How in the Hell? Getting On a Tight Pair of SBD Knee Sleeves

It’s like a square peg in a round hole. Or, better yet, a 747 through the eye of a needle. Something that seems impossible at first but then you realize the golden rule of problem solving. Pure, unbridled anger and brute force solves most problems you encounter in life. It might not be the prettiest outcome and there might be some criminal charges against you at the end of the day, but, hey. You got the job done.

Any strength athlete can appreciate the value of a good pair of knee sleeves. Rehbands seemed to have the monopoly on that for a little while. Don’t get me wrong, rehbands (the blue ones, not the shitty grey ones that are made out of tissue paper) are great and I still use my two-year old pair for training purposes. But, with the introduction of the SBD’s, the rehbands are great like having a word processor would be great to have right now. Like, “at least it’s not a typewriter, but sending an email requires too many rolls of ink, stamps, and a trip to the post office.”

The urge to make a "Wang" joke is almost overwhelming.
The urge to make a “Wang” joke is almost overwhelming.

The only issue I have been seeing with these spectacular pieces of squatting supremacy are that they are hard as hell to pull on. Especially if you are ultra competitive like me and ordered a pair two sizes too small on purpose to get the most “pop” out of them as possible.

-On a side note, yes, there is a lot of “pop” in these as you come up out of the bottom of the squat. I would compare it to the eccentric phase feeling like a cool breeze on a warm summer day while you sip iced tea in the shade of your porch as you watch the sun slowly set into a vast body of glass-like still water. The concentric phase begins like the Tasmanian devil from the cartons jumps out of the TV with a suicide vest on and starts using everything in sight to try to kill you as frantically and as quickly as he can. In other words, it is an interesting experience that will help you get moving a little bit faster out of the bottom of your squat.

My first experience with the SBD’s was at the IPF Raw Classic World Championships in Suzdal, Russia. Some rep for the UK company that produces these things was pretty much just handing them out to people. I am still pissed that I didn’t snag a pair then. After the lifters had some time to use them, I began asking around to see what people thought of them. When there is a resounding 100% approval rating for a piece of equipment by some of the strongest strength athletes in the world, I then become interested in said product.

So, after getting back to the USA (Russia sucked, by the way) I got on and measured myself out at an XXL for a tight competition fit… I ordered larges. When they finally arrived, I was almost too busy simultaneously laughing, having all the skin sheared off my fingers, and tearing all my hamstrings trying to get the things on. After about an hour of pulling as hard as I could (I have deadlifted 800+lbs multiple times in competition) I determined that it was too hard and I wasn’t strong enough to get the things on. After a short bout of fetal position crying during my deep self-actualization/self-assault-and-battery into how weak and feeble I am, I had a couple of ideas on how to get these things on.

Here are two short videos staring my stupid fat face and a slur of profanity while showing a couple of tips on how in the hell to get these things on:

There you go. Hope this helps.

Solum Per Exitum… it’s not that hard with SBD’s.


6 thoughts on “How in the Hell? Getting On a Tight Pair of SBD Knee Sleeves

  1. Great review and video! Just wanted to add a few things. The SBD sleeves are not as stretchy as other knee sleeves. In smaller sizes (xs, s, m) it’s going to be a lot harder to size down because there is less material to stretch. We recommend going by our sizing chart, especially in smaller sizes. Also, measure your knee AND calf. If your calf is larger than your knee joint you need to use your calf measurement or you’re really going to struggle getting them on. Thanks for all the positive remarks!

  2. I just purchased a pair and got the M because my specs fell within the tight fit M. I did not find them that hard to put on when you roll them up as you suggest. I did go for the tight fit because I figured that I want them for max support, or else why have knee sleeves.

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