Powerlifting and Olympic Lifting

MatzSquatPowerlifting forms the basis for many strength and conditioning programs as well as fundamental improvements in functional strength training within rehabilitation programs. Powerlifting as a sport involves three lifts: the Squat, The Bench Press, and the deadlift, usually performed in that order. These three compound lifts improve absolute strength in almost every muscle group and helps build a strong biomechanical foundation necessary to athletics and even performance of daily chores. Strength is defined by the equation:

Strength = Force*Distance ( also = to Work)


Therefore, Strength is the ability to do work.








matzbenchPowerlifting is relatively easy to teach and can quickly improve one’s physical abilities. According to Zatsiorsky, “maximal strength is regarded as a prerequisite forhigh movement speed” (Zatsiorsky & Kraemer 2006).  It is therefore a foundation that must be achieved before more technical skills are learned. It can be tailored to many populations with proper modification in exercises prescription and can help achieve quick transformations in body composition.

Olympic Lifting is one of the best ways to develop athleticism. As stated earlier, it requires a strong foundation built on methodical powerlifting techniques.  You cannot develop power without first having strength. Power is defined by the equation:

Power = Force*Distance / Time

That is, the ability to do work in the shortest amount of time possible.

Most athletic events require power for optimal execution, either moving an object, an opponent, or oneself within the context of competition. Olympic Lifting, unlike powerlifting, requires a high level of skill development, motor learning/patterning, and practice in order to develop explosive complex movements. It has much higher neurologic demand and therefore must be taught and progressed cautiously to avoid injury or development of improper movement patterns.

The Certified Strength and Conditioning Specialists at Evolution Sports Physiotherapy are well versed in both powerlifting and Olympic Lifting techniques.  They are capable of coaching skill acquisition and the results with follow.

If you are interested in learning more about Powerlifting or Olympic Lifting, please call our Strength and Conditioning staff at Evolution Sports at 410-628-0520.