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Thread: How/When do you guys implement gear into your M/E days?

  1. #1
    Powerlifter/Strongman J L S's Avatar
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    How/When do you guys implement gear into your M/E days?

    on a M/E day i usually work like this...

    50% x 5
    60% x 3
    70% x 2
    80% x 1

    then go for the 3 lifts at or above 90...

    that is all RAW though... im looking to add in some shirted benching sooner or later along the rotations of exercises and wondered where you guys would start to put your shirts on/at and around what percentage?

    same applies for squat suits too...

    if it helps i have started lifting single ply and am new to the whole gear element of training, had about 5 sessions in my centurion and 1 bench session in titan f6 and dont know where to begin with using them as you can tell

    thanks in advance
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  2. #2
    Westside Bencher Travis Bell's Avatar
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    We usually get in them about once a month or so, depending on where we are in reference to a meet.

    When we do, we'll usually use it as a strength tester, not a strength builder, so we'll take a weight and hopefully hit a PR, either full range or off a board and then shut it down.


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    I do it more like Travis said. I don't add gear at x%. I have a geared ME day and I warmup like I would at a meet. I do just enough warmup to get the job done then get the gear on and go for a PR. I wear the bench shirt about once a month like Travis. Squat gear is more complicated since there's briefs and a suit. I usually start out raw and add more gear to ME squat days as I get closer to the meet. I usually squat every other ME day, since I need the most work at it.
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  4. #4
    Powerlifter/Strongman J L S's Avatar
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    thanks for the replies fella's...

    so travis/marcus... im assuming the 3 weeks prior to the shirted sessions its the usual weekly rotation of raw exercises on your ME bench day such as floor press, various boards presses, incline, decline, close grips/various grip benches and what not...
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  5. #5
    THE 800 QUEST NickAus's Avatar
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    IMO you need to spend plenty of time in a shirt to get good in it.

    I would try to use it twice a month minimum until you are really good at using it then maybe use it less.

    I like to warm up raw to around 90% then put the shirt on on my gear days that way you still get some raw work in.
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  6. #6
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    Nick brings up a great point. I wore my shirt a lot more while I was learning it. Once I was getting 200 lbs out of it, then wearing it often seemed to offer diminishing returns. I just needed to get stronger. Then I switched to wearing it once a month.

    I copied my bench template from a Matt Wenning article. He does a three week wave (exercises I use in parenthesis):

    1. Lower end ME movement (1RM or 3RM raw or with manpon)
    2. Mid-range ME movement (2-3bd or floor press with bands/chains)
    3. Lockout ME movement (shirted week)

    I think he just repeats every 3 weeks. I deload between each 3-week wave.
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  7. #7
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    JLS,
    I'm w/ Marcus & Nick in that you need to learn the shirt & once a month probably aint enough... When is your meet?

    A strong raw base is a must however... So its imperative that you build your raw BP first then learn the shirt and get as much out of the gear as possible.
    The closer I get to a meet the more shirt work I do to learn the groove of the shirt full ROM. If this is your first geared meet spend a lot more time in it the closer you get to meet day.

  8. #8
    Westside Bencher Travis Bell's Avatar
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    I realize that everyone has their own opinion on frequency of training in shirts, however my only question is why do some of you feel that being in a shirt anything less than once a week is going to not allow you to learn a shirt?

    Seems to have worked out pretty well for guys like AJ, Dave, Tony, Luke and myself

    I'm not pulling the "so and so benches more so it must be right" card because I don't buy that reasoning, but I'm just saying progress is made in meet PRs while getting in shirts once a month - sometimes even less than that.


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  9. #9
    Bad Attitude Gym AdamBAG's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Travis Bell View Post
    I realize that everyone has their own opinion on frequency of training in shirts, however my only question is why do some of you feel that being in a shirt anything less than once a week is going to not allow you to learn a shirt?

    Seems to have worked out pretty well for guys like AJ, Dave, Tony, Luke and myself

    I'm not pulling the "so and so benches more so it must be right" card because I don't buy that reasoning, but I'm just saying progress is made in meet PRs while getting in shirts once a month - sometimes even less than that.
    Travis, I tend to put the shirt on once every three weeks going in to a meet. I wore it more often trying to do back to back meets and bombed in the second meet. I think too much shirt time wore me out.

    In my opinion you can't compare your group to most people. Every single one of you benches 500+ raw. I don't know that there are many training groups that have 5 guys that all bench that much. If you guys were to be in a shirt handling 7 or 8 or 9 hundred all the time it would kill you. A guy that is handling 4 or 5 hundred can get in his shirt more often. It's just not as taxing on the body, no matter how strong you are.

    I totally agree with you that you have to spend time out of gear and get strong, but you guys are very experienced. I don't think that you can make the comparison.

    It's an interesting topic. I've found that mentally it's too taxing on me to get in my shirt and go heavy week after week. I need some raw work in there to keep things fresh.
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  10. #10
    Senior Member martin's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by AdamBAG View Post
    In my opinion you can't compare your group to most people. Every single one of you benches 500+ raw. I don't know that there are many training groups that have 5 guys that all bench that much. If you guys were to be in a shirt handling 7 or 8 or 9 hundred all the time it would kill you. A guy that is handling 4 or 5 hundred can get in his shirt more often. It's just not as taxing on the body, no matter how strong you are.
    This has a big part to play I think.

