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13 April 2014

Trevor Kashey- Beardo, Nerd, Strongman, and Bodybuilder

At the risk of flogging a deceased equine, there truly are myriad ways to reach the same end point, whether you be dieting or training.  One guy whose theories and practices differ wildly from my own yet obviously produce massive results is Trevor Kashey, a bodybuilder-turned strongman who's a PhD candidate in biochemistry and the "science guy" for Mountain Dog Diet.  A couple of months ago, I contacted Trevor after being pointed in his direction by a reader, and what follows is the produce of our ensuing back and forth about strength training and nutrition.

First off, tell everyone about yourself.

Pleasure to get to talk with you! My Name is Trevor Kashey, I am a currently a PhD(c) in biochemistry, pursuing my RD and am certified through the International Society of Sports Nutrition with the advanced nutritionist certification. I am currently 22 years old, and received my bachelors degree in biochemistry in my wee teenage years. I also have 2 years of industrial nutraceutical formulation experience.  I have always been huge into science, and when I discovered lifting weights in high school, the two melded pretty quickly. It was amazing to me how many people lacked the most basic nutritional concepts, and I made it my goal to try and educate the best I could. As such, I lecture relatively frequently at local colleges in the areas of supplementation and effective applicable nutrition.

The people who know just enough about nutrition care WAY too much about advanced concepts that don’t even apply to them (why do fat middle aged men care about the osmolality of their intra-workout carbohydrate!?). I try to help moderate both ends.  I did my first bodybuilding competition at 15, my second at 19 (won them both) and then almost immediately transitioned into strongman. I have been in many competitions at the local level and have competed nationally. Most recently, I won the title of Arizona’s Strongest Man in my weight class.

I see you're a licensed nutritionist, which blows my mind because you're as hardcore about keto as I am it seems, and sports nutrition and keto generally go together like testicles and napalm.  Which came first- keto or the nutritionist gig?  How'd you get the two to sit in a room together and play nicely without keto running across the room and stabbing conventional dieting conceptions to death and raping its girlfriend?

Ironically, they both came about at the same time. As a scientist, I tend to think of things more pragmatically and thermodynamically (likely to a fault). It may not be the best what (what is?) but I find it the most straightforward and scientifically based. Sports nutrition is kind of a catch-all. I think the reason why keto and sports nutrition seem to be bitter enemies is because of the current lack of scientific studies backing it (from the viewpoint of performance). It’s not that there is any science saying high fat low carbohydrate is BAD. There are just tons of data that suggest high carbohydrate is GOOD. So people take the position while not being completely informed. Not to mention, almost all the damn studies out there are on endurance athletes. Of the studies that do in fact look at high fat, nearly none of them take into account the amount of time it takes for the body to correct it’s chemistry to accommodate the new diet (everyone feels like crap the first 1-2 weeks of cutting their carbs out). OF COURSE performance will decrease… The money is after this transition has occurred.

There is data emerging in this community that is slowly showing otherwise. Also, I’d like to mention I’m not against carbohydrates at all, I’m just NOT against fat. It isn’t my goal to show that tons of fat is better than tons of carbohydrate.

It was merely to show that fat:
  1.  Is not as poisonous as people think (with blood work to show it).
  2.  Will not destroy a lean physique in high amounts (barring energy balance is maintained).
  3. Can provide the energy necessary (when combined with adequate protein) for high intensity strength training.
So to answer your question, I didn’t stop it. I watched and grinned; it’s just energy for christ’s sake. You either use it or you don’t. You can argue the other minutia until you are blue in the face. Total energy content is priority 1, with total protein at number 2.

That's a hell of a resume at 22.  I noticed you went to Chico State East (I went to U of A and we spent no small amounts of time mocking ASU for being the repository of all of the drunken retards of the West), but you must have burned right through that curriculum.  How'd you manage all that at your age?

I started college courses at around 14 or so while in high school, combined with advanced placement tests, I started at the university (full time) with more than half of my undergraduate already completed. In fact, I was almost booted out of high school my senior year because I was regularly “ditching” school to get to my organic chemistry class early. Combined with overall hatred for bureaucratic nonsense, I forged my way into almost twice the allowed credits. I slithered my way through the cracks unnoticed until my graduating semester. By then all the damage had been done.

ASU definitely has its share of drunken retards. Unfortunately, that’s most of the school’s population that can speak fluent English. I spent most of my time with the 90 pound scientists who eat microwaved fish eyeballs with broccori.

So to answer your question, I didn’t stop it. I watched and grinned. It’s just energy for christ’s sake. You either use it or you don’t. You can argue the other minutia until you are blue in the face. Total energy content is priority 1, with total protein at number 2.

So, how do you train?  I know I have a lot of strongmen who read my stuff, but I rarely have the chance to cover training for strongman- in the couple of contests I have done for fun, I really didn't alter my training at all.  Wind becomes and issue, but you just nut up.  Rest-pause training with huge weights and low reps seems to translate decently, for me, into strongman.

My programming is actually very simple.
I train in 12-16 week cycles. I train 4 days per week. 5 days per week pre contest.
M: Squat
T:  Overhead
W: Rest
Th: Deadlift
F:  Bench
S:  Rest (events pre-contest)
Su: Rest
  • I train 1 heavy compound movement with 3-4 single joint exercises.
  • With the accessory moves, I focus on mind-muscle connection, bodybuilding style.
  • As the training cycle progresses, I lower my reps. I try to hit a weight PR in the rep range I am currently working in before I switch to the next rep range. I don’t really test my 1 rep maxes at all. At the end of a training cycle I just take a week off and then go back to the grind.
  • I ride my bicycle to work and to the gym to train, so I think that also keeps me moderately athletic.
  • I don’t feel like it’s terribly beneficial to train events year-round. Unless you really have no idea how to do the event, I find that they only serve as ways to beat you up and cause premature fatigue in a training cycle. It is different when prepping for a specific contest, but most all strongman events are so heavy in the posterior chain that it’ll just stall out your power lifts. Training the events enough to become proficient at them is really all that is needed at the amateur level. Other than that, focusing on static strength (and grip strength) is probably going to prove more useful.
I get my training professionally programmed, so out of respect for my coach I won’t go too much more specific than that, but I think I get the point across.

Triple bodyweight beltless farmer's walks..

You use a strength coach?  WHAT?  Explain.

A little over a year ago, I was huge, and I was strong. My mobility was also GARBAGE.

