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My first experience with the super KATANA was wearing a bone stock size 52. In the past having been a denim lifter this was actually quite the change. Some things I noticed immediately and some things it took a while to learn.
Immediately upon receipt of the new shirt I was skeptical that it would perform as well as I would like. Of course I was to my surprise greatly mistaken. The first few break in sessions were as to be expected very ruff I was really not used to the support and could not get the bar to touch (This is a single ply I should not be having trouble). But by the third session in things started working out and posted a number just 60lbs less than my best double ply lift with ease. I am now within 10 lbs of my best double ply using my third purchased and slightly modified single ply KATANA. This shirt has greatly improved my single ply bench and being so close to my best double is unbelievable to me. My current best in contest double was 620 best in training single ply is now 610 (Which I will be attempting at the IRONWORX Battle of thebench December 11th 2011). I would like to touch on some of the advice and things I have learned about using the TITAN SUPER KATANA.
1) This is not a shirt you can just throw on and post big numbers it takes time to learn the ins and out of this gear and you need to take the time without getting discouraged. Listen to everything anyone who has experience in this gear has to say and try to implement the advice they give into your training. Trial and error is the way to succeed in the Katana.
2) I was lucky and had a few lifters in my corner who knew this shirt well. John Elick and the Ironworx crew along with Jimmy Kolbwere essential to my success in the shirt. I have taken the best from both and thrown it together to help me achieve what I have thus far in the shirt. a) John pounded in my head the best way to setup for this shirt. I need to stay tighter and more rigid and really concentrate on hitting the groove the same every time especially when jacking the shirt (people tend to want to lower the groove which defeats the jack pull through the bubble achieve more pop)
b) While watching Jimmy compete last year I noticed he could make most anything touch and it almost looked as if he was relaxing totally at the bottom of the lift. And then as Jimmy does on command the bar slams back to the start position. Ok now I am going to get an answer to one of the problems I am having in learning the shirt (Getting it to hit the same spot while jacked). So I picked Jimmy’s brain and found that his technique was to let the shirt settle its self do not move from the target and allow the shirt to settle in the last little bit by relaxing. SO what he is saying is pull until you get as low as you can then relax and let the shirt settle then explode up on command. Ha easier said than done it took me quite some time and more than a few failures to get this to work for me but now as I said I am within ten pounds of my best double ply lift. I could go on all day covering techniques and advice I have been given but I wont. I will however give my opinion on the shirt. In my opinion the Super Katana is a game changer this is by far the most durable shirt I have ever worn. I have seen many advances in my years competing and have always taken the ploy hype with a grain of salt. The Katana is now the dominate shirt worn by Butch’s Barbell and Team Darksyde Ironwear and I am sure this will continue until the next Titan comes along. Oh and I cannot wait to try a double ply should be interesting!
APF Ohio CO/Chairman
Butch’s Barbell/Team Darksyde Ironwear