Guys who bench shirted, please answer a question for me. When you get to heavy numbers in bench, 500 or whatever, is it “safer” to bench shirted? I’ve heard the arguement that your shoulder is at huge risk with heavy loads and you can handle a lot more from a structural standpoint proportionally with a shirt.
just curious if that is a factor, or if its just pushing bigger numbers.[/quote]
I think the shirts were better for your shoulders back before they got out of hand.
The more people realised they could get more weight with better shirts, the more engineering went into them, and eventually federations had to make limits on the ones that were allowed and which ones weren’t.
I think this caused more separation in powerlifting federations, but the ones who allowed the better shirts were getting more sponsorships by the companies making the shirts, which lead to more money for the federation, and more money for the sponsors.
There has since become a lot of technique in using the better shirts, so it’s not as easy as putting on the shirt and adding 50lbs.
Now a big part of the competition is learning how to get the most out of the shirt, along with being strong enough to support what the shirt can give you. So, if you have 2 people with the same strength, one may know more about how to use the shirt to get more out of it, and win the competition. That doesn’t mean he cheated, since the both were allowed to use the shirt, it just means the guy who won took more time to learn the shirt.
Ultimately, the guy who put in more work will probably end up beating the guy who put in less work, both in the gym hitting the weights, and in the gym learning the shirt.