Power lifting...

Power lifting is a great sport because it's completely obvious who wins and loses. There's nothing subjective about it. No amount of luck or refereeing can influence the outcome. And even though this is fantastic, realize that it's called "power" lifting. Mathematically power is achieved by multiplying force and velocity. The fact that velocity is a factor means there's a time component, being as velocity is the result of time over displacement. What time element is there in quantifying the results of power lifting? Who's measuring the distance the bar travels and the time it takes to cover that distance? Obviously, actual power plays no role in power lifting. If it did, you'd be reading the results in newtons rather than pounds or kilos. That and the weights would be a lot lower considering the highest power output is achieved within the ballpark of about half of your max force.

This doesn't immediately make power lifting a bad sport, it just makes it annoying. I find it really irritating when words are used completely wrong, especially when it's the actual title of something. There's no other sport with the word power in it. And in most other sports, power could conceivably apply. Even stuff like basketball, you have a shot clock ensuring time constraints in which the ball has to displaced a certain distance, and this has to be achieved via force. I hate to break it to the power lifters, but power is an element in virtually every sport but power lifting. I'm sure the name came from some guy who liked lifting and wished for his insecurity to be replaced with a feeling of mightiness, so he called himself a "power lifter."

Regardless of where the name came, it stuck, and you can't leave the sport on grounds of an epic misnomer. Aside from the initial stupidity, I find power lifters just as impressive as olympic weightlifters (a weightlifting sport that's named fine) - and I actually prefer the power lifting movements (squat, bench press, deadlift) to the olympic weightlifting events.

And the fact that power lifting has no power element is actually very important for the persuasion or dissuasion of those who hope to compete. If you were judged on power output, every genetic make-up could compete. The genetic issue I'm referring to is tendon insertion locations. Where your tendons insert dictates the mechanical leverage you will have while lifting- and it's a direct trade-off: speed for force. If your tendons insert close to the joints, you get less force, but more speed, and therefore, possibly greater power, being as it's a product of the two. But since power doesn't matter in power lifting, and you're only judged on force, you have to have your tendons insert further from your joints. This means you'll be slow to contract, but you'll have greater leverage to produce greater force simply on genetically mechanical terms. This means that power lifting success is determined by the genetic lottery.

Basically what this means is that anyone can compete, but regardless of how hard you train, you might still suck horribly. If this is you, don't get discouraged, just do something else that has a speed component. On the other hand, if you keep impressing yourself with how much you can lift considering you're not very big, you probably have that genetic mechanical advantage I was talking about, and power lifting could be your sport. If this is you, read this. "This" is how to lift to increase strength. It's everything you need to know.