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View Full Version : Touching with new bench shirt - need advice



jmccown
10-13-2009, 09:03 AM
So I have a national meet this weekend. I'll be using a new shirt (SK). I've been working diligently the last several weeks to get this thing broken in. I've put up good numbers with my board work (615 3bd, 605 2bd) but when I go to touch all the way to my chest the shirt is so tight I lose my form and have to roll my shoulders forward and take my chin towards the bar to get it to touch. I'm losing a ton of potential from my shirt by having to do this. Do you guys have any tips to overcome this? I know the shirt will loosen up after several more workouts but this Saturday is GO TIME! I don't want any screwups and I want to maximize my potential. Last night I done a light workout and done my opener. Made the lift but it feels harder than it should be because of the position I always put my shoulders in just to touch.

Clifford Gillmore
10-13-2009, 09:08 AM
Did you wet the chest-plate?

jmccown
10-13-2009, 09:12 AM
No I didn't. Would you recommend wetting the plate at the meet?

Clifford Gillmore
10-13-2009, 09:15 AM
I wouldn't do anything different the day of the meet, but I'll allow other people to comment on that. When the bigger benchers do it in our gym they get MAYBE a board height out of doing it.

If I were you I'd open with your old shirt and then get into the SK for the next attempts.

jmccown
10-13-2009, 09:21 AM
A 1 board thickness is where I lose my form at Risk10K. That last 1-2" range. Wetting the shirt sounds like good advice if it won't hurt me too much. I'd rather not go my old shirt because it is too lose on me now.

Chris Smith
10-13-2009, 09:22 AM
I used a double ply Katana for a couple years. They are a great shirt, but I dealt with the same thing you are. That last inch can be a bitch--when that shirt locks up, it really locks up. Here is what I did:
1. Wet the shirt real good in the chest panel, and all around the triceps area.
2. Keep the shirt pulled up as high as it can go without choking you. That collar is stiff.
3. work on your arch and stretch out your hips and quads every day for the week or so before the meet. Every little bit of that stroke that you can shorten will help. I worked on my set up and arching for 1/2 hour every day before the meet.
4. When you are benching at the meet, have someone yell when you are an inch from touching. When you hear 1 inch, tuck the **** out of your elbows even more than what you are. Dont roll your shoulders up if at all possible.

I talked with Ken Anderson in Nashville, and he is able to put on a different material for the collar, which has a little more give to it--you may want to get with him and see about that. In my opinion, that would help, as the collar they come with is super stiff. Hope it works out for ya.

Smitty

drew
10-13-2009, 09:25 AM
You put yourself in a bad position. I would tell you to skip the meet and pick another one 12 weeks away, but I know you won't do that, and neither would I.

You can try wetting it down at the meet and see what happens. You can just give it a ride the way you have been using it and see what happens. You basically don't know what is going to happen, so cross your fingers and pray.

On your opener, don't pull the collar down. It will help you touch but you won't get a lot out of the shirt. If you get your opener in, do whatever you want. You can also try squeezing your glutes hard and pushing your hips and belly way up (you should be doing this anyway) and that may help you get that extra inch.

Once the meet is over, start a triples cycle. It will help you learn to touch.

Good luck.

AFstud066
10-13-2009, 09:26 AM
I used a double ply Katana for a couple years. They are a great shirt, but I dealt with the same thing you are. That last inch can be a bitch--when that shirt locks up, it really locks up. Here is what I did:
1. Wet the shirt real good in the chest panel, and all around the triceps area.
2. Keep the shirt pulled up as high as it can go without choking you. That collar is stiff.
3. work on your arch and stretch out your hips and quads every day for the week or so before the meet. Every little bit of that stroke that you can shorten will help. I worked on my set up and arching for 1/2 hour every day before the meet.
4. When you are benching at the meet, have someone yell when you are an inch from touching. When you hear 1 inch, tuck the **** out of your elbows even more than what you are. Dont roll your shoulders up if at all possible.

I talked with Ken Anderson in Nashville, and he is able to put on a different material for the collar, which has a little more give to it--you may want to get with him and see about that. In my opinion, that would help, as the collar they come with is super stiff. Hope it works out for ya.

Smitty


This is what I would say too, make sure your hands are in the right position and out as far as you feel comfortable. You figure every finger width you move out equals about an inch off your stroke. Also wetting the shirt really does it for me, but I dont ever wet the tricep area. I mainly wet the chest plate and shoulder seams in the front. This should help you a lot and if you need a last half inch bring your head up off the bench.

jmccown
10-13-2009, 10:48 AM
Would you guys recommend doing a moderate weight around mid 400's say today maybe 2 sets of 3 or something and wetting the chest plate down real good? Meet is on Saturday.

Chris Smith
10-13-2009, 11:01 AM
If your meet is this Saturday, I would not recommend taking any kind of weight now. It is way too close to the meet. Remember--you can't get any stronger between now and the meet, but you can get weaker between now and then. Just rest up and let it rip on meet day. If your opener is an inch away from touching, add a little more for your second.
I would suggest having a shirt in plenty of time to get sufficient work in it and know what you can touch well before your next meet you do. Good luck.

jmccown
10-13-2009, 12:38 PM
OK, I'm going to take a chance and slightly wetting my shirt with a spray bottle on Saturday. I know it's a risk but I'm willing to take the gamble.

Chris Smith
10-13-2009, 01:25 PM
I would wet it down pretty good. Make sure the water gets soaked into the material good.

AFstud066
10-13-2009, 02:39 PM
And make sure you wet it down at the beginning of your warm ups so it has time to soak in. You dont want a soaked shirt on your attempts. You want the material to be pliable.

jmccown
10-13-2009, 03:08 PM
Got it! Thanks for the advice guys.

Ryano
10-13-2009, 05:58 PM
I think wetting a poly shirt just allows it to seat further, thus allowing an easier touch. Unfortunately this will also take away some of the support you are going to get. It's a delicate balance. For me, I am always able to touch easier at a meet. You might try one attempt with the shirt dry, before you wet it down.

AFstud066
10-13-2009, 08:31 PM
I think wetting a poly shirt just allows it to seat further, thus allowing an easier touch. Unfortunately this will also take away some of the support you are going to get. It's a delicate balance. For me, I am always able to touch easier at a meet. You might try one attempt with the shirt dry, before you wet it down.

Yea because you know that at a meet you have to touch or you either increase weight or bomb out....its all about how you feel at the meet. I still say if you are going to wet it dont soak it, but wet it when you are warming up so it starts to tighten back up for your later attempts.

vdizenzo
10-13-2009, 08:39 PM
Soak it! Good luck this weekend. SFW!

theBarzeen
10-15-2009, 06:52 PM
Keep the collar all the way up..... get some speed down and if it doesn't want to touch just pull like a heavy barbell row, don't lift your head if you don't have to ( most people flatten out when they do this) and just pull it in to your belly.....


Good luck!

packers0415
10-16-2009, 03:29 PM
I have used a squirt bottle to wet the chest plate and collar. It did seem to make toughing a little easier.