T Nation

Question on First Comp


I am planning on doing my first competition in December. I have very little experience lifing in gear. I have a Champion suit I bought for the hell of it to try it out. I have been kicking tires on buying a shirt and suit for the comp. I lift alone and therefore have noone to train with to help me with my gear. I can get in a squat suit alone but am not sure if getting into a shirt alone is possible.

Really what I am asking is whether buying a shirt worth it or if I should train and compete raw and see where I stand. My bench in the gym is 330. I have thought of buying a shirt a size bigger so I can get into it alone. If you recommend a shirt, do you have a recommendation for a first time shirt?

Thanks for taking the time to respond. It is appreciated.


Well I realize the question may be redundant but it is a legit question.

If I train alone would a shirt be advisable? If so, does anyone have a recommendation on a shirt to learn in that will not be too difficult to get in and out of alone?


Gear alone is tough for sure. I personally have managed to train in gear with not too much help but it's definitely not optimal. Mostly I just can't bench in a shirt without help. If you want to train in gear, then I would advise trying to find some training partners. If not possible, consider staying raw for a while. If you are definitely ready for gear, then start with basic gear. Buy suit slippers, they will help tons. Don't make the straps of the suit too tight so you can take on/off alone. shirts alone are definitely a challenge. Learn to setup close to the rack so unracking is possible. Start with a loose'ish shirt. I would recommend a Titan Fury or Titan F6 to start (f6 if you have an arch). The fury is especially easy to work with, even alone. It worked great for me to learn with when I was beginning. If you go 1 size up from competition fit I personally think it will be fine but even 2 sizes up would be OK for a first shirt. Though I kind of think that big is just too loose to matter.

Most importantly: Train in a cage wiht the safeties set properly!!!


Thanks. Good info. I appreciate it.


^^^^^^^This is mandatory if you train alone at home...just always put pins in place regardless of weight you use. Nobody ever things they'll have an accident.


For your first meet, I would highly recommend lifting raw. It's truly just all about the experience the first time around. And if you don't have help or a training partner, I can't imagine trying to negotiate the gear by yourself at a first meet.

In fact, I cannot imagine putting on a shirt properly by myself. If it's loose enough that you can, you're probably not getting much out of it. If you don't have the experience of benching in a shirt, it's risky to train in without a spot. If you get out of the groove, you can slam the bar into your face pretty damn fast.


Thanks kpsnap, I was actually about to pull the trigger on a shirt which is what prompted this question. I am planning on benching raw. I can get into my suit ok alone and only squat with it once a month. It is a champion so I figure good to learn in. I'm thinking about upgrading this summer to a metal v-type.