(I apologize to my regular readers for the rudimentary level of the following post, but this is just driving me crazy and I can’t take it anymore. My hope is that this blog post can just be copied and pasted in the future to those that it applies to.)
Dear Internet Fitness Forum Member,
You are NOT a powerlifter. I see your “powerlifting” flair next to your reddit screenname, I saw you call yourself a “recreational powerlifter” in a thread, I’ve witnessed you talking about your powerlifting routine, and all in all, it seems you are confused.
You are NOT a powerlifter. Until you compete in powerliftING, you are not a powerlifter. You are simply someone lifting weights.
Powerlifter is NOT a prestigious term. All it takes to be a powerlifter is to compete in ONE meet. If you can lift 45lbs in the squat, bench press and deadlift, have a free Saturday, own a singlet and are willing to pay money to register/join a federation, you can be a powerlifter. There are 13 year old powerlifters and 80 year old powerlifters. There are small ones, fat ones, strong ones, weak ones, male, female, etc etc.
Ah yes, the prestigious powerlifter
This is why it’s ludicrous that you decided to brand yourself with this unearned title: it’s not even a title worth stealing. You’ve decided to become a poser over something that over 99% of the population doesn’t even know exists, and have meanwhile robbed the “glory” out of the ridiculously small portion of the population that actually competes. And you’re making them look bad by doing so.
And really, they don't need help looking bad
“But I train like a powerlifter” you say. In having such a mentality, you demonstrate just how little you know about the sport, and thus why you are not suited to call yourself a powerlifter. Despite what the internet will have you believe, people that compete in powerlifting train in a massive variety of ways, some completely opposite of each other. Hell, in my very first powerlifting meet, I was doing DoggCrapp for the 2 months before the contest. Some folks do the name brand programs yes (Sheiko, 5/3/1, RTS, Westside, etc) while others just lift weights, do what their high school football coach tells them to do, cross over from other sports in the off season, etc. There is no universal way that a powerlifter trains, so no, you don’t “train like one”. You train like a guy who read too much on the internet and decided he didn’t want to be labeled a “bodybuilder’.
Wanting to be strong is cool. Wanting to be strong in only 3 lifts is kind of weird, but it’s not the craziest thing in the world. However, wanting that does not make you a powerlifter until you actually step up on the platform and post a for real total. It doesn’t matter how much elitefts gear you buy, how many smolov cycles you run, how much you constantly call out bodybuilders for being weak (which, btw, the real bodybuilders would most likely crush your gym lifts), how you can quote Louie Simmons word for word, how you have a shrine to Ed Coan, etc etc. All this does is make you a powerlifting FAN. When you go to watch a football game at some guy’s house and see that he is wearing a football jersey, knows all the stats of all the players, can throw a tight spiral in the backyard while the burgers cook, owns an autographed helmet, etc, none of this convinces you that this person is a football PLAYER, so why would it be the same for powerlifting?
I mean...dude is wearing a helmet. He's probably legit.
Powerlifting enthusiast, strength advocate, squatter, deadlifter and bencher, use whatever title you want, but use the title you have earned. If you love powerlifting so much, go out and actually compete so you can contribute something to the sport (mainly your money to the federation and your participation to booster the numbers of competitors). If you can’t do that, then clearly you don’t care enough about powerlifting to want to call yourself a powerlifter.
Also, forget all of that anyway and go be a strongman.