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View Full Version : Good Bench Shirt Routine?



dxiw
02-06-2008, 02:14 PM
I just got my Inzer Blast and I'm looking for a good powerlifting bench press routine. I've been thinking of doing alternating weeks 5x5 and then 8x1-2.

I have many years of lifting experience and a good base. I'm looking to enter a meet in May and would like to bring up my bench as much as possible before then. I haven't maxed, but I'd estimate my raw bench max today is about 275-300.

Advice?

I do have a set of boards (1-5 board), but no chains or bands.

Travis Bell
02-06-2008, 02:49 PM
any particular reason you chose the Blast?

Biggest thing that helped me was getting in with some guys who knew shirts well. Shirts can be a real pain to figure out on your own, especially if you don't have anyone to spot and handle you.

As far as a routine, when I'm shirt training, I like to get in mine every other week. For your first workout, you might start with like a 3 board and work down to a 2 or 1 board for some easy singles just to get a feel for the shirt. I wouldn't expect more than 50lbs out of that shirt though maybe some have gotten more out of it

dxiw
02-06-2008, 04:07 PM
I just wanted a cheap, single-ply poly shirt so I could get back into shirt benching. In a few months, I'll start training in something nicer and use it for my meet.

And I'm kind of out of luck, because I'm the only guy in my gym who trains with a shirt. People even walk up and ask me what the hell I'm wearing and say it looks silly.. (argh I know.. frustrating)

I have my two best friends that help me get in and out of it, also they are spotters.

smokinHawk
02-06-2008, 04:20 PM
the blast wount really help you with to much extra pounds on your bench, i can bench the same with it then without it. but mine is "loose"
i like it because it helps prevent injuries while training. just dont expect to get more then 30lbs extra out of it if its tight.

Chris Rodgers
02-06-2008, 06:09 PM
If you are going to just use it as a training shirt, you could always cut the back and make it an open-back. When I did a single-ply meet recently, I did that with a blast shirt and used it at the meet(I didn't feel like spending money on a new shirt). It was the EHPHD I believe and I hit 315(with a 250 raw). So you can get something out of a blast, but it is the bottom of the barrell.

The good thing about the blast is that you can use your natural bench groove in it and it won't throw you all over. Touching shouldn't be much of an issue like it is with the gangsta shirts. I would train your bench much like you normally do and maybe throw in some lower board work(2-3 boards) and maybe some lockouts if your triceps are lagging.


If your true plan is to compete in a better shirt though, you should try and get in it sooner rather than later. Learning a good shirt can take some time and you don't want to be all messed up with trying to touch and learning a shirt as the meet gets close. Good luck with it.

Travis Bell
02-06-2008, 07:25 PM
I'm going to second what Chris said, get the shirt you plan on competing in as soon as you can, that way you can learn the new groove better. The blast will keep you from shoulder strain and the like, but won't teach you much about shirted benching and you don't want to change things up much the closer you get to your meet

RhodeHouse
02-06-2008, 09:03 PM
Train how you compete.

If no one is a PLer in your gym, go find a better gym. Or at least find a better gym to train bench in. Spend more time looking for training partners and less time worrying about templates.

i just saw you live in Cambridge. TPS in Riviere. Call Murph at Total Performance Sports. No excuses now.

dxiw
02-07-2008, 05:05 PM
Thanks for all the advice guys.

Rhodes - I'd love to workout with those guys, but unfortunately Revere is a solid 20-30 minute drive from where I live, and being the broke/busy college student I am, my car is parked in the cheap parking a 20 minute walk away. That's an extra 1.5-2hrs on top of whatever I spend in the gym. I have a ton of work to do for school (lectures, recitations, tutorials, lab and homework) and don't have the time for that. The gym I go to is actually a state-of-the-art fitness center here on campus (cost like $50 million or something ridiculous) and has a huge budget for getting new equipment - I'm in the process of having them buy bands, chains, etc. Unfortunately, most of the people in the gym are doing the elliptical and playing on the machines. But the powerlifting equipment is there - we have reverse hyper machine, multiple squat safety racks, all different types of benches, cambered bars, etc - I'm just one of three people that use it lol.

So what type of shirt should I buy?

I really just got the Blast because it was a cheap way to try to relearn training in a shirt. Do you think the HD Blast would be good for competition or should I move up to something better - even a denim such as the Phenom? I'm looking to get 50-100 lb out of the shirt, without too much extreme discomfort haha

smokinHawk
02-07-2008, 06:41 PM
rage, rage x, f6, furry, phenom any of those will give you a good gain once you learn them

Ben Moore
02-07-2008, 06:44 PM
furry? Is that like a raccoon pelt or something? :P

Travis Bell
02-07-2008, 07:05 PM
Thanks for all the advice guys.

