Wrist wraps for powerlifting review
Wrist warps are something you can consider when you are getting serious about lifting. The Gangsta Wraps are the most recommended on youtube and amongst heavy lifters. Here is my take on them after using them for two weeks. They are a good addition to every gym bag.
When should I consider buying wraps ?
Important equipment for lifting are in this order:
I think good advice is to consider these purchases when you are serious about progressing in lifting and you are past a bodyweight squat, bench press and 1.5 times bodyweight deadlift. These are areas when operating at the limit you potentially will send a weight traveling which overwhelms you once out of control. Prepare by getting the correct support system in place and avoiding nasty surprises.
When do you use them ?
I take the same approach on wrist wraps as on my knee wraps and lifting belt. All of them are put on after warm up sets for the work sets. For my 120kg 5x5 squat I warm up with 5x60kg, 5x80kg, 1x 100kg, 1x 110kg. After this I put the accessories on and work through the sets which are due for the day. Same applies for benching. If you like percentages I work without wraps in the area of 50 – 75% of one rep max and wrap from 75%+. Experiment and find your own best practices while you are using these numbers as a guidance.
Do they actually help?
They definitely help my bench press. I was at 110kg for 5x5 and did 5/5/3/3/3 without the wraps and the week after I did 5/5/5/4/3. Could have been more focus on the week after or due to the wraps, but I feel like it gives me some extra stability to stay in the game for longer without wearing down my joints as much. Also the most experienced lifters I know all use wrist wraps which indicates that these actually do help. For the squat they provide good support and for me reduce the likelihood to flare my right arm as it is frequently misaligned not keeping both of my arms parallel when squatting.
How hard is it to wrap them?
Putting them on and ensuring a proper wrap around your wrist is super easy to do. Just slip your thump in the noose and wrap the fabric around your wrist and done. No rocket science and practical as you would like it from proper gym equipment.
Are they heavy?
No they have the same as any sweatband / headband you might already own or have owned.
Are they available in different colours ?
The Gangsta wraps are available in blue and camo.
What is the quality of the wraps ?
The wraps themselves are of high quality and so are the straps to put your thumbs in. The Velcro straps seem to be of lesser quality, as they are already disintegrating a bit although I am just using the straps for a week now. This might be first wear and tear which will have no further effects on the wraps overall, but this remains to be seen. If there is a weak point of the Gangsta's it is definetly the spot where the velcro attaches to the sturdier material of the wraps.
Where to order ?
You can order your wraps directly from the mark bell website, however be aware that delivery will be from the west coast of the states in this case. If you are in Europe that means 2 – 4 weeks waiting depending on how fast the container ship makes the transit. You can be proud that you got your wraps directly from marksmellybelly storage room, if that rocks your boat.
I made that mistake as there are other sources in Europe where the wraps are in stock. This might be more expensive depending on the EUR/USD exchange at time of purchase, but which such a small amount I think it is fair to say that this is a secondary concern.
Since I wrote this the Gangsta wraps are more widely distributed. Try your luck in the rogue europe shop for faster delivery times.
What do other people think ?
Brandon Campbell did a very good review on his channel of the Gangsta wraps when he got them and a year into using them. You can see both of these reviews below and please support this man he is doing a good job on his channel. I personally would not agree with using it as a knee wrap like Brandon suggests in his video for very heavy duty squats. Most of you won't do 300kg+ squats, however if you do I would not like to have only Velcro between my and an amputated knee, just saying.
I like the idea of the elbow wrap and the applications he explains apart from this and also the revisit in a year. This man cares and also recommends these wraps.
You will be hard pressed fo din bad reviews for the Gangsta wraps, when you start searching and Brandon currently has the best quality one in my personal opinion.
How much do I have to invest ?
Around 40$ if you are buying directly from Mark Bell. If you buy them from improve your bench they will be 44.99 pound sterling. Improve your bench seems to make quite a nice buck of these ones, but I also figured that the slingshot actually can dliver to Ireland, even though they thought themselves they could not.
Which length to get ?
I regret not getting the longer ones, I personally think that would have been the better choice. Should have watched all the reviews before buying ;). Still the smaller ones work just fine and give you a tight wrap.
How long can I use them ?
Brnadon Campbell used them for more than a year and they are still growing strong. This guy as a heavy duty lifter so consider these a good investment as opposed to other wraps which are said to fall apart easy. Still I would not be qualified to judge here, as the Gangsta's are currently the only wrist wraps I own.
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