The first time I heard the word; “Bench press shirt”, I immediately began to wonder what it could be and what exactly it could be doing for lifters. Until I saw and used the shirt myself, I erroneously concluded it is perhaps a magic suit to enhance the effectiveness of benchers because it is used in the gym by benchers, members of the powerlifting, weightlifting, squat, deadlifting or for a normal workout. However, I may be right to conclude that way, but it’s obviously clear now that my conclusion is not correct in its entirety.
“Anyway, you don’t need to laugh at me; it was a long time ago, and there is always a first time for everything. I know better now.”
So, for the sake of those that still wonder what a bench press shirt is, or perhaps, you are thinking you can wear a bench press shirt and automatically turn to a Superman and then magically add 300lbs to your bench press, am sorry to disappoint you that it doesn’t happen like that. However, am going to be showing you everything you need to know about bench press and how you could get one to tremendously improve your presses and start training with 600, 700, 800, and a thousand pounds.
WHAT EXACTLY IS A “BENCH PRESS SHIRT” AND HOW DOES IT WORK?
A bench press shirt, being a stiff supportive shirt, is often used to improve performances in a bench press. This shirt is most often used in powerlifting competitions to enhance their 1 rep max. The shirt is primarily an artificial shoulder guard and pectoral (chest) guard for weightlifters. The shirt which acts like a compressing a powerful spring helps resist the bench press movement, thereby giving a boost off the chest and also give optimum protection to the shoulders. The extremely tight fit of a bench shirt absolutely supports weightlifter’s shoulders and deltoid muscles when lifting.WHAT CAN PRESS SHIRT DO TO YOUR LIFTS?
If a shirt that correctly fits your lifting technique is carefully chosen, and you learn how to use the shirt well, it’s capable of improving your bench lifts as much as 10-15% for a low-quality shirt or 30%+ for a quality one. However, it is important to carefully choose your shirt as choosing a badly fitting shirt – choosing one that does not fit your technique, or failure to learn how to use the shirt correctly could do more damage to your 1 rep max than what it was when you do your lifting without bench press shirt.
However, you wouldn’t have to worry because there are lots of bench press shirts on the market which gives you a good option to make the right choice for yourself. But make sure when you are choosing your bench press, ensure you are choosing the one that best suits your lifting technique.
TYPES OF BENCH SHIRTS
When choosing a bench press shirt to enhance lifting, it is good you know there are different types of shirts and they are mostly not serving the same purpose. Bench press shirts could be a single- or multi-ply in thickness. They are usually made of polyester, denim, or canvas. These shirts could also come in different styles and fitting type which is why it’s important you train or practice in a particular brand of the shirt before you can conclusively decide which one will fit well with your lifting technique. The brand type of the bench press shirt you wear goes a long way to determine the way you lift weights in them. The wrong brand simply translates a bad lifting in the gym.
SINGLE PLY AND MULTIPLE PLY BENCH PRESS SHIRTS
Bench press shirts, as earlier said, could come in different layers sew into them, and that’s what determines if they are going to be a single ply, double ply, triple-ply or more.
In a single ply bench press shirt, only one layer of polyester or denim is sewed into it, while double has two layers in critical areas; triple ply shirts has three layers of material sewed in critical areas. One thing about the amount of materials sewed into these shirts is that the thicker these shirts are, the more resistance they are able to give and thus translates to more additional power for the bencher. However, most bench press today has nothing less than double ply in order to provide more protection to the shirt in the face of extreme loads which could cause ripping off of the shirts.
“One thing about the amount of materials sewed into these shirts is that the thicker these shirts are, the more resistance they are able to give and thus translates to more additional power for the bencher”
POLYESTER (POLY) SHIRTS
This is, of course, the first design on the market and so they are the most popular type of bench press used by benchers today. Few things you should know about the Poly shirts are:
- They are made with one or two layers of polyester
- They provide a good resistance and power to the shirt
- Usually fit tightly into the bencher that it may be extremely uncomfortable sometimes
- Getting them on or removing them could be very difficult
- Not recommended for beginners
- Your armpits are likely to bleed with poly shirts
The denim shirts also are similar to the poly shirts, but a bit more comfortable but works in the same principle.
- It is more flexible than polyesters and therefore provides more support
- Denim shirts exacts a lot of pressure on benchers and are therefore not suitable for every bencher
- It is more flexible than the poly bench press shirts and so do not need to be worn as tightly as the polyester shirt
- Wearing and removing is much more convenient
- It can support much more weight
Whichever shirt you choose to bench, one important thing you shouldn’t forget is that it’s important you practice in the shirts before deciding on which to choose because your lifting skill and convenience in those shirts will determine if you will be going with such shirt.
“Whichever shirt you choose to bench, make sure you practice in the shirts before going for such bench press shirt”
BENEFITS OF USING BENCH PRESS SHIRTS
The main purpose of inventing bench press shirts in the first place for lifters was to help prevent injury during lifting. But the shirts are today being used for more reasons aside from the main purpose of preventing injury. It is now being used to enhance lifting of the shirt’s users.
Due to the way these shirts are built, they provide a line of tension which acts like a spring whenever they are worn by lifters. Inside the shirt is built a band of 4 inches wide – that is the anchor point the tension builds. Though putting the shirt on for the first time for beginners could bring some bruising and could be difficult to get on or off it, it is worth it as the magic it does to your lifting will make you forget the pain as you master its use.
However, it’s good to remind you that you should not buy a bench press shirt until you have tested it and you are sure you can work in the shirt.
“Your bench press shirt is more or less like a lifesaver to you; your life may depend on it so make sure you are getting the one that best suit your technique”
HOW TO GET A BENCH PRESS SHIRT
Bench shirts are being sold today by several companies. They offer their shirts in different designs with various materials, plys, and of course, in varying prices.
You can decide to go with the Inzer Shirts, Super Katana shirts, Titan shirts, Fury shirts, and more. They all go for as low as $24 to as much as $300.
You may need to remember these points:
- Bench press shirts are not only capable of giving you the utmost protection you need when you lift, it also helps enhances your lifting.
- There can be different types of bench press shirts and made from different types of materials.
- Never should you opt for any shirt without properly testing to see they fit your techniques.
- Consider your bench press shirt as a lifesaver because actually, your life may depend on it.
- Getting on a bench press could sometime be truly difficult and could sometime bring injuries and bruises, depending on the type of shirt it is. However, the pain is worth it.
- Your bench press shirt, when chosen carefully, is capable of improving your bench lifts as much as 10-15% for a low-quality shirt or 30%+ for a quality one.
- As a beginner lifter that wants to use or practice in a bench press, you should seek the opinion and advice of experts before choosing your shirt. some could be very difficult for beginners to practice in.
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