Yeah, ok, porskin. I like just to chat in these forums b/c it's fun.
Alright, I fess up it was with a shirt. It does make a big difference I admit. But also, the rules are strict in competition (you bring it down to chest and can't lift until the judge gives the signal). A lot different than touch-and-go like everybody does in the gym. That pretty much offsets the poundage on the bench, if not more so.
But, ok, I do touch-and-gos all the time. I cycle 10 - 12 weeks before competition, and go strict with a shirt only the last couple weeks before.
I believe the bench press is a basic thing to do for preparation in any activity -- sports, martial arts, combat. The only resistance in the sports world I found is in boxing, which I used to do from my early teens to mid-20's competitively (not pro). Too many old school trainers and managers who are against it.