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I have begun my venture into the competing in RAW meets. RAW lifting has really become popular in the last several years. It’s not a new concept. Many of us that have been lifting for many years started training and competing without supportive gear. RAW lifting in the USAPL means that you can wear a belt, wrist wraps and knee sleeves, but no supportive suits or bench shirts. I have always trained without supportive gear, but in the past if you wanted to lift in the bigger meets you had no choice; either wear supportive gear or lose a considerable amount of Lbs off of your lifts. In the beginning supportive gear was pretty basic. It was made of real light material. It added gains in your lifts, but not to the extent that it does now. The age of new technology has arrived and bench shirts are capable of giving some lifters 200+ Lbs in a lift. Squat suits and wraps may also give a lifter 200+ Lbs in a lift. As with all things there has been a movement in the sport that has said enough is enough.
A big determining factor in my decision has been the IPF‘s decision to have a RAW category in international events. The first RAW Worlds will take place this year in Stockholm, Sweden. With this development it is now possible to compete at the highest level without supportive equipment. Due to other scheduling conflicts last year I did not compete at the 2011 USAPL RAW Nationals. This eliminated my chance of taking place in the first RAW Worlds. I really feel like I have missed an opportunity to be part of an exciting new trend in the sport. I would like to try to get qualified for the 2013 RAW Worlds in Russia.
My quest for making the 2013 team has begun. I first needed to hit a qualifying total so that I could compete at the 2012 USAPL RAW Nationals. Just two weeks after the Arnold I made a trip to St. Louis to compete in the USAPL Ozark Open. I was able to put together a good qualifying total going 9/9 and hitting new American Open Records in the Deadlift (837) and Total (2066). I had a lot of fun at the meet, and I reconfirmed my decision to give RAW lifting a try. I drove home from St. Louis confident that if I have continued improvement with my elbow injury, and a good training cycle, my RAW lifting Total will continue to improve.
Once again I have bitten off a very busy schedule. Next up on the schedule I will compete with fellow Team HMB lifter Bryan Dermody at the GNC Pro Performance Empire Classic Pro Deadlift in Spokane, Washington. I will then compete in the USAPL RAW Nationals in early August in Killeen, Texas, and I have been invited to compete in a deadlift event in Brazil in December. This is all made possible by training properly, getting enough rest, and by taking in quality supplementation. GNC Pro Performance HMB has been a staple product in my supplementation plan. It continues to amaze me with its great recovery benefit.
Train smart, stay healthy, set your goals high, and don't forget to add GNC Pro Performance HMB to your supplement list! Good luck in meeting your strength and fitness goals!!!