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RAW vs. Equipped Powerlifting

BlueDevil

BlueDevil

MuscleHead
Jul 9, 2011
267
27
#25
exactly

I don't get how people can be so polarized on this topic.... it's all about moving heavy weight. Most people who would call equipped lifting cheating have never seen, let alone tried to use a squat suit or bench shirt. Everyone wants to believe that their way is the right way, but in the end it's all about moving heavy-ass weight.
I don't think that either way is better. I just think that raw lifting will attract more participants and spectators. I got nothing against equipped lifting, but it's not something you can just dive into like you can with raw lifting. You need more help with gear. You need someone to help you put on a shirt, take it off, learn to train with it, teach you what you should be looking for in a shirt, etc. For a guy just starting out all that extra can be a bit intimidating.
 
SFGiants

SFGiants

MuscleHead
Apr 20, 2011
1,091
127
#26
exactly

I don't get how people can be so polarized on this topic.... it's all about moving heavy weight. Most people who would call equipped lifting cheating have never seen, let alone tried to use a squat suit or bench shirt. Everyone wants to believe that their way is the right way, but in the end it's all about moving heavy-ass weight.
The more gear and thicker the hard and more of a challenge it because making it that much more fun raw only sucks it's boring but it must be done.

I have been out of gear since March to build raw strength up and it's not even as close or hard as geared.
 
porky little keg

porky little keg

MuscleHead
May 21, 2011
1,225
645
#28
I don't think that either way is better. I just think that raw lifting will attract more participants and spectators. I got nothing against equipped lifting, but it's not something you can just dive into like you can with raw lifting. You need more help with gear. You need someone to help you put on a shirt, take it off, learn to train with it, teach you what you should be looking for in a shirt, etc. For a guy just starting out all that extra can be a bit intimidating.
I can totally agree with that. Most guys start off lifting raw, some get with a group that competes raw and stay that way and others move on to equipped lifting. There are guys who work gear by themselves, but its hard to do that at a very high level ( although guys like Mike Tuscherer (sp?) do) just because of the weight being used. A good raw lifter I know is squatting over 8, benching over 5, and pulling around 8.... you can't just go in to a planet fitness and load this kind of weight on a bar... you need a real squat bar and deadlift bar just to hold the weight you use not to mention everything else that goes in to it.

The best thing I've seen happen to the sport raw, 50-ply, whatever.... are guys like Garry Frank who have worked to make Powerlifting a high school sport in states like Louisiana and Texas. Some of those kids compete raw, some in knee wraps, and some in gear bought or handed down in high school programs.... but they are all getting in with good coaching from the start. The future of the sport doesn't give a flying fuck about what sort of underbritches a person wears when he or she squats.... just lift big weight.
 
P

powerlifter62

Member
Jul 30, 2011
12
2
#29
I started lifting in 1982. There was no raw then. Everyone used either a marathon or titan squat suit, superwraps (II?). The bench shirt followed shortly, at first giving 20-30 lbs, then increasing.

Raw lifting came about because gear became so good, that it was adding literally 100s of pounds to the squat and bench in particular, less to the deadlift, but still adding to the deadlift. It became as much a matter of keeping up with the latest technology as anything else, and old records kept falling because of improved technology rather than stronger lifters.

So for those and a number of other reasons, a number of lifters gravitated toward raw. Some spoke about raw being easier to train for - I would say that is true to the extent that you don't need help getting into a singlet or t-shirt. Breaking records means that you got stronger rather than that the gear got better. And non-lifters in the gym can relate to what you did. I haven't lifted equipped in over 10 years (I did a WNPF contest that allowed kneewraps to be sociable with training partners). I don't ever expect to compete equipped again.
 
BrotherIron

BrotherIron

TID Board Of Directors
Mar 6, 2011
10,288
2,551
#30
How could you say Equipped came before Raw when the first national PLing Meet was back in the early 60's. That was before all the added equipment.
 
