Martial arts and powerlifting form a particular couple.
To some they may seem like a couple made in heaven, while others perceive them as strange bed companions.
Well, the answer to the dilemma lies in the basic exercises and the main demands they place on athletes. Strength and power are essential to any combat sport and are the driving forces behind the resounding success in competitive arenas.
However, as a martial artist, you also have other priorities, unlike a powerlifter: speed, mobility, flexibility and endurance.
A strong dress
Powerlifters are looking for a particular goal, an enormous amount of strength.
Everything else pales in the presence of this shiny trophy and no matter how you look at it, I’m a specific type of athlete.
So, let’s assume for a moment that martial arts are of secondary importance to them. So on the other hand, how effective is powerlifting when it comes to increasing the performance of the martial artist?
Well, in general, martial artists don’t use force as their only weapon. They need to increase enough strength, power and dexterity to dominate the opponent numerous times over the course of several minutes.
Breaking yourself up in the gym could also pose a performance issue. Even fighters in disciplines such as MMA, which blend different martial arts, do not require maximum strength on a par with powerlifters.
They need to achieve a solid amount of strength combined with maximum strength and explosiveness. The difference between lifting 2x and 3x your own body weight doesn’t have that big impact on the cage. Additionally, these athletes strive to find a way for strength and endurance to empower each other.
What are the chances of making it all work?
Pillars of grandeur
At this point, we must recognize that martial artists, in addition to deriving the greatest benefit from exercises that simulate natural movement patterns, are also looking for ways to increase strength.
Some combat and self-defense systems, such as Krav Maga, are more inclined to borrow from the practice of powerlifting. The main goal is to strike quickly, with devastating force, and few practitioners are as effective at facilitating this skill as powerlifters.
It also works the other way around: powerlifters and those seeking maximum strength can use martial arts such as Krav Maga (you can learn more about this amazing practice here: Krav Maga Systems) to strengthen the pillars of physical greatness: mental strength, coordination. , technique, tactical skills and pure strength.
Here we see that although their training regimes differ, powerlifting and martial arts have more in common than most people assume.
To the core
Now, let’s take a look at the sacred trinity of powerlifting: the bench press, the squat, and the deadlift.
It is not a question of whether these exercises benefit the martial artist, but how to apply them in practice. They allow athletes to stimulate the processes of strength development and injury prevention.
Main forms like back squats are incredible tools, as they increase both strength and stability, improve hip and knee areas, and teach you how to get better posture and use your entire body as a weapon.
Plus, deadlifts are child’s play. It is not difficult to imagine why lifting heavy objects would be useful for a martial artist.
The purpose of this exercise is to strengthen the legs and back. Another positive result is a more resilient posterior chain and midsection. Finally, the bench press may not seem like a perfect choice, due to the fact that powerlifters arch so much.
Nevertheless, there are some variations that fit well with fighters’ movement patterns.
Harder better faster stronger
Powerlifting and martial arts can be used in synergy to build a solid motor, which is highly efficient in generating powerful force.
They allow athletes to sculpt their bodies and use them more effectively as one unit.
Powerlifting offers us some “high gain” exercises, which means they allow martial artists to punch harder and kick faster.
On the other hand, although professional powerlifters are warriors who specialize in one type of physical prowess, they also have strong reasons to watch martial artists train.