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Updated on April 27, 2016

Raw vs. Equipped Powerlifting

There are two different kinds of powerlifting; which is raw and equipped. Raw is when the athletes can only use a belt and sometimes knee sleeves (depending on the organization). Equipped is when the athletes use a powerlifting suit, knee wraps, and a belt. For you that do not know the difference between knee sleeves and wraps; sleeves keep everything in your knee in place, while wraps are used to increase your squat with a rebound effect that they have at the bottom of the squat. Also, a powerlifting suit is made out of very stiff material so it also gives you the rebound effect on the squat/bench. But the suit is much more powerful; it is said that a good suit can double the weight of your best lift. Therefore the main difference between raw and equipped powerlifting is quite simple; raw is your own strength, and equipped is your own strength plus the strength of the equipment you use. This understandably brings up debates on which way of powerlifting is better, but to me there is not a debate at all. Equipped powerlifting competitions might as well be a technology showdown. Whoever has a better suit will win the competition (for the most part), so it is not the strongest person who wins. Last time I checked powerlifting was made to find the strongest man or women alive. Therefore, I think raw powerlifting should be the only type of powerlifting. It is the only way to tell which person is actually stronger.


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