When Is Raw Really Raw?

Create: 12/13/2005 - 07:35
An interesting discussion is going on over at the 100% Raw Federation's forum. Fed president Paul Bossi is looking for lifter input about allowing lifters to use knee and wrist wraps. From the current 100% Raw Federation rulebook:

In RAW meets only a leather belt may be worn with a non-supportive singlet. No other supportive gear may be worn. This includes, but is not limited to, wrist wraps, knee wraps, tape applied around a limb or finger, supportive lifting suit, supportive briefs, supportive shirt.

We all know that knee wraps add pounds to a squat. If Raw allows there use, are they starting down a slippery slope? Is even allowing belts a start down that slope? Are belted lifters equipped lifters?

Comments

Submitted by chrisd on
Not that I'm a big lifter yet, but I think their limits are fine. I think at some point the gear helps protect the lifters. It's at what point that the gear goes from protecting to helping them lift that I have somewhat of an issue with...but I could see myself in some gear. Chris D.

Submitted by admin on
But what about gear that does both - protects and helps, like a belt with squatting and deadlifting.

Submitted by Nick Winters (not verified) on
I think belts and knee or wrist wraps are fine, they might help a little bit but the protection from injury they add is too great to be ignored. Even in the old days they were allowed belts and knee wraps for squats. I don't think we can take away the lifters main source of injury protection just to fit someones definition of raw. It would shorten the career of any lifter who pushed themselves to the max in workouts and meets.

Submitted by admin on
That makes perfect since on one hand. But on the other, why wouldn't single ply shirts fit the same category as a belt or knee wraps? They're each protective pieces of equipment that also help the lifter. So maybe a Blast shirt is okay - it gives some protection and only a little help. But then someone suggests a Fury offers more protection... and you see where this is going.

Submitted by Nick Winters (not verified) on
To me belts, knee wraps, and wrist wraps are just for joint protection. I have used cheap knee wraps and can do the same amount without them as I can do with them. The belt I would definately say is the most important piece of supportive equiptment, it helps prevent back problems and hernias. I think raw lifting should also be safe lifting. I love raw lifting and see it as important as geared lifting, but if I was told I couldn't use any protective equipment I would just go to the geared feds and lift how I want. I don't think you will attract high quality lifters if you disallow everything that keeps a person safe. Who in their right mind would want to push themselves as hard as they can go without any protection. I don't know of anyone who would bench all out with out at least wristwraps, squat all out without a belt a knee wraps, or dead without belt and knee wraps. That would be asking for injuries.

Submitted by admin on

I don't think you will attract high quality lifters if you disallow everything that keeps a person safe.

That seems to be exactly what Paul Bossi and the 100% Raw Federation are struggling with. Will allowing wraps attract more lifters but move them further away from their "100% Raw" name? Will adding even that equipment erode the attraction of the federation in the members' eyes? Bossi's careful not to alienate the current membership by reaching out to them for input. By not unilaterally making this move he acknowledges that it may be important to members.

Submitted by Nick Winters (not verified) on
Well, actually since they allow belts its not 100% raw, so I think allowing 1 or 2 extra protective measures will only help the org. Joints are the first thing to wearout on a powerlifter so I would think protecting them would be a huge priority. I know knee wraps add some weight to a persons squat, but I think the protection would be worth the slightly higher numbers, and you can't jack them up (at least to my knowledge) to get huge numbers out of them. I think for a raw org. shirts would definately be out (even 1 ply blast shirts) just because they do add a significant amount of weight compared to its protective capabilities. I think for raw feds the minimal amount of equipment should be used, but that minimal amount should be enough to protect the lifters joints. I am a senior in college and have been told by many professors and doctors what the effect of PLing will be on my joints, and its not pretty, but it would be much worse if I didn't use the supportive equipment I do use.

Submitted by Kevin (not verified) on
100% Raw is exactly that. Some federations think that knee or wrist wraps are raw, but I tend to disagree. I have and will continue to always lift 100% raw. I can add 50-80 lbs. to my squats by adding knee wraps. I know that the argument has come up that wearing a belt can be considered supportive. If that is a concern for you, Spero if offering a beltless raw division. A belt can be somewhat supportive for your core so to speak, however the wraps of any kind are much more supportive. I lift with the ADAU and am planning a trip to a 100% RAW Federation meet. That is the only lifting that I chose to do. If are worried about your joints and such, and what powerlifting can do to them, don't powerlift. 100% raw is a singlet with a 4" leather belt. That's it.

Submitted by Victor Creed (not verified) on
[quote=Kevin]100% Raw is exactly that. Some federations think that knee or wrist wraps are raw, but I tend to disagree. I have and will continue to always lift 100% raw. I can add 50-80 lbs. to my squats by adding knee wraps. I know that the argument has come up that wearing a belt can be considered supportive. If that is a concern for you, Spero if offering a beltless raw division. A belt can be somewhat supportive for your core so to speak, however the wraps of any kind are much more supportive. I lift with the ADAU and am planning a trip to a 100% RAW Federation meet. That is the only lifting that I chose to do. If are worried about your joints and such, and what powerlifting can do to them, don't powerlift. 100% raw is a singlet with a 4" leather belt. That's it.[/quote] You are a genius. You can get 80 pounds out of knee wraps. But dont get anything out of a supportive belt? WOW, RAAAWWW DAAAWWWWG!

Submitted by mike kidd on
there are so many federations out there from no belt or wraps to bench shirts that have been cut opened and ply's and two ply squat suits made fro fabri you could tow a tractor trailor with supported by briefs made the same way just pick one that fits your needs and quit complaining

Can't please everyone in every meet. Pick where lifting suits you best. I challenge myself all the time to train in ways that keep me safe and still make gains. I know more people that have never lifted heavy in their life and they have more worn out parts than any of my friends that powerlift. Especially the ones that played sports when they were younger. These guys have all types of problems. I believe if you train smart you can stay free from most major problems. People that have great squat technique do not have knee problems. It's not the day of the meet that wears out a person's knees. It's the training they are doing the rest of the year. The Clash for Cash was a huge success with many top lifters coming from all over to lift and we did not allow knee wraps, but sleeves wristwraps, and a belt and everyone was pretty happy with that. That is my version of what is acceptable for being considered raw.