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Back in the summer of 2016 one of my training partners, Tom Schmidt showed up at the gym with this new bench shirt sent to him by Anderson Powerlifting. Tom usually competed with a Titan single ply Katana. Lately he had been messing around in a couple of Titan multiply shirts with some good results. As I picked the shirt up I was surprised at how thick the material felt. I asked Tom how many layers this obvious multiply shirt was. I was shocked when he told me it was a single ply shirt. I passed the shirt over to my wife Rae-Ann. She got a look in her eye that is usually reserved for Chris Hemsworth or plate full of honey BBQ chicken wings. The next day The Lady Mayor of Bench Press City had her very own Evil Twin bench shirt on its way from Texas.
When the Evil Twin arrived in the mail, she looked at the shirt and said “There’s no way that’s going to fit me.” After some excellent shirt pulling by me I told her “Ken (Anderson) is never wrong.” She had to wait until Sunday to bench but we were excited to see how she and the shirt worked together. In her first training session she did a 585lbs. 3 board press, which was a 40 pound personal record. She also did 515 lbs. off of a one board for another huge PR. Her first meet wearing her new shirt she benched 485lbs. for a 45 pound meet PR. Her next meet she broke the 500 lbs. barrier with a 505 lbs. bench. Then 11 months after getting her Evil Twin she broke the women’s all-time single ply bench press word record with a 520lbs. lift. So in less than one calendar year she improved from 440 lbs. to 520 lbs. while lifting at the same bodyweight. For those like me not good at math, that’s 80 lbs.
So what is it about the Evil Twin that sets it apart from other single ply shirts? We already touched on the thickness of the material. With the material being so thick one would think it would be impossible to touch in this shirt. While the material is thick it is also stretchy. The very first time she used the shirt she was able to easily go to a one board in a very tight shirt. The stretchy material makes the shirt more forgiving as far as bar placement goes. You also get tremendous pop off the bottom compared to other single ply shirts. The shirt gives you good support throughout lockout as well. We have also found that brining the bar down at a quicker pace gives more pop off the bottom than other shirts too. You have to be very careful not to drive the bar back over your face as the pop can be too much. The bar can shoot right into the uprights or even worse your noggin. The pop in this shirt is that of a multiply with the ease of touching of a single ply. Plain and simple.
No piece of lifting gear is perfect. There are a few drawbacks to The Evil Twin bench shirt. While the material is thick and gives amazing pop it also stretches after use, losing some of its pop. If you are a person who has to live in their gear, week after week then be prepared to have this shirt altered often. Anderson does tailoring and alterations on gear purchased through their site. An alternative is to have a meet shirt and training shirt. It’s always a good idea to have a backup shirt, anyways. Another option is that Titan makes a double ply Evil Twin. We can say for sure that the double ply doesn’t have that problem. I have also recently seen runs in the arm pits of the shirt on other lifters. We have never had that problem. However we also never use the knurling of a bar to pull the shirt into our armpit. We always put a t-shirt on the bar so the knurling doesn’t rip the fabric.
Lifter after lifter who used the Titan Evil Twin Bench shirt have put massive pounds on their bench press. You have seen the videos on Instagram and Facebook. Their names are posted on Powerlifting Watch and Open Powerlifting. Time after time I have personally seen guys and gals struggling to break that magic number they are chasing. They get an Evil Twin and it’s on to the next milestone. Don’t take it from me. Get the shirt and get PR’s.
by Jeff Miller