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View Full Version : Do want Powerlifting to be a mainstream sport or an underground sport?



NASAKYCHAIRMAN
07-17-2009, 09:31 AM
I would love to see powerlifting become a mainstream sport. There will be more recognition, more sponsorship, more money, increase chance to get in the Olympics and be back on tv again.

IRBS
07-17-2009, 09:47 AM
Underground. As soon as it becomes popular and commercialized it will be in the tank. You think it's political now, just wait until big money gets into it. The only thing I would like to see is a shrinking of the number of Federations.....but everyone wants a first place trophy, so whatever.

I'm not in this for the recognition, more sponsorship, more money, or increasing the chance to get in the Olympics and be back on tv again....I just want to be strong.

Sean S
07-17-2009, 10:26 AM
I really don't care either way. I do it for the personal challenge and because I enjoy it, so I don't care if I ever get more recognition.
As long as I have some options for meets that aren't too far away from me I'm fine.

BigCorey75
07-17-2009, 10:53 AM
it would be kool so see a few more shows and meets on TV, that would be pretty kool imo

MarcusWild
07-17-2009, 10:57 AM
I have mixed feelings. It'd be nice if the top guys could make a living from it. However, if that happened then we wouldn't have access to their advice like we do now. I doubt LeBron James is on basketball message boards giving out free advice to beginners. That is one of the coolest parts of powerlifting. So there are pros and cons.

Right now, I think the best way to make a living from powerlifting is by owning a gym. It's hard to do with just powerlifters though. You need to crossover into training athletes, etc.

barbell01
07-17-2009, 11:04 AM
iwill continue to powerlift and what ever happens happens

Lones Green
07-17-2009, 11:23 AM
Its hard for the public to understand what goes into it. Some will say, "Wow he just squatted 1000 lbs" and some will say "He was wearing cheater gear, I could do that"

I don't really care. I'm content lifting and getting stronger.

danmac
07-17-2009, 01:11 PM
I would love for it to be more mainstream so that I atleast don't have to explain what the sport is every time i mention it.

NASAKYCHAIRMAN
07-17-2009, 01:14 PM
I would love for it to be more mainstream so that I atleast don't have to explain what the sport is every time i mention it.
I like the way you think:thumbup: It's not fun trying to explain raw, single ply, double ply, different feds, rules, drug testing, no drug testing, different national & world titles,etc.

Sidior
07-17-2009, 01:15 PM
I would rather see equipped powerlifting become an extreme sport and make it into the X games or something. As mentioned no one outside the community will ever understand equipped lifting.

I can possibly see raw lifting making into the Olympics though.

danmac
07-17-2009, 01:24 PM
I like the way you think:thumbup: It's not fun trying to explain raw, single ply, double ply, different feds, rules, drug testing, no drug testing, different national & world titles,etc.

Haha oh yeah, half the time i just leave that stuff out. I have a hard enough time getting the concept through to people, and explaining what a deadlift is.

Maybe ill become a raw, bench only, lifter, in a tested federation, that doesnt require pausing. That way i won't have to explain anything!

Big Jay
07-17-2009, 02:38 PM
It'd be nice if the top guys could make a living from it. However, if that happened then we wouldn't have access to their advice like we do now. I doubt LeBron James is on basketball message boards giving out free advice to beginners. That is one of the coolest parts of powerlifting.
This. Also if they did give any advice, it'd be completely biased towards companies that could pay them the most... like muscletech.

gymbo
07-17-2009, 02:40 PM
The old strongman shows on TV use to inspire me to lift. I would love to see more of that.

Lifting weights is awesome but about as exciting as golf on TV. Now lifting cars and pulling loaded dump trucks down the road.... I would watch that.

