Wednesday, June 25, 2014

What synthol and sumo deadlifts have in common

Before I begin I must admit I was very hesitant on writing this post because I knew it may challenge what some of you might be doing and the natural human tendency would be to get offended. I've decided to go ahead and share this because, well, that's why I created this blog after all - to express myself. So I encourage you to read this with an open mind and judge my opinions/perspectives by its value and not its impact on you. And if you see the value in this perspective, let it shape what you do from here on.

Although I'm a natural bodybuilder, I've no issue with the use of performance enhancing drugs in this sport or any other. In fact, I support it. These drugs are what makes the elite level of any sport worth watching and thus popular. Besides, who is to claim any moral or sportsmanship difference between using something allowed like creatine and steroids? They both serve the same purpose, just through different ways. Yes, the potency of the substance may differ tremendously, but potency should never affect the decision of whether something should be banned or not. The essence is the same - both are taken with the intention of performing better by putting something into the body.

That's what this post is about - essence. Although I support the use of performance enhancing drugs in bodybuilding, I disapprove of the use of synthol. Why? It ruins the essence of the sport.

With performance enhancing drugs, you still build muscle - which is what the sport is about. But with synthol(when used as a tool right before stepping on stage and not as a tool to supposedly be able to build more muscle), you don't build muscle. It's basically oil inside your muscle. Now I don't know about all bodybuilders but I came into this sport because of muscle. The essence of the sport is being able to build your physique. Whether you're in this for the mass or aesthetics(preferably both yea), your physique is only what is a part of you. The oil is NOT a part of you. Neither is it even permanent(not to suggest implants are any better). I think the use of synthol destroys what this sport is all about and let's not even talk about sportsmanship but I think one should never let the desire to win crush the essence of their passion. Are you passionate about the sport or winning?

So where does sumo deadlifts come into all of this? Powerlifting! Now let's talk about the essence of powerlifting. No, I'm not a powerlifter but I don't think I need to be one to understand the very core essence of the sport is power and strength. Like how for bodybuilding its building your physique, powerlifting is about power. The problem is what we get caught up with and start focusing on other things that, by doing so, causes us to do things that go against the essence.

I assume powerlifters get into the sport to become stronger and be able to lift huge weights. I understand how technique is a huge part of the sport. But I believe the essence of the sport should never be compromised no matter what. Technique is important but it should be implemented so that you are not putting yourself at a disadvantage and not to be manipulated to change a lift entirely or the essence of the lift. This might be my personal view but the deadlift to me is really about being able to pick things up from the floor from a casual standing position. That's the beauty of the deadlift isn't  it? How raw it is. Just a human standing up normally and picking shit up the floor. The sumo deadlift however does not embody this essence in my honest opinion. I can't quite describe it as well as I feel it - and that's what essence is all about. It's the feel, not the technicalities. Because technically, nothing is against the rule.

I believe it's the responsibility of each athlete to draw that line between technique for putting you out of a disadvantage and technique that changes the essence of the sport. Same goes for benching with an insane arch. At the end of the day I always believe this: when you tell a non-powerlifter who knows the lifts,  how much you lift, then show him/her in real life the execution, will he or she be AS impressed as when they heard your lift amounts. An extreme example would be telling someone I can bench press 300kg but I arch my back until I only have to move the bar two inches to execute the bench press in accordance to all the rules. Would this someone be AS impressed after watching how I did it? If the answer is no, I think the technical and mechanical advantage has been abused.

After all, if you increase your bench or deadlift by say 20kg due to a change in technique, is that any reason to be happy or feel accomplished in the area of your passion? Yes the numbers went up, but not in the name of the sport but in the name of lost of focus of what the sport is really about. Are you passionate about the sport or numbers/winning?


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