How To Make Powerlifting A Mainstream Sport By Ben Tatar of CriticalBench.com
Right now powerlifting is not a main-stream sport and the main reason why powerlifting isn't a main-stream sport is because most people don't lift weights. The other reason why powerlifting isn't main-stream is because 95% of the population who does lift weights doesn't have the balls and guts to lift heavy. Although, powerlifting isn't a main-stream sport most powerlifters like it that way. Most powerlifters like the idea of powerlifting being an underground sport and a sport against only themselves! After all, what value would a 700lbs bench press have if powerlifting was main-stream and if everyone could throw a bench shirt on and bench press 700lbs? Most powerlifters will tell you that powerlifting is kind of a "dark side" thing and that is why they like it so much! Powerlifters like doing what the rest of the world cannot do!
If you look at powerlifting on a political level it is terrible. Go to the message boards and you will see a psychological powerlifting war. Just take a look at the sport of powerlifting and you will discover that there are at least 10 different federations, 10 different champions in each fed, and with some lifters getting at least 100% carry over with their shirts. Add inconsistent judging to the equation and all the fights all over the message boards and you will see what a mess powerlifting really is. In this article I will provide with ten keys that I think will help unite the world of powerlifting and help the sport grow.
10 Keys For Powerlifting To Evolve
1) Enlighten the Public-
The first thing we need to do is let the public realize that powerlifters aren't 350lbs slobs like stereotyped and that most powerlifters are very lean and strong athletes. Powerlifters come in all sizes, personality types and from all walks of life. Powerlifters are people just like everyone else, much like your best friends except with very strong minds and very strong bodies. (Once people understand this more people will show more interest in the sport of powerlifting.)
2) More People Need To Train For Strength-
Remember getting stronger is awesome! It's
a high, and makes a lifter feel immortal! As a lifter continues to get stronger then they can actually understand powerlifting, the challenge of getting stronger and the value each weight being lifted has! Once a lifter understands powerlifting, powerlifting is no longer about squatting, bench pressing, or deadlifting a weight a few inches but every squat, every bench press, and every deadlift attempt then has MEANING!
In comparison think about football for a minute! Some people don't like football because they see a bunch of guys running around since the sport has no significance or meaning to them. The people who like football care about what happens during every play, and if people could lift heavier in the gym and care about every weight being moved in competition then the sport of powerlifting could keep growing until it would become more main-stream like football.
3) Invite Friends & Family To The Meets-
The next thing for powerlifting to become more main-stream is for lifters to invite their friends and families to attend meets. If you care how you do, then I'm sure many of your close friends and some of your family members will care too because they will care about you.
4) Respect Yourself-
Some powerlifters disrespect other powerlifters because they don't respect themselves first. Once a powerlifter respects themselves then there is no longer a need to project one's issues onto another and it becomes very easy to get along!
***Interesting fact: I find it interesting that a study on happiness conducted b y the World Health Organization a few years ago found that some of the happiest people in the world were in the slums of Calcutta. The World Health Organization found that this source of happiness was found in feeling a connectedness to other people. You see the slums of Calcutta didn't have much of anything but since they felt united to their friends they were considered happier than most millionaires!
Let's apply this interesting fact to powerlifting. If powerlifters could feel a connectedness to each other then the sport of powerlifting would be more UNITED, and hardcore than just about any other main-stream sport in existence. Currently powerlifting is perceived as this 24/7 RAW vs GEAR war phenomenon but if powerlifters felt connected to each other then all the debates and problems of powerlifting would be embraced into hard work and support towards excellence! Although, I do see a connectedness in powerlifting in private gyms, it would be nice to see the connectedness that powerlifters share become global until it spreads across the world. Wouldn't it be nice to see the powerlifting world get along and unite? Regardless if one lifts Raw, with gear, or in what fed just understand that we all want one thing and that is to get better and that is all that matters and the more togetherness that everyone feels the more the sport of powerlifting is LOVED!
