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BFGUITAR
08-28-2009, 12:40 PM
Ive always wanted to know... why do powerlifters choose not to use any form of gear? Is training without any gear that dangerous? I have always been under the impression that after years and years of lifting your body takes a beating and gear allows you to lift heavy even in old age by protecting your body. How true is this? A little input from the big guys about the gear vs no gear mentality would be nice.

As a little aside... a lot of people at the school I go to (even the strong and knowledgeable ones) I feel "look down" upon me because I decided to wear lifting equipment. I don't know if I am crazy or that their utmost dedication to raw lifting makes it seem that way. Anyone else know what I mean?

Kray-z
08-28-2009, 12:45 PM
For me personally, I've competed both ways and I've chosen for now to pursue raw lifting because I just enjoy the sport more that way. I like training without having to mess with a shirt or suit or get help to put it on, etc. I would say there is truth to the fact that gear can give you support and protect your body. However, I've lifted raw for years without any injuries or pain. Of course there is always animosity between different "groups" of lifters, but my opinion is that it is silly. In the end, we are all lifters trying to move as much weight as possible, whether equipped or unequppied. You can see that gear isn't making these guys strong, just look at the RUM, look at Jesse Kellum's squat or what Ryan Celli has done raw, these guys are strong whether equipped or not. I respect both styles of lifting and have enjoyed both, personally I am glad there is a choice.

Beverly McD.
08-28-2009, 12:46 PM
It is absolutely true that gear allows an older lifter to continue to compete.

Barbaccio
08-28-2009, 12:56 PM
There are positives to both ways and if you can take the pluses from both, you'll have alot of fun.

Gear is fun for the technical challenge it represents. Learning to get more and more poundage from a suit/shirt is rewarding. Putting 3-4-500lbs over what you could do raw in your hands or on your back tests your mental toughness. It's amazingly tough on the nervous system as you're overloading your body beyond it's normal limits.

Raw is great for the pure challenge of strength itself. Hitting a raw 405 press is most gym goes dream. Pushing yourself to the very edge of your ability and feeling your body respond to the daily challenge as it grows and adapts. It a primal you against the weight struggle.

Both can be equally impressive. Seeing a 242lb guy hit a 500lb raw bench and watching a 148lber hit a 600lb equipped bench doesn't feel much different to me. If you can appreciate what each one does, the struggles and trials each one goes thorugh, the work each puts in, there really is no difference at all....

Travis Bell
08-28-2009, 01:06 PM
I like them both. I train raw 90% of the time and really enjoy it, but training raw, for a geared lift, is different than training raw for a raw lift.

When I did the RUM last year, I did indeed take quite a beating in the process. But I learned. I think gear is the most popular way to train so that's what most thought and progression goes towards. I learned from the RUM and feel that I could do better if I were to do a raw meet again, which I probably will. You learn what you can and can't do, how to maximize your training and how to recover most effectively.

JSully
08-28-2009, 01:11 PM
1) I can't afford gear at this time
2) I enjoy lifting raw
3) I want to hit a 2000lb total RAW and then put some gear on to see what I've really got in the tank.

I don't discredit geared lifters whatsoever. Throwing around 600-700-800-900l+lbs over your skull takes some balls. Standing there with 1100lbs on your back descending into the hole.. that ****'s just amazing!

I can't say for sure whether I'll ever go geared or not, but I think I may someday..

I find it pointless to discredit someone because they lift geared.. someone squatting 900x1 suited vs a raw 550 squat is ean equal feat at any weight..

I love to watch people set PRs regardless of bodyweight, geared, raw, juiced or not.. A PR is a PR and always warrants a congratulations.. It's an awesome thing to see the look on someones face when they break a milestone.

IMO, if you're going to point fingers and scrutinize/ridicule, you don't love the sport as much as you think you do.

banger
08-28-2009, 02:17 PM
Not to hijack the thread, but I have a question to go along w/ BFGuitars:

To the geared/raw lifters, have you seen an increase in your raw lifts just from training w/ gear?
What I mean is have you plateaued at raw, trained in gear, and then gone back to raw and found
you were able to continue your strength gains?

sobrinoc
08-28-2009, 02:24 PM
I think the equipment vs no-equipment debate is sometimes used as a cover for the real debate regarding all the different federations and styles: testing vs no-testing for drugs.

