Practical Applications Of Equipped Lifting for Raw Lifters

Equipped lifting often get’s thrown under the bus in the social media realm with statements such as, if I can wear a suit to lift the weight for me, why don’t I show up to this meet with a fork lift?

While I enjoy the equipped lifting memes, and can certainly understand why some individuals might not count equipped lifts as “real” lifts, I do believe raw lifters can benefit from some aspects of equipped lifting.

1. Overload Training

First and foremost equipped lifting can be worked into a raw training routine as a form of “overload training”. Overload training simply implying that you are doing some type of variation that allows you to lift supramaximal loads for a given movement.

This doesn’t mean you need to go out and by yourself a squat suit though…

Simple inclusions such as knee wraps on squats and a sling shot for bench press can be easy variation additions to any training program to allow a lifter to “practice” with heavier weights.

2. Variation

Maybe you’ve been in this whole lifting game for a bit too long now. Maybe you’re thinking about hanging up the towel on competing, your workouts aren’t enjoyable like they used to be, or you’re just straight up looking for a change.

Equipped lifting can offer you that. While the movement patterns of the squat, bench, and deadlift in equipped lifting are all the “same” as they are compared to raw…you’ll be taking an entirely different approach to training.

There’s new skills to be learned, new ways to program, details about training that you won’t find out about until you actually DO them…enough to keep you occupied for awhile.

Equipped lifting could be just enough of a change up for your routine that you eventually turn back to your original raw lifting with a fresh outlook and new appreciation for a different side of the sport.

3. Enjoyment

Finally, it’s okay to admit that you enjoy equipped lifting, even if you may have dubbed yourself a “raw” lifter for life.

I think too many people are worried about what social media has to say about raw lifting such as the lifts not counting, the use of suits being akin to wearing Gundam armor, equipped lifting being the literal manifestation of ego lifting…and on and on…

Who cares…if you’ve found yourself dabbling here and their with equipped lifting and are actually starting to find enjoyment out of pursuing it…keep doing it.

Don’t let social media influence your opinion on a style of training that is bring enjoyment into your life.


Matt Molloy

Matt Molloy

I'm a graduate the University of Pittsburgh with a major in Exercise Science. I’m a local guy (North Penn) and athletics has dominated my life. I've led teams in basketball, baseball, soccer, golf and my passion, long distance running. I've been strength training for 6 years with a focus in power-lifting but have recently stretched to strongman since joining the pride here at the Den. When I’m not in the gym I enjoy, spending time with my friends, music, and relaxing and playing some video games.