T Nation

How Powerlifters Ruin Everything

An article I figured i’d pass by to the good people on this forum… i hope this ignorance amuses you…



Powerlifters are unintentionally the cause of certain undesirable (bad) things.

Because of powerlifters:

  1. People who are new to the gym copy their routines. The result is a confusion of their original goal of looking and feeling better with a nebulous and confused desire to become stronger.

For some reason the dominant male in the gym tends to set the pace for other people. Don’t ask me why this is, it just is. People just assume that what he is doing is “correct.” If the dominant male happens to be, incidentally, a powerlifter, then everyone suffers.

Powerlifters care about strength.
Bodybuilders care about muscle development.
Because of this, each train DIFFERENTLY.
Different training leads to different physique changes.
Strength for bodybuilders is a side effect of training for muscle growth.

Look up pictures of the best powerlifters. What do they look like?
Barrel-chested and pudgy? Pear-shaped?
Do they look like they even exercise?
I would provide images/links but I’m not trying to be mean.

Powerlifters did not set out with a goal to look that way, that’s only a consequence (a side effect) of their quest to lift very heavy weights (numbers).
There are no pure powerlifters who look like bodybuilders. None. Zero.

How to tell if you lift like a powerlifter (which does not necessarily mean that you’re going about it correctly, just lifting according to what you “see”):

If you try to lift weights that are too heavy for yourself, but sure look impressive (to you), you might be a powerlifter. A tell-tale sign is that you bounce the weight off your chest during bench press.

If the weight is so heavy that you MUST rest 3, 4, 5+ minutes to recuperate your strength to do another set, then you might be a powerlifter.

If you do every exercise just like this, you are definitely a powerlifter. Expect to look differently; just not the way you had hoped before you “learned” how to lift.

  1. People who are new to the gym sometimes copy powerlifters who wear belts as a fashion accesory–all the time–even during upper body exercises. This is like “protecting” the core from doing its job, and so the core becomes underdeveloped. Two benefits of squats are improved strength and condition of the core, and sinewy development of the lower back. These two benefits are deleted if one wears a belt all the time. Why not wear pretty colored belts instead of the drab leather or wear a matching purse too?

  2. People mistakenly believe that the squat movement ends exactly when the knees hit 90 degrees. Powerlifters do this to maximize the amount of weight that can be lifted. Going past 90 degrees does not cause injury. Bad, improper lifting form during squats cause injury; especially if the lifter is attempting too much weight for himself. link Powerlifting squats are different than bodybuilding squats, and cheat the quadriceps from full development.

Ideally, the quadriceps should be stretched at one end of the movement, which requires going past 90 degrees. Think about the biceps curl–at one end (the top) of the movement, the triceps are fully stretched while the biceps are fully contracted. Oppositely, at the end of the triceps extension, the biceps are fully stretched. You wouldn’t cut your curls short, would you? So why cut your squats short? Use a Smith machine sometimes or all the time.

  1. People who are new to the gym tend to think that forced reps with a spotter is the way to lift weights.

  2. Powerlifters’ favorite question: “Uh…Whaddya Bench?”

Just because one can lift a certain amount of weight; just because one is able to lift it, does not mean that lifting like that all the time will lead to good benefits.

Man, someone should show that ass a picture of Dave Tate recently… no powerlifters look like bodybuilders? Really?

Sure, the average man would never want to look like a power lifter. Why, they are all pear shaped fatties!


Wow, I was about to rip you a new asshole, this being your first post and all, until I realized that these were not your words.

There are so many ignorant statements in that article that it’s tough to know where to start. I’m actually amazed that someone could be this uninformed about something and still write about it.

  1. I don’t know of any true powerlifters that employ the bounce it off your chest method. And yes you do need to rest that long if you are training to break PRs.

2)Most PL’ers don’t even look at a belt until they approach 85-90% of a max lift, which coincidentally is about 300% heavier than the average gym goer ever attempts.

3)Most PL’ers incorporate a huge variety of squats into their routine, not just a squat to 90. Front squats, box squats, ATG, bands, chains, zercher’s, buffalo bars…

4)Forced reps can be a training method, but don’t think for a second that it is the only way PL’ers train.

5)Most PL’ers don’t care what you bench, because there is a 100% chance that everyone at the gym in benching, and lying about what they bench. They are much more likely to ask what do you squat or what do you deadlift. Then they can hear the myriad of “I can’t squat/deadlift because of my knees or because of my back, or because I’m too tired after Leg Press…”

Wow what an idiot. It’s funny he said that powerlifter’s ask “how much you bench?” I only hear that from lightbuls who work their beach muscles. Ass

Picture always help right?

These are all competitive PL-ers.

Precilla Ribic (sp?)

Nicloe and Mark Rippetoe


Kate Baird


Cheryl Anderson

??? didn’t get her name. But she’s wicked faaaaaat.

Them some fine lookin’ women.

And their totals are all higher than mine.

That’s extreme hotness.



Ribic again

Laura Phelps

[quote]FightinIrish26 wrote:
Man, someone should show that ass a picture of Dave Tate recently… no powerlifters look like bodybuilders? Really?


he would say that technically, Dave isnt a pure powerlifter.

matt kroc tho … jeez, that MFer is LEAN. He would be a perfect counterpoint

that guys either got a great sense of humour or an insecurity complex.

Derek, great pics! I bet PGA could do wonders with that EC picture. :slight_smile:

Kara Bohigian