As the new year is approaching and the temperature is dropping, it’s official — bulking season is here. If those words immediately remind you of long hours on the treadmill until you can’t breathe or lifting weights until you can’t move the next morning, it may be time to try something new.

Powerlifting may help take your body to the next level this bulking season. Simple in concept, the goal of a powerlifter is to move as much weight as possible. Powerlifting is all about increasing strength above average capabilities and pushing your body beyond what you consider its limits.

Powerlifters focus on compound movements, such as the benchpress, deadlift, and squat. These exercises are multifaceted and incorporate many more muscles than simple isolation exercises like dumbbell curls and leg extensions. By focusing their efforts on compound movements, powerlifters are able to increase their overall strength because they train as many muscles as possible within a single workout.

Bigger and stronger muscles are for more than just show, as weightlifting has been proven to increase bone density, ward off chronic disease, improve mood and sleep, and boost metabolism, among countless other health benefits.

Another good reason to start powerlifting is because it is relatively simple compared to other workout regimens. All you really need to powerlift is a barbell and weight plates. These can be found at the university gyms, and pretty much every gym in Canada. If leaving the house isn’t your thing, a bar and weights are also relatively inexpensive and can be adapted easily to create a home gym setup.

However, this workout regimen is far from simple brute strength. In order to lift properly, let alone powerlift, there are multiple aspects of training that one must master, including proper form, nutrition, and willpower. Powerlifting is as much about finesse and technique as it is about raw power, so don’t just walk into a gym and start lifting as much weight as possible, Rather, take it slow and learn your workouts.

If you want to try powerlifting this bulking season, it’s vital that you start slow, stay consistent, watch your form, listen to your body, and get advice from someone more experienced. These five tips will make your experience more enjoyable and ensure that you see results that’ll carry over into next summer.

More than anything else, powerlifting is an investment in yourself, but the first step is getting in the gym.

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