Master of Science (MS)



Document Type



Advances in powerlifting equipment have enabled athletes in that sport to achieve lifts once thought impossible. The effect of training using specialized powerlifting gear on performance has not yet been studied. PURPOSE: To examine the effects of powerlifting equipment on performance measures before and after 10 weeks of training. It was hypothesized that equipped lifters would achieve higher total training volumes and greater performance gains in the squat, bench press, and deadlift. METHODS: Eighteen powerlifters between the ages of 18 and 26 were randomized into either a group that trained and competed in equipment (Eq), or trained and competed without equipment (Non). Before and after the program changes in training volume, volume progression, and handgrip and vertical jump, and performance were assessed. RESULTS: Training volume increased significantly in the first 4 weeks for both groups. During this phase, volume lifted for the squat and the totals was slightly greater in the Eq. There were no differences in handgrip and vertical jump after training in either group. There was a significant increase in squat (ª19.05}30.97lbs, p=0.02), dead lift (ª19.05}21.17lbs, p=0.001) and the Total score (ª44.00}60.44lbs, p=0.005) for both groups combined. The improvements in the squat (Eq= 33.85 vs. Non= 5.74, p=0.07), and the totals (Eq= 66.59 vs. Non= 23.67, p=0.15) were more meaningful in the Eq. Both groups showed a significant and similar increase in the Wilks scores (+13.54 points, p=0.03). CONCLUSIONS: There was a trend towards greater volume progression in Eq during the first four weeks of training. However, training volume and progression, handgrip and vertical jump were not statistically different between groups. Both groups significantly improved performance for the squat, and deadlift, and had higher totals, and Wilks scores, indicating significant strength gains. The greater magnitude of improvements in the squat and totals for the Eq lifters suggests a potential for a meaningful competitive advantage when training with specialized powerlifting gear.



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Committee Chair

Welsch, Michael



Included in

Kinesiology Commons