Powerlifting Is a Waste of Time If You’re Natural

| by Truth Seeker |

Every now and then a kid with a serious look on the face enters the gym and captures the squat rack. He is ready to “kill it” like real men do. A hardcore beat is pumping through the headphones; the adrenaline factories are working overtime; the feeling that it’s a life or death situations infects the air; the body movements reveal fear of the unknown; the show is about to begin.

Every rep produces painful facial expressions warming the heart of the lifter. He loves it and smiles when thinking of the reward waiting at the end. He will show you how great he is. Nothing will stop him.

That kid is a moron.

I know because I was that kid. I was an idiot sacrificing himself for the powerlifting deities. I was a believer in the mission. But later, I got smarter and realized that it’s all a lie. There is no light at the end of the tunnel. The moment when it will all be worth it will not come. You’ve been lied to, my friend. You may not be able to see it right now, but one day you will. There’s no rush. You will arrive there when you do.

Many think that powerlifting is a solution to natural lifting. The big bad bodybuilders lied to us, but the strong powerlifters are telling the truth. Just eat and squat, bro. Every extra calorie will be graciously transformed into “useful” bodyweight.

It won’t. The surplus will make you fat. You will not gain the slabs of thick muscles that the 5×5 marketers promised you. You will not look like Reg Park, Arnold or the Russian powerlifters.

They sold you a fake dream. Powerlifters are injecting and have been doing so before you were born. If you are powerlifting to gain a “natty edge” (let’s face it – you are), stop. Nothing is going to happen. All the teachings claiming that you will triple in size once you abandon everything and become a squat-bench-dead monk are either words of false prophets or sick conclusions in an uneducated mind.

If you don’t believe me, be my guest. Go satisfy the expectations of the Internet. Good luck, brother. They go up every year. Each generation is benching heavier…online of course. You will always be weak on the NET. The forum members will tear you apart if you post your true lifts. Rippetoe will tell you to gain weight. This man has been building an army of fatsos for decades – be aware.

The most ironic part is the myth that powerlifting is ultra-functional. The deadlift – the most functional lift, the said. They are idiots, bro. If they wanted to be functional, why are they using the cheat grip, excuse me – mixed grip. Why are all squats high? Why is there so much equipment? Why do the men look like they are about to have a heart attack any minute? Why are they constantly injured? Functional, year right.

You wanna know the truth?

If you are natural, powerlifting is a waste of time. You are never going to have huge lifts. The only thing that you are accomplishing is CNS overclock and joint overload. By default, this isn’t a bad thing. It’s just unnecessary. You may consider spending your CNS money elsewhere.

The average cycle of a natty powerlifter is boring and predictable. The natty lifts for a year or two and then hits a hardcore plateau that is impossible to overcome definitively without gaining weight – not a bad thing except that naturals have a limited capacity for muscle mass production. Hence why natty powerlifters get fat really quick.

They don’t want you to know that. They want you to think that you can crawl forward forever with the help of some secret programming. They will give you a special routine full of numbers and percentages. It will be expected of you to satisfy them. It will work…for a few weeks. Then you will start missing reps.

They will blame you. You are not eating enough. You are not pushing hard enough. You have ovarian cancer. You don’t want it bad enough. You are a loser. It’s always you, bro. Don’t you dare talk bad about their precious programming.

Well, I am here to tell you that it’s not you. You are not the robot that those routines are designed for. Not even dudes on steroids can improve perpetually. Not even they hit all the numbers as accurately as you think. This is why they have been upping the dose as the training cycles advance. The content in the syringe has always been growing in union with the weight on the barbell. Ask John Kuc. He will confirm.

Yet naturals still believe in the impossible. They look at interviews with the greats on YouTube and conclude that a natty can bench press 500lbs by following Greg Nuckols or RIppetoe’s programming.

Let me red pill you, bro. You will never bench 500lbs naturally. You will never bench 400lbs naturally either unless you weigh about as much. Ask Rippetoe. He will confirm. He trained under Bill Starr’s wing, injected and his best bench is a few lbs under 400lbs.

Most of you reading this will not even bench 300lbs like Omar Isuf. Those gifted for the bench may do it, but the average bro will never get there. The evidence is overwhelming. Go to any gym. The people pressing 300lbs are a super slim minority.

