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Thread: Trying to understand shirts and suits

  1. #1
    Senior Member brihead301's Avatar
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    Trying to understand shirts and suits

    I don't mean to p*ss anyone off by asking this question, but I really don't understand.

    What is the point of squat and deadlift suits and bench shirts?

    I know they allow you to lift more weight, but isn't that defeating the purpose of getting your body strong?

    Like, if you are capable of squatting 600 lbs. raw (which is pretty damn good), and you are capable of squatting 750 raw with the suit on..... It seems as if the suit is taking place of what your stabilizer muscles should be doing.

    I'm pretty new to all this stuff, so forgive me if this has been discussed a million times before. I did a few searches on this subject on this forum, but didn't really find anything.

    I was just wondering. Depending on how serious I get with PLing, I may get into the gear one day. For now, I still have lots of raw strength to be built.
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  2. #2
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    They let you lift more weight and are legal.

    And can prevent injury to a degree depending on how jacked your gear is or how you use it I would imagine.

  3. #3
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    Also, they don't take the stabilizers out of it, in fact if anything they make them work even harder. The fact the gear compresses you so much and also that it streteches (a little) and acts like a spring help, but in every lift, regardless of gear, you still have to lock it out and learn it. There isn't much that will help with that.

    I think I got 0 pounds out of most of the gear I wore the first several times. Hell I hit a PR squat with briefs and suit bottoms and then PRs the next week without the suit bottoms. It takes lots of time to learn the gear, especially if its tight. You have to have very good form and have a very strong body to handle the extra weight you will be doing.

  4. #4
    Senior Member deeder's Avatar
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    I don't understand the point of cleats in football... Doesn't that defeat the purpose of training to move quickly? Doesn't it just allow you to artificially turn faster and stuff?

    I don't understand the point of skates in hockey... Don't they just make you move faster on ice?

    I don't understand the point of swim caps and suits in speed swimming... Doesn't it defeat the purpose of training to go fast when you can just put on a swim cap and a jacked up suit that will make you swim faster?

    Understand now?


    Every sport has its equipment. Not all pick up games of hockey have shoulder pads and shin guards but it's never referred to as RAW hockey. If powerlifting were a mainstream sport you wouldn't question the equipment at all, just like you don't for any other sport. The only reason it ever comes up is because ever guy who has ever stepped in to a gym thinks he could do what we do if he had a squat suit and bench shirt too.
    Full Powerlifting
    Squat - 595lbs -- 270kg -- Dec. 31, '09 (Provincial Record @100kg class)
    Bench - 374lbs -- 170kg -- Dec 20, '08 (@100kg class)
    Dead - 589lbs -- 267.5kg -- Dec 20, '08 (Provincial Record @100kg class)
    Total: 1537lbs -- 697.5kg -- Dec 20, '08 (Provincial Record @ 100kg class)
    Bench Only -- 358lbs -- 162.5kg -- Nov. 25, '07 (Provincial Record @ 90kg class)
    Bench Only -- 376lbs -- 171kg -- Jan. 26, '08 (Provincial Record @ 100kg class)

  5. #5
    Supplement Junkie MattBag's Avatar
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    I never thought of it like that at. Yet the concept of equipment helping strength it a little different than other sports equipment.
    MAX BENCH:275lbs. (11/2008)
    MAX SQUAT machine:420lbs. (4/2005)
    MAX SQUAT free weight: 385lbsx2. (1/2009)
    MAX DEAD LIFT hex bar: 465lbs. (1/2006)
    MAX DEAD LIFT straight bar: 455. (10/2009)
    total: 1115
    CURRENT WEIGHT:240. (10/2009)
    HEIGHT: 6'2

    The best way to get big is to eat big, lift big and LIVE BIG.

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    and here we go...

