I didn't know Marty Gallagher was from my neighborhood! I lifted in that exact meet in Columbia, Md. last year. Weird.
I don't like his tone on the gear bashing either, btw. One reason that meet had so many raw competitiors was that it is at a crossfit place and was advertised in the crossfit community first, so most of the registrants were raw crossfitters. Other local crossfit gyms enetered to challenge the home crossfit "team".
My experience in Virginia Championships was a lot different than that! I'd say 70% of the lifters in that meet were equipped. And the Virginia record book is has massive geared totals, but pretty small raw records by comparison. I could set VA records in my age and weight group with just a 405 squat, 300 bench and 425 deadlift! I won my age group in that meet too mainly because there was only 4 raw guys I was competing against. That tells me raw lifting is not that popular here, or at least the fed I am in it isn't maybe.
Gear and drugs aren't the problem, because let's face it Kaz was as juiced as it gets and he was highlighted in the article about being a popular force in the golden age of powerlifting.
No, it's the lack of continuity. There should be ONE national championships that you get invited to because you were a top lifter in your region for raw and geared, and everybody should be eligible to be drug tested. There should be ONE regional championships that you get into with a qualifying total from a local meet. Local meets should be open to anyone.
All under one set of rules. One standard of judging.
I agree with OR, but one other thing that is driving new people right now is that there are so many feds now, you can be a national champion and set records, etc. Everybody wants that orange slice. I have a state champion raw masters I plaque on my wall right now. Woo Hoo!
It would mean a lot more if it was done under a unified system comparing like individuals to like individuals.
Just my .02
I am Anton Zdravko Martin!
Best meet lifts: Sq 150 Kg (330 lb), Bench 120 Kg (264), DL 160 (352) @89 Kg (197)
Best gym lifts: Sq 375, Bench 280 (pause), DL 385 @205 or less
Goals beyond my wildest dreams, 600 Kg raw total, 200/160/240
Hack away at anything which isn't essential. Do what you love, and do it often. Fazc.
Everything competes for recovery so more assistance is not always the best idea. miked96