All hell broke loose.
  1. I suffered a catastrophic groin tear (which then got infected and went septic).  I spent a long time in the hospital and couldn't even walk with the help of crutches for weeks. As soon as I was able to roll out of bed and not want to rip the head off of a neonate, I drug my ass back to the gym so I could at least bench press.
  2. My high volume bench press ended up causing a pec tear.  So here I am, super gimp. By the time the inflammation on my pec went down enough for me to function, I was able to stand on my own and not want to die, I started overhead pressing.
  3. My left shoulder decided to take a dump.  Due to an underactive serratus anterior, and proximal biceps tendon that refused to stay in the groove, my shoulder decided it did not want to stay in the socket when I overhead pressed.
I had to start over.

When I was functional enough to move around (almost) like a modern human, I took on the strength coach Mike Mastell. This man has helped me to improve my mobility drastically, work around and improve weaknesses to prevent reinjury, and made the mechanics of my lifts light-years better than they were before.

Almost a year later, I am tons more athletic, flexible, and stronger, while at a much lighter weight. I still have huge hypertrophic imbalances that we are currently working on to maximize my potential and help prevent reinjury.

I'm not ashamed in the least that I enlisted the help of an expert for my training. The information I gained was invaluable.

Bodybuilder first, strongman second.

That sounds like the worse year of anyone's life, ever.  You could have contracted Ebola and had a marginally better year.  Hell, you could have discovered you were raped in your sleep and contracted AIDS and would have been less miserable.  Anyway, I won't dig into your program too deeply as I don't want to steal from your coach, but I find your comment in re hypertrophic imbalances interesting.  You're incredibly young to have that many catastrophic injuries, and I think it speaks to a psychotic rant I recently made about why the under-25 crowd is going to kill the sport of powerlifting.  To summarize- they're insanely dogmatic and close- minded, and seem to think training for hypertrophy (i.e. bodybuilding) is tantamount to powerlifting sacrilege.  Thus, they end up with no shortage of injuries and plateaus they could have avoided if they'd just do hamstring curls on occasion.  You, as I recall, were a bodybuilder first, so how do you think you came all of these imbalances?

I am pretty sure all my imbalances started in high school when I was doing some barbell squats and managed to tweak my psoas. I didn’t know any better and just ignored it. Honestly, I think everything just went downhill from there.

Here is the history of dismemberment: Look close enough, and the order makes sense.
Psoas tweak > pelvic tilt > spine misalignment > shoulder girdle shift > groin tear > pec tear > shoulder subluxations.

This of course did not happen overnight, it was years of acting like a total idiot on top of massive weight and strength gain that caused this.

 I was never really taught how to lift weights by anybody; I just copied older kids on the football team and hoped for the best. Most people get gains no matter how poor their form is when they start initially. I saw that I was improving and never realized I was doing something particularly wrong.

After my second bodybuilding competition, I quickly switched to strongman where I was EASILY the smallest fish in the pond. Where your weight classes are over and under 231… I weighed in at a measly 180 pounds. For my first several contests, I wasn’t even strong enough to move the prescribed weights for the competition, so I spent the entire time trying to play catch up with the big boys. Every competition I entered was just slightly heavier than the previous, never giving me a mental break from sitting back and actually having a rational training program. I was too obsessed with being able to compete at a particular contest and not looking at the big picture.

This is also important to realize the issue of competing TOO regularly. By the end of my first year of strongman I had gained 50 pounds and qualified for nationals; I competed and actually did pretty well! After that, my body pretty much shut down on me. I kept getting heavier and stronger so I just didn’t bother doing routine maintenance. It caught up with me.

Pig liver on celery with mustard.

You are ripped to fucking shreds.  Run us through a day of eating, if you would, because I know everyone's dying to know what your diet looks like.

Sure thing! I suppose I’ll just answer your question succinctly instead of trying to give you some pre-meditated answers to questions you may have about it. I will let you know, that I have not always eaten like this, and it has taken me almost a year to get up to this point. It’s an interesting story in itself and has been an ongoing self-experiment since about 11 months ago. I have been increasing my calories EVERY SINGLE WEEK since the inception of this diet.

Here is an off day example:

Meal 1:
(112g) 4 oz fatless meat (chicken breast/turkey breast/white fish/pork tenderloin etc. etc.)
(56g) 2.5 oz nuts (peanuts/almonds/cashews)
(84g) 3 oz green veggies

Meal 2:
(112g) 4 oz fatless meat (chicken breast/turkey breast/white fish/pork tenderloin etc. etc.)
(56g) 2.5 oz nuts (peanuts/almonds/cashews)
(84g) 3 oz green veggies

Meal 3:
(112g) 4 oz fatless meat (chicken breast/turkey breast/white fish/pork tenderloin etc. etc.)
(56g) 2.5 oz nuts (peanuts/almonds/cashews)
(84g) 3 oz green veggies

Meal 4:
(112g) 4 oz fatless meat (chicken breast/turkey breast/white fish/pork tenderloin etc. etc.)
(56g) 2.5 oz nuts (peanuts/almonds/cashews)
(84g) 3 oz green veggies

Meal 5:
6 eggs
(56g) 2 oz sharp cheddar cheese
(84g) 3 oz green veggies
(28g) 1 oz nuts

~3000 calories ~80g carbs ~200g fat ~215g protein

The numbers vary a little depending on meat/nut/veggie choice, but you get the idea. I hit 3000 calories on off days (currently)

Here is an ON day example:

Meal 1:
(112g) 4 oz lean meat
(160g) 2 cups oats

Meal 2:
(112g) 4 oz lean meat
(160g) 2 cups oats

Meal 3: (pre workout)
(112g) 4 oz lean meat
(80g) 1 cup oats

Intra workout:
15g EAA
50g carbohydrate

Meal 4:
1 scoop whey
7 cups of kids cereal
1 cup almond milk
(170g) pasta
(112g) pasta sauce

Meal 5:
(112g) 4 oz lean meat
(200g) Cornbread (from mix)

~4550 calories ~780 carbs ~80g fat ~220g protein

Again, all these numbers vary a little depending on exact food choices, but this week my goal was to hit 4550 calories for my total energy content on workout days.
I realize I have discrete meals after my workout listed, but the reality is that I just get home from the gym and eat until I pass out.

I see you eat carbs around your training- I don't because all of lifting is really done in 5 seconds or less.  Muscle glycogen is never touched.  What's your take on ketogenic dieting for people who train with more time under tension than that?

I think that people may be short-changing themselves by not consuming carbohydrates while training with more time under tension (or just overall higher volume). It has been shown in a controlled setting that consuming carbohydrates before and during resistance training increases peak force output and time to exhaustion (study was done in elite lifters, not old ladies). So even though carbohydrates don’t DIRECTLY lead to increases in skeletal muscle protein synthesis; by lifting more weight for longer periods, I feel you can put yourself into a better position for supercompensation (via neural adaptation, or otherwise). There are other factors involved, but for somebody trying to squeeze every ounce out of their training as humanly possible, allocating some calories for peri-workout carbohydrates won’t hurt. If somebody has a protein intake as massive of yours, what little glycogen you do use will be replenished through gluconeogenesis anyway. Since you have multiple meals before your next training session, you are almost never at a risk of going depleted.

Four ounces of meat is about the same size as a deck of cards or a small child's snack.

Your protein consumption seems low to the point of near criminality.  What's the logic behind such a low protein intake?  4oz of lean meat only yields about 25 grams of protein.  I fail to understand the logic behind that.  to give you some idea of how diametrically opposed our diets are, my Apex Predator Diet consists basically of meat on the bone, and is about 45% protein, 50% fat, and 5% carbs.  I essence, I double my bodyweight in protein and then halve that for grams of fat.  Carbs are limited to one or two days a week, capped off by an epic cheat meal for three to four hours one evening.

In short? It's because there are other foods that contain protein.

It doesn't have to be meat. Heck, on some days I get well over 150 g protein from (non-soy) plant sources (Nuts/Graints etc). These are NOT insignificant amounts. Just because the general fitness community does not count these foods as protein sources does not mean they don't contain protein and that your body cannot utilize it (for muscle building OR energy). There seems to be a bastardization of the diabetic exchange used by most these days. 1000's of calories are unaccounted for in some cases. As your carbohydrate intake increases, the need for protein (as an energy source) decreases. So I believe there is a happy medium between eating protein for maximizing anabolic capacity and consuming carbohydrate to prevent protein from being oxidized as energy and used for anabolic processes.

People can argue the "completeness" of protein all they'd like. It still contains calories, and just because there might a shortage of lysine or cysteine in a particular non-meat protein doesn't mean the metabolic capabilities are FUBAR. It's not like the body says "Hey! There is no methionine in there, shit this out undigested!". Furthermore, a person may gain precious few GRAMS of muscle mass per workout MAYBE (per week more likely). Scarfing an extra 200g protein (daily) will hardly result in a dramatic increase in (lean) mass gain. People hit the asymptote of maximizing anabolic capacity (via protein intake) at a much lower amount than they think. The extra protein will just be used for purposes of general metabolic expenditure, in which case I don't believe including carbohydrate instead of extra protein would hurt you. I don't honestly think I'd be bursting through an xxxl shirt (at this bodyfat) if I ate more meat. I am confident I get enough essential amino acids (and more importantly BCAA) from the food choices I make to maximize my anabolic capacity. I've attached a more recent picture of me supporting 222 lbs on what some (and by some I mean A TON) people would calculate as around 110 grams of protein daily (meat/dairy sources only).

There are times I eat massive amounts of meat, but this is because I am HUNGRY, NOT because I want to add more muscle mass. I'll just make isocaloric adjustments as necessary.

Trevor's diet leaves a hell of a lot of steak for the rest of us.

Interesting in re the protein consumption.  Given the wildly contradictory scientific evidence and the mountains of anecdotal/historical evidence suggesting that humans have the ability to absorb and utilize high intakes of protein, I err on the side of caution.  Additionally, I may just have low nitrogen retention naturally, but I've found that I cannot maintain high bodyweight at lower protein levels.  Whereas your diet is based on calories, mine is based on protein- I double my bodyweight for grams of protein per day, then make that roughly half of my caloric intake.  Thus, I eat about half as many grams of fat as I do grams of protein.  In practice, it ends up being more like 40% protein/60% fat, because I need the calories, but I'm more of a broad strokes than a minutia guy.

I only consume as much protein as I feel I need to maintain a positive nitrogen balance. The rest, as most everyone knows, just gets oxidized as energy. So instead of eating sacrificial protein, I just replace it with other calories instead. I eat more protein if I want, but I keep my intake at roughly 1g per pound. As I raise my calories, it of course goes up, but I don’t make a point to eat massive amounts. My meat servings are in the 4 oz range. I’d also like to mention that I count protein from all sources. That’s another can of worms that tends to make people cringe. Evidently, protein calories don’t count in sources besides meat and dairy in a large percentage of the population. EVERYONE KNOWS  “incomplete” proteins don’t get oxidized for energy at all (yikes). I don’t know why some people think that if a protein source is deficient in something like lysine, it no longer has the capacity to participate in anabolic biochemistry.

Protein is protein, eh?  That's a surprisingly laissez faire take on something that usually gets people foaming at the mouth.   You eat a surprisingly small amount of calories for a guy who's 230 lbs.  What's the logic behind that?  Are you not trying to continue to gain, or are you trying to lean out?

Correct, I am not Keto as much as I am PRO fat. Like I said before, I am just on a mission to prove that fat is not as poisonous as people think. People can argue until they are blue in the face, but as a biochemist I just view it as form of energy. I have regularly used ketogenic style diets in order to drop bodyfat.

Taking into consideration that athletic prowess (not just strength and power) is a priority of mine; I don't feel that a ketogenic diet (year round) is optimal for my performance.

Currently I am around 220 lbs. Before my catastrophic groin injury I was tipping the scale in the mid 250's. A combination of depression and not being able to walk deflated me to around 220.
After I was mobile enough to get around I just decided to diet all the way down to 200. I was very lean at this weight. Since I had to start EVERYTHING over (It was so bad that I was keeping track of PR's on how look it took me to get out of bed). I decided to slowly increase my calories and work my way back up the food chain the RIGHT way. I now maintain a low body fat percentage while adding food every week. I am stronger, healthier, and more athletic than I was at my heaviest weight. The bodybuilding mentality has really made my diet and training extremely productive. I am happy to be able to view this injury as a blessing in disguise.

Picture 1 (October 2012): 255 lbs Pre Injury
Picture 2 (May 2013):       200 lbs (May 2013) Post injury (recovering) and Post diet.
Picture 3 (Feb 2014):        210 lbs On the upswing with the priority of staying lean

I suppose my beard growth is as good of an indicator of chronology as any.

Going back to your training, I forgot to ask- to your training, how many days a week do you train heavy?

Out of the 4 days per week I train:
2 of them are heavy: Squat and overhead
1 moderate: Deadlift (lots of speed work, unilateral work, and volume per unit time)
Instead of trying to lift heavier weights all the time, I just try and squeeze in extra sets and/or extra reps within a time limit and set PR's that way. Eventually weights go up, but right now squat is my priority lower body lift due to having (previously) inactivated glutes and hamstrings. I have footballs for spinal erectors and concaved craters for glutes. Now that my mechanics and muscle activation have improved, everything is starting to explode up in weight and speed. Most of the 10 pounds I put on all went to my glutes and hamstrings. Squat was terribly behind because I could not perform it correctly, It was ALL lower back.

