It's Not A World Record (And Other Things That Piss Me Off)

TAGS: stupid things, gear lifting, 35-pound plate, spring collars, world record, raw lifting, powerlifting


Having entered my 40th year on this great planet where we live, I have seen a wide variety of training information, products, and techniques. Most of the time I ignore what I don’t agree with, but considering I am three weeks out from my meet and I have been a grumpy bastard the last few weeks, I am going to write about them. I hope that maybe a few of you will change your ways, but I can generally assume this will most likely end up the same as arguing politics on Facebook: just pissing people off and not changing any real opinions.

Spring Collars

I hope we can all agree that the spring collars you get with the 300-pound weight sets are crap. Nearly every gym in America has them, yet most of them slide on and off without holding the weight into place. Why are they still being made and sold if they are crap? The manufacturers have to know they loosen up faster than a sorority girl after two Jägerbombs. In the past, I have tried to rig two or three per side so that I could get enough tension and keep the plates where they were supposed to be. You would think that in the normal supply and demand cycle that there would be no demand for any more of these clips. Somehow the manufacturers have found the magic solution to selling something that doesn’t work and everyone hates.

The 35-Pound Plate

This is where this article idea started. I watch a few people search for the 35-pound plate when they could have saved five minutes by using a 25 and a 10. Why are people still using 35s? I give a pass to high school kids or total noobs who just graduated from 25s to 35s. If you are using one plate or more on the bar, do you really need to use them?

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We all know that the 35 on the outside is not the same. Just stop! Use a 25 and a 10. It is easier to load, switch between training partners, and it weighs the same. There is a reason we have a chip, nickel, dime, quarter and plate. There is no other name for the 35 because it is dumb. Put them on a sled and leave them there. If you want it to look like you are lifting more weight, get stronger and add a plate.


Comparing Geared and Raw Lifting

Comparing raw and geared lifting is like comparing Nascar, drag racing, and Formula One. All are racing, involve cars and going fast, but they are not the same. It is just different. They require different skills. I see some raw lifters ask, “Why don’t you want to just lift the weight yourself?” I lifted raw from middle school through college, and when I started powerlifting there was one division and you competed to lift as much as you could within those rules. I evolved and grew in the sport as the gear evolved. A strong lifter is going to be strong in or out of gear. Just don't try to make the comparison.

Now, I can say this because I lift in gear, but it’s kind of silly. I also know the skill and strength you need to maximize that gear. It is different and can’t be understood unless you have worn tight gear. If it were that easy to get hundreds of pounds out of gear, everyone would do it. But it is not easy. It can be dangerous but I enjoy it, so that is what I choose to do. So pretty please with a cherry on top, stop trying to compare the two. They are just different.

World Records

Before we talk about world records, we should define powerlifting. Powerlifting is a dick-measuring contest. I get it — everyone wants to win, lift the most weight, and be compared to people similar to themselves, and I get that. But in powerlifting, there are only two world records for each weight class: one raw and one in gear. Only one person can have the highest weight ever lifted in that weight class. There are federation and age class records but that is not THE world record. If it is not the most weight lifted in that weight class EVER, it is not the world record. This doesn’t discredit your hard work or dedication, but unless it is better than everyone else in the world, ever, it is not a world record. I am not going to classify it as a master's world record, all-time world record, etc. The world record is just that: the record of the world. You do not have the world record unless it is the highest of all time.

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I am going to call it quits right there. I was going to talk about people arguing over Facebook, benches without adjustable J-Hooks, and a few other things, but I figure it's best to leave those alone. Even though the world would be a better place if you all straightened up, I will pass, because I am giving myself a headache. In all reality, I don’t expect anyone to change. If you want to use the 35-pound plates, go right ahead, as long as you put them back in the right spot. If you want to say you have a world record, feel free, because I know the truth. And as for spring clips...well, you go ahead and keep them at your gym because I want nothing to do with them.


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