Why The Russians Rule Powerlifting

Create: 12/11/2005 - 10:18
Gibson Powerlifting is looking at why the Russians are doing so well at powerlifting. One of the common reasons cited for why they perform so well is drugs. Jay Gibson discounts that:

Does anyone really believe that the American appetite for drugs and the creativity of American 'bathtubbers' will ever be surpassed, when it comes to drugs? This place takes a backseat to NO ONE.. Think about that, what is it that Americans have that Russians want and need? Powerlifting trophies? Millions of DOLLARS? You figure it out... Are we now saying that Russian lifters have more potent androgens than these? What are they? Seriously, dollars trump the living shit outta trophies and gold medals. Does anyone believe it would be a secrect that was kept?

Rather, Gibson cites other reasons for Russia's powerlifting prowess:

the Russian lifters of the top caliber did not have outside jobs, devoted their entire self to lifting, and were picked (actually arose) from a much larger genepool. These folks do not have the type of professional sports that we do here. I truly believe football and to some degree even pro wrestling gets many good lifters here.

Other posters cite a variety of reasons why the Russians are doing so well. Economics:

If I were genetically gifted strength wise in the US, I would definetly not become a powerlifter; but I would play football, baseball or even wrestling for the sake of a much higher income. They don't have these kind of choices in Russia.

Demographics and culture:

It's simple demographics. A lifting population that vastly outnumbers our own (I include all former Eastern Bloc nations, of course), a cultural milieu that extols strength above all else, and a lack of alternative sporting venues in which to display this strength.


They have the Training Ethic and we have a BB culture..

Bodybuilding's influence in America:

Bodybuilding has also attracted too many youngsters and prevented them by taking up proper strength training.


The Russians get their young promising lifters and give them proper coaching. The ones that don't show real abilities are culled out early and the best are left for proper coaching. Our young ones are really not coached. The only coaches they have are middle school and high school coaches that most know nothing about lifting. Most young lifters are never exposed to elite powerlifters that can help with their training.

The existence of state sponsored comprehensive program management:

.the russians and Chinese for the last 50 years have recruited athletes from the masses to compete in certain sports...If you were to take a Coan and Swanson, have them make children (scary..LOL) then start training them at lets say age 5...and only to do the three lifts, just imagine...when you start with people with great bone lengths, great connection points, they will always have the leverage advantage...add to that, the best training in form and technique, top of the line gear, and a well thought out drug cycle....Bam!, record lifts...Guys like Kaz found pl and strongman and dominated...there are many Kaz's out there that never lift a weight...the advantage lies in recruiting and having a pool of already gifted athletes, not the drugs..