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Will powerlifting build mass [Article]

Posted by Pascal Landshoeft

Jun 18, 2019 9:30:00 AM

Will powerlifting build mass

Will powerlifting build mass

No, powerlifting will not build mass. Your body will when you feed it. Diet is more important to building muscle mass than exercise. Exercise comes second behind eating enough and healthy to achieve more mass on your bones. 
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What is your why 

Before we go into the details of whether powerlifting will build mass, let me ask you a couple of questions: 
  • Why do you want to powerlift 
  • Why do you want to build mass 
  • What happens when you do 
  • What happens if you don’t 
These questions will make all the difference between success and failure. Research shows that people who sit down to reflect and write down the reasons for their actions are more likely to be successful. Many people go about their lives like this: 
  • What do I want 
  • How do I get it 
  • Why do I want it 
Almost anyone knows what they want. Fewer make a plan on how to achieve it. Almost no one writes down why they want something. If what you want is the linchpin of your life you are setting yourself up for failure. What you want cha he’s hundreds of times a day. If that is the focus you will spread your resources and time thin. You will run in a hundred directions and arrive nowhere. Something interesting happens when you flip the order of these questions.
  • Why do you want something 
  • How do you get it 
  • What needs to be done 
If you go about your life this way your most important long term goals will be at the forefront of your mind. Your mind drives your actions and behavior. With this, your actions and thoughts will become more connected and success more likely. 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 has the goal to establish the highest possible total. Your total is the combination of your three lifts. These three lifts are the bench press, squat, and deadlift. For each lift, you get three attempts. Your best attempt for each lift goes into the calculation. 
For each attempt, you will be judged by three referees. These referees make sure that the lifts are performed according to the rules of the federation you compete in. 
The bench press is the most commonly known and practiced of the three. The squat is usually the lift that people are most intimidated by. The deadlift is one for which beginners lift the most weight. With experience the deadlift and squat move closer in weight lifted. 
Powerlifters have an interest in being as heavy as possible as their weight class allows. The more power you pack into a smaller body the better you become at powerlifting. The sport of powerlifting, therefore, sets you up to develop a mindset that supports building mass. 

Powerlifting programs to consider

How to build mass 

The sport of powerlifting does not create mass by itself. Your body creates mass when it feels the need and is sufficiently nourished. If you lack the stimulus of exercise and the nutrition you will not build mass. If you have enough food but not enough stimulus you will build mass in the form of fat, not in the form of muscle. Only when stimulus and diet work in tandem you will get bigger and more muscular.

Will powerlifting build mass 

No powerlifting itself will not build mass. The main drivers of getting bigger are food, genes, and hormones. Your body is the machine that drives the growth, powerlifting is just one of many options to stimulate growth. 

Further reading

Topics: Lift stronger, Fitness, Strength, Powerlifting