I wanna see a power lifter sumo wrestle a F350 :thumbup:

Tim K
07-17-2009, 03:02 PM
Powerlifting becoming mainstream... that would be cool. There are a lot of obstacles to overcome though. As gymbo mentioned, we would have to make it more interesting for people to watch. Olympic lifting has been around a long time but not many people watch or understand it. Even during the Olympics it was relegated to a poor time slot and barely covered.

On the other hand, we have a few very interesting characters in powerlifting. We do not lack for personality in our sport and that is a good thing. If Powerlifting is to go mainstream, it'll probably have to take a few lessons from Strongman. Hmmm... is Strongman really considered mainstream yet?

BigTallOx
07-17-2009, 03:07 PM
I think gymbo's right. Powerlifting probably will never be a mainstream sport because most people wouldn't find it all that enjoyable to watch on TV. I don't see powerlifting being part of the olympics either because there's already weightlifting in the olympics and the average person wouldn't understand why the difference is significant ( i.e. roller skating isn't part of the olympics because ice skating already is ). Like gymbo said, strongman is different, people enjoy watching it so it has more of a chance to become mainstream.

Sensei
07-17-2009, 03:34 PM
It's been a few years, and I don't remember exactly when and where Jason Burnell wrote this, but here's his take on bringing money to the sport of powerlifting - funny stuff:

If powerlifters want to see the top "athletes" get paid and over the years I've heard a whole lot of APFers praise the PRO CONCEPT, then you have to face facts.

Fact 1) - the money has to come from somewhere. Right now, if Kidder dropped dead from a high blood pressure - possibly induced by that tiny ass jacket - the money for the WPO would stop and aside from the CUP there would be no constant $$$ flowing into the Pro Concept... unless you count the handfull of bench bashes etc.


Fact 2) - Money for anything with weights comes from supplement companies - fitness, bodybuilding etc. and if we want to see powerliftiers getting paid then we need to jump on that "selling a dream" bandwagon ....unless someone can tell me of the other multi-million dollar industry willing to pay people money to lift weights.


Fact 3) - Fat and bald is no way to go through life. Add in a few tattoos and some flames and skulls and you've got what "normal" people call an image problem.

Fact 4) - Miss 70% of your lifts in front of crowds and you just look stupid - on top of fat, bald tatooed etc.

Fact 5) - NOBODY buys fatburners or even weight gainer to look like anyone that is a SHWt powerlifter. I think I touched on this when I mentioned that Twinlabs isn't selling Fat****erFuel.

Fact 6) - The world is full of 160 lb men who desperately want to get stronger and dream of weighing a massive 198 lbs. Those are the guys buying supplements and not a one of them wants to look like.... well anyone who is taking offense at this post.

Fact 7) - Backne. Bloated. Balding. The three B's are a no-no. ACtually, Bald is still in but you actually have to have features to your face. If you look like a red eyed casaba melon chances are they're not laughing with you, they're laughing at you.

Fact 8) - This is still America and sexy, blonde, white, in shape people can sell anything. Also, mentioning that something has been "used in Europe for years" helps but I digress.

Kennelly would sell. Yoked - square jaw, benches a lot.

Mendelson could sell. Same as above except bigger and looks sort of like Shrek (I mean that in a good way) but gets a dispensation for benching a whole lot.

Wade Hooper could sell. _A whole generation of short, small guys would sell their kidneys to be built like or lift like Hoop and if DwarfyFuel promises to do it, they'll buy it.

Goggins could sell. Ok... Goggins is a colored feller but yolked up brothers everywhere would buy man-in-a-can after watching Goggins pull.

Coan could sell. He couldn't sell tanning lotion but just short guys everywhere want to be 242 and lift like him.

Conyers. See Goggins but add in short.

Becca. I saw here in person once and I wanted to be as big as she is. Then she outlifted me. Now I hate her. LOL

Kara Bohegian. A drowning man would buy water if it came with Kara's DVD.

Sensei
07-17-2009, 03:37 PM
btw, in the 70s, there was quite a bit of coverage on ABC's Wide World of Sports. Kaz, Arnello, etc. were on some of those shows.

