T Nation

Breaking In Shirt

I got an Inzer Phenom shirt today, I tried a Rage, Rage X, and a standard denim. I liked the Phenom the best. To me the shirt felt the best on me, and I felt like I could control it easier. When I was doing board presses working down from 5 boards trying to get to the chest. On the 3rd board I struggled to even pull 315 to it. So I upped the weight to 405 and tried again. I got it. I put on 450 for the 2nd board and barely touched, but I could not control the weight. The bar felt like it was moving in and out of the grove and going in a J motion. Anyone got any ideas as to why and what I can do to fix this?

First thing, wet the shirt down all across the chest area and the arms with water. This will get the shirt to flex a little better, making it easier to lower weights.

Is your shirt open or closed back? The groove is different depending on this detail.

Feeling wobbly like that is actually normal the first time in a shirt. Shirt benching uses lots of stabilizer muscles, especially in the back, that you are not used to using. It will take a couple of sessions to get used to this.

Let me know exactly which shirt it is and I can help a little more.

Shawn

[quote]chtdrmn wrote:
I got an Inzer Phenom shirt today, I tried a Rage, Rage X, and a standard denim. I liked the Phenom the best. To me the shirt felt the best on me, and I felt like I could control it easier. When I was doing board presses working down from 5 boards trying to get to the chest. On the 3rd board I struggled to even pull 315 to it. So I upped the weight to 405 and tried again. I got it. I put on 450 for the 2nd board and barely touched, but I could not control the weight. The bar felt like it was moving in and out of the grove and going in a J motion. Anyone got any ideas as to why and what I can do to fix this?[/quote]

It’s a single ply closed back. I did spray the chest of the shirt with some water i didnt soak it but made it damp the shirt isnt too tight either because it didnt cut into my arms i could feel the pressure but it left very little marks

I have a 2 ply open back sccop neck phenom…i like it a lot…the first few times i used it i couldnt get it ot budge…the phenom works best for those who liek to lower the back quicky and are failry fast benchers…jsut keep working it down…spend a few week sworking at the 2-3 board level…also use about 70% of your max and add lots of chains 120-200 pounds of chain and work on touching with that…it helped me a ton…for example my best bench is 505 and i use 385 with 120-200 pound of chain and do triples at first and add chain and touch a few singles…rb

A couple things come to mind. First, make sure you are taking a huge breath of air before you lower the bar and are pushing your chest up to meet it.

Additionally, I don’t know how you normally set-up your bench, but make sure you are squeezing your shoulder blades together and pulling them down (towards your hips) and underneath you as you take the hand off. This will make it much easier to keep your chest up. Alot of times I watch guys struggling to touch b/c, in addition to the resistance the shirt provides, they are shrinking away from the bar. This can also contribute to the wandering you describe.

I use an F6 and have a good ability to put my shoulders where I want them this shirt. It was much more challenging in my Fury. The Phenom may restrict your ability to do this as I believe it has a hard back, right?

I think I am alone in the camp of not liking to use boards with my shirt. Granted, I only use a single poly, but I like to rep the shirt to learn it.

Usually doing 3x5’s in a progressive fashion over the course of several weeks.

If I can’t touch at first, so what. I focus on staying tight and keeping my chest up. Initially, I only bring down the weight as far as I can and still keep my chest up and stay tight.

What starts to happen is that I slowly (over the course of 3-4 weeks)learn to touch weights that at the start of the cycle I couldn’t get more than half way down.

Once this happens, I start to play around with tweaking the shirt, both from an alterations standpoint, and how I set it up.

Interested to hear what Lat says.

apw- yea the phenoms back is pretty firm and it does limit my ability to plae my shoulders where i want to put them right now but im hoping as i learn to use the shirt ill figure out how and where they need to go to make the shirt more effective…as for my arch its not the best but im working on it i have a really long stroke without it…i would say i have a good 3 or 4 more inches to lower the bar than most with my hands down at my sides the come to about 2 inches above the knee…good thing for the deadlift but not the bench

I assume you are using a max legal grip?

I already responded by PM, but that is good advice. I also don’t like to use boards with my shirt. I find it very awkward, and if you make a habit of it, you never really learn to use the shirt at full potential.

yea im using a max legal grip

im only using the board right now to have a level to touch the bar while im breaking in the shirt after i get the bar to touch my chest ill be done with them

[quote]chtdrmn wrote:
im only using the board right now to have a level to touch the bar while im breaking in the shirt after i get the bar to touch my chest ill be done with them [/quote]

That is a perfectly acceptable thing to do. I personally don’t do it though.

If you follow the advice you have been given here, you should do fine.

OK guys i threw the shirt on again today to give it another go around…i worked my way down to a 450 2 board press which felt nice…i pulled my shoulders together harder than i did the first time and widen my legs so i had a better base it seemed to help…i really wanted to touch the chest so i put on weight releasers which upped the weight to around 500 the bar touched nicely but when the weight releasers let go i couldnt control the bar on my chest with the 450 i couldnt hold it in place it felt like someone was trying to jerk it straight into the air

[quote]chtdrmn wrote:
OK guys i threw the shirt on again today to give it another go around…i worked my way down to a 450 2 board press which felt nice…i pulled my shoulders together harder than i did the first time and widen my legs so i had a better base it seemed to help…i really wanted to touch the chest so i put on weight releasers which upped the weight to around 500 the bar touched nicely but when the weight releasers let go i couldnt control the bar on my chest with the 450 i couldnt hold it in place it felt like someone was trying to jerk it straight into the air [/quote]

That just proves that you need more weight on the bar. Remember, any good bench shirt that fits properly should take about 100 pounds over your raw max to touch. The better the shirt, the higher the weight. Your bodyweight is a big factor as well, so keep that in mind if you drop weight for a meet. The shirt will also stretch over time, so keep working it.

Get a coupe of good spotters, and start working 475-500 for a few sets of singles. And work that lockout power.

Go to MetalMilitia.net and follow their template for a few weeks and your lockout power will improve drastically.

slattimer–i put the shirt on again today and again got 500 to touch my chest…this seems like the minimum amount needed to do so…only problem now is to work on my lockout because i got stuck at the last 3-4 inches

[quote]chtdrmn wrote:
slattimer–i put the shirt on again today and again got 500 to touch my chest…this seems like the minimum amount needed to do so…only problem now is to work on my lockout because i got stuck at the last 3-4 inches[/quote]

use between 385-425 and cycle betwen 120-200 pound of chain almost full loaded at top for a few weeks try to touch them all…you will get that 500 easy after about 6 weeks…rb

thanks martin im gonna try that also my gym just got a new power rack so im going to be doing some pin presses for ME Bench

pin presses?! Ok so I take it that you didn’t go to metal milita and check out their template? Oh well that’s your loss.

i did go to their site and checked out there templete and yes i would imagine its bad ass and works like a charm but right now it doesnt fit into what im doing with westside im still making tremendous gains on the conjugate method so why switch

[quote]TTewell342 wrote:
pin presses?! Ok so I take it that you didn’t go to metal milita and check out their template? Oh well that’s your loss.[/quote]

We do pin presses as well. Rack lockouts are basically the same thing.