Powerlifting – A Sh*tty Analogy

Most ‘regular’ people don’t really understand what powerlifting is like.  They don’t understand how powerlifting changes the way you view things, how it seeps into every aspect of your life, and how bad ass it is to throw around some heavy weight.  I want to help those that don’t lift weights understand what powerlifting is all about.  That is the purpose of this article.

If you want to make someone understand something that is important to you, the suggestion is to use an analogy so they can understand where you are coming from.  And they say to make analogies even more effective, you should pick something that almost everyone can relate to.  To that end my goal is to help you understand what it is like to get involved in the sport of powerlifting.  And I apologize in advance because this is a sh*tty analogy.

How it Starts

You are sitting on the can, and one day you look down after a particularly grueling session and you realize there is a damn big log down there.  You wonder how that compares to what other people do?  Do you take bigger dumps than others?  You start to ask your closest friends – how big are theirs?  What is the best one they have ever had?  How do their dumps compare to yours?

Your friends tell you that based on your descriptions it seems like you have some big ones, but it is hard to know for sure, and they wonder how much you are exaggerating.  Finally you muster up the courage to show them a dump you are particularly proud of.  You think it is a personal record (PR) for you.  Your friends see it and go crazy.  They tell you that it is awesome, they have never seen anything like it in person – they exclaim it must be some sort of a record!  One of them suggests you should enter a competition to see what you can do.

You never thought of that.  You didn’t even know there was such a thing?  You research more and realize there is small but cool segment of the population that cares about their PR dumps, and you can even enter into dumping competitions.

You start to take your dumping more serious.  You learn more.  You discover that having a routine is very effective.  You find out there are many routines to choose from, some for novice dumpers and some for elite ones, but the key is hard work and consistency.  You also discover that your eating habits have a big impact on your dumping performance.  You realize if you start to eat more, then your dumps get even bigger.

You start to structure your life around your dumping.  You like to dump in the same place at the same time each week.  You find some friends that are seriously into dumping and they join you to practice their dumping too.  The comradery of your fellow dumpers is one of the best things about the sport.

You start to track your dumps religiously in your log book and of course you get very excited every time you hit a PR dump.  You start monitoring your food to see exactly how much eating affects your dumping performance.  You find you can start to predict when the big dumps are coming, and you look forward to those sessions (although a little part of you is scared you’ll hurt yourself when you force out the particularly big ones).  You feel such great relief after nailing that huge dump that the rest of the day seems like it is a breeze compared to what you went through to make that happen.


You decide to Compete

Your dumps have continually increased and now you are reasonably proud of how big they are.  You are sure there are some others out there with even bigger ones, but you decide that it is time to do this for real.  You sign up for a local dumping competition, it is 3 months away.  Three of your more serious dumping buddies – Fred, George, and Sarah – decide to do it with you.

You train hard and you eat well.  Your dumping is coming along nicely.  Suddenly the competition is just a week away.  You have been reading the rules and now you are getting nervous.  What if you are not doing it correctly?  According the rules you only have a 15-minute window once you start to complete your dump – you must be able to perform when called upon.  And there are official dumping toilets that are different from the ones you are used to.  You wonder if that will mess you up?  To top it off you have to travel and spend the night in a hotel to be ready to go at the competition and you know sometimes your system doesn’t react well to travel.

You wonder how you should spend your last week?  Should you train extra hard so you are more prepared, or should you rest so you are fresh?  Sometimes you think you are going to hit the biggest dump of your life at this competition.  Other times you are afraid just a little nugget will fall out.  There is an even worst-case scenario.  It is a competitive dumper’s greatest nightmare.  It is called bombing out.  This occurs when you fail to register any dump at all on the scale.  You get a score of zero, you place last, and you have to do the walk of shame out of the building holding your completely empty dumping bag for all to see.  You have heard horror stories about what it is like to bomb out and you pray that doesn’t happen to you.

The day of the competition finally arrives.  You try to eat what you are supposed to, but the food has no taste and turns to mush in your mouth.  You force it down.  Your stomach is in knots.  Oh god, why did you sign up for this?  It is much more fun to dump on your home turf at your own special place at a time of your choosing.  Now you are surrounded by strangers who all have this same horrible look on their face.  And by the looks of them, some of these behemoths can produce some pretty insane dumps.

The one huge guy with the beard looks like he could out-dump a horse.  Even that fit woman over there is rumored to have some serious dumps.  You are going to embarrass yourself, you should just go home now.

But now it is too late to run.  They post up when you are dumping.  You are 10 dumpers away.  The time ticks by.  Now you are 5 away, then suddenly you are in the hole, then you are on deck.  Then you hear it.  “The toilet is ready” the announcer calls out.  That is your signal.  It is time to perform.  This is what you have been training for.  All those months of hard work.  This is why you ate what you did and why you practiced for hours every week and why you skipped those parties.  It was to show these people just how much you could dump.  You approach the stall door, the judge eyes you as you enter.  You have to wear a funny outfit called a singlet to make sure you aren’t hiding any extra dump on you.  The judge gives you a nod, the door opens, and you see the clock begin to tick down.  You have 15 minutes to put out the biggest dump of your life.  This is the day you have to do something you have never done before.

