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Thread: Bench Shirt Training

  1. #1
    Take Two Ruffian's Avatar
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    Bench Shirt Training

    Ok, most of ya'll know that Deeder and I have gotten into powerlifting. This has nothing to do with Deeder so you can forget about him from this point on-this has everything to do with ME! Hahaha

    Anyway, I am going to be buying a bench shirt in the next little while here- Either an Inzer Rage (altho- too expensive for me right now), Inzer Heavy Duty or a Titan F6. Just waiting for a good deal atm. Anyway, my question is:

    How much time should I allot to train with my shirt *on*? Should I plan on meeting with the PL head honcho to have him help me use it, or should I just toy with it myself? The programme Im doing right now its made for shirted benchers, but the numbers are for me lifting RAW. Should I plan on testing my max after or during, and should I try to do a meet with the shirt *on* before nationals (I need to do a meet before nationals anyway) or will it matter?

    Lots of questions I know, just dont quite know what to expect from this whole "bench shirt" thing.
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    Age: 22
    Height: 5' 5.5"
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  2. #2
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    Shirt Training

    If you have an arch, or are working on one, go with the titan F6 (single-ply).
    The first time in the shirt, you should work board presses, starting with a 4 and working down to maybe a 2. Don't try and touch the first time out, it will be an exercise in self-restraint. Also train with someone who has been using shirts, it will aid in your injury prevention. If you are going to lift in a shirt, train in a shirt, check out the articles on the westside barbell site, or look into a metal militia type program, or perhaps one from Ryan "Benchmonster" Kennelly, Mike Wolfe and Vin D. are also great resources on this forum and would be glad to give you some pointers. You don't necessarily need to do a meet with the shirt on, before nat's, but you should train in it every other week at first to learn the groove, which more than likely is much different than your RAW one. Good Luck

  3. #3
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    you'll definatly need someone to help you train with it, and you need to spend enough time training with it as to get use to it.

    i use a inzer blast for working out, though it is very loose on my and doesnt give me much gain at all (maybe 5lbs at most) I use it for working out to prevent injury as i was having problems with my shoulders before i got it.

    I also bought a titian F6 i was going to start using for competitions, reason i got that one was all the people that were lifting well were using it so i thought id try it out. it is made for people who have a good arch in their back and suposably helps keep the arms in the right groove with it.
    well i have yet been able to lift more with that shirt then i can raw. I definatly need more training on it to make it effective. I havent even been able to bench 315 with it were as raw i can do 315 for 3's or 4's. Im not sure if i need a big belly for that shirt or just havent loaded the right weight on it or learned the groove. I need alot more training and instruction for that shirt.

    so basically your first shirt, dont get it to tight, but not to loose where it wont help you. You will need plenty time to train with it and someone knowlegable to help you with it.

  4. #4
    Super Moderator vdizenzo's Avatar
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    I learned from the master Bill Crawford. Wear the shirt almost every week. I go three weeks in and one week out. I also practiced triples in the shirt for years to perfect my form. I wrote an article for Elite, but I cannot post links yet because I'm a newb.

    Seriously, find guys who know the shirt to train with. I used to travel six plus hours round trip on Saturday's to train with the MM. Then I used to travel around three hours round trip during the week to train with Glen Chabot. Pick the brains of the best. They all love to talk training because they are good at it. It all depends on what you want and what you are willing to sacrifice. Good luck.

  5. #5
    lockupgym.com waynedang's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by vdizenzo View Post
    I learned from the master Bill Crawford. Wear the shirt almost every week. I go three weeks in and one week out. I also practiced triples in the shirt for years to perfect my form. I wrote an article for Elite, but I cannot post links yet because I'm a newb.

