I recently purchased and tested out 6 different sets of lifting straps, one of those being the Olympic Weightlifting straps from Cal Strength.
If you’re not familiar, Cal Strength is one of the premier Olympic lifting gyms in the US. It also happens to be one of my favorite Youtube channels to let run in the background while I’m in the garage working out.
They sell their own set of straps that are truly, uniquely their own.
In this review, I’ll tell you what I liked, what I didn’t, how they compared to some of the other straps I tested and ultimately if I think you should buy a pair.
Let’s get started.
Cal Strength Strap Specs
Weightlifting straps are not exactly the most complicated pieces of equipment. There are really only a couple of variations amongst straps that you need to take into consideration. Keep in mind, there is really no better or worse with differences in specs, most come down to personal preference.
|Cal Strength Weightlifting Straps|
|Strap Type||Closed Loop|
|Available At:||Cal Strength|
*Cal Strength doesn’t give the dimensions for their straps on their website so 19″ on the length is a guess based on comparison with my IronMind Sew Easy Straps. 1 1/2″ on the width is technically a guess too, but they line up exactly with my other 1 1/2″ straps so I’m pretty comfortable with saying they are 1 1/2″.
Strap Type: Closed Loop
These Sew Easy Straps are a closed loop lifting strap. What does that mean? Basically, it means that the two ends of the strap have been sewn together to create a “closed loop”.
This makes them a little more advanced than a lasso strap, but much easier to use than open loop straps.
Personally, a closed loop strap is my favorite to use, especially for Olympic Lifting where you need a balance of being locked into the bar while also needing the ability to quickly bail on a lift when necessary.
Like I stated above, Cal Strength doesn’t give the dimensions for their straps on their website so 19″ on the length is a guess based on comparison with my IronMind Sew Easy Straps. If anything, they may be a little shorter than 19″.
This makes them a little harder to get wrapped around the bar, especially when they’re new and not broken in yet. It was a bit of a pain to get my second hand setup until they start to form their curve. (They’ll start to form a natural curve from being wrapped around the bar over and over again.)
However, once they were broken in (only takes a few sessions), I didn’t have any issues with the shorter length.
Width: 1 1/2″*
Like the length, the width of the straps is technically a guess too, but since they line up directly with my other 1 1/2″ straps I feel confident that I’ve got the length correct.
Most straps come in either 1″ or 1 1/2″ width. I prefer the wider width because, for me, they’re more comfortable and don’t dig into my wrists.
I always say the same thing when it comes to the price of lifting straps. All weightlifting straps are going to fall between $10 and $20. Get the pair you want.
A good pair of lifting straps will last you years and years. My previous pair of lifting straps last me about 10 years. When you take that into account, is it really worth trying to save (literally) a couple bucks instead of getting the pair you really like? No. Don’t worry about the price here.
My Personal Review
At first, I really loved these straps. I loved how thin and comfortable they were.
They say on their website that the straps are “made of a proprietary nylon webbing material which you won’t find in any other weightlifting strap on the market“. I would agree with this statement 100%. They don’t feel like any other weightlifting strap I’ve ever used.
If other straps feel like you’re putting on a wool sweater, these straps feel like a state-of-the-art Under Armour Climalite shirt that wicks away sweat and keeps your body cool.
Ultimately I felt like they lacked a little bit of grippy-ness, especially when I was out wide for snatches.
Having said that, if you don’t want something to overly ‘lock’ you into the bar, then these would be perfect. For instance, they’ll work great if you want a pair of straps to take a little bit of the stress away from your grip to protect your hands.
Should You Buy Them
Personally, I like my Sew Easy Straps a little better when it comes to hitting heavy snatches, but I still use my Cal Strength straps from time to time. Usually when I’m doing a few sets of pulls or RDLs after hitting my heavy main lifts.
However, if you want a pair of lifting straps that are going to be thin, durable and comfortable – these Cal Strength straps are a great choice.