You will probably say to yourself – what’s the problem with that? The problem is that your love for powerlifting comes from the PRs. No PRs, no love. Lifting the same numbers forever can only work for so long. Yet this is the destiny of every natural unwilling to gain a ridiculous amount of body fat. Notice that I say body fat rather than weight like the megaphones do because I know what’s up – natties get fat when they try to reach the numbers that their masters order.

Another important part of the equation is winning. You are never going to win even a local powerlifting meet naturally. There will always be dudes who are shorter and more muscular than you thanks to drugs. They will demolish you because they are built like pit bulls and perform their job as human cranes way better than a high altitude brah trying to fill himself out with the help of GOMAD.

What’s in it for you?

Other than joint pain and stagnation, you will get nothing. This doesn’t mean that doing the basic exercises is pointless, but you have to adjust your expectations.

Also, if you want to be functional, you have to do the task that you want to excel at more frequently than lifting.

Eventually, the naive will start spamming you with concepts such as discipline, strength, fun and hope.

Let me address those issues.

Discipline: There are many ways to develop it. You don’t even have to go to a gym to become disciplined. Nothing special about powerlifting in that regard.

Strength: We have all heard it – barbell strength is the most important thing in life. Sure, bro. Keep telling yourself that. Trying to compensate for everything by upping your squat leads to stupidity, stagnation and frustration.

Strength is overrated to the moon and back. Realistically, it’s more practical to get really good at moving odd objects than to lift barbells since most of the heavy stuff that you will have to move will not have a comfortable handle.

Fun: If you like something, you should absolutely do it regardless of what I or anybody else says…provided that the activity of choice is moral.

Hope: That’s the thing. There’s no hope. No one will ever come up with a routine catalyzing perpetual gains. The natties always face hardcore limitations at what is considered mediocre numbers and stay there for a long time. Then out of nowhere, a barbell philosopher comes, starts talking about bar paths, and the hope level is restored again until the natty hits a new plateau that is not far from the previous one.

Your Lack of Motivation Is Totally Understandable

We can pretend that we do everything for the sake of it, but that’s just unnatural. Did your ancestors hunt for fun? Did they cut wood because they felt like it?

In the past, people didn’t have the luxury to donate their time to entertainment. They expected to get a tangible benefit from their effort.

Powerlifting provides such a result – it can make you stronger, healthier and more muscular. But to profit from that effect, you don’t have to chase PRs. You don’t even have to lift that heavy.

When your natty gains stop, the motivation to run after numbers diminishes quickly.

How can one be motivated to push harder while knowing that the extra effort is depreciating by the second?

The legends that the average powerlifters look up to are on steroids and enjoying the life of muscular deities. Meanwhile, the natties are ridiculed constantly and labeled as losers who do not even lift.

Gotta love this world.

What to do instead?

Put powerlifting on the back seat and enjoy life outside of the gym. Go out and do things in the real world. Yes, the gym is not the real world. It is an artificial environment where you train to become better at something else. People get too stuck in their training and forget about that principle.

If today was the last day of your life, you wouldn’t do squats 5×5. You wouldn’t give your energy to an exercise. So, why are we doing it every day? Because they told us so.

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  1. Kindom

    If I want to add size to my traps, which shrug variations is better?

    Power shrug with deadstop at each rep (like rippetoe video)?
    Or continue tension holding the barbell in the hand?

    I ask that for size , but also for which one give LESS stress on the lower back.

    Thanks man, your last book are fantastic!

    1. Truth Seeker Post author

      The classic controlled shrug will build the traps. It places less stress on the lower back since there is no hip hinge and the weight is lighter. Besides, you wouldn’t have to load as many plates on it. That saves energy and time. The Rippetoe shrug is a pointless ego lift.

    2. Brett

      Traps are similar to calves and forearms, they depend heavily on genetics. Some people have low insertions and long muscle bellies like zyzz had (not all steroid users have traps like that, for a reason)

      A good trap builder is snatch grip shrugs for high reps 20 – 30.

      1. Jon

        Natural here, completed a bench PR of 365lbs yesterday.Also, I deadliftted 605lbs last month and I’m really close to a 495lbs squat. I weigh 215lbs at the moment.

