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Thread: Learning the Bench shirt.

  1. #1
    Wannabebig Member
    Join Date
    Aug 2010

    Learning the Bench shirt.

    Hey guys,

    So I finally upgraded from my inzer blast and went to a single-ply Rage-X. All I can say is wow. However, although my numbers were high (My raw two board record is about 330 and with the shirt today hit 385 and a miss with 405) I still have many questions because I do not lift with anyone who knows much about shirts.

    To start off I'll just state what I believe of bench shirts in terms of fitting and technique. To put my bench shirt on, I have somebody pull the shoulder back on to my arm as far as possible and have someone pull down on front (however the front never seems to stay down once I lay down, even with locking my belt). I also make sure when I'm putting it on that the arm seam aligns with my elbow, then to build a bit more tension I rotate the sleaves away from my chest. I'm not really sure how to make it fit under the armpit perfect so I am basically asking for someone to comment on how the armpit should fit as well as what to do about how it fits across the collar (over the chest) and if what I stated above is correct.

    Now for my technique I try to get up on my traps (I'm a big archer) and get my legs out wide for a good drive while still being able to keep my ass down for the most part. However, with the shirt pulling my shoulders forward, I fell its hard to tighten my upper back and squeeze my upper back like I can on a raw bench. To start after my lift off I begin by pulling my elbows straight back to build tension across the chest, then when I'm down to about the height of a 4 or 5 board I begin tucking my elbows, tucking them harder and closer to my body as I come down farther trying to maintain maximum pressure in the chest and armpit/ trap area. Once I touch the board, I press straight up with my triceps, and once the weight starts moving I bring the bar back over my face a bit and flare my elbows at the top. Is this correct? Although I felt it was a strong lift today, I feel I could be a bit more explosive out of the bottom. As a rather skinny person (5'10" and 175 pounds) my triceps and lats are much stronger than my shoulders, and I had some slight shoulder pain after. It wasn't an unhealthy feeling, but it was sore in my rotator area so I'm wondering if my technique was incorrect somewhere, or if its just my body getting used to the new weight.

    Any input would be helpful and appreciated. Thanks for the help ahead of time! Lift Strong!

  2. #2
    SFW! drew's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2003
    Make sure your belt is very tight. As tight as you can stand it. Once you are on the bench and set, have someone pull your belt down, this will help lock the shirt in.

    I don't know anything about seams and rotating sleeves. Maybe it works, maybe it doesn't. All I do is put my shirt on and bench, but I am only getting about 200 lbs out of my shirt. So maybe someone else knows better.

    Without seeing a video of your lift, it's really hard to say if you're doing anything right or wrong. If your shoulders are hurting afterward, make sure you are getting them warm and loose before you start lifting and ice them afterward.

    Stats: Age: 34 Weight: 205 Height: 5'6"
    Gym PRs: Squat:635 Bench:560 Deadlift:495
    Meet PRs: Squat:575 Bench:525 Deadlift:510 Total: 1605@220

  3. #3
    illinois fattest lifter theBarzeen's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2009
    Honestly, the biggest thing is to find someone who knows their stuff and have them watch you.... you could post a video, but seeing it in person helps more. Seek out an established team in your area and it'll pay off BIG, even if you only get out to lift with them once a month. You might feel like you're doing one thing but not actually be doing it under a heavy load.

    With that said, yes, it sounds like you have the right idea. Let the collar ride up high if you are trying to touch a lighter weight, but jack the front down for heavier sets and sets to boards. get a skinny belt like a spud bench belt and lock it down tight to hold the shirt in place. The above poster has it right to have a spotter pull down the belt and shirt as you are setting up too.

    Personally I don't like twisting the sleeves, but basically the easiest way to do it is to just get in to your shirt with your hands facing up ( palms up), if the shirt is tight the sleeves will twist as you grab the bar.

    If you are having trouble touching weights you could also try not loading up the chest plate on the way down, and just taking the weight to your belly as fast as you can control it...
    Meet PR's: 1008-750-750 - 2464

    Gym PR's... don't count ... time to do another meet!

  4. #4
    working on it ct67_72's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2008
    meriden ct
    it sounds like you have a pretty good handle on it. The guys above already made the important points also. video is great and can help but there is no replacement for someone with experience to watch you.
    If you cant get someone, try and get a video.
    the only other advise I can offer over what has been stated and is related to the shirt riding high on the bench.
    When you setup you might be out to far from the uprights. get as far back as you can, that way you dont have to reach behind you for the bar and pull the shirt up.
    Also make sure you are pulling your shoulder back and keeping the shirt tight as soon as its set and as you are setting up on th ebench to try and help it stay in place.!/pages/The...32666473422227
    we forge our bodies in the fire of our will

  5. #5
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Nov 2010
    My only shirt Ive ever used is a single ply rage x. Ill share my experience of how it works best and all that. I put plastic bags on each arm, put both arms in at the same time, and have someone pull it straight down so the seams are even. If they arent lined up w the elbows I then rotate it. For the first set I dont pull the collar down AT ALL, no belt, and the shoulders may or may not be all the way on. After that set and maybe another Ill pull the shoulders all the way up. I put the belt on once its heavier, but if the collar is up high, even though its uncomfertable and the shirt doesnt feel very strong it allows me to practice touching anything. For reference I touched 315 my first day using it and also pressed 420. My best bench to date in it is 474 and if the collar is set high and its not locked in w a belt I can still touch whatever.

    My advice is to you is
    1. Bench in a power rack w the safety pins set just below where the lowest the bar is gonna go
    2. Do your first sets with the shirt not locked in, and let the collar ride up
    3. Once you touch a weight, lock it in w a belt.
    4. Each set progressively pull it down more and more (both from the collar and from the bottom)
    5. Practice descending fast so you don't have to fight to touch. The faster you lower it the easier it will be to touch.
    6. Do full range sets of 3
    7. Limit board work to AFTER your full range stuff

    Heres a few videos of me using the shirt. I am not experienced but hopefully you can learn from my mistakes and limited experience.

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