LISTEN: Table Talk Podcast Clip — Does Anyone's Bench Press Impress JM Blakley?

TAGS: JM Blakley, table talk, powerlifting, bench press

COACH columnist

Would your favorite lifter be the greatest regardless of gear, era, or federation? Why do we see raw records surpassing the geared records of yesteryear?

JM Blakley and Dave Tate discuss both the factors that go into improving strength in the powerlifters we see today and the extent that training methods and equipment have played in molding the sport. They both kick back against what is typically said and discuss the underlooked traits that really elevate a powerlifter from good to the greatest.

This debate is of no interest to JM, as he finds it to have little value. When you try to compare powerlifters of different eras it’s only based in your own mind and won’t change the old or current records.

“You can imagine who is faster, The Flash or Superman, and we could go on and on about comparing that but I don’t think that gets us anywhere.”

Each era inherits something from the last and relies on the foundation of the past. The only thing that changes amongst the top lifters is what was learned and passed on to them. JM won’t compare himself to today’s lifters and makes it clear that he doesn’t care when they lifted, “They’re lucky I’m not 35 now I’d be beating them now, no matter what the lift is!”

Dave and JM don’t try to feed you anything about how great their era was but do reinforce the fact that the mentality and effort separate great lifters from the rest, no matter the era. Dave believes that you could pull the greatest from any year and they’d still hold the keys to success.

“I think the rankings would be the same regardless. If you take the guys that were ranked the top ten in ‘95 they would be the same guys ranked top ten today, you take the same guys that are ranked top ten today, put them back in ‘95 they would be the same guys ranked in the top ten. They get to the position they get to because of work, because of ethic, what they believe, who they know.”

The only way to prove you are a cut above the rest is to make it to the top and stay there longer than everyone else.

Text by Mason Nowak

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