Mark Bell did one of them Podcasts yesterday. It was told to me by my friend, Joshua Anderson, that part of the discussion included what caused the death of Geared Lifting almost 7 years ago?
One of the theories of course was me and David Hoff! His 2900 plus total at 23 years old and my 3000 total barrier vested was just a little too much for powerlifters to comprehend….so they quit and went raw, bad mouthing gear in the process of their recession.
I have to admit it seemed this way. When I was driving home from the meet I totalled 3000 and Hoff 2910, I was drunk in accomplishment. Never in my life did I even imagine I could do those things. I thought, “Wow, what a boost for powerlifting. Now that 3000 is broke, Americans and Europeans are going to break this total fast, and total over 3100 and eventually 3200!”
Well, exactly opposite happened. Everyone ran.
Oft times I found myself playing middle of road saying, “Raw is good, Single ply is good and Gear is good, Whatever genre you pick, if your a powerlifter, you are my brother.” That was a waste of time. The only feedback I got was how ridiculous gear is and they shouldn’t be counted as real powerlifters. The righteous raw movement began, and nothing was going to stop it.
I even had people tell me that they would solicit my help for their squat but I was a geared lifter so I couldn’t help them.
For many years now I have Never changed my stance. I do not care how one lifts, stick with it and conquer it…..then move on. One thing that is different about me than all the experts out there….I REALIZED MY POWERLIFTING DREAMS! I do not have to go through the rest of my life wondering why I didn’t get my goals. If fact, every time I sit down to smoke a cigar, talk to a beautiful woman, fellowship with NFL and D1-2 strength coaches, I smile and say, yeah, I got 3000! DAMN RIGHT!
Some of us, including Hoff, do not need the support of the masses to validate our efforts to be the best of all time! Plus, we never compared our lifts to that of Coan or Hatfield. We already acknowledged them as the Goat! That was you people that made the comparisons to strengthen your anti-gear stance. The powerlifting world went this direction after their accomplishments and we shouldn’t have to apologize for the NOW! This was our time. Full bore, Top Fuel Powerlifting by any means possible. Take what you want, wear what you want, just beat me on the platform! ‘Westside vs the World’ will show you that.
Make no mistake, every training session, every meet, every training partner I had…..was for me….DONNIE THOMPSON! Powerlifting was for me and me alone. Today’s champions are no different. They are in it for them. Yes, they are nice guys and girls, but they have to be selfish to embark on such a journey as to lift more weights than anyone on the planet. EVER!
Hell, I liken the new wave of anti-gearers as this….The Pittsburgh Steelers football team is too talented, this is unfair so fans let Heinz stadium replace the Steelers to field High School football instead. All those NFL players are too big, fast and strong. Its not football anymore like the old days. We will go back to HS football instead.
If myself, Hoff, AJ Roberts, Frankl, Bolton, Frank, Childress, Bartley, Vogelphol, Mash, Goggins, Kellum, Alhazov, Lewis, Siders, Carroll and others broke the spirit of other powerlifters, all because we performed at our highest level in gear, then too bad. I am glad you quit and pussied on over to another genre to compete. You already lost. Let geared lifting stay pure and ride out the wave of your selected judgmental shame. I will NEVER APOLOGIZE FOR BEING A GEARED LIFTER! EVER!
Just like the best ever in the other genres, Williams and Sumner. They stuck with it and now conquered levels of powerlifting we only dreamed of 15 years ago. Yet in all my days, I never heard these two World Champs bash other lifters and genres. Oh, that is probably because they are not like you!
When Geared Lifting comes back, and it will come back, You will see lifts that you have never fathomed. I will be so proud of those men and women because I understand them. And yes, I am afraid most of you don’t….and never will!
If I am the death of geared lifting, I hope others come along and join me in this glorious death too! Its lonely there. But the company is pure and the victory is sweet.