Lifting in Both Worlds

Lifting in Both Worlds

Jul 2, 2013


2012 Junior Worlds Sq


In the past couple of years, raw lifting has gained a lot of steam in the powerlifting community. It is a lot less expensive, and the learning curve is less steep when compared to equipped lifting. A lot of the lifters that do raw are brand new to the sport or have never competed before, but there are some of us out there who started out equipped. So how do you go about going from equipped to raw and back? As far as training goes, it is basically the same for me preparing for a raw or equipped meet. Obviously it’s a little different because you have to account for your gear in your cycle, but the basic progression of it and the rep/set scheme should stay around the same. I have found that you recover a little bit faster during a raw training cycle versus an equipped, so you can also increase your volume to get some work in. Now when I go back to my equipped cycle, I like to ease my way back into the gear. My first week might even be raw, or just some light knee wraps. Weeks 2-3, I’ll throw on some squat briefs (if you don’t have briefs you can use an old loose squat suit) and use a ram on bench. After week 3, I’ll get back into the normal routine and start putting on the real suits and shirt. You also have to make sure that you adjust your weight according to the kind of equipment you’re using.  As you put on heavier and heavier gear, adjust your numbers so you’re not missing attempts or have wasted attempts in training.

Going from raw to equipped takes more time to adjust lifting without that extra support. The weight will probably feel slow out the hole, off your chest, and off the ground, but once your body gets acclimated, you’ll find your groove and that usually takes about 2 weeks for me. The most important thing to remember if you’re going to be a lifter in both spheres is to keep your form consistent. You have to remember the little things you have to do when you squat in a suit or without a suit that makes that lift successful. The less time you have to spend remembering your form for raw or equipped means more perfect lifts in training, and better results in the end. The bottom line is you can lift in both worlds and be successful if you train correctly, and don’t let anybody tell you different.

2013 Raw World DL

760 Equipped Squat:

595 Raw Squat:

Gene Bell Tip of the Day: “Training raw will expose your weak points in your equipped lifting”


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One comment

  1. Tom O'Keefe /

    Thanks Ian . Good article. I am just finishing an 8 week raw cycle, have a deload week then into an 8 week equipped cycle. It is based on a Matt Gary template. I am an old guy and if I can do it anyone can.

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