T Nation

Push Press and Front Squat as Competitive Lifts


Just an idea I’ve had for a while. I love anything iron but I (personally) have fallen out of love with competitive powerlifting. For me, I don’t like how the sport has become more about finding ways to shorten ROM’s within the set rules. The lifts just don’t look athletic anymore. Just my own personal opinion.

Here’s my just for fun idea, not to be taken too seriously…

  • Swap out bench for Push Press. The rules would consist of no bar stalling, no back bending (think old school clean&press) and no re-bending of the knees. The lift would be returned to the shoulders and re-racked. NO Spotters!!! If you miss, just drop the bar. Bench is not the most exciting lift to watch. Either you’re staring at the top of the lifters head or spread eagle from the bottom.

  • Swap back squat for Front Squat. Front squat is much safer to bail from, almost always dumped in front and there would be clearance if failing back. Again No Spotters! The bar would have to be in the front rack and a FULL range of motion for the lift to count.

  • Deadlift would remain the same except no sumo. Not that there is anything inherently wrong with sumo but for me, it is a completely different lift! Hands on the outside of knees would be a simple rule to implement.

I think a main attraction would be the fact that there are no spotters. Just the lifter and the bar. The fact that the bar can be safely dropped on all 3 lifts makes it more dramatic as well.


You are describing the sport of strongman, where the push press and front squat are events and sumo is not allowed.


True! Except Strongman typically squats, deads and presses are done for reps over time, ascending weights, done is some kind of medley etc. Weightlifting and Powerlifting are different in they compete using the exact same lifts, with 3 attempts to reach a maximal goal.


Last man standing events with Wessels rule in effect are actually entirely like a powerlifting meet. You only get 3 attempts to hit your highest max weight.

Just saying, you don’t have to re-invent the wheel on this.


Sounds like cross fit to me


lol… ya basically.


No. That’s not Powerlifting anymore.

In any sport, competitors are trying to find the most optimal ways to be the best at each individual event.

If you don’t like how other lifters try to optimize their technique and leverages, then just out-total them.


Completely agreed. Besides, I don’t see too much ‘ROM shortening’ in raw lifting while equipped lifting is a different sport where I understand the gear influences how you move.

I think the point that often gets missed is that the lifters who win and have ‘optimised’ their lifts are strong AF anyway.


I’m taking a break from PL type training and I’m finding that the PL lifts and training have had a ton of carry over to everything new I’m doing now. The stuff I’m doing now is what many would consider more athletically inclined too. I was surprised the PL lifts had that much carry over to… well, everything.