I think it'd be a great idea if members can contribute their experience with their PL gear ranging from squat and deadlift suits to bench shirts. We got MANY members on this board ranging from beginner to pro. I'll get the ball rollin' and maybe we can get a sticky if enough members post their reviews!
Here's a general template I took from another forum. Lets try to keep it one post per item being reviewed if possible.
item being reviewed:
stats: 5-7" started @ 202lb fat slob, down to 188 lean minimal muscle and now 230lb mixture of both lol
best lifts: gym lifts 500/501/568 (meet) edit: should mention that I did face lower back injury hence why my bench is up to par with my SQ/DL lol
gear experience: 4 years. single and double plies: Titan F6, Katana, Super Katana, Metal King IPF bencher, Inzer Rage-X
item being reviewed: single ply Titan F6 (regular fit and comp fit)
pros: easy to learn, forgiving groove, accomadates my groove which is low pec, option of twisting the sleeves to mimic the katana torque sleeve design. very cheap to be had ($100 brand new). this was my very first shirt when i got into shirted benching. I wore a regular fit sized F6 and had my GF put on the shirt everytime I benched. I was able to touch my raw max at the time. After 3-4 months, I met with couple guys and ordered the same shirt but in a competition fit. After 1 meet cycle, I hit a 375lb bench which was a 75lb PR.
cons: after a meet cycle, the stitching does slowly wear on the single ply F6. It then becomes a good training shirt. if you're handling 500+ pounds, you have much better options than a single F6.
comparsion: i still use the F6 (in double ply) today as my multiply training shirt. i had it for 2+ years and it will be my opener shirt when I compete multiply. however, if you have the right folks to train with, the katana and super katana may be a better investment depending on your bench techique and experience.
recommended: absolutely. for the price you pay and shirt you get, its definitely worth the investment for new and intermediate lifters.
Last edited by jtteg_x; 08-07-2011 at 06:08 AM.
best lifts: ^
gear experience: ^
item being reviewed: 2ply Titan F6
pros: everything mentioned above but 2ply support! The neckline is thicker (think single ply super katana)
cons: obviously the weight was going to be more difficult to touch as expected. I put 1 meet cycle in this shirt and its still holding up as far as pop and support goes. I been wearing this shirt on and off the past 2 years and it performs the same everytime I wear it. It does stretch out a bit but nothing crazy like a Inzer Phenom (from outside reviewers).
comparsion: 2 plys of F6 madness. Solid shirt if your interested in competing multiply. This was my 2nd shirt after hitting my 375 bench in the single ply F6. With my 2ply F6, I hit a 501 in a meet but was red lighted due to a slight dip downward motion. I now call it a gym lift and corrected the issue ever since. It was easy to break in compared to my katana's but unfortunately I was increasing in weight during my meet cycle with this shirt, hence the difficulty trouble touching weight when it came to meet day.
opinion/thoughts: If you like the single ply F6 but aren't getting the support you expected, try it in 2 plys. Otherwise, started looking into the more advanced shirts on the market.
recommended: yes, but not for new lifters. this would be a solid investment if you're coming from a single ply F6 or regular katana.
Last edited by jtteg_x; 08-07-2011 at 12:52 AM.
item being reviewed: Titan Katana (single ply, first generation)
pros: Picked this up in my competition fit as per Titan sizing chart. I remember first time around I worked off 2.5-3 brds. The numbers I put up were on par with what I did with my double F6. During my meet cycle I took a career path change to law enforcement so I took time off from powerlifting and concentrated on cardio/sit-ups/push ups/pull ups/etc. So I never ended up using this in a meet and end up selling it.
cons: none. the person I sold it to used it plenty of times and he told me it never showed signs of wear and kept its support lift after lift.
comparsion: Its practically its little brother of the Super Katana.
opinion/thoughts: I am quite curious to this day whether I would have put up a PR in this shirt. but oh well.
recommended: A more intermediate level shirt. Not really recommended for first time shirted benchers but if your training in a PL gym, they can make it work. If you're coming from a F6, Inzer Rage or some other entry level shirt, a Katana would be a good jump.
best lifts: *
gear experience: *
item being reviewed: 2ply Titan Katana w/grid stitch on chest/arms
pros: very supportive if you can get it to work right and have A LOT of patience. expect 5-6 months cycle to touch in this shirt.
cons:very technical and difficult to touch. didn't accomadate my groove. would well suit a belly bencher IMO.
comparsion: felt like a completely different shirt compared to the single ply. i believe it had to do more with the grid stitching. this shirt really forces you to tuck throughout the entire lift hence why I believe its suited for a belly bencher.
opinion/thoughts: I may have gotten this one too tight. I cut the back open to put less stress on the neck line and delts but that didn't help much as far as bringing weight down. I will never get any shirt fully stitched again. I can see myself getting the sleeves stitched but not a combination of both the chest panel and sleeves.
