Jun 22, 2014



A friend of mine once stated: “You cannot choose your family, but you can choose your friends.”

What do we mean when we say that we are part of the iron brother/sister-hood?  To each of us the meaning may be slightly different.  However, the consistent message is that we all share a common language and passion, regardless of our ‘station,’ background or family.  Those who progress through the sport of powerlifting, a global effort that brings little fame or recognition outside of our community, find acceptance and strength in each other.  In what other sport do direct rivals give each other advice that will advance the other?

In a sport that is seen as being individualistic by those outside of the community, a perception of ego and self-congratulation,  is instead a sport of teamwork where you must absolutely trust those around you or your life is truly at risk.  In training, we put our health and safety at risk trusting the members of our community that are spotting us, and they are trusting us.  It is a membership in which we can each walk into a meet, or visit a powerlifting team, and believe that we can expect the same level of give and take – and safety.  In fact, we celebrate each others’ accomplishments even when we have never met – online or at a meet, or even a gym PR.


How often can you attend a sport event without your usual support group and find others that are willing to assist you in achieving your goal?  Where else can you ask another to sacrifice their time, energy, vacation, to drive or board a flight and fly across country or half-way around the world to help YOU accomplish a goal?  Help YOU stand in the limelight?  Gather a nation of brothers and sisters to stand behind a common belief and do something for the common good without receiving national attention?

Occasionally there is a disagreement between individuals in the sport.  However, these are few and far between, and are often kept out of the limelight, or sink to the background quickly as a footnote in the sport.

When we do see outrage, it is often in relation to people who misrepresent themselves in the sport and push the mis-representations of what our sport stands for, perhaps turning people who could use the sport and community away.  For some, this community is literally life-changing and life-saving!

What brings you to the sport of powerlifting?  The sense of self-accomplishment?  The ability to celebrate the accomplishments of your brothers and sisters of iron?  The sense of community?  The ability to trust your fellow man and make a difference?

Comment below.



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  1. Jack DiBenedetto /

    What brought me to Powerlifting was this undying urge to be the strongest man EVER! It took me a long time to trust anyone but I can honestly say that some of the most trustworthy people I have ever met where people I meet for the first time at a competition. I think we feel like a family because no matter how or where we grew up or what are differences are, we all bust our asses to be our best. We all have the same goal. I can honesty say I am truly happy when fellow competitors hit PRs.

  2. Pamanda /

    I highly agree on power lifters all being a family of iron . Trusting your team members or who your training with is a key issue . We do put out lives in the hands of others. Getting under the bar or beneath the bar with some one you don’t know is a scary thing. You can be easily hurt or crushed . You can’t trust just any one. This is one of the reasons I can’t squat or bench at my gym because I’m the only power lifter and no one had the proper traning or knowledge of spotting. Team work of the iron makes a family.

  3. Greg /

    Sense of accomplishment comes to mind. I agree that in our hobby of power lifting there will always be those that will help one achieve a set goal or help at a meet. I remember my first meet, I knew no one at the meet, my training partner couldn’t make it…at the meet I was treated like family! 20 years later those people that helped me, we still communicate to this day and help one another at meets when we cross paths. Aside from the many federations the bottom line is we are all in it for some sense of accomplishment, defying gravity with a set weight…powerlifting, ya gotta love it! Stay strong, stay tight, don’t bomb, and get those whites!

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