Powerlifting Meet – Part 3

Was pretty proud of Madcow.  He had to lift in the 2nd flight which was mostly women and geezers.  And he totalled 1000, which is lowly for a 181 pounder, but 6 months ago his total was like 600.  He worked hard and made good linear progression and didn’t do anything stupid like forget to enter the meet.  He went 8/9, and on his last deadlift, he had to do a PR of 430 to make his goal total.  I gave him some placebo/magic feather coaching tips, slapped him on the back and sent him out there and he got it done.  His wife and parents were watching and they were pretty excited for him. He’s like 25, 6′ and 175, so he has a lot of room to improve and should bump at least to the 198s very soon.


I expected some sort of dramatic confrontation with Porter and I expect many of my readers did too.  The truth is that he was quite bearable to be around.  He did not give me a single word of advice, and focused on his actual lifters – Emilio, his wife Nancy, Betsy the Bodypump lady, several high schoolers and himself.  Three quick Porter stories which all served to further endear me to him:

1. I was telling him about the high schoolers who I yell at.  Turns out they showed up during the meet while I was home and Porter yelled at them for doing box jumps in the free weight area.  Before you get outraged, Celica, they were doing them from a bigger box to a smaller box and two or three of them were doing them at the same time.

2. I was telling him about Wolverine.  Despite Porter’s awareness of imaginary Russian lifters, it astounded me that he did not know that W had totalled 1515 in this exact meet last year.  Porter came up to me during the bench press and said that W was going to bench 400.  I said that was unlikely since he’d opened with 315 and bench is his weakest lift.  This seemed to puzzle Porter, but he agreed with me.  I now suspect that all his other stories were more “confused old man” stories than “psyching you out to be an asshole” stories as well.

3. After Porter made his second bench, the announcer lady (Jimmy’s wife) announced loudly “A New World Record”  When Porter made his way back to where I was sitting I said “Nice, man, another world record.”  (50% trying to be nice, 40% genuine, 10% sarcastic) Porter just said “Bah. It’s just cause I’m old.”


There were no fourth attempts allowed.  While I feel this screwed Wolverine and the other legit world-class athletes at the meet (no one), I was very thankful for this policy when I heard “A New World Record” being announced every third lift.


Bench – Jimmy the meet director said during the rules brief, “I’ll lift off to anybody.  I’ll lift off to all eighty of you.  I don’t mind.”  The thing is, he was telling the truth.  He lifted off to me last year.  He’s only like 5’4 and IIRC has like a 630 multi-ply bench at 198 or something.  I know this is a little friendless/unprofessional, like having to dance with the instructor.  But not only does he give a good lift-off, he always reminds the lifter to wait for all the bench commands.

I was pretty in the zone.  325 was like a speed bench and 350 was easy too.  Smoked 370 and probably had 375, even 380 in me.

As a side note, beat one of Porter’s elite bench crew.  One of the guys who would train at our gym once a month and use the power rack to bench in.  He only lifted raw, and did 335, then missed 370 for a world record twice.  However, this was a dubious victory as the guy is 19 and lifts at 165.  I’ll take what I can get.


This is how all my victories are.  If you total 1400 at 198, my Wilks is better and you suck.  If you total 1375 at 165, then you aren’t as strong as me.  Imagine the cognitive dissonance if Wolverine had lifted without knee wraps. 


Coming soon: Deadlifting, my new training program (pretty much same as old one), a few last meet observations (funny, i promise), and an exclusive interview with Wolverine, the man with the 1615 total at 181.  (not really an interview – I asked him how he trained and stared at him while he warmed up.)

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13 thoughts on “Powerlifting Meet – Part 3

  1. “This is how all my victories are.”

    That’s why we keep coming back to this blog. It’s not just about what happened, it’s about Coach’s interpretation of what happened.

      • I assume this is about his last couple PL articles? It feels like he basically was doing the follow ups to get people more butthurt. Which is fine, since that’s kind of his thing anyway. I agree that there should be amateur feds for the sucky folks, and less feds in general. I don’t really know much about how it all works, but that kind of seems like common sense.

        • I read the one about how modern raw lifters suck compared to guys from the 70s and it’s a bunch of nonsense. Every raw PL record from the 70s, even if you go the length to differentiate between wrapless and beltless and meatless and whatever, has been not only beaten, but blown out of the water. His rambling is all over the place and the comparisons he makes are largely meaningless.

          Not to mention that raw lifters in the 70s benefited from superior-quality guce (was not strictly illegal at the time and made in actual labs), used gear before it was considered gear (multiple tight denim shirts, sheets wrapped around midsection, tennis balls hidden in wraps behind knees, etc.) and were usually judged by their training partners in contest.

          He makes a good point about the Mickey Mouse nature of the multiple feds and the shady guys who run them, but that’s basically common sense. If everyone lifted in the IPF (and affiliated national feds), most of these problems would disappear.

          • Very true but then he goes on the bitch about IPF and affiliates not being fun and full of stupid rules(drug testing), and how nobody strong lifts in them. Moral of the story, if everyone lifted in the IPF then we would not have 90% of these “world records” and that would hurt everyones feelings including Jaime’s.

          • I’m skimming through that historical rankings chart that he talks about and there actually are quite a few that still haven’t been beaten yet. But plenty that have. Maybe about 50/50 I guess, and it seems like there are more totals that have stood unbeaten than anything else. There really doesn’t seem to be a huge difference in between the top numbers then vs now. BUT that is a good point about the better roids and using gear without technically using gear. I remember reading about that stuff and didn’t think about it until now.

            Also here’s the file http://www.powerliftingwatch.com/files/Rankings-RAW-03-03-13.pdf

          • “Moral of the story, if everyone lifted in the IPF then we would not have 90% of these “world records””

            That’s basically the gist of it.

            IPF/USAPL raw records are relatively low because none of the really strong guys lift raw. But if you got all the best raw lifters to compete in the IPF, the standard would increase in a few years, even with tighter gucing control and strict judging.

            “there actually are quite a few that still haven’t been beaten yet.”

            According to that list, most raw records were set in the 70s. But if you include 2013 and 2014, only three are still standing. So in two years four have been beaten.

            Also consider that in the 1970s there was no geared lifting for all the strongest lifters to migrate to. As soon as gear was introduced, everyone started lifting geared. Today raw is at best a marginal aspect of PL, split among non-competitive feds, but records are still being broken. I imagine that they would have been broken years ago if the world’s best lifters competed raw.

          • ” I imagine that they would have been broken years ago if the world’s best lifters competed raw.”

            Right, that makes sense. I’ve pretty much only looked at raw lifting so I didn’t realize geared lifting was that much more prevalent.

  2. I guess an analogy to this debate would be free throw shooting in college basketball. My dad always decries the lack of “fundamentals”. And conventional wisdom would be that there’s a lot of inner city (black) players who only play offense and mostly dunk. No respect for the game. No fundamentals! But if I make the claim that free throw shooting is worse than in the seventies, I can’t rely on opinion and conventional wisdom.
    Because: http://kenpom.com/blog/index.php/weblog/entry/this_was_the_best_year_in_history_for_free_throw_shooting

    • A quick look at the distribution of raw PL records:

      70s – PL becomes a sport – proliferation of records
      80s and 90s – geared lifting takes off, all best lifters lift geared – few records
      2000s – very few records
      2010 and beyond – raw PL revival – 50% of raw records broken in only 4 years.

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