Anything you want to impart to everyone in regards to avoiding muscular imbalances?
  2. Maintain good mind muscle connection
  3. DON'T work through injuries.  It impresses nobody. Work AROUND them.
  4. Make sure that your lifts have adequate form for your body type. There are multiple correct ways to perform all lifts, make sure you find the variation that suits your body the best.
  5. Train every muscle. Every one. No matter what sport you are in. Not to mention, there is nothing shameful about having a symmetrical physique.
In any event, what's on the horizon for you?  you look to be in contest ready shape, and I'm guessing the sub-200 strongman weightclass is going to be out of reach for you soon.  Any upcoming competitions?

I am zoning in on several pro-qualifier competitions this year for strongman. Since there is no pro class for 200 (and nor am I naturally that light), I have been focusing on adding lean mass so I don’t have to embarrass my fellow strongmen by beating them whilst 25 pounds under the weight limit (yeah, right).

Staying as lean as possible while adding beef has been the goal, I think I am heading in the right direction, regardless of how the scale changes. I have always been a fat kid; so keeping my body fat low has been my top priority, above strength even. As Dan Green says (paraphrased) “competing without abs kicks you up a weight class unnecessarily”.
At my height, I will need to accrue considerably more lean mass to be competitive in bodybuilding (at higher levels). Until such time, I will be strength training for purposes of powerlifting and strongman. But EATING to gain muscle and keep fat down.

You're a crossover athlete. What do you think allowed you to easily transition from sport to sport? Do you have any recommendations for guys going from bodybuilding to strongman, strongman to bodybuilding, or either to or from powerlifting?

For bodybuilding at the local level, it’s all about conditioning. I think anyone can be a successful bodybuilder at the state level so long as they eat like one. I think the bodybuilding lifestyle can improve performance in ANY of the strength sports. Eating like a bodybuilder and training like a powerlifter/strongman will only help you. If you want to prepare for a bodybuilding contest, there is no reason to change the way you train, just beware that you won’t be at 100% strength when your body fat gets freakishly low. It’s all about the diet. I “easily” transitioned to strongman because it was the PERFECT excuse to get fat and strong. So I did. In the long run, it did not help me.

I’ve become rather infamous for this phrase, but I will own it:

Guys who refuse to lose their bellies because they are scared they will lose their strength are no better than the chicks that refuse to lift weights because they think they will get bulky.

Using the strength as a security blanket to have a gut isn’t only unnecessary, it is unhealthy. People making a (legitimate) living off of being strong (or trying)? Fine. These men are in the dozens.

Before I forget, everyone always wants to know how tall everyone is.  I've no idea why.  As I know they'll all be dying to know, how tall are you?

I am in the 5’10-5’11 range. Depends on whether or not I do heavy yoke walks the week before.

How would you recommend that an average trainee train to best prepare him or herself for any or all of those sports?

Train to be strong and healthy. Use rational, progressive overload with adequate fatigue management. If you get strong and eat correctly, the muscles will come. I think powerlifting year round for the strongman (with tweaks as necessary) and training events only some weeks before a contest is the best way to increase longevity and overall workload throughout the year.
You’ll build as big of a muscular base as any from powerlifting. If one decides to transition to bodybuilding from a strength sport you are at an even bigger hypertrophic advantage. If you start strong, then your higher rep work sets will be at a heavier weight than a person who has trained for hypertrophy only. Repping 405 will elicit more growth than repping 315.
Any well known cookie cutter strength program will work, the problem is just sticking to it. People try to outsmart themselves and just program in circles, never getting anywhere. If you tweak something it is no longer the original program.

Some pundits are crediting a return of power building with the rise in crossover athletes. I've always insisted everyone train to have great all-round strength and never be fat, which I suppose is power building. What's your take on this trend and that approach?

Not only is staying lean sexier, it is healthier. I aim to keep this trend going full-steam ahead. I am REALLY trying to force a paradigm shift in strength sports and body fat levels. If you don’t care how you look or feel that is one thing (or, as previously stated, if you make your living being strong), but purposefully sacrificing health in order to add a few pounds to a bench press is silly for the weekend warrior. I just can’t see a reason for a strength athlete to NOT eat for muscle mass and fat loss. I am not saying everyone has to walk around carrying abdominal veins, but if you are so massively fat it impedes everyday function (but helps your squat leverages) you may want to reconsider your lifestyle choices.

What are your general diet recommendations for the average trainee? Does the diet change much from sport to sport?

Generally, I don’t think the type of diet has to be different between sports. You either eat to build lean mass, or you don’t. Powerlifters and other strength athletes will need less overall caloric load (likely from carbohydrate) in order to facilitate progress because they just don’t burn as many calories in (or out) of the gym. On the same token, I don’t think intra-workout nutrition is as important for the strength only athlete due to the exercise load. To me, the low volume workouts don’t justify extra intra-workout calories. Although it certainly won’t hurt.

So long as your protein and fat requirements are met then filling in the rest of your energy gap to achieve a surplus is really up to you, I just choose carbohydrate because there is a greater pharmacological value compared to fat or protein.
Everyone is different, and there is more than one way to skin a cat. There are many “advanced” nutritional guidelines some people follow, and they may work, which is great! However, I am not convinced they work any better than keeping your diet simple stupid. If you are implementing more “advanced” nutritional principles but still making gains the same as a person eating a moderate diet, then you are unnecessarily complicating your life, this will be almost 100% of the time.

For the most part, there is a reason why most all the best athletes (strength or otherwise) and bodybuilders in the world eat a balanced diet. Present company excluded, of course.

Ah, that made me smile.  My diet is balanced as hell- 50% fat and 50% protein, bro!  Anyway, that was awesome and interesting.  If people have more questions, how can they get in touch with you?

I can be contacted through my website:
My facebook is also totally public:

Trevor also has a badass food blog with some seriously cool recipes (like almost no carb waffles) here

So there's something to tide you over as I continue to pound away at the data for the third and final portion of Powerlifting Is Not A Fucking Fun Run series, which should be out early this week, followed by a new Baddest Motherfuckers article, a Keto recipes article, and an article about the training methods of elite armwrestlers like Alexey Voevoda.

09 April 2014

Powerlifting Is Not A Fucking Fun Run, Part 2- The Elite Chime In

Following the massive shitstorm the last Fun Run article stirred up, I thought it prudent to see if in fact, I was the only elite lifter who felt this way.  As it turns out I'm not, and not only am I not the only one who feels this way, everyone seems to think powerlifting in sliding into the shitter.  Before you guys go and get your panties wadded, you might want to read through this carefully, as I am about to hit you motherfuckers with a twist M Night Shyamalan couldn't have conceived.  No, we're not all secretly reptilian aliens hell bent on world domination like Kris Kristofferson undoubtedly is- this twist is much, much more surprising.

