The Five Biggest Contradictions in Fitness
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The Five Biggest Contradictions in Fitness

It’s no secret that when people contradict themselves, it has the effect of making the flaws in their actions or statements seem glaringly obvious. But what about when WE ourselves get caught contradicting ourselves by someone else?

By: Nick Tumminello Added: January 6th, 2014
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  1. #1
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    Trouble By My Return To Powerlifting

    After a long, long absence (almost 15 years) from powerlifting competition I had motivation for entering as a master lifter. That motivation was the possibility of breaking an American record, albeit a minor one in the scheme of things. I have never strayed far from training basic movements so it was only really a matter of peaking and I do pretty darn good for myself at my late 40's stage of life. Anyway, I entered this meet and accomplished what I wanted to do and had planned to go after another record I barely missed out on.

    But something changed. Someone gave me recent issues of the powerlifiting magazine and I read through them. What a trainwreck the sport has become. Not the pure sport itself but the organizations, the catapult suits, the apparent anything goes attitude. Every other page has 'the best lifter of all time' kind of claims. Guys are 'doing' lifts unheard of a few years ago. Of course, they aren't doing them, the suits are doing a great deal of the lifting for them.

    Having been away for some time I remember in our gym some guys would show us a bit of disrespect for wearing bench shirts and suits once in a while. Keep in mind they were nothing like todays suits but as I look back, I have to admit that it was something less than on the level. If I bench 300 pounds and my shirt assists me in benching 320 ( or maybe 400-450 in todays environment) do I bench 300 pounds? Of course I do. MY bench is still the same, the shirt is nothing different than having a couple of guys on each end helping me up with a weight I can't do by myself. Those guys I thought were jealous hacks were right, I was wrong. And the suit assist science was only beginning. Now, like most things that inflate egos, it has gotten way out of hand and I suspect it will only get worse.

    Now I do like the raw lifting and only wish I had been brave enough to insist on lifting raw (and giving up some trophies and titles) back in the day. But everybody else was doing it and my ego didn't want me to lift on the level.

    I love the raw sport, but the organizational aspects of powerlifiting is a complete turnoff as are the out of hand claims and phony lifting going on. Someone says they bench 600-700 lbs, ok, what does that mean? Does it mean you bench a respectable 450 and you shelled out enough money for a catapult suit? But you still bench 450. Who knows? Its all blurred. Where do you compare to the giants of the past? Are you better than Ted Arcidi, Jim Williams, or Doug Young because you bench 'more' than they did? In truth, you couldn't carry their jocks. One look from one of these true masters and most of these so called 700lb benchers would cower like a little girl. Ok, maybe that's a little rough but I wanted to make a point.

    Most of you might say 'who needs you'. So don't compete, get out of the sport'. I am tempted. To come back and find PL in the state it's in has been very troubling. But this isn't powerlifitng it cyber powerlifting. Its a fantasy.

    My only hope is that one day all these 'records' are wiped out and forgotten and suits of all kinds are eliminated from the sport. I think that is the only way it will be saved and become legitimate to the outside world. Right now it appears to be spiraling out of control with no end in sight.

    I would kind of like to hear the thoughts of people who have been in the sport for some time as well as those who have started in the last 5-10 years.

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  3. #2
    Administrator chris mason's Avatar
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    You're an idiot. I might even know who you really are.

    If you compete on a level playing field, i.e. everyone is wearing the same equipment then the individual with the combination of the most brute strength, the best anatomy (bodily proportions to take advantage of the equipment), and the most skill with the equipment wins. It's a COMPETITION.

    There is also raw powerlifting and said records so your lamenting about the records is really a bit ridiculous.

    In any event, your attitude is ridiculous and I don't want you here so I am banning you.


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  4. #3
    JERSEY IRON Brian C's Avatar
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    Bravo Chris!
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  5. #4
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    Quote Originally Posted by chris mason View Post
    You're an idiot. I might even know who you really are.

