What Is It About Powerlifting?

Create: 11/28/2007 - 09:03
Willie Williams ponders why, given some of the negatives associated with the sport, powerlifting holds such a strong attraction to those who compete?

Powerlifting is not even a mainstream sport, and more than likely never will be. It cost a hell of a lot of money to train, compete, the money that is spent on supplements, gear, is in the thousands, and to most that is just a yearly exspense. Even if you win every cash meet in the world, and have the best sponsers, you are still not going to come close to breaking even, for your time effort and money spent. Powerlifting makes full grown men act like a bunch of kids, all the arguing, and fighting over different feds, rules, who is drug free and who is not. I mean we cant even agree on how to break parralel in the squat, something a 10 year old child should understand. The average powerlifter if he competes long enough is going to get more injured more than he would in just about any sport know to man. Torn pec's, bad rotater cuffs, back injurys, blown out elbos and knees, you name it it is going to happen sooner or later to the average lifter. Most lifters that compete for 10 years are hooked for life and can never seem to give up on that next big lift, that next big personal record. They still think that they have that next big lift in them up till the day they die. I mean for a sport like powerlifting to have so much controversie, slander, pain, and agony it is pretty damn addictive, and a hell of a lot of fun. For all the bs. it is worth every bit of it. So who realy cares if it ever gets into the olyimpics, or becomes a mainstream sport, where else can a full grown man have so much fun. All the arguing over different feds, drug testing, rules, and gossip, make it all worth while. Because anybody that takes all this arguing serious, or personal is a idiot. The bottom line is pick a fed, set as many personal records, because they are the most important records, lift some weights and give it hell.

Comments

Submitted by Jamey (not verified) on
I'll try to start this off from my heart and not my head. I have only been competing in this sport for 6 years. I started when I was 50 back in 2000-2001. My boss at the time was competing in a full meet and invited me to attend. Bob was 63 at the time. I fell in love with it immediately for several reasons. The biggest reason was for the commaraderie followed by the challenge of moving weights I thought were impossible. Since that time, I have worked a dozen meets - in the weigh-ins, on the scorers table and in the warm-up room as a handler. I have friends all over the world because of it and everyone of them is someone I'd do most anything for. Then there is the training aspect - the shape I am in at 56. Yes, it's been painful and expensive from injury but worth it to me and (to me only most likely). My wife doesn't really get it but sees how I feel about powerlifting and supports me. Those few who get on this board and bash don't bother me. You know who you are and as far as I am concerned - you'll go away when the going gets tough. The ones that will be there until the end - through the good and the bad - those are the real powerlifters and the ones I respect and admire. Lift on my brothers and sisters!! There are mountains to climb Jamey

Submitted by Putt Houston on
Jamey is a prime example of why the sport is so god damn fresh. You can start when you're 50 years old and get as much respect on the platform as someone doing it for 20 years. Putt Houston.... now with more Bom Chicka Wahwahhhhhh

The Putt Houston

Submitted by Randy Houseworth on
Couldn't agree with Jamey more on all the points he made (including the wives). I'm 52 years old and been involved in powerlifting off and on for almost 30 years. 1st meet in '78' last one in 07' and hope to compete on 08' God willing. Most the people I 've met have been first class....some not so much. And for those few I think they'll eventually figure it out. Keep climbing those mountains brother.

Submitted by mastermonster on
No excuses! Just lift it! Well said by everybody! I'm also over 50. I had an early career along with a bobybuilding career; then a looong time out of all of it and now back since 2001 as just a powerlifter. I love it now more than even in the 80's when I was younger and definately healthier! My only disagreement with Willie is on the importance of world records. Yes PRs are important to keep you trying to progress; but the nature of this sport is 'who can lift the most'! Even if you're not even close to a WR, never start thinking that it's not in your capibility! Put it out there as the goal at the end of your ladder and look at PRs as the steps on that ladder to get there. If you get there then raise your ladder higher and set the new standard for other to chase just as Coan, Frank, and others have before. I've set 14 Masters world records since 2004 and I would not have set 1 of them had I put myself in a category of thinking I didn't have the potential to do it. The mind is the stongest "muscle" you have. Don't let it hold you back. If you shoot for the stars and miss you might still land on the moon...if you shoot for the moon and miss; you just missed it all. Lift with confidence, not contentment! Just how I see it. I love this sport! Good thread!