Before we delve into the possibility that I was not entirely correct in asserting that millenials are treating powerlifting like the world's laziest gangland "jump in" and beating the sport to death with their flaccid dicks, let us peruse the thoughts of other elite level lifters, as I am quite certain the majority of the audience thinks I'm simply some psychotic elitist with a penchant for mocking everyone unfortunate enough to not be born me.

Ed Coan, powerlifting god.
"The sport is very fractured with too many federations with too many different rules. The rules have to be more the same than different. Judging is horrible to say the least in most places."

Paul Nguyen, 1588lb AAU and Raw Unity Elite total at 165, World Record Holder Deadlift (717), #8 on Michael Soong's Historical Rankings at 123.
"In my opinion the problem is that the talent pool in the sport of powerlifting is depleted from interest in other sports. I think that more often then not, a person with the talent to excel and possibly dominate in powerlifting wind up taking it elsewhere such as a sport that offers them more than powerlifting could ever offer, such as scholarships or notoriety. Powerlifting offers little to no compensation for success and the trend looks to continue that way.  The fix would be to continue to try and unify powerlifting as a sport and garner more interest in hope that it could one day be as popular as the other sports that rob it of its talent. I believe that the records that stand now are nowhere near where they could be if the sport were as popular as even skiing. I own a single lift world record and there is no doubt in my mind that there are many people out there that are capable of smashing it but have no idea of or have in interest in powerlifting."
"Shitty cookie cutter programs are to blame for a lot of things. I never gave the idea of an amateur division a thought, but I don't think that would fix the stagnation of competition. People avoid competition as I'm sure you've mentioned before, rather then seek it. The idea of powerlifting programs being more widespread in high schools was brought up in the comments somewhere, pretty sure it was you, that would be a huge step forward in my opinion."

Bob Benedix, 1608lb AAU Elite total at 181, Master's 50-59 World Record Holder Squat (580), Deadlift (560), and Total (1480lb).

Bob's answer came by way of Facebook chat, so it's a bit choppy.  As the conversation was immensely interesting and he has been in the sport since its inception, however, I will recount all of its highlights.

In re why we're not seeing a lot of guys who can crack an AAU Elite total from 40 years ago:
"Nobody really likes to train hard! I believe you have to walk out the weight! And I know if I can walk it I can squat it! I was at the High School Nationals and they do no raw work! Gear comes on right Away! You need muscle (and if you are going to do RAW meets you better train RAW!" 
In re how Bob got started powerlifting:
"I started benching in 1973 at 13!  I benched 265 at age 15 at 132lbs and 365 148lbs when I was 17!  I was just a bencher, and a boxer.  The Marines talked me into taking the ASVAB when I was 17 and I aced it, so the Navy offered me Nuclear Power School and to lift for the Navy!  I had no Dad to ask about it, so I just went for it, and I'm glad I did."
In re the deplorable state of benches in early meets:
"Ours never [collapsed], but I was lucky and got to use good stuff.  We used the old rules, though- head on bench and feet flat!  I benched 500 lbs many times like that in the gym at under 190lbs- it's always harder to bring down then up for me.  I started doing hammer curls heavy and it helped [Ed: also a fave of Bill Kazmeier]."
In re how Bob trains:
"I just love to train heavy!! I used to train with Rick Weil [Ed: raw world record bench presser at 165 and 181] and Mike Roy [Ed: 70s powerlifting badass who should be #20 on Soong's all time list at 165] and Gary Drigo [Ed: Fifth person to ever total 2,100 at 220], so never thought my bench was big- they were all stronger.  Because Rick benched more than me, I started squatting heavier.  I train with people who are stronger than me, and I always go heavy!!!  Go heavy then do downsets!  
Ted Arcidi [Ed: first man to officially bench press 700lbs] told me if warm ups make you weak, you are not strong!  We trained!!  We would warm up, then work with bigger weights and make small weight jumps down, then do [death] sets!  3 days on, 1 off, unless we were underwater, out to sea! [Bob was a nuclear engineer in the Navy.]"
"People do like to talk sooo much, and do so little."
"I don't know how [other people train], but I have to bench twice a week and do legs twice a week... and I am 54!  I love doing heavy leg presses, then back off set after set, and then squat.  8 weeks out I just go to 800 on leg press, 7 weeks to 700! My squat goes through the roof.  I broke my back in 1984 and could not squat to depth, so started leg pressing and then squatting and not worrying about the weight . It puts less stress on my back when I'm not trying to squat 800 every week."
In re Bob's sons, who are both badass teen powerlifters:
"They love [powerlifting] and respect it! They have met Arnold and John Cena and Hulk Hogan who are friends of mine and were treated as equals! Real lifters are family!  Real lifters respect the work!"
In re the idea that it's ok to be fat if you powerlift:
"Real top lifters look like bodybuilders!  They don't have to wear shirts that say "Powerlifter"- people can tell by looking at them."
In re the original knee wraps, which were just ace bandages:
"Yes , lots of guys [wrapped tennis balls behind their knees, but the wraps were shit!"
In re the inception of geared lifting:
"Everyone wore gear back [in the 1980s], but the new singlets are better.  I saw guys cutting suits and wearing 3 of them.  Anything to cheat- one was as underwear, then another half way up, then a t-shirt covering that, then another suit on top.  Bill Kasmier pointed it out to me at the Senior Nationals in 1983 and my mouth dropped."
"I trained with Bob Gaynor [Masters 60+ World Record Holder in Deadlift at 198 (680) and 220 (672)] yesterday, who is 67- he pulled 650 yesterday at 200lbs and still wears the same $5 leather belt he used years ago.  He is RIPPED." 

Ryan Celli, Chaos and Pain athlete, 1840lb AAU and Raw Unity Elite total, former world record holder, #3 on Michael Soong's Historical Rankings at 198.
"When you first asked me this question, “What do you think is wrong with powerlifting? And how can it be fixed?” My first instinct was to say,
  1. Everything is wrong with powerlifting.
  2. Everyone is a big baby.
  3. Powerlifting can't be fixed.
Powerlifting is so far gone in my opinion it’s hard to be positive. With the one million different divisions now, and the two million different federations it does seem hopeless.  But honestly, I really think it can be fixed!  I think if we start with these few simple steps, everything else will fix itself over time. The bogus feds will fall by the way side, the best ones with thrive.  Ideally in the end, will would only have a few federations. 
I feel there are two groups of people to blame for the current state of powerlifting.
I think the meet directors are a big part of the problem.  Let’s be honest, they are out to make money. I understand this, and think they should make money, as it not an easy job.  Unfortunately, they feel the only way to get repeat lifters is to make sure the lifters get all of  their lifts passed, win first place, and maybe take home a few World Records.  This is the worst thing you can do! 
The second group to blame are the lifters themselves.  They continually support this nonsense. They often complain about the bogus lifts being passed, yet enter those meets anyway, and they enter every division they qualify for. They also brag about how they broke 3 world records at some backyard meet. 
The only way I see things getting better are if the meet directors start only offering a few divisions. OPEN, MASTERS (over 50), WOMEN, TEEN. They also need to start adhering to the rule book. We need to teach these new lifters its okay to place 8th out of 15. Yes, 8th sucks so you know what? Work on getting stronger!  Stop babying these lifters. Red light the lifts that are not to the required specifications. The lifters will learn from this and become better lifters in the end."