Rhodes - I'd love to workout with those guys, but unfortunately Revere is a solid 20-30 minute drive from where I live, and being the broke/busy college student I am, my car is parked in the cheap parking a 20 minute walk away. That's an extra 1.5-2hrs on top of whatever I spend in the gym. I have a ton of work to do for school (lectures, recitations, tutorials, lab and homework) and don't have the time for that. The gym I go to is actually a state-of-the-art fitness center here on campus (cost like $50 million or something ridiculous) and has a huge budget for getting new equipment - I'm in the process of having them buy bands, chains, etc. Unfortunately, most of the people in the gym are doing the elliptical and playing on the machines. But the powerlifting equipment is there - we have reverse hyper machine, multiple squat safety racks, all different types of benches, cambered bars, etc - I'm just one of three people that use it lol.

So what type of shirt should I buy?

I really just got the Blast because it was a cheap way to try to relearn training in a shirt. Do you think the HD Blast would be good for competition or should I move up to something better - even a denim such as the Phenom? I'm looking to get 50-100 lb out of the shirt, without too much extreme discomfort haha

well to be terribly honest you're not going to get much out of a shirt if you don't like the pain. I'm not calling you a wuss or anything, but shirts hurt. Lou will usually tell me if I"m not bruised when I get out of it, then it ain't tight enough. What you're going to need with a shirt is guys who can help you in them, know how to set the shirt, and be ready to spot you (three man spot) when you're in the shirt. You might want to focus on your raw strength for awhile. Sorry to crap on your parade though

elitepler
02-07-2008, 08:30 PM
totally agree with the others. Worry about school and go raw. Raw meets area blast, easy to train for and you never miss an opener (hopfully). You have all the time in world to compete equipped, it sounds as if school is number 1 and it should be. Without at least one real solid training partner, it would be difficult at bext to train equipped. Also, as silly as it sounds a blast is more difficult to get into by yourself than an open back double denim.

dxiw
02-07-2008, 09:48 PM
Perhaps I misled some of you guys.

I have boards already, and my school is working on getting chains/bands. I know what I am doing (in high school when I trained for PL I used boards and chains with a cheap no-name bench shirt) and I have two serious guys who lift with me that can get me in/out of the shirt and know how to properly spot me. I know how to "swim" to get the wrinkles out of the underarm area and how to properly get the shirt placed. I don't understand why I can't train in a shirt all of a sudden???

I was asking a simple question:
What is a good shirt to move onto after the blast if I want good results for the weight I am looking to bench: 300-400 pounds range?

I am very serious about school, but about lifting too. I log every workout, my daily weight and every calories that goes into me. I basically separate 2.5 hours everyday purely for lifting / lifting related stuff, then give the rest of the time to school.

Travis Bell
02-07-2008, 10:12 PM
not saying you can't, but I've been there and its a royal pain. To clarify though we're not saying that you are not a dedicated lifter at all.

If you want to lift in a shirt, if you want to use a single ply shirt, a Fury or Rage X would fit nicely, depending on your benching form

If double ply, I learned very well in a double denim and was able to get quite a bit out of it. I'll be moving on to a Rage X in the near future

dxiw
02-07-2008, 10:24 PM
I think I'm going to train in my Blast for 6 weeks or so and try to squeeze maybe something out of it. if anything, it will help me get used to training in a shirt again.

Then I think I'm going to buy the Inzer Standard Double Ply Denim (open back, velcro). I figured I could work up to some massive weight in it, and it won't be as much of a pain. Are there any videos that show the different grooves each shirt has? I tend to keep my elbows fairly flared out, big arch, and fairly vertical line.

Travis Bell
02-07-2008, 10:56 PM
try and work on getting your elbows more tucked as you bench. A good choice on the DD but you'll transition much easier into the shirt if you tuck your elbows when training raw or even in your blast. Bar placement will be significantly lower than you are used to also

what has been your experience with shirts in the past?

dxiw
02-08-2008, 07:20 AM
High school, second term senior year. I was stuck at 315 raw and then started training in a shirt with a 3 board and 4 board to work on my lockout. I was able to get up to 365 in the shirt. Then college came around and I stopped lifting and caring.. so yea. Now I'm back to 270ish raw.

drew
02-08-2008, 07:59 AM
I would get the Inzer Rage X and call Murph at TPS and try to at least get down there for a bench session if you can. You'll learn a ton.

