It's My Opinion... That's All!

Copyright 2001 by Rich Peters

What I think about the Westside Method!

How do I feel about other Organizations?

Is the Internet good for Powerlifting?

Do I consider myself a PL'ing expert?

My Opinion on Equipment!

Is there only One type of PL'er?

What really impresses me!

What is hurting our sport the most today?

How do you feel about the WPO and Cash Awards?

What should new lifters beware of?

What about those attitudes?

How has the Sport changed the most in the past 25 years?

Can we actually enjoy PL'ing?

What about all those Divisions?

Best NASA Lifter ever!

Funniest thing I have seen in the Sport!

My way or the Hi-way!

Give me my Record or I'll quit!

What about Records?

What is the Absolute Best Suit, BP Shirt?

 

Note: This Page is the opinion of one person and one person only, Rich Peters. I have always taken advice and information from other members before ANY decision has been made in NASA matters. I do believe that what is good for the majority is good for NASA. But again, Rich Peters, like you, has a right to his own opinion. I also reserve the right to change my opinions if the facts warrant such action.

I have seen this sport change in many ways over the past 26 years. Some changes have been good, some not so good.

I have served in many capacities in this sport including lifter, meet director, administrator, World Coach, National Officer, Organization President, Observer and Powerlifting Enthusiast. I have enjoyed all aspects of this sport thoroughly.

I am many times asked for my opinion on a variety of subjects. I have many times abstained from this for fear that my opinion may offend someone. It's time now, with the advent of the Internet, that the need for a page such as this be available to the membership and to lifters in general. These are merely my opinion on various subjects according to my extensive observation's over the past 26 years.

I do not intend to hurt anyone's feelings with my opinions, but change can do us all some good at certain times. I just ask you to consider what I say and listen to the facts I present. I only listen to facts. I only argue facts. If you have no facts to present, you have nothing to express. "He Said...She Said" commentary has no importance to me at anytime.

My critic's will have a field day with this page. That is OK. I'll match my experience in this sport at all levels with anyone. With my history noted above and the fact that I have personally promoted 1200+ meets, I believe I have the right to state my observations and my opinions just as you do.

Rich Peters- just my opinion?

 

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What about all those Divisions?

You have probably heard other organization criticize NASA for having to many Divisions. So What! If we want to spend an extra $500 to $1,000 on Trophies on the Lifters of this Sport, it's our business. Many other meet directors and Organizations do not like to see us do this because it makes them look bad. They claim NASA is only in this Sport for Profit when in reality NASA spends 2-3 times the money on a meet that the average meet director spends doing other organization's meets. Enough of you have been to some of our meets where we only had 5-15 entries and the Hotel Bill was more than our entries. Our competition does like to be shown up. After all, if they claim we are in it only for the money, then why do we give 3 times the number of awards, travel to all of our meets and do them in Hotels at a cost? What kind of money does that mean they are making without all of these expenses?

NASA believes that every lifter should receive an award to their efforts. After all, it costs a lot for the equipment, travel, hotel, entry fee, membership card, etc. Why not get an Award for your hard training, effort and determination? NASA feels you deserve it, even if it does cost us a little more to be able to provide this to you.

 

Can we actually enjoy PL'ing?

Yes you can! But first you must realize that for most of us this is a healthy, exciting and fun sport. Win or lose on meet day, you will always come out a winner in life if you approach powerlifting in the right way. First of all you must realize that this sport is Fun! In what way you ask? All of the elements of a contest and training should be fun to you. Meeting new people, gaining new knowledge of the sport and of others backgrounds and learning not only how to win but also how to lose. Powerlifting is so much like life itself. The more you put into it, the more you get back out of it.

Take the time to meet people, get involved in the inner workings of the sport and become a part of it. Make your meet weekend a fun and exciting outing not an inconvenience to you. You will be surprised at how well your Total will re-act when you relax and become a part of the sport and it's people. I have seen this happen 100's of times in the past when lifters believed their career's were over. They finally came to realize what "Powerlifting" was all about.

 

What about those attitudes?

