T Nation

Suits and Briefs: A PL Gear Guide


This is a resource for suits and briefs used in powerlifting.

Please keep all posts as reviews on equipment.
IF YOU HAVE REQUESTS FOR REVIEWS OR QUESTIONS, USE THE FOLLOWING THREAD: http://www.T-Nation.com/tmagnum/readTopic.do?id=2415555

Please. Really. I mean it!

Okay, so here's the general structure to make this whole thing readable:

*Personal lifts, equipment/brands you have experience with, and whether you are a sponsored athlete

*Gear you are evaluating. If you are evaluating a whole range, i.e. Metal Squat Suits, mention any that you haven't tried. Importantly, specify if it's single or multi-ply.

*Pro's and Cons; I'd like to see fit, comfort, carryover, durability, manipulation (Can you jack/unjack shirts much, change touch points etc.) and who the gear suits (Experienced, close stance etc.) evaluated

*Comparison. How it matches up to other equipment you've used. Name names.

*Everything else. Anything you'd like to add, recommendations, whether it's useful for raw or physique lifters, anything really.


Here's a basic template to make things easier. Personal stats are only necessary on your first post in the thread, just so we get some perspective on where you're coming from. If you think height, weight, years training, fed or whatever is important, add them into your stats.

Please keep your reviews to one brand per post.

Best Lifts:
Gear Experience:

Equipment being reviewed:






Might as well start...

Best Lifts: 573lb Squat, 661lb Deadlift
Gear Experience: Metal, Titan

Equipment being reviewed: (Single Ply) Titan Centurian NXG Super+ (Wide Stance)

Pros: Good hip support. Consistent stretch in material. Long straps. Very durable. Pretty good carryover, and so long as you can pull it up high enough, you can hit depth.

Cons: Straps are quite long, and the suit does "break in" a fair bit. Needs around 6 sessions to see what fit it'll be. Not the most comfortable suit, as it has an X shape stitched in that will rip up your hips a fair bit, particularily first couple of wears. Doesn't really "spring" you out of the bottom.

Comparison: The only other squat suits I've had experience with are the Metal V-Type (Viking and standard). The carryover is slightly more than the standard, and I'd guesstimate 10lbs less than the Viking. I haven't sewn up the straps to be the same length as the Metal's, however, so there's a bit more carryover there.
It has less stopping power and spring than the Metal, and the cut doesn't force your stance out wide like the V-Type. It's definately a lot better for a medium stance squatter, and it is worlds easier to hit depth in. Also, the Centurian is much more durable. The standard V-Type exploded on me, and the Viking has runners.

Thoughts: I think the Centurian is a great, easy to use suit that gives good carryover.....once it's broken in. It will always bruise your hips a little if it fits right. I'd recommend it to IPF and other lifters who have to go deep, otherwise I think you're better off with suits that give you more "pop" and midrange support.
That all said, for a newbie single ply lifter I think this is perfect; it'll last for ages, has good carryover, lets you hit depth without signing away your soul, and once you want some more from it you can sew up the straps or get a tighter one.


Best Lifts: 661 Squat in Suit, 733 in Suit and Briefs
Gear Experience: Metal

Equipment being reviewed: Metal Ace Squatter

Pros: Awesome Carryover, stopping power, and rebound out of the hole. This suit is almost bulletproof and is made in such a way as to force the user into the perfect wide stance squat position. The Velcro straps also offer custom tightness for different attempts.

Cons: Sizing can be an issue with some of the shorter, bigger guys. I wear a size 54 suit and I'm 5'6" and according to the sizing chart, my suit is built for someone who is, on average, 6'. Plus, if you have larger thighs, it can be hard to get the quad-lock seam over the largest part of the quad and get the suit up fully.

Comparison: The only squat suits I've used before the Metal Ace where First-Gen Titan Victors (pre NXG and NXG+) and they are like loose singlets even compared to the Titan suits of today, let alone the Metal Ace.

