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Will powerlifting make me bigger [Article]

Posted by Pascal Landshoeft

Jun 12, 2019, 9:30:00 AM

Will powerlifting make me bigger

Will powerlifting make me bigger?

Yes, it will when you compare it to do doing no sports. Compared to bodybuilding it will not get you bigger as fast assuming that you fully commit to a bodybuilding or powerlifting regime.
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What is your why

Before we go into the details of whether powerlifting makes you bigger, let me ask you a couple of questions:
  • Why do you want to get stronger?
  • Why do you want to build muscle?
  • What happens when you do?
  • What happens if you don't?
These four simple questions will make a big difference between your success and failure. Take the time to reflect on why you want to get bigger. To make powerlifting or any sports program work you need time and dedication. Results do not come instantly. You better have good reasons to stay on track as life will get in the way of your goals and ambitions. Many people approach their lives like this:
  • What do I want?
  • How do I get it?
  • Why do I want it?
This is a very good way to get stuck in a rud. What you want changes hundreds of times a day. If you mainly focus on that you will be running everywhere and get nowhere. Something interesting happens, when you flip 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 more on what is essential. Your thoughts and actions will be more connected and therefore yield better results- Try it some time and you will see what I mean. 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.

Define what you mean by bigger

You can get bigger in a lot of ways, so what is it that you actually want to achieve with powerlifting.
  • Get Taller
  • Get heavier
  • Get more muscle
  • Get stronger
These are the most common versions of getting bigger. If you are an adult you might wonder why I am bringing these up in so much detail. Many teenagers look to bodybuilding and powerlifting as a means to grow bigger and have questions around it.
Powerlifting probably will most likely not help you to get taller. How tall you get is a combination of diet and genetics and less about powerlifting. Physical activity can help though to stimulate growth hormones in the body. You do not necessarily need to do powerlifting to reap the benefits of this effect. A good friend of mine from Eastern Europe struggled with his height and appearance when he was younger. He started training and he believes that it kickstarted his puberty.  There are more urban myths and stories like this to be found. 
Powerlifting will definitely help you to get heavier.  Muscle mass is denser than fat. Therefore you can fir heavier tissue into the same sized body. It will also help you compared to bodybuilding to get more weight into a more compact body. Bodybuilding uses techniques which pump up the muscles. This leads to more water and lense dense tissue being grown. A bigger muscle will still be stronger than a smaller one. A bigger muscle full of functional tissues and nerves will be even more productive. Think about it like a big warehouse. Of course, a bigger warehouse will always store more products than a smaller one. A large warehouse that has been perfectly planned and stacked will also store a lot more goods than the one with the same dimensions that has a poor layout. If you want to get heavier fast powerlifting might not be the optimum route to travel. Your diet will be the biggest factor in this.
Compared to other activities like swimming and running powerlifting will get you more muscle. Do not expect miracles to happen. The physiques you see on television and Instagram are achieved through rigid dieting, discipline, years of dedication and supplements. To achieve those standards your physique becomes a 24/7 job. Just be aware of this. Also, if the main goal is to build muscle you want to learn more to a bodybuilding style of training dieting than putting your time and effort into powerlifting
Powerlifting will absolutely help you to get stronger. That is what the sport of powerlifting is all about. While powerlifting will build slow and massive strength like a truck you might not see the most explosive results. Powerlifting is built for maximum strength. It is not necessarily the best sport to get into to be able to release this power very explosively or over a long period of time. To achieve these end goals you might want to look into CrossFit or Olympic weightlifting.

How powerlifting affects your physique

Powerlifting will mainly build your upper legs. If you follow a strict powerlifting regime you will build big quads and a big triceps. The muscle groups which might fall beyond your expectations in terms of appearance are your calves, biceps, chest, and abs. For many powerlifters, these areas of their bodies seem to be underdeveloped compared to the amount of weight they lift. This is because you just don't need them as much as your quads to lift a heavy squat or deadlift. You will still have bigger arms and abs than most f your friends. Just don't expect to look like Arnold or the Rock as they train differently.

Powerlifting vs Bodybuilding

Powerlifting and bodybuilding take a different approach to the same subject matter: muscle. While powerlifters are obsessed with maximizing strength in every fiber, bodybuilders want to blow it up to the maximum. These are two very different goals and it shows in the programs you will follow. In bodybuilding, you will most likely do a lot more repetitions with less weight. In powerlifting you will do fewer repetitions, but with more weight on the barbell. You will also not care as much about the muscle groups that do not contribute a lot to your lift. 

Will powerlifting make me bigger

Absolutely depending on what you are comparing it with. Compared to do doing nothing it will make you bigger. Compared to bodybuilding it will not get you as big as fast. 

Powerlifting programs to consider

Further reading

Topics: Lift stronger, Fitness, Strength, Powerlifting