Author Archives: Ahmik Jones

Compression Gear

You have seen several top competitors wearing compression gear and may have wondered: Does it work, and if so, how does it work?

Compression stockings have been used in the medical field for years for conditions ranging from congestive heart failure, to varicose veins. They have also been used to reduce the risk of deep venous thrombosis in hospitalized patients.

In recent years, the use of compression gear has expanded into athletics. They first appeared in endurance sports, and now use has spread to many different sports.

The primary rationale behind wearing compression gear is that it enhances venous return leading to increased endurance capacity. It is also felt that because muscles are kept more compact, balance and proprioception are improved and muscle fatigue is minimized.

Several studies have shown a performance benefit:

Researchers in Germany showed that athletes wearing compression socks ran longer and hit higher speeds on the treadmill than the control group that was not wearing them. Effect of compression stockings on running performance in men runners.

Researchers in Austrailia showed an increase in the oxygen concentration in the muscles when wearing compression gear. The effects of wearing lower-body compression garments during endurance cycling.

After this week’s open workout, many of us are looking for a way to recover faster and reduce soreness. For many, compression gear may be the answer.

There is even more evidence that compression gear may reduce soreness and reduce recovery time than there is for increased performance:

This study showed that compression stockings reduced delayed onset muscle soreness after running a 10k. Graduated compression stockings: physiological and perceptual responses during and after exercise.

This study has even more direct application for CrossFitters. It showed that full length compression stockings reduced soreness after plyometric training. Lower Limb Compression Garment Improves Recovery from Exercise Induced Mucle Damage in Young Active Females.

We offer several types of Compression Gear, from Calf Stockings and Compression Shorts to Full Length Recovery Tights and our brand new stylish and functional Rogue Compression Socks.

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Rogue Comp Matting

Keeping your athletes safe while still allowing them to push their limits, has always been an issue. The problem is that most mats that are available are made for gymnastics, and will not stand up to the abuse of a busy CrossFit Affiliate.

Made in the U.S.A. by Dollamur, Rogue Comp Matting is the answer to outfitting your training or competition area.

The only mats chosen by the U.S.A. Olympics. This matting is used in premier martial arts, cheerleading, and gymnastics facilities. Whether you need a place for your clients to practice handstands, handwalking and tumbling, want a padded area for stretching and situps, want to add an extra measure of safety below your Infinity Rig or Wall Mount Unit, or even mat an area for martial arts, you will not find a better product.

The matting can be used for both temporary and permanent installations. It is so easy to lay and reroll the mats, that it can be done by a single person. The matting always lays flat and rolls tight for easy storage.

The 10 foot by 6 foot sections of matting are designed to work with Rogue Infinity Rigs and Wallmount Systems. They can be applied down the center of a pullup rig and also around the perimeter, forming a safe environment for your athletes to train. Custom sizes are also available.

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Rogue War Bar

One of the most indispensable tools out there for teaching Olympic Weightlifting has always been a piece of PVC pipe. However, the pipe is not the exact diameter of the bar that you or your clients will eventually use, and it lacks knurling marks to use a reference for where to place your hands.

The Rogue War Bar solves these problems. It is a true 28 mm diameter plastic bar with the correct knurling marks for olympic weightlifting, making the transition to a barbell as smooth as possible. Your clients will not have to relearn the hook grip on the bar, and you can teach the correct grip width from the beginning, before any bad habits form.

While it is not a load bearing bar, it is much more durable than a piece of PVC and will last quite a bit longer.

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Rogue Grandfather Clock Grip System

The Grandfather Clock Grip System is one of the toughest tests of grip strength that we have come up with. Each grip is a cylinder that resembles the weights in a grandfather clock. It is an an even more difficult version of the towel pull-up since the grips will not give or allow you to dig your fingers in for additional leverage. Because of this, the Grandfather Clock grips are unmatched in their ability to improve grip strength for rope climbs. Their shape will also translate into improved grip strength for various odd object lifting.

Like our other grip systems, the straps and caribiners allow these to be attached to almost any implement you can think of to add difficulty to lifting movements or farmer’s walks. This serves a two purposes: 1. It allows you to build your grip strength across several movements. 2. If you do not have the grip strength to do pull-ups right away, it allows you to build that strength, by lifting progressively heavier objects.

