The poster sums up his feelings:
Squat: Coan (1020) '99 to Lewis (1201) '05 - 18% - 6 YEARS Bench: Mendelson (825) '03 to Rychlak (1005) - 22% - 1 YEAR!!!!!! Total - Coan (2463) '98 to Frank (2805) '04 - 13% - 7 years
Some posters take issue with finding flaws with powerlifting instead of supporting it. But Jay Gibson, Gibson Powerlifting forum owner, welcomes the opinion:
I'm not particularly bashing gear, judging has sucked too. Can anyone else think of a sport that measures basic human ability that has bastardized itself so much? ...People talk about 3000lb totals and hydraulics, well, look at the recent numbers and tell me why there's eventually going to be a limit.
An APF poster acknowledges and accepts the changing nature of powerlifting:
I do wonder if you have a point as to the sport becoming less and less of a legitimate "sport". I don't know where it's going.
Travis Peel indicts American powerlifting in general:
The sport has changed. Big deal. Every non-raw fed has "bastardized" itself - the APF, IPF, USPF, whatever - they have all allowed significant inflation of totals for the average lifter and for those at the top. Stop whining about it and go join a raw fed - that is all you can do. You aren't going to change the minds of gear whores. They WANT the sport to be different.
Tommy Fannon offers his opinion:
I think North Americans are losing the science behind training. Minimal training, gear dependency, and changing the rules has weakened powerlifting... Europeans see powerlifting as a sport North Americans see it as hobby and entertainment.
The original poster responds to Tommy:
95% of the people that compete are not super-competitive anyway... they show up to meets to have a good time and they train as a hobby... the longevity (or lackof) of the records is a bit disconcerting.
I guess I don't understand. One minute everyone is talking about "legends" and acting all serious about the sport and the training, but when someone calls up the integrity of the sport you make it sound like it's beer league softball...You HAVE to maintain some sort of consistency otherwise the endeavor has absolutely no merit.
The issues being discussed in these threads are central to determining the fate of powerlifting. It feels like we're rapidly reaching a crossroads. The explosion and advancement of gear has particularly altered the face of powerlifting and created a significant internal division in the sport. Is there any hope for a unified powerlifting? Will the future see two distinct powerlifting type sports? Whichever side you're on (or even if you don't have one) it's an important time for powerlifting. ADDED: They're also discussing the post at Monster Muscle
Tommy! Judging by the amount of time you devote to the sport how can you say that this stuff doesn't matter? Who partakes in something without considering it's integrity. And what about celebrating greatness from the past as well?