    3. Sam

      The snowflakes are really comming down. Sad, while reading this i could tell why you’ve never made good gains ur to busy trying to be someone else instead of just being the best you! Lifting is hard work especially if ur natural but that’s what makes the gains you do make so much more rewarding. Please if any younger guys read this don’t pay attention to it. This person has no HEART!

      1. Brett

        Maybe you should let them decide for themselves Sam.

        So by reading someone’s work you can automatically tell they have never made good gains, what constitute good gains?

        You don’t have to “be the best you”. That’s a modern day social media driven ideology meant for people not content with who they currently are, and likely never will be. This usually leads to depression and self abasement, which although is the key to self improvement, even self improvement stagnates, however the self abasement will not (under the lie of perpetual self improvement).

      2. Eric

        Sam, you miss the message. The point was never “quit, because it’s hopeless”. It’s not a matter of what you do at all. It’s a matter of why you’re doing it. If you are stuck in the matrix, believing that when you bench 5, 10, 15 more pounds, your life will be complete and you will be the Greek God you were always meant to be, you are destined for failure.

        But if you go to the gym with a mature mindset, understanding that it is a process meant to better yourself – slowly – but also that it is a process that does not define you as a person, you are there for the correct reasons.

        1. David

          But that’s the case with everything in life. See, life is about anticipating pleasure not receiving it. You could as well commit suicide because the status quo will never satisfy, hence we move, invent things, play games etc.

      3. Ian

        You can bench 400lbs naturally. Just not you, pussy!

    4. Sam Vallar

      High pulls w clean grip

    5. Fatman

      I like the “deadlift” shrug. Where you lower the weight slightly and pull it like you’re finishing a deadlift, instead of the “up-and-down” classic shrug.

      Both variations will develop the traps provided that you a) do high reps, and b) hold (squeeze) the top position for 1-2 seconds. Use lighter weights.

    6. Nicole Warner

      Your article is pathetic. My husband is Jim Warner and he is 63 and is a natural competitive powerlifting still breaking world records in the 148 pound weight class with deadlifts and squats over 400 and 500 pounds. His benches are over 200. His best deadlift was over 600 when he was younger. He has been lifting since he was a teenager. He has never injected himself with drugs. He doesn’t lie and he can’t stand liars. If you inject than admit it. If you inject than you will have issues later with acne, attitude, heart attacks, impotence. What’s the point? He has competed against steroid users and liars and can still set records. If you want to set records and stay natural and can be done.

      1. Brett

        Please nobody take the bait.

        Side note: You had to reply to someone elses reply, just so your comment will be seen closer to the top, didn’t you.

      2. MB

        @ Nicole Warner
        What do you mean with:
        – quote –
        deadlifts and squats over 400 and 500 pounds
        – end quote –
        Is it over 400 pounds or over 500 pounds?
        Or do you mean that he deadlift over 400 pounds and squat over 500 pounds?
        Does this mean that he can squat heavier than deadlift?

        1. CNSBurnout

          @ MB As far as I know, Equipped squats can go heavier than deadlifts.

          1. MB

            @CNSBurnout Nicole Warner didn’t mention equiped squats.

        2. Nicole

          He has squatted over 400 pounds and deadlifted over 500 pounds. The bottom line is: you can lift heavy without steroids.

      3. Pano

        Nobody can lift 600 stop play truhman
        I wish all the people here stick in a camp with no way out or in and lift after a year they lift a shit the mouth of the people and ego is bigger than 1000 lbs

      4. ark

        Touché’ and kudos to ur husband
        I myself am 46 male natural currently squat 462.9lbsx3 reps equipped and deadlift 440.9lbsx1 rep raw unequipped ( no belt/knee wraps/straps) and yes I have done both lifts multiple times on different occasions
        Bench is 286.6lbsx1 rep
        I have also moved weights on the leg press machine 1010 kgs x 4 reps though I would not count it as a complete leg press action

        So yes it can be done and I appreciate u speaking out

        Those who are juiced and yea I have friends who are I have nothing to say about it.it’s a personal choice and I would have liked the author to be a bit more open about his/her thoughts about natural powerlifting rather than dismiss it so callously.

