T Nation

Training in Gear Alone


I'm sure this topic has been discussed before, so pardon my laziness in looking at past threads. Is it possible to train in gear without a training partner? I am interested in trying gear (currently a raw lifter), and may not have a consistent training partner once I go back to school.


I would not bench in gear alone, ever. Too much can go wrong.

If you want to just try squat briefs (not a suit) you can typically do that in a near raw format because the briefs are not as bad as the suit at causing you to adjust/redefine your technique and are more forgiving of misses. If you want to get a squat suit, then I suggest getting a set of big thick chains and a heavy duty locking carabiner to hang from the top of the power rack. Similar to chain suspended good mornings, but start with a regular squat. The chains will catch the bar if you screw up, miss, or get injured. Don't set them too low.

A spotter (or two reliable ones) is much preferred personally.


I've been training in gear by myself for years. I lift in my power rack * that's the key * and have never had an issue, ecven while benching. If I have to ditch the bar or I lose a bench, the safety pins catch the bar. While this isn't ideal, I have the choice of not lifting or making shit happen with what I got. I chose the later option. Besides, when I do get to train with others, it's that much better.

Make it rain man.

PS I would NEVER bench in a shirt on a regular bench by myself. Like Aragon says, too much stuff can, and will go wrong, especially when you are learning the shirt. You literally will go from sugar to shit in 1/2 a second. I am not embellishing either.


I do it but it sucks. Much better to train with a crew. But if you are careful with the weights you choose and have a good rack you'll be fine.


Agreed. I've almost died, and I've seen more than a couple lifters come about 1/2" from being decapitated when a bench goes wrong and the spotters are slow on the catch in competitions. I am glad the back spotter I had in training saw what was going down and was ready, because everything felt fine to me until the last second. I was amazed at how fast it went south (turns out I wasn't on the "bubble" properly, but it FELT like I was).

That bad a dump has only happened once to me, but once is enough to drive the lesson home.

That being said I suppose the power rack could be useful for benching. I was thinking regular bench. It will be awkward getting the weight out and staying tight, but if it's all you got do it. I would just set the power rack pins to a 1 board or something--that way if you dump you know it can't hit your chest (difference between a 1 board and chest is negligible when learning a shirt, so it won't hurt your training). Hell as far as learning a shirt goes I'd stay mostly to 2 board presses to start the technique training because it is so different from hitting the bottom in raw benching. Much more work to keep stable.


I agree with StrengthDawg. Also consider doing your ME days raw, and your DE squat days in briefs. that is if you have a ME and DE day. DLing in your suit can also be done without a spotter for ME day.(or whatever your heavy day is. Heads up though, the first few months of using new gear is going to SUCK! but it is totally worth the time and effort in the end.


I would stick to single ply briefs and knee wraps for squatting/pulling (obviously just the wraps are only for squatting) and get a slingshot for benching. Wait til you have a good group to train with to use the real thing.


I like the idea of using a slingshot for bench but it's no where near the same experience of having to get the shirt on and learn to find the right groove. either way you will have the POTENTIAL to lift more than you could raw. Not everyone can just put on a shirt and add pounds to their lift. The choice is yours


I completely forgot about the slingshot for benching. Thanks for that. I bet that would help supplement my raw training as well for extra tricep work. I am definitely going to try to get a pair of briefs and wraps to get a rough idea of how much squat might change with gear.