    Seriously, find guys who know the shirt to train with. I used to travel six plus hours round trip on Saturday's to train with the MM. Then I used to travel around three hours round trip during the week to train with Glen Chabot. Pick the brains of the best. They all love to talk training because they are good at it. It all depends on what you want and what you are willing to sacrifice. Good luck.
    http://www.elitefts.com/documents/art_of_triples.htm

    There it is read up!!!
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  6. #6
    Wolfy!!!!! bigbadwolfe's Avatar
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    Right now 8 weeks out from the Arnold I'm in my shirt every other week. I'm rotating from Raw Band work to Heavy Shirt work every week. And I'm in the process of breaking in a new shirt right now. We are working it down with boards over the course of the next few weeks I'll be on my chest. I'll take a few around my opener and the 2 weeks before the Arnold I'll be out of it til then.

    Best advice find someone in the area,like Vin said even if you have to drive some. But find them and get the knowledge they have.

    I myself 2 and a half yrs ago gave up my Saturday nights just so I can be in bed by 10 pm so I can be on the Road Sunday mornings at 5am to be in Columbus by 7am to train at Westside. Could I train later? Yeah but I train with one of the Legends of the sport George Halbert and that is worth giving up my Saturday nights for to me
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  7. #7
    Breaker of Skulls Guido's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by smokinHawk View Post
    you'll definatly need someone to help you train with it, and you need to spend enough time training with it as to get use to it.

    i use a inzer blast for working out, though it is very loose on my and doesnt give me much gain at all (maybe 5lbs at most) I use it for working out to prevent injury as i was having problems with my shoulders before i got it.

    I also bought a titian F6 i was going to start using for competitions, reason i got that one was all the people that were lifting well were using it so i thought id try it out. it is made for people who have a good arch in their back and suposably helps keep the arms in the right groove with it.
    well i have yet been able to lift more with that shirt then i can raw. I definatly need more training on it to make it effective. I havent even been able to bench 315 with it were as raw i can do 315 for 3's or 4's. Im not sure if i need a big belly for that shirt or just havent loaded the right weight on it or learned the groove. I need alot more training and instruction for that shirt.

    so basically your first shirt, dont get it to tight, but not to loose where it wont help you. You will need plenty time to train with it and someone knowlegable to help you with it.
    That's weird that you can't bench more in the shirt than you can raw. First time used an F-6, I benched over 50 lbs more than my raw bench. Now I can get over 100 lbs out of it. It's all in the proper sizing and in your shirt benching technique.

    Ruffian - I definitely recommend starting with the board presses, and as you find the shirt "groove", slowly increase the weight on your board presses and lower the amount of boards that you use till you find a weight at which you can touch your chest. Some people may require more weight to touch their chest in the shirt than they can press out. If that's the case, then keep working on board press lockouts till your strength is there to press out a "full press" (one where the bar touches your chest).

    The thing with the F-6 is keeping a good arch, keeping your elbows tucked in, and touching lower on your chest than you would doing raw bench press. I touch at the bottom of my pecs, almost the bottom of my sternum. You're going to need side spotters, too, once you start doing full presses, depending on how much weight you are benching and who your spotter/lift-off person is. There may be times in the shirt where when you press up the bar may want to drift back over your face. Not to scare you, but it's part of the risks of benching in a shirt, so you need to have good, attentive spotters.

    Anyway, have fun and lift heavy weights!
    5'9" 195 lbs
    DL 600x1
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    SN 209x1 C+J 250x1


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  8. #8
    Take Two Ruffian's Avatar
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    Wow, thanks for all the advice you guys. Sorry it took me so long to post back, sickness mixed with doing more research on shirts made for a very busy little kristen.

    Anyway...

    Im definately going to go with the F6, for those of you who didnt check out the New Years vid (my first comp) I have a ton of arch in my back when I lift. Flexibility is not my problem (though it may be Deeders:evillaugh ). Everything I've heard about the F6 has been good, especially for ppl who arch as much as I do, it pretty much solidified it. The position I bench to is identical to the ideal position for the F6 (like Guido said, right by the bottom of your sternum, or in my case, below the boobs LOL)

    FitzG- I will definately look into the board press' seeing as they are the 'ideal' thing to train with from the sounds of things. The Training program I am currently on is made for someone with a bench shirt, Im just kinda jumping the gun. I dont have a huge bench press right now, but Ive only been training heavy for about 4 months (I just used to putz around) and have added close to 30 lbs onto my bench in that time. I still want to train RAW to help improve it more, so Ill probably plan on splitting my time in and out of the shirt (although, this first bench training cycle I will complete RAW because that is what the numbers are built towards. It will still give me a month to nationals to adapt to the shirt).

