T Nation

Making Powerlifting Mainstream

I love powerlifting and because of that I have made the following plan that hopefully a federation will replicate, if it can get out there. I made it in the hopes of making the sport of powerlifting a household name.

The events will be viewable through pay per view. The same way the UFC is done.

The events will have hosts that are funny, perhaps a guy like Joe Rogan, so that during weight changes viewers will stay engaged. Also they can hype up each lift.

Iconic veteran lifters can be guests co-hosting and get interviewed. They will help insure that the integrity of the sport is not diminished.

Card girls could possibly be used to display weights as they do in the WPO.

Lifters can pick their songs used for their lifts.

It would have both raw and geared events displaying both female and male lifters.

A sort of gimmicky addition could be federation record holding items, sort of like belts. So perhaps if you break the record in the Bench Press you get a bad ass Sword, in the Squat a Battle Axe, in the Deadlift a huge Hammer, and for the total a Big Shield. Then if someone breaks your record in your weight class you have to give it to the new holder. This will appeal to kids and is bad ass.

Commercials for equipment, supplements, and books could be displayed at times to bring in extra revenue for the upcoming point.

Cash prizes!

The prizes along with the possible sponsorship of companies would take a lot of the financial burden off of elite lifters.

Do you think this would work and would be positive for powerlifting?

I don’t think anyone would pay to watch a powerlifting competition.

What powerlifting first need is one unified federation.

Yeah I like the idea Jayk. I’d love to be able to flick on the TV and watch the next big Powerlifting meet. Don’t know about Pay Per View and all but would be great if somehow the profile could be raised enough for a TV network to get involved. A bit like Worlds Strongest Man I guess only heaps better.

I still can’t figure out why powerlifting isn’t in the Olympic Games.
When you consider they have sports such as Beach Volleyball FFS.
I’d love to see Powerlifting as an Olympic event.

It would be cool, but the fact is the majority of people don’t give a shit about powerlifting…if they even know what it is. And you can’t force it on people. They’ve tried that with hockey and it didn’t really work. I Bet there’s a lot of people that don’t know hockey is in strike right now. And lastly, IMO, strongman is much more entertaining than powerlifting.

Why does powerlifting need to be mainstream?

And I will echo others. This stuff is boring to watch.

Powerlifting needs a couple of things. Number 1 is membership. We’ve got what, 2-3 thousand card carrying memebrs? Maybe? Compared to something like Crossfit that has well over 100,000. Which brings us to need number 2:

Everyone needs to stop being so fucking selfish and get together for one federation. Fuck all of these assholes putting on these retarded shows under their own rules and names. It is selfish as shit. I think small independant stuff is great and should be promoted. The NOTLD is one of the funnest meets I’ve ever been too.

The problem with these now is our dumbass general public still thinks steroids are the root of all things evil in athletics. So, it would have to be drug tested (at least as much as Crossfit is… which is not very much).

Problem 3: Why should anyone give a fuck about powerlifters? We need story lines and backrounds and personalities. This requires camera crews, editing, promotion, a shit load of money, etc.

Look at strongman on ESPN. They have to cut out all of the stupid stuff. Drop all of the misloads and waiting around, only show the biggest weights and the classes with the most competition and bingo. That would fit into an hour long segment.

Again, a long way to go. We have regressed so much. Here, look at this shit on ESPN 13 year ago:

Read the first comment on that video. Mother fuckers. There is the biggest problem we face right there. Powerlifting is so disjointed on the internet. Again, look at Crossfit message boards. Very little shitting on other Crossfitters.

[quote]Jayk wrote:
So perhaps if you break the record in the Bench Press you get a bad ass Sword, in the Squat a Battle Axe, in the Deadlift a huge Hammer, and for the total a Big Shield.[/quote]

I don’t know about all the other stuff, but I fuckin want this shit.

More on topic though, people actually did used to watch powerlifting. I believe it can be structured much less boring than it is now. If I’m not mistaken Larry Pacifico used to host huge annual meets that would attract a massive audience of actual spectators, not just other lifters and people’s wives/girlfriends/parents. He’d bring in entertainers to perform during downtime as well.