Jay Nera, 1907lb AAU and Raw Unity Elite total, #14  on Michael Soong's Historical Rankings at 220.
"The 44 minute stat you cited in your article is nuts to me….  But really, who gives a fuck about the median or the average?  I mean the average American is, in my opinion, an overweight, illiterate, lazy, entitled, TV-parroting, malignantly narcissistic douche (Canadian brothers and sisters off the high horse, the only difference is we can all read a little bit better).   But WE are not the median nor the average.
I’m going to have to be honest with you regarding my knowledge about the history of powerlifting, prior to my own participation, in that it is minimal.  I know what I’ve read in books such as Purposeful Primitive and then what I’ve heard from friends Willie Albert and Sam Byrd, both of whom have a plethora of knowledge on many of the great lifters from back in the day.  But really, I know very little history of the sport.
When I think about it, I can’t say that powerlifting is getting worse.  I mean, as far as I know, raw powerlifting is fairly new, or at least the re-emergence of it is.   When I competed in Russia in 2010, it was the WPC’s 1st Raw World Powerlifting Championships and the WPC is the second largest powerlifting federation in the world.  The largest powerlifting federation in the world, the IPF, only recently added a raw division within the last few years.  So raw powerlifting, in my opinion, is only now making it into the maintstream of the powerlifting world.  For a while, especially in the US, geared lifting was dominating the powerlifting scene.  I mean, how many Westside Barbell T-shirts are circulating and how many westsiders lift raw?
I would also have to argue that the competition, or at least my competition has become fierce…and keeps getting stronger.  I was once at the top of the Powerliftingwatch lifter rankings in 2011, 1st in the squat(716), 3rd in the deadlift(744) and 1st in the total(1901).  Now, even with a greater squat and total in the books,  I am 5th, 9th, and 3rd respectively.  So it is safe to say that even if the average powerlifters are getting weaker.  The best of the best are still continuing to push the limits….records are being increased.  For example, I know you are pissed about Puccio taking down your record by 5 fucking pounds.
I do know what you are saying though.  Yes, the average participant is getting worse.  But “why?” is the question.  I would put my money on the growing popularity of the sport and increased participation of course(as would you I’m sure).  But fuck, man, this is a good thing!  I want more and more people participating.  I want more people to participate in powerlifting so that when I say I squat well over 700 and am close to deadlifting 800, people will actually comprehend what kind of weight that is.  I mean, I just got back from the Arnold’s where I deadlifted 700 lbs for 5 reps without training my deadlift for months due to a strained oblique and no one understands that that is a pretty good deadlift feat.  It makes me hate answering friends and family who try to show interest in my life by asking how my competition went.  I appreciate the interest, but really, its worse than small talk when there is zero comprehension.
I mean only people who powerlift can truly appreciate and understand how difficult some feats of strength are.  
Back to it, more people participating = more awareness of the sport and more appreciation / comprehension…more money into the sport.
Let’s be clear about something.  Years ago I lived in Japan.  Before I moved to Japan, one of the things I wanted to do was to climb Mount Fuji.  People would climb it at night and reach the summit in time to watch the sunset.  When I got to Japan I heard that it would take about 8 hours to reach the top, that there were vending machines on the way up, and that an 86 year old woman had recently done it.  I didn’t climb the mountain.  What a fucking waste of time that would have been.  To share a sunset on a crowded mountain with numerous people because any fucking person including an 86 year old woman can get there.  I’d rather climb a mountain that scares the fuck out of people and enjoy the sunset by myself.
So just because participation is increasing, doesn’t mean we, the guys who actually do have elite totals, true elite totals, ie above 500 wilks totals, have to share platforms with them.  I stopped competing in at the CPF nationals because the last two times I did, I had to share warm up racks with people who couldn’t squat more than 455lbs.  I’m warming up for a 694 opener, currently with 6 plates on the bar, and some stupid idiot wants to drop the weight to 3 plates, and wants help doing it, and wants a spot…..I’ll have to stop at that because I do want newbies in the sport…just not when I’m about to lift.  But that’s the point.
Let the better lifters lift in the better meets.
I mean, we get get into the discussion of why Crossfit has grown so fast and now in the mainstream and why powerlifting in a relatively niche still.  But we can’t ignore that Crossfit welcomes everyone and anyone can do it.  There are competitions all of the time and all over the place.  A newbie crossfitter has competitions as do the vets.  There’s a powerlifting meet being held in my area this August held by the RPS.  They created an entire division just for newbies and crossfitters.  I think that this is a great idea.
In the end, good powerlifters need to support the bigger meets.  Men who can climb mountains need to stop wasting their time climbing little hills getting trophies against newbies.

Sin Leung, Chaos and Pain athlete, 749 Raw Unity Master total, #11 on Powerliftingwatch All-Time list 

(who has only been lifting for two years, by the way)
"The problem with powerlifting is with the media- you're not a powerlifter unless you're "GOOD", which is stupid because everyone starts somewhere.  Then, you have everyone talking tons of shit, and using social media to voice it.  Also, everyone forgets they start from somewhere and subsequently forget they shouldn't spew every fucking thought that ever passed through their head.  On top of that, you have the problem of "PROS"- everyone is like "ohh, I want to get sponsored by so and so."  What the fuck is the point of that?  Everyone wants to get SPONSORED.  Those phaggots should shut the fuck up, keep their heads down, and just do the work and get good.  Everyone's so desperate for a sponsor, but no one is willing to do the work- they just post internet videos and wait for their free sponsor tshirt to arrive in the mail.  You're a fucking idiot if you're in this sport if your goal is to get sponsored, like this is CrossFit.  And yeah, I get the irony, given that I am sponsored by Chaos and Pain, but that was never my intention- I just wanted to do graphic design.  You guys were the assholes who chased me down with a sponsorship- it wasn't like I said "wow, I lift weights so someone SHOULD GIVE ME FREE SHIT.
You also have the problem that America is the Land of the Impatient.  No one thinks about it as life long dedication.  Instead, they think about it as something that should come quickly and easily and for free.  Look at other countries- they train because otherwise they starve.  Their families starve.  For us, this is "fun."  And even powerlifters that are "professionals" don't make money powerlifting- they make it by training people or making products, like Mark Bell.  You know, for these kids that wanna know how to not suck, they should think about it this way- say someone kidnapped the person you loved the most and said you are going to lift this or we're going to kill this person.  It's guaranteed you will get stronger.  So quit bitching about being weak and either train like your life depends on it or gtfo." 

