Board Press for The Shirted Lifter (Pros and Cons)
Boards are just one of the tools of the trade that comes with equipped lifting. If you had asked me about it a few years back I might’ve even said they were essential to shirted benching. Now more than ever in training I switched to floating reps where I bring the bar down as much as the shirt allows then press back
Boards definitely have a role in shirted benching they can help you break in a shirt but they aren’t essential to shirt break in. A board gives you feedback and can be used as a measuring tool. By decreasing the board height every session you can progressively work in a shirt to chest. When you’re floating the reps you might have an idea of how your progressing every week but it’s pretty hard to tell how much even from video
Board pressing can alter the way you bench press. This is probably the biggest argument against using boards in training. If you’re never really loading the shirt or never touch before your meet it can be rough because there’s a difference between even a 1 board and chest level
Since boards aren’t the end all be all in training when should we use them? For a lifter that needs the extra lockout/triceps strength. Boards offer the ability to overload the lockout of the bench press and can really help you work through a sticking point. Also for shirt break in if a lifter has good habits to the board, meaning they don’t lose position or alter the way they bench then the boards are a great tool
When shouldn’t you use boards?
Lifters who have bad habits to the board should primarily float their reps for break in. Also lifters who are unable to load into the shirt because of the altered path because of boards should leave the boards out. The shirt in addition to letting us lift more is also protective when used properly