I think that a key to making a sport popular would be to get greater buy-in at grassroots levels, not necessarily coverage of the elite. But, the state of physical education in this country is so absolutely pathetic that I don't see an large-scale implementation of PL in the curriculum...

MarcusWild
07-17-2009, 05:27 PM
I think gymbo's right. Powerlifting probably will never be a mainstream sport because most people wouldn't find it all that enjoyable to watch on TV. I don't see powerlifting being part of the olympics either because there's already weightlifting in the olympics and the average person wouldn't understand why the difference is significant ( i.e. roller skating isn't part of the olympics because ice skating already is ). Like gymbo said, strongman is different, people enjoy watching it so it has more of a chance to become mainstream.

The TV thing isn't true. When the mountaineer cup was on ESPN, it got pretty good ratings. They ended up airing it more times than originally planned. Look at all the stupid crap that gets on ESPN now that they have a bunch of networks: darts, rock/paper/scissors, etc.

TV is the key to powerlifting going mainstream. Meets long with a lot of downtime. I don't see it packing huge crowds of paying customers. Edit it down to a reasonable length on TV and you could have a winner. They don't show every poker hand on TV. Powerlifting would be the same way.

BigTallOx
07-17-2009, 07:08 PM
Look at all the stupid crap that gets on ESPN now that they have a bunch of networks: darts, rock/paper/scissors, etc.


Cool, ESPN shows darts! I love throwing darts ( seriously ), and I'm pretty good at it too, probably better at darts than powerlifting, long arms are good for throwing darts.



TV is the key to powerlifting going mainstream. Meets long with a lot of downtime. I don't see it packing huge crowds of paying customers. Edit it down to a reasonable length on TV and you could have a winner. They don't show every poker hand on TV. Powerlifting would be the same way.

I agree with all of that, but I'm still not sure that the general public would really think it's all that interesting for very long.

MarcusWild
07-17-2009, 08:04 PM
Well, I don think we'd have a NFL size following. I don't get why it can't have a following on TV though. Just look at the sports stuff on TV.

Illinimeats
07-17-2009, 08:49 PM
Ox I love throwing darts too, as well as playing pool and riding my Harley-Davidson. Plus I love powerlifting, I don't know if I have qualified to call myself a powerlifter, but I love the sport. It would be great to see it on the Olympics, and possibly mainstream as long as it doesn't get as messy as bodybuilding. ESPN has done a great job with the World's Strongest Man and I'm curious how they would do with powerlifting. Remember Phil Pfister was on "Are you Smarter than a Fifth Grader"; JT are you....smarter than a fifth grader???

SELK
07-18-2009, 12:44 AM
If you have ever trained in a commercial gym, that is the people you would need to attract, there are not enough lifters out there to support powerlifting being mainstream. I don't think ive ever gotten a positive comment about powerlifting while training in a commercial gym. Nobody knows the difference between 400lbs and 500lbs.

I really don't think it will ever go mainstream. I love powerlifting, but it sure isn't a spectator sport. Mind you, when i first saw poker on TV I said the same thing, but poker, like strongman, where just fads on TV and both are gone for the most part.

bluelew
07-18-2009, 11:36 AM
With all the goofy stuff on espn and in the olympics I could see powerlifting making it in both realms. The equipment would have to go for the olympics as it would be tough explaining why olympic lifts are done w/o the need for equipment but powerlifters can't. I believe if time was spent covering the training and lifestyles of some of the top PLs that people would tune in big time. Half of the stuff you see on tv with regard to olympics is personal biography/training/interview type stuff. A show that cut back and forth between biography/training/interview type stuff and actual competition would do well I believe. Heck, people watch shows on how motorcycles are built so why not human bodys for crazy lifting. Mainstream no- but who cares.

