In many of the powerlifting exercises, it is instructed to keep the muscles tight. Eg: the powerlifting shelf in squats. So far in my fitness journey (not very long), I have been exercising without paying particular attention to tightness and I've been more or less been able to complete exercises succesfully. I feel I wear myself out quickly when I try to retain tightness.

What can I do to improve my stamina while retaining tightness ?

2 Answers 2



It's a bit of a meme in powerlifting that powerlifters never do cardio. Don't fall into that trap. The energy demands of compound barbell lifts like the back squat can be significant at higher loads and rep counts, so if you find that back squats are particularly taxing or your intraset recovery times are too long, you likely need to train your work capacity with some cardio.

This doesn't mean you have to run 20 miles a week. 90 minutes per week of low intensity steady state is probably just fine starting out, titrating that dose up as your cardio-metabolic fitness need increases.

And no, it is not going to stifle your gains. It will be a net positive since it will increase your capacity to do greater volumes of work. Greg Nuckols at Stronger By Science has written several articles related to this, here they are:


Time. Just keep at it. Muscular endurance will come.

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