Thoughts: If you're looking for a suit with great carryover for a Medium-Wide to Wide Stance squatter, you can't go wrong with the Metal Ace. For sizing, I would either call EFS directly or e-mail Minna or Ano over at the Metal site. I've had this suit for 2 years and it has barely stretched on me. If you were to buy one, I would recommend waiting to get it on sale at EFS because they are a bit pricy.


Best Lifts: 825/562/700
Gear Experience: 3 years

Equipment being reviewed: Metal Ace Squatter

Pros: Adjustable straps, good rebound, does not bind up real badly, seems to help push your knees out and open up your groin area.

Cons: Must be worn tightly to get the good rebound, straps are real thick and that keeps the bar from really sinking into your back very solidly.

Comparison: Similar to the old Metal Pro, but much better;

Thoughts: This thing really has to be tight in the hips to get most out of it. The legs should be snug- but the hips are what really matter.


Best Lifts: 300/215/400 raw
Gear Experience: 1ply squat suit

Equipment being reviewed: inzer Z-suit

Pros: cheap, decent carryover, very quick to learn

Cons: outdated

Comparison: I got 50 pounds of carryover in a suit meant for the next weightclass up. With only a few weeks to get into it

Thoughts: Great starting suit. If you've never competed single ply and want to try it without busting your wallet, this suit was great!

WIill add inzer hardcore whenever I get ahold of one. I wouldn't mind a good layout of the hardcore vs. the centurion.


Like right now!!! 20% sale on Metal stuff at EFS and I bought a pair of Pro briefs two weeks ago - DAMN IT!!


Best Lifts:
600 @ 220, single ply

Gear Experience:
2 Titan Centurion NXG Super+'s, Centurion NXG Super+ briefs, Titan Sumo DL suit as training briefs (Titan whore you see)

Equipment being reviewed:
Titan Centurion NXG Super+

This is an incredibly popular suit, and for good reason. I obviouslt can't really compare it to any other suits but it seems to be more of a "stop you in the hole" than a rebound suit, which suits me perfectly.

I've done alot of box squatting and a lot of ab work in the last 6 months and it's lead to MASSIVE PR's in the suit. If you're strong and fast off the bottom the suit is absolutely awesoeme.

It's fairly easy to hit depth in once you work in it a bit. If you don't sit back and force your knees out then the suit will absolutely kill you.

Stretches fairly quick, like all single ply poly tho I guess. The straps could be tighter (BUT on my first suit I used them a lot of hang out of stuff and get the suit seated, with my second one I didn't and they seem a lot tighter, tho still not tight enough, so it was probably my fault first time around).

Getting the straps shortened isn't a problem anyway so it's not something to worry about.

It's an absolutely fantastic suit. I'm gonna get a Metal IPF Viking V-Type later this year to try out probably, it seems to be the only suit out there that compares to my beloved Centurion!


25 yo, 224.6lbs

Best Squat: Meet - 670 Gym - 725

Gear Experience:
Suits - Single Ply Inzer Hardcore, Inzer Leviathan Canvas, Inzer T-rex (2ply poly)

Gear Being Reviewed: Inzer T-Rex

Pros: Poly material is very stiff and the seems along the back seem to provide some stop like a canvas, but the poly gives a lot of pop out of the hole if the straps are tight. Very supportive, but not a thick material. Straps are wide and you can crank the straps comfortably.

Cons: Straps are wide and it takes some getting used to the feel of the bar on your back. For me needs to be ordered large b/c legs seem to run on the small side, so I get a stock size and pinch the hips. The tighter the straps the harder it is to breathe, and if you don't sit back hard enough about 2" above parallel it will violently jerk you forward.

Comparison: I like it better than both the hardcore and the leviathan. Canvas to me seems to get to be a bit too much, the t-rex has some play to it.

Thoughts: I think I get great carryover from it, and I've had one for the past year and a half and still get great pop out of it. Doesn't seem to be hard to purchase, stock sizes always available. Might try a metal squat suit later in the year, but as of right now this is my suit of choice. Doubles as a good suit for sumo deadlifts too.


so tell me about the singel ply harcore?



