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Thread: Big raw bench= Big geared bench?

  1. #1
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    Big raw bench= Big geared bench?

    Is the above statment generally true?

    I had a guy in the gym tell me the other night that the two are entirely different animals... Meaning real difficult to obtain both at the same time.

    BTW, this guy holds the state record RAW 198- bench @ 424lb. so his opinion may be a little biased.

    Just wanted to know you guys thoughts, cause I was raw for a long time and now I'm geared, however I go 2-weeks shirted/ 1-week raw.

    Should I increase raw work to enhance my geared bench or just the opposite?

    Do you think this is optimum considering I'm competing equipped now?


  2. #2
    Senior Member SELK's Avatar
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    They are very different, but a big raw press is only going to help your shirted press.
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    Westside Bencher Travis Bell's Avatar
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    At Westside, our morning crew trains raw 3 weeks out of the month. We are all consistently hitting PRs at all our meets. I've gone from a 700 bench last august, to a 750 bench done this spring and am looking to up that in a few weeks.

    Training raw greatly helps your geared bench. The trouble happens when guys try and bench two different ways. You need to at least try and tuck your elbows a little when benching raw as well as touch a little below the nipple line. This will make you stronger for your shirted bench.

    The other thing that often happens is picking ME exercises becomes difficult. You can't just do 2brd all the time or 3brd or whatever. You need to be more creative with your raw training to keep yourself progressing. Ascessory exercise should be dedicated to tricep extensor work as well.

    I feel that raw work greatly helps your equipped bench, however your friends statement is not really true.

    Just because someone has a decent raw bench does not mean they will excel in the shirted stuff. I have seen some guys be able to do it, others not so much.

    It really depends on how much they have to change their form to get the shirt to work in relation to their past habits with the raw benching


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    Travis,

    Thanks for the input bro.

    So you mean you only train shirted (1) time per month? Wow, I cant argue w/ your results!

    I'm learning the groove on a new shirt(Titan F6) so I feel I need a little more time shirted right now. I do however do 3-4 board work raw and hvy. DB's raw, as well as Tricep DB ext. as you suggested. The whole "benching geared style" while raw makes a lot of sense. Definitely gonna try that!!!

  5. #5
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    Travis wrote:
    "Training raw greatly helps your geared bench. The trouble happens when guys try and bench two different ways. You need to at least try and tuck your elbows a little when benching raw as well as touch a little below the nipple line. This will make you stronger for your shirted bench.

    The other thing that often happens is picking ME exercises becomes difficult. You can't just do 2brd all the time or 3brd or whatever. You need to be more creative with your raw training to keep yourself progressing. Ascessory exercise should be dedicated to tricep extensor work as well."

    This is the best advice on a smooth transition from the raw work to the shirt, IMHO. I know they are two different movements, but training the groove to mimick the shirt is a great way to minimize the differences. Heavy triceps work is also key.
    Last edited by Ron C; 05-19-2009 at 08:51 AM. Reason: I screwed up the quote from Travis, sorry

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    Coming from a guy who used to train raw a lot and now trains equipped almost exclusively, I feel like I could answer this effectively.

    I used to think that a big raw bench would carry over to a big geared bench(and in some ways it will help you) but I dont think that a big raw bench is ESSENTIAL to a big equipped bench. Using myself as an example, my best raw bench(in gym) was 615 and my best equipped bench was 805(in contest). After an injury(that will no longer let me train real heavy raw) my raw bench is appoximately 525 and my equipped bench is 835(in contest).

    I think the essesntial part of training both ways is in exercise selection. The best exercises to increase your raw bench isnt the same exercises that will increase your equipped bench...there is no way that it can be. The two lifts use two seperate muscle groups as its primary movers. The raw bench requires pecs, front delts, and then triceps as its main movers. The equipped bench requires triceps, rear delts and lats as the primary movers...how can exercises that increase the raw press, increase the equipped press? In some ways the exercises that you pick for increasing a raw bench will have SOME carryover to an equipped press, but not as much as exercises that focus primarily on the muscle groups that increase your equipped bench.

    Travis is an awesome bencher. Very strong, very intelligent. I agree with most of what he says. I think his last advice about using the style you use when benching shirted should be mimicked in your raw press is a little dangerous. Its true, but dangerous. You only want to mimick that style a little bit, you dont want to chnage totally to an equipped style...if you tuck your elbows too hard and touch too low while benching raw you are setting yourself up for a shoulder injury. Just be careful with that.