        PS: not everyone wants to be Mark Rippetoe!! We’ re just happy being our own God creates selves

        And oh ya of course all of what is said by me is documented on video.And no I do not compete

    7. Micah Mouse

      Well, whatever you say, I don’t care I’ll continue doing natural powerlifting as a 15 year old, nomatter what anyone or anything tells me.
      No, thank you

    8. Tony

      I benched 425 at 17 years old at 208lbs body weight naturally, not even creative. I used a wide power lifter style grip. Don’t listen to this dweeb you can bench 400 naturally and not weigh 300+… the guy who runs this page is simply trying to discourage you put the work in and trust the process

      1. Pano

        Only 400 i am 15 and lift 800 now i go to the olympic games easy my target is when i am 18 i can lift a car like hulk

  2. MB

    Very good article and writing.
    There’s one thing that’s a little bit confusing. You are writing about doing other things, but in another article you advice deadlifts, squars and so on as the best exercises. Isn’t that a little bit contradictory?

  3. Lifter

    Well Rippetoe etc.. just promote 200/300/400/500 for OVH/Bench/Squat/Deadlift. These goals are totally achievable natural and reasonable.

    1. Brett

      Let us know when you reach them sweet pea.

      1. John Southern

        Those are lifetime goals on an advanced program , not Starting Strength.

        The intermediate numbers after finishing a novice program like Starting Strength in 1 year’s time are 155 OHP, 225 Bench, 315 Squat, 405 Deadlift.

        They are definitely achievable and reasonable for nearly every normal sized, reasonably young man. Even if it takes two years for a seriously underweight person….c’mon.

    2. Fatman

      As lifetime goals, these are achievable by every male in good health and of average size, without the use of steroids. Anyone can hit the 3/4/5 plates standard, plus bodyweight or 200 lbs. in the overhead press, with hard training and a reasonable diet.

      Don’t believe the inflated claims of drug users. But don’t sell yourselves short either.

  4. Kindom

    I’ve tryed to link a youtube video. But I cant paste the link in the comment.
    Why we can’t paste it in the answers? Is a siet problem?

    1. Truth Seeker Post author

      Use Ctrl+V to paste it.

  5. Rob

    great article. I love powerlifting just because its a routine that is easy to follow and compound exercises are efficient. I never did it to become huge. It was because I was fasting a lot and it was supposed to help retain muscle while fat was burning. But as the numbers went up I got hooked on seeing my strength increase. My crippled lower back is now super strong. After 2.5 years I have really stagnated. but at 42 years old being sub 10% body fat and 200kg deadlift (shitty form) I’m happy that that is strong enough. Your articles helped me refocus on the muscles that I’d rather have and reminding myself why I started rather than be an amazing powerlifter.

    1. Jim

      that’s good…i got upto `185kg dead then left it there….I now do the partial one on the rack..what is it called? Got to 250kg…i am leaving it there.

      I am about done with my weights. I;d like to increase my partial shoulder press a little….but not sure i can.

      5 years serious lfting again…late 40’s 12% BF….i am in a happy place now. Start adding in a little more activity and try and get to 10% BF.

      Adious Youtube and PT B*S*

  6. John Southern

    Powerlifting is a waste of time in the sense that training to compete in most sports is a waste of time unless your ultimate goal is to compete in that sport. That does not mean that there are not practical benefits to training as an amateur, with modifications for the non-competitor.

    Blaha’s novice bodybuilding program, Starting Strength and Stronglifts are not powerlifting programs but you will certainly benefit from reaching the intermediate numbers described, which are 155 overhead press, 225 Bench, 315 Squat, 405 Deadlift.

    That’s totally reasonable for an average size man and will result in a decent physique with some assistance work and realizing a low bodyfat. You won’t be massive and turn heads but you will have a strength base and your lifts will be totally respectable in any commercial gym, if that’s what you crave.

    If you cannot reach these numbers in a year or two, we have problems, probably medical or mental ones. If you are undernourished and the size of a female, you may well require a couple cycles of testosterone to reach a normal size. I took that route in my late 20s and don’t regret it. Don’t blame the program, it’s not here to solve all your problems.

    Obviously, advanced lifts like a 300 or 400lb bench would not be done using a novice program, that’s not a valid criticism of a novice program. Again, this program is only here to give you a 225 bench and it does EASILY do that.

    No powerlifter uses any of these novice programs because they are for 1st year beginners only. Every powerlifter outgrew them in their first year, without steroids, wraps or a bench shirt as teens. I outgrew them without protein powder, adequate food (poor family), or ever using them.

