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BG5150
06-20-2005, 12:14 AM
...but what does a bench pressing shirt do for you and how?

Sensei
06-20-2005, 01:17 AM
Imagine a very, very tight and thick t-shirt with about half as much material in the chest area. It pulls the arms together in front of you. When you lower the weight to your chest, the shirt stretches, providing resistance against the weight and helping to push the weight up from the bottom of the movement. A tight shirt also provides a lot of shoulder support as well.

Bench shirts are generally made from a thick polyester (one or two layers) or denim (again one or two layers). Some are open back, some are not.

jack_of_all
06-20-2005, 11:39 AM
i read in an article somewhere that a guy had a bench shirt in a comp and it was so strong and tight that he couldnt bring 750 to his chest.

WBBIRL
06-20-2005, 03:16 PM
Ive heard of a 1000 lbs shirted bench so 750 is nothing.

thalakos84
06-20-2005, 03:20 PM
Correct me if I'm wrong, but isn't that cheating? Does is compensate for something? Seems like if you're going to compete for raw strength on 1 solid rep, having a better shirt than someone else can make you win by just a few pounds. Just seems unsportsman. But I don't powerlift, so what do I know. :D

Sensei
06-20-2005, 04:48 PM
Correct me if I'm wrong, but isn't that cheating? Does is compensate for something? Seems like if you're going to compete for raw strength on 1 solid rep, having a better shirt than someone else can make you win by just a few pounds. Just seems unsportsman. But I don't powerlift, so what do I know. :D

No, it's not cheating. If you choose to compete in a powerlifting federation that allows shirts, then you shouldn't complain that you lost because someone had a better shirt than you. That would be like being a pole-vaulter and going into a meet w. a wooden pole and then complaining that the only reason you didn't win was because everyone else was using the latest-greatest fiberglass, carbon-fiber composite pole.

Most federations have clear limits on what is allowed and what isn't. Also, the cost for most single-ply shirts is not prohibitive (less than $200) - a lot of average high school basketball players spend more on shoes than I do on powerlifting equipment.

Bottom line is, if you are not breaking the rules set down by the competitive organization, you are not cheating. The people who win the big competitions today are the strongest people and the people who are able to exploit their equipment to the fullest - like it or not, that's where the sport is.

I personally like it - it's a lot of fun to figure out a shirt. I know what my raw bench is and when people ask me "What's your bench?" that's what I tell them. If they ask me what I bench in competition, then I tell them a shirted number and usually have to explain what a shirt is.

LilQbanPapi16
06-20-2005, 05:26 PM
i wuz about to make the same question, thanks for clarifyin that

jack_of_all
06-20-2005, 09:04 PM
Ive heard of a 1000 lbs shirted bench so 750 is nothing.

dude, he couldnt bring it to his chest though, the weight was physically NOT ENOUGH force its way to his chest.

WBBIRL
06-20-2005, 09:09 PM
Well I thought this guy couldnt either.... or did he.

BG5150
06-21-2005, 01:12 AM
i don't see it as cheating. However, I can see two sides of it:

Shirts are merely equipment. And the equipment has to comply with certain standards. Like golf clubs or tennis racquets. Can't blame someone who wants better equipment.

Powerlifting should be about who can lift more weight than the other guy. (Isn't this how it all started?) So everyone should start with the same basic material--their body.

My thoughts: shirts aren't cheating. In a competition, if everyone is weraing shirts, so be it. If no one is wearing shirts, so be it. That puts everyone on a somewhat even playing field. But if a shirt can help you push up a few extra pounds and you count it for your bench, why can't you count your bench when your spotter helps you a bit?

Sensei
06-21-2005, 04:55 AM
...But if a shirt can help you push up a few extra pounds and you count it for your bench, why can't you count your bench when your spotter helps you a bit?

"I can bench 400 with my Inzer Rage X and 300 raw."

"I can bench 400 when Johnny helps me and 300 when he isn't spotting me."

These two things are very different... I don't know anyone personally that uses a shirt to push up his gym numbers. I'm sure such people exist, but I've never met anyone like that. Shirts generally do require quite a bit of practice to help your bench - some people take to certain shirts very quickly but usually 3-4 sessions are absolutely minimal.

Getting some big lug to upright row you to a new PR is not much of a PR IMHO...