bench shirt (not a typical question about them)
05-07-2005 07:44 AM
bench shirt (not a typical question about them)
I really struggle in the bench press...when I go any wider than shoulder width for any period of time beyond a few workouts my shoulders start to bother me. So right now I train the bench press with a narrow grip.
Feels like I just need a little bit of support to be able to go out wider. If I keep super-duper strict form I can perform a few pain-free reps...it's like I need to keep everything in real tight.
So I was wondering...is there any bench shirt available that offers support while not "assisting" so much in performing the exercise? I hear some of the shirt available today almost force a lifter to "row" the weight down to their chests (I' sure that is an exaggeration, but the point it seems they are trying to make when they say that is that the shirt helps handle a whole lot more weight than without it.) I dont' want or need assistance in lifting more weight. I just want something to give me some support in my shoulder area.
I was a baseball player from the age of ten and believe my shoulder problems are related to throwing a baseball all of those years. Been to the doctor and they really don't wanna do anything for me other than set me up with PT or therabands and an exercise program (which has not worked.)
I figured maybe a powerlifting outfitter might sell a shirt that is made specifically for that purpose or is mainly used to protect a lifter while he trains...ie not a competition shirt.
If anyone has any thoughts I'd appreciate it.
05-07-2005 09:16 AM
If it hurts/bothers you to bench press then why not eliminate bench pressing altogether. I gave up bench pressing last year and my shoulders are thanking me for it. DB's have become my best friends. Have you done/been doing any exercises to strengthen your rotators? This helped me tremendously as well. Maybe a few more warm-ups and some stretching are needed to loosen the shoulders up a little more. Just a couple of suggestions. I really don't think a shirt will help, if anything it will just mask the pain possibly setting you up for an injury later on. I figure somene will chime in with supplements that you can take to help with the pain, but personally I would work out the problem on my own trying a few different things before spending money on something you possibly don't need (and just masks the problem, not fixes it).
05-07-2005 01:00 PM
A good shirt to wear mostly for support and protection would be a single ply poly. It may give you a really small boost out of the bottom, but it really isnt going to help you that much. I think it would work good for what you are looking for, it would keep your shoulders tight and definetly is not a competition bench shirt. Inzer's site is www.inzernet.com there are several other different brands out there, everyone has their preferences, basically its up to you.
05-07-2005 01:02 PM
For supplements to try and help your joints, Cissus Rx has been getting rave reviews about its ability to heal joints. Flax oil and glucosamine are some other joint supps. Definetly make sure you are doing plenty of warmups as natedogg said.
05-07-2005 02:28 PM
Bump to Nate's suggestion. You can contact Inzer or Titan and tell them what you want. I would definitely order it a size or two bigger because you want it for light support and not to be overly tight. The basic fit should work, but again I would e-mail or call either of the two and tell them what you wanted and I'm sure they'll try their best to make what you want. But yeah, definitely go with the single ply poly.
Originally Posted by Nate Dawg
05-07-2005 02:44 PM
Good advice from Nate Dawg
Originally Posted by Nate Dawg
Dont worry about the boost from teh bottom hindering chest development either...it will develop just fine.
05-07-2005 03:48 PM
Great info guys...thanks alot. Sounds exactly like what I was looking for.
In case you guys were wondering, I workout at home so don't really have to worry about some huge powerlifter watching me squeeze into a bench shirt to lift an amount of weight he warms up with. If I worked out at a gym I'd not do it...I'd feel like the guys that wear fingerless gloves to train with.
Natedogg, I'll eliminate the bench press completely if I have to. I just have always kinda had it in my head that I wanted to hit 400 on the bench press and 500 on the squat at some point in my life. Not that those are numbers that are good for a powerlifter or anything...they'll be good by me, though. So I wanna develop those exercises the best I can...until I'm sure I cannot.
05-07-2005 04:38 PM
05-07-2005 08:44 PM
Alright, I'll post exactly what I did tonight although my shoulders have given me FAR less trouble in the last few months (since I started using this routine) than before.
Originally Posted by kwyckemynd00
I try and do rest/pause on everything but some exercises don't lend themselves well to that. Aim here is to NOT turn this into an endurance event. All I care about is strength increases.
Squat thrusts to warm up (about a minute.)
Leg Extension (single leg) - 140x9 failed on the 10th rep
Leg Curl - 145x10 failed on the 11th rep (these first two exercises are done before squats because my knees have hurt less since doing it in this order)
Squat - (warmup set with 135 just to nail down form)
Squat - 255x9 failed on the 10th rep (I'm 6'1"...I don't know if that has anything to do with my squat lagging or not, but I've always done them and they've always lagged.)
Narrow Grip 1 Board Press - 235x9 failed on the 10th rep (narrow grip meaning index fingers just inside the "knurled" part of the bar toward the inside)
Barbell Rows - 165x10 failed on the 11th rep
Incline Barbell Press (I don't go below my chin otherwise I have problems...have only been doing this exercise for a week and this is what triggered me to post about the shoulder problem) - 185x10 failed on the 11th rep
Chin Ups - bodyweight (216) plus 5 lbs. on a belt/chain x 9 failed on the 10th rep
Dumbbell Shoulder Press - 70x9 failed on the 10th rep
And that is it. I do this every other day for three weeks, then take about three days off and repeat. I'll change some exercises occasionally (for example, I recently added Incline Press in place of Weighted Dips.) It's basically a down and dirty HIT routine (but with more rest in between sets so as to not make it an endurance workout.)
