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jonke05
01-19-2009, 12:16 PM
I have been having issues getting the bar down with a fairly new Phenom 2ply scoop-neck open-back. I have read that there is a specific process (unique to the Phenom) to properly break it in. Any insight from Phenom users would be much appreciated.

Not sure if this data will help, but I'll include it (just in case).
465 - got it down to about 4 boards
495 - got it down to about 3 boards
520 - got it down to about 2 boards
550 - again, down to about 2 boards

When I hit "bottom", it feels as if there is no more give in the shirt (specifically at 550). I have tried putting a little water on the seams to loosen it (which gave me maybe another 1/2 an inch, but that's about it).


Thanks for your time,

Kelly

Travis Bell
01-19-2009, 12:28 PM
Can you get some video of your benching?

Are you using actual boards or just guessing on the distance?

The last bit before touching gets extremely technical, hence why it helps to see video to see what might be keeping you from touching.

Also, Ive found using some doubles on the 4 and 3brd help break in the shirt nicely

jonke05
01-19-2009, 12:48 PM
Didn't think to film it...I realized as I started this post that video would be helpful...

Didn't have any extra hands for the board...one of my side spotters gave the height estimates. It figures that the bottom is technical...since i had no more give, i began to wonder if i need to go more toward my belly (than i already am)...but was concerned about dumping it.

I am slated to do shirt work again a week from tomorrow (so I'll be sure to get tape)....and an extra person to actually hold some boards.

Again, thanks for the offer.

Kelly

jonke05
01-20-2009, 03:08 PM
As an update, I called a buddy last night and he confirmed what i was concerned about. I'm not taking the bar low enough. I end up just above the zyphoid process...so im about 1.5 - 2 inches too "high"...need to be more on the belly. I'll be sure to get some video so the experts here can confirm. Again, much thanks!

Travis Bell
01-20-2009, 03:31 PM
You have to start heading towards your belly from the top, don't wait until the shirt stops you to try and go towards your belly. Start heading there from the top and it'll be much more smooth.

When using boards, one of the best pieces of advice that Vincent gave me was to place the bar on the same position it'd be on my chest/belly, on the board. Before that I used to touch a lot higher on the boards than I would on my chest so I got very little carryover to my full range bench.

jonke05
01-20-2009, 03:40 PM
Thanks for the insight, Travis. I'm gonna have someone yell "belly" at me so my Aggie brain can remember. As far as the boards are concerned...I was touching high...every time...figures.

jonke05
02-10-2009, 12:37 PM
Thanks all for your input. I had another shirt session last Thursday and FINALLY discovered the groove. After warmups, put on the shirt and started working with 500. First attempt got it to about 1 inch above chest (but still too high on the belly....but I felt it come out of the groove. After that, I made 4 other runs with 500 and nailed it on the belly each time.

Next run (this Friday), I'll be doing the same with someone calling the pause. If that works, I'll start increasing.

BTW, did discover that the shirt really zings the bar back up (3/4 of the way) if you let it...cool stuff...

thanks again.

Kelly

Brian Hopper
02-10-2009, 05:58 PM
Thanks all for your input. I had another shirt session last Thursday and FINALLY discovered the groove. After warmups, put on the shirt and started working with 500. First attempt got it to about 1 inch above chest (but still too high on the belly....but I felt it come out of the groove. After that, I made 4 other runs with 500 and nailed it on the belly each time.

Next run (this Friday), I'll be doing the same with someone calling the pause. If that works, I'll start increasing.

BTW, did discover that the shirt really zings the bar back up (3/4 of the way) if you let it...cool stuff...

thanks again.

Kelly

are you feeling some good rebound off the chest?

Travis Bell
02-10-2009, 06:15 PM
BTW, did discover that the shirt really zings the bar back up (3/4 of the way) if you let it...cool stuff...

thanks again.

Kelly

Pretty sure that'd be a yes

jonke05
02-10-2009, 06:57 PM
Pretty sure that'd be a yes

Yepper...the rebound was as significant as was told it would be. The biggest thing I had to do was to "trust" the shirt (if that makes sense)...

jonke05
02-13-2009, 10:07 AM
And so goes the day...
1. Warmup (things felt all warm and tingly)
Put shirt on...
2. Did a quick 2board with 465
3. First go with 500 went down and up easy and in the groove. Lost momentum with the last inch below lockout...but got it anyway.
...Wheels begin to sqeak...and, wait.....I see a ditch ahead...
4. The next three sets i dumped the weight (once high...and the last two, too low). Had a great spotter who got me out of the mud.

My spotter thought I was just tired...I think I was being lazy and not fully focused. Nonetheless, we'll make another run some time next week. Only notable change was that I started taking Niaspan 4 days ago.

10 weeks until competition...

ACaslow
02-13-2009, 01:17 PM
You have to start heading towards your belly from the top, don't wait until the shirt stops you to try and go towards your belly. Start heading there from the top and it'll be much more smooth.

When using boards, one of the best pieces of advice that Vincent gave me was to place the bar on the same position it'd be on my chest/belly, on the board. Before that I used to touch a lot higher on the boards than I would on my chest so I got very little carryover to my full range bench.

I'm going to disagree with you hear Travis.. I have always been taught and now teach for the person to break once the shirt gives no more.

I'll explain why....

When you begin to descend to your belly, you begin the shirts groove pattern too early, it doesn't stretch as much as it could or should and also if it does stop you, you have no were else to go but dump since your more than likely already at the lowest position since you started the pattern so soon.

If you lower at the chest plate and get it stretched out, once it stops you can now begin to groove the shirts give point and have a lot of room to go down. That and the shirt is stretched so once you touch it's maxed out for the most pop.

One thing Rick Hussey has always preached about shirts is that if you were one that's too small, you will always groove it too low and loose pop. If you have a shirt too big you will lower it too high and not be in position, arm wise, to press forward and activate the triceps.

But the groove he teaches and I have learned to work with and make touching easy is that, straight down against the shirt, then groove to the belly. This gives you the largest window to touch. If you groove it down to early, you might be at the belly three inches high and anything down further becomes a dump.

Hope this makes sense, I can explain it better in person... haha