Deadlift Suit – Not For Black Tie Events

by Kilo on December 21, 2010

I like to deadlift. It’s my favorite lift and if I had to pick one, that would be it. Increasing the deadlift is always my primary goal, just because I like to do it so much.

I had heard of bench shirt and squat suits that can apparently make your poundages skyrocket or just go up a little, depending on who you’re talking to. I was at a Dan John strength training workshop a couple of years ago and a powerlifter told me that his partner routinely added 100+ pounds to his raw bench total once he put on a shirt. Anyway, true or not, “legit” or not, I had never heard of a deadlift suit before.

But according to a few forums I’ve lurked on, pictures I have seen, and online powerlifting stores I have popped into, deadlift suits are real.

Courtesy of Anderson Powerlifting, here’s a picture of Tom Eiseman wearing a suit. It looks comparable to any other image I’ve looked at.

deadlift suit

One interesting note in my initial research is that most lifters say that their deadlift total is not increased by a deadlift suit nearly as much as the corresponding gear for the bench press or the back squat.

Anyone tried any of these fancy outfits?


{ 3 comments… read them below or add one }

Sandy Sommer RKC December 21, 2010 at 1:23 pm

Powerlifting in gear certainly impacts the bench press and squat the most. If you look at “raw” totals from PL meets they are much much lower than geared meets. Squat suits and bench shirts can add 100 + pounds. DL suits not nearly as much but help sumo pullers more than conventional deadlifters.


Kilo December 22, 2010 at 6:36 pm

Sandy, I still don’t think I quite understand what the benefit is supposed to be. How does it help in the sumo deadlift?


Sandy Sommer RKC December 22, 2010 at 6:52 pm

The way the suit fits isn’t conducive to the higher hips in a conventional DL. The Sumo, as you know, is more of a reverse squat and the material used in these suits is so rigid and tight that it lends itselt better to the open, wider sumo stance for some reason. Before I answered I went to some forums and now see that there are some sumo pullers who are getting 140 + out of their suits.


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