Submitted by D.J. Satterfield (not verified) on
[quote=Anonymous]thousands on supplements and gear?[/quote] What don't you understand? Over a 10-20 year period you will easily spend that kind of money.

Submitted by Anonymous (not verified) on
[quote=D.J. Satterfield][quote=Anonymous]thousands on supplements and gear?[/quote] What don't you understand? Over a 10-20 year period you will easily spend that kind of money. [/quote] over a 20 year period you will spend more than that on beer.

Submitted by Dano (not verified) on
Great thread. As a young man, I was a competitive skier. Now THAT is an expensive sport, and as an adult, I can't come close to affording it. But I can afford a 2nd hand rack and weights. I never thought I'd love something as much as going 70 on a pair of skis, But I've found that I like being under the bar even more. OH! but the years I wasted in between. . . I'd love to have a short devotion at a meet using Psalm 103: 5 " He fills my life with good things. My youth is renewed like the eagle's." It's from this perspective that my wife understands(mostly), appreciates(usually),and supports(usually) my powewrlifting. Take care.

Submitted by rharris on
Great comments by Willie, Jamey, and all. I'm hooked as well. My 49th birthday present a couple of weeks ago turned out to be tears in two of my right quad muscles, but I know I'll be back for that next big PR before you know it..LOL The wife generally just shakes her head along with the occasional "..if you'd have listened to me.." but at least she hasn't tried to outlaw my lifting all together. And if you know me, that's a damn tolerant attitude on her part! Besides, I can't sing or dance, so I gotta keep lifting. Not to mention I have a chiropractor and orthopedic surgeon depending on me to make their next boat payments! Robert Harris Las Vegas, NV

Submitted by Anonymous (not verified) on
I don't know what it is about powerlifting that makes me do it. But at this point in my life I need it more than ever. I've been diagnosed with lupus and have been very sick for the past 4 months. This past August before I got sick I had squated 640Lb raw in the wnpf at 21 years old weighing 242lb. And the only thing on my mind is getting back and stronger so that the next meet I do I can set a new pr, say 660Lb. But its going to be a hard road back, my other numbers aren't bad such as 560lb deadlift and 365lb bench which I would like to surpass. I was just wondering if anybody had some words of advice or examples of people that have overcome this disease and successfully powerlifted again because I could really really use that right about now. By the way my name is Dan.

Submitted by Dean (not verified) on
never give up! The power of the mind can overcome anything if you set your mind to it. I'll even say a few prayers for you because my mother suffers from lupus too. Just continue on with your training and no matter what happens you will still be a champion.

Submitted by Frank C (not verified) on
I don't care if powerlifting ever goes mainstreem. I lift because I love it and I do it for me. I have been competing for over 20 years. This sport allowed me to meet my wife. She is from Finland and is also a powerlifting. The commaradarie in powerlifting is second to none. What other sport can you call up the best of the best just for advise and they eagerly help. Dan, Don't let your condition get you down. The only key to being a winner is to never give up.

Submitted by rip on
Dan a good friend of mine has had lupus for 15 years. As long as he takes his meds. eat's well and rests he is able to lift just as he always has. It will take a bit for the doctors to get you set-up, but once they do and you follow what they say you should be fine. You are young and very strong, hang in there and stay positive. Good luck. By the way my buddy is a rock and the lady's love him!!

Submitted by nick (not verified) on
Just a quick thought. If powerlifting did go main stream, would it be as accesable to the less than great lifters. Would we still have local meets we could enter or would they all be limited to the better lifters in order to keep public interest up.

Submitted by powerhouse reno on
As I posted before this sport is like an affair I can't stop. I have had a pec tendon rapture, and two knee operations, as well as numerous other injuries and still my love for this sport grows. I have been a powerlifter for over 25 years and have met some great people, some of them the best this sport has ever had. I have many friends from all of the country because of powerlifting, and because of powerlifting I now coach over 150 kids at a large local high school. This high school is my old alum. and to think that I am now the strength coach for all those kids is awesome. I love this sport. George George

Submitted by isbell on
I think the answer would be no. Sponsors would control everything. No more local meets and you would have to have a warm up room press pass to speak to a pro lifter. I like it the way it is now except for all of the bickering.

