Jonathan Byrd

Powerlifting Degenerate II

Jonathan Byrd
Powerlifting Degenerate II

In the previous article I introduced you to what exactly a powerlifting degenerate is. The people who truly love this sport spend decades in it, not years. Over that time frame you will lose the mental and physical qualities that society defines as normal. It is not normal for us to continue to force a broken body to do the things that have hurt it. Yet, we do it time and time again. I have said before, this sport is an addiction. Its better than any drug I have ever taken, the high that comes with a big lift can’t be matched for me.

This week Dave Tate posted a video asking what happen to all the people who put #powerliftingislife. He points out that all those people have disappeared. They are not here for the long haul, it’s a hash tag to them, not a real addiction. While I agree that the explosion of the sport and all the social media lifters have helped put the sport into a mainstream place, part of me hates it. I miss when powerlifting was scary, I miss when if you crossed someone at a meet you might leave with a black eye.

Today’s social media lifters can’t handle an injury, which is a guarantee in this sport. Worse yet, their coach can’t handle them with an injury because they don’t have any real time under the bar either. Brian Carroll commented Tate’s post and sums it up perfectly, “Most people can’t stand to be idle and end up doing something else. This isn’t a true love, it’s a convenience hobby. Your love for powerlifting shows itself in the years you commit.”

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I have to be honest why that quote has so much value to me, because I know for a fact that he lived that. I was around though the majority of Brian’s rehab from multiple back injuries. I watched him day in and day out come to the gym and do rehab while others prepared for meets. Most of you aren’t willing to do that. I had a nice little crash with 1000lbs on my back in my last meet nearly 2 years ago. Resulted in a torn hamstring in a leg that was already in pretty bad shape. I dedicated myself to getting this leg to work again. I had a local guy here (Shaun Jones) help me though the process. While it took me several months, I am prepared to make it back to the platform. Ask yourself, are you willing to take a major step back, start over, and then go through all the work required to be successful again? For most of you the answer is no!

For the select few of you who are truly “living the life” then you will find your way back. It doesn’t matter what style of lifting you do, what organization you lift in, what matters is the end results. Don’t be a social media lifter, lift for yourself. Lift for pushing the limits of your body. Make the commitment needed to do this long term. Invest in both your body and your brain. Hire a proven coach, listen to him. Ask questions, learn the reasons why things are in your training program. If this sport is worth doing for you, it’s worth going full blown degenerate.

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People make comments all the time about how they want to be the best, but they are delusional! You aren’t going to put 300lbs on your total overnight, and you aren’t willing to pay the price in blood needed to be the best. Chris Della Fave had six surgeries, just to keep coming back for more. Matt Minuth tore his bicep on his opening pull at the WPO, goes back out and gets his attempt to win the meet. Has surgery and is now preparing for the meet again. Dave Hoff has had a history of issues, spent multiple years training just to hit a 5lb PR. Everyone of those guys would do it again.  What you need to ask yourself is, “Am I willing to suffer this much just to participate in this sport?” Even for those guys, winning a big meet, and even PRs aren’t guaranteed.  Those guys are full blown degenerate powerlifters, and my guess they will be involved in this sport in some way till they are dead.