Dudeeeee this makes me upset, recently after watching worlds I have seen far too many people deciding that the IPF is no longer going to be in their best interest. Worlds is a great meet. In my opinion, it lacks the atmosphere of the Arnold Classic or Raw Nationals and this is for a number of reasons which I will break down below.
1. The selection process makes no sense
If you tuned into worlds you would have noticed a huge disparity in the totals of competitors at the meet. Let us look at the already insanely competitive junior 83kg class. At USAPL Raw Nationals if we directly took these top 5 totals they would have also been the top 5 at worlds in this class. That means that from the U.S alone the top 5 lifters would have all been pushing for the world standard. I couldn’t even imagine the level of competition if we expanded across the globe. So why then are these lifters not competing at worlds if they are the best? The answer is a stupid selection process. Rather than letting one country only take a max of 2 lifters, we should instead let the top 15 lifters from the world based on qualification total compete thus ensuring a more competitive environment.
2. The judging is not consistent
Honestly, this would probably be the main reason I would not continue to compete. There is a clear rule book for the standards for which lifts should meet. During worlds this was inconsistent. I am not sure why this was but it was incredibly problematic meaning that lifts that looked the same may have had completely different results. I am not entirely against strict judging as long it is equally unfair to everyone! The most notable example was Jezza Uepa his knee was clearly not locked out on all occasions however he was given additional attempts on 2 occasions.
3. The meet was disorganized
Okay so this is a relatively straightforward comment but it results in a huge impact. Lifters were not able to train in the warmup room except prior to 7 am and after 10 pm and the training, the location had poor equipment. They should have secured a better lifting environment for pre-comp training.
The live stream was legitimately terrible I have never been more upset about an internet malfunction than at this event. I missed great chunks of the meet as a result of the poor live stream constantly breaking down.
Poor commentating, this one comes down to preference but personally, I thought the commentating was lacking in any level of substance! They spent much more time commentating on the physical appearance of the lifters as opposed to their actual merits leaving the importance of those lifts to fall to the wayside. They should utilize a broader range of lifters and coaches to commentate that may have more insightful information to provide as opposed to just the appearance of the lifters.
4. Where are the $?
This one is probably the biggest, especially with the recent surge of investment going into other “untested” federations, for example, the USPA US Open had huge prize money with the best lifter in each section winning $40,000 with a trickle down for placement too. Thus I was not at all surprised when Haack took the ban from the USAPL lost his seat on the world team and went in search of that money he would have been stupid not to given his competitiveness regardless of “supplementation.” If the IPF wants to be the forefront of powerlifting they have to go balls to the wall! They need huge investment to keep these lifters competing, frankly, I think it is ridiculous that lifters have to pay to compete. They are the sport and if they do not feel satisfied they will leave and the IPF will be an empty graveyard of what powerlifting used to be.
Events like the Arnold Sports Festival are in my opinion a demonstration of where the sport is headed. People are naturally attracted to money and this could be something that captivates more lifters to compete in the IPF and their affiliates. If there was a $10,000 prize for each segment: Lightweight (59,66,74), Medium (83,93,105), Heavy(120,SHW) for example I don’t think anyone would turn down an opportunity to compete for that. Combined with the status of being a world champion in your respective division that would be an incredible prize! For a corporation of this size that type of prize money lets say around $100,000 total is completely achievable. If I am honest I do not know where a lot of the cost to compete is coming from and a simple adjustment in membership costs would allow affiliates to supplement the IPF’s Income and provide a prize pot that is worth competing over!
5. It is too hard to get there!
Okay, so this is something that I totally disagree with because I believe it should be difficult and world championship competitor should only adorn supremely competitive and skilled lifters. But, frankly, it is something that purveys deeply into the sport at the moment and is definitely a trend to be aware of.
Let us take the USPA/IPL, for example, to qualify for their worlds is relatively easy in comparison the qualifying total for the 100KG class, for example, raw is 685KG something that I am relatively close to achieving. This makes you a master in the IPL one step away from being “International elite.” Okay, I apologize if this offends anyone but that is fucking stupid I am not an elite powerlifter! I have been training for 2 years by any other metric I am barely an intermediate! I am relatively strong but that doesn’t even matter! If I went to IPF worlds I would come last by like 300lbs in total so how can it make sense that a lifter is International Elite when they are nowhere near competitors in a “tested federation.” But regardless of that, the greater issue is that people enjoy this gratification.
I mean who wouldn’t!
As humans, we love to be told we are doing well and being an International Elite with a 1500 total @100 is just another stupid accolade to put in your Instagram bio and support your cookie cutter coaching services. So this combined with the fact there is money in the Federation and the worlds are almost always in Las Vegas, it makes sense that more lifters are choosing the easy route. I am not trying to hate on the USPA because I respect powerlifting on any level to some degree! Rather I am trying to explain why the USAPL/IPF may suffer over the next few years.
I think the crucial goal needs to be to grow the sport and make it increasingly competitive. Thus, in my opinion, the IPF needs to get to work to improve the issues faced and make sure that alternative federations such as the USPA do not start overtaking in popularity.