Last edited:
porky little keg

porky little keg

MuscleHead
May 21, 2011
1,225
645
#31
How could you say Equipped came before Raw when the first national PLing Meet was back in the early 60's. That was before all the added equipment.
talk to a few guys who remember that era..... I've heard stories from the 60's and 70's of guys wrapping not just knees but damn near their whole bodies. I've talked to a competitor from the 70's who used to wrap half tennis balls behind his knees for extra pop..... in the early days of geared lifting I've heard stories of guys wearing 6 squat suits and using 3 shirts and duct tape to hold everything together..... never mind that for the first 1000lb squat they spotters just pulled the racks out of the way ( years before the monolift was ever invented)

Raw and equipped didn't split until fairly recently when gear started to get noticeably more extreme.....

I still don't get how people make such a big deal out of it. Just like auto racing, tractor pulling, etc... there are different classes that allow for different equipment. This is like guys racing in the production and pro-mod classes arguing over which one is better..... same sport, get over it.
As a multi-ply lifter I can still appreciate the strength of Konstantin K ( sp?),Malanicheiv, Bennidikt Magnusson...

And for what it's worth: I don't care if the "average" gym lifter likes that I use a bench shirt or not ( likeaWeed)... strong is strong, period. I train with a few benchers putting up 8+ ( I have in the gym, working on it in a meet) and every one of those guys can bench 500+ raw, paused, without training specifically for raw lifting.... they are just strong, doesn't matter if they have a bench shirt or not.

sorry..... rant over......
 
silverback

silverback

Member
Jan 2, 2011
28
1
#32
I compete unequipped ( i wear knee wraps),I train by myself and am the father of a large family, i do not have the money for the gear. does that make me better than the equipped guys, no.
my issue is the guy who picks up a muscle and fitness from the supermarket rack and decides he wants to workout, then during his first week lifting, looks over in the corner and sees the pl'ers wearing bench shirts and then goes and buys one.
there is a place for raw, unequipped, single ply and multi. one is not better than the other, the best out there do not stick to one way over another. look through their logs- a raw phase, a single phase, a multi phase.

lets quit hating each other, and see who is the strongest under the rules WE agree to compete under( raw, single,multi,tested, not)
 
J

james_s_carroll

Member
May 29, 2011
23
0
#33
Everyone to there own - I agree with silverback that the newbie looking to get equipped to lift is the issue, but those sort of people wont last long in the gym anyway.
I knew I liked lifting when I started to get a kick out of 'lactic acid build up' and the burn ..... it wasnt down to raw or equiped just simple pushing iron
 
gunslinger

gunslinger

VIP Member
Sep 19, 2010
1,174
305
#34
I compete in raw. I think raw definitely helps the sport. A lot of people that don't know about powerlifting assume it's raw (at least in my experiences) and then when I explain bench shirts, squat and deadlift suits and briefs, etc... the same respect isn't there. I have absolutely nothing against geared powerlifting, I just prefer raw for me and my goals.

I agree 100% with this. I think in general people respect RAW more. Even more so when they find out how much a bench shirt can add...lol
 
D

deadweight

MuscleHead
Sep 20, 2010
2,294
497
#35
I compete unequipped ( i wear knee wraps),I train by myself and am the father of a large family, i do not have the money for the gear. does that make me better than the equipped guys, no.
my issue is the guy who picks up a muscle and fitness from the supermarket rack and decides he wants to workout, then during his first week lifting, looks over in the corner and sees the pl'ers wearing bench shirts and then goes and buys one.
there is a place for raw, unequipped, single ply and multi. one is not better than the other, the best out there do not stick to one way over another. look through their logs- a raw phase, a single phase, a multi phase.

lets quit hating each other, and see who is the strongest under the rules WE agree to compete under( raw, single,multi,tested, not)
i agree..pick and chosse and let the best man win.......dw
 
F

Flathead

Member
Jul 20, 2011
99
20
#36
Equipped lifter myself. No debate here on which one is better, just a personal choice. Either one, if your PLing, your doing it right!
 
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