Too Fat to Lift

By Chris Moore

In Powerlifting

July 23, 2010

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Chris Moore reflects on a quest for strength that pushed his weight to 370 lb. Now he’s on a path to strength and health.

I could not, for the life of me, take my eyes off the man. The guy was like a train wreck, a cataclysm and a sunrise all rolled up into one big, disturbing—yet somehow beautiful—package.

Picture in your mind, dear reader, a walking, talking kielbasa sausage at a national-level powerlifting meet. Four hundred pounds of man shoved into a 350-lb. bag. He could not have gone unnoticed: the guy was wearing the brightest yellow shirt you ever saw.

He wasn’t there to compete, but you could tell he was a lifter. Heavily muscled upper back. A corkscrew splattering of busted blood vessels along his neckline—a sure sign of more than a few max-effort attempts. Enlarged, coarsely calloused hands. He carried himself with an expected strut, a look that screams, “I am a fucking big strong guy, and I know it.”

What struck me, though, were all the features that seemingly did not belong on a trained athlete. That strut of his, while confident, was barely a snail’s pace, and it was performed atop two strained, purple ankles. He wasn’t really doing much of anything behind the scenes but somehow still needed that handy gym towel to mop up the ever-growing stream of sweat, now furiously pouring from every inch of his body.

What the hell had this guy done to himself? Was it intentional? All in the name of maximal strength? Then it hit me. There was a reason I was so fascinated. Only three years prior, I had been in that guy’s shoes.

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6 Comments on “Too Fat to Lift”

1

wrote …

Awesome tale, Chris, keep them coming; for another 50 years or so. Paul

2

wrote …

Great story. I love hearing from the powerlifters.

3

wrote …

Its funny how many powerlifters that praise Louie and Westside neglect their GPP when Louie even says in his book if you neglect your GPP you wont get nearly as strong as you could be. The better in shape you are the more lifting you can do. I guess no one reads that part of the book, they just go straight to the program.

4

wrote …

A good read.

5

Michael Bledsoe wrote …

Hey guys, it's Chris.

Yeah, it's easy to find an excuse to being lazy. It just get's in you're head after a while.

You read about all these old school weightlifters who would avoid waking, or cardio stuff, because it interfered with training. What you miss is that those guys were lifting 2-3 times a day, 6 days a week. I'm not sure they could walk if they wanted to. They had to rack themselves to recover. For me? I was lifting 4 days a week at less than an hour a pop. Those days are gone.

People can say whatever they want about Lou, but here's the truth. That gym has tried everything. They do what works. If it was better for max strength to be out of shape and fat, they would drop the sled work, etc. The stuff just works.

What excites me is the new crop of crossfit guys, like Orlando, who have really excellent strength while they push the conditioning. It's an new breed...

6

wrote …

Good read, Chris. Thanks.

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