[quote]Angus1 wrote:
I still can’t figure out why powerlifting isn’t in the Olympic Games.
When you consider they have sports such as Beach Volleyball FFS.
I’d love to see Powerlifting as an Olympic event. [/quote]

It’s getting there:
http://www.powerlifting-ipf.com/63.html?&no_cache=1&tx_ttnews[tt_news]=843&tx_ttnews[backPid]=2&cHash=ed983da4fa97797795f0167a1368a5f4

It will still probably be years and years, but at least it’s coming along.

Powerlifting needs to be unified in order to become mainstream. Do you see 10 different “Pro” basketball leagues in the US? All the best basketball players play in one league, the NBA. There is no one as good as Kobe Bryant, LeBron or any of these top players playing in other leagues. In powerlifting, there are tons of amazing lifters in DIFFERENT federations. That can’t happen if it’s to become mainstream. And don’t liken this to conferences, that certainly isn’t the same.

Powerlifting, to be mainstream, also needs to be identifiable with the general public. Strongman does that, Olympic weighlifting does that. Powerlifting, unless raw, doesn’t. People don’t know what a bench shirt is or a squat suit, and even when they do, they don’t know how much it helps or doesn’t help. If you ever explain what a suit does, the first question is always “Why do you even use one?” Having someone ask “Why?” doesn’t exactly help the case for becoming mainstream. This isn’t meant to be a gear vs raw debate, but gear will certainly be a lot more difficult to make mainstream.

Finally, how many incredibly charismatic powerlifters do you know? I’m willing to bet not many. Personas are essential.

I love the enthusiasm… but having powerlifting go mainstream goes against what I feel it really stands for.

POwerlifting is you against yourself, end of discussion, I always know when someone isn’t going to be very good when they brag about what their placing was instead of what their lifts were.

The meets don’t actually matter, they’re just the feedback you need to know if your training is on track or not. What really matters is what you’re doing in the gym day in and day out. ie, the process, which I’ve learned to really focus on in the last couple years.

I mean, there’s facebook and youtube, put a good video up there, and you’re a star, and that’s to the people that know and care about you, what more is there than that?

It’s boring to watch. Who cares if it builds in popularity? Does it need to be mainstream? I don’t buy into either the desire for it to remain niche or to become mainstream. Just let it evolve however it evolves.

To Mightymouse17… up hear we all know there’s a hockey strike :slight_smile:

[quote]Larry10 wrote:
I love the enthusiasm… but having powerlifting go mainstream goes against what I feel it really stands for.

POwerlifting is you against yourself, end of discussion, I always know when someone isn’t going to be very good when they brag about what their placing was instead of what their lifts were.

The meets don’t actually matter, they’re just the feedback you need to know if your training is on track or not. What really matters is what you’re doing in the gym day in and day out. ie, the process, which I’ve learned to really focus on in the last couple years.

I mean, there’s facebook and youtube, put a good video up there, and you’re a star, and that’s to the people that know and care about you, what more is there than that?[/quote]

Money would be nice.

[quote]StormTheBeach wrote:

[quote]Larry10 wrote:
I love the enthusiasm… but having powerlifting go mainstream goes against what I feel it really stands for.

POwerlifting is you against yourself, end of discussion, I always know when someone isn’t going to be very good when they brag about what their placing was instead of what their lifts were.

The meets don’t actually matter, they’re just the feedback you need to know if your training is on track or not. What really matters is what you’re doing in the gym day in and day out. ie, the process, which I’ve learned to really focus on in the last couple years.

I mean, there’s facebook and youtube, put a good video up there, and you’re a star, and that’s to the people that know and care about you, what more is there than that?[/quote]

Money would be nice.[/quote]

who needs money when you already have all the chicks? All they care about is this thing between your legs and a big back squat!

[quote]Larry10 wrote:

[quote]StormTheBeach wrote:

[quote]Larry10 wrote:
I love the enthusiasm… but having powerlifting go mainstream goes against what I feel it really stands for.

POwerlifting is you against yourself, end of discussion, I always know when someone isn’t going to be very good when they brag about what their placing was instead of what their lifts were.

The meets don’t actually matter, they’re just the feedback you need to know if your training is on track or not. What really matters is what you’re doing in the gym day in and day out. ie, the process, which I’ve learned to really focus on in the last couple years.

