There was a deluge of comments after news broke out that I missed weight at the USPA American Cup. The comments from people on my blog, various forums, and friends and family all truly amazed me. Some of these comments hit a nerve within me, and other powerlifters and strength enthusiasts, as the remarks generally focused around two very odd things.
1. People attacking me for being “too swole” for my weight class. Which is fine, I understand that. I cut weight. I wear medium or large shirts depending on what Good Will or Salvation Army I’m shopping at; whereas most other guys in my class wear smalls. My jeans are often very tight fitting in the thigh while having a very baggy size 30-32” waist. If you would like to try them on, too bad, that’s weird. We’re grown men and that’s not socially acceptable behavior.
2. Reminding my readers and fellow lifters that cutting weight is okay. This one is bizarre, because when I talk with other lifters, of any focus- strongman, weightlifting, etc., I almost always assume they understand that this is normal practice within every sport which utilizes weight classes. Some people act like the Scale Police and are all, hey you’re cheating by cutting weight, it’s not healthy, and I want to respond, um if I wanted to lose, my health would take priority. I would then throat punch them, because I have no idea how to respond to such ignorance. It is my non-championship winnings notion that lifters who step on a platform want to win. Their health should be of no concern.
Anyhow, all these pundits reminded me of a conversation I had with my wife the morning I was wrapped around a toilet dry heaving, dehydrated, and miserable; in preparation for weigh-ins at the USPA American Cup back in January. I guess I’ll share that conversation with you.
Hey, can you guess how much I weigh?
It's just, I want you to guess how much I weigh as a measure of how big I look while cutting. If it makes any difference, I’ll guess your weight first.
Alright, what's your guess?
100. You have to give me fair margin of error.
Crazy! I’m 98 today. You cheated.
I.. no… It’s just that I’m good with this kind of stuff. Your turn!
Uhhh, I don’t know.
No really, guess!
No, if I guess too low or too high you'll be pissed, forget that.
Babe, I’m not going to be angry, promise. On my knee sleeves, I swear. And on my protein, which I’ll let you in on a little secret, I haven’t been very consistent drinking. (the shame)
You're just saying that because that’s what I want to weigh. The scale just said I’m 152.
No it didn't.
So I pulled her into the bathroom and jumped on the scale. What? Is she going to leave me because I didn’t make weight for a competition, or that I don’t weigh 200 pounds like “real men” are supposed to? That’s too much trouble for her than to simply put up with my shamefully uncompetitive and un-swole self; 200 pounds? Food is hella expensive.
My weight as of this morning.
Lifters don’t make weight for all different reasons. Some, like me just made my weight loss window too small while others are too hopeful and attempt an impossible cut. The thing is, no one can draw a line in the chalk dust and toss 45’s on either side of the weight room casting their opinion like Brian Oldfield putts shot. I do all of this to show you what a real competitor looks like at “walking” weight. And what a real lifter looks like in those clothes. That way I can obliterate or settle what you thought you knew about competing, being a lifter, and being swole.
I’ve lost friends, girlfriends, and probably a small mormon village of wives over how much I couldn’t lift, how much I did or did not weigh, and many other short comings of mine. None of that is what is holding me back from having a body that shames Zeus, strength that makes Kazmaier envious, and breaking every record that I come across.
I wished someone had shown me the merits of strength earlier, and I am honored to be someone who is now doing that for my fellow up and coming lifters, readers, and [trigger word] manlets. All somewhere between 200 and 146 pounds of 5 foot 5 inch glory that is me.