    As a 5’9, 125lb high school kid I benched 250 using the pyramid program below and squatted 3 plates. It took me two years to reach these numbers starting as an 85lb freshman. My bodyfat was measured at 4.5% with calipers at a physical around that time (probably more like 7) so you’d better shut your cakehole and get it done, fatty.


    I also don’t see what other type of program takes less time than 3×5, even with accessories, it’s 3 hours a week.

    Everyone who advocates 5×5 says that 3×5 is enough for those who are dieting or participating in other sports. Seriously, just do 3×5 and save the milk for later unless you’re a toothpick. Reg Park’s 5×5 was 3×5 with two warmup sets, which you’ll do anyway.

    Rippetoe’s GOMAD is just a gimick for skinny losers who falsely complain that they can’t gain weight despite “constantly” eating.

    Failing to reach intermediate numbers over the course of an entire training career betrays some serious training dysfunction. If a young man can’t high bar squat @ 315 without blowing out a knee or their back is crippled over a 400lb deadlift, that’s not normal. Get a legit coach and let him solve it, you’ll save time and money in the long run.

    I train my wife, we’ve added muscle to her spine and resolved a frozen shoulder issue she had using an abbreviated novice style program. Do you really think I let her grind reps listening to heavy metal and injure her back or shoulder? The way you train is not normal guys, it’s totally fucked up.

    Powerlifters push hard when peaking or competing but that’s the difference between competing and training. This is a novice strength training program, not the sport of powerlifting. Off season, they train like I’ve described.

    Getting yourself emotionally amped up for training lifts is wrong headed. Training is more like farming or something like that. You have to have a lot of patience and a calm mind or you’re just going to hurt yourself and get no gains. There’s always a rep or two in the tank or you blow out your CNS and kill your progress, resets are applied liberally, reps should feel pretty easy.

    If all you care about in life is pussy, maxing out and show muscles, use a little juice. At some point in life, you have either try to get the things you want or admit that you don’t want them that bad, which is fine, because they’re all idiotic.

    But why would you workout your whole life and accept never getting strong because you think you won’t look like a superhero and get laid like a rockstar. Then hurt yourself because you’re impatient. And then you tell yourself that the ones who did it aren’t really strong.

    The people who are best at lifting oddly shaped objects are also big squatters, benchers and deadlifters, there’s no getting around it.

    There’s not some guy out there who lifts huge stones who can’t overhead press 155.

    1. Fatman

      “Training is more like farming or something like that.”

      I really like this analogy.

    2. Tony

      What programming do you do for your wife? I

      1. John Southern

        It’s basically the “B” day of Starting Strength.

        I add more reps and slower progression to make it easier. She doesn’t add weight until she gets to 12.

        Lat Pulldown Supinated Grip 3×6-12
        Overhead Press 3×6-12
        Romanian Deadlift 1×6-12

        She does whatever she wants while I do my program for an hour and a half.

        I consider that her warm up, then I help her do this and we go home.

        I’d like to have her do a few more exercises but I also want to make it somewhat easy to get through the workout.

        At some point when she masters these movements and her numbers are a little better, I’ll introduce her to more exercises.

        She has added a noticeable amount of muscle to her shoulders, biceps and lower body and no injuries yet.

        Her Romanian dead lift started out really bad, it’s almost perfect now, still can’t do it correctly off the floor yet but we’re getting there.

        One benefit to these exercises is that they teach better movement patterns. I think that is really important.

        It’s a different perspective when you are trying to improve a loved one’s life and well being and then you realize, “hey, maybe that’s how I should have been doing it”. hmmmmm

      2. John Southern

        FYI – she does this once or twice a week. Left that out.

  7. Jason

    Love all the content and the higher frequency of posting. Would love if you made an article on getting lean and your experiences in that matter.

  8. lass lassiter

    Good article! That was my existence for a few years. I started to experience sore hips and neck pain from powerlifting for NO FREGGIN reason, other than falling for the dogma. I, fortunately, had enough common sense to stop and focus on training that’s appropriate for a now 48 years old natty!

    1. Lee

      Same here! No reason to do powerlifting when you get better gains and no injuries training in a more sane way with higher reps.

  9. 1

    “The apples are rotten” said the dog who couldn’t reach them

  10. simone copetti

    excellent as always…. the hate that you receive in some of your articles is the sign that you’re doing a good job

  11. drew237

    Totally true, the past two years I’ve followed a high reps medium intensity moderate volume protocol and i can attest it probably gave me the best results of my life. But I’ve also been very strict with my diet, diet is key.

