Powerlifting – the name says it all. This sport is one that will take a whole lot of energy, effort, and (of course!) power to get right. While it’s something most athletes should try to incorporate into their training, you may have heard some nasty rumors about it. Let’s take a look at some of the most common powerlifting misconceptions and why definitely you shouldn’t believe them.

1. What Happens at the Gym Stays at the Gym

Powerlifting is not just a hobby – it’s a lifestyle. It’s not just about having all the right lifting gear and learning the movements. It’s about every single thing you do. When you undertake a training regime like this one, it will affect all areas of your life. Everything from how much sleep you get and what you eat to how you spend your downtime will impact how you perform. Looking after your wellbeing and your body is key.

Many powerlifters find it hard to adapt when they first start out. That’s natural.

2. Powerlifting is All About the Weight You Lift

One of the most common misconceptions when it comes to powerlifting is it’s all about how much weight you can bear. Wrong. Just because you can lift extreme weights doesn’t mean you’re a pro. Likewise, if you’re lifting numbers on the lower end, that’s not to say you should be underestimated as an athlete. Focusing merely on how much weight you can take is a mistake.

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Powerlifting truly is an art form. It’s about technique, form, and positioning. While it might take years to get all of the above right, it’s worth the time you spend on it. The right form will mean your lifts are not only safe but also extremely effective — and also that you’ll keep progressing in your numbers.

3. The More You Train, the Easier it Gets

With most things in life, the more you practice and train, the easier it becomes. Powerlifting is different. In the first few years, you will make sustainable progress. You will get stronger and stronger as you train. What’s more, you may be forgiven for thinking the trend will continue in the same way for many years to come. The truth is, it won’t.

As you become stronger and the weights get heavier, it gets harder to progress. The misconception that things will only get easier is one that’s likely to hold you back in the long term. You have to make peace with the idea that your training will steadily get harder. Keep in mind your blood, sweat, and tears will all be worth it in the end. It’s not supposed to be easy.

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4. You Can Get Away With Eating Anything

True, lifting weights builds muscle, and muscle burns a lot of calories. Does this mean you’ll likely need more food to properly fuel your body? Yes. Does this mean you can eat anything you want and get away with it? No. Training is one half of the equation; nutrition is the other. You still need to eat for fuel and for your sport.

Even if moving up a weight class is your ultimate goal, you still need to do so in a healthy manner. Your new training program will put a lot of strain on your body, so getting all the right nutrients will be required for effective recovery. Create an eating plan that caters to your body’s needs.

5. It’s Not a Community Sport

You might execute the lifts alone, but don’t make the mistake of thinking this is a lonely sport. The powerlifting community is an open and welcoming one. Everyone who lifts understands it’s anything but an easy game. The physical and mental toll it takes on you is not a burden you should have to shoulder by yourself — and you don’t have to.

From other athletes to coaches, this lifestyle opens you up to a variety of people, all of whom will offer you support and guidance along the way. These individuals will understand just what you’re going through and how hard you’re working. Trust them.

While there are loads of misconceptions in the world of powerlifting, one thing’s for sure: dedicating time and energy to training is one of the most fulfilling things you will ever do. Whether you’re new to the powerlifting world or a real pro, there’s so much to be gained from the sport. Forget the rumors you’ve heard and get training!

Need to gear up for your next session? Shop for weightlifting gear and accessories at The WOD Life today!

Main image: Stefanie Cohen/Instagram