You could come to an agreement about every single minutae regarding shirts, suits, wraps, monolifts, etc. but the drug issue will always divide half and half... My $0.02.`

On the other hand, I do honestly believe the overall strongest lifters compete equipped. I also believe that the discussion has become more RAW vs. equipped because the distance between single ply and multi ply is getting shorter.

sayagain
08-28-2009, 03:07 PM
I lift and compete raw for a couple reasons. I train alone and I don't want to spend the money on gear. I enjoy going to meets and watching any kind of powerlifting (raw, single ply, multi ply, Hoff ply, etc.). I have absolutely nothing against equipped lifters and believe that they are very strong at what they do, and am sure that they also have great raw numbers. If at some point I start lifting with some other powerlifters I may make the jump into the gear, but until then I am sure I will stay raw. I really enjoy this kind of lifting, but I also think it would be fun to try squatting and benching equipped.

sayagain
08-28-2009, 03:09 PM
Not to hijack the thread, but I have a question to go along w/ BFGuitars:

To the geared/raw lifters, have you seen an increase in your raw lifts just from training w/ gear?
What I mean is have you plateaued at raw, trained in gear, and then gone back to raw and found
you were able to continue your strength gains?

I've wondered this as well. Does the extra load on your CNS carryover to raw strength gains?

Travis Bell
08-28-2009, 03:33 PM
Good question banger.

I feel that it does to some extent, the problem is that my weakness is usually at the bottom when I switch to training for a raw meet.

500lbs does seem nice and light if you've been handling 800lbs in training, but I might not be the best qualified person to answer as I train raw a lot. Might be better to ask someone who is training in gear more often I suppose.

What I notice most of all though is I feel like my pecs and shoulders get a break a little when I'm in my shirt. Now after a meet they are sore as all get out, but in training, it seems to keep them fresh if I get in my shirt every so often.

Detard
08-28-2009, 03:39 PM
I saw a carry over from my geared bench to my raw bench. About 20lbs added to my raw bench after a 6 week training cycle in a shirt. Everything just felt so light after using max loads in a shirt.

Beverly McD.
08-28-2009, 04:46 PM
I saw a carry over from my geared bench to my raw bench. About 20lbs added to my raw bench after a 6 week training cycle in a shirt. Everything just felt so light after using max loads in a shirt.
Every guy in our gym experienced the same. Goes for deads and squats too.

Sean S
08-28-2009, 05:43 PM
There are a couple reasons I compete in gear.
1) Most of the best meets in the area are equipped meets
2) Heavy raw training all the time really beats me up, especially in the shoulders and pecs. I train with a lifter in his mid-40's who would have had to stop competing several years ago due to injuries if it weren't for equipment. He has some chronic injury issues, but the shirts and suits allow him enough protection to train and compete. He used to train raw alot more than he does now, but it just isn't possible for him anymore.

danmac
08-28-2009, 05:48 PM
I saw a carry over from my geared bench to my raw bench. About 20lbs added to my raw bench after a 6 week training cycle in a shirt. Everything just felt so light after using max loads in a shirt.

I hope i get this effect! i am going into my first geared training cycle now.

dammstrate
08-28-2009, 06:46 PM
I couldn't lift very heavy at 47 without the gear for sure, especially for squat
and deadlift (sumo - hips).

Every bench PR I hit, my raw goes up about 1/4 - 1/3 of the improvement. I.E. shirted bench goes up 20lbs, raw goes up 5 lbs. Every time.

To give you some possible carryover from gear, my son recently did a 625 raw squat, clearly deep to pass in any fed (OK, bragging a bit for him, but he is 6'8" and 325). We talked him into putting on the briefs one day when his
hips were sore from strongman stones a couple of days before. Worked up to
785 with a pair of Predators, and then put on a T-Rex suit bottoms and did
875. He was probably good for low 9s with the straps up, but we stopped due to lack of spotters. And that is with no CNS training. Next day, hips were good, middle and upper back were hella sore from not being used to the compression. His previous geared PR was 750.

1 - gear protects some joints
2 - gear forces fatigue/stress in different places than raw
3 - raw gets you stronger for gear, and gear gets you stonger raw
==> do both if you can!

sayagain
08-28-2009, 06:55 PM
Good stuff, I've been thinking about getting a pair of briefs for a while now. Maybe its time.

NickAus
08-28-2009, 08:32 PM
I love training in gear, the extra weight on the bar gets me excited.
It's like and extreme sport where if something goes wrong you can get seriously hurt, this makes my really focus on what I'm doing.
Just my take on it.

