The Selfish Powerlifter

Guest Contributor: Zach Fant

lifter alone in the gym black and white

Powerlifter (n): A form of competitive weightlifting in which contestants attempt three of the lifts in a set sequence.

Selfish (adj.): Lacking consideration for others; concerned chiefly with one’s own personal profit or pleasure.

Before we get started, let’s take some time to point out how amazing it is to be a part of a sport such as powerlifting. The community is overwhelmingly welcoming and supportive, oftentimes to the extreme. As lifters, it’s a breath of fresh air to have a community that understands, Powerlifter, bodybuilders, etc. Normally we feel as if we are outsiders, misunderstood and judged by ones who do not share the same desires. For many, finding powerlifting and becoming a part of such a great community is very rewarding.

As powerlifters, we have to be pretty selfish from time to time, that’s ok. Just recognize it for what it really is, that’s on you no one else. You’ve made that choice yourself, which is not a sacrifice. So don’t go around praising yourself on how hard you work and sacrifices you have made. Let’s be honest, it's just lifting weights. It doesn’t matter if you have a sub-1300 lb total or a 2k total; at the end of the day, it’s still just lifting weights. Now, this isn’t a write up to bash powerlifters at all, I’m calling it like it is. We lift weights for a sport that the majority of people don’t understand. We need to understand this, and that support is a two-way street. 

The title of the article is “The Selfish Powerlifter,” for a reason. What are you doing for the sport of powerlifting? Are you one of the ones who are taking from the sport and not giving back? If yes, I ask why? So you can be the greatest powerlifter in the world? To be the best you can be? You want to be remembered as the best to ever do it? Ok, let’s say you do that. Do you truly believe you will be known for your lifts? By some yes, but I promise you that’s not what you will be remembered for by the majority. You will most likely be remembered for being selfish if you only take from this sport and haven’t given back to this sport that you’ve taken so much from. We all know Ed Coan, arguably the greatest powerlifter of all time. And guess what he is most known for: His kindness, caring and how much he gives back to the powerlifting community. Yes, some know him by his numbers, but by most he is remembered and known for his willingness to give back to others. Don’t get me wrong, I do not think or believe there is anything wrong with wanting to be the best in the world, or be the best that you can be. Just don’t forget to be thankful and recognize that it is just as important to give back.

I encourage everyone to keep from getting overly consumed with your personal goals, take a look around at the ones around you, who are helping you achieve your goals. Think of the ones who are always in the gym encouraging you, whom you probably don’t even acknowledge, gym partners who spot, rack and un-racking YOUR weights. Loved one’s who are missing you, or with you in the gym, with you on meet day and helping you meal prep, etc. If you haven’t by now you should be thanking the ones around you. Because without them I can imagine you wouldn’t be where you are now. Thank meet directors because without them we wouldn’t have a platform to compete on. Definitely give thanks to the ones who help out at meets, spotters and loaders have the worst job by far. If you are a competitive powerlifter and you haven’t at least helped out at one meet, you are definitely someone I’d consider selfish. 

This sport we call powerlifting is something we can be proud to be a part of, let’s not take advantage of that community. Find ways to give back. The world is already full of judgmental and selfish people. So I challenge each and every one of you, to give back to this sport and community we all love so much.

Ways you can give back:

Volunteer at meets (Lift judging, spotting and loading, help moving equipment) 

Help a local lifter with training (Without the motive of making money off them)

Recognize the ones around you who are helping you every day. 

Recognize your loved ones are sacrificing more than you are, Give them thanks. 

Educating the less knowledgeable 




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