Backyard powerlifting for foreigners

This is a very short note Just to explain what I mean by “backyard powerlifting”.

In Brasil, we are basically squeezed between two equally disgusting perversions of the noble sport of powerlifting: the corrupt fascist IPF alternative, with its threats and all the stuff you already know about them from other parts of the world ( plus “random refereeing” and something you lack: government money to bribe the athletes), and our famous native BACKYARD POWERLIFTING.

This is something that could be defined as a form of competitive activity that roughly resembles powerlifting in the sense that there is usually a bar, a few disks, a bench and some lifters. The inscription fees may be quite high (why?…). There are rarely three lifts in any of these events. Where there are three lifts – the squat, the bench press and the deadlift – they can be done in any or no combination: the lifter chooses what he wants to compete at. It’s like a self-service competition. Awards are obviously independent.

The singlet is never required and most guys will lift wearing loose long shorts and the girls may be quite sexy with their colorful lycra shorts.

The scale is also a joke. I was once asked how much I wanted to weight (no kidding). Sometimes it’s just a bathroom scale. Anywhere, there’s ample “negotiation” as to bodyweigh category.

Spotters, friends, girlfriends, random people… you may have any or all combination of those at the platform. It’s pretty hard to listen to any referee command.

But then again, the referees are only ornamental figures. They have no background, they never studied a single rulebook and they validate all sorts of aberrations, including benches with butts two inches off the bench.

And this is very hard to accomplish! Because in backyard powerlifting, the benches are covered by a very thick layer of soft foam (this was invented by a certain local delinquent as a manner to guarantee good lifts to ridiculously butt lifting movements).

What else? Oh , yes: hand off men never leave the bar. Poor referee. If he or she were actually refereeing. Sometimes they even give a helping hand during the lift.

Backyard people don’t like the squat. I wonder why… It’s such a fun thing to do. But when they do, it’s parallel at the most. They never heard about depth.

And believe me, if you can: there are a couple of legal local federation giving their formal sanction to all of this.

Many of these fake meets receive pompous names such as “World Cup” or “World Championship”, “Pan American this” or “South American that”. They rarely have people from more than two or three Brazilian states there.

Now… do you still think I am unfair in my unpatriotic and skeptic approach? Have you any idea how hard it is to convince lifters to leave either alternative – the two I mentioned at the beginning of my article.

I think now you understand why I often want to leave and apply for Giant Crab fishing in Alaska.



MARILIACOUTINHO.COM – idéias sobre treinamento de força, powerlifting, levantamento de peso, strongman, esportes de força, gênero e educação física. Ideas on strength training, powerlifting, weightlifting, strongman, strength sports, gender and physical education.

A vida é pentavalente: arranco, arremesso, agachamento, supino e levantamento terra. Life is a five valence unit: the snatch, the clean and jerk, the squat, the bench press and the deadlift.

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