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My opinion on Raw benchers use shirts to train. Plus. Free PL History 101.


New member
Apr 27, 2018
This is the old time debate that will go on for years.. But granted people love raw lifting and only think the raw records count.. Most of the new raw records are being set by geared lifters because it allows your body to handle more weight. And in the end helps the raw bench tremendously. That and the slingshot by mark bell or then one titan makes. Now in say that with the exception of Jeremy hoonstra who is just a freak at 242 for a raw bench..
Hey brother. I RESPECTFULLY disagree. Now I rarely post. However it seems many rate the validity or competence of one’s opinion largely based on post count. I’m not pointing the finger at anyone nor care to debate it. I doubt I have ten posts however I’ve read the forums as long as absolutely anyone here. My choice on how I competed should be irrelevant as to my knowledge regarding powerlifting matters. As I competed drug tested. Now that my boring ass preface is out of the way. I competed in powerlifting for for over 25 years. The last 15 plus at the highest level. I’ve lived the gear changes. I’ve witnessed many “first ever” and “All time” lifts. I’ve been blessed to have trained with the greatest ever. And personally know many more. Ok. Novel preface done. Really. There are just so many haters in the world it’s an obligation. Don’t take it personal.
The OVERWHELMING MAJORITY OF BIG BENCHERS. INCLUDING THE 700 RAW. ABSOLUTELY DO NOT TRAIN GEARED! Again. This is a debate. That’s one big reason to have a forum. Someone name ONE 700 raw bencher. Just one. That trained shirted for their 16 week pre cycle? ZERO. My personal first hand experience as in I trained with these people? Mendelson. Now I’m going to provide “extra non related” information here. Don’t want to read it? You’re business. Facts few if any reading know. I’m just sharing knowledge I’m blessed to have. Save the hate. Mendy would visit Vegas fairly often. He’s a successful business man. Or was at that time. Most don’t know he got in a horrible car crash that many would have expired. His right (I believe?) leg. Was literally crushed down to the foot/ankle. Before he ever touched 7 bills. His footwear is custom. One shoe has around 4” of heel on the bottom. His ankle was crushed. Look closely at the 700 raw guys.
Search 700 raw benchers.
You’ll see MOST use perfect technique. Don’t ever confuse a quick setup for shitty technique. ZERO use the max grip. 82 cm or 32”. Legally the rings must be covered. TECHNICALLY you can have one hand over offset by the other but I’ve never seen it. FYI. So despite every man weighing at least 300. None use the max grip. Why? Benching is about elbow angle as one huge component. That’s why MOST arch. Now the Ukrainian really exaggerates his. Currently the best in the world. Now I personally trained with Jeremy Hoornstra. For years. In THE CAGE. At the Arnold. Now he topped out at 675. Appeared to most to flat back. However his SCAPULA WERE RETRACTED. 675. That’s 7 wheels folks. At 242. He’s not very tall. 5’6? He probably has the closest grip of any all time record holder I’ve seen. Now giving credit to our trendsetters. Rick Well benched around 2” outside THE KNURLING! He was before my time. I believe it was 1984. Remember. There used to be just 3 major recognized organizations. The USPF. The Seniors were often harder to win than IPF words as the USA 🇺🇸 for many years owned it. During the late 80s to mid 90’s the only and by far best ever PL mag for 20 plus years. The great Mike Lambert’s PL USA. Stated. Quoted from many greats “The Armed Forces Championships is tougher than the IPFs”. Back then all 4 branches allowed lifters time to train for it. Factually the Navy never let their lifters around deployments and my beloved Corps the same. Guess I’m really saying the Chair force. Oops. Aim high while we hit the T spot bullseye. Damn. AIR FORCE and
Ready to be a
Army. Couldn’t resist. If you’re a veteran you know it’s in fun. No rank. Race. Branch nor atheist in a fighting hole. We all have one mission and all bleed red white and blue and are all brothers. Semper Fidelis!