    Travis' advice might work for some in this situation. He has been able to do it(and maybe Panora as well), but I think he might be in the minority, most lifters will have trouble increasing both of the styles of lifting at the same time. Most times it ends up with the lifter being pretty good at benching raw and pretty good at benching equipped, but not great at either of them....in the end, its because of the exercise selection. IMO
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  7. #7
    Westside Bencher Travis Bell's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Travis Bell View Post

    Training raw greatly helps your geared bench. The trouble happens when guys try and bench two different ways. You need to at least try and tuck your elbows a little when benching raw as well as touch a little below the nipple line. This will make you stronger for your shirted bench.

    The other thing that often happens is picking ME exercises becomes difficult. You can't just do 2brd all the time or 3brd or whatever. You need to be more creative with your raw training to keep yourself progressing. Ascessory exercise should be dedicated to tricep extensor work as well.

    I feel that raw work greatly helps your equipped bench, however your friends statement is not really true.
    and this....

    Just because someone has a decent raw bench does not mean they will excel in the shirted stuff. I have seen some guys be able to do it, others not so much.
    We're on the same page Paul.

    You're right, they are two different types of strength, meshing the two can be a pain in the neck. The reason I bolded some of that stuff is because I wanted to clarify I wasn't saying people should belly bench and extremely tuck their elbows, I said just a little.

    Tucking my elbows a little when raw benching and placing the bar on my upper sternum as royally saved my shoulders when benching

    You are also correct on Greg. Greg and I train exactly the same for bench (DE varies a little) His raw I would put right around 560-570 and his best contest bench is 800, although he recently got his shirt altered and rocked 820 off a 1/2brd (don't ask me why he went to a half board)


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  8. #8
    Westside Bencher Travis Bell's Avatar
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    .....and now I wait for Rob to come in here and say if you want a big shirted bench, you need to live in the shirt hahaha.

    I certainly can't argue with Rob's results either


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  9. #9
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    Training unequipped helps to increase strength/size of the muscles, ligaments and tendons.

    I have a good unequipped bench press, but still learning to get the most out of my Inzer Rage X. One of my friends says that I'm benching unequipped in my shirt. I have to learn to bench press equipped in my shirt.
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    Here's the thing about Rob though. He was already a strong raw bencher when he started to wear the shirt a lot. Frankl was as strong raw bencher before he started living in his shirt. Paul points out he was a 600+ raw bencher before he started to wear his shirt all the time. That's why guys like Rob, Frankl, and Paul can live in a shirt and get amazing results. They already had that foundation of raw strength.

    I think you'd have a hard time finding an 800+ shirted bencher who can't bench 500+ raw. Very few people bench 500+ raw when they first start wearing a bench shirt. They lack the raw strength to become an elite shirted bencher. That means they need to strike a balance between learning the shirt and increasing raw strength. I think the lower your raw bench, the more you need to focus on your raw strength.

    So I think a big raw bench gives you a solid foundation to give you a good chance at a big geared bench. From there, it's about learning the shirt and addressing new weaknesses.
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    OK Travis you asked for it. What you predicted I would say is true. The more time spent in a shirt the more proficient you will be come and the more you handle heavier weight the lighter it will become. I went from a consistant 535 lbs bencher to a 948 bench in a little over 3 years time. Yeah I know I am a rare breed.

    When I was hitting 535 consitantly in a shirt my best raw was a 505 in competition. A huge part of my success was that when I hit the 535 consistantly my best was a 570 in competition. I trained raw all the time and then a week or two before a meet I would throw a shirt on and make something touch. Now on my best day at that time I got 65 lbs out of a shirt that I should have been getting 150 lbs out of.

    I went to my first APF meet and got my ass handed to me by Aaron Wilson he smoked a 620 and I grinded a 550 that day. I didn't like getting my ass kicked so I did some homework and hooked up with Carpenter's crew. Since the first work out at Carpenter's I have lived in a shirt. It makes a huge difference. Since that day Richie Briggs is the only guy besides myself (bombs) to beat me in a meet.

    Biggest change in my workouts were that I lived in a shirt. Now I still continued to do raw work as assitance work as it is important and as my shirted bench went up so did my raw bench. So they can go hand in hand. But I agree with a lot that Bencher8 had to say with his injuries his raw bench took a hit forcing him to spend more time in the shirt and now he is forced to agree with me that living in the shirt works.

