APT's Single Ply APEX Bench Press Shirt Review by Jared Bachmeier for CriticalBench.com
For starters I am 5'10", and I compete in the 220 lb weight class. I have been in just about every shirt there is now, and in the past. I currently use a triple ply super phenom. So I am used to a ton of support from a shirt and have been in that shirt for around 5 years now. I have worn both the rage x and the titan F6 and katana. I have blown out 25+ single ply rage x shirts. Never blew the titan shirts out. But both of those shirts had one nasty thing in common.
To get a shirt that would help you push the limits of your max bench it needed to be ridiculously tight. And both shirts were a nightmare to put on. Definitely not something that you can do by yourself and usually even with 1-2 people helping you, you are looking at 10+ minutes to get it on and where it needs to be. I have fairly big forearms, being around 16 inches. So getting the really tapered, long sleeves on was a huge pain, literally. hehe. It would rip all the hair out of my arms and would almost have to use plastic bags or slippers to get them on. And half the time my hands would go numb and hurt from lack of blood. And after you got them on they were tiring just to be in and far from comfortable to stay in.
Right when you get the Apex shirt you think it looks similar to both other brands. Looks are very deceiving in this case. When I went to put the shirt on I was very surprised and pleased that I could put the shirt on by myself with ease. The sleeves actually have a little bit of breathing room and don't cut off circulation. The sleeves and collar both have a unique shape that lets you move the shirt around and get it right where you want it with minimal effort. And you can sit in the shirt between your sets or flights and stay nice and cool and not struggle to stay comfortable.
When lifting in the apex shirt you don't have to be a pro in using shirts. It is easy to move around. Allowing you to move the collar or the sleeves down for more support with ease. I was surprised after I got the shirt on and felt the sleeves were not really tight that I got the tri support you get from shirts that are normally extremely tight. The rear delt part of the shirt seems to come a little farther around the shoulder also. This seems to add a little more support around the shoulder and down the back of the sleeve.
I started out with 405 and left the collar and the sleeves really high to get the weight to come down as far as it could. It came down to around a 3 board.
Next I went for 500. Same thing, I left the shirt high and it came down a little lower then a 2 board.
I left the shirt high again for 605. The weight came down pretty easy, touched and came back up easy giving me plenty of rebound from the chest plate and support for the tri's all the way to lock out. I know there was room to lower the shirt and get even more pop from the shirt.
I then went 625. It came down ok and touched pretty easy again, and came up good and locked it out. I didn't hear one sound from the shirt and no signs of stress of runs in the shirt. I have not been in a single ply shirt in close to 4 years. I haven't trained much raw work lately in the past 6 months. So I know my raw bench is down right now, and I just got 200-225 pounds out of a single ply shirt my second workout in it. Very impressive.
Jared Bachmeier Benches 625 In the APEX Single Ply Bench Shirt
Over all the shirt is great. It is easy to get on. It's easy to keep on through multiple sets. You get a lot of support from the back of the arms in the tri area. The shirt does dig in and bite ya pretty good in the arms. No one ever said a good bench shirt will be really comfortable.
You also get a lot of support and pop from the chest plate of the shirt. And the shirt gives you a lot of room to pull the shirt and sleeves down or (jack the shirt up) and get that much more support when you get to heavier weights. It has a good size groove for the lifter. Making it really easy to use. You can touch a little higher towards the pecs and you will get support.
You can touch lower like I do, being around my second ab and get lots of support. The shirt is very forgiving and easy to learn. So someone new to benching should be able to put the shirt on and start getting results without months of learning the shirt. I think it's a great shirt for the experienced lifter pushing big weights or someone just starting out in a shirt looking to get into lifting.