Steph has it right this month (bet she doesn;t hear that much hahahahaha)!
Just get in and do a meet!
The “Aspiring Powerlifer” or, Don’t Be That Guy
I’ve been powerlifting for almost five years, which is baby time compared to some other lifters who have been at it for decades, but I still have managed to form an opinion on the current trend of those calling themselves “aspiring powerlifters”.
In this month’s scintillating column I will cover who these lifters are, and why they usually refer to themselves as “aspiring” and also the harsh truth about why aspiring in powerlifting is basically getting you nowhere.
Sorry, not known for my tact.
So let’s shake the dust outta the old barren uterus and get to it, shall we?
-who is the “aspiring powerlifter”?
Largely it is those new to the sport.
They don’t know much about powerlifting, may have never done a proper squat, only know how to arch a bench from Youtube vids, and think deadlifting involves a bunch of primal grunting and stomping, then the lift, followed by dropping the bar resoundingly and triumphantly marching away.
Sometimes they are a little farther up the lifting food chain……they may be running 5/3/1, know what a hitch is, have heard of RPE, and have bought the Romeo’s, custom belt, wrist wraps, and a small mountain of chalk.
Basically, no matter where they are in knowledge and experience gym lifting, that’s exactly what they are so far……A GYM LIFTER.
They have not yet done a meet…..and are essentially aspiring to not die before they first hit the platform, or die on it on their first attempt.
-why are they calling themselves “aspiring”?
I mean, yes, I established they are platform virgins, but why are they in this state?
I’ve talked to lots of newer lifters and most of them will say “I need to get my numbers up and have more respectable PR’s before I take the platform”.
Honey, I hate to be the bearer of bad news, but until you compete, your numbers are zero…..across the board.
Gym lifts don’t matter, not if you are wanting to state your lifts.
I mean sure, everyone wants to bust out at their first meet and hit a top 5 total, but that’s not likely to happen. We all start somewhere. ….and first meet numbers are often laughable, when you look back.
At the time you are jazzed AF you hit that 135 bench, but when you are repping it for 10 a year later, you think “holy shit I sucked”.
And that’s what we ALL do.
That’s the nature of improvement over time, and the nature of progression.
Take me for instance, my first meet I went 253 (in fucking wraps)/181/281.
My last meet?
If I had waited until I had respectable numbers, I’d still be waiting, because my deadlift sucks ass.
But seriously, get the fuck out there and do it.
I powerlifted for 8 weeks before my first meet; I had never done it before. I got basic competence (debatable) at the lifts, and did it.
I did it because I figured I would be a nervous wreck at my first meet, had no idea what to expect, and wasn’t sure if the cut, ree-feed, crowds, anxiety, etc, would render me a blubbering mass of useless jello, so why not get out there when I had little experience and few expectations and just get some knowledge under my belt?
That way I would have REAL numbers to base training and expectations off of, and also have first meet jitters out of the way.
Once you do a meet, no matter how low your numbers are, you are a REAL POWERLIFTER.
You are not aspiring anymore, you did the damn thing.
Many will feel embarrassed that their numbers are so much lower than the top athletes in the sport, so they want to train until they can compare.
Another news flash:
You’ll never compare, unless you are like that top unicorn 5% blessed by the powerlifting gods.
There will always be someone better, and if you are trying to measure yourself against lifters in the sport for years, you are already kicking yourself in the shin with a spike-toed cleat.
You are a beginner, not a pro.
So get out there and BEGIN, for fucks sake. Stop aspiring, and DO.
(disclaimer: I recommend you at least have knowledge of the safe basics of form and mechanics for the three lifts before competing. Use common sense, you don’t jump in a Ferrari and take off if you have never driven a car. So find tutorials, other lifters, a good crew, online vids, etc., so you can safely do a first meet. Safely…..that doesn’t mean top 5 performance, just don’t kill yourself right out the gate, ok?)