Wake up: Natural Powerlifting Does Not Exist It's time for wannabe powerlifters to wake up and see things the way they truly are.

I just finished reading the newest article on StartingStrength.com written by none other than the trainer of champion powerlifters Marty Gallagher.

I like that man. What he writes always intrigues me, albeit not exactly in a positive way. I understand what he is saying, but I also see that many noobs are getting caught in a net that only ends one way – straight into the Kingdom Of FatsoLand and Weakling Islands.

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Citizen of Fatsoland. {source}

This time the article of Gallagher was dedicated to a legendary American bench press record holder under the name of Mike MacDonald. The text is supposed to appeal to the members of the site who look up to those powerlifting legends and secretly dream of becoming just as good. Sorry. It’s not going to happen, even if you follow Gallagher’s official how-to steps. It takes more. Much more.


As expected the article only talks about “training secrets” without mentioning steroids even a single time. I guess cambered bars and dumbbell bench presses are politically correct and received nicely by the deceived public. {Oh, wait I just have to get my cambered bar and I will bench 2 times BW}

How do I know that MacDonald was not natural you may ask?

Here’s some flawless logic for you: He set absolutely incredible world records. He was also, obviously, obsessed with benching. If he loves doing it so much, why would he stay natural? If he can bench 635 lbs naturally, why not roid up a bit and do 730 lbs? Seriously? Why not?

It’s not very hard to answer this question, or at least I hope so. Even to this day a 635 lbs bench press is impressive at any bodyweight, especially raw. How could you even think that a human, even as talented and as hard working as MacDonald, can move this weight naturally? Seriously. Wake up.

Side note: I’ve trained in a professional powerlifting gym and I never saw a single natural powerlifter there bench press 315 lbs. Before saying things like “what a weak gym” the same place has produced 550 lbs raw bench pressers and high level IPF competitors.

As a result of disinformation many ordinary guys are sucked into this imaginary bubble where all of this can happen to them too, if they just happen to follow the sick knowledge dropped by the underground iron gurus.

Sorry, but to this day I have never heard a single guru tell the obvious truth. They would dance around it, mask it with superlatives and exaggerated claims while giving false hopes to the natty suckers out there who do not know any better.

I assure you that you can follow Marty Gallagher’s routine to the letter. You ain’t getting impressive numbers nor muscle size.

In the end of the article Gallagher gives a hypothetical program for a “170 lbs man with a 300 lbs bench press”. Are you kidding me? Who the hell benches close to 2 times bodyweight naturally? I doubt there are more than 5-10 people on StartingStrength who can bench 300 lbs regardless of bodyweight. Why didn’t he write a routine about the ectomorph sucker benching 180 lbs at the skinny fat bodyweight of 190? I bet that would be a lot more interesting to the pool of lifters there.

The only people that could get even close to a 300 lbs bench press at 170 lbs BW would be either genetic freaks like MacDonald, massive drug users or both. That’s the truth. I know there are people who can bench 2 times bodyweight naturally, but those individuals are built for the lift (short arms + wide shoulders) and usually have 5-10+ years of working out behind them. Ironically, the routine is also supposed to add 25-30 lbs to your bench press in 4 weeks plus 8-10 lbs of bodyweight increase. Who the hell adds 30 lbs to his bench in 4 weeks at elite level? Also, how much muscle do you think you can gain as a max out natty in a month? Zero pounds. All of those 8-10 lbs gained in 4 weeks would be fat cells taking you straight to Fatsoland.

So, what’s missing here? Obviously, the drugs. There is no doubt that every lifter presented by Gallagher is/was a serious steroid user. I have even communicated with people online who told me that they know lifters such as John Kuc personally and many would not even bother hiding their drug usage. {For more information on John Kuc and steroids go here}

In conclusion

I believe some of the training advice presented by gurus such as Marty Gallagher can be useful. I personally like linear periodization. However, the gurus are not going to tell you the complete truth. Unfortunately or not, you will learn it yourself, if you stick around long enough. Sometimes the disappointment is way too high. Many people quit while others transform into delusional fatsos who are literally 50-70+ pounds overweight and yet dream of breaking world records. Those guys call themselves strong. That’s funny.

Let me tell you the ugly truth. All of those powerlifting legends have been doping. Some of them have on drugs since 15 years of age.

Also, you are fat and low bar squatting 405 lbs at 240 lbs while having a 40 inch gut and man boobs size KK despite using “supreme” training knowledge from the stars is simply delusional attitude that does not drive meaningful progress. At least, that’s the way I see it. You are free to disagree, but I know that when the weight on the bar stops increasing, and you meet a fatso in the mirror, you will remember those words.

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