There are a lot of articles and plenty of advice on the topic of transitioning from raw lifting to geared lifting. This is seen by many as the normal evolution of a lifter: you start raw and continue adding gear until you eventually compete in multi-ply divisions, fully clad in layers upon layers of briefs, suits, and shirts.

But what about when the process works in reverse? What about geared lifters that make their way into raw lifting? What about moving from multi-ply to single-ply? The reality is, the progression of gear usage is not linear; lifters don't necessarily add more and more powerlifting gear as they move through their career. A lot of times lifters actually go back to raw after spending years in gear. This can be almost as challenging as learning the gear in the first place.

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Through this process, a primary factor for lifters going from gear to raw training is feedback. When you wear briefs, you feel the tightness in the hips and in the groin of the equipment, guiding you into the right position. When you bench with a shirt, you feel the bubble, that perfect place where the bar can continue to descend to your touching point. When you remove the gear, you lose the feedback. This is a significant challenge for a lot lifters returning to raw competition.

For today's Table Talk, Dave addresses the idea of geared training vs raw training. He answers multiple questions about how a lifter might go about learning gear for the first time, going back to raw after a time in gear, and how to break PRs no matter what gear you are or aren't using. His main point: don't use gear to avoid your weaknesses, and don't let the gear hide your weaknesses. No matter what you do, you still need to focus on figuring shit out for yourself.

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