  7. #7
    Supplement Junkie MattBag's Avatar
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    This isn't about comparing the equipment. I'm saying unless you use them you wont know what they can really do for you. I have zero knoweldge on any weightlifting suits or shirts so I cant say at all what hey can do. but like deeder said all athleats use equipment and that really made alot of sense to me.
    MAX BENCH:275lbs. (11/2008)
    MAX SQUAT machine:420lbs. (4/2005)
    MAX SQUAT free weight: 385lbsx2. (1/2009)
    MAX DEAD LIFT hex bar: 465lbs. (1/2006)
    MAX DEAD LIFT straight bar: 455. (10/2009)
    total: 1115
    CURRENT WEIGHT:240. (10/2009)
    HEIGHT: 6'2

    The best way to get big is to eat big, lift big and LIVE BIG.

  8. #8
    Senior Member Sensei's Avatar
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    One the hundred existing threads on this subject should be put in the stickies (if it isn't already)...
    A child does not learn to squat from the top down. In other words, he does not suddenly make a conscious decision one day to squat. Actually, he is squatting one day and make the conscious decision to stand. Squatting precedes standing in the developmental sequence. This is the way a child's brain learns to use the body as the child develops movement patterns. Therefore, a child is probably crawling, rocks back into a squatting position with the back completely relaxed and the hips completely flexed, and stands when he has enough hip strength. This approach makes a lot of sense and can be applied to relearning the deep squat movement if it is lost. -Gray Cook
    Lifting Clips: http://www.youtube.com/profile?user=johnnymnemonic2
    Blog: http://squatrx.blogspot.com/

  9. #9
    Senior Member brihead301's Avatar
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    I think it's probably something that I will never understand until I'm actually at the point where I need to use a suit. I guess I just have to feel it to really understand.

    Those are some good analogies Deeder. I understand what you're saying, but again like I said, I will never truly understand what it is like to have 1000 lbs. on my back even with a suit on until I actually get there for myself.

    Im just confused because PLing is a sport that is purely about how strong your body is. If a suit allows your body to add 200 more lbs. to a lift, well.... it's more then just your body doing that lift. Again, I'm sure I just have to one day see for myself to truly understand.

    I have a feeling that some guys are gonna be getting p***ed off at this question as if I'm questioning thier strength and saying that "it's just the suit". That's not the case at all though. It's just out of pure curiousity about peoples' opinions about this. That's all.
    How to Find Your Dream Job
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  10. #10
    Senior Member Sensei's Avatar
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    In athletics, it's NEVER "purely about how strong [fast, graceful, etc] your body is"... never.
    A child does not learn to squat from the top down. In other words, he does not suddenly make a conscious decision one day to squat. Actually, he is squatting one day and make the conscious decision to stand. Squatting precedes standing in the developmental sequence. This is the way a child's brain learns to use the body as the child develops movement patterns. Therefore, a child is probably crawling, rocks back into a squatting position with the back completely relaxed and the hips completely flexed, and stands when he has enough hip strength. This approach makes a lot of sense and can be applied to relearning the deep squat movement if it is lost. -Gray Cook
    Lifting Clips: http://www.youtube.com/profile?user=johnnymnemonic2
    Blog: http://squatrx.blogspot.com/

  11. #11
    SFW! drew's Avatar
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    It's not a requitrement to use the gear, you can lift without it, and you can compete without it. THere are many great lifters who have opted not to use any gear, and that's fine for them. Really, it makes lifting less complicated, and it makes meets way less complicated. It's a choice for everyone in the sport.

    That said, if something can help you lift more, and it's legal in nearly every fed, why wouldn't you use it? You have to still learn the gear, work in it, and perform. It doesn't make it easier, if anything it makes it harder. And it does make you stronger. What do you think will make you a stronger squatter, putting 500 on your back with no gear, or putting 700 on your back with gear that you know how to use? I guarantee that you will get stronger squatting 700 than you will with 500, no matter what kind of supportive equipment you wear.

    Stats: Age: 34 Weight: 205 Height: 5'6"
    Gym PRs: Squat:635 Bench:560 Deadlift:495
    Meet PRs: Squat:575 Bench:525 Deadlift:510 Total: 1605@220

  12. #12
    Senior Member brihead301's Avatar
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    Right now, I'm all about lifting 100% raw. I haven't entered a competition yet. I want to wait until I hit at least a 405 lb. deadlift, a 315 lb. squat, and a 265 bench before I enter one. I will do raw competitions when I start. I have a feeling that once I do my first competition I will be a lot more into it then I am now (that's what everyone says happens). Once, I'm REALLY into it, then I'm sure this will all start to make more sense to me. I'll be much more into the competitiveness and hitting new numbers.
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  13. #13
    SFW! drew's Avatar
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    Why wait to hit certain numbers before competing? The sooner you start competing the faster you'll start learning how to get stronger.