One brand per post... OK this is the Inzer review then :wink:

Best Lifts: 508 in Z-Suit@220, 675@220 in Hardcore
Gear Experience: Z-Suit and Hardcore [from Inzer]

Equipment being reviewed:
Z-Suit and Hardcore
Pros: Z-Suit: The Z-Suit is cheap. Its not that uncomfortable and pretty easy to get into. Harcore: A noticeable carryover with decently applied knee wraps. A fair amount of stop and initial rebound. The key is getting it on right and getting the legs to work the proper way for your stance.

Cons: The Z-suit is sort of window dressing. I suppose there is a carryover and its probably even a couple dozen pounds which is measureable even. But this is below a starter suit. The Hardcore is a tough suit for me to have on. Just being in it was not comfortable; arguably the most uncomfortable piece of PL gear I ever donned. If you don't set the legs and suit properly for your stance and style, the suit almost works against you, which is ridiculously bad.

Comparison: Harcore kills the Z-suit obviously. Single ply wise the Hardcore is what it is, probably middle of the road product. When I realized my days as a 220 were done I wanted to try the Metal IPF King Squatter. But I had such a bad experience with the King Bencher shirt I am kinda opting out of the Metal brand for a bit. If I stay single ply I'm almost surely going to try the Centurion. If and its a big if I decide to give the APF a go and double it up then that Metal Ace Squatter has impressed to many people for me not to try it.

Thoughts: I suppose if you're just starting out it does not kill you to just spend the $40 for the Z-Suit but you truly get what you pay for. I used it in my first meet when I was really just learning everything. I barely hit 500 in it and I was hoping for quite a bit more. The hardcore had some potential, it really did. I triple whited 675 for my opener and missed the next two in the 700+ range one for depth and the other I just lost. In hindsight I probably should have been working in my suit a whole lot more. These days seems guys are in their gear more than they're out of it.
If you really want results I think you'd be better investing some real money. The Hardcore I'd call entry level for anyone squatting over 500lbs. Inzer is like Dell for Computers. They built a super big name and rep in the 80's and 90's. Now they make decent stuff but if you know where to look you can buy products which absolutely exceed their performance.

Sorry if I did this slightly off with having the two suits and all.


32 years old, competing 4 years (lifting forever)currently 220

best gym squat 635, best comp 584

suits used: Inzer Champion, Z suit, single and double hardcore, leviathan. Predator, cut hardcore and power pants briefs. Metal Pro squatter with velcro straps and metal ace briefs.

reviewing ace briefs with pro squatter.
The pro squatter was actually my second suit after a champion. I tried out all the other suits afterwards and came back to the pro squatter as it just blows the other gear I've used out of the water. Lots of support and if you push back hard enough killer pop.

I had the velcro straps added after the fact and they are great to have. You can adjust how jacked the suit is with how tight you put the straps.

The ace briefs also destroy any other brief I've used before. They are tough to get on, and tend to make my legs go numb if worn too long, but the pop is worth it. I've done 615 in just the ace briefs. I had no problem hitting and staying in the groove in these briefs.

Both are expensive as hell. The pro squatter's groove is a little tough. If you don't really push back hard, it will let your knees drift forward and make for a tough lift.


The only thing I have left is to test it against a titan suit/briefs combo. As of now, nobody holds a candle to the metal suit/briefs combo.


So are we (powerlifters) too fat to get a sticky around here?

hint hint


Gear Experience: Titan Centurian Super+, Metal V-Type Squatter (viking and standard), Metal King Sumo Deadlifter

Equipment being reviewed: Metal King Sumo Deadlifter (Single Ply)

Pros: Massive carryover off the floor. Straps are tight and help hold you in position. Long legs lock off low on your legs and you don't lose much support when they ride up between attempts.

Cons: The straps need to fit well for the suit to work well. You can't really have them loose, but snug works ok. Fitted properly, it is a bitch to get down to the bar, even with the legs hitched up as high as you can.

Straps cut your skin if you have it right. Needs a couple of wears to break in. Steep learning curve.

Comparison: I honestly don't think there is ANY comparison if you are serious about sumo deadlifting and are in single. It craps all over the Centurian W/S and the V-Type. Gives more off the floor than both, and doesn't go from massive pop to very little like the V-Type when it rides up a little.

