly due to diet and less due to the training of any kind. Training only helps you to get into a caloric deficit faster which ultimately leads to lower body fat. Caloric deficit means that you burn more energy than you eat. 

Can powerlifting get you ripped 

No, your body gets you ripped. A six-pack USA result of discipline in the kitchen, not in the gym. In addition, powerlifting offers no rewards for being ripped, therefore it is not the best choice of sport to obtain that goal. Bodybuilding, modeling or acting would be a better choice to drive the desire to get a six-pack. 

Topics: Fitness, Strength, Powerlifting, Diet