The MONSTER GARAGE GYM/MAROSCHER COACHING LOG is a weekly Coaching Log by MGG owner, 2-Time WPC World Powerlifting Champion, Eric Maroscher, and is geared to the new to intermediate powerlifter. LIVE, LEARN and PASS ON.

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THIS WEEK’S Monster Garage Gym/Maroscher Coaching Log: THE PENDULUM OF POWERLIFTING


*Cover Photo: WPC World Powerlifting Champion, Steve Brock, post-1,080LB squat.

This Week’s Coaching Log:
“Fate whispers to the warrior, ‘You cannot withstand the storm.’ The warrior whispers back, ‘I am the storm.” -Unknown

There is no right nor wrong in powerlifting as neither RAW nor equipped are better than one another. After all, minor squabbles aside, powerlifting as a whole is a brotherhood of iron. That said, if FATE is represented by RAW powerlifting, the WARRIOR in the aforementioned quote is the equipped powerlifter. In the land where RAW is 90% of the game, powerlifters, like shards of metal to a magnet, are drawn to numbers and big numbers reside in the land of the free and home of the equipped.

This past weekend, in the eyes of many, was a flashback to the power-packed equipped meets of the 1990’s. The APF Equipped Nationals was held on June 8, 9, 10, 2018 in Lisle, IL. This was a three day, equipped APF meet, run by Eric and Jackie Stone of APF Illinois. The Stone’s are known for putting on many of the absolute best APF powerlifting meets in the country and this meet was no exception.

Over the three days, some 210 equipped, number chasing powerlifters battled it out with two of the games biggest names, Ernie Frantz and Louie Simmons in the house adding just that much more gravitas to the event.

ernie janel louie

Photos: Powerlifting gurus, Ernie Frantz (left) and Louie Simmons (right) with 2x All-Time World squat and total record holder @ 132LBS, and 2018 SWIS Symposium speaker on 'Soft tissue techniques for sports injuries,' Janel Vegter

With some All Time Records falling, the highlight being Hoff’s 3,014LB total, the meet was weighty, pun absolutely intended. Huge numbers and subconjunctival hemorrhages are the familiar flashbacks to the era of the great Frantz APF equipped meets of the 90’s and with the re-birth of the WPO, one can sense the pendulum of powerlifting shifting yet again.

There is a niche for all powerlifters with RAW, classic RAW, and the equipped divisions and that is good for the sport. Great lifters from each division of our amazing sport deserve respect because it is not the division that makes the athlete great, but it is a great athlete that makes their given division look appealing and that individual's greatness regardless of RAW, equipped or other deserves respect from all powerlifters.

But for those longing for the days where equipped ruled the landscape, when equipped lifting was the Lion amongst the lambs, only time will tell if the Lion is again ready to hunt, or if it is still content, nappin with its belly still full from the feasts of its era.

In my own personal experiences in this sport, going back to my very first powerlifting competition back in 1989, lifters tend to start RAW, then comes the powerlifting belt, then the brief and so on. Is that because equipped was so big and appealing, or is that just how things tend to progress regardless of the popularity or current lack-there-of with regard to equipped lifting? Does that mean that with more RAW lifters (many being newer to the sport) that this traditional conversion will again occur, but this time to an extent even bigger than in years past? That remains to be seen.

What does intrigue me is seeing some of the new to the sport lifters. Not those 'here today, gone later today,' average Joe's who spends more time setting up the smartphone for the socialookatmedia post then they do setting up for a properly executed squat.  But those in-it-to-win-it new to the sport lifters. The ones dialed into technique, inquisitive and scientific about the best program for their needs, those who see nutrition and sleep as the absolutely vital pieces to puzzle that is attaining big numbers. The 90’s equipped era was an amazing era for numbers. But also an era where consuming more was shortsightedly seen as better, and going 110% all the time put recovery in a dark shadow. I am intrigued indeed to see if these new lifters who have the same passion, same fire in their bellies, same inner drive to be the absolute best version of themselves, but who put emphasis on quality over blind quantity and who are educated about how nutrition fuels the eleven systems of the body, and not just stuffing the belly and looking a big calorie count.

That type of lifter, with the combination of drive, passion, and education ultimately stays healthier in all facets and extends their duration 'under the bar.'  Extending their longevity means continuing to get strong(er) and strong(er) and not having to end their powerlifting journey prematurely.  Seeing this type of newer lifter migrate into the world of equipped powerlifting, now, that is very exciting indeed!

Will meets like this past APF equipped Nationals, the WPO and like meets be the gateway to a new era of equipped powerlifting?  Will the next generation of lifters, with the lessons learned from the successes and failures of the monsters of the 1990’s take the numbers even higher but do so for decades over mere fleeting years?

The accompanying video are two mere moments of two different equipped lifters at two equipped APF Nationals, captured in time some two decades apart. Over the decades the lifters and locations change, but the essence of amazing sport that is powerlifting, remains the same. Although you are the individual on the platform, you are also a part of a trusted iron family of training partners who at the end of the day, all help one another throughout this journey we call powerlifting.

Wishing all of our weekly coaching log readers the best in your training and competitions. Ever Onward, Eric Maroscher, Owner: MONSTER GARAGE GYM

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