We’ve all been there. Whether it be in front of our families, while lying in bed with a significant other or while sipping on a few cold drafts with a new acquaintance at a bar, we’ve all encountered the question; “Why do you powerlift?” Dave Tate addressed this very question in his article “Could this be it?” But after attending a seminar in Nazareth, Pennsylvania I think I finally found my reason why.

During the seminar, Bob Youngs asked John Bott, Mike Miller, Bill Crawford and I all to come up with reasons of why we lift weights and do what we do. I have to admit that I was a bit caught off guard. This is rare and I was able to put together a fairly reasonable answer. But after that weekend which was full of numerous PR’s, tremendous camaraderie, great stories, excessive food intake and a few beers I know why.

The funny thing is that you know why, too.

I don’t have to sit here at my computer giving you reasons for the hours of time I’ve spent on the phone with customers talking about such things as why I like 4 board presses better than rack lockouts.

Or why Dave and I sit around and pass ideas around for hours; most of which end up being absolute trash.

Or why Bob Youngs calls every single day and we talk about everything and anything.

Or why I’ve got a can of super adhesive glue made for white water rafting sitting in my kitchen in an attempt to alter my squat suit.

Or why the bench shirt has given me (and everyone else) more stress than a rogue collection agency.

Or why I spend thousands of dollars every year in an attempt to total “X” amount of weight with no plans on making the money back.

No one ever asks a collegiate, professional or an Olympic athlete this question. It is assumed that either money, fame, “love of the game”, or pride in one’s country all play a role in these athletes’ motivation. This is assumed and it is accepted.

There is a growing trend in powerlifting to unify all organizations with an attempt to mainstream the sport. There is talk of putting powerlifting in the Olympics. I’ve even heard of rumors of getting rid of the powerlifting equipment because “normal” people don’t understand why some can’t get 600lbs of bar weight to their chest when bench pressing.

I don’t understand.

I’m not in this sport to make money. I’m not in the weight room in the early morning so that normal people will accept me. I’m not concerned with those that say a bench shirt is cheating. I don’t care where you lift or what your rules say. I don’t care if you don’t like the IPA and the supposedly bad judging. I certainly don’t care who squatted what weight in what gear and in what federation.

I care about strength.

It’s that simple and for some, it’s too confusing.

They want me to visit the online forums and rant and rage because someone says that Westside is all about gimmicks and drugs. They want to trap me into an argument about some random training philosophy that may or may not contradict Louie Simmons’ latest article. They want me to make an effort so that the “Average Joe” will be able to understand my drive and my dedication.

Nothing frustrates them more than silence and success.

During the Nazareth seminar, I had the opportunity to meet Mike Miller and help spot him during a 1000lbs. box squat. There wasn’t a single person in that room that needed to ask Mike Miller “why would you want to do that?” Everyone in that weight room new why. So when Bob Youngs asked me that question, I think that my answer didn’t really matter. Everyone knew.

So the next time someone asks you that tired, boring question, respond with the one word, “Strength”. If they don’t understand, don’t waste your breath.