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Wraps, Sleeves, Everything Else: A PL Gear Guide


This is a resource for wraps, sleeves, shoes and anything else that gets used in powerlifting.

Please keep all posts as reviews on equipment.
IF YOU HAVE REQUESTS FOR REVIEWS OR QUESTIONS, USE THE FOLLOWING THREAD: http://www.T-Nation.com/tmagnum/readTopic.do?id=2415555

Please. Really. I mean it!

Okay, so here's the general structure to make this whole thing readable:

*Personal lifts, equipment/brands you have experience with, and whether you are a sponsored athlete

*Gear you are evaluating.

*Pro's and Cons; I'd like to see fit, comfort, carryover, durability, and who the gear suits (Experienced, close stance etc.) evaluated

*Comparison. How it matches up to other equipment you've used. Name names.

*Everything else. Anything you'd like to add, recommendations, whether it's useful for raw or physique lifters, anything really.


Here's a basic template to make things easier. Personal stats are only necessary on your first post in the thread, just so we get some perspective on where you're coming from. If you think height, weight, years training, fed or whatever is important, add them into your stats.

Please keep your reviews to one brand per post.

Best Lifts:
Gear Experience:

Equipment being reviewed:






convict 12'' wrist wraps:

wicked tight and solid, even at shorter length

some might find it to tight

never used anything else and these really helped out felt very secure in them :slightly_smiling:


217lb. Male
Best Lifts: 365 raw bench
Gear Experience: wraps-2 years

Equipment being reviewed: 24" APT Black Reapers

Pros: Very stable support without being too stiff or constrictive, once broken in. Tough thumb loops, also.

Cons: Takes a while to break the initial stiffness out.

Comparison: Compared to Inzer wraps, MUCH more comfortable, while still providing support.

Thoughts: Best wraps I have used.


Equipment being reviewed: Schiek Knee sleeves

Pros: Warm, tight, doesn't move around much once it's on the knee, cheap.

Cons: None

Comparison: Rehband 3mms: They are thinner, less supportive, but at least as warm, haven't tried the new rehband 5 mms or the older 7 mms, so I can't compare the schiek ones to them.

These are basicly the same as regular Tommy Kono knee sleeves, only they are cheaper, at least where i bought them. They do what they are supposed to do. My sleeves is one size to small, but I think that is an advantage. It's a bit of a hassle getting them on, but once they are on they stay on, and they will offer more support due to being tighter.


Best Lifts:
600lb squat at 220 in single ply gear

Gear Experience:
2 years or so using - Titan THP's, Inzer True Blacks, Inzer Z's and APT Convicts (all 2m)

Equipment being reviewed:
APT Convict knee wraps

Stiff as fcuk
Pretty much ZERO give

Stiff as fcuk
Pretty much ZERO give

THP's are about the stretchiest I used, then the Inzer TB's and finally the Convicts. The Convicts out strip them all by a mile.

Without a doubt the sickest wraps I've ever tried. I've never really had to "break in" wraps, but the Convicts were almost unusable for my first two or three times becuase they were just too stiff.

To give an idea of the stiffness here's how many wraps i can get in the 3 listed above;
-THP's = 4 down, an X over my knee, 4 back
-TB's = 4 down, X over knee, 2 back
-Convicts = 4 down, X over knee, tie off

Once I really started to crank them in I started to figure out how they work. If you can handle alot of pain, bruised knees and sore forearms then these wraps are probably untouchable at the moment.


Inzer knee sleeves

Pros: Easy to get on and off, great support, and you can adjust them a bit.

Cons: no durability, poorly made.

Great for about 3 weeks, then the stitching fell apart. I had to sew them back together myself.


Stats: 6'3" 250
Best Lifts: Raw Bench 365 (295 x 6)
Gear Experience: APT Elbow Sleeve (Heavy Duty Set), Metal BLACK Wrist Wraps (32")

Equipment being reviewed: APT Elbow Sleeve (Heavy Duty Set)

Pros: Tapered Sleeve fits well according to APT's sizing chart (I'm 250 with 17+" arms, so I purchased the recomended XXL size)

Cons: I don't really have any (I've only used them a couple times so far)

Comparison: Doing heavy sets of bench and floor presses without elbow sleeves has left my elbows achey (sp?).

Thoughts: Me like. Hopefully they keep supporting my elbows.