    But I will still say that they are two diferent lifts and two diferent sports. I don't care how strong you are raw if you don't know how to use a shirt your shirted bench isn't going to be that great. I know raw guys that can out bench me raw but wouldn't stand a chance against me in a shirt. Bencher8 wll chime in that I am a cheater. LOL!

    The last 3 months I have been doing nothing but raw training and my strength levels are where they need to be. But I can say for certain that with out all the shirted work I have done over the years my raw bench wouldn't be near as strong as it is now.

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    your right travis, I just wanted to make SURE that the OP understood about tucking the elbows a LITTLE and not to touch TOO low...it can make a diffierence and all posters dont really read everything closely lol

    I think Marcus hits a good point as well...we all had a good strength foundation before we got int he shirt..not everybody has that.

    and yes Rob, you are a cheater...and a gear whore, and have too short a ROM, and..nevermind, you get the picture lol.....but you are 100% correct, once I couldnt train raw much anymore I had to live in my shirt..and I have gotten huge results from it, maybe I should listen more? nahhh...that would make it too easy on you. lol
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    Super Moderator vdizenzo's Avatar
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    My raw bench is good, but I have to train it specifically to be at or over 600. I trained in the shirt for the entire fall and winter and was able to maintain a fair amount of raw strength. I used Wendler's 5/3/1 template for raw work and hit a 585 touch and go. I lived in the shirt and I did no better in a meet than I had done in the past five years. So my raw strength did not help as much as one would think. I have seen a guy miss 365 raw warming up and then hit over 700 on the platform in the shirt. Technique, technique, technique, that's what is important. Unfortunately, I am better at coaching it than doing it.

    Come August I will live in the shirt. I will also be doing a lot more full range work in the shirt. I am crushing my triceps now, so hopefully that will help then. I'm going to fly Rob in every Friday to bench with me.

    So to answer the question, while a raw bench may help, I don't think it is the most important factor to equipped benching.


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    Jesus. Until I posted, the average bench in this thread was like 600. Good stuff.

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    Quote Originally Posted by vdizenzo View Post
    My raw bench is good, but I have to train it specifically to be at or over 600. I trained in the shirt for the entire fall and winter and was able to maintain a fair amount of raw strength. I used Wendler's 5/3/1 template for raw work and hit a 585 touch and go. I lived in the shirt and I did no better in a meet than I had done in the past five years. So my raw strength did not help as much as one would think. I have seen a guy miss 365 raw warming up and then hit over 700 on the platform in the shirt. Technique, technique, technique, that's what is important. Unfortunately, I am better at coaching it than doing it.

    Come August I will live in the shirt. I will also be doing a lot more full range work in the shirt. I am crushing my triceps now, so hopefully that will help then. I'm going to fly Rob in every Friday to bench with me.
    So to answer the question, while a raw bench may help, I don't think it is the most important factor to equipped benching.
    Really? How do I get a job so I can bank like that?

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    Quote Originally Posted by vdizenzo View Post
    I'm going to fly Rob in every Friday to bench with me.
    As long as your talking Firday Evening for a Saturday Bench Session and a flight home Sat nght I am game!

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    I got that beat Vin...I trained with a guy when I first moved to Georgia at NGBB. He missed 365 raw 3 weeks out from a meet and benched 710 at the meet! Vin is right technique, technique, technique....and yes I am better at coaching it than doing it as well lol
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    Vdizenzo, Rob, Bench8,

    Outstanding info guys... I would have posted yesterday but it was hvy. sqaut day (tuff!!!)

    I intend on blasting my tri's hard w/ brd's and lockouts. Other than technique, as vdizenzo stated, I know shirt benching is a lot about finishing / locking out the weight.

    I dont use chains or bands at all since I'm a newbie to the geared ranks.
    How important are they or should I wait till I'm more advanced to use them?

    BTW I'm a 315-320 raw bencher/ not sure what I am shirted, however I did 315x3x3 last week pretty E-Z!!!

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    RobChris,

    Right now if you are new to a shirt your focus should be on your technique. The boards band and chains are good but technique is a must in a shirt.

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    Rob,

    Thanks bro... Its all about technique at this point! I went raw tonight, and felt real strong.(no one to help put my shirt on)

    Like you said earlier, there is good carry-over from the shirt to raw.

    I'm now doing doubles and triples, full ROM w/ what I was maxing w/ prior to using the shirt!

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