Update on Knee Sleeve Poll

by Al Myers

This is a reminder to everyone that the worldwide poll on knee sleeves is underway.  This issue was brought up at the USAWA National Meeting, ending with a motion to refer it to the IAWA Technical Committee for evaluation before being placed on the IAWA agenda at the IAWA Meeting in October at the IAWA World Meet.  Steve Gardner and myself decided that a world-wide poll should be taken on this issue as well, as both of us feel that this issue is one that should be decided by ALL members, not just the membership that is attendance at the meeting.  A couple of weeks ago a blog was ran on this website which included the details of the poll, so if you missed it, look back in the archives of the USAWA Daily News. I’m not going to “rehash” all that again in this story.  

There has been some  discussion in the USAWA Discussion Forum on this.  Discussion has included the pros and cons by several members. If you haven’t been “keeping up” with this issue, that is a good place to look to “get up to speed”.  So far only 26 USAWA members have voted, and the vote is tied at 13-13.  It is important to remember that the deadline in this poll is September 1st. I’m going to include some of the forum posts in this blog to stimulate thought:

By Big T –

I guess I want to discuss this a little as I’m surprised at the results.

My feeling is that it’s a pandora’s box. In Highland Games we have the Weight Over Bar event where the thrower has to throw a 56lb weight over a bar, kinda like a high jump bar that goes higher and higher with the highest being the winner. Well, the rules don’t say you can’t spin but traditionally, it was done from a standing position. One day, someone did spin, and while it was debated, nobody stopped it. Soon, guys were spinning all over the place. Hell, I did it when I realized it was a superior way to do it. Now, some games allow it, some don’t and it is a point of contention. Why? Because you can throw higher spinning….but then others argue you don’t! In my mind, it’s a separate event. Guys argue about it and in the mean time records are broken until only the spinners have all the records and nobody can remember who did what standing, spinning, or whatever. Now, there are guys double spinning!

My point, I like spinning, but I don’t consider it the same. I like knee sleeves, I own two pair! But this is an pandora’s box and we either need to create a “geared” record list and ungeared (good lord…how many records would that be!……500 pages!) or just keep it raw and a guy can were his knee sleeve to keep warm, take it off to lift, then go on with life. For the record, I voted no, but in reality, I would rather see all gear allowed with limitations. But to me, it’s all or nothing and its disrespectful to past champs to beat records with advantages they didn’t have.

By Dinoman –

Thank you for your input on this, you made some very good points. I’ll be honest here – I’m REALLY disappointed in the number of votes cast so far for an issue this big and the the lack of opinions from lifters defending their viewpoints. Only 25% of the membership so far have even voted! That tells me that this issue doesn’t mean much to the remaining 75%. Or maybe it is just the apathy of voting now-a-days, with the attitude that an individuals opinion doesn’t count for anything so why show up to vote.

I’m really glad we are doing this poll as it gives EVERYONE an opportunity to be part of this decision. I will say this – if you don’t vote NOW I don’t want to hear you B***** later!!


I voted yes, but did so with reservation-that I completely see your point. However, I disagree whole heartedly with the separate record list bit. So, you have used knee sleeves? Have you ever lifted anything with them that you would not have lifted without? Maybe there are types where that would be the case. I have used york and Dino sleeves, and have never gotten a single pound over what I would have done without them. Just like Benching with wrist wraps. Never a single pound over, but it allows me to protect a joint in order to not have to spend the next month rehabbing it. Now, like I said, maybe there are some that would give you weight, and maybe that is something that needs to be researched out before a decision is made, I dont know. And if the knee sleeves thing fails I will not lose a moments sleep over it, I will just train with them, when I feel I need them, and compete without. It wont make any difference, as I will lift the same amount one way or the other, as long as I am healthy.

By casinoman –

Neoprene knee sleeves are not geared. To say they aid in a lift is a miseducated statement, meaning no offense. But I am with ET I get nothing out of a NEOPRENE knee sleeve, but I do own knee sleeves that are like a knee wrap and do get some poundages out of them. But they help immensly in being in less pain. I am amazed especially by the amount of older lifters by how many no votes there are. I can guarantee when I am in my 40 and 50s I will be wearing neoprene damn near head to toe, hell I am almost that way now on workout days. I think people need to understand that neoprene sleeves are not geared lifting, they don’t give you any extra poundages, but they help keep the joint warm. I have had both meniscus removed and on squat days, if I go without my sleeves I pay for it dearly, can I squat without and squat the same amount of weight, yes, but the next day the pain is worse.