T Nation

6'2, 180's Powerlifter?


#1

I'm fairly new to weightlifting. I'm comfortable at 6'2", 186# and about 8% body fat. But I want to be strong. If I stay around my current weight, or drop down to around 181#, can I lift the kind of weight to be a competitive powerlifter? Or does my height require me to gain more muscle mass to be competitive? In other words: How does muscular strength relate to height?


#2

You're going to need to gain app. 60-100 pounds if you plan on being any good. If you want to powerlfit now, that's fine, but you won't be as successful.


#3

thats so false.......there are plenty of people that are wirey but ridiculously strong.....the bulgarian lifter chakarov comes to mind


#4

Don't they have weight classes?

I imagine 6' 180 # would be at a disadvantage compared to 5'6" 180# for squats and bench but maybe not for deadlifts.


#5

I'm in the same boat, I was competing at 165 at 6' ish for a while but I decided I just didn't have enough muscle mass even though I could comfortably maintain 165 forever.

No, you don't have to have more mass, but you would do better to have more mass to contract and a wiry guy just doesn't have that.

I still know guys that are 148 at like 5'8 that deadlift 600+. But there are freaks everywhere.


#6

You sure must look skinny, which is great if that is what you are going for. there are great lifters who are thin and wirey. You always must remember that you lift for yourself, and against yourself, so this goes off the normal response about body composition, I want to bring up another point because this one affects me.

I am 5'11", go from 180- 235, but compete at 198 because I am the strongest in relation to my body type and that I mean that at 198, I bench over 2xbdwt and squat and DL over 3xbdwt on both lifts, I cant achieve that as a 181 or 220, so I have tried and know.

The major dilema is that I feel like a skinny geek when I am under 200lbs, People dont think that I am a good powerlifter, Guys dont treat me like when Im 230, GIRLS dont like me as much as the bigger version, so I just dont like being small but I am the best for powerlifting.

You have to find a weight that is best, try going up and see how it feels, see what your weights are, and accurately map out what weight makes you the best.
I hope that this helps.


#7

These people are exceptional exactly because they are so rare. Yes there are some tiny ridiculously strong people. But the vast majority of strong people are large.

Eat up.


#8

Just start competing and have fun.

If you like it, and want to make it a priority in yourlife, then you probably will need to gain some weight.

Ideally, you will gain weight, anyway. Especially if you bring a focus to the big three and are eating enough and not overtraining.


#9

It depends mainly on genetics whether you could be that light and be very successful. I would suggest playing with your weight to find the area which you have the greatest weight to strength ratio.


#10

You will not get very strong at your current level of development, cutting to 181 would be rediculous.


#11

In my opinion powerlifting isn't about winning. It's about setting PR's. At 180 and being 6'2 the best guys in your weight class will probably be 6-8 inches smaller than you but so what get out on the platform and do it for yourself.


#12

Couldn't agree more. Start training for powerlifting (if you haven't already) and get out on the platform and compete. If you eat as you should, and don't consciously try to stay at 181 (which you shouldn't) you won't be at that weight for long.


#13

hmm...

wasn't Ivan about 5'10 and competed at 198 lbs? he typically walked around at about 205-210 lbs but cut weight to make weigh-ins...

personally I would say Ivan was lean and muscular not 'wirey'...certainly he was thicker than a 6'2 180 lbs guy...

people that are wirey but rediculously strong are few and far in between...

and what is 'rediculously strong'?

of all the guys that have deadlifted 900 lbs (which is rediculously strong) or more in competition not one of them would be considered 'wirey'...


#14

"Not all jacked guys are strong but all strong guys are jacked!" ---Jim Wendler

There are exceptions to this rule but they are few and far between. Most of the guys in the 275 class are 5'10"! What does this say?


#15

No. You have to gain weight to get stronger.


#16

And another thing for everyone saying powerlifting is for one's self. Well, the guy is asking what is necessary to be "competitive". Recently on EFS Q&A board, some 5'8"er asked JW what is a good weight to compete at. JW stated 250 lbs!

I am 5'10" and I am aiming for 240 gradually, over a period of time, say about two years. I am 210 and made a jump from 190 very quickly, with much of it being muscle. This 20 pound gain has definitely taken a toll on my calves, ankles, and feet. So I am going to do this gradually.


#17

right now you sound like you are better suited to rock climbing than powerlifting.

i am 6'2" @ 260 and still look like a beanpole compared to the 275's i lft against. the last meet i was in i had 6 inches in height on the next guy and he outweighed me by 15 pounds.

Dave Tate has commented a few times on the fact that if you are 6' plus you will have to be at least 275 to be competitive at all. After all, "you can't flex bone."


#18

The point you guys seem to be missing is that he is not even a powerlifter yet, because he has never done a meet.

Based on some of your responses, this guy could walk away coming to the conclusion that he needs to gain 100#'s before entering a competition because he won't be "competitive".

Before somebody quotes Dave Tate again (yawn), or provides some lame ass statistics, those of you who actually compete, ask yourself how many people have you met over the years that asked you the same question? What did you say to them?

If you told them they suck and need to lift more before they can compete you are a complete and total dumbass, don't know the difference from a gym lift and one achieved at a meet, and are part of the reason this sport is not growing like it should be.

If you wait to compete until you are deemed "competitive," then you have lost already.

Quit worrying about how much you need to weigh to be "competitive."
You aren't competive until you start to compete.

Enter a meet, dude. If you don't bomb, welcome to the ranks, and take it from there.


#19

No one said he should not compete. Actually he should start competing and gain weight over the course of his competitive career! I also do not think we quote Dave Tate or Jim Wendler to jock them. Personally, I just use them as reliable references as there are things they have recommended that do not sit well with me and I am pretty sure they would not want me blindly following every word they say verbatim.


#20

Yeah- I know how you feel. I'm 6'4 and I lift in the 242s. True, the best lifters that are my height- are almost all over 300 lbs. That said, I doubt I will ever lift in anything other than 242 or 275. Here's why-

First- I have weighed about the same for two years and my lifts are still going up. This is the most important reason.

Second- it takes a lot of eating to stay at my weight. Ask anyone that knows me. Three and four sandwich lunches, quarts and quarts of milk- I put down around 5000 calories a day and 200-300 grams a day of protein just maintaining. I love lifting and I love eating but I would need to make a serious commitment to eating/lifting to go heavier.

Third- I'm 31 years old. I don't have a care in the world about heart disease, diabetes, etc. But in 10 or 15 years, this becomes an issue. I feel that I have better chance at live a long, healthy life- while still being pretty damn strong- in the the under 300 lb club.