Travis Bell
02-08-2008, 09:14 AM
double ply shirts are great and much easier to get on compared to closed back single plys, but if you've never used one I really recommend that you train at least a few times with someone who has. Getting the shirt set right goes a little farther than just getting your arms in the shirt, its where the collar sits on your chest, what position your palms are when you slide your arms in, whether the shirt is taught on your belly or if you leave it a little bunched up, rolling the sleeves, I mean the list does go on. If you have the opportunity to train with some guys who know how to use these, you would want to at least when you get your double ply

dxiw
02-08-2008, 10:48 AM
drew - definitely will do. I think I'm going to order the double ply and when it gets here call Murph and arrange a time to do some good training with him at TPS...

RhodeHouse
02-08-2008, 12:21 PM
Thanks for all the advice guys.

Rhodes - I'd love to workout with those guys, but unfortunately Revere is a solid 20-30 minute drive from where I live, and being the broke/busy college student I am, my car is parked in the cheap parking a 20 minute walk away. That's an extra 1.5-2hrs on top of whatever I spend in the gym. I have a ton of work to do for school (lectures, recitations, tutorials, lab and homework) and don't have the time for that. The gym I go to is actually a state-of-the-art fitness center here on campus (cost like $50 million or something ridiculous) and has a huge budget for getting new equipment - I'm in the process of having them buy bands, chains, etc. Unfortunately, most of the people in the gym are doing the elliptical and playing on the machines. But the powerlifting equipment is there - we have reverse hyper machine, multiple squat safety racks, all different types of benches, cambered bars, etc - I'm just one of three people that use it lol.

So what type of shirt should I buy?

I really just got the Blast because it was a cheap way to try to relearn training in a shirt. Do you think the HD Blast would be good for competition or should I move up to something better - even a denim such as the Phenom? I'm looking to get 50-100 lb out of the shirt, without too much extreme discomfort haha

You're missing the point. Boards, bands, chains - that stuff doesn't make you a powerlifter. Bands and chains have been around for about 15 years. I'm positive guys got really strong without bands and chains. They are gimmicks. What makes people strong is training with people that are stronger.

And, I know what it's like to be a student. School is most important, but all your excuses as to why you can't walk 20 minutes to your car to drive 20 minutes to a gym with people that can make you stronger are just that. Excuses. Sorry, but that's the truth. $50 million gyms don't mean a thing to me. Southside is a $hithole. The equipment is older than I am. There's 2 800lb benchers and 4 900lb squatters and 1 on the verge of 1000. Expensive equipment is just pretty to look at. It's the atmosphere, not the equipment. But, you'll do whatever you want. I can't help you with routines because it doesn't matter what you do. It matters who you train with. Best of luck to you.

dxiw
02-08-2008, 02:15 PM
Trust me, I would LOVE to go work with the TPS guys, but given that I am a second semester senior with a thesis and high level coursework, I have to give school the time it deserves. That means I have 2 hours a day for the gym.

I think I can gain more from trying to get advice from guys like you online and try to incorporate it in my training here on campus. I agree that going to TPS would be WAY better, but that would only give me 20 minutes to actually spend there, in which I don't think I could accomplish much.

I have all the equipment I could ever want, and have been an avid powerlifting fan / been in a few meets for years. So I am begging you for advice, videos, etc, basically as a virtual training of what I would see at TPS. I will try to make some weekend trips out there to train with those guys, but due to my time constraints I need to train locally for my regular schedule. I want to make the most of my workouts locally. I don't think just because I can't train with the best of the best, means I shouldn't be powerlifting at all. You'd agree, wouldn't you?

I am very disciplined and I have a good amount of lifting experience. I am asking you guys for training techniques. Sure, I'll go over to TPS to learn the perfect fit for the double-ply when I get it, but I want to know what I can do now with my Inzer Blast to train help me get stronger. I don't think my muscles know any difference between the same movement done at TPS or at my campus gym. I have great lifting partners that are about the same strength as me and can be very motivating. I understand powerlifting training and techniques from 1) experience and 2) doing it with huge and much stronger guys in high school - at a real gym (Not campus bs).

So, Rhodes, if I came to visit you and brought my Inzer Blast shirt, what type of workout would you get me on? 5x5? Also, do you agree that the open back double ply is a good competition shirt (don't worry I will go to TPS to learn the proper fit)? I've given you my strength numbers, my bodyweight, and my shirt size. Please let me know if there is anything else you need.

WillKuenzel
02-08-2008, 02:48 PM
You're not getting it. You don't have to train exclusively at TPS but you need to go. There's no way to tell you what you need to do in the shirt because we don't know your weak points. We don't know how your form is. There's too many things we can't determine from here.

