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Thread: Is equipped lifting better than raw, for longevity?

  1. #1

    Is equipped lifting better than raw, for longevity?

    Hey everyone!
    I was in training today and I was having a discussion with one of the equipped lifters. Whilst we were talking about squats he mentioned equipment being more supportive and helpful in the protection and longevity of your knees, hips and shoulders.
    For me personally, I want to lift for all my life and I want to be able to stand up and walk around (when I'm older and even now) without knee pain etc.

    I also had a read of this article. http://ironauthority.com/raw-vs-gear-a-different-angle/

    So I'd like your opinion, is equipped lifting (equipped being single ply and knee wraps) better for the longevity of your knee, hip and shoulder joints?
    Last edited by Luke; 01-09-2015 at 06:03 PM.

  2. #2
    From what I understand there are certain injuries that are more common in one vs. the other. For example, I have never heard of a raw lifter breaking his forearm benching. The gear provides support at the bottom of the movement, but at the top you are still handling more weight than you would otherwise so that alone is a risk factor. Brian Carroll said that his back was never the same after his world record squat, how many raw lifters would even attempt that weight? He had several damaged vertebrae and fractures in his spine, some may have been there already there but that was "the squat that broke the camel's back" so to say.

    And regarding knee wraps, aside from the fact that I didn't get much assistance from them I also found they were giving me IT band pain. I never had IT band pain before, and the last two times I used wraps my IT bands were hurting when I walked later. I tried to find some info what the cause and solution was, there was conflicting information saying that squatting can cause IT band syndrome and other info saying that squatting would help. I never used them again, rolled my IT bands with a PVC pipe, and a week or so later everything was back to normal. I think there's a trade off, the injuries that gear can prevent are replaced by others that would not be as likely to happen without the gear.

  3. #3
    I started off training and competing in gear. I think it can extend a lifting career, but not like you might think. Gear doesn't necessarily prevent injuries because most competitors are going to push the gear for the most carryover they can. Weight goes up, risk goes up. On the other hand, gear can mask injuries and allow you to keep pushing when you couldn't without the gear. I've known guys with jacked up pecs and shoulders that still put up decent equipped benches. This is a double edged sword though, because had they fixed the problem they might still be able to press decent up equipped weights and their equipped weights would be even better. I think the bottom line is to properly rehab injuries, not mask them. The short-term gratification isn't worth it.

    This isn't a knock on equipped lifting. I like both sports. It's just what I've observed with my friends.

  4. #4
    I've been training powerlifting for 1.5 years with 1-ply gear, except the squat (raw too), due a some issues.

    I agree with the guys, there are risks in both. But in my opinion, lifting geared causes less wastage. At least is what i feel...especially in the Deadlift. My hip flexors and lower back are much more stable deadlifting with a suit of regular size. But in a very tight size it's a crap, is hard to breathe, and tightens the hips a lot. In other words, tight suit gives good carryover on the bottom, but fuck the rest of the movement.
    The bench press shirt is very supportive to the shoulders and pecs...but in the long term can cause some problems in the tendons, especially in elbows.

    Both have advantages and disadvantages...I think the best thing to do is train and compete in both, if you like.

  5. #5
    I've heard guys like Rip refer to ultra-geared lifting as slow suicide. He did not go into specifics as to why he thought this was the case, but as near as I can work out the logic is that gear makes it so that you can move weights that your body doesn't really have any business touching. Not sure about that though.

  6. #6
    I've lifted in both (mostly raw, and I plan to stay that way) IMO, for most people, any benefit from the additional support would be offset by the increased load used. Having said that, I do know of a few lifters who can only really lift/compete equipped due to various injuries. I also know guys > 70 who are still competing in both. Whether it extends your career or not likely depends on what injuries you get.

  7. #7
    I'm in general agreement -- there are risks in both. There are some quite old lifters still competing in both. I think you'll see different kinds of injuries, and the gear may mask some injuries (but it could make others worse). So basically... yeah, what everyone else said.

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