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View Full Version : What Exactly does "RAW" Mean?



kendals
08-15-2010, 12:48 AM
I know this is a super dumb question, but I am slightly confused...

I've read here and there that RAW means, basically, you do your lifts with no special equipment. I assumed this meant no lifting shirts, squat suits, wraps, straps, and so on,

However (this is where I got confused) I see videos of guys doing RAW lifts who seem to be wearing wearing suits and wraps and gloves and straps out the ying yang.

So, just to clear things up, what does RAW mean? And what exactly is considered "Special Equipment"?

I'm new to the whole powerlifting competition thing, so any help understanding this stuff is much appreciated.

Thanks

ScottYard
08-15-2010, 05:35 AM
Raw means what ever you think it does. Some feds allow just a belt, some allow a belt and wrist wraps, Some feds allow a belt and wrist and knee wraps. Just lift in the feds you agree with as you have choices.

In no fed is theyre raw division allowing any type of brief suit or shirt though.

ScottYard
08-15-2010, 05:38 AM
Almost forgot........some feds allow neoprene sleeves while some feds allow heavy cloth sleeves. So again raw is what you want it to be lol.

_ROBERTiNHO_
08-15-2010, 05:40 AM
You didn't see suits, you saw singlets.

Jake Impastato
08-15-2010, 05:40 AM
Right now raw is one of two things, with or without knee wraps. That's how the records read. A belt is a given . Wrist wraps don't add any weight to your lifts nor do knee sleeves. Both serve as a "comfort" thing for the lifter. Knee wraps can add plenty weight to a squat that is why knee wrap meets have much higher numbers than non knee wrap meets.

ScottYard
08-15-2010, 06:24 AM
I've seen guys get 30 lbs from elite and apt sleeves.

1400total
08-15-2010, 10:13 AM
SCott, do you really think those knee sleeves give you that much? or is it more of a mental thing? I know that some sleeves provide more support then others and in my own training the better ones feel like more support. This helps me to feel more comfortable with heavier weight. But is it really helping the body or just the mind?

Sean S
08-15-2010, 10:58 AM
I've seen the knee sleeves he is talking about and yes they could easily add 30 lbs. They are very heavy material and some people wear them so tight they can barely get them on. They are not what most people would typically think of as "knee sleeves".
With the neoprene knee sleeves I think you are correct. They keep the joint warm but don't offer much, if any, actual physical support.

JK1
08-15-2010, 12:16 PM
I've seen guys get 30 lbs from elite and apt sleeves.

Scott, I'd argue with you on that one, especially with "single ply" sleeves. I think the mental factor is giving the lifters as much of a boost if not more than the sleeves are.

kendals
08-15-2010, 01:28 PM
So, basically, RAW can be with or without knee wraps and everyone wears a belt? And then wrist wraps and knee sleeves are optional to the lifter, depending on the competition?

mastermonster
08-15-2010, 04:52 PM
So, basically, RAW can be with or without knee wraps and everyone wears a belt? And then wrist wraps and knee sleeves are optional to the lifter, depending on the competition?

Hey Kendals! I'll go a little further and get into the 'philosophy' of it. What I think most want to do by lifting raw is compare them selves to the 'old school' lifters of the 60's-70's etc. Many are too young to remember that they wore wraps of some sort from the beginning, as well as belts. Both me and Jon Grove and some others feel that this form of lifting should be called 'classic' instead of raw to illiminate this confusion. 'Raw' was never a powerlifting term until recently (last 10-12 years or so I guess). I assume the term is used because it also means 'naked' LOL!

So, 'Raw' is really a new and different type of competition; not lifting like the original stars of powerlifting. People keep pointing out the isolated videos of old school lifters without wraps but they were lifters who for whatever reason choice not to use wraps. They had the option to use them, except for a very brief time when they tried taking them out of the meet and soon put them back in due to the obvious lack of safety. And that's basically the underlying reason for belts and wraps. It is the minimal common sense safety. I've always advocated adopting a 2 meter wrap limit and belts across the board for all feds who have 'Raw' meets. Wheather it's called raw or classic really wouldn't matter. Just no shirts, suits, or briefs.

Sorry for the extended history but I thought it might help you understand why we have the confusion and debates. Like Scott said, as it stands now; just pick the fed that does it how you what to lift. Fortunately or unfortunately (however you see it) there are certainly a lot of choices out there. Good luck whichever you choose!