It is a lot harder to use than either of these suits, however.

Thoughts: If you've been lifting sumo a while, think you're ok at it and want more on the platform - seriously consider this suit. It does take a lot of technique to even get to the bar in a good position, so if that's you're problem, this'll exacerbate it. It's pricey as well, so make sure you get one that is a proper fit.

(I realise I came across a bit gushing, anyone wants to talk numbers, sizing etc use the thread linked in the OP or PM me)


information on conventional deadlift suits?


Best Lifts: 606 competition conventional DL @ 220

Gear Experience: Metal Pro Squatter (for sumo), Metal ACE (for conventional), Metal King Conventional Deadlifter

Equipment being reviewed: Metal King Conventional Deadlifter

Pros: Very adjustable. Gets out of the way of your nuts when getting down to the bar. Has a noticeable groove.

Cons: Threatens to tear you in two when you stand all the way up. Helps some off the floor but then NOTHING even with the straps very tight.

Comparison: Everybody seems to love the Sumo version but I haven't talked to anyone who even liked the conventional. Had the hips taken in a little to see if that would help but it didn't. I actually like pulling coventional in my ACE and I feel like I get a fair amount out of it. It's bulky though and had high hopes for gettting something out of the King. Didn't happen.

Thoughts: I just don't think Metal has this suit nailed yet. The King material is very strong and hopefully they can make some adjustments and make the conventional work as well as the sumo.


Best Lifts: 551 @190 squat, 468 @ 190 sumo deadlift, gym lifts

Gear Experience: METAL, Inzer

Equipment being reviewed: Z-suit

Pros: Works well as an intro suit and accomodates any stance well. Cheap, $42.

Cons: Being 5'9" and 190 lbs, the suit fits perfectly around my hips/legs/gluts, but I cannot get the straps up. The overall length of the suit is not suited for someone with a long torso such as myself. Due to this fact, I have had to wear it was a briefs instead. It wears out more quickly than other high end suits.

Comparison: In terms of using this suit as a pair of briefs, the actual inzer power pants work better, provide more stability, stay tighter longer, and last longer. The material feels thicker overall. This is the lowest-end suit you can buy, that's the target audience.

Thoughts: I cannot recommend this suit if you are using it as just briefs instead of power pants if you are looking for afordability. The only good thing about having the straps it being able to hand from them and seating the "briefs" tighter than just by pulling them up yourself.

For low end gear, its a good suit to try out that won't throw you into a groove and just get you used to wearing a suit. You'll probably upgrade soon after if you have the cash flow.

If you need some support, if you get hip pain or something, this suit will work fine.


I have used almost every suit on the market besides the leviathan and the hardcore and I'm choosing to right about the Centurion ngx+ and the IPF King V-squatter. This will be more like a user's guide than anything else because anyone who has used Metal gear knows that they beat the crap out of everything else on the market. Since I do compete in the USAPL I'll try and get straight to the point so yall who dont know much about gear can get something out of it.

Cent: When using the titan, forget everything you know about the powerlifting squat and focus on more of a modified olympic squat. The whole stitching design of the suit is set up for a maximum pull through the ass and the hammies to get great stopping power in the bottom of the hole.

You have to allow yourself to sit back enough to get the pressure on the seams but at the same time do an olympic squat. Anyone who squats in any IPF division will tell you that this design makes it a lot easier to hit depth than any other squatting style because they literally want your ass to touch your calves. If you try and do an IPA style squat in the suit, meaning that you spread the knees and use more hip, the suit legs will slid up and lose all pressure on the seams.

Comparitively, deadlifting in the Cent and getting the full "kick" out of the suit aint going to happen. To be honest, to get the most out of the suit DL'in, you have to deadlift conventional. After a lot of trial and error in that suit I finally gave up on going sumo because there was no support in the hole and you get minimal poundage out of the suit.
One nice thing about squatting in the Centurion is that it is a beginners suit. The groove is very easy to hit and can be manipulated very easily. I would recommend this suit to anyone who is new to gear, also I would recommend the Z-suit.

