Most people aren’t even aware that powerlifting exists. When people think of competitive lifting, they automatically think weightlifting, but probably don’t even know what that is either. Powerlifting, weightlifting, crossfit, and strongman all get grouped under the term weightlifting. People just aren’t exposed to each individual sport enough to know, or even realize that there is a difference.
Out of the four types of lifting competitions I listed, powerlifting is arguably the least entertaining to watch. Strongman gets more attention because people would rather watch someone pull an airplane. Weightlifting and crossfit are fun to watch because the lifts are fast and explosive.
Powerlifting is not fun to watch. I am pretty sure most powerlifters would agree with that statement. So I don’t know if I even need to continue writing.
Squat, bench, and deadlift are not exciting lifts to watch unless the person doing so is lifting upwards of a thousand pounds.
Do you know how long powerlifting competitions last? All flipping day. A gym buddy of mine was at a meet for 16 hours. Yes that’s sixteen hours. Granted this included getting there early and staying for awards, meets usually don’t last that long. But seriously 16 fucking hours? Even a quarter of that time is too long for a spectator to sit there and watch.
So the only way powerlifting is going to get more popular is if there are more powerlifters competing, or if it becomes an olympic sport.
The chances of it becoming an olympic sport are very small. Aside from people not enjoying watching it, and the amount of time a competition lasts, there are just too many variables that the powerlifting community can’t agree on. Monolifts, single ply, multiply, raw, classic raw, judging, drugs, knee sleeves, knee wraps, weight classes. And for it to be an olympic sport, there has to be a discernable governing body. How is that ever going to happen with all the federations that exist? UPA, USPA, NASA, USPLA, SPF, etc, etc..
I think eventually it could become an olympic sport, but there needs to be a lot of changes before that can happen.