  12. mattski

    I am coming to the sad conclusion that all humans need to do is what baby’s do. Walk, Run, Jump, Crawl, Climb and Pick Stuff up and walk with it. Baby’s don’t need a gym to do this, or fake indoor cliff to climb, they just use whatever they can find at the house. They eat whatever food is in front of them. They are motivated to move and explore.
    I am not saying to act like a baby, just to keep in mind the effectiveness of a simpler approach that natural and primal.

    1. Lass

      I read a book called original strength that proposed those same ideas! Seems very logical.

  13. Mike

    Another quality article as always; I particularly like the term ‘CNS overclock’, that is exactly what PLing is for a natural: after you’ve made your initial noob muscle gains, you’re not getting ‘stronger’ exactly by training the big three with heavy weights, you are just increasing CNS efficiency and refining technique. So, as you continually practice the lifts, you learn to arch a bit higher and firmer, improve your set up, shorten the ROM and voila, you’ve hit a PR of 5-10lbs, and you’ve now gained strength–or so you think.

    The ‘Holy Trinity’ are just strength stunts in the same way that old-time strongmen had their pet lifts they would doggedly work at, no doubt believing that their chosen speciality was the ultimate builder and test of bodily strength. Basically, it’s all just dick-waggling and bigging yourself up.

    It’s a pity a competition doesn’t exist where men demonstrate their 10RMs on the hammer chest press\leg press\seated row. Let’s call it ‘musclelifting’: it would be a no less valid, infinitely healthier, and probably easier to judge way of comparing strength than powerlifting or Olympic lifting.

  14. dmitry

    This site is a mirror. Thanks Truthseeker and Brett.

  15. donttaketheredpill

    Honestly, you come across like some MGTOW/Incel/Redpilled loser except its people better at lifting than you and not women.

    This is truly pathetic.

    Arent you the same guy who said its impossible to get a 3 plate bench natty? Or that only the most elite genetics allow it? Wow.

    1. Truth Seeker Post author

      You got me. I am a MGTOW/Incel/Redpilled loser.

      Thanks for stopping by, my friend.

  16. Escanor

    A shame, I do hope most individual that still have heart and strength won’t give in to a world of excuses as the author has.

    The lack of drive, persistence and actually “doing” the work is what keeps most people down, also not being aware of “weightclasses” is trouble too. You can get incredibly strong natty, I even outlifted quite a lot of “Roiders” simply because they didn’t utilize their training as much as they could have, seen someone on shit that could barely rep 225lbs. It’s laughable.

    For all the younglings, please know that if you have patience and keep refining your craft (work on your form, execute the lift as best as you can and then progressivey overload on it), that you will get stronger. I’m already blowing most of his estimations out of the water, of things I apparently should never be “able” to lift, and I haven’t even reached my limit yet. Disgusting that he talks in absolutes as if he has figured it all out, the “potential” of strength is an open book to him, because he’s maxed out his strength and couldn’t possibly go higher. The arrogance.

      1. Luke

        I have been Powerlifting for 3 years. Got a gold medal in GPC for U90s. I’m natty and still love it. I’m not stuck in the future dreaming of an 800lb deadlift, I enjoy the training and comps as they come. I was really skinny but can pack on 70% more muscle than my no training body. Currently 87kg at 15% fat.

  17. The Chimp

    I think what natty or not is meant to say is that a 2xbodyweight bench, 3xbodyweight squat and 4xbodyweight deadlift mean that you are most likely juicy.

  18. jaycdeez

    No truer words have ever been written. I was that kid too. Read the flex magazine right before heading into the gym and “killed it”. No one was going to outwork me. I was going to be as strong and as big as those guys with enough hardcore effort day in and day out. Took the supplements they “recommended” and everything. It never materialized. I wasted years trying to look like them. Why was I a failure? I wasn’t a failure to dedication and consistency, but I did fail to take the drugs that would get me much closer to those flex magazine puppets. It took a long time to get past the fact that it would never come to fruition without juicing. I chose not to go that route.

