What’s going on? If you are a long time subscriber of the site, you may remember this gem of a video on how to make simple lifting straps. But the other day I got asked in the gym how I made my pair that are from this video (and that are still holding strong by the way). When showed this video they asked for a step by step so I decided to make a few pairs and photo document the ordeal. I have also made some tweaks to my way of putting the straps together. So here we go:
1.First off you need all your supplies. Pretty simple stuff and you can get enough supplies to make 5 pairs for under $15.
- Rock Climbing Webbing: You can go to any store that sells outdoor gear and get a lot of this in bulk. It’s cheap and very durable. I went to REI and got 20 feet for $6.
- Lighter: If you have one no need to buy one, but this is needed to fuse the end of the webbing because after you cut it the nylon frays. I bought a 6-pack of Bics for $3 at the grocery store
- Super Glue: Nothing crazy here any kind will do. I use it on the tips of the straps to provide a little extra hold. $2 or so for a bottle.
- Scissors: These are needed to cut the nylon obviously, hopefully you have a pair laying around the house or office.
- Athletic Tape: This is needed to tape the ends of the straps together if you aren’t sewing machine savvy or have a friend that can do that for you. I was in the gym one day and my straps busted and I threw some tape on there as a temporary fix. Well two years later I finally replaced the tape. $3 a roll
2. Next you are going to want to measure out the straps. There is no secret formula to this. You simply fold the material and lay it alongside your hand. Make sure to give yourself a few inches of extra material. If there’s one thing I hate it’s a short pair of straps. I’d rather have the straps too long than too short, otherwise I might as well not use them. If you are horrible at eyeballing the material, grab a marker and make a line on where to cut the nylon.
3. Cut the straps, if they fray, no worries, we got your back jack!
4. Go get your lighter. This is one of the few times in your life it is perfectly ok to play with fire in public. Take the lighter and simply run it over the each end of the nylon webbing until it starts to bubble a little bit. The slight lip this creates is helpful down the road so just do it. Don’t burn yourself, please.
5. Next you need to get out the super glue. This is something new that I’ve tried and so far it works well. Keeps the ends together for the not so sewing machine savvy folks. You don’t need a lot just a dab and it will hold. Side Note: make sure to lay the straps properly before gluing them. Whichever hand the straps are for you lay the outside piece over the inside piece. This is important because they won’t rub on the wrist and bar weird during training and will last longer.
6. Grab your athletic tape. If you have cool colors good for you, if not, no worries, we still appreciate the traditional look. But remember the lip I talked about in an earlier point after you fused the ends of the nylon? Yeah, you need that now, start the tape right under that lip and wrap the tape around the end as tight as possible 2-3 times. The reason the lip is important is because if the ends of the straps start to pull they will catch on the tape and not go anywhere because it will take the tape with it. Trust me, sounds silly but when a strap doesn’t come undone on the thrid rep of a PR hang snatch you will thank me.
7. If you still have that marker around and memorization isn’t your strong suit. Do yourself a fa or and mark the ends of the for the “left” and “right” hand. IT will help when someone borrows them and asks “which is for which hand?”
And there you have it! A simple easy way to get a solid pair of lifting straps. Whether you are doing some deadlifts, high reps in the hang snatch, or just stretching out the lats by hanging from the pull up bar these will get the job done. Takes about 5-10 minutes to make depending on how coordinated you are and will last you for a long time. The first pair I made three years ago have held up really well and I’ve only had to replace the tape on the ends one time during that span. Comment below if you have any tips or ways to make these even better, or if you’ve used this to make a pair and how they worked out for you. Now get back to the gym and go lift some stuff!