    SmokinHawk- Definately going to go for the "regular " fit, maybe the meet fit but I highly doubt it. No way Im going for the competition fit yet, I would just scare myself with the tightness. What do you guys think? Snug or somewhat tight for my first shirt? Keep in mind the uni student status, involving little money to upgrade :S

    Vin- I read your article, VERY helpful, and I will definately look into that. My problem will be the breathing, Ive gotten into a bit of a habit and now Im going to have to change it *pouts*. Theres a gym in our city which specializes in powerlifting-type training, and Ill probably try to get in there to work with them for a while. Hopefully I will make it, at least once, out to the town by our City where the head-honcho guy does his work. Only problem is that they seem to train when I have class, makes it slightly difficult to get out there.

    Wolfie- So much dedication... I just wish I wasnt in school, it would make it so much easier on the wallet and the sanity! LOL

    Guido- Thanks, Im sure Ill be asking ya some questions; especially if you've used this specific shirt before. The elbows are my biggest problem right now, the right one has a tendency to pronate *shakes fist* so Ive made a point of focusing very hard over the last few months on training it to NOT pronate. Ive gotten much better and it now only happens once in a while when I get extremely tired. As for the spotters, for right now I think Deeder should be able to do it by his lonesome, Im not quite at the 200-300 lb range yet lol. But I would flip if I was able to add even 20 lbs onto my bench in the first little while.. All ID have to do would be cut down 5 lbs and I would have a provincial record by my second competition :P I have to say Im really excited about this, just waiting for Titan to email me back about sizing.. They arent clear at all about sizing for women, they allude that it makes a difference but no one seems to specify how. *Shakes head*. I would ask you guys but none of the women on this board use bench shirts or even compete in powerlifting, and as far as I know (and I hope Im right), none of you guys wear bras...

    LOL, Thanks for the advice and Ill update you guys when I know more/ get my shirt in to start training. I just gotta wait the three weeks or so until it arrives *wrinkles nose*
    Last edited by Ruffian; 01-13-2007 at 12:08 PM.
    Stats:
    Age: 22
    Height: 5' 5.5"
    Weight: 180 lbs
    Max lifts: Squat:320 lbs, Bench: 195 lbs, Deadlift: 290 lbs.
    Max Comp. Total: 805 lbs

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  9. #9
    Senior Member Sensei's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Guido View Post
    That's weird that you can't bench more in the shirt than you can raw. First time used an F-6, I benched over 50 lbs more than my raw bench. Now I can get over 100 lbs out of it. It's all in the proper sizing and in your shirt benching technique.
    He could also be wearing the shirt wrong.
    A child does not learn to squat from the top down. In other words, he does not suddenly make a conscious decision one day to squat. Actually, he is squatting one day and make the conscious decision to stand. Squatting precedes standing in the developmental sequence. This is the way a child's brain learns to use the body as the child develops movement patterns. Therefore, a child is probably crawling, rocks back into a squatting position with the back completely relaxed and the hips completely flexed, and stands when he has enough hip strength. This approach makes a lot of sense and can be applied to relearning the deep squat movement if it is lost. -Gray Cook
    Lifting Clips: http://www.youtube.com/profile?user=johnnymnemonic2
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  10. #10
    lockupgym.com waynedang's Avatar
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    I would not recomend boards to a beginner in a shirt. Raw boards yes but not shirted. I feel you must be very good in a shirt to bench with boards. Learn the groove by doing triples in the shirt every week. That is what seems to work with the guys I train with.
    pain is inevitable suffering is optional

