Questions on how to start lifting equipped...

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    Big Drez's Avatar
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    Questions on how to start lifting equipped...


    Hello everyone,

    I have a few questions regarding gear for equipped lifting, but in order to get some better answers I guess Iíll have to provide more information about myself. I have been lifting on and off for about 7 years. Seriously for the past 2. Iíve been in the Army for a little over a year and a half now and up until right before I joined I was training for the Mid-Michigan classic bodybuilding show. Due to financial reasons I enlisted with the quick ship option and left for basic about a month before the competition. I lost about 20lbs of muscle between basic and AIT and actually came out in horrible shape (aside from cardiovascular). So I started on my bodybuilding quest again about a year ago, but when I deployed a guy showed me about power lifting and I felt like I actually found what I was supposed to be doing all along. For the past 5 months I have been giving it everything Iíve got and I am really impressed with my results thus far. With minimal equipment ( ****ty power rack, mismatched plates, no chains, no specialty bars, improvised GHRís and reverse hypers etc.) Iíve managed to get my DL to 565, Squat to 540 and Bench to 435 all raw and all natural. Iím 5í10íí at 237lbs at about 17% BF right now. I know I still have a lot of work, research and time perfecting my technique before I compete. I leave Iraq in September of this year and would like to have a 1650 raw total. I have a very extensive knowledge of anatomy and physiology, I used to be certified through I.S.S.A. as a fitness trainer and I have a wide knowledge of supplements. However, I still continue to research power lifting every chance I get and it seems like I learn 500 new things everyday. Anyways, Iíd like to learn more about gear for equipped lifting. I want to compete raw a few times when I come back to the states, but I want to at least start learning about gear now so I can apply it when Iím ready and train with it. That being said, what is some of the best gear for a beginner? I know stance on the squat and deadlift determine a lot about gear so I squat very wide and deadlift conventional. I know the guys at Elite are partial to Metal gear but I also know those cats have been lifting in it for ages. Also, when starting to use gear I would assume it is best to start with single ply, is that accurate? Iím not eager to add 300lbs to my total right away. Iíd just like to get some guidance on gear for a beginner and train with it and get used to it.

    Iíve also heard that it is good to attend a competition or two before you compete to get a taste for the atmosphere. Iíll be home for mid-tour leave in 4 days and I am going to the APF Michigan State Championships on March 13th to check it out. Iíll also have the opportunity to meet Matt Kroc there as well and hopefully get some guidance from him.

    Thanks for the help.

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    It depends on what type of gear. Single ply or multi ply? Each one has some strong differences in how it is used. Metal seems to be very polular for multiply gear whild it has been the consensus of everyone I know that titan is the best single ply. One thing that you will need to understand with gear is that it is designed to help out the bottom end which means you need to have the power in the top end. This goes for squat suits and bench shirts. Pressure is a new factor you will deal with in the gear that you don't have raw. I can tell you that it is not comfortable in the bottom of a squat with constrictive clothing and a weight that is 100-200 lbs over your raw max. That is why you see so many lifters with nose bleeds. Also the only way to get anywhere with gear is to use it. You have to lift in it to get used to it, and to find your groove. You will also have to get used to handling more weight than your used to. I like elite as a website, you can also check out critical bench and some others.
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    I would just start out with the type of gear you plan on competing in. If you are planning on competing in multi-ply there is no real reason to get all single-ply stuff to start with. For SQ and DL gear Metal is pretty good and the regular Metal Pro gear is relatively easy to learn (compared to other multi-ply stuff). You could start with briefs or simply get a SQ suit and use it with the straps down to start with. The biggest adjustment may be with a bench shirt. If you don't already, get used to tucking your elbows touching a little lower. The Metal DL suits are also the best out there for conventional DL suits. You will simply have to get used to pulling in it so you can get in decent position to pull with the suit on. Even before you get a DL suit, start acting like you are pulling in a suit by getting used to setting-up like you have a suit on. You have to get your air at the top and arch your back, then grab the bar with one hand and pull yourself down to grab with the other hand, then dip and go. The suits are usually too tight to get your air while you're bent over the bar and you don't want to be bent over messing around with your set-up for 30 seconds.
    I would send Jo Jordan a question on the elitefts website for specifics about what Metal gear to get.
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