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  1. #1
    Unregistered User Lachdanan's Avatar
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    How do bench shirts work?

    Recently I heard about them and I don't know what exactly they do to physically allow you to bench heavier.

    Anyone can please explain it?

    Also if it allows you to bench more, then does it help to build muscle that will one day bench the same weight without the shirt? Sort of like say you used some supplement and got stronger and used heavier weights, but at the end your muscles did lift those weights?

    Or is it just a way to transfer some of the weight to the shirt or something, so your muscles aren't really benching the used weight?
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  2. #2
    Registered User x-ray vision's Avatar
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    The search feature is your friend:
    http://forum.bodybuilding.com/showthread.php?t=997560
    http://forum.bodybuilding.com/showthread.php?t=1702531

    As is Google:
    http://tinyurl.com/36bvy5k

    The first couple of Google hits should answer your questions.
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  3. #3
    Registered User jsdb's Avatar
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    I am not the foremost expert in the use of a bench shirt, but I have used them in the past during competitions.
    Typically, a bench shirt is used when performing maximum bench press attempts - competition meets are where this is typically seen. The shirt greatly compresses the chest and arm musculature. The shirt has a certain amount of built-in elastic properties. What I mean by this is - When you put the shirt on it naturally wants your arms to be straight out in front of you. When you lift this gives some extra resistance to the eccentric phase of the lift. While doing the concentric phase of the lift this causes the weight to "feel" lighter than lifting without a shirt. It helps to push through some of the sticking points that people have during their maximum lifts.
    Training with a bench shirt - you certainly can train with a bench shirt, but I am not sure that you would get the full benefit of the training in the same way that you would by not using the shirt. I think that the major advantage is seen only during your maximum lifts to set personal records or win competitions.
    Unless you plan to compete I wouldn't recommend using one.
    You certainly would have a hard time using it by yourself as they are very difficult to put on.
    I hope that this is helpful.
    Jon
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  4. #4
    Equipment Geek Mod Wildtim's Avatar
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    They stretch, but not easilly, that's how they help you bench heavier.

    Using a shirt, you can never grow to bench the same weight as the shirt allows you to. If that makes any sense.


    (warning this is a way oversimplified explanation) Think of a shirt as having a rubber band around your elbows. It stretches as the bar is lowered, to strong a shirt and you can't get a light bar down to your chest, then when you go to lift the bar it helps you by springing back.

    To answer the unasked questions:

    No, a shirt will not help your raw bench more than just benching will.

    It's only use is to be able to mov more wheight in a powerlifting competition where they are allowed. Yes, you have to practice using one in order to get the most out of using it.
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  5. #5
    4MeandThem 4MEandThem's Avatar
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    I gotta disagree with Tim on his statement about not helping your raw bench.It has helped my raw bench and is supportive to my shoulders. Getting used to bigger weights that you normally wouldn't be using raw is what they are good for.They also provide support like a knee wrap does.Chains,bands and shirts are all good tools.
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  6. #6
    Registered User Essexlad's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by 4MEandThem View Post
    I gotta disagree with Tim on his statement about not helping your raw bench.It has helped my raw bench and is supportive to my shoulders. Getting used to bigger weights that you normally wouldn't be using raw is what they are good for.They also provide support like a knee wrap does.Chains,bands and shirts are all good tools.
    He didn't say a shirt wouldn't help your raw bench, just that raw benching is the best way to increase your raw bench.

    It's a good point about support though, I remember hearing somewhere they were originally made just as a support to protect the shoulders, then developed into shirts we see today that add lbs to your lifts.
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  7. #7
    4MeandThem 4MEandThem's Avatar
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    I didn't think he said it wouldn't help at all.He said it wouldn't any more than.I respect Tim I just disagree on that point.
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  8. #8
    Registered User A_doughnut's Avatar
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    I think bench shirts are primarily used to prevent pec tears/injuries because the chance of injury benching 500+ RAW all the time is great.
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