As I roam around the internet and various competitions, I come across more and more raw Powerlifters who want to give equipped lifting a try but don’t know where to start. Here are some tips, in no particular order, for anyone who wants to transition into equipped lifting.
Start With Loose, Basic Gear
You don’t need to dive right into the deep end of equipped lifting. Most of the time, this will end badly. There are different levels of equipment and it’s easier to start with the basic level. Also, it’s beneficial to start with loose gear that you can get on easily. This will allow you to ease into equipped lifting and get used to some of the differences. Many equipped lifters have old gear they can give to you or you can find people selling used gear online. This will allow you to get the gear for cheaper, or even free, and it’s already broken in some.
If There’s Someone Knowledgeable Nearby, Meet Up w/ Them
It’s much easier learning equipped lifting if you have someone knowledgeable helping you in person. They can show you how to get the gear on properly, tell you what technique changes you need to make to your lifts, wrap your knees, give you lift offs, and more. If there’s someone who is within 1 hour of you, then it’s worth it to meet up with them 2-4 times a month for help.
If There’s Nobody Nearby, Then Video Everything
We’re very lucky to be living in 2018 with all the benefits of the internet. If you don’t have anyone knowledgeable nearby, then you can still get help from many people through the internet. Many Powerlifters are willing to help other Powerlifters, especially equipped lifters. So you can film all your lifts, how you put your gear on, how you wrap your knees, etc and then post it online to get help. It’s not as good as having someone there in person, but it’s better than nothing. This is how I learned how to lift in gear because I was training in a gym by myself.
Always Set Your Safeties
This is important for raw lifting as well, but even more important for equipped lifting. Things go bad fast in gear if you fall out of the groove. Even spotters can miss things if their reaction time isn’t fast enough. So it’s important to always have the safeties set at the proper height for squat and bench to protect yourself.
Get In The Gear Often
The less experienced you’re, then the more often you should get in the gear. Just like any skill, practicing more will make you better at it. Since you can’t get in the gear several times within a week, this means you need to get in the gear farther out from a competition. So while an experienced lifter may get in their gear the last 4-6 weeks leading up to a competition, you should get in the gear the last 8-12 weeks if you’re new.
Practice Competition Reps Often
Similar to the previous point, the less experienced you’re, then the more often you should be doing your reps to competition standards. Experienced lifters may perform a squat to a box, squat high, bench to a board, or other non-competition lifts like that during their training. But if you’re new, then you need to practice more reps to competition standards. If you’re a beginner and squatting high for all your reps in the gym, you aren’t going to magically figure it out on competition day.
Don’t Cut Weight
Just like for your 1st Powerlifting meet, you shouldn’t cut weight for your 1st equipped meet. Fluctuations in weight can have more of an effect in equipped lifting because your gear will fit differently. If you cut a bunch of weight, then your gear will be looser than it was during training. Then the gear won’t fit you the same and you may not be able to hit the same weights. So you should just compete at whatever weight you’ve been training at and focus on gaining the meet experience for your 1st equipped meet.
I hope the tips above were helpful! If you have any further questions about equipped lifting, then you can always email me at firstname.lastname@example.org