Equipped or Unequipped?
For many years, "powerlifting" meant Equipped lifting, tight squat suit, bench shirts, kneewraps, etc were worn by almost all lifters. However the cost, technical difficulty, and "it's legal cheating" questions gave rise to the RAW or unequipped ("Classic" in CPU/IPF contests) movement, no supportive gear beyond a belt, wristwraps and kneesleeves. This lead to phenomonal growth in the sport and the CPU, membership has tripled in recent years, contests are 95% Classic lifters.
However many of these new lifters have a) discovered that they LOVE the sport and b) reached a point in their lifting where gains come slow, and they are starting to wonder what they could do with a squat suit or bench shirt on. But where to start?
On the reverse side, some of our older lifters that have always used the supportive gear in heavy training and competition are interested in lifting without it, but don't know what to expect.
All About Equipped Powerlifting, by Shane Martin