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View Full Version : Advice getting used to bench shirt



BigTallOx
03-08-2009, 04:45 PM
I have a meet on April 5th. Prior to this past Saturday, I had only benched in a shirt once. ( My meet in feb I just benched raw, but squatted and deadlifted equipped. ) When I tried a bench shirt before ( titan fury ), it didn't go very well, but I wasn't sure if the problem was just that shirt or just I needed to learn how to bench in any shirt. Anyway, last saturday one of my workout buddies let me try a few of his old shirts. I tried a katana (size 54) and really liked it. With the fury, at the bottom the shirt kind of compresses my entire upper body in a painful way that provided me little to no help. When I touched with the katana I felt like the shirt gave me a good pop off the bottom and no pain. So, I think I found the right shirt for me. Anyway back to my question. I have 3 ME bench sessions before the meet, and was wondering if you guys think it's possible to get used to the shirt in this short period of time. Also I was wondering if maybe I should change a couple of my DE bench days to ME and work the shirt twice a week ( not the week prior to the meet though ), or do you think this would be counter productive. Any advice will be appreciated.

Travis Bell
03-08-2009, 04:57 PM
No, 3 weeks isn't going to happen with someone with your range of motion. Only way is if it was a really loose shirt, but I don't see the point of that. Turning your DE sessions into ME sessions would lead you into being way overtrained going into the meet. Stick with your raw bench for this meet and then try to get in the shirt further in advance before your next meet

BigTallOx
03-08-2009, 05:21 PM
No, 3 weeks isn't going to happen with someone with your range of motion. Only way is if it was a really loose shirt, but I don't see the point of that. Turning your DE sessions into ME sessions would lead you into being way overtrained going into the meet. Stick with your raw bench for this meet and then try to get in the shirt further in advance before your next meet

What about benching my opener raw and then trying to go for it with my shirt? The shirt isn't loose ( to get it on, it had to be turned inside out first and my buddy had to really pull hard to get the sleeves on ) , but I doubt it's super tight by powerlifter standards either. But, I know it's helping me off the bottom ( which is my weakest spot, my triceps are somewhat strong and I know I can lock out a lot more than what I'm currently benching raw. )

I understand the overtraining comment, but I think benching with the shirt may prevent that if it's only one or two extra ME sessions. Yesterday I did more volume with the shirt than I've ever done raw, and today I feel like I didn't even bench yesterday ( so the shirt was obviously helping. )

mike95763
03-08-2009, 05:57 PM
Since we were doing reverse band presses this last week, I don't think that you really got much of an idea as to how much the shirt is going to help, if any, at the meet. I think that next week we should try to use the shirt with a competition style press and if it helps, and you can consistantly touch and make good lifts than I don't see any reason not to use it. Between the shirt being loose and lack of experience I dont think that you will get much out of the shirt, but if you are going to be lifting equipped anyways for squat and you can get even 20 lbs or so out of the shirt then I don't see any reason why you wouldn't use it. I wouldn't add any extra ME workouts though (speaking from experience that really screws things up). I am pretty sure that help from some of the experienced lifters you could add at least a little something to your raw bench.

BigTallOx
03-08-2009, 06:22 PM
Since we were doing reverse band presses this last week, I don't think that you really got much of an idea as to how much the shirt is going to help, if any, at the meet.

I don't agree, since I was still able to feel how all three shirts felt, even if it was with reverse bands, I lifted more with the katana than last time we did reverse bands with the bands hanging low, ie so they're zero at lockout for everybody else ( and zero at about half way up for me. ) I know I can lock out a whole lot more than the 325 that I benched raw.



I think that next week we should try to use the shirt with a competition style press and if it helps, and you can consistantly touch and make good lifts than I don't see any reason not to use it.

But that's just it. If I have no chance of getting used to the shirt by the meet, I'm not going to do anything but bench raw next week. I don't want to be messing around with a shirt, if there's no hope of using it at the meet.


Between the shirt being loose and lack of experience I dont think that you will get much out of the shirt, but if you are going to be lifting equipped anyways for squat and you can get even 20 lbs or so out of the shirt then I don't see any reason why you wouldn't use it.

The last one of the shirts i tried was not loose ( Brad even indicated as such ), and even with the reverse bands, it sure feels like it's going to give me a lot more than 20 pounds. That's why I'm confused. I don't want to handicap my bench if I don't need to ( since my wingspan already does that pretty effectively ), but I think that shirt could give me at least 50-75 pounds. Maybe I'm wrong though.


