So after a lengthy discussion among the core lifters of Eastside Barbell, we've made an important decision regarding the direction of the team.

From this point on, we will be training and competing RAW.

Since the explosion of the RAW powerlifting movement in the past few years, those of us on the equipped side have watched on with amusement as the RAW crowd has further segregated themselves, based on gear, of all things. So rather than powerlifting being divided simply into RAW (why in caps? who knows) single ply, and multiply (as nature intended), we now have RAW belt only, RAW with sleeves, and RAW with wraps.

So in an effort to get in on the fun and ride the wave of RAW lifting's popularity, we will henceforth be competing in the RAW with suits & shirts division!

So what better way to kick off my new Raw powerlifting career than by breaking in a new prototype METAL bench shirt!

A couple of weeks ago I had received two prototype shirts from METAL Sport for testing and evaluation (thanks Minna). The first one I liked very much, all things considered, although it was a little stretchier than I generally prefer (but I think a lot of lifters will like it). The other one, which I tested this past Monday was quite a bit stiffer, and more along the lines of what I typically wear.

Here's how it went:


Bar x a bunch

95 x 5

135 x 5

185 x 1

225 x 1

275 x 1

315 x 1

RAW with 3 board


Raw with Shirt

455 - 3 board

495 - 2 board

545 - 1 board

585 - touch

The weight touched rather easily, and had a good pop off the chest. It slowed a bit at lockut, but I'll be able to fix this by pulling the collar down a bit. This time,  kept it high to see how light of a weight I could get to my chest. I've been kicking the crap out f myself these last few weeks testing out these shirts, so that's as high as I went. I'm VERY optimistic about the next time I get it on though. Plus, I'm a little light at the moment so with a meet day bloat, I should get way more pop out of it.