Anyone who has used the Z-suit will testify that any other suit they have used has been 20x better and less painfull. Using that suit is a good building block into other suits. Putting on gear is like anything else, you have to start at the bottom and work your way up.

King: I spent about 6months down at the Compound in London, OH with the EFS boys and got to try all of the gear down there. When Dave told me they were coming out with an IPF line, I got to try out the first one.

Personally, I dont know anyone who enjoys extreme pain and discomfort when lifting in gear. Most of the time it is an unavoidable side-effect, but not in most of the Metal gear.
The King V-type squatter is probably the best IPF suit I have put on besides the regular Metal Squatter.

Just comparing the stitching of the king to the Cent. there are very noticable differences. On the Cent. the stitching is designed to give extreme support to the hammies, and the stitching line runs through the whole suit to achieve it. With the King the pull is more focused on the hips to provide more of an IPA squat. The straps are thicker and provide more support.

Moving on to the squatting style, it is night and day from the Cent. With King you have to start with your hips already broken instead of underneath the bar. Think of the startin position that you are in when you use a monolift. Same concept besides you have to unrack the bar.

With that being said, the whole movement focuses on pushing the knees out as far as possible and keeping the hips "close to the bar." By hips close to the bar I am talking about the same concept as sumo deadlifters. They eliminate range of motion and get more hip drive by keeping their junk as close to the bar as possible instead of sitting back and trying to "squat" it up. The groove on the King is a little hard to hit if you are not used to squattin in that style or such a tight suit. But once you learn how to properly use your hips to get the needed kick out of the suit you will ever go back. To properly get the poundage out of the suit, you actually have to move faster than your think you should. The suit does have nice stopping power, but the rebound through the hips once you hit the hole is INSANE!

When I first started to test it out, the damn thing was so tight i couldnt hit a 22" box, and I'm 5'7". I loaded up 645 and almost hit a 14" box, but my knees came in a little and the suit rejected me, sending my hips rocketing forward and dumping the bar. So take this as a warning when you are using the suit for the first time... you MUST keep your hips tights and knees out or you'll be looking at the ceiling.

This squatting style can be used for all metal suits and is reccomended. This suit is not for beginners. As much as I would like to say that I wish I'd started off with Metal gear, I'd prolly just have gotten injured cause my body wasnt ready for the weight.

My best totals in meets where in the Titan was a 505 squat, and my best total in the King was 605.

I compete USAPL 220lbs/242lbs collegiate division. My next meet in Dec. I'm shooting for a 1800+ total: 650+squat, 550+bench, 600+dead.

If yall like the instrucional peice i wrote let me know and I can do it about other gear. Prolly going to write one about shirts... we'll see if I have time.


Personal Bests: Meet PR squat is 670 @ 217lbs bw, gym is 725
Non sponsored athlete

Gear Experience: Inzer T-Rex, Inzer Hardcore, Inzer Leviathan, Metal Pro Squatter

Gear Being Reviewed: Metal Pro Squatter

Pro's: This suit when tight offers a lot of support, and great pop out of the hole. It's got that typical metal squishiness, so once it's broken in you can sit back real well, but it tightens up and gives great support.

Straps are solid, no velcro, so once you've had them tailored to your liking there's no guessing on how tight to put the straps. I squat with a wide stance, but might bring my stance a little closer with this suit, but more break in time is needed.

Cons: Suit needs to be tight, and can be hard to get on since you can't really hang from the straps. It's not possible to tighten the straps slowly throughout the training cycle because they are one piece, so it's kind of a use it or don't thing.

Bar is difficult to feel on your back b/c of thick straps, and must be placed in a higher position on the back.

In comparison to the other suits, I think it is just as good as a t-rex, same pop, straps are very different though. Great suit with a proper fit, and will try to pull sumo in it too.


Steve would you mind doing a quick review of the Inzer TRX, in Europe (IPF) it seems to be becoming the suit of choice. I've heard it explained as a cross between the rebound of the Metal Squatter and the stopping power of the Centurion...