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02 April 2014

Powerlifting Is Not A Fucking Fun Run

ATTENTION:  SINCE NO ONE UNDERSTANDS THE POINT OF THIS ARTICLE, LET ME BE CLEAR- I AM NOT SUGGESTING ANYONE STOP LIFTING.  I AM SIMPLY SUGGESTING THE THEY NOT "COMPETE" IF THEY SUCK

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 bodybuilding.com 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. 

Sources:
Helliker, Kevin.  The Slowest Generation.  Wall Street Journal.  19 Sep 2013.  Web.  31 Mar2014.  http://online.wsj.com/news/articles/SB10001424127887324807704579085084130007974

Helliker, Kevin.  The Slowest Generation Strikes Back.  Wall Street Journal.  9 Oct 2013.  Web.  31 Mar 2014.  http://online.wsj.com/news/articles/SB10001424052702304171804579123661553124776  
Jagel, Katie.  Millennials: Generation lazy?  Yougov.  17 Jan 2014.  Web.  1 Apr 2014.  https://today.yougov.com/news/2014/01/17/millennials-generation-lazy/

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

58 comments :

  1. Anyone can say they're a powerlifter, just like any idiot can say they're a hockey player even though they've been playing in beer leagues for 20 years.
    Personally, I lift the same way a powerlifter goes about his training, but I'd hardly call myself a legit powerlifter. I don't do the things necessary (i.e. strict nutrition, weight cutting, adequate sleep, too much running, etc.) to be competitive with my weight class. Now, what I'm trying to say is that there's plenty of people like me, but the difference is they misrepresent themselves as powerlifters in the same way the beer leaguer calls himself a hockey player.
    None of this bothers me, though, but what really pisses me off is the authorities that govern powerlifting standards. They've conformed to these dipshits who think they're strong. With what I've said about myself, my lifting numbers put me in the Master's classification... What the fuck? At first, I was thinking I was hot shit, but it didn't take me too long to realize how retarded the standards are. Until these classifications truly represent the strongest elite, you're gonna have weak folks calling themselves powerlifters just because they wandered into the free weights area one day.

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    1. Well, at least one person agrees. The fact no one finds it interesting that powerlifters have gotten measurably worse since powerlifting's invention blows my fucking mind.

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  2. when i was deployed we did "gym jones". my boy got medically dropped from BUDS, he was only able to do 1/2 the workout at first. i was BARELY able to do a 1/3. by the time i left country i was doing 2/3 the work outs. my boy was doing the whole damn thing.

    then they made the site "pay for" to view the workout. $500.

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  3. I mostly agree, but you also gotta look at guys like Dan Green, Brantley Thorton, Richard (forgot his last name but he pulls 600+ at 132), the Lillebridges, Brandon Lilly, Scott Yard, Sam Byrd, Stan Efferding, and Eric Spoto just to name a few. There are some strong motherfuckers out there that are pushing the envelope. I don't give a shit who you are- a 10x bw total raw is strong as fuck. I guess if you aren't totalling a class 1 or masters maybe you shouldn't brag about being a plifter. But hating on guys that have a 600+ raw squat 650+ raw pull and 400+ raw bp is kinda harsh in my opinion. That's not a weak human being.

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    1. The top .5% is awesome. Everyone else sucks. I don't think Lilly really belongs in that conversation, though the rest of the guys are world record holders, so they're in that 70 people in the chart.

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    2. Maybe cut powerlifting down from 9001 federations and make a couple leagues?
      >little league - for all the people that want to "get a total" and see how they compare
      >big league - for the people that stand out from within the little league
      >major league - for the serious mother fuckers who move a lot of fucking weight in the big leagues

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  4. Truth is, our society as a whole has become soft. Too soft in fact, to the point where we criticize those who put 110% behind something, anything at all, and praise the person putting in a paltry 50% at best.. on a really good fucking day.

    Being at work is the same as working, showing up is the same as competing.. I see this attitude everywhere. It breaths failure on way too many levels... but we reward it. It's part of our society today.. and is not limited to Powerlifting...

    Success is hard, it takes thick skin and work. And, today, we look down on people who work hard at whatever it is they do, unless, it's working hard at being soft or just plain sucking at something. Then, we give em a fucking feel good medal... all the while trying to bring down the people who are earning/winning/achieving/learning/moving/pushing (common theme here, is positively getting shit done...)

