Recently purchased a Titan Fury for dirt cheap that happens to be listed as Meet Fit for me (and I have disproportionately thick arms so it is tiiiiiiight) and been working in it a bit just kinda fooling around to see if I’m cut out for this. I’ve had shoulder issues for 10 weeks after my last raw max and in the shirt I have had absolutely zero pain even working at and slightly higher than my raw max so far which feels incredible so I would like to hopefully get better in this and make progress.
I managed to touch no problem my first time in it, it was hella uncomfortable and it felt like the material was gonna shear my nipples off or blow up my triceps but touched no problem. 2nd session I already knew how the pain was gonna feel so I was ready for it and just rowed the bar hard to the touch point (Figure it’s like a bandaid, hurts more to go slow) and again no touch issues. My current issue I have identified is timing the elbow flare with the ‘pop’ and I guess learning to press more toward the ceiling and not toward the rack because I have hit the rack a couple times now and had the bar half-racked and half on the safeties. No big issue, I set up with my head behind the upright and the safety arms are high enough so I’m fine but it’s annoying.
Anecdotes over, the real questions I’d like help on:
Is it possible to press more or less straight up off the chest as opposed to a sort of arcing path toward the rack? I press straight up on raw, but the (very limited) tutorials on shirted benching always has guys doing an arc path and I seem to not be going vertical enough as I go back sometimes so that arc falls short of the proper height to re-rack it.
Are boards necessary for training or can I attack this like normal raw work? Such as just doing 3x3, 5x5 etc full reps to the chest (Well, upper abdomen almost) and back up to lockout. I have boards in the gym but my brain is telling me that working the full range of motion seems to make more sense, though I admit ignorance on the topic of actually training in this thing.
Should I treat this as if I am a 100% newb all over again and use light loads (50-60% max) to essentially do form work/learn the lift as if I had never benched in my life for a bit? Or is that something that wouldn’t seemingly help in any reasonable way?
Appreciate any advice. I have digested as much info as I can from videos, articles and forum posts but I am still left with these questions. Raw max is 375 and my best shirted rep so far is 370 which, although substantially easier in the shirt, is still sub-max which makes me wonder why people honestly think everyone just benches 1000 their first day in a shirt lol. “Just throw on a shirt” does not, in fact, raise your press lmao.