Ben Puccio, 1710 AAU and Raw Unity Elite total at 181, current world record holder total at 181, #3 on Michael Soong's Historical Rankings at 181.

"People should have an attitude of always working to be stronger, as that's what powerlifting is all about.  On the flip side, if someone starts out weak they should not think that starting out inferior precludes the possibility of eventually becoming superior.   When I first started competing, I was a 15 year old, 114lber, and I was weak as shit. Now, I'm a savage.  So, it comes down to mindset: if they are doing it without a care in the world as to where they stack up against the masses, I have no idea why they are powerlifting in the first place.  If they suck now and intend to eventually become elite, however, they should get on the platform and go nuts, no matter how weak they are at present."

Becky Rich, 882lb Raw Unity Elite total, former world record holder, #3 on Michael Soong's Historical Rankings at 123.
"It would be interesting to see a detailed statistical analysis of numbers across federations across the years. Although you've presented at lest some evidence that there aren't as many elite-level lifters in powerliting, and that presumably the mean and the median is going down, still the all-time record totals and individual lifts continue to climb. So, the issue doesn't really seem to be to be that there aren't as many good lifters (because the good lifters are getting better), but that there are more average to downright bad lifters, and that they're muddying the waters when it comes to elite-level competition.
To me, the issue isn't so much the "fun run" mentality. Plenty of people participate in sports and athletics just for enjoyment and to better themselves, and which is awesome. Some people have jobs and families and priorities that aren't athletics, and again, no problem there. Also, this is powerlifting - nobody's getting rich from competing, so you'd better enjoy it if you're going to do it. Last but not least, some people (myself included) aren't willing to supplement in a way that will allow them to get to and stay at the very top. However, in most sports, there is an (admittedly) for-fun segment, and there is a competitive segment. Powerlifting really has no such distinction. Generally speaking, it's kind of hard to find meets that you *couldn't* qualify to compete in.
I see the main problem (as with most things in powerlifting) as the variety of federations available. Since lifters are so split among a number of federations, it is nearly impossible to create a meet with only elite-level lifters. Pulling from only one federation, you'd end up with one or two flights, and some weight classes totally vacant. So, in order to fill out flights and get some entry fees, meet directors are forced to lower or even eliminate qualifying totals just to make a full meet.
For instance, the USPA national meet only requires a class II total to go to the national meet. USAPL single-ply nationals qualifying totals are similarly low, and they don't even require a qualifying total for raw nationals. The vast majority of other federations don't even have a qualifying total for their national meets, so in effect, the national meet is no different than any local competition except you have to pay more to travel. Even more competitive invitational and "pro" meets, such as Raw Unity, Pro-Ams, the Arnold, the Olympia, XPC meets, etc., typically have a handful of elite-level lifters and a number of lifters that barely made the cut, or didn't make the cut but were allowed to compete anyway. At best, qualifying totals for these meets are 60-70% of the totals that are going to win the meet (much closer to the 60% end for women).
So, to go back to the "fun run" comparison. The best men's marathon time ever (let's call that an all-time WR total) is slightly over 2 hours. The average man finishes in approximately 4 hours 15 minutes. The qualifying time for the Boston Marathon is just over 3 hours (let's call that the qualifying total for nationals or even the Pro Am). Assuming all marathoners are distributed on a standard normal bell curve, the qualifying total is at least 1.5 standard deviations above the average, probably closer to 2. This also means that less than 5% of male marathoners (possibly closer to 2.5%) should qualify for the Boston Marathon. Now, I've made quite a few assumptions in my math here, but hopefully you get the point.
Is powerlifting willing to cut qualifying totals off so high that only the top 5% of lifters would qualify for any given meet? I doubt it. And therein lies the problem. When your national meet isn't any different than your local meet, you end up with paint-covered runners in tutus at the Boston marathon, just happy that the Kenyans had to go around them at the starting line."
And that, my friends, is what the best of the best have to say on the subject- apparently I'm not the elitist, flaming cockface the commentators on the interwebz suggest I am.  According to people so fucking good at powerlifting that they make most people seem weaker than babies, the state of powerlifting is piss poor... or is it?  Coming up on Friday, I'll post a statistical analysis of raw powerlifters' performance over the last seven years, and see if I can get to the bottom of whether there is a problem with powerlifting, that problem's root, and how we can solve it.

I promised all of the respondents no porn... but I never promised no booty.

02 April 2014

Powerlifting Is Not A Fucking Fun Run


There is a disturbing trend pervading the mentality of powerlifting at the moment, and it bears discussing before it gets much more out of hand- the idea of "participation".  From Reddit to to Outlaws to Facebook to the fucking platform, there is a constant hum of the weak and the mealy-mouthed, cooing platitudes about the "joys" of "sharing the platform with such great lifters", going to meets to "get some numbers", and other assorted anticompetitive happy-go-lucky bullshit.

For those of you who are unaware, sports can basically be divided into two models- "pleasure and participation" or "power and performance."  As I have no real interest in reinventing the wheel or retyping shit I could copypasta, and am frankly too pissed off at the very idea that I need to explain this in the first fucking place, please review the following:

While the source should be common fucking sense, I obtained those tables here.

One would think, if people actually did so, that the very moniker "powerlifting" would provide valuable insight into the sports model being employed in the sport, but apparently the Millennials have decided that this is not so.  Instead, the idea that we should encourage greater participation in the sport of powerlifting and embrace the spirit of inclusion is far more valuable than preserving the most basic tenet of the sport- namely, to determine who the strongest motherfuckers on the planet are.

Millennials, I don't know what it is about your faces, but I just wanna deliver one of these right in your suck hole.

At the risk of triggering whatever pussies who might be triggered by reading something that can be labeled with the neo-fascist non-word "ageist", this phenomenon can be placed squarely at the only generation who has more self-loathing than they have knowledge, work ethic, or common sense- the Millennials.  Bizarrely, even the Millennials know they're useless, though instead of using this information to grab their balls and do something about it, they're choosing instead to ruin every semi-competitive or competitive sport in which they can enter, turning Power and Performance sports into Participation Sports with all of the grace and purposeful action of a plague of locusts (Jagel).