    Armchair quarterbacks.

    Things will change. It may take some time, but society as a whole, needs a fucking reality drop kick, followed by some Jimmy "Superfly" Snuka drops.

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  5. This was a good article, I didn't even rate it "shitty".

    What do you think about weight classes? If there were no weight classes would you still compete? Would you choose a sport that made it harder to compete in when extraordinarily fat and compete in that instead?

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    1. Holy hell! I will mark this down on a calendar.

      To be frank, no- that's why I don't compete in strongman- I'm too short to be properly competitive at loading events. The only reason I compete in powerlifting is to lend credence to my writing, and would not have done either if I couldn't back my shit up on the platform. Competing in an open weight class wouldn't do anything but make me look like an ass.

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  6. "Fitness clubs" are partly to blame as well. They are so bland and inoffensive that everyone who wants to look as "jacked" as Channing Tatum is welcome with open arms and a pizza party. Places fucking forbid deadlifting and chalk. Squats are frowned upon. Weakness and "well-being" are encouraged.

    The first gym I walked into was a blue collar place where I learned to stay out of the way, learned to lift and keep my mouth shut. It was intimidating as fuck, and it was one of the best experiences of my life. If you aren't lifting to get stronger, join a Zumba class and stay out of the gym.

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    1. But the guys on whom the original standards were based usually had never benched with an oly bar- they used those little weider benches- and their squat racks and benches in competition were rickety as fuck. If they found a way to kick ass, shouldn't modern lifters?

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    2. Absolutely. When you walk into a gym, you should be educated, e.g. there is no such thing as "toning". Get leaner, get stronger, grow some muscle.

      Powerlifting is not a financially rewarding sport, so most people use it as a means to another end (e.g. getting stronger for hockey). Those who do compete in powerlifting may not be as hard working (or as high on coke) as the great lifters of the 70s and 80s. I don't know. Perhaps it's the lack of mullets, porno mustaches and lumberjack beards that keeps today's PL'ers from greatness.

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  7. And then of course you've got the cheating cunts who have to use steroids to compete, but seem to forget this and claim they're just naturally suited to the sport. Sad really.

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    1. Whores and dogs follow marching armies. Why are you still here?

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    2. If the event is untested how is roids cheating again?

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    3. Firstly, who fucking asked you two homos?! But to try and expand my point for you little weedy 17 year olds, lets look at another sport - boxing. Lets say you have a competitive boxer who has risen to the top of the ranks through sheer aggression and imperviousness to pain. You might think "wow, what a fucking hero", and, being the gays you are have posters of him in your bedroom to wank over. What if you found out that every match he had he was high on amphetamines, crack and pcp, and that without these drugs he was just a poorly skilled coward that could get beaten up by his younger, disabled sister? Do I need to elaborate further, you pair of retards?

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    4. Those drugs are banned in boxing. Your argument is invalid. Those drugs were not illegal in boxing's formative years, however, and I don't see you railing against the boxers of yore for using them- given that professional racewalkers of the time were high on opium for every race, it's likely Jack Johnson was taking shit to numb the pain as well.

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  8. So on the elite distance performances. A wiki search says that yeah the top times have been going down. Top 10 marathon performances for both genders are all fairly recent http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Marathon#World_records_and_world.27s_best , half marathon the season bests seem to be going down and records broken every couple of years en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Half_marathon

    I really sucked when I started competing (and won't claim to be super high level now) but I think the early stage competition made me stronger rather than weaker, so I find it hard to argue that I shouldn't have done it.

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    1. So the question, then, is what is the problem and how do we fix it?

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    2. The problem with running events or the problem with my personal lifting? For the running I think (and I only have intuition to back this up) the reason for lower average times is probably just that races are more popular so more beginners enter, along with the elites/advanced guys that where there to start with. If that's the case then it's not really a problem. My personal lifting, the usual hard work (I'm not world class but I've added 100kg odd to each lift over the last decade, so keep doing that). My point though was that one of the best ways too go from shit to suck or suck to good is to compete. I and I think most people I speak to find it motivating, and you're right away thrown into this atmosphere where everyone actually cares about lifting. Only way to do it? nope, a tool I found super useful, yes.

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    3. The problem is steroid cheats. The answer is, name and shame, then fuck them off.

