T Nation

Knree Wraps & Power Belt Questions

Hey all,

a little background then two quick questions; I’ve been competeing in PL for almost a year and have competed only in raw push pulls thus far. I just registered for my first full lift meet in august. I’m still lifting raw and under USAPL rules knee wraps, wrist wraps, and power belts are legal for use in Raw divisions.

  1. Knee wraps- I’v never used them before. Would you recomend I give em a try? If so, what style/brand would be best for getting used to knee wraps? I have Meatal Wrist wraps and like them 1 billion times more than other wrist wraps I’ve used.

2.) I own an inzer power lever belt. I’ve used it only a few times… never in competition. My problem/ complaint is i can never get the size just right and its a pain in the ass to change the size tighter and looser. I’m thinking of getting a traditional buckle belt. Along these lines, i use the belt seldom for when ever i do and push my stomach against it and am sqauting or DLing under max effort i feel like i’m going to bust a hernia in my lower abdominal area.

It does this even when i have the belt looser (don’t have this problem with no belt). Its very uncomfortable and the few times i “grinded through the pain” i ended up having to take a week or two off since it did feel like a hernia (went to the doc and everything, luckily it wasn’t a hernia, just a bad strain). Any ideas?

thanks in advance!

I have tried most of the wraps out there and I think I like Inzer Z’s and Titan THPs best in terms of quality, durability and consistency. Metal black wraps and Frantz TP5000s can be awesome- but the fabric seems a little different from pair to pair. Plus Metal and Frantz wraps cost almost twice as much as the Inzer and Titan offerings. I’ve heard good things about APT wraps- but I have not tried them.

In my opinion, the best belts are single-prong buckle belts. I have a double-prong. But it can be a pain in the ass getting it buckled tight. I’m not sure if it matters what brand you get- the Inzer, Titan, and Elite products all look pretty comparable. The Cardillo ones are really pretty- but I’m not sure if they are any better.

Alan, the CEO/President of APT, is really a great guy and donates/sponsors a ton of gear for a lot of different event/causes.

http://prowriststraps.com/

I’d definitely check out their site as they tend to have a good rotation of sales/specials. I love EFS but have trouble affording some of their products. I guess that’s all the more reason to earn more money. They have a bazillion things I’d like to get. :slight_smile:

I really like their APT ZRV Pro wrist wraps. They are in the process of beefing up the Velcro and thumb loops on their wraps too.

Well the answer is to buy whatever you feel comfortable with. On the wraps, I definitely recommend using them, you may as well take every inch that the rules allow. No sense holding back. And as far as which brand, the ipf-approved metal wraps really don’t hold a candle to the titan thps or titaniums. But some people like the metal so if that what feels best for you and you’ve tried the others then stick with metal.

Not sure what the issue is with the belt. just have to suck it up and get used to it. you can adjust the interabdominal pressure a bit by hiking the belt up higher around your midsection (almost to the sternum area) or in the opposite direction and have it sitting on your hips. Each one will give you a different variance of assistance. Just screw around with it and see what feels safe.

I have the same belt and the same problem. I love it on squats and overhead lifts but it knocks me out of my groove when deadlifting. I found that any belt ‘loosens’ on me when I set up to deadlift, even though I take in a lot of air. The inzer belt is so thick and stiff that it digs into me. My solution: I don’t use it for deads anymore.

Thanks for the advice, everyone!

I think i’m going to get a regular old single prong buckle belt from Dave and probably go with the metal knee wraps, i think i’ll try to borrow some wraps frome someone before I buy em, thanks again!

I also have been competing RAW and have had some real helpful mentoring from my training group/coach. I would like to add to some of the sound advice that you have already received.

Knee Wraps:
Bottom line up front-try out the ones that you think that you may be interested in first. Try them out UNDER WEIGHT. I say this because different brands behave differently under varying amounts of force. My experience (and also that of my entire training group) with the three front runners that you have seen mentioned-

Titan tend to be a bit more on the stiff/rigid side when they are wrapped tight. They can be unforgiving little _ _ _ _ ers and will bite/bruise you. Great for solid/rigid support but not as much pop out of the hole

Metal-similar to above with a bit more give and bounce. These things really seem to come into their own at higher weights (say, above 500 or so)

Inzer- best balance. They have great support with the bounce you will appreciate. They will adapt and adjust according to how tight you wrap. They dont bite as much and are more forgiving. Also, they are a good value and easy to come by.

Again, words are cheap, try some out. Here’s the important part… Wraps change the lift.

If you have not used them before, hook up with someone who has some experience with them. You will want to train in them as the wraps will give you a bounce out of the whole, but can also throw you a bit out of the groove until you become accostomed to them. Also, there is a bit of an art form when it comes to wrapping. Get with someone who can show you the ropes.

Lastly, which ever brand you decide on, buy them early enough to get some training in with them prior to a meet.

Belts:
Wow I have never heard of anyone having the issue that you are but that doesn’t matter…what matters is that you have gone through it and are not comfotable with your gear. If you are not comfortable, you will stop trusting it.

Bottom line-scrap it and get what you feel comfortable in/with. As your attempt totals go up, there is no room for anything but 100% confidence and trust in your gear. And hey, ya wanna sell that lever belt- let me know.

Hope this helps…

Dude, thanks for the extensive response, this helps a ton. I read some about wraps on EFS an wrapping techniques, etc. The Inzer sound like a good choice for a first time wrapper like myself, not too pricey and I can always shell out more money later if I choose. Also, you say they metal (im assuming the all blacks?) and the titan come into their own around 500#, and I’ll be looking to hit close to or just over 400# this meet, so yeah, thanks again!

For wraps, I really like APT’s Blue Mamba wrist and knee wraps. They work and feel great and they’re not really expensive either.

Inzer is not bad, especially for the money. I’ve heard good things about the Metal wraps, but I’ve never tried the knee wraps…just the wrist wraps, but those were pretty nice. Never tried Titan, nor do I know many guys using their wraps.

On the belt topic, while I haven’t owned a lever belt, having used one, I can see why people think they can be sort of a pain in the ass to fit right, especially if you fluctuate with your body weight or have to move the lever when using with gear. For this reason alone, I think that’s why a traditional single-prong or double-prong belt is better.

Whatever you buy, make sure it is USAPL/IPF approved.

beef

I used a belt and knee wraps for the first time in about 25 years for a recent NASA raw meet. Although I had lots of experience with them in the old days they did take some getting used to. At first I felt I could squat more without the belt but forced myself to use it for a couple of workouts and by meet time it definitely helped.

The wraps (I used the Metal All Blacks) were miserably tight but really popped me out of the bottom nicely (with only 400lbs). Just get used to the equipment for 3 heavy workouts before your next competition and you should see a significant improvement in your squat. I used my belt (double prong buckle) on the DL but am not convinced it added any poundage for me.