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Knee Sleeves vs Wraps? How Much Increase Do You Get w/ Wraps?


People often ask about sleeves v. wraps. I’ve been using Super Heavy Elite FTS sleeves for 2 years. I love this product and the move from bare knees to sleeves gave me a lot more confidence squatting and consistently hitting depth. Perhaps purely a placebo effect but it’s there nonetheless. I also think these sleeves do give a bit of a pop out of the hole.

Monday was my first day squatting wrapped. I worked up to a new PR, 3 sets of chains + 400 lb straight weight, which equated to 430 out the hole and 510 at lockout. Going from sleeves to wraps, I JUMPED out of hole. Definitely more punch out of the hole than sleeves.

My question is this. What kind of poundage increase do folks see with wraps (recognizing that its highly individual)?

I don’t think I can go back to sleeves or bare knees for competition.



I think you answered it yourself, but I hear of some people getting over 100lbs. out of wraps. How much you can get out of the wraps also depends on how much your posterior chain can handle, no matter how much rebound you get you still have to finish the lift yourself.

Why not?


LOL @ flats. My coach wants me in gear, but I’ve stayed raw cause I have some numbers I want to hit first. First time I’ve had 500+ pounds across my back, and he said, after I racked it, “welcome to the world of gear!”

@chris, makes sense. At a current 440 PR the extra weight on my back was a struggle. I was shaking pretty bad even though I had a good pop out of the hole. Definitely taxed everything else.

I can’t go back to naked knees cause the feeling of the extra support is amazing. Many analogies could be used here. Crack cocaine. Heroin. Or your first car with electric windows and power door locks. Or air conditioning.


Competing both in sleeves and in wraps (obviously not in the same meet) is still an option. Personally, I tried squatting in wraps when I was doing the RTS generalized intermediate program a couple years ago, it has wrapped squats as an overload. I hated the wraps and didn’t get much caryover to my squat out of it either, but my technique sucked too. At this point I’m thinking of doing a meet in wraps in the near future, there are a couple RPS meets around here each year, but mostly I’m going to stick with sleeves. Unless I can win $40000 at the USPA open, but that won’t happen anytime soon.

Most (good) lifters that compete in wraps still do a lot of work without wraps too, if you are far out from a meet you might not use wraps at all. Something to consider.

To answer you original question

Try working up to a max or near max without wraps, then next week do it with wraps. No easier way to tell. You could also go by estimated 1rm based off rep maxes, like 2-5rm, rather than actually maxing out.


Depending on the wraps and how you wrap them, I’d say between 30 and 50 lbs is a good average. There are some wraps I get almost nothing out of (stretchy ones, I need stiffness).

Definitely do most of your squatting without wraps. Use them at most 12 weeks out from a meet. I prefer six to eight weeks.


What do you think about 2m vs. 3m wraps? I imagine that the longer wraps will give more rebound but also make it harder to hit depth. Is there any advantage to using 2m wraps? I have only used 2m wraps myself, Inzer Grippers, if I’m going to do a meet in wraps I suppose I should get some 3m’s.


So, I’m just doing what my coaches tell me to do. General template is to train year around with naked knees or sleeves, and as we make the final push toward a meet (the last training block), wraps come into the picture. I’m 7 weeks out, hence the wraps.

I would compete again with just sleeves I suppose, but with the added benefits of wraps, I’d be pretty addicted to the higher poundages come meet time.


I honestly couldn’t say @chris_ottawa as I’ve only ever used 2.5 m wraps. I think stiffness is what will determine how easy hitting depth is.


@ Mark, you mention stretchy vs. stiff wraps. The ones I used the other day were inzer grippers. But these I would consider fairly stretchy. You get more out of a stiffer wrap than the inzers?


Absolutely. I get very little out of stretchy wraps, even when I crank them. With stiff wraps, even loosely wound I get around 45 lbs.


Interesting. I gravitate more to stretchy wraps because they’re easier to deal with. Still I don’t get much out of wraps and that may be why. I have a set of Titan golds that are stiff af and I’ve only tried them a couple of times.