T Nation

Powerlifting Novice Looking for Recommendations



Well, as the title states, I am just getting into powerlifting (from previous swimming and rowing) and was wondering what to get as my first bench shirt and squat suit/briefs. Something simple, forgiving, and hopefully cheap is what I am looking for.

I really notice that when I move my squat stance out wide (I am 6'3" with long legs so my toes almost touch the sides of the power rack) it really tears up my hips. Would the briefs help with this?

Thanks for any advice.

PS. Best gym lifts so far have been:

Box Squat (parallel) 255x2
Bench 195
Deadlift 315


Congrats on entering in to the world of powerlifting. Out of curiosity, what is your weight?

Briefs will make all the difference in the world with hip pain and wide-stance squats.

As for a bench shirt, I would hold off on that for awhile and work on getting your technique and strength up.

Here is a beginner's equipment list I would recommend:

  1. Briefs: this will help with stability and build strength for squats (Titan makes a great pair that are basically a half-suit that are more comfortable than Inzer IMO)

  2. Belt: If it fits in your budget, get a good lever belt because it will more than likely last you forever.

  3. Chalk: This will really help with your deadlifts and will be used more and more as you progress.

  4. Suppliments: To start out, Protein and creatine. Also, a multi-vitamin will help.

  5. Program: Find a program you like and stick with it! If you go the westside route, add a pair of medium powerbands to this list. If you have the budget, get the whole set.

And now for some closing words of wisdom:

  1. Eat more than you think you should.
  2. Sleep more than you think you should.
  3. Lift more than you think you should.

Welcome to the club, now stop typing and get your butt to the gym!


great post. If you decide to go single ply, my z-suit was a great suit to start out with. It was easy to learn and really cheap.


I would start with a pair of metal pro briefs Metal makes the best briefs on the market and I've heard this from everyone. They are two ply, not sure if you're going that way. For a Squat suit, depends if you're a poly or canvas squatter.

For a shirt I would go with a fury, it's a good shirt to learn in. You could with a rage from inzer, the group that I lift with use titan for bench, a couple use Inzer bench shirts. Both are good companies for shirts. But I would stay away from metal shirts, heard only a few get any good results.

Oh to get an idea on your lifts, what's your BW?


I definitely would not recommend a pair of double ply Metal briefs as your first piece of gear. They can be quite pricey (my Ace Pros were $185) and it can take quite a bit to reach depth so I wouldn't really call them forgiving.

If you're looking for support and to alleviate hip/groin pain, the single ply stuff from Inzer or Titan should do just fine. And only cost something like $40-50.

Also, keep in mind that single ply feds do not allow briefs. So, if you really want to keep cost low, you could skip the briefs all together and train in the squat suit, straps down.


USPF allows briefs


Thanks for the correction. I always thought briefs were against the rules in all single ply feds.


But the pair you have, the Aces and the ones I recommended are two different briefs. The Aces are the top brief. The metal pros are starting briefs in my opinion and their not that expensive, its easiest to just wait for one of the sales elitefts does on their metal line every 2-3 months. I would get the briefs a little loose (a size or so too big) so you can grow into them. The tighter they get, the more support you get.

In my briefs, before I put my belt on I get to parallel with 225. It does take effort, but to get reach anything in gear, it should take effort, that's what the gear is for...support.


They don't list it on their web site, but USPF allows legless single ply briefs that stay below the navel.

IPF does not.

WABDL allows briefs, but they don't squat anyway.


Fair enough, they are different. And as far as briefs go, it seems the Aces are second only to the Inzer Predators. But, I wouldn't exactly call the $160 Pros cheap even with a 25% discount.

Anyway, if it were me, I'd still go with the inzer or titan stuff. But that's just my opinion based on what little experience I have. So, to take it with a grain of salt.


Now I'm curious. You think the predators are better than Aces? I've heard most people think that Aces are better, but every once in awhile I hear someone say the predators are better. The people that say the predators are better usually say they give a lot more pop out of the hole. What do you think?


I don't actually have any experience with the Preds. I have a pair that are supposed to fit a 148 but they are way too small for me and I compete at 132.

I decided to go with Ace briefs instead because they are considered to be some of the best briefs you can get, and because of location, I was able to make sure I got a good fit. Personally, I like them.

There are several guys at the gym that have used both and they all seem to prefer the Predators. They also have some of the biggest squat numbers in the gym...

I won't be buying new briefs any time soon, but I'll probably try the Inzer ones next time. Just to see which I prefer


thanks for all of the replies so far. it sounds like the inzer briefs are a good choice, and they are cheap so I'll probably start off with a pair of those for training in. I'll probably go with an inzer bench shirt as well - but later on (my weak triceps are killing me).

And for the record, I am 205lbs. Yeah, I'm kinda skinny, but I'm working on it. A major hurdle is my body's newfound dislike of dairy products which eliminates things like whey, Surge, cottage cheese, and a daily gallon of whole milk. I'm concentrating my diet on meat, eggs, nuts, whole grains, and fruit - shooting for about 4k calories daily. Any suggestions on this end of the spectrum are appreciated as well.



205....hmm, how tall are you? You should try to bring up your raw bench all together, plus all your raw lifts actually. What are you doing for your workout?

For your diet, 4000 calories is easy to get to. I have a little issue with dairy too. I found bagels and peanut butter help alot in between meals. And when I say peanut butter, really pile it on.


I am 6'3" with a 6'6" wingspan and long-ass femurs. I know all of my raw lifts need to come up, but it seems like all of my presses (both overhead & bench) have traditionally sucked. I do alright on upper body pulling strength (DB row 100x16).

Squats and Deadlifts are coming along. I don't know what my max is on deads (I havent maxed in a while) but I pulled 295x5 the other day and at the beginning of the summer I could only pull that for a single. And I am doing work sets with 225 in the squat, which was my max at the start of the summer. My bench hasn't improved though. I'm trying to find an exercise that really helps with it, but no luck so far.

As for a routine, I have been doing a 4 day a week template
M-Squat, T-Bench/Overhead, R-Deadlift, F-Bench/Overhead


buy a cheap suit, that way it is easy to secure with the belt and provides support.
Only buy briefs is you are planning on using them in competition.

Oh and your hips? Warm them up with dynamic mobility exercises. Buy magnificent mobility and you will get a lot of good moves.
Activate your glutes before working out, and stretch your hip flexors all the time.