T Nation

Board Presses in Shirt

I’m into my third week of Brian Schwabs program. His video outlines 3 programs:

-4/3/2 board (for problems with lockout)
-3/2/1 board (for problems off of chest)
-raw bench program

On the ME day you’re doing triples off of a board in a shirt and on the assistance day you’re doing some raw board work or speed work every 3rd week.

I see some similarities between this approach and how Bill Crawfords guys trained. The chief advantage for me so far is that I feel like I’m learning the groove of the shirt alot better than when I would just train raw and then throw the shirt on a few times before the meet and hit an opener.

Maybe I’m over-anaylzing things, I’m planning on finishing up this 12 week training cycle using this program anyways, but I wanted to get some opinions on this approach to bench training. I vaguely remember an article I read by Uncle Louie that said something like “we tried doing shirted board presses and we got really good at them…but it didn’t carry over to the meet.”


I’m not a big fan of shirted board work. I think it changes the groove and that for most folks getting used to benching in the shirt without boards is the way to meet success. I’ve had training partners in the past who’ve used a lot of shirted board work and they were crushing weights off of two and three boards. It didn’t end up translating to their full range shirted bench, however. That isn’t to say I don’t like board work. I do – I just use it raw and keep the shirt work full range.

kind of what I expected but didn’t want to hear…I’m going to give this thing a fair shake…9 more weeks.

Definitely agree with burt. I think boards in a shirt hurt more than they help unless you are a pretty experienced bencher.

[quote]StormTheBeach wrote:
Definitely agree with burt. I think boards in a shirt hurt more than they help unless you are a pretty experienced bencher.[/quote]

One of the guys I train with told me that George Halbert benched 900 from a 1 board but I’m pretty sure he never hit 800 in competition. As a matter of fact, I think his best was 683? but I’m not sure

I’d say we’ve got a pretty good consensus here that the shirted board approach isn’t optimal. I wasn’t aware that the Schwab approach was shirted board work until after I purchased and watched the DVD. I’m three weeks in, starting week 4 on Sunday so I might as well continue to play guinea pig and stick with the plan I had and if it fails, chalk it up as a learning experience…I’ll know for sure in the end.

I’ve got to say a large part of me is skeptical only because I vaguely remember a Westside article…and this is reinforced by what you guys are saying.

Schwab advertises a 25-50 lbs. increase in 12 weeks on a shirted bench and 10% on a raw press (if you run the raw program). Obviously I’d love for all of this to come to fruition but I have my doubts.

I’ll keep you posted.