Submitted by isbell on
You either like powerlifting or you dont. My wife even likes it. :) I just think that the public cant relate to somebody lifting heavy weight.

Submitted by strength junkie on
I love powerlifting... im a young guy and i have only been in the sport for a little less then a year... but with every meet that im in... i grow more and more in love with it... i hope when im 50 that i will still be able to compete... the reason i got in the sport was i was a wrestler and i fell short of making it to a collage team so i needed to find a sport that gives me a chance to wrestle somthing like the weights... and thats the mind set that i have when i get next to the bar... and a sport where my dad could yell at me about how to do it lol... as far as all the people that i meet they give me strengh and make me fell strong before i lift even if im lifting aganist them unlike wrestling were if your in the same weight class then you better not talk to the person that your wreslting cause they wont talk back... and plus it gives me the chance to wear a singlet and my old wrestling shoes lol... Dan ill keep you in my prayers keep your head up and you'll be back in no time... and to everyone lets lift for our selves and no one elese... cause if powerlifting does go mainstream then i think that it would never be the same there would be not a lot of friends and it would be like the NFL or the NBA and that would suck... and plus i dont think that the public could understand why we do what we do. hold nothing back...

Submitted by klambert (not verified) on
What an amazing thread! This is why I love this sport! Who else can understand the thrill of PRs...WRs...ARs...getting that "you lift what????!!!" when you tell everyone you are a powerlifter (at least as a girl I do...) There is nothing like this out there! And seeing my mom lift too is an inspiration for me..I know that when I am 50, 60, heck even 70! I can continue to compete in a sport I love... :)

Submitted by Priest (not verified) on
"Powerlifting is something that all us fat guys can do, right Priest?" Yep, I likes to eat. I am a big IHOP fan myself. You too? Your the SPF cat down south? Its a fun sport. I never met an a$$hole at a meet.

Submitted by Roger Ryan on
[quote=Priest]"Powerlifting is something that all us fat guys can do, right Priest?" Yep, I likes to eat. I am a big IHOP fan myself. You too? Your the SPF cat down south? Its a fun sport. I never met an a$$hole at a meet.[/quote] Priest, I'm the 'old fat guy' you barrowed the singlet from in Dubuque. IHOP was the only place I could afford to eat at in Anahiem,lol.

Submitted by damminga (not verified) on
1. because we can and 99.999+% of all the others on the earth can't 2. other than some odd judging from time to time, it's all under your control, no one else's 3. #1 binds us together -- where else can you meet, interact with, and exchange communication with the absolute top performers in the sport, no matter what your expertise level, and they are willing to communicate back We can piss and moan about feds and gear and juice, but in the end, we all understand what's it like to be under the weight, and respect the others that dare to, and can, do it.

Submitted by ast654 on
Powerlifting rules!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Submitted by Frank C (not verified) on
I can contest the Priest loves IHOP. He barely made weight not at 181 but 198. LOL I especially love the awards we get but I only wish they were a little more realistic. I don't want to see some lean guy lifting weight. I want to see a fat piece of shit with his gut hanging over the belt on my trophy. Not that is a realistic powerlifter right Priest.

Submitted by Anonymous (not verified) on
[quote=jon]Willie Williams ponders why, given some of the negatives associated with the sport, powerlifting holds such a strong attraction to those who compete?