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    4. Why not have a tiered entry? Limit entries to only the amount you desire. 60+ days out you can sign up for a reduced rate, the only people who can sign up 60+ days out are those that meet X qualifying totals. Inside 60 days, if there are slots open, its first come first served but at a higher rate. This would attract stronger dudes who want to have some competition and the reduced rate is a sweetener for them. And the fact that you can't just sign up and show up would keep most of those that are but hurt by this post from entering. The only people who would be willing to pay the higher rate, and pay attention to if there were any open spots left, would be people who aspire to be great. Its not 100% but its a starting point.

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    5. Rant- they're not cheating in untested meets, and those standards were set 20 years before the West decided to vilify them as a way of justifying its shit performance against the Soviet bloc's lifters.

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  9. If powerlifting was to determine who was the strongest motherfucker in the world, then only a handful of people on the planet should compete,ever. Is that what you're saying? what a joke. I'm going to say I disagree completely, especially in a sport that is lacking participants world-wide, we should be embracing new comers. I don't even believe that you love the sport, but merely just hold on to it for your own insecurities.. You need to stop worrying so much about other's numbers/effort and worry more about your own.

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    1. I don't love the "sport"- I love lifting. Powerlifting competitions are merely a method by which I can display the fruits of my efforts. I'm no more a powerlifter than I am a bodybuilder- I'm simply a jacked, lean guy who's obscenely strong.

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  10. UK lifter-some comps are intended to cater for lower levels, often the higher comps require a total above a certain threshold set during the year to enter the annual top level comps.
    So certain comps are open to all, maybe allow people to experience a comp (it takes a few to get comfortable) but the real comps are restricted.

    Seems OK.

    Second point - communism is the solution to the world's problems. Capitalism has no future. Communism has nothing to do with the capitalist regimes which derived from the Stalinist counter-revolution. I understand your hatred of leftism and everything calling itself communism, but Marx got it spot on and all the failed attempts do not mean capitalism has a viable means to overcome its contradictions. Ex-USSR, China, Cuba, N Korea, Venezuela - all capitalist regimes.
    Seriously man, you are no fool, but if you want to side with the bourgeoisie, well, I will politely question your judgement. Things aren't what they seem to be my friend.

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    1. ^^ What he said. And steroids etc.

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    2. I'm not siding with the bourgeois- I think socialism is fine if it's done like the Spartans did it. I highly doubt many people are going to get on board with my plan of enslaving the untermenschen, however. That is, as I see it, the only real way to have a viable libertarian or socialist utopia- you need to create a slave class to prevent them from contaminating the rest of society with their sloth, stupidity, and mythological traditions.

      I hardly think the thinly veiled fascism we have is ideal- I just despise the concept of egalitarianism and refuse to adopt a political affiliation that espouses it.

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    3. Reading that made me think of Homer after he had that crayon took out.

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  11. Suck is such a relative term. Should I not choose to compete because my totals do not compare to national and world class lifters but am competitive on the local and amateur level? I train to become stronger and to get a better total in competition. I participate in the sport of powerlifting, for all intents and purposes I identify myself as a PLer with regards lifting weights, wether I suck or not shouldn't factor in the equation

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  12. Could it be that people who show potential for strength get pushed towards other more financially rewarding strength sports now, where as 40 years ago there were no opportunities so you did what you enjoyed first. E.g. Arnold got $1000 for the Mt Olympia, Phil Heath got $250000, and that's bodybuilding which has piss poor financial opportunities.

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    1. no one's ever powerlifted for the money.

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  13. Am I the only one who understands that Jamie's pissed about the lack of progress and not necessarily this guy or that guys totals?

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  14. Furthermore, standards shouldn't be dropped to accommodate people who don't wish to push themselves to be better

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  15. I have actually run into a person who is way worse than the "guy who is just happy to be there". I have seen many lifters over the years that would only compete if they were assured they would win their class. Talk about zero competitive spirit. But every sport has their wannabes who are more fans than they are viable competitors that occasionally step onto the platform. I myself started doing masters highland games after I turned 45 or so and went from sharing the field with young, strong, top level pro throwers to sharing the field, in some cases, with 70 year old men who couldn't carry the weight as far as I was throwing it. That became quickly anticlimactic and I told myself I want to just retire before I was "that guy". My cousin Dave who was a top level amateur bodybuilder would be forced to stand on stage with guys who were laughably terrible in turn making a mockery of HIS efforts to get into top shape. So it happens to some respect in every sport, but how do you put limits on it. Powerlifting promoters like big numbers, if they make the qualifying weights too high they would only have 30 people in their meet and not make money. So you lower the qualifyers and adjust the totals so that everyone is now Elite and nobody loses! We all win and nobody can go home feeling bad. Ok, Stevey P out . . . and don't forget to put your helmets on because its a dangerous world out there.