    Getting in a shirt is a must near a meet, but I have now found that my raw strength probably needs to go up in order for my shirted bench to go up again. I seemed to have little jumps and then plateaus.

    I also find bench the hardest lift of the three. It sucks for me.

    I suppose it's similar to squatting - the better you get the less time you spend in full suit and wraps. Your body will just wear out from the overload all the time.
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  11. #11
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    I think everyone needs to go through a period where they are a bench shirt whore and wear it all the time. It's the only way to really learn it. If you only shirt up every 4 weeks, then you could train for a whole year and only shirt up 12-13 times. You'd still be a bench shirt novice.

    I agree that once you're good enough in a shirt, then you don't need to wear it as often. I guess the real question is what's "good enough"? Do you define it by number of sessions, amount of carryover, or technique?
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  12. #12
    Westside Bencher Travis Bell's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by AdamBAG View Post
    Travis, I tend to put the shirt on once every three weeks going in to a meet. I wore it more often trying to do back to back meets and bombed in the second meet. I think too much shirt time wore me out.

    In my opinion you can't compare your group to most people. Every single one of you benches 500+ raw. I don't know that there are many training groups that have 5 guys that all bench that much. If you guys were to be in a shirt handling 7 or 8 or 9 hundred all the time it would kill you. A guy that is handling 4 or 5 hundred can get in his shirt more often. It's just not as taxing on the body, no matter how strong you are.

    I totally agree with you that you have to spend time out of gear and get strong, but you guys are very experienced. I don't think that you can make the comparison.

    It's an interesting topic. I've found that mentally it's too taxing on me to get in my shirt and go heavy week after week. I need some raw work in there to keep things fresh.
    Fair point Adam. I would certainly agree that you can get away with it at lighter weights.

    Personally though I still disagree that guys need to be in their shirts every week.

    The problem I've seen in guys who don't have a big bench (say 3 or 400+ raw) and spend all their time in shirts, is that they don't create a solid foundation for their progress.

    Now, I'm not the kind of person who feels that if you train in a shirt all the time you won't get strong. For examples of that just take a look at guys like Ryan Kennelly and Shawn Frankle. Both are stupid strong raw benchers.

    But I have seen guys who don't have a solid raw base, get up to the most they can get out of their shirt, and then progress comes to a screeching halt.

    Training in a shirt allows for pretty quick progress because as you perfect your technique you can make pretty big gains. But when you get as good as you are going to get in a shirt, you're left with getting stronger raw, or getting heavier gear.

    Raw progress takes much more time than geared. So to completely stop it, and then start it when you hit a wall in your shirt, can be super frustrating because your progress is going to be painstakingly slow.

    As an example, I'll use two guys who train out of my personal gym (who post on this board). Both of them wear their shirts about once every 4-6 weeks. Both can touch very comfortable weights to open with, and are consistently making PRs in their equipment. They are also training very hard raw the rest of the time.

    The key though, is not getting super tight gear. Both of their shirts fit comfortably, but are tight enough that they had to learn the groove of the shirt to get anything out of it.

    Interesting discussion though! At the end of the day, I'd agree, there are certainly multiple ways to approach shirt training, I just disagree when people say it can't be done.


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  13. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by Travis Bell View Post
    But I have seen guys who don't have a solid raw base, get up to the most they can get out of their shirt, and then progress comes to a screeching halt.
    I agree 100%. I've been there and done that.
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  14. #14
    Senior Member SELK's Avatar
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    I'm just gonna leave the bench shirt topic alone beacuse I am probally about the worst shirted bencher ever (my raw is about 400 and my best shirted is 500.. although i have done 600 off 2 boards but that doesn't mean ****).

    For my last meet I changed my squat training a ton and I couldn't be happier with it. I hit an easy 65lbs PR and my first time breaking 900.

    I just have 1 squat day, and I squat heavy every other week. When I squat heavy its 100% full gear, straps up and knee wraps ties. The suit goes on at 135lbs so I can get more practice sitting back into the suit and reaching depth. Knee wraps on at anything over 700. I started the training cycle (~12 weeks out) getting in 6ish work sets with doubles and each week the weights went up while the total volume went down, the last 2 weeks went to singles.

    On the other day I just did raw box squats with no higher then 405lbs. My best raw box squat is 585lbs so this is around 70%1rm for doubles or triples for 8-10 sets.

    I got so comfortible in my gear using this approach that during the meet I wasn't even thinking about it. I really think if you want a big squat, you gotta squat lots of heavy weights.
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    Quote Originally Posted by J L S View Post
    How/When do you guys implement gear into your M/E days?
    For benching, once every 4 weeks. For squatting, once every few weeks I'll put on my double ply suit, the other weeks I usually use my loose single ply suit because it saves my hips.

  16. #16
    Tyler Tucker
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    I am a beginner to using a shirt, but have been getting in it about every 4wks and will work up to a 1rep max. I have been able to jump 10-20lbs each session in my shirt. As a beginner, I really can't imagine getting in the shirt every week or every other week for that matter because of how it beats me up each time. I train raw the rest of the time and because of this I feel I have made the most gains. I feel I am getting a good feel for the groove and also increasing my raw strength with only doing it once a month. Also, being in a loose shirt has really helped. I was able to learn to touch and find the groove, and it really helped now that I'm learning to set the shirt differently to get more out of it.
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