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
    Senior Member UncleAl's Avatar
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    Deadlift "Controlled Descent" Rule

    At a recent meet, a few of us were redlighted because we "put the bar down too hard". These were not near drops. In all cases, the lifter rode the bar all the way to the floor with both hands wrapped around the bar. I have never seen the control rule applied in this manner, and it knocked me for a loop (to put it mildly).

    I realize you can't make a call without being there, but based on my statements, do you feel the rule was applied correctly?
    Last edited by UncleAl; 10-14-2012 at 07:13 AM.
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  3. #2
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    That sounds extreme. What fed? I have seen some lifters fall with the bar and still get whites.
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  4. #3
    Moderator Brian Hopper's Avatar
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    I agree with Scott, that seems pretty crazy. The ones that were red lighted, did they drop it at one point during the descent?
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  5. #4
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    Seems crazy to me. I dunno about other people, but my form gives out on the descent with max lifts, so I never "control" it when I drop it (I keep my hands wrapped around it, but drop it still).
    Last edited by Falcon63; 10-14-2012 at 10:21 AM.

  6. #5
    Powerlifter/Strongman J L S's Avatar
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    how ridiculous are some of these rules getting, the only place I could see something like that being enforced is an IPF worlds or something and even then its a stretch. You've completed the lift! as long as you keep your hands on/around that sucker on the way down untill it touches the floor I cant see how you can be red lighted!

    sounds like some crazy judging.
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  7. #6
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    I've only seen it happen once where a lifter held onto the bar the whole time and had the lift taken away for that. There's been several times I've seen a judge verbally warn a lifter about it. I think that's a more appropriate approach.
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  8. #7
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    That seems really weird.
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  9. #8
    Senior Member UncleAl's Avatar
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    Phew! I'd shot my mouth off to the meet director and fired off an email to the fed president, then thought to myself, "Holy shit! What if I'm wrong?"

    Thanks, guys.
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  10. #9
    Moderator Brian Hopper's Avatar
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    What fed was it?
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  11. #10
    Super Moderator vdizenzo's Avatar
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    I was there and I was pretty shocked. Hands were always on the bar. I have never seen the rule enforced that way.

    By the way Al, it was great to meet you. You lifted well sir.


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  12. #11
    Senior Member ehubbard's Avatar
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    I've gotten warned before for lowering the bar too fast / hard, but never red lighted.

  13. #12
    Senior Member UncleAl's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Brian Hopper View Post
    What fed was it?
    APA. I would not blame the fed though, Brian. This was a smallish meet (21 lifters), and the director may have seized the opportunity to give rookie judges some experience. Of course, that's little consolation when you're on the receiving end of what you feel is a bad call, but it's not like I'm perfect. As I implied, I told the meet director I thought the red lights were unfair and asked Scott Taylor if that's how he wants the rule interpreted. Hopefully, they will follow up.
    Last edited by UncleAl; 10-15-2012 at 08:43 AM.
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  14. #13
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    I've seen warnings given out because the meet was on the 2nd floor of a building or on a stage. Though I'm not familiar with all the feds, it's pretty universal that unless you either skip the down command or lose control of the bar on the descent, it should be a good lift.

    BTW straight from the APA rulebook - cause for disqualification on DL
    a) Downward movement of the bar during the uplifting
    b) Failure to stand erect with shoulders held in an erect position at the completion of lift
    c) Failure to lock knees at completion of the lift
    d) Stepping backward or forward during the performance of the lift
    e) Lowering the bar before receiving center referee's signal
    f) Supporting the bar on the things during the lift in a manner that the lifter can obtain leverage (hitching)
    g) Returning the bar to the platform without maintaining control with both hands

    I think the judges are reading part g) wrong. Control is meant as full grasp and there is no measure or indicator in the rule as to what level of "control" would merit a red light.
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  15. #14
    Senior Member UncleAl's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by vdizenzo View Post
    I was there and I was pretty shocked. Hands were always on the bar. I have never seen the rule enforced that way.

    By the way Al, it was great to meet you. You lifted well sir.
    I really needed to hear that, Vin. Thank you so much for the verification.