    Stats: Age: 34 Weight: 205 Height: 5'6"
    Gym PRs: Squat:635 Bench:560 Deadlift:495
    Meet PRs: Squat:575 Bench:525 Deadlift:510 Total: 1605@220

  14. #14
    Senior Member brihead301's Avatar
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    I hear ya Drew. You will definately get stronger squatting with 700 on your back then 500. I don't even really know what gear feels like.

    Raw lifting just interests me more for right now.
    How to Find Your Dream Job
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    Quote Originally Posted by MattBag View Post
    I never thought of it like that at. Yet the concept of equipment helping strength it a little different than other sports equipment.
    No its not. Its about helping your skill in the respective sport. Our sport involves strength. Sprinters wear spikes to get a better grip and go faster, etc.

  16. #16
    Senior Member Invain's Avatar
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    Don't wanna get into this argument because we all know where this'll go, but I gotta say, Deeder mose of those are very poor examples. Cleats in football? Almost every sport which involves you running on grass uses cleats, it's rediculous not to. What would an NFL football game on a rainy day look like if nobody wore cleats? Skates in hockey? Isn't that the whole point? Kinda hard to skate without skates.

    What's the point in powerlifting? Moving weight with your strength/muscle. To me it seems like gear defeats the whole purpose. Gear also isn't required in powerlifting and there's different ply, as you know. Somebody using a bench shirt or squat suit has a pretty rediculous advantage over another guy lifting raw.

    Quote Originally Posted by deeder View Post
    I don't understand the point of cleats in football... Doesn't that defeat the purpose of training to move quickly? Doesn't it just allow you to artificially turn faster and stuff?

    I don't understand the point of skates in hockey... Don't they just make you move faster on ice?

    I don't understand the point of swim caps and suits in speed swimming... Doesn't it defeat the purpose of training to go fast when you can just put on a swim cap and a jacked up suit that will make you swim faster?

    Understand now?


    Every sport has its equipment. Not all pick up games of hockey have shoulder pads and shin guards but it's never referred to as RAW hockey. If powerlifting were a mainstream sport you wouldn't question the equipment at all, just like you don't for any other sport. The only reason it ever comes up is because ever guy who has ever stepped in to a gym thinks he could do what we do if he had a squat suit and bench shirt too.
    Best lifts: 615/475/660, Raw w/ Wraps
    http://www.youtube.com/user/invain622002

  17. #17
    Senior Member brihead301's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by drew View Post
    Why wait to hit certain numbers before competing? The sooner you start competing the faster you'll start learning how to get stronger.
    Well, because I just started following the Texas Method template, and with the whole VRI thing, I'm gaining pretty quickly. I have a feeling that I can hit those numbers pretty soon.

    It's something about the 3 plates for squat, and 4 plates for deadlift that makes me feel like I'm ready. The 265 for bench is the least of my worries, but I've bench 245 for 1 about a year ago, so I'm pretty sure I can do 265.
    How to Find Your Dream Job
    My personal blog/website dedicated to giving answers on the age old question - how to escape the "rat race". I now play guitar for a living!

  18. #18
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    Quote Originally Posted by Invain View Post
    Don't wanna get into this argument because we all know where this'll go, but I gotta say, Deeder mose of those are very poor examples. Cleats in football? Almost every sport which involves you running on grass uses cleats, it's rediculous not to. What would an NFL football game on a rainy day look like if nobody wore cleats? Skates in hockey? Isn't that the whole point? Kinda hard to skate without skates.

    What's the point in powerlifting? Moving weight with your strength/muscle. To me it seems like gear defeats the whole purpose. Gear also isn't required in powerlifting and there's different ply, as you know. Somebody using a bench shirt or squat suit has a pretty rediculous advantage over another guy lifting raw.
    Ok, how about this then....

