Great topic. The whole using gear to overload your system will make you stronger without the gear didnt really work for me. I started competing a couple of years ago and started raw. Slowly I started doing single ply meets. Bench, push pulls, and one full meet. Once I got the groove of the shirt down, I never really had troubles touching so I spent about two months doing almost nothing but shirted boards. I would warmup to something like 315 raw and then put the shirt on. It resulted in a 40 pound bench pr (410 to 450). I had done a raw full meet before this cycle and had bench 365 in training and 355 at the meet. I figured since my shirt had gone up 50 pounds then my raw bench had increased. I ended up barely being able to bench 335 when I took the shirt off. So my shirt bench went up 50 pounds and my raw dropped at least 20 at the same time.
The whole experience soured me on gear so I trained raw for awhile and raised my bench to the 405-415 area. We put our shirts on one day just for fun and I ended up benching 525! For me, as long as you can tolerate it and you know how to use the shirt then I would get as strong as possible without the shirt. Then either use it occasionally in your training and maybe 5 weeks out stay in it. I cant really speak on geared squatting or pulling because I didnt do much of it.