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Gibbon Slacklines

Slacklining, an activity that came out of the rock climbing community, was embraced by CrossFit due to the fact that like gymnastics rings, the slackline is an inherently stable system that only becomes unstable when the human element is introduced. Learning to walk on a slackline involves learning to quiet the involuntary muscle movements that cause the line to vibrate, which is similar to learning to stop shaking when supporting yourselft on the rings. However, slacklining takes all this to a much higher level.

Rogue offers two different Gibbon Slacklines for variations on the sport.

1. The Classic is perfect for the beginner or diverse slackliner. Thicker webbing and two lengths make this the best line for any location or skill level.  It can even be used as a portable rail for skis, snowboards and skateboards!

2. The Jibline is for the more adventurous type. Thinner webbing and much more dynamic, the Jibline is ideal for tricks and jumps. This line takes balance to a new level!  Thin, flexible webbing provides a trampoline like effect and rubber based print provides added grip.  The low mounting height is for safe handling.

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Rogue Deadlift Platform

The Rogue Deadlift Platform not only protects your floor, it allows you to do band deadlifts outside of a power rack without sinking anchors into your floor.

There are multiple options for filling the platform, you can use eight 2×2 foot by 1.5 inch rubber tiles, you can use a combination of plywood and tiles or you can use a combination of horse stall mats and plywood.

The band pegs are oversized so that they can be used with standard bars or even longer specialty bars such as a log bar for athletes training for strongman events.

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Fix Your Hands!

Almost everyone who does CrossFit will eventually tear their hands. When you grip barbells and pull up bars, you bunch up the skin on your hands, this combined with friction, causes the skin to respond in the only way it can, by making more skin. The problem comes during the next workout, when this thicker skin gets wet and begins to bunch up against the bar. Eventually this will lead to a tear.

Tearing your hands does not mean that you need to put your training on hold for a week while the skin heals. RIPT skin systems offers a 3 pronged approach designed to get you back out there as soon as possible as well as to prevent rips in the first place.

1. Quick Fix: Protects freshly damaged skin from the elements and acts as a moisture barrier. 

The main thing that prevents your skin from healing quickly is the fact that after a day or two, the area dries out and cracks, causing a new painful area of exposed flesh. The moisture barrier prevents the area from drying and allows the skin to heal in a few days, rather than a week and a half.

2. Daily Dose:  Hydrates calluses to keep skin pliable and prevent future tears.  

Hard calluses are a ticking time bomb that will tear on you at the most inopportune moment.

3. Grind Stone: Keeps Calluses thin yet tough. 

Over time, if you keep your calluses under control with the grind stone, you will have broad deep calluses that will not tear under any load, but will feel like normal skin to the touch.

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Kettlebells, Which Ones?

It seems that everywhere you look these days, people are selling kettlebells. However, many of the products are just a handle welded onto a ball. If you are really interested in using kettlebells for CrossFit, kettlebell training or kettlebell competition, you need to know what you are looking for.

To start, we should look at the history of the kettlebell. They are an exercise implement of Russian origin, resembling a cannon ball with an attached handle. The main advantage that kettlebells have over dumbbells is that they extend the center of mass beyond the handle facilitating ballisting and swinging movements. Because of this fact, for the most part, throughout their history they have been used for high repetition exercises at moderate weights.

In 1948 Kettlebell lifting or Girevoy Sport was born in Russia and has since spread around the world. There are 2 events, the 2 kettlebell jerk and the snatch. They are performed in that order for 10 minutes each, with the score being the total repetitions performed. For the jerk, both kettlebells are cleaned to the chest and as many push jerks as possible are performed before the 10 minutes are up. You can’t put the kettlebells down, any resting must be with the kettlebells on your chest. The Snatch follows, you perform as many kettlebell snatches with one arm and then do a single swing to switch hands, and then continue until the time is up. Like the jerks, you can not put the kettlebell down during the 10 minutes. This competition is traditionally performed with 2 pood (32 kg/71 pound) kettbells. With the evolution of the sport, there are now professional grade kettlebells available, that, similar to Olympic Bumpers, are the same size, regardless of the weight, and are often color coded so that you can tell how much someone is lifting by the color.

