144 Things I Love and Hate About Powerlifting

TAGS: lifting gear, powerlifting total, Ken Whetham, training session, powerlifting meet, coach, bench, deadlift, squat, powerlifting, strength training

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When you get involved in lifting and competing, you have a ton of opportunities to visit different gyms, train with a variety of lifters, and attend and compete in a myriad of different federations. There are a lot of things you will learn about how people train, lift and compete.


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If you’re smart, you’ll pick out a lot of the positive experiences and advice that help you progress and use everything else to wipe your butt when you’re out of toilet paper. I call it a love/hate relationship based on experience. Here are a few things I love and hate about powerlifting, training, and competing.

LOVE IT: 

  1. The extreme sport of powerlifting
  2. Pushing yourself beyond physical and mental limits you never thought you could ever reach
  3. Squatting, benching and deadlifting
  4. Ammonia caps
  5. Squatting out of a monolift
  6. Knee wraps so tight they cut the back of your hamstrings when you squat
  7. Lifting heavy
  8. Women who lift heavy
  9. Training in a team environment
  10. Lots of powerlifting gear! (Yes, I have an addiction)
  11. Feeling so much pressure at the bottom of a squat that it feels like your head is going to blow apart
  12. Intensity
  13. Sharp knurling on a bar
  14. Having your own gym
  15. Raw lifting, multi-ply lifting, single-ply lifting
  16. Chalk
  17. Training and competing with my wife, who is stronger than most men I know
  18. Sled drags
  19. Training like a BAMF
  20. Helping coach other lifters to improve and get better
  21. Three white lights
  22. Hitting PR's
  23. Great spotters
  24. Skull tattoos
  25. Reverse Hypers, Glute Ham Raises, and Belt Squats
  26. Being a mentor and role model for my kids
  27. Tsunami lat pulldown bars
  28. Loud metal music during heavy lifts
  29. Good bars and equipment
  30. Having a great handler
  31. Progressing
  32. Box Squats
  33. Training with better lifters
  34. Continuously learning
  35. Team elitefts
  36. Adding more weight
  37. Having an awesome coach (rhymes with Todd Brock)
  38. Unracking your squat and feeling the weight try to crush you into the ground
  39. Metal Gear
  40. The smell of liniment
  41. Social media to keep in touch with fellow lifters
  42. Post training team BBQ’s
  43. Nose Tork
  44. Getting stronger
  45. Eating to grow
  46. Lifters who treat each lift like it’s 1000 pounds
  47. Well organized meets
  48. BCAA’s with extra leucine
  49. Getting mentally cranked up for a lift
  50. Leading by example and inspiring other lifters
  51. Awesome training sessions
  52. Not cutting weight for a meet
  53. “Relentless” and all the lifters who raise money to support children
  54. Metallica concerts
  55. The Arnold Sports Festival
  56. Handling team members at competitions
  57. Meeting new friends through lifting and competing
  58. Great technique during a lift
  59. Helping people hit numbers they never thought possible
  60. Reliable, committed training partners
  61. Women who compete
  62. Rubbing elbows and training with Dave Tate, JL Holdsworth, Joey Smith, Marshall Johnson, Jo Jordan, Clint Darden, Chad Aichs, Steve Goggins, and all my elitefts teammates
  63. Being Canadian
  64. Acupuncture and Percusser treatments
  65. Canvas squat suits
  66. Donating blood (Just gave my 50th donation this month)
  67. Watching my wife compete and lift more weight than most of the guys I work with
  68. Setting a new record
  69. Ephedrine and caffeine pre-workout
  70. Educational seminars
  71. Couples who train together
  72. Living, Learning, Passing On
  73. SWIS Symposiums
  74. Camaraderie
  75. Adrenaline rush after a heavy lift
  76. Setting goals and achieving them
  77. Representing Team Canada at WPC World’s
  78. Treatments from Dr. Ken Kinakin to keep my body tuned up
  79. Having complete strangers approach you because they know you from social media and think you are inspirational

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HATE IT: 

  1. Red lights
  2. Excuses
  3. Meal prep
  4. The words “I can’t”
  5. Working shift work and trying to train optimally
  6. Lack of commitment
  7. Showing up late for training
  8. Not putting your plates away
  9. Receiving a text 20 minutes before training that something’s come up and you can't make it
  10. Cocky, arrogant lifters
  11. Commercial gyms
  12. Getting old!
  13. Cheap, shitty equipment
  14. Different equipment in the warm-up area than on the platform
  15. Gym selfies and people more concerned with taking pictures than training
  16. Inconsistent judging at a meet
  17. Shitty training sessions
  18. People constantly on their phones in the gym
  19. Cutting weight for a meet
  20. Stretching
  21. Lack of confidence
  22. Bad lifting technique
  23. People coaching lifters who don’t seem to know anything about lifting
  24. Shit talkers
  25. Mirrors in the gym
  26. Counting macros
  27. Self-proclaimed internet experts who criticize lifters and competitors
  28. Bombing!
  29. Lifters who are scared to push themselves
  30. Having to piss wearing briefs and canvas
  31. Unorganized powerlifting meets
  32. Unreliable, uncommitted training partners
  33. Raw lifters who hate geared lifting
  34. Geared lifters who hate raw lifting
  35. People who put a half-ass effort into their training
  36. Shitty music during training
  37. Injuries of any kind, acute or chronic
  38. Women who train but “don’t want to get too big”
  39. Overtraining
  40. Critics who think it is “easy” to lift in gear
  41. Lifters who think they’re better than everyone else
  42. People who won’t help unless you pay them
  43. Lifters who are constantly injured yet continue to train the same way
  44. Lifters who compete once and think they can coach
  45. Stinky body odor; it’s hard on the spotters
  46. Seafood; if it crawls on the ocean floor and has a shell, I’ll pass
  47. Intolerance
  48. Lifters who think they know everything
  49. Cardio
  50. Spitting on the floor in the gym
  51. Disrespecting equipment
  52. Politics and politics in sports
  53. Discrimination and racism
  54. Wearing a singlet; even the word “singlet” is offensive
  55. Lifters who don’t take the weight seriously
  56. Dieting and the word “dieting”
  57. Bad breath
  58. Protein powder that doesn’t mix well or taste good
  59. Lifters that show up to train and don’t help load and spot
  60. People on their cell phones during training
  61. Lack of respect for equipment
  62. Coming to train and not being prepared (no wraps, no water, etc.)
  63. People who only contact you when they want something
  64. Watching the news; too many reports of terrorist attacks, politics, innocent people getting killed and groups promoting hatred
  65. Quitters

I’m sure every person reading this could write a list of things they like or dislike about training and competing.  Some would be the same, some kind of similar, or you might have your own twisted, x-rated version of loving to lift in your extra small spandex, sandals, and bathrobe immediately after watching Silence of the Lambs…which is totally cool by me.

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