Powerlifting is not even a mainstream sport, and more than likely never will be. It cost a hell of a lot of money to train, compete, the money that is spent on supplements, gear, is in the thousands, and to most that is just a yearly exspense. Even if you win every cash meet in the world, and have the best sponsers, you are still not going to come close to breaking even, for your time effort and money spent. Powerlifting makes full grown men act like a bunch of kids, all the arguing, and fighting over different feds, rules, who is drug free and who is not. I mean we cant even agree on how to break parralel in the squat, something a 10 year old child should understand. The average powerlifter if he competes long enough is going to get more injured more than he would in just about any sport know to man. Torn pec's, bad rotater cuffs, back injurys, blown out elbos and knees, you name it it is going to happen sooner or later to the average lifter. Most lifters that compete for 10 years are hooked for life and can never seem to give up on that next big lift, that next big personal record. They still think that they have that next big lift in them up till the day they die. I mean for a sport like powerlifting to have so much controversie, slander, pain, and agony it is pretty damn addictive, and a hell of a lot of fun. For all the bs. it is worth every bit of it. So who realy cares if it ever gets into the olyimpics, or becomes a mainstream sport, where else can a full grown man have so much fun. All the arguing over different feds, drug testing, rules, and gossip, make it all worth while. Because anybody that takes all this arguing serious, or personal is a idiot. The bottom line is pick a fed, set as many personal records, because they are the most important records, lift some weights and give it hell.

[/quote] Powerlifting is the best, for me it keeps me out of the bars (most of the time) and hell if I couldn't release my aggression with lifting heavy-- i would be in a lot of trouble!!! When you have a gym with a great group of lifters--- it is like having a birthday like you did when you where a kid. Every lifting day you get up and are excited for your next PR! KEEP TRAINING HARD AND HAVE FUN.

Submitted by mastermonster on
No excuses! Just lift it! I think this is the best thread I've ever seen on here! And everyone's right! No matter which fed, geared or not, tested or not; we're all brothers with a common bound!

Submitted by rodgersmadmax on
At every meet I put on you will hear me say in the warm up room, we are all here to have fun, and yes that is what I believe we are here to do, have fun since all the money in this sport is OUT GOING, but my true meaning of having fun is, straining our guts out and lifting every pound possible for us to lift and then laughing about it. I see so many people miss a lift and leave the platform cussing, no need for that, just come back and strain even harder next time until you get the lift or bust something trying. I like to see every lifter try 110% on every single lift. To me that is what I do for fun and that's what I enjoy watching. Someone that just walks up to the bar and barely trys is not enjoying the sport to its fullest, and is no fun to watch, sorry but it's not. Lift or bust, at least you can say you give it your best shot. Yes the have watched mastermonster lift several times and he does just that, he gives every lift everything he has and really enjoys doing it, like everyone else that are reaLLY serious about the sport. I also total agree, in the open federations, bring and use the very best equiptment on the market, or you will get beat by someone that did bring it. I lift both ways, Raw and Equiptment and when I come to a meet I bring the very best game I can bring, I come to win, if that wasn't my way of thinking I would just stay home. Cost is not the factor, winning and scoring big numbers is. Now for my own reference since I train dogs for a living too, I aim to come to a meet as a Rotti, not a Yorkie at any cost. Your only choice is to be a stronger Rotti, LOL. Jesse

Submitted by A. Suter (not verified) on
With all the luxuries available to us now, most of the world not often remembers their primal roots like when people had to kill or gather their own food or they don't eat, collect things from nature to make their own shelter, live with one thought - only the strong survive. And it was literal back then. We've advanced so far now that most people are so oblivious of their roots that the mere grunt or gut wail from a powerlifter offends them. Most powerlifters have an awesome grip on their primal need to be strong, have comaraderie with their pack/team, don't hold back and do what their gut says to do when the time comes to "move that iron", etc. It doesn't matter to me how much money I put into/or get out of my love for powerlifting over a year or a lifetime, as long as I can get under the weight and be a part of others too, getting in touch with that primal self (almost animalistic self - like a Rotti ;)) and do what "99.999+%" of the world can't because they're too weak. It's all worth it.

Submitted by mastermonster on
No excuses! Just lift it! Jesse and A. Suter; very well put! That's it exactly! I guess the discussion between me and Female Powerlifter got deleted. I thought we behaved pretty well. Sorry if we offended anybody!

Submitted by Madvig on
For me.. simple.. Its cheaper then therapy I think for others the same can be applied. I think we all have a screw lose somewhere.

Submitted by JoeSmo (not verified) on
I got my butt into a gym for the first time in 1991 at age 36 I did my FIRST PL meet in 1997 at age 42. I'm now 52 and having more fun than ever before. I'd like to think healthier and have more friends than if I had not gone down this path. Yeah, and it being cheaper than therapy - amen.

