I would say the weight counts if its during a contest that allows them to be worn.
IMO I don't really count it if its just joe shmo at the bro gym randomly wearing it just so he can hit a little bit more weight.
I totally agree with you, but for someone who just wants to use one to overload the muscle to gain strength, IF used correctly would work, I don't see a problem using as a tool. A better or cheaper option would be reverse bands or sling shot. But if used just to say I benched xxx amount of weight, he'd be a shmo
A friend of mine at the gym has competed and placed well or won at powerlifting world championships for years. He wears bench press shirts to stay competitive. He hates them. I think they are cheating plain and simple, but if the competition is wearing one, you kind of have to in order to be competitive.
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I think they're completely pointless. To me, it's like a NASCAR race, but you have 300 more HP. Sure you won, but it wasn't exactly YOU that won now is it? I'd be impressed if someone could max with a bench shirt, then match it next week without it, but that won't happen.
Could be a self confidence booster though.
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