I’m sure this title got your attention. As you’re searching the net for that perfect program, by the strongest and greatest lifter that’s ever lived and once you get that perfect formula, you will be unstoppable and all for the low price of $49.99 plus shipping. It sounds silly, doesn’t it? This is a very common mindset in powerlifting and the adage of “you get what you pay for” is very evident here.
As you’re expecting a masterpiece that will change your life but paying happy meal prices with a one-time purchase for the privilege to follow a program, there are a ton of reasons as to why this won’t work and we will dive deeper into why that is later on in this blog.
Why won’t just template from a top lifter work for me?
The big reason as to why is in your question. It is a template designed for any and everyone to use and it greatly ignores some of the major scientific principles of training. By doing so, the principle of individualisation while it may very well be specific to powerlifting in nature, the program itself does not take in to account your fitness level, your movement capabilities, your ability to recover and what may work best for you.
Along those lines, it also volatiles the principle of variation. By this nature, as there may be variation, it is very likely not appropriate to you as it doesn’t take into account anything about you and your needs to become a better lifter. We will all will have slightly different needs to progress our strength as well.
Thus, greatly steering you off track it also will not help your technique at all and if you’re a beginner, that is the major thing we see holding one back. Well, that and lean muscle mass not being enough along with a weak core/inability to hold a proper brace under heavy loads.
These programs the top lifters and influencers sell are most likely not appropriate for the population that is buying them. It is what they are currently doing now potentially, we know a few very well-known ones that will remain nameless that don’t even do that very program you are buying. I just threw something together; these programs are not what they did to get to these amazing levels of strength and performance.
For some, it was sports growing up that had a good carryover to lifting and for others, it was genetics and the rest it was just by starting off with a great base of training and movement and building up. However, they all aren’t doing what they did to start lifting to get better at their current level. If they did, they would not have achieved this insane level of performance.
Should I just give up then?
Absolutely not! Being strong and powerlifting is amazing, and many people love it and have found a community that is like minded and always willing to help if you ask for it and are respectful of others and their time.
It may require you to spend some time researching different programing styles and seeking out opportunities like seminars to learn from lifters. This is to see what works for you in terms of technique and programing, along with some trial and error to troubleshoot.
Don’t be afraid to experiment and try new training styles and explore ideas or see different professionals and invest in learning from them.
For example, a different professional like a chiropractor or physiotherapist that works with lifters to learn how to brace better or move better in your squat, deadlift and/or bench.
Last but not least, having a great coach or as we like to call a powerlifting coach a “quarterback“ can be invaluable to your success as a lifter in your quest to be the strongest you can be.
What should I look to invest into instead?
As we touched on in the last section of this blog, we truly believe the single most important investment any lifter can make is in having a great coach that understands your goals and your needs and knows how to get you there.
Notice how we said “knows how to get you there” but not necessary do they have to hold a world record or the most likes or followers on Instagram or TikTok. As we hinted earlier, depending on your strength level, age and gender what you need to do will vary greatly from what that coach may be doing. Many powerlifting coaches just recycle what they do to every client, so it ends up being only a bit better than a program online via a template.
A great coach, while not cheap is definitely worth that investment and will take you to levels you will not even get close to with a template or a subpar coach or pseudo coach.
What are some signs that I’m on right track with this investment?
These are some quick and simple signs and ways to see if you are picking the right coach and program style for you:
- The coach you’re working with has some track record of results with a few lifters.
- The coach can break down your lifts and off that, create a plan that will make you stronger.
- Very low client turnover and low amount of lifter injuries. Powerlifting is a simple sport and can be safe, so if their lifters tend to get hurt often, stay away.
- Creates a long-term plan longer than 12 weeks in terms of your lifting development.
- Has experience personal training clients in person for at least 2 years. If they’re working with you online and we would say the same is true if you’re working with them in person as a powerlifter.
- Can adapt to your needs and lifestyle. This means building a program that fits YOU. If they can’t do this, they’re not worth paying to coach you.
If your coach checks all of these, stay with them! You have a good one! We know it’s a big investment, but it is well worth it. Much more so than a fancy belt or shoes and as the late Louie Simmons said, “don’t have a $100 shoes and a 10 cen