Step 3: How-To Find a Gym to Train At or to Do Some Training At.
Now that you have registered for a Powerlifting competition, you need a place to train for it! Not every gym or fitness center facilitates Powerlifting. Some gyms are vehemently opposed to Powerlifting with their chalk-bans and no Deadlift rules. You definitely can not train at a Planet Fitness (Lunk-Alarm). If you have a garage gym but do not own competition equipment, you will benefit by doing some of your training at a gym that does. When choosing a gym, consider the following.
Does That Gym Have Competition Equipment?
- If you train on competition equipment, you will know exactly what to expect on meet day. The more familiarity you have with the equipment you are using, the more comfortable you will be lifting in front of a room full of people.
- Calibrated plates are highly sought after for that reason. Cast iron, plastic-coated, bumper, and rubber coated 45lb plates can vary as much as 4lbs. That is right, your 45lb plate could actually only be 41lbs.
- A 4-inch thick bumper plate 0.8-inch thick calibrated plate feel much different because of physics.
Does That Gym Have Other Powerlifters?
- Equipped lifting is nearly impossible to do without the help of others. Equipped lifters need help putting on their gear properly.
- Experienced Powerlifters are capable of giving quality feedback. Are you hitting depth on your Squat? Are your heels coming off the ground? Are your lockouts weak on your Deadlift? Someone who has done a few Powerlifting meets can give critical feedback that can help you out a ton.
- You are more likely to get a good spot from other Powerlifters. None of that overbearing hugging while you Squat or hands on the barbell the entire time you Bench Press.
Luckily both USAPL and USPA have an affiliate gym program. These gyms have all the necessary equipment to train for a Powerlifting meet. Some of the gyms on their lists are even qualified as competition centers, meaning that they the absolute best kind of gym you can train at.