How come all of the worlds strongest men are northern Europeans, but all the olympic records for weightlifting are by middle eastern people. I always though Northern/Eastern Europeans where the strongest people in the world judging by worlds strongest men tournament. Is it that they don't compete in the olympics or is there something about olympic lifting I don't know?
Thread: Worlds Strongest Men vs Olympic?
11-13-2006, 08:56 PM #1
Worlds Strongest Men vs Olympic?
11-13-2006, 10:14 PM #2
The only "native born" middle eastern guy who I can think of that smashes records is Reza Zedeh (sp?). Not a big fan of his...
The eastern block is still the dominant force in OL. Although Qatar imports a lot of guys from there and then gives them mid-eastern names.
On another note, I am going to have to smash that stereotype of everyone else being stronger than Americans! It's our time!!!"If you want to be world class you must first act world class"
11-13-2006, 10:36 PM #3
Originally Posted by 81Ort
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11-14-2006, 05:52 AM #4
11-14-2006, 05:52 AM #5
11-14-2006, 06:37 AM #6
What's popular culturally ...
The main reason that certain cultures excel in specific strength sports is because those specific strength sports are culturally popular. It also helps to have a huge population base (though I believe this is secondary).
Think about it ... until recently, North America hasn't done very well in olympic lifting OR strongman ... but we do well in bodybuilding and powerlifting. That's because the latter two are popular here, while the former two are/were not. Though at present strongman is taking off, so we're seeing more and more really good American strongmen (Pfister, Marunde, Pope, Ortmayer, Ostlund, Nee etc.). If you're a naturally big and strong guy in North America, you're most likely to take up bodybuilding, football or pro-wrestling, simply because you can make millions a year doing those ... but not doing strongman, olympic lifting, powerlifting. Mark Henry is the perfect example ... this guy probably could have been a champion powerlifter, strongman or olympic lifter if he stuck with them, he has/had amazing genetics for strength sports, but he's decided to wrestle instead because it's far more lucrative for him.
Conversely, in Eastern / Central Europe, there's a lot more cultural prestige / money associated with being a champion strongman. Rumor is that Mariusz Pudzianowski makes over a million a year ... he probably wouldn't be able to do that as a bodybuilder or powerlifter or olympic lifter.
Population helps too ... China has many champion olympic lifters because 1) the culture emphasises it and 2) they're drawing from a potential pool of well over a billion people. Think about that ... it means that statistically they have a over a THOUSAND "one in a million" genetic freaks!
But in the end I think cultural emphasis can overcome a huge population base. Iceland ... a tiny country with a population of what, a quarter million? Has produced many champion strongmen / powerlifters (Jon Pall, Magnus Ver, Bendikt Magnusson) because being strong is so strongly ingrained in the culture.
11-14-2006, 08:47 AM #7
11-14-2006, 09:40 AM #8Originally Posted by Doc Iron
You are also right on about Strongman taking off here in N.A. NAS Inc had (when I began in 2003) under 1,500 members; now there are almost 3 times that many members and it's only been 3 years. I think this is partially why we have more top level competitors."If you want to be world class you must first act world class"
11-14-2006, 09:45 AM #9Originally Posted by Doc Iron"In the shade now tall forms are advancing,
And their wan hands like snowflakes in the moonlight are gleaming;
They beckon, they whisper, 'Oh! strong armed in valor,
The pale guests await thee - mead foams in Valhalla.'"
Fryed Chykenz for lyfe: mcxk
11-14-2006, 10:10 AM #10
I wonder about various cultural differences
olympic weightlifting training is NOT very glamorous....the SAME exercises over and over day in and day out...thousands of reps......I think in a way the American mindset doesnt do well with that. We want constant excitement yada yada.
I think that is part of the reason westside is very popular.....people get to max out all the time, lol...plenty of drama......its like the training is more important that the meet itself.....thats why everyone videos every single training session, lol.
if you did that with OLy training it would be a boring video
edit! lol....I just happened to look in the training journals this very second and saw this in a westside journal: "Hah, yeah, I definitely agree that the best way to do Westside is with a camera."
of course they were talking about checking form etc, but...you see my point
theres not enough "drama" for Americans in sitting there doing the same exercises thousands of times over the course of years...we want the excitment NOW
Last edited by John Prophet; 11-14-2006 at 10:23 AM."Humility comes before honor"
11-14-2006, 12:44 PM #11
I do agree that it depends on what is culturally popular. In America very few people olympic lift compared with bodybuilding and powerlifting, not to mention that a lot of the big guys go for sports like football. That's probably why our olympic lifting team places so low in the olympics. It's kind of like soccer--other countries excel at it because it's what's popular there.
However, I have to disagree with the above poster John Prophet about oly lifting being boring. I'm a powerlifter, but I have competed occasionally in oly meets and actually judged at one last weekend. They are way more exciting than powerlifting meets, especially for spectators. It's pretty exciting to see people explosively lifting weight above their head---plus if they fail it's pretty dramatic compared to powerlifting.
I guess bench shirts have added a little excitement to PL as we are seeing some pretty dramatic dumps these days--like Wong's 800+ dump and Rychlak's 1000+.
11-14-2006, 02:36 PM #12
True, like in Iran, a wieghtlifting competition will attract thousands unlike the US.
As far as OL being boring, I think it would be the exact opposite. One reason why I really never got into PL is because it's too boring for me. I the strength and speed in the O lifts.
Plus, we have to look at the organizations themselves. The USAW doesn't do much to market the sport so this leaves it up to the fans and participants themselves. The last figures I looked at for memembership should USA gymnastics has more registered athletes than the USAW.
As for OL not being glamorous I can understand, especially in America. You could probably win a gold medal in the Olympics and nobody would know who you are, let alone what you did. But in countries like Greece, Middle East, and other heavy OL countries winning the gold is glamorous and they are worshipped so to speak. I think I remember reading somewhere that Rezazedah has enough money to buy multiple houses in Iran.
The genetic advantages of northern europeans are quite good for weightlifting/wsm and as iceland gene pool is hardly touched compared to the rest of the world this means they have much more potential through their superior gene pool as well.
11-14-2006, 05:27 PM #13
11-14-2006, 05:47 PM #14
11-14-2006, 05:58 PM #15
11-14-2006, 07:03 PM #16
the TRAINING.....not the competition
yeah, id say oly comps are more exciting than powerlifting......I mean..a big deadlift is nice but not too exciting, lol
I just mean Americans are the "we want it now" type....a lot of athletes get by on natural talent etc....you cant do that with oly...you have to do thousands of reps for years
think about it....we have high school kids going straight to being starters in the NBA....totally different mentality"Humility comes before honor"
11-14-2006, 07:47 PM #17Originally Posted by John Prophet
11-14-2006, 09:58 PM #18Originally Posted by AtomicLee
He's not even the best in America. He was last year but he couldn't beat me this year!
note*- I like to bash Phil so that maybe he will come out and face me so I tend to go off when I hear his name."If you want to be world class you must first act world class"
11-15-2006, 12:36 AM #19
11-15-2006, 08:10 PM #20
Pfister vs. Ortmayer ...
Sorry Travis, gotta go with big Phil on that one.
I don't think you've ever beaten Phil head to head, have you?
You certainly haven't beaten Pudz head to head, Phil has.
He's World's Strongest Man ... seems to me that if you wanna BE the man, you gotta BEAT the man!
(Let's see if that gives him the motivation to win the IFSA Worlds) ;-)