  19. jaycdeez

    No truer words have ever been written. I was that kid too. Read the flex magazine right before heading into the gym and “killed it”. No one was going to outwork me. I was going to be as strong and as big as those guys with enough hardcore effort day in and day out. Took the supplements they “recommended” and everything. It never materialized. I wasted years trying to look like them. Why was I a failure? I wasn’t a failure to dedication and consistency, but I did fail to take the drugs that would get me much closer to those flex magazine puppets. It took a long time to get past the fact that it will never come to fruition without juicing. I chose not to go that route. I’m fine with it.

  20. Rafael

    It seems that every single thing regarding weightlifting is a waste of time if you’re a natural then, lol.

    1. Lass Lassiter

      It’s not! We naturals have to just realize that certain numbers are unattainable. However we can still maintain our lean muscle mass, mobility and agility through training geared towards our natural abilities and common sense.

  21. Emre

    Jesus , why are you so right man, thank you for this website, it made me to stop doing gomad+SS and start calisthenics,

  22. Dr. Mike

    I find this article amusing…
    It’s premise is based on an illogical fallacy…
    I managed to put up a 370 bench, a 570 squat and a 640 deadlift while training (2) two days a week in my competitive days…
    All lifts were done “raw”, and all at a weight of 180 lbs…
    Note, I was drug tested in every meet I competed…
    This all was accomplished while training 2 days a week.
    I trained twice a week out of necessity…
    Running a private practice, raising a family, and coaching little league baseball are time consuming tasks…
    Nevertheless, my lifts are objective examples that these types of results can be obtained by a natural lifter without living your life inside a gym…
    Your logical debate tactic is known as an argument of incredulity…
    You assume because you can’t do it, or you haven’t seen it, then it can’t be true…
    That’s your opinion, it’s not now nor will it ever be fact…
    Your sweeping generalization is nothing more than anecdotal prattle…

    1. MB

      ? ? ?
      This kinds of comments confuse me.
      How can you achieve such numbers without drugs?
      Or do you mean with natural that you took drugs and after that stopped for a while?
      I don’t understand how a ‘regular’ person can lift such heavy weights?

      1. Pete South

        Elite genetics for strength and intelligent training.

        Most men should reach 315 bench, 405 Squat and 495 deadlift within 5 years of consistent strength training. But that means actually powerlifting, not just going into the gym and curling and using machines.

        I’d say 400 is the natural ceiling for bench for all but the freakiest, deadlift is more leverage and technique than raw muscle, there’s a tall skinny kid out there who does 900+, not sure about squat but 5-600 is probably not out of the question.

        Again, remember, there is plenty of genetic variation out there.

        Think about the most attractive people vs the ugliest people, they’re almost a different species.

        Everyone wants to scream steroids, but how many have actually used steroids? Most people who use steroids don’t ever get close to a 400lb bench because their training and genetics are not up to par.

        1. MB

          I believe that people can do amazing things.
          I have seen a video with kids who lifted about 170 pounds to shoulder height (or I think it was about that weight), but the numbers you give up are much in contrast with what I read from the articles truthseaker writes and also with the weights I lift (but that’s because other reasons).

          1. Pete South

            So you think that you and “truthseeker” are the pinnacle of human physical potential? lol

            I doubt either of you could reach those numbers with all the steroids in the world. I’ll freely admit that I could not either.

            Guess the weights are fake too.

            Anything that the three of us cannot do is fake, being a male model is fake, as is being a doctor. lol

          2. Pete South

            “I have seen a video with kids who lifted about 170 pounds to shoulder height”

            I use 175 as a working set for overhead press and I’m middle-aged.

            Granted, I’m not “natural” but my use was 15 years ago.

            If I wanted to hop on a cycle I’d probably be using 225 within 6 months.

          3. MB

            It’s very unusual for young kids lifting over 150 pounds.

  23. Eli Peterson

    Oh, OP. You have so much to learn.

    Let me take you all on a small journey here. I was scrolling through my feed, and this popped up on my Facebook. As you all know, the entire sport of powerlifting has been near and dear to my heart for roughly a decade, so I clicked the link. Unsurprisingly to me, I decided to read it, and I laughed during the entire thing. The author of this article talks about how powerlifting natty is a waste of time, and “there is no light at the end of the tunnel, and if you think there is, you’re a moron”.

