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Are You a Weightlifter or Powerlifter If You Haven’t Competed?
Dave Tate posed the question on Facebook, “Are you a powerlifter if you haven’t competed?” This is an age-old question posed many times by many people. I thought about it all night, and that made me want to write out my true thoughts on the subject.
I have decided to share my thoughts on the subject as in pertains to the two sports that I love weightlifting and powerlifting. Are you a weightlifter if you haven’t competed? Are you a powerlifter if you haven’t competed? The answer is no in my opinion.
Before you think that I am an elitist butthole, let me explain my thoughts. If you squat, bench, and deadlift, then you are using powerlifting movements to get stronger and more muscular, and that’s cool. However, if you haven’t played football but love to kick around the ball, are you a football player? If you play pick up on the playground, are you a basketball player? However, there is nothing wrong with enjoying a sport, and more power to you.
It’s just that weightlifters and powerlifters know that competing is a whole different animal. Stepping on the platform in front of those hard nosed judges with the crowd staring down at you and then performing is an experience that only a competitor has felt. However there is so much more to the competition.
We are all different, so I am going to tell the story from my own perspective. It all begins the week of the meet. My senses are heightened. My mind is crowded with visions of the lifts. I go over each of them again and again. I see the judges. I can hear the crowd. I can smell the air mixed with Icy Hot and Ammonia.
Normally there is some weight to cut. I have my plan, so I drink the water and cut the sodium. It’s all a part of the process, and I love every bit of the process. That process is part of the victory that I am anticipating.
The real fun starts the moment I arrive at the venue. I see my old friends. I see my competitors. I am sizing them up, and they are doing the same to me. The competition has begun in my opinion. Lord knows when we enter the training hall; the competition is in full swing. I want to handle weights that other people think are heavy, and I want to handle them like twigs.
Now we are all in the warm up room, and now the shenanigans begin. I will be laughing and making jokes like there isn’t a meet going on. I like to freak out my competitors by how relaxed I am. It’s all a façade. I am just as nervous as they are, but they will never know. I am there to win, and winning starts way before the competition.
Now it’s time to walk out for the opening lift. There is nothing more nerve wrecking than the opening snatch in weightlifting, and the opening squat in powerlifting. No matter how many times you go over it in your head, there is still that bit of concern lingering in your brain.
Your name is called. You are on deck. The bar is loaded, and now it’s time to perform. Will you fold from all the stress, or will you use all the nervous energy to your advantage? You will never know until you compete. You can only talk about it.
If you have never been through this experience, you will have a hard time relating to someone who has. When you are on that platform, all eyes are on you. No one can help you but you. How will you respond? What about in a World Championship? I know because I have been there and done that. I am a powerlifter and a weightlifter.
I respect all of you hard-nosed men and women banging it out in your garages. You guys lift weights and train hard, but if you want to be a powerlifter, you will need to compete. If you want to be a weightlifter, you will need to compete. At least that is my opinion.
At the end of the day, you can call yourself whatever you want, and more power to you. However if you want competitors like me to look at you as a weightlifter or powerlifter, you will need to compete. Then we will be able to talk all about it.
You can get in your first meet at the Mash Barbell Picnic September 17th and 18th at my family farm. You can compete in weightlifting on Saturday and powerlifting on Sunday. Do one or the other or both, but mainly we are going to have fun. Check it out below: