The Five Biggest Contradictions in Fitness
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The Five Biggest Contradictions in Fitness

Itís no secret that when people contradict themselves, it has the effect of making the flaws in their actions or statements seem glaringly obvious. But what about when WE ourselves get caught contradicting ourselves by someone else?

By: Nick Tumminello Added: January 6th, 2014
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Thread: Use of Shirt.

  1. #1
    Banned The_Brick's Avatar
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    Use of Shirt.

    Hello powerlifters.

    What is the use of a bench shirt if not to allow a man to lift heavier than he could without one?

    I don't believe it prevents injury.
    It doesn't increase the popularity of the sport.

    All it seems to do is make men appear stronger than they are, as ungodly strong as the may be anyway but whats the point. Id rather see a man bench press 600lbs without a shirt than 1200 with one. Powerlifting wants mainstream credibility? It needs either the abolition of shirts altogether or the restriction to one thickness, one material, one brand.

    I still worship the big lifters like Rychlak and Mendy but am sick of being called an idiot because I think INZER ARE THE IDIOTS WHO NEED TO WAKE THEIR BUTTS UP!

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  3. #2
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    I posted on this in that other thread, so won't repeat my words here again.

    However, there is an element of injury prevention inherent in something like a bench shirt.

    Consider that the portion of a bench that is most likely to induce injury is probably towards the position of most stretch (so at or near one's chest). What does a bench shirt do?

    Well, the bar compresses the suit such that it acts much like a spring, generating a counterforce which, if you think about it, offsets part of the load proportionate to how far you lower it. So it offsets the most load, relatively speaking, at the bottom, and little to none at the top.

    Since I think we can probably say that injury to one's shoulders probably happens during the bottom portion of the bench, there obviously IS an element of injury protection inherent to a shirt.

    Still, that line is somewhat fuzzy. What is 'most safe' might technically be not lifting at all. So even if better shirts, in principle, create a situation in which you are lifting almost nothing at the bottom of the lift, you can't really continue that trend indefinitely, otherwise people aren't even going to be doig much of the lifting.

    So, in my humble opinion, you need compromise. Obviously, some will want to stay raw, others equipment. I doubt that will ever be remedied. But it would be nice if there were stricter standards in place such that you could provide a means to 'reasonably' offset some of the risk of injury without grossly inflating one's numbers, or performing most of the lift for them. I mean, people can do whatever they please, but if those sorts of standards were more prevalent (and the use of crazy gear to put up crazy numbers less so), I think you would see a lot more uniformity in powerlifting as a sport.

  4. #3
    Baby Seal Clubber ElPietro's Avatar
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    If there weren't bench shirts, 100% of powerlifters that try to attain a high level of standard would have some form of shoulder injury. I agree that there should be shirt standards, as I said in the other thread. The powerlifting mentality is one to push yourself constantly, and at some point in your training, or competition when the adrenaline is going, you try to go for some record press and go from pause you will blow out your shoulder. So yeah, there is a measure of protection, only it's been taken MUCH further with the new technology in shirts allowed in some feds. I'm just lucky that the IPF is most prevalent where I am, so I am part of a large organization with strict standards, so lotta guys to gauge lifts against. Still, at the top, the IPF is still going to have a majority of anabolics using competitors, so I am not fooled by the drug-free claim...it's a big issue, but one that's almost impossible to fully eradicate.
    Last edited by ElPietro; 11-26-2004 at 11:31 AM.
    Deadlifts are like women, they'll hurt you everytime, but they'll also make you a man. - Me

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    A low voter turnout is an indication of fewer people going to the polls. -- Dan Quayle

    If do right, no can defense. -- Mr. Miyagi

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    I can picture in my mind a world without war, a world without hate. And I can picture us attacking that world, because they'd never expect it.

    Is there anything more beautiful than a beautiful, beautiful flamingo, flying across in front of a beautiful sunset? And he's carrying a beautiful rose in his beak, and also he's carrying a very beautiful painting with his feet. And also, you're drunk.

    Current FFFA Enforcer

  5. #4
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    You dont know much if you think it doesnt help prevent injuries. People that lift in competions need a shirt of they will get blown away. Why dont you try one out and see if you can even get 30 more pounds out of it. We all know why people dont like shirts, If you lift competively you better have one. Its like playing college baseball with wood bats against a team with alumium. But if you cant swing the bat its still not going to help ya much.

  6. #5
    Banned The_Brick's Avatar
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    That's a good point ElP, in the heat of competition it would be possible to blow a shoulder out and with all the insurance BS in organised sports I guess there is more people for such equipment in those feds than against. Forgive my argument as it is more of an idealistic argument than a logical one as you have mentioned. I'm glad you agree the sport would be improved with synchronisation of rules between the major federations.

  7. #6
    Banned phreak's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ElPietro
    If there weren't bench shirts, 100% of powerlifters that try to attain a high level of standard would have some form of shoulder injury.
    Proof, please. I see this assumption thrown around constantly but it is never backed up. Sure, there are a lot of people who got injured while lifting raw. Guess what? The vast majority of lifters lift raw most of the time, so obviously the greater absolute number of injuries will come from benching raw. But I yet have to see the "raw is more damaging in-and-of itself"-claim validated.

    An interesting thing I read a while ago was about Metal Militia training. I don't remember the author or the exact wording (if someone knows what article I'm talking about: please hook me up), but it was one of the original MM-crew saying something about MM-training being not for the faint of heart -- because they were almost always training hurt. If shirted benching is so much safer, then why are they almost always hurt?


    Before you get your panties in a bunch, ElPietro, I will say that I basically agree with the gist of your post. One world, one fed, one set of rules, consistent judging, raw and single-ply. (Being that as it may: I myself am defecting from IPF to WPC, as they locally can offer me more meets. Unfortunately their judging is far too lax IMO, but ya can't have it all. )

    And I would like some form of acknowledgement: haven't had a confrontation with you in quite a while.

  8. #7
    Baby Seal Clubber ElPietro's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by phreak
    Proof, please. I see this assumption thrown around constantly but it is never backed up. Sure, there are a lot of people who got injured while lifting raw. Guess what? The vast majority of lifters lift raw most of the time, so obviously the greater absolute number of injuries will come from benching raw. But I yet have to see the "raw is more damaging in-and-of itself"-claim validated.

    An interesting thing I read a while ago was about Metal Militia training. I don't remember the author or the exact wording (if someone knows what article I'm talking about: please hook me up), but it was one of the original MM-crew saying something about MM-training being not for the faint of heart -- because they were almost always training hurt. If shirted benching is so much safer, then why are they almost always hurt?


    Before you get your panties in a bunch, ElPietro, I will say that I basically agree with the gist of your post. One world, one fed, one set of rules, consistent judging, raw and single-ply. (Being that as it may: I myself am defecting from IPF to WPC, as they locally can offer me more meets. Unfortunately their judging is far too lax IMO, but ya can't have it all. )

    And I would like some form of acknowledgement: haven't had a confrontation with you in quite a while.
    Yes, we haven't "argued" in some time you know nothin' euro foo!

    For the first statement, it's pretty obvious. Maybe not 100%, but what is the area of your body that will generally be the part that goes first on bench? The shoulder. Now training in the gym is different than competing at a meet. First you have all the chances from benching heavy in the gym to injure your shoulder. Since you are continuously pushing yourself to find your limit. Then, when the meet comes, and adrenaline is pumping, and you hit that Bench PR on your 2nd attempt, and you figure what the hell, let's go for a new record on the third. You are less inclined to quit on a lift infront of a crowd, which means you have a much greater chance of injury, particularly on bench. Add up all the gym time over the year, all the meets, and your chances of injury are going to continuously go up.

    As for metal militia guys, well I think almost all powerlifters could lay claim to "always training hurt." Find me a powerlifter that doesn't regularly train hurt, and I wouldn't really consider them one. But you could even argue use of the bench shirt is what allows them to train hurt, so that is one point that we can discard as irrelevant.

    Defecting from IPF? And I thought my respect for you couldn't go any lower!

    ps. my panties are always in a bunch.
    Deadlifts are like women, they'll hurt you everytime, but they'll also make you a man. - Me

    Friends don't let friends do dumbell kickbacks. - Me

    ElP is the smartest man in the world. - Gyno Rhino

    A low voter turnout is an indication of fewer people going to the polls. -- Dan Quayle

    If do right, no can defense. -- Mr. Miyagi

    Deep Thoughts by Jack Handey:

    I can picture in my mind a world without war, a world without hate. And I can picture us attacking that world, because they'd never expect it.

    Is there anything more beautiful than a beautiful, beautiful flamingo, flying across in front of a beautiful sunset? And he's carrying a beautiful rose in his beak, and also he's carrying a very beautiful painting with his feet. And also, you're drunk.

    Current FFFA Enforcer

  9. #8
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    This guy on my powerlifting team seperated his shoulder twice doing raw bench with heavy weight, but now because of the shirt - he says that he has been able to lift without pain for the first time in years. So, I think that the shirt really does protect the shoulders in some way.

  10. #9
    Banned phreak's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ElPietro
    Yes, we haven't "argued" in some time you know nothin' euro foo!



    For the first statement, it's pretty obvious. Maybe not 100%, but what is the area of your body that will generally be the part that goes first on bench? The shoulder. Now training in the gym is different than competing at a meet. First you have all the chances from benching heavy in the gym to injure your shoulder. Since you are continuously pushing yourself to find your limit. Then, when the meet comes, and adrenaline is pumping, and you hit that Bench PR on your 2nd attempt, and you figure what the hell, let's go for a new record on the third. You are less inclined to quit on a lift infront of a crowd, which means you have a much greater chance of injury, particularly on bench. Add up all the gym time over the year, all the meets, and your chances of injury are going to continuously go up.
    I agree that people do silly things when they are performing in front of an audience. But IMO shirts are not meant to protect people from their own stupidity/carelessness/delusions of grandure. They are meant to protect the shoulders. And in itself would be a good thing -- if that was all it did. But I disagree with heavy raw benching automatically being bad for the shoulders. This is the way I see it: people constantly talk about working on their groove when they bench shirted. Yet how many raw lifters (even the strongest) seriously look at their form? Most bench the way they were taught on day 1. Maybe slightly different, but essentially the same. They feel comfortable with what they do, so they continue to do it... without actually finding out whether or not it actually is the best technique for their individual build. I have seen quite a number of big benchers whose technique sucked arse. Then they put on a shirt and suddenly they start looking at how they press. For some that is still on time, for others it is too late. If all lifters would critically look at their technique then a lot of shoulder problems could be avoided/fixed.


    As for metal militia guys, well I think almost all powerlifters could lay claim to "always training hurt." Find me a powerlifter that doesn't regularly train hurt, and I wouldn't really consider them one. But you could even argue use of the bench shirt is what allows them to train hurt, so that is one point that we can discard as irrelevant.
    Too bad I can't find the article, because I think he actually stated that they were hurt more often and more severely. But I may be mistaken.


    Defecting from IPF? And I thought my respect for you couldn't go any lower!
    Damn, remind me not to tell you that I've gone straight now.

    Oops!

  11. #10
    Go Heels! MixmasterNash's Avatar
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    So, my basic conclusion is that if a lift cannot be done safely without a piece of equipment that also actively aids in the lift, a different lift should be chosen. Get rid of bench press as a competitive event if it can't be done safely.

    Bent pressing, anyone?

    In general, it must be said, I suppose I appreciate the strongman mentality than that of the powerlifter or olympic lifter, and the technique and grace of the olympic lifts over the power lifts.

  12. #11
    zen idiot Scott S's Avatar
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    *yawn*

    If the sport of powerlifting weren't happy where it is, it would change. The_Brick, I am sure that there are plenty of raw lifting organizations out there that you would love. Why you aren't spending all your time chatting those up is beyond me.

  13. #12
    Banned phreak's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Scott S
    *yawn*

    If the sport of powerlifting weren't happy where it is, it would change. The_Brick, I am sure that there are plenty of raw lifting organizations out there that you would love. Why you aren't spending all your time chatting those up is beyond me.
    There's a difference between the grass roots PLer and those who compete. The silent majority (at least over here) does not want equipment. Just those who compete do. And then only because otherwise they can't be competitive. Thank god I've outgrown that stage.

  14. #13
    Senior Member Sensei's Avatar
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    PL and equipment

    1) PL will never have mass appeal. It doesn't matter whether the lifters are clean, juiced, raw, or equipped. The average joe doesn't give a rat's ass, so any arguments about equipment ruining PL's image are a waste of time IMHO.

    2) Equipment DOES reduce injury and lengthen longevity in the sport. Do you think Louie Simmons or Ed Coan would still be competing if they could wear no supportive equipment?

    3) You can't compare records of old w. equipped lifts. You just can't - like it or not.

    4) Equipment is NOT cheating. It is within the rules. If I enter a raw meet and slip on power briefs under my singlet, or tape something under my shirt to decrease the distance the bar has to travel, or enter a drug-free competition on the juice, then it's cheating.

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