Squat. Deadlift. Bench Press.
The Big 3.
The three barbell lifts that powerlifters prize above all others.
We’ve assembled 3 killer tips to help you increase your squat, deadlift, and bench numbers so that the next time you enter the gym, you shatter your previous Personal Record.
3 Tips to Improve the Big 3 Lifts
The big 3 lifts should be the focus of your training, but they should not be the only three exercises that you perform in your training program. Assistance work (box squats, rows, pull ups, close grip presses, etc) help strengthen weak points and promote balance.
Regarding what kind of assistance work you should be performing, it should be related to the phases of the lift where you miss (i.e. the bottom, the middle, or lockout). For example, a powerlifter who misses at the lockout during the bench press might include some sets of board presses or heavy close-grip bench presses to strengthen that aspect of the lift.
Always Be Prepared
To progress optimally and become the best powerlifter you can be, you need a clear, defined plan in place each and every time you step foot into the gym. Think of it as your battle plan in your war against the weights.
Everything you do from your pre workout meal to your post workout protein shake should be done with intention and purpose. This includes knowing exactly what you’ll do for your warm up and mobilization work as well as how much weight you should be training on a given day and which assistance moves you will be performing to address your weaknesses.
The saying goes: “failing to plan is planning to fail” and nowhere does this ring more true than the sport of powerlifting.
We love getting after in the gym as much as the next guy, but the simple truth of the matter is that if you are not taking recovery as seriously as you are training, you’re cutting your own feet out from under yourself.
It’s not in the gym that we get bigger and stronger. It’s the time spent outside of the gym when the body repairs, rebuilds, and grows.
As such, as hard as you train, that’s at least as “hard” as you should recover. That means getting in all of your meals throughout the day, getting at least 8 hours of sleep each night, and reducing stress (and your response to it) as much as possible.
If you need help winding down after a long day at the office or a stressful commute home, a quality sleep supplement such as Mummified can do a world of good to help you shut the world out and get 8 solid hours of sleep.