    If you compete on a level playing field, i.e. everyone is wearing the same equipment then the individual with the combination of the most brute strength, the best anatomy (bodily proportions to take advantage of the equipment), and the most skill with the equipment wins. It's a COMPETITION.

    There is also raw powerlifting and said records so your lamenting about the records is really a bit ridiculous.

    In any event, your attitude is ridiculous and I don't want you here so I am banning you.
    I agree. Just another moron bitching and moaning to bitch and moan. Compete in the division you WANT to compete in with the equipment you WANT to compete with and let the other lifters do the same. If there is anything to bitch about in powerlifting over the last 15 years, it's the loss of mutual respect among lifters, real or morons like the guy above that is perpetuated by the internet.
    Finally ELITE @ SHW..

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  6. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by Brian C View Post
    Bravo Chris!
    Same here Chris!
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  7. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by JK1 View Post
    I agree. Just another moron bitching and moaning to bitch and moan. Compete in the division you WANT to compete in with the equipment you WANT to compete with and let the other lifters do the same. If there is anything to bitch about in powerlifting over the last 15 years, it's the loss of mutual respect among lifters, real or morons like the guy above that is perpetuated by the internet.
    I totally agree with this post here.

    From my perspective:

    I started competing in gear, but now I compete in a belt and wraps. So to the OP I've gone from one end of the spectrum to another. I'm having a lot of fun doing it, and I could give a shit less if people in the gear out total me by a shitload. In this sport, unless someone is chasing the ALL TIME world record in something, I think the most important aspect is to have fun and enjoy the sport. I know enough in the sport to know that if you are benching 700+ in a shirt, you are strong...PERIOD. How strong raw? Who fucking cares. If they compete as a geared lifter, then it doesn't matter what their RAW bench is

    You want to know what I think is ruining the sport? The fucking internet. Granted its a lot easier to meet/network with people nowadays, but guess what...now everyone is a fucking judge and expert. "This wasn't deep enough, that wasn't locked out...blah blah blah". Main reason I joined this forum was there isn't the trash and nonsense like there is on the other forums. No "rawist purist" talk, and everyone is genuinely supportive of each other.

    And I'll tell you something, about the big lifters in the older days...if they had the gear available to them that we have now, I bet MOST would use it. So saying xyz lift done back in the 70's is better because they didn't have the gear of today...well....its one era compared to another.

    If you don't want to compete in the sport, well don't. Quite frankly, I think the sport could do better w/o an attitude like you have towards it. As far as the sport being "legitimate"....I perfer the sport the way it is. So many sports become "bastardized" once its all about the $$, the publicity, etc. With the exception of a FEW $$ meets there is NO $$ in the sport. There is no publicity outside of the powerlifting/strength training circle. I compete in this sport because I love testing myself. I love seeing myself progress and do better. When I had training partners, I loved watching THEM compete and do better also. I'd say most on here would agree, after a few years (or even less)...you don't compete to get some trophy. I have plenty sitting collecting dust in my basement.

    In a nutshell....stop bitching and start lifting, or don't.
    Last edited by byronsru24; 04-17-2011 at 11:01 AM.

  8. #7
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    I have tried a shirt, and my bench didn't go up, I flat out couldn't even use it. Yes it changes things, it requires a bit different technique and preparation as well. Something one day I would like to master. Like people have said, you compare double ply to doubly, raw to raw. I have never considered them cheater suits. If someone is making a claim that his 400 lbs shirted makes him stronger than his buddy cause his buddy can only bench 380 raw, then you can give him crap for it. But these are competitions, with legitimate results, I don't go comparing myself to others that I haven't competed against, especially when comparing apples to oranges.

    Nice job on the ban btw, yes it was an opinion, but expressed in an outrageous tone, and without any regard for anyone else currently in the sport.

  9. #8
    Moderator joey54's Avatar
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    This is my favorite site because we don't have this sort of thing on here. Not that he needs my approval in any fashion, as I just try to help out here on his site, but the way Chris handled this was certainly appropriate. Thanks.
    Last edited by joey54; 04-17-2011 at 05:45 PM.


