Equipped lifters can typically lift more weight. Part of that comes from the stability and support provided by such equipment, but a growing body of evidence suggests that powerlifting gear can also directly assist the athlete in lifting the load. The elastic energy that builds up in a squat/deadlift/ bench suit during the lowering phase of the lift can help you drive out of the bottom position, allowing you to handle more weight than you could without the suit.
So the questions is: can true strength really be expressed when using such equipment?
In my opinion, yes. It is obvious that the more raw strength you have, the more you can lift assisted by the specific gear. On the other hand, there's also a lot you can get from the equipment if you get to handle it very well, have the right size and get to know the perfect set-up to have maximum results.
Classic powerlifting require more raw strength, a better technique and the need to really use all of the stabilizer muscles that assist you in performing the lift. For example, you can see in this video a raw bench press, where all these details can be observed: the back arch, breathing, squeezing the lats, full tightness of the body, triceps push and leg drive.
The best thing is that equipped and raw powerlifting really help eachother. One of the best things is that by performing equipped lifts with higher loads will really help your central nervous system to get used to that kind of stress and weights, making it easier for your body to addapt when using lower weights and and a raw performance.
Probably the the most important point against geared lifts is that using exclusive the specific suits will affect the quality and technique of your lifts. All of the lifts are executed a little bit differently and have other types of range of emotion and feel.
This is why I always alternate my sessions, depending on the type of meet I'm training for and I try to have a good balance between overloading, using supportive equipment or just trying to improve my raw strength. Variation is always a good thing for the mind and the body, in such a sport that requires a lot of attention to details that can make a huge difference. - 3 minutes ago