I competed in my first benchpress competition today, and it raised a few questions in my mind. It was held at the university where I attend, and there was quite a poor showing of contestants (about 15 overall), so I won my weight class (220+) by default. I got a little trophy that I thought was funny. It’s one of those ubiquitous “muscular man” trophies given away at all bodybuilding competitions, but what I found funny is the fact that he’s wearing a weight belt.
Anyway, on to my question. Why are contestants split up on the basis of their weight? I mean, it seems obvious, at first glance, that a 250 lb lifter and a 150 lb lifter shouldn't be competing against each other, but should a 6'4'' 180 lb lifter be competing against a 5'4'' 180 lb lifter? If you look at it one way, the 6'4'' lifter would have the same body mass to help him (or her) move the weight a greater distance than the shorter lifter. Would something like BMI be a better separating factor for lifters? And do you think (or could anyone supply sources pertaining to this) that the weight one lifts corresponds more to one's BMI than their overall weight (given similar body compositions)? I know this beckons back to "tall" and "short" classes, but I don't know how fair those are either. I'm not suggesting that BMI should be used, I was just wondering if there are better systems than weight classes for separating lifters. I was also looking for clear-cut reasoning for why, exactly, weight is used.
I was also wondering about the prevailing thoughts on sex before (or during) a competition and how it would affect one's performance. Also, for men or women, would masturbation be better or worse than sex in this case? There must be different psychological reactions to both events (sex and masturbation), but perhaps not.