Are monolift squats cheating? Sooner or later powerlifting will go back to its roots...maybe.

It’s simple. More weight on the bar does not always equal more strength. There’s plenty of evidence in the powerlifting sector showing exactly that. The sport has become complete slave to ego mentality, delusions and refusal to admit that something is wrong.

Just look at some of the wide stance monolift squats and you will understand what I am talking about. Similar performance and rituals show that the main goal of modern powerlifting is not to get stronger but to lift more and more weight by any means necessary. Thus, people come up with a bunch of different methods which allow the lifters to move higher numbers without actually becoming stronger.

Why are powerlifters using the monolift?

Different people will give you different answers, but there’s only one truth – the monolift is used widely because it allows the lifters to squat heavier weights. Thanks to the monolift you can assume a wider stance without breaking your legs, and you also save a lot of energy by not walking out the weight. This coupled with other tricks gives serious boost to the “world records”. Many of the 1000 lbs + squatters can’t squat 800 lbs high bar raw. If you truly drug test them, they would probably not even full squat 600 lbs or less. Thus, I see the whole monolift fiasco as another way to fake higher strength levels.

Here’s the full list of gear and tricks powerlifters today use to reach ridiculous numbers such as over 1 000 lbs squats and bench presses.

1. Equipment 

– very wide weightlifting belts;

– long wrist wraps;

– squat suits (sometimes more than one);

– squatting briefs;

– deadlift suits;

– tight bench shirts (sometimes more than one);


– extra long knee wraps;

– monolifts;


2. Drugs

– all kinds of steroids;

– growth hormone;

– insulin;

– ammonia;

– recreational drugs to get “in the zone”;

– diuretics (to lose water weight and compete in a higher weight class thanks to the 24 hour weigh-in);

– pain killers;

3. Tricks

– squatting to parallel or above; {quite often even parallel is not reached}

Note: The rule says that in order for a squat to be “legal” the “hip crease” of the lifter must descend below knee level.

By that standard many of the squats below are not really “legal”.

– belly bench presses; {the lifter pushes his fat belly out to shorten the range of motion and lift more weight}

– excessive lower back arching to shorten the bench press range of motion;

– monolifts;

– very short bench press pause, sometime non-existent {the judges are to blame};

– shady deadlift lockouts – a very high percentage of the deadlifts done even at the highest level are not completely locked out {the judges are to blame};

In conclusion

The future of powerlifting if the trend continues...

The future of powerlifting if the trend continues…

I don’t think any of the above is controversial. It’s a well known fact. For some reason, however, people refuse to see that the emperor has no clothes. Regardless, sooner or later the magic will go away.

What’s next? Five squat suits and a forklift to keep the lifters safe because heavy weights are dangerous? We are close to the point where the sport has experienced extreme saturation when it comes to gimmicks, and people are getting more and more interested in raw lifting. I think that’s the right way to do things in the long run.

One comment

  1. Charles

    People are dismal in so many ways. We see the same bloated exaggerations even in WSM contest when people refuse to differentiate push presses from military (no leg drive/no layback) presses. Klokov is on You Tube with a 170kg military press, but also with a 225 kg push press—121 pounds more than the strict press, and the bar went up easier. It all comes down to dishonesty. If a used car salesman does cheating lifts, or misidentifies a swing curl as a “curl,” take your biz elsewhere.

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