So if you were set on squatting equipped, what would you do about benching? A month ago, the first time you tried that shirt you were in, you were got 405 ( I'm pretty sure it touched, right? ). I knew I shouldn't have done the reverse bands on saturday, but everybody was saying I'd still know about the shirt doing them.

mike95763
03-08-2009, 07:56 PM
So if you were set on squatting equipped, what would you do about benching? A month ago, the first time you tried that shirt you were in, you were got 405 ( I'm pretty sure it touched, right? ). I knew I shouldn't have done the reverse bands on saturday, but everybody was saying I'd still know about the shirt doing them.

If I was squatting equipped I would use a shirt. The shirt I tried was pretty loose and I could touch 365 pretty easily, but it still helped enough that I would never miss 365. So for me I would use a shirt, probably open with 365 then go straight to 405, which I am pretty sure I would get, then I would try a PR. I think you should use a shirt at the meet. I would try all 3 of them next Saturday (or at least the 2 that Brad let you borrow as I think Stump's old shirt is pretty much useless) and see what you can comfortably touch. I think you could easily you were able to touch 455 reverse bands in the looser of the two shirts which translates to ~335 on the bottom so you should be able to touch that and if the shirt helps at all you would be able to get it easy since it is right around your raw max. Worst case senario you don't feel comfortable in the shirts then we just do some raw work and call it good. It is like you said, lifting in a shirt isn't taxing in the same way as lifting raw so you could still get plenty of a workout raw after you try the shirts out.

evilxxx
03-08-2009, 08:02 PM
I have a meet on April 5th. Prior to this past Saturday, I had only benched in a shirt once. ( My meet in feb I just benched raw, but squatted and deadlifted equipped. ) When I tried a bench shirt before ( titan fury ), it didn't go very well, but I wasn't sure if the problem was just that shirt or just I needed to learn how to bench in any shirt. Anyway, last saturday one of my workout buddies let me try a few of his old shirts. I tried a katana (size 54) and really liked it. With the fury, at the bottom the shirt kind of compresses my entire upper body in a painful way that provided me little to no help. When I touched with the katana I felt like the shirt gave me a good pop off the bottom and no pain. So, I think I found the right shirt for me. Anyway back to my question. I have 3 ME bench sessions before the meet, and was wondering if you guys think it's possible to get used to the shirt in this short period of time. Also I was wondering if maybe I should change a couple of my DE bench days to ME and work the shirt twice a week ( not the week prior to the meet though ), or do you think this would be counter productive. Any advice will be appreciated.
I hear you on the Fury compressing you! my first Titan shirt was a rack fury and the second a custom one and the custom one still brand new after 3 years because I could not get the weight that I got with the 48 to even come down half way and it just felt like I had all the weight on my chest and not on the bar. But if i was you i would take Travis advice...but I guess if you get your opener raw it would not hurt to try one of the atempts with the shirt.

BigTallOx
03-08-2009, 08:49 PM
but I guess if you get your opener raw it would not hurt to try one of the atempts with the shirt.

That's what I was thinking. I think at my previous meets I've been very conservative in my attempts. But I think maybe I could basically take my opener near my current raw max ( because I seem to lift more at meets without a problem ) and then put the shirt on and see what happens. But I don't know, I'm pretty confused right now.

BigTallOx
03-08-2009, 09:01 PM
If I was squatting equipped I would use a shirt. The shirt I tried was pretty loose and I could touch 365 pretty easily, but it still helped enough that I would never miss 365. So for me I would use a shirt, probably open with 365 then go straight to 405, which I am pretty sure I would get, then I would try a PR. I think you should use a shirt at the meet. I would try all 3 of them next Saturday (or at least the 2 that Brad let you borrow as I think Stump's old shirt is pretty much useless) and see what you can comfortably touch. I think you could easily you were able to touch 455 reverse bands in the looser of the two shirts which translates to ~335 on the bottom so you should be able to touch that and if the shirt helps at all you would be able to get it easy since it is right around your raw max. Worst case senario you don't feel comfortable in the shirts then we just do some raw work and call it good. It is like you said, lifting in a shirt isn't taxing in the same way as lifting raw so you could still get plenty of a workout raw after you try the shirts out.

That's true, benching in the shirt was not anywhere near as taxing as benching raw, so maybe I could do some shirt work next week and then still do some raw work if it's clear the shirt isn't the way to go after benching in it with normal weight ( ie without the reverse bands ).

