T Nation

Using Supportive Gear as a Teen?


When do you think it's appropriate? After a certain period of training, strength levels, etc?

Or when you decide your kid might not grow much more and you feel like springing for some.

Jr. is still lifting raw at 16 yet. He's around 300/185+/400 now weighing just over the 148 limit. Tight now I think he needs more time under the bar and more strength and mass to develop until I am willing to pay for the stuff.

My 2nd reason is the variety. In the day, titan, Marathon and Inzer were the big boys and the whole suit and wraps thing maybe gave you fifty lbs. Apwsearch thinks he got 80 from a suit and wraps. Me at 148 might have gained 50 total with an Inzer Z wraps and an Inzer blast bench shirt.

Now with the stuff so tight and supportive I think it's important for a young guy to develop a solid base to properly support the weights.

Any other or different thoughts? Also, many times my son must lift at his mom's house and doesn't have help getting on a shirt or suit.


If he's planning on competing in a geared fed, he should train in gear.

Having said that, I don't know anyone that trains only in gear. I compete single ply but I still train raw more often than not, depending on how close I am to a meet but much of the training is how my body will react lifting in gear.

I can understand the money part. I don't know if I'd want to fork out cash for gear he'd outgrow before long. Maybe see if you can buy/borrow some used stuff. Do you know many geared lifters? Because we know a wide network of lifters, a fair amount of gear makes the rounds with people trying different stuff out or selling used stuff at a cheap price. In fact, most people I know started with other peoples stuff.

It doesn't have to be all or nothing.


When I first got into powerlifting, you only had Inzer and Frantz making shirts and almost everyone was running the Inzer Blast series...man those sucked.

I lifted with some people who were top 10 in the world and I was never dissuaded from running a shirt or a suit or anything. Granted, like you said Tom, the equipment wasn't nearly as aggressive as it is now. As much as I love me some equipment, some of the stuff is crazy.

I do feel that all equipment provides support, but I also feel like the support / injury prevention is negated by throwing on the additional weight. If you're a 400 lbs. raw squatter and you throw on a suit that gives you 200 lbs. of carryover, you're going to attempt 600 lbs, you're not going to stay at 400 lbs. Then you've got the issue of the equipment altering the lift, and that brings about new challenges for training.

At the end of the day, if the kid wants to lift equipped, and he (or the family) can afford it...I'd say let him do it. I think it will help him to stay interested in the sport because it adds a new dynamic to it. It's almost like taking a new supplement or getting a new training program or whatever...It just "REFRESHES" everything...at least that's how I feel about it.


I saw a meet last weekend with a bunch of high school lifters. After that, I'm against it. If I ran a fed the gear limits would be:

High School: raw
Collegiate: single ply
Open: unlimited


I'll paraphrase/agree with Ouroboro. If he wants to compete, I'd let him train in whatever gear is allowed (within reason) in whatever fed you guys are most comfortable with. As an example, our state has powerlifting as a sanctioned high school sport. They allow single-ply suits and 2.0 knee wraps for squat, single-ply suits for deadlift, and no bench shirts (I have no idea why they allow suits but not shirts). So, in the next year or two I will let my son start training in a single-ply suit (he is in sixth grade now and can compete at the high school level in eighth grade). Most likely I'll start him in a z-suit which gives much less support than many other suits. As he matures, I'll allow his equipment to evolve. We have current juniors and seniors in hardcore suits, and our most advanced lifters in TRX.


@ DR J. Can I just comment that you sound like a cool dad! Good for you. My boy is 7...I can't wait till he can get serious on the weights.

At the OP. Wear whatever you want to. Just lift some weight if that's what you like doing for fun. RAW gear whore it's all rewarding in the same way, in my opinion.


My coach has dozens of teenage lifters, some of whom are all raw, and some of whom put on equipment. From watching what he does, he has a kid lift raw for a while, have a few raw meets, and then, if the kid has an interest in equipment, he puts him in older, looser stuff. After a meet or two or ten like that, the kid can always grow into the equipment, get his own, get less old, less tight stuff, etc.

Coach is fortunate that he has lots of old equipment, so the kids get to learn it without making a huge personal investment.

The younger kids push themselves, but they aren't hitting insane weights, and I think Coach is careful to try to teach proper lifting and prehab type habits to avoid injury.


My son did one meet and is currently training raw . I'm thinking of keeping him in the raw division for now .

Apw pmed me and suggested using knee wraps first . Maybe a deadlift suit also


My son did one meet and is currently training raw . I'm thinking of keeping him in the raw division for now .

Apw pmed me and suggested using knee wraps first . Maybe a deadlift suit also


I started in gear when I was like 14 I believe