Powerlifting Weight Classes: Delusional Expectations

Your height and bone structure determine your weight class. By default, a tall man cannot compete as a lightweight, whereas somebody who is 5’5″ will fit there perfectly.

In order for a tall guy to do well in barbell sports, he has to compete in a higher weight class. The only lift which allows skinny people to lift heavy weights is the deadlift, but that only happens when you have the proportions for it – long arms.

In short, if you are skinny, your lifts won’t make an impact in a powerlifting or Olympic weightlifting competition.


Here comes a logical question – how can a natural weigh as much as the pros without getting fat? It’s simple You can’t. It’s not possible. The natural potential does not allow it.

Regardless of heavy lifting and superior Bill Starresque/Rippetoesque/Russian/Extragalactic programming, the mass of the pros will remain just a dream when you are natural.

The shorter guys will face the same problem. Currently, there are many powerlifters under 5’7″ who compete as 100kg/220lbs lifters while weighing around 110kg/240lbs. They take advantage of the 24-hour weigh-ins by manipulating their water weight. Undoubtedly, those pocket warriors will have a hard time breaking 140lbs without getting fat if they were natural.

Back in the day, I read that you should weigh 0.5-0.7 kilos per centimeter of height. Therefore, if you are 185cm/6’1″ tall, you will have to be at least 0.5×185 = 92.5kg/203.5lbs to take advantage of your levers and lift heavy stuff. The question is, who can get there without turning into a bag of lard or injecting drugs?

Remember: You want to hold as much muscle as possible. Fat helps too, but not as much as muscle. More muscle mass equals a stronger version of you. In short, 200lbs @ 10% BF > 200lbs @ 25% BF.

Up to a certain point, the barbell loves fat guts and man boobs. The non-stop bulking natural warriors have presented plenty of evidence for that. However, the fat guys will always be outlifted by tighter and more muscular powerlifters.

Who are the best powrlifters ever? Ed Coan, Kirk Karwoski, John Kuc, Lamar Gant, Dan Green, Konstantin Konstantinovs…ect. How many of those guys are truly fat? Most of them carry as much muscle as an average pro bodybuilder.

Kirk Karwoski, as natural as Ronnie Coleman

Kirk Karwoski as big as an IFBB pro (5’10” @ 275 lbs)

That’s why I always make fun of the permabulkers trying to weigh as much as the pros naturally without turning into sumo wrestlers. I am sorry, but that’s impossible.

Here’s a fun fact. The popular powerlifter Dan Green is 110kg/240lbs at 5’10″/177.8cm in a lean condition. Arnold Schwarzenegger competed at the same weight, if not lighter, at 6’2″. In fact, Arnold won Mr.Olympia 1981 weighing 220lbs/100kg.

What do you think happened? You already know.

In conclusion

Why would you get fat as hell to lift some arbitrary numbers as a natural? You are not going to break records anyway unless you compete in 100% natural federations which do not exist. I am dead serious. I’ve witnessed many gym meets. Guess who won them? The steroid users going to the gym.

Even at a low level, you are competing against enhanced lifters. And before you start talking about federations which perform “unexpected doping tests”, ask yourself the following:

When was the last time you saw Santa?

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