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    1. It's hard to know what to make of any of this- there's little reason to compete, and yet it leaves us with no way to "challenge" ourselves if we don't, even if there's no competition.

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  16. I agree that today's weakness of the elite is disappointing - today's top lifters should be much stronger than the top lifters of yesteryear. Why powerlifting's top numbers today are not higher is a valid question and cause for debate. But that is not my fault. The decrease in the average marathon time is the fault of the non-elite runners, but guys like me are not responsible for the best in powerlifting not being stronger.

    I bench, squat and deadlift as ferociously as I can, but was born in the body of Ichabod Crane and came to seriosu training in my 40s. With little to no natural talent in strength/power sports and an unwillingness to single-mindedly devote every resource I have to getting bigger and stronger, I will never be anywhere near an elite total. But in a sport where "professionals" boast of hundreds of dollars in prize money, does that mean that I cannot compete against myself? Should I not push myself, train hard, eat intelligently, pay my fee and try my best on a platform? My fee helps pay for that platform (and the room, and the lights, insurance, equipment, whatever) and, therefore, underwrites the efforts by the guys who are pushing towards elite. My participation (which is only against myself) in a powerlifting meet hurts noone.

    Jamie is right about much, but the failure of this sport's elite to have higher totals is not the fault of those of us who are fans and "amateur" participants in local powerlifting meets.

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    1. "an unwillingness to single-mindedly devote every resource I have to getting bigger and stronger, I will never be anywhere near an elite total."

      With all due respect, why even bother then? By all means train, but save the competing for those that are willing.

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  17. Everything that you wrote in this post is a perfect example of what is fucked up with the American society as a whole. Too many whiny bitches that don't want to improve or compete in any aspect of life. I don't compete in powerlifting, just like to lift heavy when I go to the gym. I do race triathlons and since I know I'm not fast enough to compete for the win yet I still race just against the clock and myself continuously seeking improvement. The thing that pisses me off the most is that all these pussies are having kids and raising them up to think that it's ok to be average and just showing up is what's important.

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  18. Love the Step Brothers reference. I repeat that line all the time.

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  19. This is why I laugh whenever I hear about a soccer mom or out of shape noob doing the crossfit open workouts. Congratulations, you just wasted a perfectly valuable training day to find out you're three people up from the bottom on a list of 200k.

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  20. This is not the sport to criticize. Does anyone know the sport where 99.999% of the participants could not even begin to compete with the participants of 500 years ago ? Hunting is that 'sport'. 25 and 70 year old guys with beer guts who could not run at top speed for more than a few seconds at best let alone track an animal for days and drag it back on their backs call themselves 'hunters'. They should call themselves instead 'animal shooters'. Can you imagine the skill ancient hunters must have had using weapons they made with their own hands and used with their own muscles, the tracking, the extremely honed skills ? The teamwork to kill big prey together ? THe tracking for days straight to exhaust the prey ? SOme still do this - the rest are poseurs. There is no better example of how we have fallen as men than how our hunters kill their prey, except perhaps how our 'soldiers' kill their enemies. I do not deny them their bravery in battle and life threatening situations, but spraying people with machine gun fire or shooting someone from a long distance or shooting an RPG at them is a big difference in being a 'warrior' than being in hand to hand combat as in the old days.

    Finally - I think everyone here has probably gotten over the fact that they are not MJ if they play bball and not Alexyev (old school SOviet lifter) if you lift. Sometimes you do it to be the best man you can be and that's more than most men are able to say.

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    1. Interesting point. I'll agree modern hunting is almost retarded as hunter's camo, which is to say "shit your pants and drool on yourself" retarded.

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  21. I don't understand why people would want to do PL comps (or any lifting sport), if you weren't competitive. Is there a more boring way to spend a day?

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  22. Check out Proraw comps in Australia. It's an invitational only meet, 4 weight classes (80 95 110 110+), stacked competition and very very fucking competetive. In the 110's the top 7 will all total a minimum of 1750.

