T Nation

Power Lifting Gear Q's

Hey all!

After reading Chad Aichs Recent Article on EliteFts.com, http://www.elitefts.com/documents/strength_sports.htm , I decided I’d like to start using gear in competition. My Question(s) - what is the best idea, start out by getting a less expensive shirt and suit such as a Standard Blast shirt and a Champion suit( http://www.inzernet.com/detail.asp?PRODUCT_ID=01_ST_BLAST ; http://www.inzernet.com/detail.asp?PRODUCT_ID=03_CHAMPION respectively) and learn the basics of gear with these?

Or Start out getting a suit or shirt I think I may end up using in the future such as Metal Gear (IPF Bench Shirt or Inzer Rage, Metal IPF Squatter) and learn in this gear? Also, would it be recommended to start by learning one piece at a time, for example, get a squat suit OR bench shit, learn that, then for the next meet get the next piece of equipment, etc etc.

I compete in USA PL (IPF rules) in the 198 and 220 weight classes. My Current plan is to do my first equipped meet in the late fall/ early winter of this year; I already have the basics allowed in RAW, belt, knee and wrist wraps.

Thank you very much for input!

I’ve never used the older gear (blast shirts and champ suits) but from what I’ve heard they’re so radically different to the gear now there’ no point in trying to learn new gear by getting older stuff. They’re meant to be extremely uncomfortable too (not to say the new stuff is comfortable or pain free…).

My first shirt was a Titan f6, size 44 and I wore it as a 198lb lifter originally. I was comforable enough in it after about 7-8 sessions to get a good 35-30kg over my raw max. With a bit more work and an extra 10lb of bodyweight I put up about 35-40kg over my top raw press. I recently moved from the F6 to a Katana of the same size and it’s a bit more difficult to handle, but I feel I’m starting to learn it.

My first suit was a Titan Centurion, size 42 and originally worn as a 198 too. Super easy to use. Keep pushing your hips back and open your knees and that’s pretty much it. Most people I’ve seen get in it the first time (and indeed myself) try to sit down like a normal squat and the suit kicks their hips out forwards over their ankles and they end up on their toes and miss the lift.

I’m still waiting the very same suit and I’m a full weight class up so it has a really nice fit and good support.

So a Titan F6 and Titan Centurion would be my recommendation. Get some powerwash too and wash them both each time you use them and they’ll last for ages (I got a full year, 3 comps out of the F6 and my Centurion’s still going strong after 4).

Thank you for your input, I will look into the suits you mentioned. Just for clarification, you WOULD suggest going with newer/better gear to start? Thank again, Hanley!

I think it also depends on where/who you are lifting with. It would be much easier learning the big-time gear with guys who are experienced with it.

I had no training partners with any experience with gear when I got started. I trained alone. So I started with shitty gear (champion and EHPHD) and am glad I did. It gave enough pop so that you can get the feel for gear.

As I got stronger and more confident I moved into the more hardcore gear.

[quote] Matt wrote:
I think it also depends on where/who you are lifting with. It would be much easier learning the big-time gear with guys who are experienced with it.

I had no training partners with any experience with gear when I got started. I trained alone. So I started with shitty gear (champion and EHPHD) and am glad I did. It gave enough pop so that you can get the feel for gear.

As I got stronger and more confident I moved into the more hardcore gear. [/quote]

I have some people who have gear experience in my club… and by some I mean one; the rest of us have all been raw thus far. I am also sure I would have no problem getting help from a Trainer at our gym who uses gear when he competes

[quote]SamuraiWannaBe wrote:
Thank you for your input, I will look into the suits you mentioned. Just for clarification, you WOULD suggest going with newer/better gear to start? Thank again, Hanley![/quote]

Yes, I’m saying go with the newer gear first. Once you don’t get the absolute smallest size you can squeeze into they should be forgiving enough to learn without too much trouble.

The biggest things to watch other for is that your suit is seated all the way (you balls and the suit should become best friends) and on the shirt the seam position is very important on the f6 as to how much support you get and how hard it is to touch.

I don’t know why people suggest buying ancient gear that is almost useless, the cuts of an EHPHD vs a Katana or a Centurion vs a Z-Suit are totally different, and learning one won’t necessarly help with the other.

As Hanley has already said, get new gear using the guides/measurements on the retailer websites for reference, or if you get the chance try on the suit/shirt of similarily sized individual at your club. Chances are it won’t fit perfectly (taking in your straps and bringing in seams is easy work), and you may not get depth or touch on your first workout but in most circumstances that just means its working.

Use the newer gear. Getting the most out of serious gear takes time, so you might a s well start now. Get a decent suit (a Centurion, TRX, Viking, etc.). Get a decent shirt (RageX, Katana, etc). If funds allow, get a pair of briefs. USAPL doesn’t aloow you an extra layer on game day. However, they are nice to have in training. Get a tight suit and briefs. If you already got a bit of bench strength (315 to 365+ range), go ahead and get a real tight shirt. While tight gear is harder to learn, two things happen quickly- you start learning the gear and the gear stretches out.

Not sure I would suggest a Katana as a first shirt, try a Rage X, Metal Bencher or Viking Bench or a Fury/F6 depending on your style of bench.
Of all of our team members only the most advanced have been able to master the Katana and this is with years of benching experiance, and presses over 500lbs.

Yeah I have to say going from F6 to Katana was a problem for me too. Even tho they were both the same size!!

I just found the Katana MUCH harder to use, and I thougt I had a fairly good handle on my F6. In time tho I can see it being a beast of a shirt.

My first competitino outting in it I put up 180kg with the collar up high.