    Lighter skates with sharper blade, higher technology sticks that are more durable yet have better flex, bigger and lighter pads for goalies, or a tinted face shield (hockey or football) so players can't read the eyes of the opponents? There are tons of examples you could use for various sports. What about the full body suits in swimming? Why not just go in a regular swim suit, i mean, they should be fast anyway right?

    You don't have to compete in gear. There are raw meets you can do, some with knee wraps, some not. There is something for everyone in PLing. This is just the way our sport is evolving.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Invain View Post
    What's the point in powerlifting? Moving weight with your strength/muscle. To me it seems like gear defeats the whole purpose. Gear also isn't required in powerlifting and there's different ply, as you know. Somebody using a bench shirt or squat suit has a pretty rediculous advantage over another guy lifting raw.
    Are shoes allowed? How about a tight t-shirt? How about Olympic weightlifters and their wooden-heel shoes?

    Please, just STFU.

  20. #20
    SFW! drew's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Brad08 View Post
    Are shoes allowed? How about a tight t-shirt? How about Olympic weightlifters and their wooden-heel shoes?

    Please, just STFU.
    Let's keep it respectful please. These gear debates always get out of hand.

    Stats: Age: 34 Weight: 205 Height: 5'6"
    Gym PRs: Squat:635 Bench:560 Deadlift:495
    Meet PRs: Squat:575 Bench:525 Deadlift:510 Total: 1605@220

  21. #21
    Senior Member Invain's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Reko View Post
    Ok, how about this then....

    Lighter skates with sharper blade, higher technology sticks that are more durable yet have better flex, bigger and lighter pads for goalies, or a tinted face shield (hockey or football) so players can't read the eyes of the opponents? There are tons of examples you could use for various sports. What about the full body suits in swimming? Why not just go in a regular swim suit, i mean, they should be fast anyway right?

    You don't have to compete in gear. There are raw meets you can do, some with knee wraps, some not. There is something for everyone in PLing. This is just the way our sport is evolving.
    Yes, but you're forgetting, skates, pads, face shileds, swim suits, etc, are all required for their sport. Of course they're gonna make the most technologically advanced skates they can, why not.

    I think the whole point of this thread is, why did gear become popular in the first place? Our sport is all about pure raw strength, or it began that way. There's really no reason to wear a suit or shirt when you think about it. The way gear is now a days it seems like technique is almost more important than pure strength. Really, what's the point in throwing on a bench shirt that'll help you squeeze out another 100 lbs when you know you can't lift that weight by yourself? Sure they're gonna make more advanced swimming suits, when he hell does anybody swim without a suit on? Do you understand my logic? I'm not really trying to bash gear, but I think a lot of people don't understand how it even got started.
    Best lifts: 615/475/660, Raw w/ Wraps
    http://www.youtube.com/user/invain622002

  22. #22
    Senior Member Invain's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Brad08 View Post
    Are shoes allowed? How about a tight t-shirt? How about Olympic weightlifters and their wooden-heel shoes?

    Please, just STFU.
    Can you please grow up? All you're doing is giving powerlifting a bad image with your childish comments.
    Best lifts: 615/475/660, Raw w/ Wraps
    http://www.youtube.com/user/invain622002

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    Invain for someone who said they weren't going to get into this discussion, you sure are talking alot...

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    Senior Member Invain's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ben Moore View Post
    Invain for someone who said they weren't going to get into this discussion, you sure are talking alot...
    When somebody quotes me and makes a few points I like to respond back. I know you and many in here don't agree with me. I'm not here to bash gear, I could care less if you use it or not. The op started this thread with a genuine curiosity, but I think some answered his questions with a little bias since they do use gear, not saying they're doing it on purpose, just what I notice.
    Last edited by Invain; 11-18-2008 at 09:08 AM.
    Best lifts: 615/475/660, Raw w/ Wraps
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    Quote Originally Posted by drew View Post
    Why wait to hit certain numbers before competing? The sooner you start competing the faster you'll start learning how to get stronger.
    I went to my first meet 3 weeks after I started powerlifting, it was good documentation of where I was when I started. And the meet was lots of fun and eye opening as well.

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