Bench Shirt Prototype!

This past Monday I enjoyed a great moment in the life of a gear whore.

Testing out a prototype bench shirt!

Since the product is not yet for sale, I'm not sure how specific I can be about it, so I'll keep my descriptions on the general side, without going into specifics of the design. Long story short though, this thing is badass!

I actually received two shirts from Metal, with one being a little stiffer looking than the other. Since I've been having trouble touching in my existing stuff, I decided to use the more forgiving-looking one, so I can try to get my technique back on track without wrestling with another tough shirt.

In the few days before using them, I pre-stretched the sleeves out by blowing footballs up in them. By Monday, I was able to get the thing all the way on without having to cut the bottom seam off like I usually do. I also wet the hell out of it to reduce the stress on the material.

Warmed up raw to 365, then worked up like this on boards:

455 - 3 board

495 - 2 board

545 - 1 board

585 - touch

625 - 1 board x 2

On the 585, I was able to touch and bench the weight, but it was hard to lock-out, meaning I wan't getting enough support at the top. I hadn't tweaked the shirt at this point, just put it on and went. So to start figuring out the groove, I pulled the collar lower and brought it to a one board with 625. Got a bit more support, but not there yet.

Pulled it down even more and repeated the 625. Now THAAAAT'S more like it.  Got the bar to the board, and had zero trouble at lockout. I also felt like I could have touched the 625 if I needed to.

Overall, I was really impressed with this shirt. I tend to prefer stiffer shirts in general, but I was still able to get plenty of carryover from this one.  For all the support I got, this shirt was extremely easy to touch in. Most importantly, I now have a shirt that I will have no trouble touching in at a meet. To early to tell if this will be my go-to meet shirt, but with it's ease of use I won't have to worry (as much) about bombing out again because I was unable to touch.

Stay tuned for my report on the second shirt after I try it out this coming Monday.

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