On my many scrolls through facebook and insta it would seem that the only consensus that is held by all is that everyone hates equipped lifting right now and that gets my little cogs turning and thinking, WHY??
It wasn’t that long ago that if you competed in powerlifting there was equipped…. And that was it. Now there seems to be every style and equipment level going depending on how you choose to put yourself on the platform which had led to a rapid decline in the amount of people lifting in full equipment, why is this???
For one, lifting in equipment is a pain in the arse. You can never simply sling on a suit or shirt and jump in a rack and work your arse into the ground. You need a solid dependable crew of at least three other lifters to help spot, mother and make sure your safe, hell you can’t even get in a shirt by yourself unless it’s too big. All this leads to conflict, training times, peoples life outside the gym, peoples programs all become an issue and something that needs considering before being able to even attempt to train.
It’s expensive! Getting fully kitted up can cost anywhere between £300 to £1500 depending on the level of equipment you get and that’s not the worse part, you work your guts out saving up for said kit only for it to turn up and not fit either far too small or far too big, which then means you have to find an experienced seamstress/man to adjust the kit or send it back usually to Finland or the US which cost even more money, I hate to think in the last 10 years how much I’ve spent.
It’s frustrating, the learning curve for squats and bench especially is brutal, get it wrong and you may as well not be wearing the kit or you are wearing the bar and making a massive mess of your little self. When it works, it’s amazing you feel like you could lift any weight put on the bar, only for you to get back in the same shirt or suit the week after and your weak as a kitten making warm ups feel terrible.
Lack of good quality coaches, yep I said it, in the UK especially we are severely lacking in people that can coach equipped lifters with the no how or knowledge to help get lifters through any sticking points, yeah there are a few good lifters capable of some very reasonable numbers but when asked how they do it very few know. So we are left with sending videos all round the world to try and get the help we need.
Everyone thinks the kit does everything! Yep its true my squat suit by itself is capable of squatting 440KG and all I do is put it on and go for the ride. The truth Is most lifters are getting 20/30kg out of there kit above what their raw max is, it’s very few lifters that are able to squeeze the full potential out of there kit and even fewer are willing to put the hard graft and time into it. Most give up after the first time of being choked out by a bench shirt.
Equipped lifter themselves, yep we are a moody stroppy bunch, a lot of the time when people see us at comps we are either struggling in and out of equipment or sat pondering what is gonna go wrong during each lift, which in turn usually leads to much incoherent ramblings when approached by anybody or even worse a torrent of abuse being aimed at a poor innocent bystander that happens to stand on your suit strap as you’re getting ready. Sorry if I’ve ever done that to you….
And my last point Peer pressure, every single time I do a comp I get at least one person ask me what my raw max is and then the ‘why don’t you do a raw comp’, and the goading begins. A lot of people can’t be bothered with that so will cave in do a raw comp and are never seen in a squat suit again.
So there’s my thoughts on why in the UK at least most people hate equipped lifting, I could be wrong I could be right we will never know.
Next week’s blog will be why should you do more than one session in a suit before attempting a comp, peace out