It is all or nothing.  You are trembling.  You take a deep breath.  You sit.  Brace – find the best position – make it happen – the clock is ticking down – adjust your special pooping belt – squeeze – turn bright red – you can feel it building – your eyes see stars.  The pressure is intense.  Don’t give up.  God you might get a bloody nose from this.  A little voice wonders if this is even healthy?

SCREW THAT another voice responds.  A voice that is loud and angry.  You are here to prove yourself.  There is some deep primal need to show the world how much you can dump.  You are almost there.  There is no stopping you now.  Finally it comes.  You think it is a good one.  You can’t tell for sure.  Oh god the bag touched the water – is that legal?  What if they don’t count it?  You know you can’t do it again.  This was your one shot.

You emerge. Relieved.  Triumphant.  Exhausted.  You think it is your best one yet.  The head judge examines your dumping bag.  He holds a brown stick aloft.  It means your dump counts!  Relief washes over you.  You did it.  All you want to do is give your family and friends a hug and then sit on the couch for a week.  You suddenly feel as if you have been run over by a truck, but it was all worth it.  You can’t stop smiling.  All is well with the world – you set a dumping PR in your first competition!


What is Next

Eventually that post-competition high wears off and the real-world returns.  You are happy with how you performed.  Your training partners can’t all say the same.  Sarah did well and set a PR for herself.  Fred got so anxious two days before the meet he couldn’t hold it in.  He decided to test where he was and he let out a monster PR in training, only to fall way short on the day of the competition. And George got so nervous that he barely squeezed out a nugget on the day of the meet, narrowly avoiding bombing out but coming in last place.

But you believe you could do even better.  If you recommit yourself to your training, tighten up your eating habits, you could squeeze out even more.  You discover there is a whole world of competitive pooping on social media.  There are juggernauts like Ray Williams who is tossing around giant amounts that you wouldn’t believe if there wasn’t video proof.  Jennifer Thompson doesn’t look like she puts out what she does, but she is known as one of the best competitors of all time.  There is a special formula – the Sheetz formula – that tries to evenly compare what men and women can do (since naturally men are dropping bigger dumps than women) and with that formula she is one of the best competitors of all time.

You start to find out more about the history of the sport.  You discover that likely people have been comparing dumps for ages, but competitive dumping came on to the scene about 60 years.  At first it was just for men, but women quickly got in on the act.  Most consider Ed “The Colon” Coan to be the greatest competitor of all time.

You read about the legendary Captain Kirk Karwoski – who once was so proud of his effort he could be heard screaming “I want to hold it, I want to hold it!” when he was finished.


You discover that now they make these special suits you can wear that help you dump.  In theory they compress everything and squeeze extra pounds out of you, but that kind of seems like cheating to you.  You see pictures of people contorting their bodies in extremely odd positions to extract every last drop.

The rules simply say that your butt must be on the seat when you compete, it doesn’t really clarify how much of the butt needs to be on there.  This seems like a loop hole in the rules to you but there are people twisting themselves into a pretzel while they dump to get that last little bit out.

Sarah mentions that she has read about some supplements that seem to help you dump.  Fred whispers that there are much stronger agents than supplements available if you really want to take your game to the next level.  He even insinuates that if you aren’t doing everything you possibly can to dump the maximum amount, you probably aren’t that serious about the sport.  You aren’t sure how you feel about that.  You wonder if those things are even legal, ethical, or what the long terms effects of using them might be?  George has started preaching that you must avoid carbs to have truly giant dumps.  The theory is that all the protein will build up inside of you until it comes rushing out.  But you’ve also read that carbs are crucial to get the most of out of dumping and you can’t succeed with out them.  There is so much information you aren’t sure where to turn?

You procure a copy of All About Pooping: Everything You Need to Know About Taking the Biggest Dumps Ever by Tim “Hairy Ass” Henriques.  Most seem to agree it is the single best resource out there on the sport, but there is a lot of good information available.  There are a lot of books and articles about pooping – how often, how big, what technique you should use, how intense you should squeeze, how to film it at just the right angle.  You find that your social media feed is now filled to the brim with images of poop – people in the act, people getting ready, people giving advice (and just because they poop a little each day suddenly everyone thinks they are an expert), the end result, failed attempts, and horrible attempts gone wrong.

You sign up for your next meet and you realize – this is what I want to do.  This is what makes me happy.  I am okay structuring my free time around this, maybe even my job if I need to.  I have made lifelong friends in this endeavor.  I learned so much, heck I even changed how my body looks and how I feel about myself all in this pursuit.

I am a competitive pooper, and I am damn proud of it.

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