I Lift Things Up and Put Them Down: Powerlifting vs. Weightlifting

Powerlifting and weightlifting, they both have lifting in them so they’re basically the same exercise, right? Apple vs. orange, they’re both a fruit so they’re basically the same thing, right? You get the point. Powerlifting differs slightly from weightlifting. Intrigued as to how? Lucky for you, you’ve stumbled upon the inside edition of all things lifting.

Weightlifting is composed of primarily ballistic over-the-head lifts such as snatches, jerks, and cleans. Powerlifting is more controlled than weightlifting and is usually associated with lifting higher weight and less reps.

Powerlifting is composed of three different lifts; the deadlift, the squat, and the bench press. These three exercises encompass powerlifting in its entirety. None of these lifts are performed vertically over the head in contrast to weightlifting technique.

Valley talked to a lifting expert to get her thoughts and opinions on the two different lifting styles. Olivia Dickerson, an industrial engineering major and personal trainer had this to say: “Powerlifting movements are meant to be performed slower and more controlled, while weightlifting movements are designed to be quicker and more explosive.”

So what is the preferred lift? Do you see different results when performing different lifts? Keeping in mind that Dickerson IS a personal trainer, Valley thought ahead of the game and asked her what her favorite lift is. “I personally enjoy powerlifting more because I feel more in control and they are my strongest lifts in which I can move the most weight.”

Let’s talk results. Powerlifting results in gaining more muscle strength and mass (bulking). On the flip side, weightlifting also increases muscle strength but is geared more toward training for speed and agility.

Unfortunately, results don’t come from just going to the gym once. Tragic, I know. Good things take time and dedication. If this lifting talk strikes your fancy, the gyms are now open until 1 a.m.! No sleep, only maximum gains here at PSU. With that being said—happy lifting!