Gosh, you'd think just trying to lift as much weight as you can would be easy, but the more I powerlift, the more I realize that it's much more complicated than you'd think. ( But a few things became really clear to me last Saturday, I love powerlifting with all my heart and the guys we bench with are incredibly helpful. )

BigTallOx
03-08-2009, 09:23 PM
I think you could easily you were able to touch 455 reverse bands in the looser of the two shirts which translates to ~335 on the bottom so you should be able to touch that and if the shirt helps at all you would be able to get it easy since it is right around your raw max.

But with the 455 reverse bands, it touched because I brought the bar down too low and loosened my back so that it did touch ( at least according to Brad and Russ ). I think I could learn how not to do that and learn where to bring the bar down to make nothing less than 375-ish barely touch ( and I know I'd have NO problem locking out 375 ). But that's basically my question, if I could get that down in 3 weeks. I'm currently happy with my squats and deads, so it's not like I'm super focused on them right now.

MBertrand
03-08-2009, 10:09 PM
Dude... you asked for advice, and one of the best benchers around told you to not wear the shirt... and you're just trying to find a way around it. Why even ask?

I've had Travis give me advice, didn't listen, and then I was so trashed I almost couldn't bench at the meet.

BigTallOx
03-08-2009, 10:15 PM
Dude... you asked for advice, and one of the best benchers around told you to not wear the shirt... and you're just trying to find a way around it. Why even ask?

I've had Travis give me advice, didn't listen, and then I was so trashed I almost couldn't bench at the meet.

Dude, I was giving more information to make sure everybody understood the situation. But since you had nothing to add, you shouldn't have posted anything.

Basically, 3 people have replied ( I'm not counting you ) 2 out of the 3 specifically said that I should try my shirt after my opener, and actually Travis responded before I posed that as a question. I value Travis' opinion but there are other people's opinion here I also value ( and there are other people not on this forum who's opinion that I value ). No disrespect to Travis or anybody else, but his answer is not the only answer IMHO. I want to hear what everybody thinks, I think it's pretty silly for you criticizing me for asking for such.

Travis Bell
03-08-2009, 10:59 PM
he did actually offer something there BTO. He stated that he'd had a previous experience, which if I recall correctly was similar to yours, or at least what you are proposing.

If you wanted to only hear people say that you have a good idea and support you, why not just go ahead and do it then? It honestly is no skin off my back if you ignore my advice or anyone else's advice for that matter.

You are wrong on several issues though. First off, benching in a shirt is much more taxing than benching raw. You're doing it wrong if it isn't. Second, I didn't say it wouldn't work because you needed to take an opener raw or anything like that. Going from never being in a shirt, to in a shirt every week, twice a week is just ridiculous man! I'm sorry, but it is. You'll be so far overtrained by the time the meet comes around you'll be useless.

Would you rather bench 330lbs raw, or nothing equipped?

I guess I just don't understand why all of a sudden you must bench in a shirt this meet.

Just let this one slide, and start working the shirt for the next one as I said earlier. That's my best advice, but you know what, you're right, mine isn't the only opinion out there so take it or leave it man

BigTallOx
03-08-2009, 11:08 PM
he did actually offer something there BTO. He stated that he'd had a previous experience, which if I recall correctly was similar to yours, or at least what you are proposing.


I must have missed something. All he said was

"I've had Travis give me advice, didn't listen, and then I was so trashed I almost couldn't bench at the meet."

I have no way of knowing what the advice was about, and definitely wouldn't assume it was for something similar to my question ( especially since my situation is pretty unique given I'm 6'8" tall ).



Would you rather bench 330lbs raw, or nothing equipped?


That's why I was asking if people benched raw for there opener, and then put a shirt on.



First off, benching in a shirt is much more taxing than benching raw.


Then why was I able to do about twice the volume than I normally do raw, but feel like I did nothing. What am I doing wrong?



I guess I just don't understand why all of a sudden you must bench in a shirt this meet.


Because it's probably the first meet that I'll have other people in my weight class and division. Because I think I finally found the shirt that felt right for me, and could possibly see learning it. Because I felt like the shirt would have maybe added 75 pounds to my bench last saturday ( but we didn't do flat bench with straight weight ). Because my bench is weak and I'd take even adding another 10 pounds, lol. Because some really strong guys I lift with indicated it was a possibility.

But none of this was the point of my post, I wanted to see what everybody thought, but now I don't think that's going to happen.

Travis Bell
03-08-2009, 11:37 PM
That's why I was asking if people benched raw for there opener, and then put a shirt on.

LOL I have and it doesn't work. But maybe you're a better bencher than I am and will be able to adjust to the groove of the shirt in a much shorter amount of time




Then why was I able to do about twice the volume than I normally do raw, but feel like I did nothing. What am I doing wrong?

