The ‘Sacrifices’ Of Powerlifting

No one is able to do everything they want in life. There is simply not enough time to do it all and if you were to try and do EVERYTHING you wanted to do, you would more than likely not be so good at many things. This is simply because it takes a whole lot of investment of time and energy to get good or even great at something. For this reason it is important that you find out what you really want to do in life and ensure that you aren’t using that valuable time doing things that aren’t going to get you closer to the goal you really want.

Let’s talk about these ‘sacrifices’ as ‘requirements’ from now on, because if the goal that you’re striving to achieve requires not doing a certain something, then it’s not a sacrifice. You have just prioritised what you do in your life. If you want to save for a holiday, you can no longer spend every last dollar in your bank account at the shops on the weekend. To you this is a requirement in order to save for a worthwhile holiday. To your friend who isn’t interested in that holiday, it may seem like something you’re having to miss out on. Spending time with your partner is worthwhile to you to grow and develop your relationship- it is a requirement for progress in any relationship, to your single friend however they might see it as a big use of your time. You can see a common trend happening here. Usually the word sacrifice is happening on the outside, your peers will usually see these requirements as a sacrifice because you’re not on the same path or striving for the exact same goal as you are. This same analogy can be used in many other aspects of life, including powerlifting. So let’s get on with the ‘requirements’ of someone wanting to become a great powerlifter.

The following is a few requirements that a powerlifter may take when pushing the most out of their training. Someone wanting to be a great powerlifter will have to invest their time and energy into various elements such as training, dieting, sleeping and also invest quite a bit of money into their chosen sport. All ‘requirements’ which are well worth the trade off when becoming great.  


  • Training is generally hard with powerlifting, as with all sports you are trying to drive adoption, which requires stress. Stress is not at all comfortable for anyone hence the word. On a good day training is physically hard but mentally rewarding. On a bad day of training it is not at all enjoyable and generally people are driven on by their goals that they have in their mind. Regardless, you will more than likely be tired (or should be at some point in time) and you will generally be quite sore as a consequence of training afterwards which isn’t comfortable either.
  • Generally someone will be in a conditioning or strength/peak phase. Conditioning- which is hated by most simply due to the amount of fatigue that is accumulated over the course of a session is quite a sweaty heated time for most lifters. The strength phase is generally accompanied by sore joints and ligaments, generally amplified when the peaking phase hits, simply due to the amount of load the body is lifting.
  • The time it takes to mobilise, warmup, train, cool down (yes you should cool down) and drive to and from the facility you are training at numerous times a week really does add up to a lot of time in the gym training for that goal in mind.


  • There is most certainly dieting involved when it comes to powerlifting. There are certain foods which fuel the lifters much better than others. Macros and calories are counted each day, which help fuel training sessions and drive maximum growth for the adapting body.
  • The biggest part about dieting isn’t eating the food, it’s being able to resist certain foods or circumstances associated with social events. Resisting is the hardest part. Not being able to have the yummy, greasy foods that your friends are having or bringing your meal prep to lunch when your friends get to have a freshly prepared meal from the cafe.
  • There is also a big time investment dedicated to ensuring meals are prepared for the day and macros are being tracked. All of this planning and prepping adds up not only time wise but energy as well.


  • This is a big one for lifters wanting the most when it comes to recovering from their training.
  • Most people don’t get enough sleep. If you are getting enough sleep, this then puts you into the minority of people. Generally the minority feels at times isolated and different to the crowd. The social pressures come into it once again. Generally when you are trying to be strict on a sleep schedule it will require you to say no to certain events that you are invited to (which is very hard to do) and also requires extra planning so that you’re home in time ready for sleep.
  • Once again time planning is required to ensure a steady sleep schedule and getting quality, consistent sleep.


  • Money is most certainly required in the sport of powerlifting. As with every sport, equipment and membership/ competition entries require quite a bit of cash especially when starting the sport.
  • From sleeves, to wraps, belts, shoes, suits, bands and much much more. The cost adds up, especially at the beginning when you don’t yet have these items it will really add up.
  • Every competition you compete in will also require an entry fee, along with a current membership for that year. Of course, these fees help the sport run as a whole, however this is still a required expense for the individual.

All of the above ‘requirements’ are necessary when on the road to becoming a great powerlifter. If your goal is strong enough and you have a passion to becoming the best in the field, you won’t count the cost of becoming great because the reward when you get there far exceeds the time and energy that it required to get you there.

November 11, 2018 — Daniel Felstein

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