26 Jun, 2018
Powerlifting with 6 small training sessions a week for 6 weeks can increase muscle mass by up to 10% according to a Norwegian study. And that isn’t all; physical benefits of regular resistance training include building strength and physical power, strengthening the skeleton as well as building visible muscle and burning fat. The good news is that you too can increase your muscle mass by doing powerlifting-specific strength exercises at home with just two items.
A barbell is an effective powerlifting tool. Lifts with a barbell are compound exercises which recruit a large number of muscles with each lift, creating tension through different muscles and muscle patterns, stimulating and strengthening thousands of nerves. Exercises you can do with a barbell include the bench press which targets the chest, triceps and the front of the shoulders, loading your triceps with more weight than with dips and press downs. Barbell squats are widely considered to be the most effective barbell exercise at building muscle because they target the quads, glutes, and hamstrings but also work the upper and lower body at the same time. Research has shown that gains in muscle mass and muscle fiber size can be made by many repetitions of a lighter weight and for every extra pound of muscle, your body will burn an extra 50-70 calories a day.
Dumbbells can be used in a variety of different exercises targeting the whole body or specific muscle groups providing a range of different positive outcomes. Dumbbell exercises can provide the two types of overload that lead to muscle growth; metabolic and mechanical as well as increasing levels of muscle activation by creating both inter and intramuscular coordination. Powerlifting specific exercises include the goblet squat, squatting while holding a single dumbbell to your front, which is great for good squatting technique. Dumbbell deadlifts are also an effective compound exercise targeting the glutes, hamstrings and the core muscles. Dumbbells can also be used in place of pushup bars, making pushups more challenging and getting the most out of every repetition by increasing the range of motion. In a 2014 study, researchers found that a longer range of motion is better for growing muscle and increasing strength, with a 4-7% increase in the size of the thigh muscle in the study. Therefore, to gain more from an exercise, increase the range of motion before increasing the weight.
There are many health benefits to powerlifting and strength training. It is easy to build muscle, reduce fat and strengthen the skeleton by investing in some basic weight training gear and to work out with at home. Barbells and dumbbells provide the opportunity to increase muscle mass with a few key exercises.