    It was honor to share the platform with you. You are one strong mo fo.
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  16. #15
    Senior Member 44pirate's Avatar
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    Did all 3 judges redlight the lifts? If not which one.
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  17. #16
    Senior Member UncleAl's Avatar
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    B&T - Thanks for doing the research & analysis. I checked the rules as soon as I got home and came to the same conclusion.

    Pirate - Thought I'd smoked it, so didn't look until I heard "no lift". By then, the lights were off.
    Last edited by UncleAl; 10-15-2012 at 01:31 PM.
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  18. #17
    Senior Member Judas's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by BloodandThunder View Post
    I've seen warnings given out because the meet was on the 2nd floor of a building or on a stage.
    That is not the fault ov the lifter. It is up to the meet director to ensure the venue is up to snuff. If a free-falling 500lb deadlift is a risk to the floor, then what happens with a dropped 700lb squat? Shit happens. The lifter should not be penalized... any more than they otherwise would be because the meet is not properly set up.

    Beyond that, i've seen countless drops (with hands still on the bar) at IPF National and World events. My girlfriend makes it a point to actually slam the bar down, and though she was actually reprimanded for that last Nationals, its the first time its ever happened. Hands must be on the bar, and bar must be controlled. What more do they need?

    Sounds like some heavy-handed reffing to me.

  19. #18
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    This happened to my flight of lifters at a 2009 meet in Vegas. Very frustrating. In my case, the judges in question were European.

  20. #19
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    Definitely sounds a bit extreme. Here's one of my favorite responses to such judging.

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  21. #20
    Senior Member UncleAl's Avatar
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    Thanks for all the good feedback, my friends. Unfortunately, it is what it is. Time for me to move on.

    Note: To be fair, I did advise the meet director, who emailed me a defense of the judges' decision this afternoon (basically, hands on the bar does not = control) of this thread to give him an opportunity to respond.
    Last edited by UncleAl; 10-16-2012 at 01:43 PM.
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  22. #21
    Dr. Subtotal
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    Quote Originally Posted by Judas View Post
    That is not the fault ov the lifter. It is up to the meet director to ensure the venue is up to snuff. If a free-falling 500lb deadlift is a risk to the floor, then what happens with a dropped 700lb squat? Shit happens. The lifter should not be penalized... any more than they otherwise would be because the meet is not properly set up.

    Beyond that, i've seen countless drops (with hands still on the bar) at IPF National and World events. My girlfriend makes it a point to actually slam the bar down, and though she was actually reprimanded for that last Nationals, its the first time its ever happened. Hands must be on the bar, and bar must be controlled. What more do they need?

    Sounds like some heavy-handed reffing to me.
    I agree, it was more of a "hey, I'm just awaring everyone that we're on the 2nd floor, let's just try to get out of here without destroying the floor" kind of thing.

    Although, one venue I lifted at no longer accepts powerlifting meets after Brian Siders practically broke the floor with a 850 lb DL.
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  23. #22
    illinois fattest lifter theBarzeen's Avatar
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    Sounds like a load of bull..... As long as your hands stay on the bar you're good in any normal meet.
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  24. #23
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    Betting it was a NASA meet. I have seen a number of lifters get red lighted for letting the bar down to fast though no rules were broken. I actually saw a lifter at one point do what greg did in the video above and he was admonished for it.

  25. #24
    Moderator Brian Hopper's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by hamstring View Post
    Betting it was a NASA meet. I have seen a number of lifters get red lighted for letting the bar down to fast though no rules were broken. I actually saw a lifter at one point do what greg did in the video above and he was admonished for it.
    It was an APA meet.
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  26. #25
    Senior Member UncleAl's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Brian Hopper View Post
    It was an APA meet.
    There's a lesson learned here that I think you can appreciate, Brian. For the past five years, most of my meets have been with Raw United and the APF meets run by Orlando Barbell, because as you and everyone else knows Spero and Brian are among the best meet directors out there. Everytime I lift with a group that has not been recommended, there's some kind of problem that detracts from or ruins the experience. I picked this meet because the venue was near where I'm visiting family in CT, and I didn't think I'd make it back home in time for Brian's fall meet. It turns out I will...but they met the max lifter cap last week!

    Coulda, woulda, shoulda....

    Okay, gonna let it go this time for sure. Honest. No, really.
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