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I let Titan pick the shirt size based on my measurements. 56" Chest 18.5" Arms. The Shirt is the Super Katana, they sent me a 60, I think it may be too big, I can get it on pretty easy first indicator LOL... the arms fit but aren't tight, the chest is bullet proof on this shit. I have to work my ass off to barely get my chest to the floor doing a push up. Standing I can only pull my arms back to 90 degrees. I haven't taken it to the gym yet but wanted to hear some opinions from the experienced geared lifters. Thanks for the help.
Here is Titan's size chart
That's the challenge when dealing with stock sized gear.... the chest might fit but then the other stuff is all out of whack.
I lift in an Overkill shirt. All overkill gear is made to your measurements so it's dead on. The first workout took a hand full of baby powder, a ratchet tie down ( overkill puts pull tabs in their shirts for these) and two guys to help me get in to it and it still took a good 5 minutes... The first few sets it was so tight that I needed a spotter to get my hands out to the rings on the bar. By the second workout it was easier to get in to, I could get my hands to the rings myself and I could touch a 2-board. By the 3rd workout it took 2 minutes with the ratchet and it was on and I could touch weights with it.... and it's stayed pretty much the same since.
That's how you'd want a shirt to fit ideally for an experienced lifter.
Now, the Katana is a tough shirt to touch in ( about as hard as my Overkill) and it sounds like you are pretty new to this.... if you don't have an experienced crew to help you then don't sweat it. Start there and after a few workouts take it to a tailor or shoe repair shop and have them tighten the arms 3/4". Don't try to do it yourself and don't use regular cotton thread. The gear companies all use a #41, #69, or in some cases a #81 nylon bonded thread. I do a lot of alterations for my gear and for my buddies so I just bought an industrial sewing machine and do it all myself. I use #69 thread and I have never had a blow-out. Either way, start out loose and as you learn it, tighten it up.
If you have a crew that knows how to work gear ship that thing back and get a size smaller. You shouldn't get anywhere near doing a pushup in a shirt unless you have 12" long arms and an 11" gut. Even a single-ply katana shouldn't come close to this. And if you are pulling your arms back on your own then it's definitely too loose. The first two or three workouts in a properly fitted shirt should involve 10 minutes of sweating and swearing in to your shirt as your whole crew tries to stuff you in to it.....
The big one, and I know that this isn't your question.... if you don't have a crew helping you that knows their shit bench in a cage and set the safety catch ( or tow straps hung from the top bar) to catch the weight before it smashes your face. Benching raw if you miss a weight it's slow and predictable, a shirt adds a whole new dimension of cluster-****. If something goes wrong it happens much faster and you need good spotters ( or a cage so you at least don't smash your face).... usually it's one of 2 things. Some guys will dump the bar on their bellies when they try to touch ( especially new guys who can't handle the pressure of a shirt and panic), or 2- the bar pops up so fast from your chest/belly that you don't get your elbows out in time ( or your triceps give out) and the bar comes back over your face and either the spotters catch it or you lose teeth... as in all of them.
So be careful, use safety pins, or make the field trip to get some work in with a good team. Either way, good luck.
Wow PLk nice lesson. I started with a weaker shirt. Thanks for the time in halos thread. Picked up a few things. I just ordered my double ply squat suit and looking forward to it. I did try the reverse band squats today. Very nice!
Thanks so much PLK your advice is gold brother! Unfortunately for me I don't have that crew, I know of one in the area with monsters and I should get off my ass and go introduce myself and see if they'd want to have an old character like me around. OK So that stuff being said I dragged my wife to the gym to see what's what.
I got it on and put my belt on then rolled the bottom of the shirt around the loaded bar and stood on my toes working the neckline down. You're absolutely right the Super Katana is a beast to work to the touch. As you mentioned I am new to wearing gear, I have some experience with the Super Ram but this is my first shirt.
I warmed up a little got the shirt on and worked 5 reps with 225 down to about 4 or 5" give or take, an obvious indicator of what's up. I put 315 on and worked 5 more reps getting down to about 2-3 inches working harder on the bottom end and there was lots of pressure my head was purple LOL... Threw 405 on and worked 4 reps and brushed the shirt barely. I felt solid with where I was coming down right on the bottom of my sternum, I don't have a great arch but I'm working on it. By now I'm getting jacked my arms are snugging in pretty good. I put 495 on and did one rep to the touch, felt confident in my control and the mechanics of where it was coming down how I was working to get it down and my drive up off the bottom. Prior to tonight my PR was 505 with the RAM. I put 545 on the bar and went and found a couple of guys to mind the sides while my wife had the primary spot, she's great if I need help she follows the bar and will apply what's needed when it's needed so catastrophe can be avoided. I talked to the guys about specifics they were great didn't touch it but were on it if some shit went sideways. I got as much of an arch as I could nice wide grip pushing the shit apart as hard as I could gave my wife the nod and out we went great control not to shallow or to far right on the spot. I came down nice and slow let the shirt do it's thing my head was about to explode at the bottom nice touch and wife gave me the up yell!!!! Drove it up and locked it out, racked it no problem and called it a night.
I think I'll leave the sleeves for a couple of weeks and then make the move to get then altered to the right snugness. Definitely felt a little claustrophobic at the bottom wow that's allot of pressure. My plan at this point will be to keep shirt work to maybe once a week and keep pushing my raw bench. Any advice along the way will be greatly appreciated!
The only thing I can add.. When first starting out with your shirt, use boards. Never try and touch right out of the gate..
Thanks Jute! One day too late on the don't touch advice, no one said that to me before so I was pretty much determined to work the shirt till I got down. I didn't sacrifice any control or form and I really don't have anyone to work boards for me. I did stay off the shirt on the lighter weights and worked form and control down then driving it up through lockout. I'm feeling good with it so far.
When using a shirt for the first time its like benching all over again.. The bar will come down lower on you its more like an arch instead of coming straight down benching raw. When starting out with boards, you get a feel for the shirt with out risking injury by mishandling the weight or getting cuffed.
what is cuffed Jute?
Halo that is a big difference in size. A bench shirt is meant to be custom made for each person and not standard sizes. It's amazing how much more you can bench press with a shirt that fits prefect.
How much more can you bench with this shirt vs raw? Do the sleeves go all the way down to the elbow?
The shirt sleeves are above the elbow and as I got some blood in my arms they snugged but I'm sure nowhere near as tight as they should be. My numbers are 450 raw, 505 with the RAM and the first night with the shirt I hit 545 to the touch, I felt like I had more in the tank but felt no need to try my luck I was more working on the mechanics and my arch etc but did feel the need to go for a little Again one of my issues is I work alone a majority of the time and I'm trying not to die under a bar. I trust my wife up to an extent she knows how to apply a lb where it's needed so theres no sticking and we don't have an incident. I grabbed a couple of guys and gave them pretty clear instructions and all went well this time but as I said gotta be a little careful or get with a group of people who know what they are doing.
I think I'll take PLK's advice and have the sleeves altered but even with them a little looser than ideal it wasn't a bad experience.
Last edited by Halo; 02-16-2012 at 07:57 PM.
Halo with a 450 raw bench you should easily hit 650 in a shirt. Let me see if I can get you a video.