Ditto on getting with a crew of experienced lifters. A good hand-off and competant spotting- not to mention competant help in getitng your shirt set and real-time coaching- make a big difference.
As for as touching in a shirt, I disagree with some others above. I am a big believer in touching weight every time you shirt up. This is tough in a tight shirt- but it is critical for bringing results to the platform. [/quote]
Agree with Pinto. I work with people all the time, in Katana’s and in about 20 minutes have them touching weight they swore to me they would never be able to.
Touching comes down to technique. Most people don’t understand how to tune up a bench shirt so they go for the tightest fit they can. This is largely a benchers mentality and account for a large percentage of the bombs you see.
Anyway, IRT the Katana, you when you get it, lay it down on a flat surface and pull the sleeves up. Take close note of where the seams are. You will want to place them in that spot on the arm.
Now, we use plastic bread bags but shopping bags are acceptable, as well. Put them over your arms with the handle down. Push the sleeves up as high as you can get them. I strive for 4 finger widths from teh tip of the elbow when it is bent. Never less and a little more is fine. The problem with these shirts is once you pull them over your head, that’s pretty much as high as the sleeve is gonna get. You can pull it down once it’s on but pulling it up is a bitch.
When you pull it over your head and pull it all the way down, have somebody grab the shir just behind the armpits and pull up. Now seat the pits by having somebody hold the shirt at the shoulder seam in the back and moving your arm forcefully across your body. It’s a hard movement to describe but you will know when you are doing it right. Seat the neckline in a comfortable place where it is less likely to creep up and choke you but DO NOT pull it down.
As a flat backed bencher in that shirt, your biggest challenge is going to be getting your upper back tight enough to fight against the shirts natural tendency to push your chest down which is largely what is going to lead to your decapitation because the groove in the shirt is linear and you will end up only hitting it maximally midway through the movement which equals face dump.
What I do when I first put someone in a shirt is show them how I want them to set their lats and upper back. Pull your shoulders down to your hips and squeeze your shoulder blades together.
As the bar is coming down, think about pushing your chest up to meet it. Use a max legal grip and get big air before you descend.
Now what I will do is have you lower a reasonable weight as far as you can before you start to collapes your chest. Then we press up.
This will teach you to feel when this is happening and begin to self correct. This is waht you need to learn to fight in this shirt.
Gradually, you will get tired and your natural resistance to the descent of the bar will decresase.
Eventually, you will touch.
Also, when you are descending in a shirt you are feeling for the path of most resistance. You need to be stubborn and determined about putting the bar right on that spot. Many lifters never get optimal performance out of a shirt because they collapse their chest and let the bar drop below the path of most resistance. This leads to sub optimal pop off the chest and basically a loss of assistance at lock out.
Like these guys said, get at least a competent spotter and a power rack. The problem is if you have a spotter who has no experience spotting people in a shirt, he may not recognize what is going on until it is too late. I guess what I am saying is do your self a favor and set up in a power rack. That way if something catastrophic happens, it will be an “oh shit,” instead of “Holy shit, get the mop.”