T Nation

Bench Shirt Form Critique

today was my first day in my shirt. getting ready for a shirted meet in 3 months. I got 405 down to a 3 board for an easy 5, 500 down to a 2 board for an easy 3 (felt like I could have done like 10), then when I went down to a one board with 585 the weight flew up but went over my face and the spotters had to save me.

but until it went over my face it felt like nothing. how do I keep it from going over my face? and I know it looks like my butt comes up but it never leaves the bench. I have a huge bubble butt, I can move a lot without breaking contact.

It flew back over your face because you weren’t disciplined enough to use the groove of the shirt. You flared your elbows out a split-second too early and as a result you missed the lift. That being said, first day with 585 on the bar is pretty good.

I have to say that the rep was ugly as sin. You never looked tight, even right after the hand off. Probably the biggest reason for this is that you’ve just never handled that kind of weight before and you’re getting used to the shirt.

At this point, you should focus on the fundamentals:

Did you have your belly full of air the entire time? Did you pull the bar into your chest when the shirt locked up? Are your lats engaged at the very start of the bench? Is your entire back and lower body excruciatingly tight?

I hope you didn’t jump from 495 right to 585. Personally I would have done a few more reps, taking smaller jumps. Now is the time to learn the shirt.

What meet are you doing and specifically what fed is it? That was a very gracious touch and you should seek to emulate the meet conditions in the gym.

[quote]frankjl wrote:
It flew back over your face because you weren’t disciplined enough to use the groove of the shirt. You flared your elbows out a split-second too early and as a result you missed the lift. That being said, first day with 585 on the bar is pretty good.

I have to say that the rep was ugly as sin. You never looked tight, even right after the hand off. Probably the biggest reason for this is that you’ve just never handled that kind of weight before and you’re getting used to the shirt.

At this point, you should focus on the fundamentals:

Did you have your belly full of air the entire time? Did you pull the bar into your chest when the shirt locked up? Are your lats engaged at the very start of the bench? Is your entire back and lower body excruciatingly tight?

I hope you didn’t jump from 495 right to 585. Personally I would have done a few more reps, taking smaller jumps. Now is the time to learn the shirt.

What meet are you doing and specifically what fed is it? That was a very gracious touch and you should seek to emulate the meet conditions in the gym.[/quote]

I did jump straight from 5 to 585… 5 just felt so easy I said fuck it let’s go big. I had planned on going from 5 to 6 then backed out

And as far as meet conditions go I agree, I just didn’t think to pause it.

SPF is the federation

When should I flare my elbows?

And as far as the meet goes it’s 12 weeks away. How should each week look as far as weight and boards and reps go? Because I have no clue how to lay it out.

There’s a “right time” to flare your elbows, depends on the shirt and how it fits you. Keep in mind that once you flare your elbows, you essentially lose the stretch of the chest plate. This is tough because the chest plate can almost force your elbows out. That looks like a Titan. I’ve never used a Titan so maybe someone who has can chime in.

As far as how to structure your training –

We go in our shirts every other week this far out from the meet. Don’t be scared to take smaller jumps to get some work in the shirt. Maybe once every 2-3 sessions we’ll work off 1-3 boards just to feel some heavy weight. As others have mentioned, this is not a replacement for learning to touch because there is a huge disparity between the two.

Right now, you should spend sometime learning the the groove of the shirt. As many as 6 working sets of 1-3 reps and you’ll start to feel the groove and know where you need to put the bar to get the most out of it. I would have done something like:

405 x3, 455x3, 495x3, 535x3, 565x2, 585x1

The reason I asked about the federation is that some Feds require a ‘start’ command – I don’t believe the SPF does.

[quote]frankjl wrote:
There’s a “right time” to flare your elbows, depends on the shirt and how it fits you. Keep in mind that once you flare your elbows, you essentially lose the stretch of the chest plate. This is tough because the chest plate can almost force your elbows out. That looks like a Titan. I’ve never used a Titan so maybe someone who has can chime in.

As far as how to structure your training –

We go in our shirts every other week this far out from the meet. Don’t be scared to take smaller jumps to get some work in the shirt. Maybe once every 2-3 sessions we’ll work off 1-3 boards just to feel some heavy weight. As others have mentioned, this is not a replacement for learning to touch because there is a huge disparity between the two.

Right now, you should spend sometime learning the the groove of the shirt. As many as 6 working sets of 1-3 reps and you’ll start to feel the groove and know where you need to put the bar to get the most out of it. I would have done something like:

405 x3, 455x3, 495x3, 535x3, 565x2, 585x1

The reason I asked about the federation is that some Feds require a ‘start’ command – I don’t believe the SPF does.[/quote]

No the SPF does not require a start command. You can start the decent the second you bring it off the rack.

But the rest sounds good!
So I don’t need to be in it every week? Everybody seems to just have different opinions on that. I’ve been told every other week, 2 weeks in one week out, once every 3 weeks, and every week once your 12 weeks out. So I don’t know. When it comes to that I guess I’ll just go by feel.

Do you think I can make 500 something touch? That 585 was hard to touch to a one board, but then again I had the shirt jacked. So who knows. I’m a 500 raw bencher, and still want to gain 25 pounds body weight between now and the meet. So if I can learn the shirt the sky’s the limit