T Nation

Bench Shirt - What Should I Choose?


#1

I have a problem with choosing right bench shirt. Im 470lbs RAW bencher, and I have no experience with a shirt, but I know I want a multiply shirt with open back. My RAW bench style is very bench shirt friendly i would say, lot of triceps and back dominant, a lot of tucking, somewhat big arch, benching to the belly (Scott Mendelson style i would say)
From what I know the choice is between SDP and Metal Jack shirt. Which shirt would suit me better? what are the differences between them?

I heard that SDP is the best but it stretch very fast and loses “pop” quickly and can explode, on the other hand i heard Metal Jack shirt is harder to touch especially for longer arms lifters (Im 6’3)

I do not have any meet in the near future so I have time to learn new shirt.


#2

Welcome. Right now, you should not purchase any bench shirt, and I will explain why. Regardless of your raw bench style, you haven’t mentioned having a team of other shirt users who will be mentoring you and teaching you how to bench in gear. This is a non-negotiable; if you are not surrounded by other experienced shirt users you are wasting your time. Any shirt tight enough to do its job needs assistance to be put on. Plus your team is responsible for instructing how to use the particular shirt the group chooses to use. Find a geared lifting group feasibly near to you and buy what they tell you to buy. And then listen to what they say. If you want to lift in gear, this is now a team sport.


#3

Inzer is built for pure power.

Metal is built to last.

I have a metal jack and love it. I’ve tried a metal ACE and single ply M. Jack is great IMO, especially for learning shirted work.

IF you size it correctly it will take someone to help you put it on but with bench slippers, baby powder, and a power rack you can figure it out fairly easily.

You will need either a really good rack setup with safety pins, a bench with proper safety hooks , plenty of good spotters.

With some glorious use of the internet you can network with some people who can do video reviews for you and help dial in your shirt work. I personally like going metal jack, collar high on chest, 1 breath 3 rep air boards to dial in technique


#4

@JonathanByrd may have some input on the Inzer, I’m a metal whore.


#5

This is actually not possible especially in my neighborhood.Of course I will have 2 spotters but without shirt experience.


#6

Good to hear that.

Of course I will have 2 spotters + rack with safety pins + safety chains.

Im on typical Westside routine, and I thought that, incorporation of the shirt sometimes can be fun and to serve as big overload for upper body


#7

SDP is by far the best shirt on the market. I have had the same one for years, if broke in properly they last.

With that said if you just want one for fun, pick up any old used one. If you really want to learn the shirt you may have to travel some or hire an experienced coach. Best of luck


#8

I don’t have tons of experience in gear, but jumping straight into a multiply shirt with no previous experience in gear doesn’t seem like a good idea. If I were you, I’d get a single ply shirt first and work on maxing that out before upgrading to multiply.

I’ve benched twice in a borrowed Super Katana that was just a bit oversized for me. The first session, I benched around 130 lbs over my best raw. The second session, 180 lbs over. Point being, I think you should max out your carry over from a single ply shirt before ever considering multiply.


#9

The problem is my shoulder circumference… over 66. And a non-existent bench shirt market in my country.


#10

These days it looks like single ply isn’t far behind multi-ply, with Blaine Sumner benching 1000+. I have no experience with this stuff, but from the sounds of things you would want to go with a lighter shirt to start. For someone with no intention of competing in gear it would make more sense to use a slingshot (the black one is double ply) or other similar product.


#11

A slingshot probably wouldn’t be a bad first step. They’re not terribly expensive. The needed help with the shirts and suits is why I don’t have them. I’d love to do geared lifting but no one in rural Kentucky lifts in gear.


#12

See this video - 450kg multi-ply slingshot bench:


#13

The Metal M is a super easy single ply shirt, I’ve tried an inzer phenom I think and it was brutal.

The metal M is super easy to learn and you can even jack it down tight for more poundage.

Some single ply shirts are worse than multiple IMO due to how overly tight they are to try and get the most poundage out.

Also Blaine is a freak and it excites me.


#14

So I suppose the Metal M would be a good shirt for someone new to equipped lifting, but at the same time if there is no plan to compete in gear then I’m not sure it would be worth it. At least I wouldn’t bother personally.

I’m wondering, how much is Blaine’s raw bench? I think he was in the mid 500’s when he was competing raw, can a single ply shirt really add over 400lbs?


#15

For some people.

Gear is fun and different. Plus it’ll extend the longevity of the lifter if done right


#16

I’ve never dabbled with gear before (beyond playing with a black SlingShot, which I realize isn’t gear), but I have my eye on a used Metal Jack shirt that isn’t too far from me and in my size (according to the sizing chart). It’ll cost me $125, which appears to be decent since they are $250+ new.
Out of curiosity, what size do you wear @corstijeir? Do they tend to fit pretty true to their sizing chart? Since I’m new should I be buying a slightly larger size?
My coach has some experience (1-2yrs) with geared benching, but nobody else I know does. He was not against me jumping into 2-ply rather than working my way up from 1-ply like a lot have suggested.
More or less just searching for a thumbs up before I commit to the purchase, because I’m a cheap bastard and require justification for any purchase larger than a large black coffee. Thanks fellas.


#17

I got a 52 shirt.

That’s based off a 42 chest, 52 shoulder at the time.

I have small arms also.

I’m able to put my shirt on by myself ( minus the velco ) so it could always be tighter. To start finding one that fits just about right or a size loose is probably the way to go versus trying to nail that perfect tight fit.


#18

Also you must commit, you’ve spoken about it, it shall happen.


#19

Awesome, looks like we are very close in size (43 chest, 53 shoulder). My arms aren’t that small though (subtle brag), so that could potentially be an issue. It is a 52 shirt. You mention that you have a little room in yours, so I think I’ll roll the dice.

My coach said that equipped lifting is 100x more addicting than crack. I’m looking forward to it.


#20

I too look forward to you using it. Yeah you’ll be fine.

I would personally work on 3 rep 1 breath sets for a while. No board, just some good spotters. Basically lower it until the shirt starts to lock, squeeze it down a bit further then press. Just build the motion and strength.