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Posted by on Jun 12, 2013

Powerlifting Absolutes

Powerlifting Absolutes


Is the Pope Catholic?  Absolutely he is!


This is one of the annoying jokes that I use when I get asked a question with an obvious answer (I know it’s lame).  I was involved in Powerlifting at some glory point in time (check out how mediocre I really was).  I was out of Powerlifting for 8 years. I came back by accident while writing a book with my mentor, and I went to the Collegiate Nationals to conduct interviews.  The one fact that I was having a hard time processing was how little the sport has changed during this time period.  Yeah, some of the equipment was new and the Ustream channel is pretty cool, but many things have stayed the same and several absolutes exist.


Once an insider and now an outsider, let me outline 6 absolutes about Powerlifting.


  • What have you done for me lately?  Names and reputations move fast, only a few people last a long time.  If you want to be known in this sport, simply stick around, regardless if you are productive or not (similar to higher education).
  • A concentration of nice people.  It blows me away how helpful and cordial everyone is.  Yes, there are a few jerks, but we stood out, and we were avoided by all the nice people.
  • Winning isn’t everything.  For the most part, meet outcomes are pretty predictable. The majority of lifters know they are not going to win.  Why do they lift anyway?  I have a theory.  On the top side, those who always win are rarely satisfied, because it is not always about winning.
  • Politics are amongst.  Few people hold the keys in this sport.  Fortunately, in current times, most of them are good people!  Through researching a book and learning about the history of Powerlifting, there are plenty examples of “what not to do”, with leadership catastrophes outnumbering lifter memberships.
  • Good news travels slow.  This is the Powerlifting absolute that I am going to challenge.
  • Shortcuts lead to short careers.  Whether it’s not learning proper form, using equipment too early, not learning the rules, or doping, you are going to have a short career.  It’s very simple, lifters who have been successful in the long term don’t take short cuts, and they are methodical long term planners.
  • Everyone has a training philosophy.  I think this is great. No one has it perfected yet, but as a collective body, training philosophies and routines are getting much better.  It’s also not a one key fits all mentality anymore.  Finding which one works for you will be important.


So, there is my current list of absolutes in Powerlifting.  I will keep refining.  Which absolutes am I missing?  Which ones do you agree and disagree with?

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