recommended: negative. way too advance for my level. if you go with a double ply grid stitch, go one size up. my chest at the time was 42-43" and I wore this in a 46. I am sure if I gotten this in 48, it would've worked out a bit better.
best lifts: *
gear experience: *
item being reviewed: Inzer Rage-X fully custom: double ply, shortened sleeves, open back with velcro, reinforce collar, etc. It was a training partners shirt who was in the same weight class as me.
pros: tremendous support (reminds me of my 2ply super katana). however, touching weight was very difficult still. The way he got the sleeves built it was meant for a super hard tuck, which wasn't for me. I worked this shirt to a 3-brd and didn't hit a PR that day. I was able to hit my current best at the time though.
cons: its tough to give negative thoughts on a shirt that wasn't built for me so I'll keep it at that.
comparsion: Although this shirt was built for a different sized lifter, the Rage-X reminded me of my 2ply grid stitch katana. It really forces you to go low. It had more give for bar travel and I can see potential in the Rage-X if I were to order it to my specs.
opinion/thoughts: I'm currently working with a 2ply SK and things don't go as planned, the Rage-X is considered next on my list.
item being reviewed: Metal IPF King Presser http://www.flexcart.com/members/elit...d=203&pid=2670
pros: very easy to touch. was able to touch 50lb above my raw max first time out. the groove was very forgiving (low pec).
cons: expected more support for a new stiffer material from Metal. I ended up returning it.
comparsion: too stretchy compared to all the other shirts I've worn. I was able to stretch out the chest plate by just wearing it doing push-ups and manually pulling the panel apart with my hands. It sure left a stress mark after that.
opinion/thoughts: I sized it right according to their chart. I see that it has been revised as of 2008 and I wore this shirt sometime early that year if I can recall.
recommended: yes and no. yes if you want a beginners shirt and prefer the stretchy like material Metal uses. No if you're looking for highest amount of support and pop off the chest.
Stats: 625 squat in briefs and belt @215.
Item: Boss briefs.
Pros: good support and stopping power, good carryover even when loose (mine are loose), I like the cut because I find it easy to push knees out on squats and sumo pulls but part of that may be due to them being loose, easy to take in at your local shoe repair guy.
Cons: stretch out after a while, dont really have huge pop but again that could be because they are not tight.
Comparison: much more stopping power than metal pros and bigger carryover compared to tight pros.
Side note: I find they give no carryover or very little unless you go pretty wide (they are the wide stance ones).
Recommend: Yes awesome briefs but not if you plan on losing any weight at all.
Squat briefs only 625 @ 210
Bench geared 525 @ 210
Deadlift geared 650 @ 220
Captains of Crush #3
Building Mighty Mitts...
best lifts: *
gear experience *:
item being reviewed: 2ply Super Katana (open back w/velcro)
pros: probably the best shirt I've worn as far as support goes. the shirt suits my groove with patience so I gotta have control when descending. I am slowly breaking it in utilizing boards (4 - 3 - 2) and it seems to be working out very well so far. It's amazing how the shirt helps you lock out the weight by just digging your upperback/shoulder blades into the bench at the very last inch of the press. get it tight on the sleeves and you got yourself a solid shirt.
cons: very advanced shirt. Luckily I am one with patience so i will continue to work with it. I wish I had gone half size up but Titan only makes their shirts in even numbers. I am 45" as of today and the shirt is a 48 which puts it slightly tighter than competition fit. I have plans to drop weight hence the decision of the shirt size.
comparsion: just like the grid stitch double ply katana minus the akward groove, shirt lock up and not being able to descend. this feels like my double F6 on roids.
opinion/thoughts: I am expecting to hit a detour because anything below 2-brd for me is the hardest part of the bench. We will see how it plays out.
recommended: If you have benched in a super katana before and like it in a single ply, try the 2ply. I have a single ply 46 SK and it fits semi-loose on me hence why I went with 48 double. I am not sure if Titan changed the material again on the SK?
alright, its time for the deadlift suits...
gear experience: Titan deadlifter, Metal King Sumo Pro Deadlifter, Inzer MAX DL, Titan briefs, Metal pro briefs,
item being reviewed: Titan sumo deadlifter (it was that $100 suit back in 2007, its like $60 now). single ply
pros: very easy to use. first time out I hit a PR wearing it straps down. Couldn't remember exact numbers but I do remember pulling my raw max like it was a warmup. Me being 5-7", the straps were too loose so I got it tailored to my height. After that I wore it at a USPF meet and broke the state and national deadlift only record @ 198 junior with a 568lb pull. It's still my best pull to this day.
cons: NONE. great entry level DL suit for the new lifter. If your pulling more towards a elite/pro level, there are much better suits out there that offer more support and poundage.
comparsion: This is the first DL suit that I have been consistent with so its tough to compare it to others.
opinion/thoughts: It was a great suit and perfect as my first ever DL suit. I was consistent with it throughout my training cycle and hit a PR in my first meet. Can't complain about that!