Late tot he thread, but use the new stuff. It’s so different form the old. I’ve used both and there’s no carry over to t e new, other than you know gear is uncomfortable.

I had the old supersuits and blast shirts, and the new stuff is light year’s different.I’m trying to relearn my squat suit, a metal pro 50 that is quite loose. I did an easy 530 with the straps up using a ssb from a 13 3/4" box.

550 totally panicked me, the compression gave me a feeling of claustrophobia that freaked me out. This was only 20 more pounds. The lift would have been easy, but I’m not used tot he tight feeling. Now imagine wraps and a tighter suit, hahahaha! You really need to work with gear to get anything out of it.

[quote]SamuraiWannaBe wrote:
Hey all!

After reading Chad Aichs Recent Article on EliteFts.com, http://www.elitefts.com/documents/strength_sports.htm , I decided I’d like to start using gear in competition. My Question(s) - what is the best idea, start out by getting a less expensive shirt and suit such as a Standard Blast shirt and a Champion suit( http://www.inzernet.com/detail.asp?PRODUCT_ID=01_ST_BLAST ; http://www.inzernet.com/detail.asp?PRODUCT_ID=03_CHAMPION respectively) and learn the basics of gear with these?

Or Start out getting a suit or shirt I think I may end up using in the future such as Metal Gear (IPF Bench Shirt or Inzer Rage, Metal IPF Squatter) and learn in this gear? Also, would it be recommended to start by learning one piece at a time, for example, get a squat suit OR bench shit, learn that, then for the next meet get the next piece of equipment, etc etc.

I compete in USA PL (IPF rules) in the 198 and 220 weight classes. My Current plan is to do my first equipped meet in the late fall/ early winter of this year; I already have the basics allowed in RAW, belt, knee and wrist wraps.

Thank you very much for input! [/quote]

If you want results asap, I would suggest starting out with the Inzer HardCore Squat Suit, Inzer Rage X & Max DL suit.

[b]TRAIN HARD

“BIG WILLIE” J.T. HALL [/b]

Thanks very much for all the advice!

And to Pinto (or others if it gets more advice)- My Bench is currently in the mid 200’s if i had to guess (which i do, as i havn’t maxed since the summer) I’d say 265 +/- 5-10#; so i dont know if that changes a good first shirt? (note, i think my technique is the biggest problem with my bench) My squat is in the High 300’s (365 easy, can probably get closer to 385), i squat at about shoulder width, wide squats do not go well for my hips. Deadlift like bench i have to guess for the same reason- Mid 400’s best DL to date is 425, conventional stance. Those are all raw (belt on squat, wrist wraps on bench, nothing on DL).

thanks again for all the advice!

[quote]Power GnP wrote:
Not sure I would suggest a Katana as a first shirt, try a Rage X, Metal Bencher or Viking Bench or a Fury/F6 depending on your style of bench.
Of all of our team members only the most advanced have been able to master the Katana and this is with years of benching experiance, and presses over 500lbs.[/quote]

I am an inbetween bencher, not an extreme elbow tuck, nor an extreme flair of the elbows. However if I was closer to one extreme it would be elbows out. Purely becasue of funds, I am leaning towards Inzer Rage, also has a stretch back which i understand helps get it on, and in the performance of the shirt. I’d probably get a Metal Viking if i had the dough…

For squat suit I am thinking Metal Squater, for my non-wide stance, and the price is comprable or very close to the other ‘new’ suits out there, for DL I will probably try to use the squat suit as i have heard that this is possible, but if not i’d probably DL raw untill more money allowed a dedicated suit. Also, I do have INzer Power pants that i recent got to help rehab a hip injury, i have used them once, might use them again next week as squatting didn’t feel good today… my head was not in it either, dads sick…

I certainly wouldn’t worry about a deadlift suit for now. You’d be much better served saving it or spending the remainder on the shirt and squat suit.

sorry for hijacking the thread, but Hanley, I’ve got a quick question for you. The Centurion Suit; I squat wide but deadlift conventional, is it any good for either sumo or conventional deadlifts? I’m hoping to do a meet in the future, probably within the next year, and I’m just starting to look into suits.

[quote]chrisarmes wrote:
sorry for hijacking the thread, but Hanley, I’ve got a quick question for you. The Centurion Suit; I squat wide but deadlift conventional, is it any good for either sumo or conventional deadlifts? I’m hoping to do a meet in the future, probably within the next year, and I’m just starting to look into suits.[/quote]

Ummmmm it depends.

One of the guys I train with has squatted 250kg @82.5 in the same centurion he pulled 250 @ 82.5 in. Conventional.

I’ve squatted 245kg @ 100, but there’s no way I’d get to the bar to even pull 200kg conventional in my centurtion. I tried it for sumo before and I got maybe 20kg’s out of it. BUT it’s probably too mcuh of a suit for sumo (assuming we’re talking about the NXG super+). I often struggled to lockout even 90% weights in it.

I guess I’d say go get one to squat in, start to work your sumos now so that when the time comes you can throw it on for that too and hopefully get some carryover.

So, to ask another question, how much time/ how many training sessions would be a good to learn gear before a meet, as i said in the OP i plan on first geared meet to be in late fall early winter. so maybe start practicing with gear in mid late summer?

I’m by no means a gear master, but 5-6 weeks in both the suit and the shirt would be more than enough.

My last training cycle I did the following in my suit:

Week 1: 210kg x3 (straps down)
Week 2: 220kg x3 (straps up)
Week 3: 225kg x3 (straps and wraps)
Week 4: 230kg x2 (straps and wraps)
Week 5: 230kg x1 (straps and wraps)
Meet: 245kg

Hanley, Thanks for your help!!