5) Don't Get Caught Up With The Negativity Of Message Boards-
Let's talk about overcoming the powerlifting darkside for a minute. I think one reason why powerlifting never evolves is because advanced lifters play the haters game. It is important for elite lifters to not respond to negative remarks about bench press shirts over the message boards or the elite lifters are giving the wannabes who is making the negative remarks their POWER. Think about it, do you really want to give your power to a wannabe? If you are an advanced lifter getting upset at some wannabe bashing you behind a computer screen then you are the problem not them. It's your issue that you are letting a wannabe get under your skin because there are thousands of other lifters who could get negative messages from wannabes and it won't have any effect on them at all.
For the negative lifters who spread negative remarks about lifters who use gear are doing it because they need some immediate entertainment because their lives suck, that is why they are playing games. To overcome this the negative wannabe needs to start training harder and start creating more positive energy in the world and no longer will these games need to be played. The wannabe will have a passion and this time it is to get stronger in the gym and to feel happier with themselves instead of to try to overpower the elite by pissing them off.
The good news here is either that the elite becomes happy enough with themselves to not care what the vindictive wannabe says or the wannabe decides to change. Only one person has to change but as soon as one lifter whether be the elite or wannabe reacts negativity responds like a cancer. This change for the better is up to you!
6) Dealing With Negative Comments in Powerlifting-
If you remember anything I say in this article then remember this:
*** Take negative comments as flattery since you are what people want to be! Either take a negative remark as fuel, as a lesson, or not care about remarks at all. Turn the negative into a positive and the negative is no longer a negative but a positive. Never feed a fire and to hate a wannabe for being jealous is like hating fire because it burns. It's a waste of time, be flattered.
7) Chaning The Sport Starts With Changing Yourself-
I once read a quote somewhere that said "Look inside yourself, before falsely accusing others of your own actions"……We can't change powerlifting we can just change us which WILL then change powerlifting. If you worry about changing powerlifting you aren't changing yourself and once you change yourself for the better then powerlifting will be changed for the better. Think about it if you change yourself for the better then people will look up to you and people will start seeing powerlifters as inspiration and role models. On the other hand if you worry about trying to change powerlifting the sport of powerlifting is perceived as more political BS.
8) Show Others How Important Powerlifting Is To You-
To understand is to be understood. Every time I have had a friend and showed interest in them then they showed interest in me back. If you have a friend who is good at running then take interest and inspire them and eventually they will show interest in your powerlifting. This will create interest and help powerlifting grow if everyone did this!
9) Media Coverage-
For powerlifting to get on National TV all we have to do is pay. Then powerlifting will get on TV and it could get popular like Poker. Hey, if poker could become popular than why not Powelifting? I hear there is a movie coming out called "No Pain No Gain" such movies could help powerlifting go public. If powerlifting made the Olympics that could help too.
10) Powerlifting Reality Shows-
Remember, Powerlifting was on TV during the 80s, so powerlifting should be on TV again. This time though National Television will start a reality powerlifting show that is similar to MTV's "Made." On this powerlifting TV show similar to "Made" we will have a younger lifter looking up to an advanced lifter. As society watches this show people will see a boy's quest to attain masculinity. Powerliftings show "MADE" would symbolize a boys desire to manhood and see how special the sport of powerlifting is to turning a boy into a man, and see a boy going from an average lifter (like most people) into a great lifter. It would be awesome and I think even ladies would enjoy the show because there would be lots of emotions involved.
After the show "MADE" aired then people would watch powerlifters on a Reality TV show. While people watch the powerlifting Reality show the general population will discover that powerlifters are some of the most humble, honest, loyal, funny, crazy, supportive, mentally strong and interesting people in the world! Eventually as kids start lifting weights in middle school or early high school they will look at these powerlifters and say "Hey, I wish I could be that strong, did you see what happened on that powerlifting reality show last night?" If powerlifting had such opportunities to become a reality show then I think that would help powerlifting leaps and bounds.
Eventually, then powerlifting would finally be a main-stream sport if all of these things were to happen. Once a year powerlifting would have a payperview called "PowerMania",which would be the superbowl of powerlifting! By then the sport of powerlifting would become huge and totally main-stream!
The environment around powerlifting doesn't determine how hardcore powerlifting is, and neither does the rage nor anger within a lifters mind. What makes powerlifting so hardcore is the amount of weight a lifter lifts and the passion that the lifter and his friends have for each and every lift. If anything the more main-stream powerlifting becomes and the more the sport evolves then the more attitude the sport will have.