You can't spare once a week or every other week to drive to TPS? If that's the case then why not just wait until the semester is over. Give up lifting until it's done and concentrate on your studies.

dxiw
02-08-2008, 03:31 PM
1) Above, I said: "I will try to make some weekend trips out there to train with those guys"
and...
"I'll go over to TPS to learn the perfect fit for the double-ply when I get it".

I will definitely go to TPS. I just can't go all the time.

2) Would it help if I uploaded a video of my form?

3) My weak point is about 4-5 inches off the chest. My triceps are by far the weakest part of my bench IMO.

WillKuenzel
02-08-2008, 03:39 PM
I read what you wrote but what I'm hearing is you making excuses. You want to get better now, we can only do so much. Sure we can give you some cookie cutter routine that may or may not do jack shirt for you. Would that make you happy? Or... would you rather do things the right way to begin with?

Whatever you think is your weak point will change when you put the shirt on and start using it. We can help more with videos, yes, but you're just not going to get the help you want on line. You want to get stronger, lift with guys that are better than you.

dxiw
02-08-2008, 03:52 PM
Update:

So I spoke with Laura at TPS today. I told her I was referred by Rhodes at South Side Barbell. I think I'm going to set-up a 4 pack of personal training sessions to work on bench form, bench shirt proper use, squat/deadlift form.

Thanks for the referral Rhodes..

dxiw
02-08-2008, 09:51 PM
Also, I spent a while thinking about it and I think Rhodes is right here. The truth is until April/May I won't have the time to train consistently with the TPS guys. I think what I will do is forget about this meet I was thinking about, and focus on bodybuilding (getting really cut like I've been doing for the last 6 weeks). I will go this weekend to get a personal training session on bench shirts and bench form at TPS, so I can maybe incorporate my shirt into some of my bodybuilding efforts. Then once I reach my goal, I will start eating a lot of calories and by then should have more free time, and I will start training with the TPS guys regularly (3-4 times a week). This way I can make the most of my situation now and in the future..

RhodeHouse
02-08-2008, 10:32 PM
I only train at Southside 1x per week. Just go there on ME Bench day. As a college senior, it's hard to believe that you don't have time. I guess you NEVER go out in Boston, ever. You must be in class, or in your room studying, or in the library studying ALL, the time? You're missing out on a lot of fun times in Bean Town. i used to go to Victory, The Kells, and The Purple Shamrock. I had one crazy night during March Madness when I was in high school. We were at The Crimson. I carried my cousin to the car over my shoulder. Then we had to drive to BC. That's where he went to school. You're missing out on a fun time.

Here's a bench plan. Don't ask me questions about it. Just figure it out on your own. Don't asl what to do working up to the shirt. Don't ask what to do after the shirt. No questions. You wanted a plan, here it is:

3 weeks of triples
1 week out of shirt
3 weeks of doubles
1 week out of shirt
3 weeks of singles
1 week out
repeat

I don't know what weight you should use. But, I can tell you, if you miss a weight, it was too heavy. You should touch the 2nd rep on triples and possibly the 1st, and the both reps on doubles. I'm not sure what your weight jumps should be each week. I don't know where you're weak or what you should work on to get stronger.

My point is, you'll go nowhere on your own. You need to be around people who know how to lift. Proper fitting of your shirt is easy. If you can put it on by yourself, it's too lose. You're a college student, so I know you have all the answers. I remember those days, all too well.

Like I said earlier, spend time finding training partner and a good atmosphere and less time worrying about training templates. It's all theory, anyways.

dxiw
02-09-2008, 02:53 PM
Rhodes man, I completely agree about the whole training with others better than you in the right environment!

So I went to TPS today and spent a couple hours talking to Laura / looking around.

I bought a 4-month membership and I bought a personal training session with Murph to work exclusively on my bench shirt and bench form. I'm going to hopefully do the session sometime this week. As far as my training goes, Laura told me I should be ok to join their power-team which lifts 3 days a week (MWF) for a couple hours. They train for both PL and Strongman. I REALLY liked the strongman equipment, and I think I want to focus my training on strongman instead of PL. I think it would be way funner for me to try something new like strongman meet as opposed to a PL meet!

But yea man Rhodes, you were absolutely right. I'm really excited about training with the TPS guys and I'll keep you guys updated on how it goes.

As far as the college senior thing goes, normally people have more free time senior year. But, I did a ****ty job of scheduling classes last year and now I have more than I thought I would this term to graduate. Which I suspect will eat a lot of my free time.. but your right, it's all excuses. I'm going to drag my ass to TPS 3 times a week and train like a man. No more bull****.

drew
02-11-2008, 05:37 AM
It's rare that people actually listen to good advice. You've taken the first step. Now go lift some heavy weights.

