I’ve been powerlifting for just under a year now. I’ve got 2 competitions under my belt and I plan to do more in the future. Since starting I've had a few people say to me they would love to try it but they are not strong enough.
My advice to you is to sign up to a competition a few months away and start training for it. If you can get a coach, great, if not do some research and plan your own training cycle. There is no point waiting until you think you are strong enough because in my opinion you will never think you will be strong enough. Let me explain. Say you think you need a 200kg deadlift to be competitive. Say it takes you 6 months to get there. That’s 6 months everyone else around you in your weight class also has to improve their strength so you may still feel you need to improve even more.
If you sign up and go to a competition you will soon see there are people of all ages and standards. You will more than likely fall somewhere in the middle in terms of your total (your total is the total number of your heaviest attempts at each lift. So if your heaviest lifts are squat 200kg, bench 100kg and deadlift 250kg your total will be 550kg).
Furthermore although powerlifting is mainly an individual sport, everyone is so supportive. Everyone is cheering you on to do well while lifting and the atmosphere is amazing. If you do a competition, hit some PB’s and meet some new people in my opinion that is a successful competition.
For me one thing about natural powerlifting is the fact you have to appreciate how much legitimate progress you will make. I am a very competitive person. I like to win in anything I am doing. However, when I started enquiring about powerlifting and saw what the top guys in my federation were lifting I soon had to appreciate that in the short term I probably wasn’t going to be winning very much. At the time my best squat was 190kg, the top guys were squatting 230kg plus. There was no way I was putting 50kg onto my squat in a few months however I didn’t let that deter me. I just decided instead I would focus on improving year on year and see where I am a few years down the line.
Almost a year on and I have improved in every single lift even if that hasn’t been reflected on the platform, in regards to the bench press, so far. I have hit some PB’s at each of my competitions and I have also improved my total by 37.5kg in that time frame. I can also assure you once you get a taste of a powerlifting meet your training will definitely have more intensity and focus.
So to wrap up don’t worry about where you are now, think long term, sign up and do it. Besides I know there are plenty of you fellas that want try on a nice shiny leotard so don’t be scared!