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Threshold Training for Powerlifting: a Targeted Approach

Threshold Training for Powerlifting: a Targeted Approach

When you are looking to improve your form when lifting, as well as lift more weight efficiently, one of the most important considerations is the thresholds of exercise. The internet is filled with corrective exercise demonstrations and it can be tough to wade through the chaos and know what will fix your specific issue. This is where understanding what threshold your issues fits into is beneficial. In powerlifting terms, there are 2 types of thresholds: absolute and functional. When something is trained below the “threshold”, it fails to produce a sufficient stimulus and as such, you don’t create adaptation/progress. We will look at how to find the maximum capacity of both these systems, by using the functional threshold to do so. An absolute threshold is the absolute maximum that you can do. An example of this would be a 1 rep max, with whatever form changes you might make in order to get it up. This might not look like your “ideal/good technique”, but the weight went up, and that’s all this threshold reflects. The sport of powerlifting heavily emphasizes this threshold as it’s the one that wins medals. Functional thresholds reflect how much you can push without degradation in technique. Because of the nature of this limit, it will always sit lower than the absolute threshold; though we should always aim to close the gap between the functional and absolute thresholds as this tends to lead to better efficiency with lifting as well as a theoretically reduced risk of injury. Within the functional threshold category, there are 3 subsets that are relevant to powerlifting: 1. Endurance/Fatigue Threshold We...