recommended: . If you're just getting into deadlifting gear and want a cheap suit, you can't go wrong with the Titan Deadlifter at $60. You have the option of getting it in conventional or sumo cut.
item being reviewed: Metal King Pro Sumo Deadlifter (back of suit is 2ply) comes stock with velcro
pros: best DL suit I've owned. you gotta get it tight on the hips to get the best support out of it. First time i wore it with straps down and pulled a easy 545 like it was a warmp/opener. I got greedy and attempted a 575 but dropped it due to weak grip. If it wasn't for my grip weakness, I had confidence in a 585 pull that day.
cons: NONE. best DL ever!
comparsion: compared to the titan deadlifter and inzer max DL, its much stiffer. If you're familar with automotive springs, think of Metal as the super high performance springs thats much stiffer meant to carve those corners. So its not gonna be comfortable, but bearable. If you seat it right when grabbing the bar, its gonna fly right off the floor and its up to your lockout whether you will get the pull or not.
opinion/thoughts: Unfortunately I was increasing in size so I had to sell my 46 which suited a 198 lifter. I then picked up the same suit but in size 50 (I am 230lb).
recommended: absolutely. if you're looking for more of a springly and comfortable suit, the Inzer MAX DL may be a better choice. if you're willing to wear tight suit on the hips and want to face the fact that you will have trouble reaching the bar before the pull, then get this suit. Its somewhat advanced if sized properly. Otherwise, it can still be a good DL suit if you went one size up.
item being reviewed: Inzer MAX DL (size 35 which was one size up from recommended off Inzers chart)
pros: very comfortable to wear IMO. easy to get to the bar pulling sumo and conventional. Suprisingly the straps fit me well and wasn't too loose or tight. The hips and thighs were semi-tight. The suit was intended for my GF but I wore it as a training suit since I couldn't fit my Metal Pro Sumo Deadlifter. Wore it straps down and hit my raw max like a warmup.
cons: quite expensive for a stock single ply suit ($135+) and no adjustable straps. If you can catch Elite FTS on their sales, they usually have the metal suit 20% off which puts it in the $140-$150 range.
comparsion: great training suit in the off season. the greatest feature I like about this suit is you can pull both conventional and sumo in it. the carry over is the same both stances. I rarely pull conventional and I pulled my max with ease.
opinion/thoughts: enough said
recommended: . YES. If you're looking for a DL suit and wanting to compete single ply, the Inzer MAX DL should be on your list of choices. I later learned that pulling conventional carrys over to sumo. Which is why I am still holding on to this suit for some conventional pulling.
item being reviewed: Titan SUPER Centurion squat suit (single ply/wide stance)
opinion/thoughts: First squat suit. At the time my best raw squat was 455lb with knee wraps and belt. I ordered one size up according to Titan's chart. So that makes it a "meet" fit which is between comp and regular passive support. I was able to easily get it up to my hips using suit slippers. I decided to work on a medium height box to slowly break it in. At this time my squat technique wasn't the greastest either so I was a bit cautious.
pros: hit my raw max off a box with ease. not too painful to wear and hit a decent PR of 500lb eventually going full range. However, it was a gym lift and I was still 1" above paralell.
cons: none really. its a solid thick suit that offers tremendous support for single ply gear. After wearing it few times, one of the seams started to go on the thigh. It can easily be stitched but just something to know.
recommended: Yes. For someone who didn't know how to squat properly and didn't have much guidance with squat gear, I thought it was forgiving first time out. I suggest one size up for new geared squatters.
"Its not the will to win that matters, everyone has that. Its the will to prepare to win that matters." Bear Bryant
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item being reviewed: Metal King Pro Sumo Deadlifter (2ply back/single ply front w/velcro which is stock fit)
pros: Very supportive pop off the bottom. adjustable velcro straps.
cons: suit material can be very stiff for some lifters. If you wore a Inzer MAX DL before and notice its very stretchy like, its complete opposite of that. But that doesn't mean its not better! It sits very very tight on the thighs for us lowerbody dominant folk. Practicing technique and breathing in this suit is a MUST. Other than that, solid suit.
comparsion: this is like the super katana of all shirts. one of the stiffest material on the market and most supportive if dialed in right. I am breaking this in utilizing blocks and eventually working off the floor gradually. so far hit a 4" block pull PR of 615lb. I was doing 550's in my single ply titan prior to injury.
opinion/thoughts: what makes this suit is the adjustable velcro straps, which is the primary reason I ordered this suit. without that it would be just like any other DL suit on the market. i liked it so much that I ordered one for my GF (conventional stance). I will post a review on that.
recommended: absolutely. but not for new pullers who are new to DL suits. to get the most out of it, you must wear it tight and strap it down hard...which isn't the greatest method for a new puller. if this is going to be your first DL suit, get it one size up or give yourself the benefit of doubt and select the size higher if your inbetween sizes according to the Metal size chart.