Sometimes I wonder where some people were raised. Some people believe that they can treat others like crap, talk to others like dogs and themselves be treated like gods. Why? I don't think they take the time to think about what they are saying nor realize how they are saying it to others. I have had people Email me "demanding" that I up date the records or put their picture on "my" web site. Not a good thing to do! I have always been the type of person that treats others as they treat me. What goes around comes around. There have been 10-15 lifters over the past 2 years that have basically ended their lifting career's in NASA because they choose to make threats about leaving if they didn't get their way or Records Up Dated according to their standards. How Stupid! Don't ever make a threat to anyone unless you are prepared to carry it out.

 

How has the Sport changed the most in the past 25 years?

Probably the people in it. In today's fast paced setting people just don't take the time to "stop and smell the roses" as they say. Everyone, including powerlifters, needs to slow down and enjoy life a little bit more. I can't even get lifters that win OL'er or Team Champions to even stay at the meet long enough for me to take their picture's for the web site or Mag's. It's like the minute they hit the meet site they want to know when the meet is going to be over! That is a miserable way to live guys. People want what they are after today, yesterday. If you are going to 2-3 meets a year why not plan months out to take off Friday, do the meet on Saturday, spend the night and leave on Sunday. Take your wife to dinner with some of the other lifters and their wives and get to know people, make friends! At some meets I feel like I'm doing a Track Meet. As soon as the lifters get their trophy it's a mad dash to the door. If you can't afford to enjoy what you are doing, why do it?

 

What should new lifters beware of?

Off the wall workout programs! New lifters should first and foremost be concerned about Form, Technique and leverage. The worst thing a new (2 years or less experience) can do is to start out on a very advanced program.

Another thing new lifters should be very cautious about is Assistance Work. Most new lifters believe that more is better. That simply is NOT the truth.

 

What I think about the Westside Method!

I personally don't care for it at all. BUT, and I say this strongly, I have seen very many lifters make very good gains and progress using this type training. I believe in the Old Fashioned way of gaining strength. But that's what worked for me. We all believe in what works for us. I say, "If it works for you, use it". Wade Johnson, Mike & Micki Scheffler and Steve Cryanoski have all used it and made great gains.

 

How do I feel about other Organizations?

I have no problem with other organizations, their lifters, meets or leadership as long as the play by the rules. What are the Rules you ask? They are simply the rules that most Meet Directors go by when conducting meets. An example would be to observe another meet director's meet dates. NASA books our meets, in most cases, a year in advance and we try to stay around the same dates. I don't knowingly go into another meet director's exact meet area. 

Believe it or not, there is Honor among most Meet Director's. I can only think of one Organization that is Truly Unethical in nature and is basically out to only disrupt the sport. The leader of this "group" is nothing more than a Bully and Thug. But this example is an exception to the rule. Most Meet Director's are great guys and do great meets.

I truly believe in the Free Enterprise System but I totally detest Cut Throat Tactic's by individual's in other organizations. These people are not out to build the sport, they are out to destroy someone else. They will come in, do a meet or two and then leave...and what do the lifters have then? Nothing! 

 

Is the Internet Good for Powerlifting?

Yes and No! Yes in the fact that it provides a great method to discuss training methods, obtain entries and get results out in record time. As a means to promote the sport, it is great. Sites such as the  NASA, USAPL and numerous other creditable organizational sites are great promotional sites for our sport.

No in the fact that unfortunately there are many "Trash" Forums that new lifters and Powerlifting Prospects may stumble across while trying to obtain legitimate  information about our sport. It is a trade off of good and bad. Lifters will just have to learn to sift through the dirt to find what works for them.

 

Is there only One Type of PL'er?

No there isn't. There is the Serious Long Term Champion Lifter (20%), the Recreational Lifter (50%) and the Conditioned Lifter/Athlete (30%). NASA has tried to provide a venue for all these type's to train, compete and socialize. There IS a place for all these types in this sport. Is anyone so naive to think that the only people who play Baseball, Basketball and Football are those that will make it in the Pro's? I don't think so. But it's these hundreds of thousands of "other" competitors (98%) in these sports that have made them either Pro Sports or Olympic Sports. NASA has been tuned into this for several years and we plan to continue on our path.

 

My Opinion on Equipment!