WillKuenzel
02-11-2008, 06:00 AM
It's rare that people actually listen to good advice. You've taken the first step. Now go lift some heavy weights.Agreed.

dxiw, if you hold true to those words, you've just earned a good deal of respect. Good luck and crush some weight!

dxiw
02-11-2008, 11:20 AM
Just to update you guys:

I'm leaving in a hour for my personal training session with Murph at TPS. We're going to work on bench shirt groove and perfecting my form today. I carb-loaded some last night and am well-hydrated. I'm hoping to hit a PR today..

I am SUPER excited!

UHCougar05
02-11-2008, 01:38 PM
Just to update you guys:

I'm leaving in a hour for my personal training session with Murph at TPS. We're going to work on bench shirt groove and perfecting my form today. I carb-loaded some last night and am well-hydrated. I'm hoping to hit a PR today..

I am SUPER excited!SFW! :D :strong:

Guido
02-11-2008, 02:01 PM
Word! If you continue to keep an open mind and take the advice of thsoe who are experienced and stronger than you, you will go far!

Dedication + knowledge + intensity = You Rule the ****ing World!

dxiw
02-11-2008, 04:00 PM
Hell ****ing yes. PR baby!!! Here's the breakdown:
5 min walk on treadmill
Talk about how to set-up, etc
M.E. Bench 45x4, 95x4, 135x1, 185x1, 225x1, 275xmiss, (puts on ****ty Inzer Blast shirt that is too big and doesn't do anything), 275x1, 300x1 (PR!!!!)
The following were broken into sets of 4-6:
Pullups (BW) 25 reps
Tricep Extensions (skullcrushers, DB extension) 50 reps
Decline Sit-ups 50 reps

Here are the notes I took from our discussion and practice:
ME Bench form (step-by-step)
1. Sit on end of bench, heels out, on toes, squeeze bench
2. Arch back and fall backwards
3. Grab center of bar and slide all the way back (to lock in foot squeeze)
4. Pull body forward and balance on back of head creating monster arch
5. Remain on head (shoulders in air) and one hand at a time make grip (index on ring)
6. Squeeze shoulder blades together as absolutely tightly as possible
7. Inhale a deep breath and forcefully push out as hard as possible into the belt (from stomach)
8. Hold the breath, touch shoulder blades to bench, receive hand off
9. Bring weight down, touch chest, explode up as fast as possible
10. While coming up try to bend the bar with forearms (this causes you triceps to take the right groove)

Travis Bell
02-11-2008, 04:11 PM
Great work man! Sounds like you got some great advice for shirted training

dxiw
02-11-2008, 09:34 PM
So, one thing I noticed today was that I was touching at my lower pec (near nipples, maybe even a little lower) to get the best launch, but when I exploded with heavier weight (I attempt 320 but missed because of this) the weight felt fine but the shirt drove the weight upward to my neck and I lost control of it. Murph told me it was because the Inzer Blast has a groove that touches on the upper pec and is just an overall lousy shirt. He told me to buy an open-back double-ply shirt and have him train me in that.

Just from you guys experience - what is the best open back shirt that provides power with a relatively low touch point (lower pec area)?

I was thinking of an Inzer Denim or Inzer Phenom. I pretty much realized I'm not going to get **** from the Blast..

Travis Bell
02-11-2008, 10:32 PM
I'd probably actually recommend the Rage X, the Phenom has a pretty different groove than what you're going to be used to.

As far as the denim goes, you're going to be touching ALOT lower than what you've been doing. A Rage will allow you to adjust your bar placement since it has a larger groove. Whichever shirt you choose, I suggest you get someone to measure you and then call it in so you get the shirt custom made for you

NASAKYCHAIRMAN
02-13-2008, 10:44 AM
So, one thing I noticed today was that I was touching at my lower pec (near nipples, maybe even a little lower) to get the best launch, but when I exploded with heavier weight (I attempt 320 but missed because of this) the weight felt fine but the shirt drove the weight upward to my neck and I lost control of it. Murph told me it was because the Inzer Blast has a groove that touches on the upper pec and is just an overall lousy shirt. He told me to buy an open-back double-ply shirt and have him train me in that.

Just from you guys experience - what is the best open back shirt that provides power with a relatively low touch point (lower pec area)?

I was thinking of an Inzer Denim or Inzer Phenom. I pretty much realized I'm not going to get **** from the Blast..

Get an INZER RAGE X!

TRAIN HARD

"BIG WILLIE" J.T. HALL

GOT MAXIMUM MASS STACK?