Your CNS doesn't get a burn or a pump dude.

I'm not being sarcastic, you obviously don't believe me so go ahead and try your proposal and see how things go. Maybe I'm just wrong and that goofy Louie guy has been lying to me all along.



Because it's probably the first meet that I'll have other people in my weight class and division. Because I think I finally found the shirt that felt right for me, and could possibly see learning it. Because I felt like the shirt would added 75 pounds to my bench last saturday ( but we didn't do flat bench with straight weight ). Because my bench is weak and I'd take even adding another 10 pounds, lol. Because some really strong guys I lift with indicated it was a possibility.

So what if you take second or third or don't place? You think we've all won every show we ever went to?

You don't know how much a shirt will add to your bench until you actually go full range straight weight. Other very experienced benchers have found correlations or ways around that, but they have much much more experience in the shirt than you do


But none of this was the point of my post, I wanted to see what everybody thought, but now I don't think that's going to happen.

I have no idea what this statement means. The thread is not locked or anything so why can't people still comment?

I won't keep arguing with you on this. Like I say, maybe I'm completely wrong. You obviously seem convinced that your idea will work, so try it and post up the results. Maybe it'll work.

BigTallOx
03-08-2009, 11:42 PM
LOL I have and it doesn't work. But maybe you're a better bencher than I am and will be able to adjust to the groove of the shirt in a much shorter amount of time


That's the information I was looking for.




I'm not being sarcastic, you obviously don't believe me so go ahead and try your proposal and see how things go. Maybe I'm just wrong and that goofy Louie guy has been lying to me all along.


I never said I didn't believe you. But I want to understand where you're coming from, so it makes sense to me. The above comment has done that.





Your CNS doesn't get a burn or a pump dude.


I don't get a burn or pump from benching raw either dude. But I'm fairly in tune with my body and it doesn't feel like it normally does on Sunday.

SELK
03-09-2009, 12:19 AM
Ive benched 2x per week before the last few weeks before a contest, and its worked for me, I just never really do any true max effort work, just working up to 90-95% or a double with a rep in the tank.

I would give it a try, if you get 20lbs out of it which i am sure you will get more and more importantly - you are confident in in it. I'm not a huge bencher (recently hit 500 shirted), so ive always figured that the weight I move is pretty much nothing in terms of overtraining.

KarstenDD
03-09-2009, 08:22 AM
Go for it dude. Heavy in the shirt twice a week. Use it as often as you can. Break that sucker in quick and I guarantee a HUGE Pr in your meet.

Reko
03-09-2009, 11:21 AM
Because it's probably the first meet that I'll have other people in my weight class and division. Because I think I finally found the shirt that felt right for me, and could possibly see learning it. Because I felt like the shirt would have maybe added 75 pounds to my bench last saturday ( but we didn't do flat bench with straight weight ). Because my bench is weak and I'd take even adding another 10 pounds, lol. Because some really strong guys I lift with indicated it was a possibility.



So what if you take second or third or don't place? You think we've all won every show we ever went to?



Not to mention this probably won't be your last meet either.

Brad08
03-09-2009, 11:25 AM
Go for it dude. Heavy in the shirt twice a week. Use it as often as you can. Break that sucker in quick and I guarantee a HUGE Pr in your meet.

That's how I broke in my shirt except I went heavy 3-4 times a week. Smith machine has a whole different groove though so it was a learning experience.

WillNoble
03-09-2009, 12:20 PM
That's how I broke in my shirt except I went heavy 3-4 times a week. Smith machine has a whole different groove though so it was a learning experience.

AT LEAST 3-4 times... 5 or possibly 7 IMO, 2 a day if necessary. I would really focus on the 3 exercises best for breaking in that shirt:

Stability ball benching

Log Benching

Static Iso Holds


Also I would just skip boards entirely, you should learn the groove ASAP, go full range with every weight you take during every workout...

Reko
03-09-2009, 12:22 PM
AT LEAST 3-4 times... 5 or possibly 7 IMO, 2 a day if necessary. I would really focus on the 3 exercises best for breaking in that shirt:

Stability ball benching

Log Benching

Static Iso Holds


Also I would just skip boards entirely, you should learn the groove ASAP, go full range with every weight you take during every workout...

And then shrugs for upper back work?