SEOINAGE
08-28-2009, 10:16 PM
I was wanting to start training in some briefs as well, but for price vs quality and effectiveness, what would be a good pair? I want to start competing geared as well, just don't have money to blow on the best gear.

dynamo
08-29-2009, 08:27 AM
Ive always wanted to know... why do powerlifters choose not to use any form of gear? Is training without any gear that dangerous? I have always been under the impression that after years and years of lifting your body takes a beating and gear allows you to lift heavy even in old age by protecting your body. How true is this? A little input from the big guys about the gear vs no gear mentality would be nice.

As a little aside... a lot of people at the school I go to (even the strong and knowledgeable ones) I feel "look down" upon me because I decided to wear lifting equipment. I don't know if I am crazy or that their utmost dedication to raw lifting makes it seem that way. Anyone else know what I mean?

Generally I don't care how people lift in terms of raw or geared, and in fact in the long run geared lifters may end up lifting more raw. Their body's may not get as beat up as fast so less chance to burn out. But I can understand what goes through people's minds.
If you ask a raw guy how much do you bench and they say 405 you'd be like whoa!! then you ask a gear guy how much he benches and he says 625 and of course you'd go whoa! again then you tell both of them, lets go to the gym I wanna see. You'll have one guy say ok and one guy hold on I gotta go grab my bench shirt. Clearly you can see the disconnect even though they may both bench the same raw or perhaps the geared lifter would lift more. And of course if the geared lifter 'only' benches 550 or something I would imagine people would call him out for hyping up his numbers at which point the geared lifter would say he uses a bench shirt they you'd most likely get the canned 'thats cheating' response. From what I can tell though, wearing gear is no worse than buying a good seat of cleats for soccer, or wearing under armor when you've got your pads on for football to keep you cool.

vdizenzo
08-29-2009, 08:41 AM
Gear is for losers, wait, I'm going back to the shirt. Raw is for losers. Who cares. Just lift they way you want. The only person you have to prove anything to is yourself.

EatMyWay2TheTop
08-29-2009, 10:49 AM
I started training for a meet late last year and used a single ply squat suit and a denim bench shirt. Once the excitement passed it was a pain in the ass to have to put the gear on, to spend so much time in the gym and to get the gear off. It took the whole fun part out of lifting and I ended up not even entering the meet.
To be honest, I guess it could have been more fun if I had a group of other lifters training in gear with me but it wasnt the case so I had to rely on my friends to spot and help me. Not the best way to start with shirts and suits if you ask me.
I'll probably get back to gear in the future to see what kind of numbers I can put on, but I'll wait to be stronger and reach out to knowledgeable peoples to help me get started the good way.
So to answer your original question, I went raw because it was more fun.

Ben Moore
08-29-2009, 11:20 AM
It's all about goals you have at the time and what you want to do. Nothing else.

robchris
08-29-2009, 04:36 PM
Being in the 40+ club I gotta say gear has been a life saver for me... Many masters wouldnt be able to compete if it wasnt for gear.

That being said, RAW strength is very important and must be developed along the way. I cycle raw & geared training depending on how far out I am from a meet.

I think Kennelly said" I've never seen a bench shirt lift anything"... You gotta work both. One enhances the other!

bald bull
08-29-2009, 07:25 PM
I lft raw mainly just belt,wraps and chalk. I used to use gear until i got hurt, even then i liked to get as striong as possible RAW just to have that pure strength and say hey i do that much as the geared guy does. Also i think putting gear on is a hassle as well. I have nothing aganist geared lifters though i think the sport is awsome.

KarlMarx
08-29-2009, 07:47 PM
I like them both. I train raw 90% of the time and really enjoy it, but training raw, for a geared lift, is different than training raw for a raw lift.

When I did the RUM last year, I did indeed take quite a beating in the process. But I learned. I think gear is the most popular way to train so that's what most thought and progression goes towards. I learned from the RUM and feel that I could do better if I were to do a raw meet again, which I probably will. You learn what you can and can't do, how to maximize your training and how to recover most effectively.

Travis,
Did you write anything about the changes you made and how you trained? I can't find it if you did. A link maybe?

BFGUITAR
08-29-2009, 07:56 PM
Great input guys! It seems the idea is "do what ever you want". That works for me!

Hazerboy
08-30-2009, 02:33 AM
Why would I buy a bench shirt if I haven't hit 3 plates raw yet?? lol