    So, for kicks, let me just take a swing at who wrote this article. You are the guy whose main focus in powerlifting was to always be bigger than the guy sitting next to you. You focus more on your numbers than your own values. You’ve never sat down after a rough meet and smiled and thought about how failure is a good thing, and that if you don’t fail, you won’t succeed. If this is you, I’m sorry to tell you this, but your coach has failed you. “What do you mean, Eli?”. Let me tell you. Powerlifting has never been about the weights. It has never been about the numbers. It hasn’t even been about the competitors next to you. Your biggest competition should be yourself, every single day. Powerlifting, for me, was the “gateway drug” if you will, to learning the important values of life. Powerlifting is an emotional mind game that will build you up, and also tear you apart. Spoiler alert: all of these aspects of powerlifting are transitional skills that you should be implementing into your everyday life. Again, it was never about the weights, or the numbers. I would honestly argue, that you sir are in fact, the moron of this story.

    You claim that there is a stigma that, “You will not gain the slabs of thick muscles that the 5×5 marketers promised you.”

    Please, for the love of God, tell me that to my face. Here’s what you should be really looking into. If you are not good at something, you should be working on it to get better. However, if you were not born smart, you won’t become Albert Fucking Einstein, like, ever.. in your entire life. If you started powerlifting looking like a ruler thats about to snap when you have 135lbs on your back, did you really think that you were eventually going to become the next Ronnie Coleman? I honestly have sympathy for you, for feeling lied to and cheated. However, the only individual you ever lied to was yourself, and I don’t even know you. I don’t need to know you. My personal thoughts on this are: a) You were small from the start, expecting to look like the Incredible Hulk at some point. or, b) You were never taught the true lesson behind powerlifting, and that’s honestly a tragedy.

    Overall, I’m sorry your experience with being an all-natural powerlifter was awful, but I question you to take a look in the mirror and think about if you are, or ever have been lifting for the right reasons.

    That natty world champion guy from powerlifting, who learned a lot about life, love, failure, success, drive, and friendship, all in a small room with white walls, and never touched more than a protein bar his entire lifting career.

    Your insecurities and anger do not scare me. Try harder.

  24. Fuck powerlifting

    Fuck powerlifting

  25. ale

    I’ve squatted 500lbs, benched 385 and deadlifted 600 pounds, at about 240lbs, with just some years of training and I still have lots in the tank, that I have just begun to exploit by studying more and having a better programming, and I’ve taken nothing more than creatine. I agree you cant expect to be a pro without using drugs, but I believe in fair play. I do it because I love it, and also, I’m inspired by a friend of mine that is about 154lbs and has about 417 wilks, still, not elite, but great regartless, he also hasnr taken anything. Powerlifting is a fun and safe sport (if you know what you are doing or get someone who does) that is about improving yourself, also, elite athletes are not just steroid abusers, they are genetic beasts and habe tremendous drive, so dont compare yourself to them. My point is that powerlifting is a fun sport that will make you strong, buff, make you meet new and cool people, and if you only worry about being elite, then just as well not do anything.

  26. sam courtney

    This is some of the weakest shit I’ve ever read

  27. Panos

    Powerlifting is nice, yes the people must understand that the limit in benchpress is around 300 lbs.
    In the beginning i Dreams from 440 squat deadlift and 330 bench press, later i understand i can in reality 330 and bench under 300 but its ok its enough in a real world i choise to be natural

  28. Trevor

    I can see it now. OP wipes the dorito dust off his face and furiously types this article as soon as he gets home after watching chad rep his max at his local gym. You’re delusional and have no work eithic whatsoever if you think a 300 lb bench press requires steriods to pull off. You are literal cancer to the fitness industry. Willing to bet OP pins test and still looks like a garbage bag filled with ground beef, of course with a sub 1000 PL total.

  29. Billy

    A good article. It took me about 15 years to realize this. I thought if I kept training more frequently the gains would come. Year after year it was the same as if I had amnesia and forgot I was going nowhere. I still lift but my expectations have become more realistic and I place more emphasis on stuff outside of the gym.

  30. Jasper

    OP is a fool who had higher expectations than he should of, and then gave up. I did not give up and the kid i was years ago is smiling at the plan i made coming to fruition and how strong i am now compared to then. Spend time in the gym if you enjoy it, do what you enjoy, there are 24 hours in a day so you can (!) go out and enjoy life “outside” as well as inside buddy

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