WillNoble
03-09-2009, 12:23 PM
And then shrugs for upper back work?

you could, I feel they are overrated.

mike95763
03-09-2009, 01:42 PM
What I don't understand is why people can't just give BTO advice without being stupid about it. Travis gave solid advice, along with a few others at the beginning of the post. No one ever said anything about ignoring anyones advice just that there may be other opinions from other accomplished pressers. BTO has been posting here for a long time and never given anybody any crap. He asked a serious question and should be given a serious answer. The reason that guys like myself post on here is to learn from lifters like Travis, but learning means trying to understand why advice is given which is all BTO was trying to do. After reading the posts again I still don't understand why he should not try to use a shirt for the competition. I think Travis answered clearly as to why using the shirt in more than one ME day per week would be stupid, but as to why he shouldn't use a shirt for the competition I have no idea other than Travis saying that it would be difficult to learn a decent shirt in that amount of time. I agree with this, but given BTOs options I think he could easily learn to use a loose shirt enough to improve his total without much in the way of risk. Sure he wont get a ton of carryover from that type of shirt, but in an equipped division a 365 shirted bench beats out a 345 raw bench. Maybe my experience is unique, but the first time I tried a shirt it was really loose, and really easy to touch anything, (I could touch 335) but it still gave me ~50 lbs of carryover. So really why not use the shirt? Take the guy seriously and answer the question.

WillNoble
03-09-2009, 01:56 PM
He was given very good advice from one of the top benchers on this board, Im fairly certainmany of the other top pros are going to echo what travis said...

So he was given great advice and chose not to accept it, because he already has his mind made up on what he's going to do, so 2 things from this can be said:


1) he already knew what he was going to do, so why waste everyones time making a thread


2) he's not listening to very sound advice, so we gave him unsound advice as that seems to be what he's interested in at the moment...

mike95763
03-09-2009, 02:02 PM
He was given good advice from Travis, we can all agree on that. Just because he asked why and said he wanted to hear more opinions doesn't mean people should be disrespectful. Maybe he just wanted to be sure he was doing the right thing so he wanted some discussion as to why it was a good or bad idea and wanted a few more opinions. If everyone agrees with Travis thats fine just say you agree with Travis much like Reko did and then leave it alone.

Brad08
03-09-2009, 02:43 PM
He Just because he asked why and said he wanted to hear more opinions doesn't mean people should be disrespectful.

Frankly, I think it's disrespectful to ask for advice, get it from some top guys, and then be a smart ass and ignore it. All with one PL meet under your belt.

But what's the internet good for if you can't argue on it?

:lurk:

Ryano
03-09-2009, 03:16 PM
IMO, BTO you are to close to the meet to get any stronger than you are right now but you can certainly get weeker by overtraining. Trying to overtrain in a shirt will probably hurt your chances of hitting a raw PR. Hitting ME bench in a shirt twice a week is crazy, but I don't see the harm in putting it on for 2-3 sets at the end of your raw ME bench workout. That should be only two more workouts. At the meet, open light raw to get in the meet. Go for a raw PR on your second. Put on the shirt for a third. I doubt you will hit anything spectacular, but it will be a meet PR. Just have fun with it, but don't overtain this close to the meet. Make sure you take the week before the meet completely off.

P.S. You will not learn to use a bench shirt properly in 2-3 workouts. I'm still learning after years.

evilxxx
03-09-2009, 04:00 PM
IMO, BTO you are to close to the meet to get any stronger than you are right now but you can certainly get weeker by overtraining. Trying to overtrain in a shirt will probably hurt your chances of hitting a raw PR. Hitting ME bench in a shirt twice a week is crazy, but I don't see the harm in putting it on for 2-3 sets at the end of your raw ME bench workout. That should be only two more workouts. At the meet, open light raw to get in the meet. Go for a raw PR on your second. Put on the shirt for a third. I doubt you will hit anything spectacular, but it will be a meet PR. Just have fun with it, but don't overtain this close to the meet. Make sure you take the week before the meet completely off.

P.S. You will not learn to use a bench shirt properly in 2-3 workouts. I'm still learning after years.
Exactly what I was thinking! but, taking in consideration that BTO bench ROM is probably more that most people Squat ROM it might be difficult to learn and get the groove this close to the meet.

ZenMonkey
03-09-2009, 04:31 PM
Im with everyone else... take the professional's opinion, he gets PAID to do what you are asking about

Brian C
03-11-2009, 10:49 AM
Maybe I'm just wrong and that goofy Louie guy has been lying to me all along..

Man that's some funny sh#* LOL. BTO I think you answered your own question. You say you know how your body responds
(which you should). Then if you feel it helps you in such a small amount of time, then go for it. But I personally would take Travis ' advice to heart and wait and train properly for the next meet FWIW. There's no rush bro. Good luck in what you decide.