I truly believe this Sport is and should remain a sport of Human Strength, not a Sport in which the Strongest is determined by how much equipment a lifter can purchase and man handle himself into. I believe that it is ridiculous for a man to say he can BP 500 lbs when he KNOWS fully that he can only do 420 without his quadruple ply, triple stitched, armor plated BP Shirt. Who is he fooling anyway? Only himself! 

I do believe single ply equipment, wraps, belt, etc. has a place in this sport. Everything else, to me, only equals Ego stimulation. I can remember when a man that BP'ed 500 lbs was considered a Stud by ALL Standards. But that meant doing it with the maximum of ONE, Single Ply Shirt at the most. After all, this is a sport of personal strength not equipment manipulation!

 

What really impresses me!

I suppose a Champion Lifter that hasn't forgotten who he really is and the road he has traveled to get where he is now. I am always impressed by people with class along with lifting ability. Example's would certainly include Mike Ewoldsen, Jim Duree and Daryl Johnson and Mary Hetzel. Those that do not believe that Powerlifting was created just for them. Lifters that recognized that they were merely a part of this sport and that They were NOT The Sport! I have seen ten's of thousand's of lifters come and go. Great lifters and average lifters alike. The one's that stand out in my mind are the one's I have described above, the one's with True Class.

 

Do I consider myself a PL'ing Expert?

Absolutely. I didn't always feel I was an expert and I wasn't. But I surrounded myself with the experts (Mike MacDonald, Larry Pacifico, Vince Anello, John Inzer, Dave Patterson, Mike Lambert, Conrad Cotter, Holly Evett, Dick Burke, John Pettit, Dennis Wright, Walter Thomas, Clay Patterson, Fred Hatfield, etc) in my early days and I took the time to learn many different variations to many complex issues, idea's, training methods and theories of this sport. All the time I kept an open mind and open eye. I respected these people for their knowledge and experience in this sport. I have served in about as many capacities as a person can serve in this sport. I have conducted over 1,200 meets for several different organizations. This has been done over a span of 26+ years. The reason for this success is the people I mentioned above and from my own learning experiences.

Many lifters believe if that if they produce a certain Total, are elected or appointed to a position, they become "Experts" in Powerlifting. That makes me laugh. If I judge myself using the same Criteria as my critic's, they are merely alter boys. Until they can successfully survive 26+ years in this sport as a Ref, Meet Director, World Head Coach, National Officer and Organizational President they are merely in the "Learning Stage" of this sport. I get a kick out of these so called "Experts" on the forums. I have never heard of 99% of these so call "Experts". It takes more than a big bench or total and a keyboard to be called an "Expert" in this sport.

Do I feel like I know everything about this sport? Absolutely not! I am constantly learning new things from day to day. That's why I have to grin when someone attempts to portray the "All Knowing" Guru of the Sport. In reality, they don't know Jack! Lifting represents only about 25% of what this sport is really about.

 

What is hurting our sport the most today?

I honestly believe it is public's perception of the Use of unlimited equipment and the use of drugs. I am asked at every meet I conduct by members of the audience "Why do they wear all that equipment to do their lifts? How much can they do without it?" Then the next question from the new lifter and the general public is, "Are all those guys on Steroids? How do they get so big, by using Steroids?" The steroid questions come from people who look at the Magazines that constantly show Drugged up so called "Super Lifters".

 

How do you feel about the WPO and Cash Awards?

I think is a great idea in concept and a very poor use of our sport in general. The concept is great in that it theoretically gives lifters an opportunity to compete for some very big stakes. In reality, you'll soon find out that basically the same people will be winning all of the money and the thrill will be lost. In general it is bad for the longevity of our sport, in that, lifters will be forced to take steroids to even compete, qualify or be invited to compete. Does anyone truly Drug Free want to compete against these guys? No-one in their right mind would!

Am I against the WPO? No, not at all. Like I said, it is a great concept, but I just don't see it lasting. As long as drugs continue to infest our sport and lifters are encouraged to take them, Drug Free Lifters will never fit into this mix. As long as you have Drug Lifter's Total's to compare against Drug Free Total's the Drug Free Lifter will always come up on the short end of this stick.