T Nation

Newbie into Geared Powerlifting


Hi i am new to this forum and powerlifting in general, therefore i hope you could help me somehow.

I started to work out with Starting Strength on summer and got interested in Powerlifting, especially Westiside Barbell and equipped lifting.
I went to a Powerlifting club(Berlin, Germany) and learned how to squat, bench and deadlift, the coach gave me a ME DE westside-ish type of program, fact is that everyone trains for RAW powerlifting there (maybe because the Federations here- WDFPF and IPF only have raw/singleply divisions) but i guess that forms and techniques are totally different for geared lifters.

My question is, should i build a raw strength base (since i am totally new), or if my goal is to train in gear, should i directly start with different forms and type of training?

I weigh +90kg and can squat/deadlift 1/1.5 x bw
bench still working towards 1xbw

Thanks !!


Westside is designed for geared lifters to begin with, so it has to be tweaked properly for raw lifting, make sure your template is. As a beginner, for example, you have no business doing a 4 board press with chains.

From Elite FTS:

"You should spend time developing form/technique, take advantage of newbie gains, and get used to the competition atmosphere. Then, after two to three years of consistent training, if gear is something youâ??re interested in trying, go for it. Even if you decide not to use it in competition, it can be a great tool to incorporate within your training."

I like to see geared lifting as a specialization of raw lifting so develop a strength base first and learn proper technique because starting raw will have much more carryover into geared lifting and into "functional training" as much as I hate that term.


I agree with Haldor. While multiply lifting is a skill in and of itself your current lifts are nowhere near high enough to make me think you've even scratched the surface of how strong you can get raw.

Get a 2.5xbw squat, a 1.5xbw bench and a 2.5-2.75xbw deadlift and then, sure, you'll have a nice base to transition to geared lifting. But, even by that stage you'll still have a lot of room to grow raw if you decide to go that way.

Maybe get a pair of briefs and a loose single ply shirt or something just to see what that feels like.


Yes the coach told me i should not use accomodating resistance and variations are limited to a few (i use mostly close-grip for the bench, box and pause squats, conventional and sumo for DL)

Great Thanks a lot to the both of you for the answers!!


Are you still training with that coach, or are you on your own?

If it's the former, and you want to compete geared, I'd do what the coach has you do and put on gear whenever he wants you to put on gear. Back in the day, gear was the only way TO compete, and your first meet was done in full gear. The raw trend is a pretty new thing comparatively.

However, if you are by yourself, your best bet would be to build up your raw numbers, as gear has a pretty strong learning curve.


Yes most of the time with the coach, he told me i am not ready for gear but i can use sometimes slingshots when benching and knee wraps