    The sport has grown so much here and it's a good thing, state and national meets are attracting a lot of lifters who are well below average. In the 220's there will be 30 lifters, but the top 8 will all go over 1650 with 1825 needed to secure third place.

    But then it's Proraw where all of us elites + Dan Green etc will come out to play.

    The increased amount of competitors is allowing strength gyms to thrive, places to train properly. I own such a place, and all the 'shitty' lifters who support me on the day make it a viable business.

    Anyway, good post.

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    1. That's awesome! If I ever have 65 million dollars to blow on a plane ticket, I will head out there and do one.

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    2. Be like the old-timey guys you admire and ride freight trains to the west coast then take a cargo ship to Australia. Give up blogging and lifting for unliscenced boxing and vaguely nautical tattoos. Smoke cuban cigars, get diahorrhea from every meal and have an std scare in every port. Return a thinner, yet tougher man.

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  23. Lu Haojie at the 2012 Olympics is a good example of the Power and Performance Model. He injured up his elbow on his second snatch but went on to clean & jerk his first attempt to secure silver for China.

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    1. Those Chinese are fucking brutal. The chick who holds the records in the squat and dead at 105 is on the Taiwanese oly team and powerlifts for fun.

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  24. I will do my first meet at a club meet this year, I joined my club to compete and to get as strong as I can before I get too old. I hear what you are saying, there should be standards and grades, hurdles to get over to see where you are. I want to compete to push myself to the fucking limit of my body though, build the strongest fucking machine I can. I am never going to put together an elite total though, so I am never going to compete in meets with people who regularly are, I'll just go and watch.

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  25. I definitely agree with the sentiment of this article. I've been running since I was about 6, and the only times I've identified myself as a runner was during a cross country season. If you aren't going out there to kick some ass and aren't doing to work to make it happen, why are you identifying yourself with people who are? Honestly, unless your doing the work, continiously in attempts to compete at higher and higher levels, your just fucking around. I lift weights, I could enter a powerlifting meet but I wouldn't magically become a powerlifter. If your entering a serious competition with no plans to be competitive wtf are you doing. You can just lift or run or whatever on your own in a relaxing ass atmosphere if thats your thing. I also fucking hate it when I see people identity themselves as marathoners and they have shitty ass times, it is no accomplishment to complete a marathon going so fucking slow your basically walking. Those people aren't planning to be competitive, they just want to be undeservingly associated with hard work and accomplishment.

    On stagnant totals, I think you lose a lot of raw lifting potential to geared (obviously) which would contribute. Perhaps increasing the minimums would get some of the "powerlifters" asses in gear and create more gyms with the atmosphere to create champions, just an idea. Standard definitely need to be set appropriately high, my schools req to get varsity in the 400m is I believe 56s, which if your not from a running background, slow as fuck, no surprise our track team is shit.

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    1. We used to, but I think geared lifting is fading into the good night, thankfully. The 400 is a brutal race- our 4x100 team was the B team for the 4x400, and we'd occasionally beat them but destroy ourselves in doing so, since none of us ever ran more than a 200. We'd just run our 100 pace until we ended up staggering the last 100 ft and practically missing the handoff blind with exhaustion.

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  26. The fact that standards have fallen and fewer are capable of making elite is really fascinating. When those standards were first made, people also didn't know as much about programming and shit like that. This really plays into the overall thesis of your blog, Jamie, that people have adopted by-the-numbers routines without finding themselves and they've suffered and failed to become as strong as they could have.

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    1. Yup- although there is an interesting twist coming in part two of this series.

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  27. Where I live, NE UK, near Sheffield, we used to have heavy industry, mines, steel works.
    Now we have a load of part -time jobs, service sector, unemployment, sitting and talking on a phone all day.
    Physical activity is very low, obesity is very high. A shit storm is brewing.
    In this context strength is not valued. It attracts a few.
    Passive consumption, alienated production, a breeding ground for preventable death.
    BOREDOM IS COUNTER-REVOLUTIONARY, ALWAYS!

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    1. Well fucking try getting a job then, lazy fatso.

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  28. http://forum.reactivetrainingsystems.com/content.php?35-The-Russian-Classification-Chart

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  29. The irony of a writer who is as amateurish and puerile as you calling out others for participating. Why don't you stick to what you're good at (which is lifting heavy objects off the ground, much like an ape might do) and stop criticising other people for taking a casual interest in a sport which provides them some mild entertainment away from their meaningful work.

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