The error in his thinking that raw strength relates to equipped poundage is corrected:
Before my last contest I was benching 535-550 raw and at the meet I benched 575 but missed 600 with my single-ply Phenom... Is this all the carryover I should get with a single-ply?
Another poster confirms that:
WELL YOU THOUGHT LIKE O USE TO. THE MORE I BENCH RAW THE MORE ILL GET OUT THE SHIRT RIGHT. WRONG. RAW STRENTH MEANS NOTHING IN THE SHIRT.
The need to work out in a shirt to bench big in a shirt is addressed:
I thought the same thing. I am hitting well over 500 raw, I should be doing a hell of a lot more in a shirt. It took me an entire year to learn how to use a shirt. Now I am making incredible gains each work out. Wear that shirt every workout and learn the ends and outs.
Westside figured this out early on but many are beginning to understand it now:
Until 3 yrs. ago I would only put my shirt on a couple weeks before a meet also. I got about 50-60 lbs. over raw. Then Tony Caprari talked me into training in my shirt each workout and that's when I finally starting to realize I knew very little about how to use a shirt... To be the best equipped lifter you can be, you have to become an equipment technition. That takes a lot of time, work and learning in your equipment. It's impossible to learn it in two weeks.
I think pretty much everyone thought training raw and throwing a shirt on was how it worked a few years ago. Makes me think this is why West Side barbell held so many bench records. People figured out that if they tighted the shirt and worked more on locking out weight and getting more comfortable with their shirt they would bench more. A few years ago it was incredible anyone could bench 800lbs. Now it's like who will be the next to 1000? I think one bad thing about this is you now have guys who can't bench 400lbs yet they work with their shirts enough and now 600lbs is a possibility. I'm not saying it's bad at all but kinda makes you wonder how far it will go.