Needed to be said.
I believe the Air Force won a few more than the Corps. Army and Navy not so much. Gene Bell was perhaps the best. Air Force vet now. My Corps had Ausby Alexander. First ever 1700@148. Sly Anderson. 2100? Plus @198. And an all time great puller at 132. Name escapes me. Damn. JD CARR. Pulled 628@132. Second only to the GOAT lightweight lifter to this day. Arguably the best lifter ever. Period. Lamar Gant. He holds TWO all time DL records both well over 30 years old. Now forget about the bullshit lift out of the UK. Gant is STILL the only lifter in history to set all time records at the IPF. In all 4 categories. He actually broke the squat and bench. Before his 628@123!! And 683@132!! First lifter ever to total 12xbwt. He NEVER LOST! Won 12? 13? IPF worlds. In a row. Trained just 6 months a year according to many. Great guy too. Benching? And shirts. Mendelson is the best example. World records both ways. He never used his shirt when breaking raw records. It’s almost two separate lifts. The groove is different. Now Eric Spoti and Stan The Rhino Efferding traveled here to train with us. From California. On Saturdays. For months. Eric is unbelievable jacked. His chest is so thick. He tucks his shoulders in. Chest up. Short stroke. Only lifter EVER to bench 700. FIRST MEET. I never saw him miss a rep. SOME use a Titan ram. SOME. Bench shirts? Never seen nor heard. Now I bet if you call Louie. The master. He’ll agree. And tell you exactly why as well. Lastly. Do not imitate the best! Just like BBING. Their workouts WILL NOT WORK BEST FOR YOU! I’m talking more about form to a point. These guys have a thickness almost never found in BBERS. Exception Ronnie. Why? 300. Solid and squatted and pulled 8 bills (sorry to apparently be the first one ever to point this out. His 800 pull video? Is 795. Could he have done 8? Obviously see 4 yourself). His thickness remains best ever. Point is most DONT need a huge arch. 90% do! At least scap retraction etc. You’ll see a few. Grip too close. Look at the elbows at the bottom. BELOW torso. Grip too close. Forearms not parallel. They weigh 350! It works for them. Probably not you! I’ll get into form on all the lifts. Just ask.
In closing. No. They don’t shirt up. If so. Name one 700 raw bencher. Yes. 600 is rare. But I personally know Joe Mazza for example. He broke Wells record. Now he does use a damn near max grip. He broke all times both ways. No shirts when raw training. I personally know Ryan Kennelly. Very well. I was part of the hand off team for the first EVER 800. He officially did over 600 raw. But for that 800? I spotted him in warmups. Alone. Chin on my chest and watching him pump 515x5. Completely raw. Tank top. He MAY have wrapped his wrists. He could have done at least 10-12. Or more. It was stunning. He had little arch. Mike Green or Gunny Green. Did well over 500@215. AFTER a show we guest lifted in Destin. He layed on a bench with 405. And CLOSE GRIPPED it. For TEN. After guest lifting at Riverfest. THE best show I’ve ever done. 4 times. Tony Caprari. Pulled around 750@198. We were freaking hung over Sunday morning. Raining. We were helping load the equipment. He layed on a bench. He weighed 190 Probably 183 from being hung over lol. 135 on the bar. Flat back. 10. 225. 10. 315. 3. 365. 3. 405??? 3. 425. 2. I MADE him stop “But Rock I missed bench day”. REALLY.
Let me know if this history bores you. I’ll never disrespect anyone’s opinion. But I’ll give mine respectfully. As well as 30 years of knowledge. Let me know. This PL forum is DEAD. I’m offering to mod it. No agenda or self gain for me. I just am disappointed that the current newer lifters know nothing about the history of the sport. That’s factual. Not all. Few.
Semper Fidelis
Buddy the guy you created a thread to quote and disagree with from another thread hasn’t logged on in 8 years….

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