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  10. #9
    illinois fattest lifter theBarzeen's Avatar
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    Banned? But it seemed like he was going to contribute so much.......




    there needs to be a universally agreed upon sarcasm font.
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  11. #10
    Administrator chris mason's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by theBarzeen View Post
    Banned? But it seemed like he was going to contribute so much.......




    there needs to be a universally agreed upon sarcasm font.
    Lol!


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  12. #11
    Fear The Beard. Hobo Beard's Avatar
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    Only until recently, I had the same perspective as the OP.

    I would think, "How dare guys say they bench (insert weight) and not mention it's in a shirt," and the alike.

    Then I realized the use of equipment would normally surface in conversation--be it with a powerlifter or civilian--and it didn't really matter.

    I can say for myself, the legitimacy in response I get when people ask me about powerlifting and I tell them I'm lifetime natural and lift raw (belt only) is all I need.

    Other guys obviously have their own views and feelings.

    The need to seek external validation--as the OP was--is really just a sign of insecurity.

    My standard is: Strive to be the best lifter you can, no matter if your enhanced or not, or lift raw or equipped.

    I've only recently started to ACTUALLY enjoy powerlifting because of my new perspective and the fact I'm having fun and no longer seeking validation from others.
    Last edited by Hobo Beard; 04-17-2011 at 10:09 PM.
    My monkey arms will not stop me from benching 500#!

  13. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by Hobo Beard View Post
    Only until recently, I had the same perspective as the OP.

    I would think, "How dare guys say they bench (insert weight) and not mention it's in a shirt," and the alike.

    Then I realized the use of equipment would normally surface in conversation--be it with a powerlifter or civilian--and it didn't really matter.

    I can say for myself, the legitimacy in response I get when people ask me about powerlifting and I tell them I'm lifetime natural and lift raw (belt only) is all I need.

    Other guys obviously have their own views and feelings.

    The need to seek external validation--as the OP was--is really just a sign of insecurity.

    My standard is: Strive to be the best lifter you can, no matter if your enhanced or not, or lift raw or equipped.

    I've only recently started to ACTUALLY enjoy powerlifting because of my new perspective and the fact I'm having fun and no longer seeking validation from others.
    good response. I feel the same, however I have started using gear as well. I think it depends on personal goals and what and how a person is willing to do to achieve those goals.
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  14. #13
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    I think you have to have an unreal amount of raw strength to do the lifts the top multiply guys do. Just look at their training logs. The amount of weights they floor press, box squats, even their warm ups are crazy! Eventully I will make the jump to mulitply. I trained raw for years, then I moved to a blast shirt and a zsuit. Then eventually into Titan single ply stuff. Equipment is not magic. You cant throw it on and all of a sudden you are strong! OK......im done with my rant!

  15. #14
    Fear The Beard. Hobo Beard's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by shocker4221 View Post
    good response. I feel the same, however I have started using gear as well. I think it depends on personal goals and what and how a person is willing to do to achieve those goals.
    Thanks, brother.

    Exactly.

    I kick myself now for all the years I didn't compete because I was obsessed with what other guys may or may not be taking.

    I really hurt myself more than anyone else with my self-defeating attitude.
    My monkey arms will not stop me from benching 500#!

  16. #15
    Wannabebig Member tuna4me's Avatar
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    Gear

    I personally sleep in my gear... I eat in it. and often I bathe in it ( much to the delight of those within 50 yds of me in the gym)..............because me and my gear... we NEED to get to know each other... ALOT better!......and yea.. I'm loving it!!

  17. #16
    Hulk Smash! LouPac's Avatar
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    It must take a miserable and and meaningless person to diminish the achievements of others.

  18. #17
    Fear The Beard. Hobo Beard's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by LouPac View Post
    It must take a miserable and and meaningless person to diminish the achievements of others.
    I'll agree with miserable 100%.

