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Raw Unity Meet Proposal

Posted By: Eric Talmant
Date: Friday, 6 July 2007, at 3:54 p.m.

Hello Everyone.

I had the following posted over at Powerlifting Watch.

I ask that you guys give this a thorough read and please email me with your thoughts, comments, etc.

Here it is.
For those of you that do not know who I am, please feel free to visit EliteFts.com and read my bio.

I look at the problems at powerlifting today and I simply say to myself that there is a better way. Thus, I have decided to take it upon myself to see what sort of interest is out there for a raw meet that would invite the top 5-7 lifters from each weight class, regardless of federation, as kept by Jon here at Powerlifting Watch. If you do not already have access to this list, I highly suggest that you purchase a subscription. The investment is minimal, and I believe that these lists are the best thing to happen to powerlifting in a long time.

This meet would avoid controversy because we would simply invite the top 7 raw lifters from each weight class, regardless of federation. There would be no favorites, and it would be easy for all to tell who the top 7 are, and what would need to be done to get into the top 7 and qualify for this meet.

The meet would take place in the Tampa, Florida, area because this is where I live, and we have a very strong network of powerlifters in this area. Raw would be defined as what the majority of the lifters wanted, as would the rules of execution of the lifts, drug testing, etc. I would go to the appropriate lengths to assure that equipment was top notch, and that the warm-up areas were adequate. We would have the same sort of bars, benches, etc. as the ones on the platform. I would search around and then give the lifters the options of where we could have the meet. Examples would be in a high school gymnasium, in a hotel ballroom, in a county fair center building, etc. I would disclose how much each of these would be charging for the use of their services, so that all of us would know up front what kind of money needed to be raised via entry fees in order for this meet to happen. I would also disclose the rest of the budget in terms of insurance, cost to pay the spotters, cost of drinks in the warm-up room, etc. so that everything is out in the open. I do not want to do this as a way to make money. I want to do it because it needs to be done, I want the best to compete against the best, and I want to show the Powerlifting Community that a Unity meet can be done if the right people get involved and if it is done the right way.

After talking with a few influential people in the Powerlifting community that I have the good fortune of knowing, I believe that the following are some of the things that must be a part of this meet in order for it to be successful:

• a roster of lifters given at weight ins
• a chart so the wife's/family/friends/spectators could follow how their guys were doing
• drinks in the warm up room
• the best equipment
• a fast run meet
• starting on time
• letting the lifters decide if there was an issue
• reputable judges

Of course there will be more things added to this list as time goes on, but the bottom line is that the key is to do everything exactly as YOU would like it as a lifter. This is where I, as the meet organizer, need to listen to what is being suggested to me and then carry out these wishes.

I am hopeful that I can work and collaborate with the presidents/heads of each of the federations that allow raw lifting in regards to setting a meet date. I certainly do not want to cause any conflict with any particular federation’s national meet or other big meet. However, this venture ultimately comes down to you, the individual lifter that is in the top 5-7 in your respected weight class. YOUR INPUT IS THE MOST VALUABLE!

Why a raw meet? I just enjoy raw lifting the most. For me, it never gets old when I go to a commercial gym and see some dude walk out 5-6 plates on each side and do some nice deep squats. It always seems to impress me.

Other reasons why I like raw:

• Safety. Less chance of an accident in relation to spotters, the lifter having a problem with too tight a gear, etc. which will help me sleep better at night.
• Easier to get squat stands than a bunch of monolifts for not only the meet but for the warm-up room

Also, the guys that compete raw typically do not have sponsorships. This is another reason why I wanted to do the meet raw. For the most part, the guys that lift raw are just guys that are not looking for the spot light, etc. but many of them are actually very strong. It just goes unnoticed because somewhere along the line the 800-plus pound squat of Scott Weech or the 525 lb bench press at 220 by Dennis Cieri only get appreciated by those that really know how strong those lifts really are. The NERB invited (for the most part) geared lifters and asked them if they would compete raw. We are going to be drawing from a pool of lifters that already lift raw; big difference.

I am not looking to convert anyone from geared to raw. I am not looking to make money.

I think that raw Powerlifting is ready for this type of "unity meet" across federations. If we can pull this off raw, then there is no reason that somebody else cannot pull this off (meet across feds) with single and double ply. I want to show the Powerlifting community that it can be done, and that it can be done right.

My goal is to be the catalyst behind this meet. I am willing to do all that is necessary to see this vision through. However, I need to be put in touch with the most important people that can make this vision a reality: the raw lifters themselves.

That is probably where I need your help most. I need everyone to spread the word to their respected federations through chat boards, emails, word of mouth, contacting your president, etc. Please have them email their thoughts to erictalmant@yahoo.com .

I want to hear from the lifters themselves, potential sponsors, interested judges, and the presidents of each respected federation that allows raw lifting. No idea will go unread and all input is appreciated.

Once again, I have stepped up to the plate and have offered a solution to all of the problems that are wrong with Powerlifting. I am willing to do what it takes to make this meet happen. I am now waiting to see if this is what Powerlifting really wants, or if it is all just a bunch of talk.

Thank you for your time.
Eric Talmant
EliteFts sponsored Athlete


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