So I got my bench shirt (a double RageX) and broke it in last weekend and now I'm left wondering how often I should be in the thing. I think if I am in it too much the shirt will lose all its tension and become fairly useless. I've read some stuff by Sean Lattimer where he recommends a shirt day and a raw assistance day, but wouldn't working the shirt every week ruin it? I also want to increase my raw bench. I guess what I am asking is how do you guys structure your training around the shirt?
Last edited by OGROK; 12-22-2009 at 06:33 PM.
Shirts last more than most think. Learn the shirt first, then you can figure out how often to train in it. Travis only gets in his once in a while. He'll be the one to listen to regarding this.
Once I started using the shirt every week or close to it my bench went up every month for 18 months from 350-525.
I'm sure once you get to a high level you can use it less but I think if you want to get the most out of it you need to master it.
Big Iron use it once and even twice per week, westside way less and both have massive benchers so you choose.
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however, if your intent is to keep pushing your raw up at the same time, you can't be in the shirt every week. You can still make plenty of progress by building up your raw base at the same time.
at the 08 ProAm I benched my first 700, and using the same shirt I benched 770 just a couple weeks ago, missing 800 by about an inch.
My raw bench has gone up from 425 to 540 in the last two years as well.
A lot of people switch shirts to one that fits better or has more plies right before they get in it every weeks, which contributes a lot to the progress
however if your goal is purely your equipped bench, and you can recover from it, a lot of the top benchers (Rob Luyando, Ryan Kennelly, Vin) spend every week for a good amount of time in their shirts.
Travis, what was your trainging like when your raw max went from 425 to 525?
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Here's my thoughts as a mediocre bencher and 3 lift person. Wear the shirt every other week until you get 200+ from it. At that point you have pretty good shirt technique and get diminishing returns from wearing it so often. Then wear it once a month and focus on raw strength with an emphasis towards lockout.
The guys that have the most success wearing a shirt every week are guys that already have a 500+ raw bench. Most of us need to increase our raw bench too to get the best shirted bench.
When I was in the shirt constantly and benched 840 I liked to do 5 weeks of shirt work followed by 5 weeks of raw work and I did that for years go back and forth between the two. I always found that if i tried to do raw and shirt work at the same time my grooves got confused as they are pretty different. By focusing on one or the other they both got ample work in.
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I aint a big bencher, but I have been making some good progress lately with my bench. I like to go Week 1 raw, Week 2 shirted triples, Week 3 shirted singles. And I do alot of raw lockout work also.
Last edited by muscle_g; 12-23-2009 at 01:13 PM.
Or what did I do for my training template?
I pretty much did the same thing I do now.
However I did take about 8mths off of shirted benching and worked solely on my raw work and then benched a 70lb pr at my first meet back
One way or another, you do have to get stronger
What has worked for me so far is getting in the shirt every third week. So two weeks raw and then one week in the shirt.
I've tried staying in the shirt more often, but it was too much. Both physically and mentally.
Now that I'm going to be an injury induced bench-only guy for a while I may go to a one week in and one week out rotation as I think I can recover much better w/o squatting and pulling heavy.
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This is all great info guys. Seems like everyone has their own ideas about how often to train in the shirt...
I'm currently (1) week raw, followed by (2) weeks shirted... However I do raw lock-out or DB work each week. Of course some weeks I change it up depending on how I'm feeling.
Like adam said, training geared every week can be taxing on your CNS... I sub Rev.- bands for shirted bench some weeks for variety... Same w/ sqaut.
Is it possible to do high end/shirt work on ME bench day and then low end/raw stuff on DE day and make progress in both that way?
I'm taking the Matt Wenning approach to ME.
Week 1: bottom
Week 2: middle
Week 3: top
Then I do floor press as an accessory every ME and DE (stole the idea from Travis). It's working. My raw and shirted are increasing.
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