Why Raw? Peeling Off the Armor

By Zane Geeting

Recently I made the decision to do a raw powerlifting meet for the first time in over a decade. Since I announced this, I’ve received several inquiries as to why I would do such a thing. For the most part the questions have come in the form of a joke and I’ve just cracked jokes about them in return, but after a lifter I greatly respect asked me in a serious manner, I decided it was worth a legitimate answer. It’s certainly nothing profound, or any kind of permanent change at this point, but there are several valid reasons for it, and honestly they might be something for others to consider when making their next meet decision. Below is the list of considerations that led me to doing it RAWng.

  1. Time – As many of you probably know, I’m a guy who likes to burn the candle from both ends and see how long I can keep it going. Because of this, my time for training has taken a back seat to other priorities in life. That doesn’t mean I don’t take my training serious, because trust me, if I’m there, I’m busting my ass. However, those of us who’ve trained and competed in gear know that it is much more time consuming. Since I can only devote two 3 hour sessions per week, this was my first consideration into maximizing the time I have available to train.
  2. Heat – its summer, the Great Lakes region gets nasty hot and humid. It’s not uncommon for our garage gym to be 90 plus degrees with 100% humidity. I know a lot of you Southern guys feel that same pain, but I assure you the heat affects you differently when you’re used to training in subzero temperatures for half of the year. There are very few things worse than fighting your way into 6 plies of squat gear when you’re soaked with sweat from head to toe. Everything sticks and binds; you get overheated and take extra time to recover between sets, etc. Again, this is something that raw training allows me to skip
  3. I haven’t done it in a long time – I’m the kind of guy who likes and appreciates all kinds of strength; powerlifting both raw and equipped, strongman, arm-wrestling, you name it, I like it. I’m also the kind of guy who likes to do well and win, so I stick with the things that I know I’m good at. While several injuries have limited my success in lifting, I’m still OK at it, and so I choose to compete in the disciplines that I know I do the best in, and to remain a fan of the others. I had a lot of success in raw lifting when I was younger, so why not try it again to mix things up and see if I still have it.
  4. My bodyweight – this kind of goes back to the points of time and heat, above. Because I work a lot during the summer, partially outside, manual labor in the heat, I tend to lose weight. The last couple of summers I’ve been sitting around 217 lbs., instead of my usual 230-235. Because of this my gear doesn’t fit right. Now the Inzer Leviathan Ultra Pro makes up for this with its adjustability, but that unfortunately doesn’t carry over to my briefs and bench shirt. Like I said before, I want to be competitive, and I’m not about to go into a meet in loose gear and give up valuable carryover. Could I get new Predators and a new Super Phenom? Sure, but when the previous three points are taken into account, it’s hard to justify.

So, that’s it. At the time of writing this I’m something like 6.5 weeks out from the meet, the really heavy training is starting, and I’m feeling good. I look forward to seeing what a washed up old gear-whore can do when I peel off the armor.  Some people may be surprised, others probably won’t be, most won’t give a shit – I get it. I’m just looking forward to competing, having fun, and hopefully beating some people in the process. If the stars align I may get my name on a list I’ve been eyeing up for a long time, but who knows… It’ll be a blast either way.

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Zane Geeting

Zane Geeting is a pro multi-ply powerlifter with best lifts of a 935 squat, 625 bench, and 765 deadlift. He is coming back to competitive PL after a year and a half layoff that was a result of several serious injuries including a severe rupture of the right pec that could not be repaired. Zane has an extremely busy schedule that would make most people quit before Friday. He works 55+ hours a week as a finance manager. As a renaissance man, he is also currently restoring a 140 year-old farmhouse and maintaining a hobby farm. Despite all this, Zane still finds time to train 2-3 times per week, as well as coach other lifters.  

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