So, today I saw a truly disheartening video. The video in question was this one with Dave Hoff ‘lifting the biggest total of all time 3005lb’.
At 42seconds Hoff hits the ‘bottom’ of the squat. I’d say it’s a good 3-4 inches high from parallel. However, cue white lights and wild celebrations…
Don’t get me wrong I have huge respect for Hoff having the strength to simply unrack that weight and take it down, but that is not a completed squat by any Powerlifting Federations’ rules.
If Powerlifting is to become mainstream and appeal to a growing number of viewers, this can’t happen. As experienced strength sport enthusiasts we ridicule those that claim their half squats as parallel and new PR’s. Well here’s one of the biggest, most respected gyms sending out lifters hitting 3/4 squats and claiming world records. I am a big fan of Westside Barbell and have followed Louie Simmons since I started training. Now however, I must admit, I’m losing my former interest in this type of geared lifting. This isn’t just a Westside thing though and it would be unfair to simply put all the blame onto that gym. The federations these lifters are participating in are becoming a joke as each meet we see higher totals from lifters not getting stronger, but from squats getting higher and higher.
And I’m not going to even talk about this incident also involving Hoff…
This needs to change, or Powerlifting will attract no new lifters and even current fans will lose interest (which I now count myself one of those disillusioned former fans) . It’s no surprise to me that people just aren’t interested in these massive totals any more when they realise it’s in gear and videos like this crop up. In my opinion Raw is the future of Powerlifting. As sad as it would be to see geared lifting die a death, I think that’s where it’s heading. I can see geared lifting becoming even more of an underground scene than it already is. With the federations divided and faith in them dwindling in the strength community, interest moves to Raw lifting. That is where my interest firmly resides until videos like Hoff’s ‘record total’ stop cropping up.
Powerlifting – Clean up your act. That just isn’t good enough.
I’ll finish with a quote from Brandon Lilly in The Cube Method Manual which for me sums up my concluding thoughts on this issue
“We have the ability to fix this. We are the lifters, if we demand more of ourselves, and then demand more from our teammates, and then more from our competitors, at some point the promoters, and the federations will hear us. As long as we give away World Records as quick as you can load the bar, and when the figure heads that say they stand “for what is right” support records that are obviously bogus then the sport loses credibility. We as lifters lose credibility. It’s time to take back our sport. And the time is right now.”
Pg 9, Cube Method Manual, Brandon Lilly 2012.
Edit. Update: A Legend Speaks: Goggins on the Hoff debacle
Strong Body. Strong Mind.