Best Bench Shirts: In-Depth Guide & Review


There are many pieces of equipment that people will need in order to have a safe, comfortable, and convenient time working out in a gym. One of the most important pieces of gym equipment you should have with you is the bench shirt, a type of clothing that is supposed to improve your performance when it comes to bench pressing and powerlifting. To know more about bench shirts, here is an in-depth guide and review of some of the best bench shirts on the market.

What is a Bench Shirt?

man wearing a bench shirt

The bench shirt is a piece of gym gear that is primarily worn by people that want to do bench presses and power lifts. Bench pressing is a weight training exercise wherein you will have to press a barbell with weights upwards while you are lying on your back on a bench, while powerlifting is a sport wherein you have to squat and stand while lifting a barbell with weights.

Bench shirts are typically made from different materials, including canvas, denim, and polyester, and these materials would also have different levels of thickness, depending on how thick the wearer needs the shirt to be. The bench shirts would usually have a wide neck collar for better maneuverability on the shoulders, and the sleeves of most bench shirts are already positioned forwards near the chest so that your arms are already in a perfect bench pressing and powerlifting position. You can contact to learn more about bench shirts.

All bench shirts fit tighter than other types of shirts, and this tightness helps in providing support for the shoulders of the weightlifter and his or her deltoid muscles, which are located right below the shoulders. Even though bench shirts are made from different materials, there are certain federations and organizations that allow a specific type of material and thickness for their weightlifting competitions. The International Powerlifting Federation only allows shirts that are made of one-ply stretch material, so thicker shirts are prohibited.

Besides bench shirts, a lot of powerlifters also wear back belts, which are known by some people as lumbar support belts or lifting belts. While bench shirts support the shoulders and the deltoid muscles, back belts are designed to support the lumbar, which is the abdominal portion of the torso. Most powerlifters today wear both a bench shirt and a back belt for them to get the best support for their upper body.

The Different Types of Bench Shirts

bench press

As we have mentioned previously, bench shirts are usually made from different materials, and these materials are responsible for the creation of different types of bench shirts that have their own set of pros and cons. Here are details about the different types of bench shirts so that you will know which one is suitable for you.

Note: Check out the review of the best weightlifting shoes by the weightlifting expert of

Polyester Bench Shirts

The most affordable and most common type of bench shirt is the polyester bench shirt, which is primarily made of a synthetic fabric that is durable and flexible. Polyester bench shirts are the choice for many professional powerlifters, as the fabric of these shirts won’t let them down since it is long-lasting and won’t rip easily while the powerlifters are lifting weights.

It is important to note that polyester bench shirts come in single-ply and multi-ply configurations. Single-ply bench shirts only have one layer of polyester, while multi-ply bench shirts usually have two or more layers of polyester. There are three-layer bench shirts that have layers of polyester on high-wear or critical areas of the shirt, like the shoulders, the ends of the sleeves, and the stomach.

Denim Bench Shirts

Denim bench shirts are arguably the densest and heaviest shirts worn by weightlifters and powerlifters. In addition, denim bench shirts are also very rigid, so you may need to wear them multiple times in order for them to soften in specific areas of your torso. Because of how rigid denim bench shirts are, they provide more support for your muscles compared to polyester bench shirts, as the denim won’t allow your muscles to overextend.

The downside to denim bench shirts is that they are significantly more expensive than polyester bench shirts, so they are only for serious weightlifters and powerlifters that want to get a lot of support and protection for their muscles. Take note that denim bench shirts are also available in single-ply and multi-ply options, but many prefer the double and triple-ply bench shirts because of their ability to give better support when compared to the single-ply variation.

Canvas Bench Shirts

Canvas bench shirts usually have the same texture as denim bench shirts, but they are softer. So, the softness of canvas bench shirts allows you to wear them with ease immediately without the need to break them in after multiple wears. However, canvas bench shirts provide almost the same level of support as denim bench shirts, although they still can’t beat the latter in this category, as denim is more rigid and thus provides more support for the muscles.

Unlike denim bench shirts, canvas bench shirts are fairly affordable, but they aren’t as cheap as polyester bench shirts. When you want the softness and flexibility of polyester while having the support that denim offers, the canvas bench shirt may be the best type for you.

These are some of the things that you need to know about the best bench shirts so that you will have a better decision on what to buy for your bench presses or powerlifts. We highly recommend that you try each type of bench shirt so that you will have an experience of how they perform when you are lifting. Choose the bench shirt that provides the best comfort and support for your upper body.

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