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Reason for Geared Powerlifting?


Not looking to start a debate on raw vs single vs multi ply. I'm sure it's been done before. I'm not for or against it, I'm just trying to understand it better.

Was it introduced for safety or simply to lift more?


There are some minor safety aspects, like bench shirts protecting your shoulders, briefs protecting your hips. But those benefits are nullified by handling weights way over your raw capacity. Some people do just train in very light gear for the safety aspects and don't compete. But it's all about more weight. Bunch of damn cheaters.

  • Gear whore


Yea you are.


I compete raw and have only been in gear a few times but I will say I'm able to recover much quicker wearing briefs as well as get used to heavier weight on my back. The combination of being able to squat more times in a month (my hip flexor is partially torn so sometimes I can't squat every week) and gaining more confidence with heavier weight seems to help my raw squat quite well.


I compete in gear simply to move more weight. It's exciting and fun and adds a completely different dimension to the sport.

However, unlike Liquid Mercury, I train mostly raw because training in gear for me is heavier weights and that burns me out faster than training raw. I also don't have hip flexor issues.


Cool thread, always wondered this ?

For yall who train/compete with gear, did it take a long time to be able to adapt to it?

Do you have to greatly change your technique or is it something you can jump right into.


It takes time and work to learn the gear, but it isn't that bad. In a couple months (about the length of a training cycle), most people are proficient enough to compete. The technique changes will depend on what gear you have, but in my experience, the bench press changes the most between raw and gear and the bench shirt is the hardest piece of equipment to learn.


no, i'm really not. The best lifters will be the best lifters - geared or not. I realize that using shirts and suits you need to learn new skills in order to use them properly. That's not what I'm asking. What I'm trying to get at is why was it invented in the first place? Why not have the best lifters continue to evolve and have their totals grow without the gear? Isn't it all relative? Is gear making the sport evolve too fast?


i do it for 2 reasons:
1. It is awesome... Who doesn't want to squat an extra 100+ lb...
2. It is harder. The best raw lifter is not neccesarily the best equipped lifter. It adds a whole new level of skill to it. People say you can learn in a couple months, which you can. But to wear tight gear and get the most out of it, you need to be willing to work hard, train smart, and develop some major skill/have some major talent.

As far as different gear:
Knee wraps are the most basic, not really gear, but they should add a lot to your squat for sure. Often people get more from wraps than a single ply suit. Knee wraps are my favourite piece of supportive equipment for sure.

Squat suit... Takes soem time, but with decent coaching not too bad. Once it is tight though it becomes hell I think. Mostly just learning to do exactly the oppposite of what the suit tells you to do.

Bench shirt... I almost lit a super katana on fire once. Not straight forward. I have insane respect for multiply lifters. How you can wear something like a double ply super katana and get it to your chest without your eyes coming out of their sockets I have no idea, but good on you. Perhaps a bit excessive in some cases (getting like 350lb from a shirt) but hey, people who can figure it out are 1/1000000 and deserve their credit.

Deadlift suit... For me, was really simple to learn but I could see how something tighter is hard to learn and probably harder for conventional pullers. I still get a reasonable carryover from my suit.

IMO, as long as you compare yourself to people who do the same thing as you, every level of gear is unique and has it's merits. Don't bitch about one or the other.


actually Donnie Thompson's raw squat is 315 , and 1300lbs with a suit.

its all roids and gear man. it does everything for you


I compete raw and geared. I like to use gear simply to add more weight to my lifts. I like to lift raw because it's more convenient. Gear can can be hell to get in and out of. I usually pick my meets by time and location. If a raw one fits in the schedule I go raw and if a geared one's a better fit then it's geared. I just love to lift!

I don't understand the raw vs geared, natural vs AAS user's. I think there's enough fed's with enough options to fit everyone's taste. Pick your poison and run with it. Why worry about the next guy's choice?


I compete mostly raw and have done a bunch of geared meets. Just recently picked up some mulitply stuff and it is awesome. I want to start getting into more and more gear because raw lifting is ruining the sport... did I just break the internet?


It might be... to many elitist, RAWWWWWWWWWWWW, my-shit-don't-stink-and-I'm-better-than-you attitudes with influx of 10000% raw lifters.




I totally think that grass has ruined football. I mean, your never going to run around in an open paddock IRL, so why would you play the sport on a prepared turf?


How so?

Personally I don't see a problem with it in general. The only thing I don't like is records getting broken because of gear improving. Although it's bound to happen I just feel like if X lifter set a record in 1980 and then that gets broken by Y solely because gear is better then it's a bit unfair. Is Y really stronger?

In absolute terms, yes, but I think it's a bit odd how that can be the case when in reality X is stronger than Y.



Powerlifting is a sport. It is not a mechanism to rank "strength", whatever that is. But you're right, everyone should compete naked. It's the only way to be sure.


Cause gear is more fun. Thats my reasoning at the core of it.

Why did it get started originally? Safety and wanting to lift more weight.


Awesome quote by Wendler

"Wearing Gear"

The drama that is the Great Gear Debate is overwhelming. Powerlifting is one of the few sports where men will bitch, moan, and criticize what another man is wearing. I never thought powerlifting could end up on Bravo but it certainly looks like it might. Fashion divas!

Do squat suits and bench shirts help? Yeah, they certainly help you lift more weight. For most, there?ll be an immediate carryover, but not what most would consider outrageous. It?s hard to get 200+lbs out of a bench shirt. The technique is different, the pressure in your head, chest, back and arms is insane and the weight can feel overwhelming; like your arms are going to break and your shoulder is going to pop out of its socket.

The same with a squat suit. You might be able to squat more, but can you even take it out of the rack? 700 or 800lbs feels a bit different than 500 and that is something that no suit, brief or shirt can help you with.

What you can/can?t get out of powerlifting gear is going to be determined by your dedication to learning the equipment. And if you don?t get a lot out of it, you?ll hate those that do and claim it?s ruining the sport. And if you do get a lot out of it, you?ll claim you really aren?t. That?s how it goes.

It's pretty much the difference between an extreme sport and a sport. Both are awesome. I personally prefer watching people squat/bench/dead massive weights raw but thats just me.