I guarantee I'll be criticized for this routine by someone. Not enough general warm-up, not enough specific warm-up, no direct arm work (I don't feel it is necessary,) going to failure on every set every workout, not a whole lotta volume, not enough lower body exercise, the fact that my weights are pretty pathetic, etc. I really feel, though, that at least for right now this is a great program for me. I get stronger every workout, it takes 30 minutes and there's no excuse not to do it whether I'm extremely busy or not, and I enjoy it. I got stuck in a rut for a long time with the three sets of ten, bodyparts on different days routine I used for years. This is a fresh change.
What really started my shoulder aggravation was when I trained for two months using the Westside Barbell Routine. Max Effort bench excercises started this for me (I imagine I had an underlying issue that got aggravated using this routine.) I just think some people are too candy-ass for Westside and I'm one of them...
Anyhow, sorry for this being so long. I just didn't want this to come over as an uneducated ass-wipe routine, because I feel for me this is very solid. In a few months I'll go to something dramatically different but what I need to watch out for is overtraining, which happens very easily with me. Gains come to a halt with me and high volume.
My diet is pretty solid. I'm cutting right now but this began when I was bulking (and training Westside.) I've used glucosamine, chondroitin and MSM, also used whatever is in MHP's "Relieve," and I get alot of fish oil (flax oil bothers my stomach for some reason.)
05-07-2005 08:50 PM
To address one other thing you mentioned...pinched shoulders does help alot. However, if I'm not perfect on every rep I get problems. Part of my problem was, I think, that I was flaring my elbows alot when doing Max Effort bench press exercises. And I think I did that because of the fact that my shoulders (I think) have always been disproportionately stronger than the rest of my body...and knowing this I unconsiously was trying to use my strongest bodypart to assist as much as possible in the lift...if that makes sense.
If I could post my form I totally would...I don't have a video camera. I'll try and get one from a freind, though.
Thanks for all of your help guys. it is very much appreciated.
I'll be in touch with Inzer and Titan to see what they recommend for me and I'll update this thread once I get the shirt and get a feel for whether it is helping me.
05-07-2005 10:17 PM
You need to fix your form bro, and get a Titan Fury (inzer is ass, get your titan fury from www.plgearonline.com, if you try to order directly from titan they'll tell you it'll take 10 weeks to get your shirt to you, but priscilla @ plgearonline.com will get it to you in less than a week). If you get an inzer shirt you won't be able to get it on yourself, whereas I can put on my competition fury by myself but I usually have someone help me align the seams on the sleeves. Ask priscilla for sizing for a practice shirt... She'll need your bodyweight, chest and flexed arm measurements, as well as height. You are also going to need a belt to properly use the fury, since you are supposed to pull the shirt down in front and then tighten your belt over over the shirt so it doesn't ride up. Properly fitted (but loose) the shirt should require somewhere between 180-250 to touch depending on a number of factors. If you want more support I'd say get a meet fit shirt, that'll probably require somewhere between 280-340 to touch depending again on a number of factors. The fury does require you to bench with your elbows tucked and your shoulder blades retracted to work properly, it'll give you very little support if you don't do these things.
You are going to need to learn to bench like a powerlifter if you want your shoulders to heal. Pinch your shoulder blades together, tuck your elbows, arch your back and bring the bar low (somewhere between your belly button and the very bottom of your pecs). Elbows out benching is a road to ruin man...
I have impingements in both shoulders that are pretty much totally healed now, PL style bench is the way to go.
05-07-2005 11:43 PM
Incline hurts me, too. Chin level hurts more for me. I just arch really big on incline, and use full ROM (with even a slight bounce b/c it's not hindering development, and when i have to change the momentum of the bar, that's when teh shoulder gets me)
05-08-2005 06:49 AM
Hey thanks alot for taking the time to read this thread and to reply. That's a big help and I will contact that website.
Originally Posted by exnihilo
Elbows out is the road to ruin, eh? Well that has to be what caused my shoulders to become symptomatic (still think baseball was the root cause.) It's a hard habit to break...anytime I use a heavy weight I get real tempted to flare those elbows out. I really want to train like a powerlifter, though. I like my current routine but I really would like to be able to alternate between a PL routine and my own HIT kind of training.
05-08-2005 10:50 AM
You can do PL style bench and do whatever routine you want, no biggie. Avoid going to full out failure on your bench though... Also, any shoulder work you do, do it slowly TUT style, with light weight. I'd also entirely eliminate side laterals from the rotation if you do them now. Also, do some research on exercises to strengthen the external rotator muscles of the shoulder.
As for avoiding benching elbows out, really concentrate on technique and let the weight go for a little bit, tuck your elbows and bench with your pinkie just inside the ring so that your arms come straight down along your sides.
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