- Single ply - Titan Centurion and Inzer Blast (got it for nothing so will try it before I shell out for a decent one).
- Train with one other person but can easy get to a group who are experienced.
Aim is 540+kg for a national qualifier.[/quote]
I’ve never used either, but I am familiar with the blast. Any gear is going to change your “groove”, but the Blast shirt probably won’t be a whole lot more different than your raw bench stroke.
I’ll tell you how I do it (drug free and multiple ply). We wear our bench shirts once every 3 weeks, even in the “off season”. The last 7-8 weeks leading up to a meet, we’ll bump that up to every other week. This way, you’re always evaluating where you’re at with the shirt and you don’t have to re-learn the groove before the meet. Keep in mind, this is for 2 / 3 ply shirts which can change the groove quite a bit and take a long time to master. With a Blast shirt you probably won’t have to train in it that often.
With any squat suit, I’d recommend working a few weeks with the straps down before putting the straps up. Personally I get quite a few pounds out of my suit, so just coming off a long hiatus and putting my straps up will beat the shit out of me for days. We might train raw on our heavy days once a month, the other days we’re either in briefs or our suits.
I don’t know what your training is like, but I like to warmup raw then start putting my gear on. My first set with gear will probably be something not much more than my raw max. This lets me concentrate on using the gear without worrying that my face is going to explode. As you get more experienced you can play around with that.
This is just what I personally do, results may vary etc.