Submitted by Anonymous (not verified) on
Hey Rip, this is Dan you can call me at 1(609)291-9205. I want to know what your friend knows about this disease. I competed my last meet on Aug 4, 2007. A week later I was at training camp for my college football team (delaware valley), training camp was going great for the first eight days, I was moving up the depth chart playing nose guard. The next day I had a 104 fever for that week. Instead of going to the hospital I tried my best to fight it on my own with Ibprofen, the doctor gave me a antiboitic but I didn't take it due to the fact that I wanted to help my team as soon as possible. So the medicine would have held me out of practice for two extra days. And instead of waiting to get better I came to practice the day after my fever went away. I puked my brains out for the next two weeks but the obligation I felt towards my brothers on the field kept me practicing so that they might be better perpared for their game that saturday. I started feeling a little better for two weeks and started to get my strenght back in the wieght room while playing football. Then the disease took over I was getting worse with every practice but I didn't quit and even managed to train at 7:00am before school, as my strenght continued to diminish and wieght loss continued I would dry heave blood on the drive home from practice, but I didn't quit and played every play like it was my last and every sprint like it was my last even as I struggled to run from the sideline to the huddle. My circulation was bad in my feet that I would have to sit in a hot bath for an hour before practice every day. I was still managing to deadlift every week and squat on sundays which was our one day off during the week. The hardest week of my life was the last week of the season it would take me 15 min to walk to class which would take most people 2 min. But I did not miss a pracitce that week with tempertures of sub 40 degree weather. My last practice I drove home with dry heave that took my breath away. That next Day I was wheel chaired into the emergency room where the doctors thought I was going to die. I was put in isolation due to the fact that my white blood count was non existant. That night I wanted to die because the pain was unbearable. I spent a week in the hospital while in calumdrol which is a powerful steriod that kept me alive. However my blood pressure was 210/114, and my blood sugar was 455 so they gave me insilin 4 times day. I was discharged from the hospital the day before thanksgiveing. That day they put me on prednisone which hurts really bad. I am waiting for medicine that I can't get due to complete bulls***. They took a kidney biopsy which I was supposed to have the results three days later, I am still waiting for these results in order to get the medicine I need in order to get healthy again. But the layover is killing me if you can do anything to help I will be so gratefull. The clock is ticking and I am now on day 11 waiting for my medicine. the doctors are putting this off for another two weeks. I need this medicine and I am willing to do what ever it takes to get this medicine. Its been almost 4 weeks know and 7 ct scans and 70 vails of blood latter I still can't get the medicine I need. Please call Rip, I went back to the gym the sunday after thanksgiving right now that is the only peace that I have in my life even though its painful in everyway possible, Everything is against me right know but I believe that I will get back to where I was and if that means I am 1% stronger each Day that I am in the gym I will take it. But I need this medicine and all I am asking from the doctors is a chance to be strong again I have now been 102 days sick and counting, if anybody can help me as far as recovery or out of experience that would be very apprecative feel free to call at 1(609) 291-9205.

Submitted by Gene Chatman on
What is it about p/l-ing ? Ok, I'm almost 43. I'm 5'8" and sittin' around 245-255 btad(BEFORE tacos and donuts). I'm bigger and way stronger than I ever was in my 20's and 30's. I can lift around and through injuries...try that as a middle to long distance runner ! Also,for me, it's about adding poundage to whatever my lowly total may be. I've never won a meet, been best lifter, but I have been drug tested and got a chance to travel and meet some of the most amazing people that you'd ever want to meet. I'm a Missourian by birth a Texan by choice but...gooooooooooo Tigers ! In what other sport can a fat, bald man be considered a strength athlete ? Kinda oxymoronic...ain't it ? You can be all about your total or you can specialize in one of the three lifts. You can not have competed in years and yet, STILL be considered a powerlifter as long as you train, live the life style and can still talk shit with the best of'em. Like that saying goes...life is not about the destination, it's about the journey. To me, powerlifting is not about the meets. It's about what you do to get there and who you meet along the way. I'm still gonna bust my ass, bust my gut and probably a nut to do whatever I feel I have to, to stay in the sport that I consider the best. I better stop before I shed a tear....j/k. Peace out and lift safe.