Adelaide is a great city.
I’ve always loved living here - even when I lived overseas, I loved being able to visit home and see all of the familiar sights, and there was no other option in my mind when it came to where I wanted to live when I moved back.
One thing definitely stood out to me when I did finally move back in 2018 though...
It was REALLY hard to find a powerlifting environment where I felt welcomed, or even to get into the sport at all.
People might look at powerlifting as an individual sport, but there are a lot of things that you can be doing to make your lifting career a lot more enjoyable especially if you are only just starting out.
Here’s 3 things we think are CRUCIAL if you want to do well in powerlifting here in Adelaide.
When I first arrived back in Adelaide, it was pretty difficult to find a training environment that I felt was the right fit for me.
A lot of the gyms at the time were scattered pretty far across the city, and the ones that were a little closer to me just didn’t feel like the right cultural fit.
There are a few things that I know have made a big difference for me as both a coach and a lifter over the years, and that’s
You NEED to know how powerlifting plates and bars feel differently to commercial gym bars and plates.
For one, the weights are a lot more precise - calibrated powerlifting plates weight pretty much EXACTLY what it says on the plate whereas your standard rubberised commercial plates or bumper plates can be off by anywhere from 200-500g sometimes.
Commercial plates also tend to be much bigger which means that their weight is going to be distributed further away from the centre of the bar, giving it more flex and making it ‘feel’ lighter.
Powerlifting or ‘stiff’ bars also have a higher tensile strength, so they aren’t going to flex or wobble anywhere near as much as cheaper commercial bars.
Powerlifting plates are more dense, thinner and stack closer to the centre of the bar so it’s going to feel like you’re doing more work, which is something you want to get used to so you can perform at your best.
It might sound small, but there’s a lot of power in going to a gym where everyone knows your name.
Like I said, a lot of commercial gyms were my only options but they had cheaper equipment, low quality soft flooring, a thousand and one distractions happening around me and you’re essentially just another face in the crowd.
I don’t know about you, but I am not that keen on being a member somewhere that already has 2500-3500 members just so I can get to a gym where no one knows who I am, be stared at while I train, or have to wait in line for equipment that is broken 90% of the time.
In addition to that, when I did research on some powerlifting gyms I often saw the culture being pretty aggressive. While this might work for a lot of people, I don’t feel highly motivated by C-bombs being constantly dropped around me or hearing people, sometimes even coaches, speak aggressively at each other. It’s just not my vibe.
We are fortunate that we could create our OWN space at Ethos Powerlifting to solve a lot of that, but a big motivation for doing that is because we couldn’t find one that fit the bill.
Culture is everything, so make sure that you are somewhere people will know you, respect your needs, and help you when you’re under the bar with a big lift.
Is this a no-brainer? Not really
There are HEAPS of templates and programs available online, and a lot of coaches including us give out a ton of useful information for free every day on social media (if you don’t yet, follow us on @ethosstrength for daily posts)
The thing is when you want to EXCEL at powerlifting you need to develop a relationship with your coach so that they can understand when you’re struggling, what you need to get a better performance, how you move and how to give you the most positive experience at a competition.
A big part of working with experienced powerlifting coaches is also getting access to information that less experienced coaches don’t have, like how to actually read a score sheet at an event, when to properly time your warm ups for your attempts, etc. All of these little details add up to a great performance at the end of the day.
It might be tempting to work with a general PT but if you really want to do well, you want to work with powerlifting coaches who have been where you want to go and understand the rules of the sport like the back of their hands.
Additionally it’s also going to be a great way for you to immerse yourself in the culture of the sport and meet a ton of new people by joining that coach’s community of lifters, which is one step closer to our next point.
I used to try to do a lot of this on my own, but I have never felt so motivated as when I have been a part of a team.
I work with my own coach, and then I have my own team of our lifters at Ethos as well - in both scenarios, I feel incredibly lucky to have such a great community of people at my side.
Lifting can become a lonely gig sometimes, so you want to know that you can rely on other people to be there for you which only comes from joining a team.
Something I always felt was a little odd was that a lot of people would wear the same shirts but it never seemed like they really interacted with each other all that much.
At least with us we are always trying to put together charity events, novice meets, christmas parties and whatever we can do to spend more time with each other because at the end of the day and when all of that chalk dust settles, we are really on the planet to try to connect with one another and see our lives improve because of that.
If you get to become incredibly strong in the process, even better.
Trust me when I say that there is absolutely no better feeling for me than when I hit a lift and I can hear our team around me, and you look around to see a bunch of Ethos strength shirts, then everyone rushing in for the high fives - I reckon there is nothing like it, and it’s something like that that can elevate your powerlifting experience from just having a gym membership and a program to having something truly special that can totally change your life for the better.
So that’s our list! There are many other things we can chuck up on there, but I think when it comes to the truly important stuff these are the three things we always focus on.