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  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by Guido View Post
    That's weird that you can't bench more in the shirt than you can raw. First time used an F-6, I benched over 50 lbs more than my raw bench. Now I can get over 100 lbs out of it. It's all in the proper sizing and in your shirt benching technique.
    I need alot of time and training with it. I Havent found the groove yet, and when i load enough weight to get it to touch, or go out of the groove to get it to touch im at an ackward position and cant push it up.
    also my chest is one of my strongest points which allows me to raw bench heavier, add a shirt to it you have to push with more of your tri's and they are trained right now to do what my chest can push.
    after a bench contest feb 24th, i am going to spend alot more time with my F6 starting with some board presses so i get into the groove and get used to it.
    Quote Originally Posted by Ruffian View Post
    SmokinHawk- Definately going to go for the "regular " fit, maybe the meet fit but I highly doubt it. No way Im going for the competition fit yet, I would just scare myself with the tightness. What do you guys think? Snug or somewhat tight for my first shirt? Keep in mind the uni student status, involving little money to upgrade :S

    I have to say Im really excited about this, just waiting for Titan to email me back about sizing.. They arent clear at all about sizing for women, they allude that it makes a difference but no one seems to specify how. *Shakes head*. I would ask you guys but none of the women on this board use bench shirts or even compete in powerlifting, and as far as I know (and I hope Im right), none of you guys wear bras...
    Laura phelps has posted a couple of times here, not sure what shirt she wears but she embarrasses my bench and makes my arms look small

    Quote Originally Posted by Sensei View Post
    He could also be wearing the shirt wrong.
    i do know how to wear it, it fits me very well to as they custom made it for me.
    i just need to get in the grove.

  12. #12
    Senior Member Sensei's Avatar
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    Well, I guess you have it figured out... but I agree w. Guido that if you are benching more raw than with the shirt, there is something wrong. I haven't tried an F6, but if you can touch the weight without a problem, it's either way too big or you are missing the groove by so much that it's a wonder you don't dump the bar on yourself. Oooor, you are wearing the shirt incorrectly (i.e hiking up the sleeves, have the neckline too high or low, etc).
    A child does not learn to squat from the top down. In other words, he does not suddenly make a conscious decision one day to squat. Actually, he is squatting one day and make the conscious decision to stand. Squatting precedes standing in the developmental sequence. This is the way a child's brain learns to use the body as the child develops movement patterns. Therefore, a child is probably crawling, rocks back into a squatting position with the back completely relaxed and the hips completely flexed, and stands when he has enough hip strength. This approach makes a lot of sense and can be applied to relearning the deep squat movement if it is lost. -Gray Cook
    Lifting Clips: http://www.youtube.com/profile?user=johnnymnemonic2
    Blog: http://squatrx.blogspot.com/

  13. #13
    Senior Member Anthony's Avatar
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    I don't know your overall numbers, but I think I saw your bench was below your bw? I would suggest that you should continue to lift raw until you can hit your bw any day of the week with ease. Build up a solid and respectable base of strength before playing around with equipment. It will serve you better in the long run, both from a safety/athletic/strength standpoint AND a competition standpoint.
    Facebook - BW166 SQ585 BP405 DL660 CL310

  14. #14
    Take Two Ruffian's Avatar
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    The provincial record in my weight class is only 2.5 kg above my bw. The provincial head honcho guy said I should get shirted because women especially get a ton out of shirts (I guess, as a rule, we have weaker chests then men). He said the earlier I start training with it the better, I agree though, I want to do a lot of training raw and definately would spend most of my time training RAW until I hit a point where I have to have the shirt. Im still making gains (Im continuing to add 5 lbs p/week on all my lifts, its killing me but Im able to do it) and Im hoping to be able to press 125 RAW by the end of this training cycle (I think I have one month left). That would mean I have added close to 50 lbs to my bench within 6 months, I think thats fairly respectable...

