T Nation

Bench Shirts

I just got a new inzer bench shirt. It is the first one I have ever owned or used. I tried it on on Saturday. I had to have help of course to get it on. Well I started with 135 then 225 and then 275 and it still did not go all the way down which is fine. But it just hurt so bad in my armpits at the mid point I did not want to try anything more. Again this is the first time ever trying a shirt. I was just wondering if it is supposed to hurt so bad regardless of the weight. Thanks

Yep. Bench shirts are supposed to hurt. Also- don’t use them for your warm up sets. I never even bothered to put mine on until I was ready for my max lift. Then I would have 2-3 guys help me put the damn thing. I would perform one set with about 80-90% of my max. Then rest 3-4 minutes- and then perform my max lift.

As an aside- if the shirts aren’t mandated by the contest rules- skipt it. They are bullshit.

a what?? (oops, michelle is now dodging flames for not looking it up myself…)

So how much do they improve your bench by? I would never wear one (no offense) but then again I don’t compete! I’ve heard 50 pounds or so on a 400lb bench.

Thanks for the feedback. I have never used one and am going into a competition where everyone is using them. I have no idea how much they add yet because it hurt so much with the lower weight I did not go any higher. I am hoping to use it to break a personal goal but I wanted to know if the pain in the armpit area from the shirt was normal. Thanks

i keep reading about these bench shirts… what the hell are they?

JohnC, No, it is not supposed to hurt THAT much. Yes, it kinda pinches in the pits and you will have bruises. Did you have a wrinkle at all near the pits? Here’s what I do, apply baby powder around the shoulder, chest, and pit area, and have 2 people on either side to assist putting it on over the shoulders and tri’s then grab onto something with your arms in bench position, have them pull hard on the sides, front and back leaving no wrinkles, with all seams even. You need 2 bench shirts, one for practice to get used to the things, and a 2nd fresh one for the day of the contest. They work and will put 10 to 25lbs on your 1rm.

Buy a denim w/ velcro…it’s much easier to get in and less painful. Ditch the poly.
Jim

Brian Batcheldor seems to think they can put over 100 lbs on someone’s bench in certain cases. Call me crazy, but that sounds like cheating yourself (not to mention painful)unless you compete and have to use the “equipment” in order to stay in the game. Kind of like putting a rocket engine on a javelin to improve your throwing distance.

Depends. Some people can improve their bench by as much as 50 pounds or so. Others gain nothing. I never achieved any benefit from wearing one. I could bench the same with or without one. My advice- practice wearing it for heavy lifts for a few weeks before your contest. If you get used to it and it helps you- wear it. If not- ditch it. I hate to take issue with what someone else said- but do not buy two bench shirts. One is more than enough

I was actually planning on trying it out for a couple of weeks before the competition to see if it was worth it. Also I can only use a single ply poly in this comp. I have never competed before so I wanted to make a good showing. I appreciate the feedback I am going to make sure it is on a little better and hopefully it will not hurt so much the next time. Currently I can bench between 445-460 raw I am hoping the shirt might get me to the 500 mark. I am competing in the 220 men’s open division. Oh well thanks again.

bench press shirts are the biggest cheat i can think of. why not just bench what u can bench without any help.

WHAT THE FUCK IS A BENCH SHIRT GOD DAMNIT!

The reason to buy two bench shirts is because the practice shirt gets stretched out and is not as effective. The reason to wear a shirt at all, is because you are at a disadvantage if all other contestants are wearing one. Yes, I think this is silly,if everyone is wearing one there is no WEIGHT advantage if they all know how to use it properly. The other reason is for safety. Supposedly, it is SAFER (I have no idea if there have been any actual studies)so you have less possibility of blowing out your shoulder or pec on your 1RM, just like knee wraps, belts, squat suits, etc are supposed to assist and protect you when you are making a maximun effort.

Yo Spencer, a bench shirt is a thick rubber like shirt worn by competitive powerlifters. The shirts are so tight and constricting that they help you explode the weight up. For the general athlete/lifter you don’t need to worry about using bench shirts.

Hey JohnC! let us know how you do in your competition. Good Luck!

thanx NK!

good luck in the comp. if its a local one that 450# should get you in the top three easy at 220#. I used to enter every bench contest around when I was 18-22, I tried a shirt and found it way to uncomfortable even though it added aprox.70# to my bench, so I never used it in comp. but let me tell you how great you feel when everyone else has one on and you bench in a tank top and still win, it feels incredible. just thought you might want to try that first 'cause like I said 450# at 220# in pretty damn good