NickAus
08-15-2010, 04:59 PM
Wrist wraps make a big difference to my bench, not sure how much really but maybe 20lb.

barbell01
08-15-2010, 05:07 PM
Scott, I'd argue with you on that one, especially with "single ply" sleeves. I think the mental factor is giving the lifters as much of a boost if not more than the sleeves are.

Scott said: "ive seen"....... so i dont know how you can argue that. i believe that one could get 30lb's out of certian sleeves.

vdizenzo
08-15-2010, 06:23 PM
Right now raw is one of two things, with or without knee wraps. That's how the records read. A belt is a given . Wrist wraps don't add any weight to your lifts nor do knee sleeves. Both serve as a "comfort" thing for the lifter. Knee wraps can add plenty weight to a squat that is why knee wrap meets have much higher numbers than non knee wrap meets.

This is your opinion, not a certainty. Wrist wraps definitely add to my lift. It's not comfort. i cannot bench as much without wrist wraps.

kendals
08-15-2010, 06:33 PM
Sorry for the extended history but I thought it might help you understand why we have the confusion and debates. Like Scott said, as it stands now; just pick the fed that does it how you what to lift. Fortunately or unfortunately (however you see it) there are certainly a lot of choices out there. Good luck whichever you choose!

Lol that's alright, the history major in me enjoys "extended historys" ;)

Thank you guys for your help! Makes alot more sense now!

tomv
08-16-2010, 01:28 AM
My own personal logic regarding which equipment should be counted as "Raw" or not:

If you had to draw a force diagram, would the equipment contribute any force to the movement of the barbell?

Fuzzy
08-16-2010, 05:52 AM
At one point, I learned to get a good 30lbs out of my rehbands. Simply because it limited rom and when when you squat to an atg/bounce rather than parallel that can mean a difference of 3-5"

Personally, raw to me is no no no. No belt or wraps or nothing. But realistically, a belt, wrist wraps and knee sleeves are 'raw'.

ScottYard
08-16-2010, 08:37 AM
SCott, do you really think those knee sleeves give you that much? or is it more of a mental thing? I know that some sleeves provide more support then others and in my own training the better ones feel like more support. This helps me to feel more comfortable with heavier weight. But is it really helping the body or just the mind?

I do.

If they didnt people wouldnt buy them.

JK1
08-16-2010, 12:03 PM
Scott said: "ive seen"....... so i dont know how you can argue that. i believe that one could get 30lb's out of certian sleeves.

Oh good grief... Do you count the hairs on your chest too and get upset and start plucking if there's more than 41.7?


I said I think that the mental boost from the sleeves is giving the individual as much as the actual assistance of the sleeve. THAT was my point of discussion, not arguing with the semantics of his post.

Alex.V
08-16-2010, 01:37 PM
Just a quick note.. Since "Raw" isn't an acronym, there's no need to capitalize the whole thing.

Thanks. :)

Hazerboy
08-16-2010, 02:54 PM
My own personal logic regarding which equipment should be counted as "Raw" or not:

If you had to draw a force diagram, would the equipment contribute any force to the movement of the barbell?

If this is meant to only exclude bench shirts and squat suits, I´m afraid you´re mistaken. Remember the normal force, i.e. stability.

But, to the OP, as this thread clearly shows there is no one set criteria for raw lifting. usually its just a meet criteria, which varies depending on what fed you´re in.

barbell01
08-16-2010, 03:20 PM
oh good grief... Do you count the hairs on your chest too and get upset and start plucking if there's more than 41.7?


I said i think that the mental boost from the sleeves is giving the individual as much as the actual assistance of the sleeve. That was my point of discussion, not arguing with the semantics of his post.

good one! I feel like an idiot now!

JasonLift
08-16-2010, 05:57 PM
To me raw is lifting completely naked. Never know how much a pair of tighty whities might add.

Just be very careful deadlifting!

Fuzzy
08-17-2010, 03:49 AM
To me raw is lifting completely naked. Never know how much a pair of tighty whities might add.

Just be very careful deadlifting!

I once did an Oly session in loose boxers because of the heat. My second rep with 40kg I clipped my cock and wanted to cry. Now I always train with tight underwear under my clothes to keep things out of the way... but I'm afraid this adds weight to my lifts.

ThomasG
08-17-2010, 06:41 AM
lol @ clipping cock.

joey54
08-17-2010, 08:06 AM
So ok, OP I think this gives you an idea about your question. Fuzzy gets the Buzz KIllington award.