    Anyway, Titan still hasnt emailed me back about fitting, and Im not going to order anything until they do *Shrugs*.
    Stats:
    Age: 22
    Height: 5' 5.5"
    Weight: 180 lbs
    Max lifts: Squat:320 lbs, Bench: 195 lbs, Deadlift: 290 lbs.
    Max Comp. Total: 805 lbs

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  15. #15
    Senior Member Anthony's Avatar
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    I didn't mean to imply your lifts weren't respectable, but I wouldn't use the record as an example of what you could/should be doing. You are more than capable of benching your body weight for reps, let alone a 1RM. I suggest breaking the record raw, then consider equipment.
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  16. #16
    lockupgym.com waynedang's Avatar
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    Do not waste your time with Titan. It is best to get your gear from a Titan distributor. you will get your gear much faster and with better service. I would recomend ken Anderson.
    pain is inevitable suffering is optional

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  17. #17
    Take Two Ruffian's Avatar
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    LOL, anthony you make me laugh!

    Im just following the advice of this Jeff Butt guy, because he is a respectable lifter and has trained several ppl to the world level. I will take it into consideration though, especially since it seems like Titan isnt co-operating.

    Waynedang- do you have a link?
    Stats:
    Age: 22
    Height: 5' 5.5"
    Weight: 180 lbs
    Max lifts: Squat:320 lbs, Bench: 195 lbs, Deadlift: 290 lbs.
    Max Comp. Total: 805 lbs

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  18. #18
    Super Moderator vdizenzo's Avatar
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    I have worn shirts made by just about every make and company and I go with Inzer. I had a difficult time with Titan jmho.

  19. #19
    Take Two Ruffian's Avatar
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    Do you bench with an arch vin?
    Stats:
    Age: 22
    Height: 5' 5.5"
    Weight: 180 lbs
    Max lifts: Squat:320 lbs, Bench: 195 lbs, Deadlift: 290 lbs.
    Max Comp. Total: 805 lbs

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  20. #20
    lockupgym.com waynedang's Avatar
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    here ya go http://andersonpowerlifting.com/

    It is best to call ken he can get you sized right!
    Last edited by waynedang; 01-15-2007 at 11:50 AM.
    pain is inevitable suffering is optional

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  21. #21
    Super Moderator vdizenzo's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ruffian View Post
    Do you bench with an arch vin?
    I used to bench with a fairly decent arch for my size, that was when I was wearing denim. My Doubel Rage X does not allow for that much of an arch.

  22. #22
    Wannabebig Member
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    yeah

  23. #23
    Take Two Ruffian's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by bplugge1 View Post
    yeah
    Uhhh... ok?

    Ok, well I decided to put off the shirt for a little while. I ordered a lifting singlet (which I need anyway) and a belt, so when I get my shirt I dont have to worry about waiting for a belt to come in to play with it. Ill wait until after this 6 week cycle and then decide if its worth it to invest in the bench shirt at this point in time. That will still give mea little over a month to prepare (if i qualify for nationals) and if I dont qualify then at least I havnt wasted money on a shirt!

    Im still torn between them though, its like a constant battle in my head *wrinkles nose*
    Stats:
    Age: 22
    Height: 5' 5.5"
    Weight: 180 lbs
    Max lifts: Squat:320 lbs, Bench: 195 lbs, Deadlift: 290 lbs.
    Max Comp. Total: 805 lbs

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  24. #24
    Breaker of Skulls Guido's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by waynedang View Post
    here ya go http://andersonpowerlifting.com/

    It is best to call ken he can get you sized right!
    I second that. Ken Anderson is THE MAN.

    Another place I've used to get Titan stuff fast is www.plgearonline.com It is run by Priscilla Ribic, one of the best, if not THE best female powerlifters in the world. She holds many 148 lb records. She's also very nice and I'm sure would give you a ton of helpful advice.
    Last edited by Guido; 01-16-2007 at 03:37 PM.
    5'9" 195 lbs
    DL 600x1
    SQ 490x1 (raw)
    BP 430x1 (shirted), 320x1 (raw)
    SN 209x1 C+J 250x1


    My Training Journal
    www.illinipowerlifting.org

    "Most people don't want to learn new things. They only want to hear about things that validate crap they're already doing." - Mike Boyle

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