50 years after the sport’s origin, Pavel Tsatsouline a fitness instructor from what is now Belarus, popularized the kettlebell in the U.S. While traditionally kettlebells were available in increments of the Russian measurement of poods (16 kg/36 pounds), with their new popularity, sizes other than the common 1 pood, 1.5 pood (24 kg/53 pounds) and 2 pood (32 kg/71 pounds) became available. They are now available in pound increments as well as kilograms in weights as low as as a few pounds and as high as hundreds of pounds. Kettlebell conditioning classes emerged with many additional movements added to the arsenal such as various swings and and even juggling movements.

The tool caught the interest of CrossFit where the two handed Russian swing that finished in front of the eyes, used as an assistance exercise for teaching the snatch, was modified to continue until it finished over head. It was used a high repetition conditioning exercise. Additional kettlebell exercises that CrossFit incorporated, include Turkish getups and snatches.

For CrossFit and even competitive Kettlebell Lifting there are certain characteristics that you should look for:

1. Handle diameter. For most brands, that are not competition grade, the diameter of the handle goes up as the weight goes up, ending up around 33 to 37 mm by the time you reach a weight of 1 pood. Some of the kettlebells available in sporting good stores have much thinner handles which are nearly impossible to hold onto while doing kettlebell swings and completely useless for snatches.

2. Handle width. Usually the handle width also goes up with weight. Often with lighter weights, it can be difficult to fit both your hands on the handles for kettlbell swings. This problem is eliminated with competition grade kettlbells where all weights are the same size. This problem is als taken care of with the Rogue “Kilo” Bells where the handles extend beyond the with of the ball portion of the bell on the lighter weights.

3. Handle texture. There are cheap products out there with rough finishes which can really tear up your hands on the high repetition movements that are the staple of kettlbell training. The worst offenders leave seams from the casting that can lead to blisters or even open wounds along the sides of your fingers during s set of swings. The best products are sanded smooth after casting before finishing.

4. Construction. The best kettlebells are cast as a solid piece, rather than having the handle attached as a separate piece.

5. Finish. Finishes vary from uncoated steel, to enamel and even powder coating. For competition, bare steel is very popular, but for kettlbell swings as part of CrossFit workout, powder coating is hard to beat.

Rogue offers three different kettlebell types to meet your needs. The first two are made by Ader. Ader Premier Kettlbells are solid cast iron with all the seems sanded smooth before being epoxy coated. They are very sturdy, and the finish is excellent for swings and adequate for snatches. They are very reasonably priced and make a great addition to any CrossFit gym. Ader Pro Grade Kettlebells are made from steel with unpainted 33 mm handles and are color coded to show the weight. All weights are the same size. These are the kettlebell of choice for people who compete in Kettlebell Lifting. The final option is the Rogue “Kilo” Bell. These are made in the U.S.A with American craftmanship that shows. The powder coated finish is perfect, for CrossFit movements such as swings and snatches as it is very forgiving when coming in sweaty from a run and going strait to swings. Read some reviews here.

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New Inov8′s

The new Inov8 Bare-X 180 works hard to simulate barefoot running. There is a zero heel to toe differential. The upper is made entirely of breathable mesh. The outsole is made from a state of the art exceptionally durable compound developed by 3M with a special coating for enhanced wet traction that will last for 600 miles. The fit is designed to prevent internal motion during climbs or descents. With all of this in an ultra light shoe, you can’t get any closer to running barefoot without risking injury from road hazards.

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Strongman Equipment

Not only is it good to keep expanding your training horizons to be ready for what life or competition throws at you, training in slightly different ways can be a great way to break out of plateaus or fix deficiencies.

For example, after working on Clean and Jerk with a Log, or lifting Atlas stones, going back to a barbell will feel like a vacation. Sled pulls and pushes, not only showed up in the CrossFit Games, they are a phenomenal way to build posterior chain strength and metabolic conditioning.

We already know that the combination of Olympic Weightlifting, Powerlifting, and Gymnastics can produce amazing results. Take that a step further and see the benefits of training with implements with even more direct applications to every day demands.

Rogue offers a wide array of Strongman Equipment to take your training to the next level!

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