    Although my work outside the gym has always served a great cause, when I used to tear down others' achievements I was a very unhappy person.
    My monkey arms will not stop me from benching 500#!

  19. #18
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    Quote Originally Posted by LouPac View Post
    It must take a miserable and and meaningless person to diminish the achievements of others.
    I don't agree with the OP's rant, but there are two sides of this statement. It's a fact that some federations are passing lifts that clearly shouldn't be white-lighted. When someone takes away a squat record that has stood the test of time, because a really high squat got passed... well it takes quite a bit of achievement away from the original lifter.

    As for the OP's obvious disdain for equipment, why the hell would you not just shutup and go compete raw? It's not like the only choice is to compete equipped, so why the complaint? I have no desire to wear equipment, but I can see the appeal of it, it definitely adds more 'skill' to the sport, rather than just brute strength.
    Last edited by Joweeee; 04-22-2011 at 05:19 AM.

  20. #19
    Senior Member Magilla's Avatar
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    Hobo Beard hit the nail on the head. Raw vs. Geared, who cares. Like anything else, there are "extremists" on both sides ready to cut each other down. Just do your thing and good things will happen.
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  21. #20
    Bad Attitude Gym AdamBAG's Avatar
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    Quit being a whiner.

    There are so many federations out that that you can find exactly the combination of gear/raw or tested/non-tested that you want.

    Congratulations on being an excuse maker instead of a competitor.
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  22. #21
    Moderator joey54's Avatar
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    Develop a set of criteria for your lifts you feel is adequate and lift to those standards each time. If you are close to an all time world record, maybe these gripes would bear some weight, But you notice lifters of that caliber don't give two shits about this stuff.
    Last edited by joey54; 04-22-2011 at 08:40 AM.


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  23. #22
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    Quote Originally Posted by joey54 View Post
    Develop a set of criteria for your lifts you feel is adequate and lift to those standards each time.
    That is exactly what I do.. and what I do with the people who train with me.
    Finally ELITE @ SHW..

    Single ply: 931 squat, 760 bench, 530 deadlift and 2180 total
    Multi ply: 960 squat, 770 bench, 550 deadlift and 2250 total.

    The next stop: PRO total.

    HOO's Gym: building the strongest gym in the South, one plate at a time.

  24. #23
    Senior Member SELK's Avatar
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    I think with the increased popularity of raw lifting (crossfit adapting it etc) many geared lifters think that their sport is dying off, while this may be true in many parts of the world, its not like multiply lifting is going anywhere. WIth the increased interest in raw lifting the sport is bringing in all sorts of new people to powerlifting meets who in the past would not have competed at all. I think its best to embrace all types of lifting and let the sport grow. I competed raw when I first started lifting and lift equipped now, both have their merits.

    I heard an opinion on outlaws the other day which was interesting, it was that lifters put to much emphasis into all time records rather then winning big meets. I think there is something to be said for the guy who wins raw unity, or the pro am, or ipf worlds, any of those is a huge accomplishment that few lifters will be able to achieve. What is great about this too is that the judging, equipment etc is in all going to be pretty much the same.. Kind of an interesting way to look at it, I think it makes sense.
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  25. #24
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    I guess I'm mildly geared lifter..I wear belt/kneewraps for squats and wristwraps and a Slingshot for heavy bench days cuz my shoulders hurt too much without it...in fact I couldn't bench heavy without that damn rubberband! too much pain!

    either way I love seeing humans move massive weight..I could care less if they use "supplements" or wear catapult suits...I just wanna see huge lifting

  26. #25
    Senior Member SELK's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by MikeWilliams View Post
    either way I love seeing humans move massive weight..I could care less if they use "supplements" or wear catapult suits...I just wanna see huge lifting
    I share most of your view, but im also fine with monkey, elephant and giraffe lifters. Im sick and tired of hearing how deadlift monkeys are all leverage and no strength.



    edit - actually, fuck giraffes.
    Last edited by SELK; 04-23-2011 at 06:06 PM.
    960/530/749 @ 242
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