I mean, there’s facebook and youtube, put a good video up there, and you’re a star, and that’s to the people that know and care about you, what more is there than that?[/quote]

Money would be nice.[/quote]

who needs money when you already have all the chicks? All they care about is this thing between your legs and a big back squat![/quote]
nah money would be pretty cool

[quote]Larry10 wrote:
I love the enthusiasm… but having powerlifting go mainstream goes against what I feel it really stands for.

POwerlifting is you against yourself, end of discussion, I always know when someone isn’t going to be very good when they brag about what their placing was instead of what their lifts were.

The meets don’t actually matter, they’re just the feedback you need to know if your training is on track or not. What really matters is what you’re doing in the gym day in and day out. ie, the process, which I’ve learned to really focus on in the last couple years.

I mean, there’s facebook and youtube, put a good video up there, and you’re a star, and that’s to the people that know and care about you, what more is there than that?[/quote]

If the meets don’t actually matter, and it’s just insurance that the training is working, why compete at all? Why not accept gym lifts as the end-all? Why does it not count if you couldn’t do it at a meet?

The truth: the only thing that matters is the meet.

Some promoter with money just needs to get the balls to make a pro circuit and somehow convince all the top lifters to lift in it (real prize money will remedy this).

You make it so if you total XXX amount of weight in your category you will get a pro card and will be able to lift in the qualifiers.

Sound familiar (bodybuilding)

The best lifters will go where the money is and if you can get all the best lifters in the world to lift for 1 or 2 events with an expo, the pro circuit will prosper.

Have a raw and a geared division and make it non-tested so you get the highest totals.

but we all know this already and it wont happen…

I am going to try to close all the loose ends and state my view on things.

First, my three main reasons for this are. 1: To make powerlifting a feasible standalone job. 2: It would be nice to have more people who I could talk to about powerlifting with. haha 3: To be an elite powerlifter you have to work your ass off, so who would be better role models for kids?

Also, I re-thought part of it and if it is not live the editor can cut out weight changes and put interviews between weight classes.

A lot of you guys said it was boring or no one would want to watch it, it could be boring, but so would a lot of other sports unless you are into them. That is what the host would do. These meets will be portrayed as a battle for each weight class. That will be done through short interviews that will leave viewers with a favorite lifter to root for.

I agree there should be one federation united, but I think until one steps up to absorb the others or one gets into the Olympics it will not happen. Side note, it would be awesome to have powerlifting in the Olympics, but I think the raw/single/multi ply argument will hinder it, along with the amount of tightassness the IOC has about steroid use.

Larry10, I disagree greatly. Yes, training is a battle against your own records, but I believe that if you are a high level lifter you should be striving to break world records and becoming the best.

Finally, if it could get an airing on Spike, FX, or ESP like the Mountaineer Cup, which got me excited the times I have watched it, then I think it could progress to inexpensive pay per view specials, $15-25? It will need a lot of publicity to get it started, but if they can cut it together to make it intense, find a very engaging and simultaneously humerus host, and add at least the feeling of rivalry between lifters it could be very entertaining for non-meat heads and slowly become a bigger part of U.S. culture.

People watch soccer and NASCAR. I don’t think being boring is even remotely a problem.

[quote]Angus1 wrote:
Yeah I like the idea Jayk. I’d love to be able to flick on the TV and watch the next big Powerlifting meet. Don’t know about Pay Per View and all but would be great if somehow the profile could be raised enough for a TV network to get involved. A bit like Worlds Strongest Man I guess only heaps better.

I still can’t figure out why powerlifting isn’t in the Olympic Games.
When you consider they have sports such as Beach Volleyball FFS.
I’d love to see Powerlifting as an Olympic event. [/quote]

You can’t figure out why scantily clad women attract more interest than fat powerlifters? lol

I don’t want powerlifting to be mainstream. If Joe Rogan is an announcer for a pay-per-view meet then I will quit lifting.

[quote]black_angus1 wrote:
I don’t want powerlifting to be mainstream. If Joe Rogan is an announcer for a pay-per-view meet then I will quit lifting.[/quote]

word

fuck everything mainstream . the last thing I want to see is Dave Tate on American Midol .

(see what I did there ?)