Written by Greg Panora
I spent the majority of my career at Westside Barbell. Everyone there was strong had been training for years. Recently, I joined a powerlifting gym in Maine where most lifters are pretty novice. As I walked in, I noticed everyone was wearing the latest squat suits and briefs. I also noticed 405 on the monolift. I watched these guys squatting 6 feet high as they attempted to get down with the same gear that Brian Carrol is squatting 1200 in. A gentleman approached me and asked my opinion on a particular squat suit. My answer was, “how much do you squat without a suit?” He just walked away. This is what led me to create this list.
10. Build a base. You should have at least 5 years of training before suits and shirts even cross your mind.
9. Train like a bodybuilder. Make every muscle strong.
8. Eat right. I’m sick of looking at fat ass powerlifters sticking their fat asses in gear. The top level lifters don’t shove McDonald’s down their throats 3 times a day.
7. Do accessory work. This kinda goes along with the bodybuilding one, but I’ve trained for twenty years and I still do leg presses, hack squats, dumbell presses, and flies.
6. Quit following other peoples routines. Figure out what works for you. At the same time listen to stronger people.
5. It doesn’t matter what kind of shirt Kennelly is wearing. He would be stronger in a trash bag then you in a triple ply Inzer Fury Rage Quad Seemed Dynamic Stiched Poly Shirt.
4. Do full range movements. The top level guys doing board presses in a shirt already know how to touch. I have watched countless board press heroes blow it at meets.
3. Train your abs hard. I’m unsure when people started to believe that abs weren’t important in powerlifting. If you’re ever standing up with a thousand pounds, you will thank me.
2. Bands, chains and boxes are awesome tools, but you can learn how to manipulate them. Bands stabilize lifts and boxes will stop you. This doesn’t happen with real weight.
1. Start your powerlifting journey at a commercial gym. Stay in the power rack and with dumbells. Things like deadlift bars and monolifts make stuff way easier. This was probably the most important thing I ever did. I got really strong using minimal equipment. It will make a powerlifting gym that much better.