Stats: 6'3" 250
Best Lifts: Raw Bench 365 (295 x 6)
Gear Experience: APT Elbow Sleeve (Heavy Duty Set), Metal BLACK Wrist Wraps (32")

Equipment being reviewed: Metal BLACK Wrist Wraps (32")

Pros: Variable stiffness (based on how tight a lifter wraps up), 75% polyester 25% rubber (100% Badass)

Cons: I don't think I'm strong enough (raw bench 365 no straps or sleeves) to test these wraps in any way.

Comparison: Wayyyyy better than lifting without wraps.

Thoughts: These wraps are overkill for me, I'm pretty sure I'll never need the full support of these wraps (hopefully I will, but I think my shoulders will give out long before that!)


What motivated me to purchase these wrist wraps was a bad experience (lifting at a gym without a competent spotter). I was on my third set of a 5X5 and I asked some random guy to spot me. I asked for help off (big mistake!), as he handed it off to me he continued to hold on after I locked out for a few seconds, he even held on as I started the negative! While I was lowering he was pulling the bar back towards my head and to counter his grasp on the bar I rolled my wrists (ouch).

After I cranked out 5 reps I said "thanks" and looked for a new spotter.


6-3. 260
best squat 500raw/585 with staps down on 1 ply centurion

gear experience: APT KRV-pro 2.5M knee wraps and Inzer z wraps

Equipment being reviewed: Inzer z wraps

Pro: Very good rebound, good support, great durability, very comfortable.

Cons: Not many. They could be a little thicker but that is just nit picking.

Comparison: I used the APT KRV-pro knee wraps for about 1 year. They were very durable until somebody stole them but they were not comfortable in comparison. The rebound was not as good but they did provide excelent support.

Thoughts: I love the Inzer Z wraps. I dont know if I will bu another brand when or if these ever wear out. I love the rebound they give which really helps even for myself who has a fairly slow decent on the squat.


Wraps being reviewed: APT 36" Strangulator wrist wraps

Pros: Amazing support without the cuts and lesions some get from the convicts. Some people feel like the convicts are "too tight", but that's just the material. The Strangulators give the same support (in the wrist wrap, that is... knee wraps are a different story), just without cutting the shit out of your wrists.

I like my wraps super tight, but couldn't stand how the convicts felt putting them on... Joey Smith introduced me to the Strangulators, and I never looked back.

Cons: They make them in sizes less than 36".. lmfao. Don't be a girl, get the 36" ones. Anything less is a waste.

Comparison: Same support as the Convicts, just without the discomfort. These and the convicts are the best out there, no doubt.

Thoughts: I am coached by all different kinds of APT sponsored lifters, so I've tried just about everything APT has. The main thing to remember here is USE WHAT YOU LIKE- not what someone else likes. Joey Smith likes the Black Mamba's, Ox likes the old red ZRV's, Derek Wilcox likes the Convicts...

Just find the perfect wrap for you, and don't use anything that you feel uncomfortable using (tried that, doesn't work)...


Wraps being reviewed: 2.5 meter Metal Black knee wraps

Pros: Great wrap overall. Great rebound, almost any way you wrap them. The perfect wrap if you would prefer wrapping yourself- no problems there either. Another plus, they are so stretchy it's really not necessary to roll them up after/before each attempt at meets... Why? Because I promise you, you will never actually stretch them all the way out.

Cons: When/If you REALLY buckle down and use them to the max, it WILL hurt like fuck. Also, when I use them, 99.9% of the time I do a "medium" tightness, and my feet are numb by the time I get to the bar. Now, I PERSONALLY do not consider this a bad thing, but if you're a pussy and don't like pain, stick with Ace Bandages. NOT FOR CASTING!!!

Comparison: There really aren't another set of wraps that wraps/fits like these. These are the ultimate springy, bouncy wraps. The complete opposite of the Convicts feel.

Thoughts: A lot of the Metal sponsored lifters don't like the "new" Blacks- they say the support isn't like they "used to make them", whatever the fuck that means cough- Jo Jordan-cough haha... But if you happen to catch an older pair, I promise you they will still have some spring. The new material is different- which isn't a bad thing, just a different feeling.


Wraps being reviewed: 2 meter APT Black Reapers

Pros: Pretty good wrap all in all. Versatile in the ways you can use it. I bought the 2 meter as in the fed I was going to compete in didn't allow under 198's to use +2 meters. Pretty nice spring, depending on how you wrap it.

You can cast these, they are def. thick enough to do that. You also get a pretty good stretch out of them for being as thick as you are, even with the 2 meter. Good wrap to use if you don't like pain and like to feel your feet through the lift... lol

Cons: None really, other than APT just makes better wraps than this.

Comparison: I have heard these feels like the Inzer Z wraps, which I don't want to admit to... seeing as the first, only and last time I'll ever wear those they were on for two seconds before I stood up and said, "Get this shit off of me." lol.

Probably the best comparison. Not thicker, yet not thinner than the APT Mambas I would say, just a different feel.

Thoughts: Great beginner wrap and for people who just use them for that extra couple pounds in the gym. If you get the 2.5 meter, they can REALLY do some damage for you... Jo Jordan's favorites.


Stats 215 lb male
Best Lifts: 455 squat/335 bench/505 deadlift
Gear Experience: Inzer lever belt, Titan wrist wraps

Equipment being reviewed: Nike Romaleos olympic lifting shoes

Pros: This is a great shoe for a raw lifter with a close stance. They are extremely comfortable and very solid; it feels like your feet are set into the ground. They have two velcro straps that let you set the desired level of tightness and adjust it easily between front and back. They hug your feet like a glove.

Cons: They can be hard to find, and bit expensive. Nike has them on their website for $180 but the can be found for around $100 to $150 on ebay. Also, they can run a bit small, so overestimate your size by 1/2 size. Definitely not a shoe for the wide stance squatter.

Comparison: I used to lift only in Chucks or Adidas Sambas, and I love the Romaleo. I feel so much more solid and have no problem hitting depth at all. I also have a pair or Adidas Ironwork II oly shoes and the Nikes are more comfortable and more stable by far.

Thoughts: Again, these will mainly benefit the raw lifter with a close stance. Your form does not have to change, but there might be an adjustment period if you are used to squatting in a flat soles shoe. Overall I think they are an excellent shoe and worth the investment. (And they don't look half bad either.)


One other note: The shoes are great for the bench press too, as they give you a bit of lift and excellent traction for leg drive. They are, however, absolutely useless for the deadlift, even though the Nike website says, "Dominate the deadlift" (WTF? Who thought that up?) You're still better off deadlifting in a flat soled shoe or going barefoot.


Stats: 5'10" 185lbs
Best Lifts: 405*3 deadlift, 275lb front squat

Gear Experience: a bit

Equipment being reviewed: Tommy Kono Waist Band

Pros: This thing is great for strongman events and front squatting, where you need something to push your stomach against for stability, but still need to be able to breathe. I can breathe in this thing perfectly fine, but it still feels great and gives me support.

Cons: It doesn't offer the same stiff support as a belt, although a belt can easily be worn on top of it (and often is, similar to the rehband). Doesn't have the back support pieces that the rehband does.

Comparison: Better than a belt on a lot of things, no replacement for a belt though.

Thoughts: If you don't want the "crutch" a belt supplies but still want something to push your abs out against, this is where it is at. If you compete in strongman and don't use this or the rehband, you need to. It has a different niche than a belt, though, and will not be replacing my belt anytime soon.


anyone care to review adistars or any of the adidas ironwork series weightlifting shoes for back squatting? it would be greatly appreciated.


Stats 215 lb male
Best Lifts: 455 squat/335 bench/505 deadlift
Gear Experience: Inzer lever belt, Titan wrist wraps

Equipment being reviewed: Adidas Ironwork II olympic lifting shoes

Pros: The Ironworks are best for those that squat with a narrow stance, i.e. shoulder width or a bit wider. They are very solid and stable, though not quite as stable as the Romaleos. They are still and excellent choice for the raw narrow squatter and very durable; they will last you a long time.

Cons: The downside is that they can be hard to find; there is only one website that I know of where you can get them from, and you can't do the ordering online. They also will run you about $100 to $180 depending on the model you get.

Comparison: I have a pair of the Adidas Ironwork II shoes as well. It is still a marked difference for me from when I used to squat in Chucks or Sambas, and a very comfortable shoe.

Thoughts: My opinion is if you can find and can afford the Romaleos, get them. If not, you would still be making a solid choice with the Ironwork II's.


May I add that the sizing is way off for the Ironworks. Try a pair of Stan Smiths at a sports footwear shop to get your accurate size. They are also very narrow in the width. The price from Eleiko or Adidas is pretty steep, but I found mine on e-bay (new) for $100, shipping to Canada and tax in.


225 Front Squat
210 Power Clean
315 Dead

Equipment Being Reviewed
Titan Red Devil Wrist Wraps

Comfortable, easy to use, good support and keeps wrists warm

White gets dirty easily. 20" wraps is probably not long enough for serious singles


Bought 20" wraps to protect the wrist during power cleans and front squats. Stable, and can be wrapped tightly. I wouldn't recommend them for 600+ pounds but I HIGHLY recommend them for someone who is getting started and wants to use wraps in their training to protect, not to assist the lift.