Think I'm off base?  I'm not.  A recent series of articles outlining the myriad failings of what author Kevin Helliker refers to as "Generation Slow" detailed at length the abject lack of competitiveness among the Millennial Generation, and pointed to such statistics as the fact that "median U.S. marathon finishes for men rose 44 minutes from 1980 through 2011," citing the fact that "many new runners come from a mind-set where everyone gets a medal and it's good enough just to finish" (Helliker Slowest) as the reason behind this phenomenon.  Lambasting the Millennials for their communistic, anti-competitive mindset proved exactly how useless the generation actually was, as the critical response to Helliker's article was just as feeble and limp-wristed as the competitive performance he outlined in his article.  Instead of citing recent upticks in elite performance (if there are indeed any to cite), most responses railed against Helliker for being mean, utilizing social justice non-words like "ageist" to defend their indefensible attitudes.

Not a lot of running happens in this race, apparently.

The most popular endurance events in the country, the Tough Mudder and the Color Race, don't even post results- according to the race coordinators, it's not about how you perform but about how you feel.  Well, they should feel like they fucking suck, because I would rather eat a bullet than run a mile and guarantee I could finish three miles in fewer than 30 minutes powered by nothing but contempt for the egalitarianism and effeminacy of the mindset of the other competitors.

Chairman Mao would have been pro-"Fun Run"

Lest you worry that they lack even the energy to muster up excuses, making excuses for shitty performance is about the only thing about which Millennials appear motivated.  One respondent provided the following laundry list of reasons why she sucks, while others had more general reasons for their uselessness:
"'Between being president of my honor society, volunteering at the local elementary school, job hunting, staying on top of my course load, being secretary of my sorority and trying to start a personal financial literacy seminar for women, running has become my detox time,' wrote Natasha Mighell, a University of Virginia student. 'It is MY time, and is not a competitive activity.'
Some young people said that baby boomers had wrecked the economy, creating so competitive a market for today's college graduates that few had time for endurance training. 'Everybody I know is just struggling to get a job, much less train for a marathon,' said Tyson Hartnett, a 27-year-old entrepreneur, writer and sales professional" (Helliker Strikes Back)
That's all well and good, you might argue, but it's got precisely fuckall to do with powerlifting.  This is not so, however- the same mentality so pervasive in modern endurance athletics has now become part and parcel of strength sports.  Reddit's r/weightroom is positively littered with comments regarding the dangerousness of cutting weight and the concept that doing so is unfair, despite the fact that such practices are not expressly prohibited by the rules, and the fact that according to the Power and Performance model "Participants should not be concerned with injury."  Likewise, high standards for participation are unwanted, as the general consensus seems to be that greater participation should be encouraged, rather than less, which echoes the Pleasure and Participation model's sentiment that "the opponent is needed and valued."  This, in spite of the fact that the opponent in strength sports is the weight, not the other participant.

Ricky Dale Crain- just as elite in 1976 as he is now, because powerlifting is the only sport in which people have gotten worse since the mid-70s.

To illustrate just how out of hand this phenomenon has gotten, consider the following- the AAU classification for an elite powerlifter at 181 lbs, set in 1973 when powerlifting's rules had only just been codified, was 1605.  Since then, the AAU has dropped this classification to 1396, and only Raw Unity has raised the standard a paltry 4 pounds in the intervening 40 years.  Thus, in spite of much more widespread knowledge of the sport and a concomitant rise in popularity, the best of the best are in actuality no better than they were a generation ago, and for all of the weight classes over 181, they're actually worse (Sutphin 18).  That doesn't happen in sports- athletes are supposed to get better with time, not worse.  It's not as though the AAU set their elite classification standards in 1974 with the intent that virtually no one would make the cut- they set them so they'd have a classification for the upper echelon on lifters.  As it stands, their classification indicates a fraction of a percent of total lifters, which is insane.  Even supercars represent a larger fraction of the sports car industry.  Thus, we're left with a strength sport that's barely progressed at all in the last 40 years in spite of vast improvements in the availability of training equipment and availability of sports nutrition, yet the record mile time has dropped almost ten fucking seconds.  

Here you have the AAU's elite cutoff from what was basically the inception of powerlifting, Raw Unity's current elite classification, and the total number of people on Powerliftingwatch's all-time list who meet the AAU's original standards from 2007-2014.  Fucking pathetic.

Just as in endurance athletics, a bloated body of participants has actually managed to dilute the talent pool to the point where it appears that the best lifters in the world have no interest in competing.  Either that, or the utter lack of competitiveness among the modern powerlifting participant is so overwhelming that they've dragged the strength levels of even the elite powerlifters into the toilet with their own.  Whatever the reason, the low level of strength at the "championship" level of powerlifting recently resulted in a California State Championship in which a staggering 29 competitors lifted in the 181lb weightclass, yet the 4th place finisher would not even qualify as elite at 148.  That's not a championship- that's a fucking travesty.

Now, I realize this is going to result in a lot of hurt butts, but frankly, I don't really give a fuck.  The mentality of the casual powerlifter is fucking retarded.  Either you're competing, or you should get the fuck out of the way- this is not a fucking "fun run".  Just showing up and paying $100 to say you did a meet is as stupid as it is disrespectful to the people who actually go to meets to compete against one another.  The Houston Texans might have blown dogshit in 2013, but I didn't see Ben Tate smiling as he walked off the field after Peyton Manning delivered 400 yards of airborn rape to his team and interrupt the post game press conference to tell the world how glad he was to share the field with such an amazing athlete.  Tahiti's soccer team doesn't wander the field like a bunch of fucking cattle when playing Uruguay and just let them score at will, and they're fucking soccer players from Tahiti.  Even they can muster up enough competitive spirit to fucking compete, in spite of the fact that Donald Trump likely loses more than Tahiti's GDP every month in the laundry.

In short- stop sucking.  Stop accepting that sucking is the norm.  Stop going to fucking meets and "competing" if you know you suck.  And for the love of fuck, either stop "participating" in sports or stop "participating" in life- I don't care how you do it, so long as you're dead to me. 

Helliker, Kevin.  The Slowest Generation.  Wall Street Journal.  19 Sep 2013.  Web.  31 Mar2014.

Helliker, Kevin.  The Slowest Generation Strikes Back.  Wall Street Journal.  9 Oct 2013.  Web.  31 Mar 2014.  
Jagel, Katie.  Millennials: Generation lazy?  Yougov.  17 Jan 2014.  Web.  1 Apr 2014.

Sutphin, Paul.  Powerlifting: The Total Package.  Bloomington: AuthorHouse, 2014.