View Full Version : Questions for Vincent--Raw and Shirted Benching

11-09-2009, 10:41 AM
First off, please know that I am not trying to start a raw v. shirt thread. I have the greatest respect for both kinds of lifters, and I think people who spend time debating this issue would be better off in the gym lifting.

Vincent--as someone who has hit big numbers in both forms of benching, what strengths do you think each type of benching emphasizes, and what do you like and dislike about each style?

Thanks in advance for your comments.

11-09-2009, 05:26 PM
Wow, this is a tough question. One thing I know for sure is I hate having to figure out shirts for equipped benching. That being said, I give credit to those who have. I'm just jealous. I really think they both emphasize the same things. Some people will say you need strong triceps to finish big lifts in the shirt. However, the same can be said about a raw bench. The biggest difference is mastering technique.

Travis Bell
11-09-2009, 06:34 PM
Obviously not Vincent, but I wanted to just kinda thow my 2 cents in lol for whatever reason

I think it's different for everyone. Everyone will respond differently to shirts as well as some kinds of training. Vin and myself take a pretty similar approach to our training, lots of raw work, lots of full range work in the shirts and lots of speed work.

Others around here, like Bencher8, Rob Luyando and some others don't do that stuff, and it works exceptionally well for them.

The key is to look at how you are as a bencher. When you hit your best benches, what do they look like. Are they fast to lockout? Are they slow throughout? Do you kinda stall a little mid way and then grind it out the rest? Do you bench with more of a flare immediatly or do you flare more towards the top? Does raw work help your shirted bench, or do you need to be in the shirt more frequently?

The questions can go on forever lol. But the idea is to help yourself honestly diagnose your own weaknesses and what the best way to fix them is.

I will say though that most people as beginners need to spend more time building up their raw base strength. If you look at the top benchers in the country, most of them began their powerlifting with a lot of raw work as a base before they began to live in the gear.

11-10-2009, 07:40 AM
Good comments--thank you both.

11-16-2009, 11:06 AM
Another question for Travis, Vincent, and anyone else who wants to chime in:

Travis mentioned that he thought beginners should spend more time building up their base raw strength before starting serious shirt work.

What do you think a good baseline would be in terms of a raw bench before starting intensive shirt work?

Travis Bell
11-16-2009, 11:31 AM
It's more of a timeline rather than a certain weight.

Some will never bench 400 raw. Be it genetics, weight, training abilities, whatever. For some it's just not going to happen (as an example)

So to put a number to it would be pretty vague.

However, in my humble opinion, it does a person much benefit to be doing the majority of their training raw for at least a couple years before just living in the shirt. That doesn't mean they never should use a shirt, but just not use it very much is all.

Beverly McD.
11-16-2009, 11:37 AM
An important part of building a base is for the tendon and ligament strength it provides. A new lifter may learn to move more weight in gear, but the cost may be tearing loose some connective tissue.

11-16-2009, 12:17 PM
I agree that a raw background is a must. A lot of younger lifters miss out on packing on muscle mass because they are so quick to get in the gear.

11-16-2009, 05:53 PM

I trained raw for years before going over to the "dark side" (geared) I now train 2-weeks in gear & 1-week raw. I agree w/ Travis reference to spending most of your time raw before going to a shirt.

Shirts are a major challenge to learn which I like, but they can be very frustrating as stated above.

Regardless of where your bench is now, get you a good starter shirt, (ie,Titan F6 or Inzer Rage) and give it a shot... Its fun to handle the increased weight w/ the gear while learning technique.

Alternating between raw & geared weekly makes training interesting.

Good luck bro,