T Nation

Mark Bell Compression Cuff vs Elbow Sleeves


#1

I have some elbow pain, and I’m looking at Mark Bell’s compression cuff 2.0, or the elbow sleeves. How is everyone’s experience with both? Specifically, has anyone tried both? Finally, for the elbow sleeves, can you get them on yourself without a training partner?

I’m leaning towards the cuff due to price and ease of putting on, but would like to hear everyone’s experience.


#2

If you need a training partner to help you put on your elbow sleeves then they are way too tight. The will probably add like 50 lbs. to your bench too. Look into myofascial release, the pain can be caused by tight triceps and forearm muscles. I was getting some pain that seemed like golfer’s elbow, the cause turned out to be tight triceps.


#3

Chris, what elbow sleeves are you talking about??? I have SBD’s, and they add exactly 0 pounds to my bench. Are you sure you’re not talking about the slingshot?

I do agree that you should be able to put the sleeves on yourself. They’re mostly just for warmth and comfort, not so much a ton of compression.

The cuffs, on the other hand, should be tighter. I would get a size or 2 smaller than your actual measurement on those. Potententially even 3 sizes. I have a friend with 20" forearms and he uses 14" cuffs. They’re hard as fuck for him to put on, but he can make it work. My cuffs are 2-3 sizes smaller than what I measure.

Basically, I use my sleeves for overhead pressing, and for strongman training in general. They keep me warm throughout training, and they help with the ‘regular’ aches and pains and stuff. The compression cuffs are more for tendonitis. When I’ve developed tendonitis from tight forearms and triceps, the cuffs have helped tremendously.


#4

I have a pair of Rehbands (grey), they are sort of tight but I don’t need help getting them on, and no joke they add about 15lbs. to my bench. I bought them a while back because of the golfer’s elbow thing that I was talking about, as soon as I sorted that out I stopped using. I’m surprised that SBD sleeves don’t add anything, a lot of people say they get 10-20lbs. out of their knee sleeves and those are way thicker than the grey Rehbands.


#5

I have the knee sleeves as well. Also get zero lbs out of them. The only lifters I know who make claims like that are shitty lifters who are squatting with more confidence in the sleeves. I would say MAYBE you could get a few lbs out of a pair of knee sleeves if they were absurdly tight, but I think you’re still looking at less than 10. Neoprene just isn’t going to do more than that no matter how tight you get.

How much do you bench btw?


#6

I have a pair of SBD knee sleeves and I’m not sure that I get anything out of them either, but probably because my sticking point is above parallel and mine aren’t crazy tight. The IPF made a rule that you have to be able to put on your knee sleeves yourself after the Russian team had 4 coaches and plastic bags to put them on, I don’t think they were doing that for no reason.

My best bench is 360, but I have hit that several times in training and in a meet, pretty sure I could get at least 375.


#7

I have the SBD knee sleeves, and although I agree they give 0 lbs, they do give me more confidence, which ends up being more poundage. mechanically speaking, they give 0, maybe 5 on an odd day.

I have a compression cuff currently, bought a long time ago, the “blue” one that is now listed as leg compression. I’ve lost about 40 lbs, so they are not as tight as they used to be.

My elbow is just fucked though. Back in high school, it got slammed against a helmet and I have a piece of, well, something, floating around in there I can physical move around. When you feel my right elbow, all smooth. When you feel my left elbow, it’s all bumpy (inside) and feels like it’s physically missing stuff, then that large lump you can move around and gross people out with at parties.

So, the pain is centralized right at the point, just below, towards the tricep. And, it is also on the bottom side of the forearm about an inch in from the joint.

The blue compression cuff barely covers both areas, but not really. They do help, but I’m looking for something a little better / bigger.

I absolutely love how the knee sleeves feel, and not a huge fan of how the compression cuffs feel. About 1/2 way through any session, the pump makes my arm hurt from lack of blood flow.

With that history lesion about my fucked up elbow, which would you recommend?


#8

The elbow sleeves can’t hurt, I was just trying to tell you not to get a pair that is too tight and if you are going to compete then get used to training without them because there is a chance they can add a few pounds to your bench and you won’t have that advantage in a meet. I think we got a bit off track for a moment…


#9

Personally, my SBDs literally give add 5kgs on my squat. That being said, mine is ridiculously tight.


#10

Let’s ask Amit Sapir about knee sleeve carryover, he has a video on his Facebook page where he has a girl using suit slippers to get his SBD sleeves on.


#11

I own elbow sleeves (not from Mark Bell though) and I think it was a great purchase, just like knee sleeves. Helps to reduce pain and discomfort in my elbows and any kind of compression and warmth is welcome, especially durig the winter as I work out at below 0 degrees.


#12

Amit Sapir’s response re knee and elbow sleeves:
"Yes I genuinely believe they give me 10-15 lbs extra if they’re super tight.
Elbow sleeves way less - maybe 5lbs.
They both also just give extra support and bounce. "
https://forums.t-nation.com/t/everything-you-want-to-ask-about-squats/221721/122

Shitty lifters. you say?


#13

In reality, 10 lbs at any weight above around 600 lbs is nothing. What I mean is you may miss an 800 lb squat on Monday, and then get it on Tuesday. 10 lbs more on an 800 lb squat is like a fly landing on your bench bar.


#14

10lbs. more on an 800 lbs. squat could be a new world record.

My point here is that it isn’t only some “shitty lifters” claiming to get extra pounds out of knee and elbow sleeves. If you want to go beyond anecdotal evidence then get a tendo unit or similar bar velocity device and see if there is indeed a difference with tight knee sleeves. I’m willing to bet that there is, but first of all it isn’t a huge difference like with knee wraps and it will only be at the very bottom. If you tend to get stuck above parallel then it’s likely that there will be no advantage to the sleeves, and people who don’t even reach parallel won’t see much benefit either way.


#15

I’m not implying that 10 lbs at the 800 lb level is nothing, i’m saying that at that weight, the percentage is so much smaller than a 400 lb squatter.

A 400 lb squatter may be maxed at 400, exactly, no way to get more. an 800 lb squatter may truly be maxed at 780 to 820. Look at Lilliebridge as an example. He’s choked in Australia twice now, on squats far less than his max. That goes to show that 10 lbs probably wont’ make or break you, but just being in proper form, sleep, all that extra jazz (not training / strength) is a more deciding factor.

I know the sleeves add weight for me, but I’m smart enough to know it isn’t the sleeve for me that adds the weight, it’s the mental side. My sleeves are not super tight, they are there for warmth, and they give me some mental, whatever, which allows me to stay in better form with them on. Therefore, I don’t say they add weight to my squat


#16

Chris, Amit’s response isn’t exactly worlds different from what I said. I suggested maybe 10 lbs if they were extremely tight. He said 10-15 lbs. I’m not sure what point you thought you made here. I also said zero lbs on the elbow sleeves, and you said 15 lbs. Amit agreed with me on that, and that’s essentially where the argument started. Not sure why you think you just proved something to me.


#17

My point is that it isn’t just shitty lifters making those kinds of claims as you say. And he does agree that elbow sleeves add something, there is not much difference between adding 5 and 15 lbs. Anyway, there is nothing more to debate here.