MarcusWild
07-18-2009, 02:17 PM
Amateur softball USA vs. Canada is on ESPN right now... I'm not talking about one of the lower ESPN channels but the MAIN ESPN.

SELK
07-18-2009, 02:53 PM
Thats alot easier to put on tv then a 10 hour powerlifting contest though.

thinking about it more, maybe something like the mountaineer cup would work for TV. imo this is what would need to happen.
- 5-6 guys competing
- gear doesn't matter, but i think multiply would do better. how many people out there "knows someone who benches 500lbs". Just call it support gear.
- lots of lifter bios that have training footage and lifestyle sections.
- a good host who knows what they are talking about

ratings wise i think it would do alot better if a single weight class was used such as 250-280lbs or similar. as much as powerlifters respect big shw lifters, i am not so sure the general public would. i could be wrong about this last point.

MarcusWild
07-18-2009, 04:33 PM
Yeah, it'd had to be edited to 1-2 hours long. They don't show every person doing every event on strongman. They don show everyhand in poker. You'd have say 12 lifters in a flight but only the top 6 are shown. Then you show the top 3-4 benches. Then you show 2-3 deadlifters depending how close it is. Plus you can edit out the loading the bar time.

Cricket_Fire
07-19-2009, 03:34 PM
- lots of lifter bios that have training footage and lifestyle sections
I've been saying this for a while - even just a 1 hour show of the biggest squats/benches would suck.. unless I know the people I'm not even a big fan of watching meet video.

However say they were showing someone like Travis or Jay Fry hitting a huge bench. If it started with a little bio (like they do with fighters - nationality, age, weight, height, gym they train out of, etc), and then showed some training footage, that would make it MASSIVELY more interesting.

As cool as seeing someone hit an 800lb bench is, if you watch a series of big benches all in a row, eventually the 700's look like the 800's look like the 900's etc.. there's no variety, and people can't really understand the difference between 700 and 900. However, if after the 700 bench they showed a little 5 minute clip of someone in the gym and went went through a quick training session (showing what they're doing and very briefly touching on why they're doing it) the program would appeal a lot more to the average gym-goer.

Another setup for t.v. could be documentary style - every week, have a 30 minute show that follows 1 or 2 powerlifters through their meet prep - it could should diet, training, get a little into the mental aspect, cutting weight, maybe cause a little drama ;) etc. Sort of like a UFC All Access with powerlifting. Go from a raw bench only guy, to someone training for their first meet, to a SHW record holder, to a 165 trying desperatly to cut down before the meet. Then at the end show select footage of the meet, along with all of that lifter's attempts and a few of the big lifts done that day.

p.s. if I see that last idea on t.v. in the next few months - I EXPECT ROYALTIES ;) :D

Cricket_Fire
07-19-2009, 03:36 PM
Also look for my Ultimate Fighter-style Strongman reality show :D

The Professor
07-20-2009, 05:22 PM
:cool: Ya'll are close with your analysis'. You have to remember there are 2 different types of powerlifting in our world. One is the USAPL/IPF the other is the Multiply Federation of choice. They both won't have the same following but can be somewhat mainstream in their on way.

The USAPL/IPF is taylor made for the Olympics, single ply and drug tested no loud music. They are perfect for each other. They may have to make some rule changes on gear, they may not. However, that is the group(s) that have the best chance for that venue.

The Multiply Fed is taylor made and pefect for the X-Games. That is where it belongs. The two go hand in hand. Multiply, Non-steriod tested and loud music, what more do you need?

One group gets their glory and medals and the other gets their glory and medals. It would take some work but that is how both groups can get what they want.

The IPF already has things in place for the Olympics. Each country would just have add it to their Olympic trails every 4 years.

For the X-Games you have to find a Fed or a person with the connection and pull needed. A Pro Fed may have to be created and legitimate rules would have to be adopted and followed. Qualifing meets would have to take place through out the year with the finals at the 4 day X-Games event each year.

Those are my thoughts on the matter.