Is powerlifting a beginner-friendly sport or only for experienced lifters? We asked Spokesmodel winner Megan Gallagher—aka Meg Squats—to weigh in on this question. Gallagher is an ISSA-certified trainer and the creator of the Uplifted program on BodyFit by

Having tried bodybuilding early in her career before switching to powerlifting and full-time coaching, Gallagher is well suited to opine on what it feels like to start out as a powerlifter and how she helps others figure out if they're ready for the challenge this sport presents.

"I usually tell people that you're only ready for a competition when you've run at least a three-month program that's getting you ready for that specific competition," explains Gallagher.

While you can't expect to compete in a powerlifting meet the first week you touch a barbell, this does offer hope to anyone looking to try powerlifting for the first time.

The Advantages of Powerlifting

There are several reasons that powerlifting may be the ideal competitive outlet for you. For one, powerlifting meets tend to be less judgmental than physique contests, where you are you quite literally being judged…by judges.

Barbell Deadlift

"Powerlifting is something that you can walk into and lose and still have a good day because you do something that you've never done before," says Gallagher. "I can't control the other lifters around me, but I can control what I do, and I can set up a plan so that I'm hitting PRs on the platform and having these small wins."

What's more, at powerlifting meets, there's a weight class for everyone.

"For anyone who's worried about dipping their toes in the powerlifting lifestyle, know that there are many different body types who do this and are really great, at the top level," says Gallagher.

If you're ready to start lifting heavy and putting up PRs, you need a plan to get you there. To start lifting heavier and understanding the form you'll need to compete, check out Gallagher's Uplifted program, available online or through the BodyFit app.

Uplifted: Build Muscle and Strength with Meg Squats
Uplifted: Build Muscle and Strength with Meg Squats
This comprehensive eight-week program is for anyone who wants to go down the strength rabbit hole, learn the essentials, and feel the thrill of seeing the weight on the bar go up.

Disagree with our take on powerlifting for beginners? Let's hear yours in the comments below!

About the Author

Heather Eastman, NSCA-CPT

Heather Eastman, NSCA-CPT

Heather’s mission is to use her passion for fitness and her knowledge of training and nutrition to educate and motivate others to enjoy a healthy and active lifestyle.

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