Author Archives: Alana Twelmeyer

Benchmade & Birthdays

Purchasing goods made in the U.S.A has always been synonymous with quality. It’s something that Rogue strives for and has been our mantra since day one. But why are U.S made goods quality goods? It’s the tedious dedication and work ethic of the men and women that make those products. They are proud of the product they make and that they stand behind. It is craftsmanship fueled by the satisfaction of making something that speaks to our skill, knowledge and expertise. We make what we would want to buy. Something like a golden rule of manufacturing.

This year for Bill’s birthday Caity’s gift was a prime example of that kind of American craftsmanship. Benchmade Knife Company started as a small shop in Oregon about twenty years ago. Similar to Rogue, they took their passion for well made goods to work in a small space using second hand equipment. As their knives became more popular and sought after because of their strength, beauty, and ultimate bad-assery they increased their business many fold and added many U.S. jobs to the market. They are leaders in innovation in their industry and bring the market some world-class goods. Benchmade we salute you.

Of course Caity’s customizations really put the Rogue in this Benchmade Beauty. Happy Birthday Bill!

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GH-1 Rogue Abram GHD

Rogue Abram GHDOver a year in the making, the Rogue Abram GHD is the most stable Glute Ham Developer on the market. You could say that it is as stable as GHD’s costing twice as much or even three times as much, because it just does not move. It ships fully disassembled to save on shipping costs but due to the design, feels like it is a single welded piece.

The most important part of any GHD is the hip pad. If this is uncomfortable, using the machine becomes a chore. The oversized split hip pad is the perfect firmness to allow support without discomfort and the shape is perfect for glute ham raises.  As if this were not enough, the pads even have moisture wicking upholstery.

Every detail of the design was scrutinized, including the distance from the foot pads to the foot plate, which is slightly shorter than most, to provide a secure foot hold for GHD situps and ensure your foot stays on the footplate for back extensions and glute ham raises. The oversized 3/16th inch laser cut foot plate ensures that you will never end up with your toes hanging over the edge, and the upholstered pads will hold up through years of abuse.

The height of the foot plates and foot pad were set to allow maximum muscle recruitment. The distance of the footplate to the hip pad is adjustable in 1 inch increments and the length of the cross member will accommodate even the tallest athletes. The wide hip pads and and widely placed handles will accommodate even the largest athletes.

The 2×3 inch steel construction and large front base contribute to the stability of the machine. Having a 2×3 inch crossmember also adds to the stability of the upright. Like everything else on this over-engineered machine, we did not stop there, there are not one, but 2 stabilizing bolts at right angles to each other. They do not minimize motion of foot plate, they eliminate it.

Band pin holes are provided in the base to allow the use Rogue Monster Bands. This indispensable training aid is perfect for athletes ready to move on to the next level.

One of the biggest problems with a GHD made to be stable is that it is a hassle to move around usually requiring at least 2, if not 3 or 4 people to move the machine for a specific workout setup.  However, the provided wheels on the rear base of the Abrams GHD make it easy for a single person to move around the gym.

Like all of Rogue’s made in the U.S.A equipment, this GHD is built to last and will hold up to abuse in a commercial gym. There is not a more durable, functional or stable GHD at any price. The fact that this GHD is made in Ohio and is one of the most reasonably priced on the market makes it the best value available.

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The Frog

We are always in search of something that we can take out of the hands of overseas suppliers and into the hands of someone local.  We are danger close to doing just that.

We have been talking back and forth with our facebook crew and with Chris Spealler to design an American made jump rope.  May sound like something small and inconsequential but it isn’t for a guy named Animal.

Animal is a local molder and basically one of those guys that can figure out how to make anything.  We have worked out how to mold the names and all kinds of cool stuff into the handle but we were scratching our head on what some of the parts were.  Then he found the arm, it is off a remote control car.  When I was a kid I had the Frog.  That was one of the coolest things in the world at the time and maybe still now.  As a side note I purchased it at Slater’s Hardware Store in Lancaster Ohio.  That hardware store has survived the economic down turn in large part due to their insane cool stuff factor.  They have rockets, huge airplanes and all kinds of cool stuff.  Steve makes 550LB Atlas stones and big ass logs as well.

I have diverted from the jump rope a bit so back to my point, we can make anything we want in the US.  We have been doing it for years which is a distinct advantage.

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Master of Your Own Destiny

Is it possible that there is a simple solution to the issues we face in the United States? My brother and I used to play a video game on the computer where the goal was to build factories so you could make war ships.  As you were building factories the people began building villages.  The people would go out and buy goods and pretty soon the villages would turn into cities.  Yes the war ships would go out and get some extra gold but the real lesson to be learned is what built the cities.  When people work and make goods they spend money in their communities and grow the village.  Seems simple enough.

Option 1 Growth Model:
1) Factory hires welder
2) Welder makes equipment
3) Retailer buys the equipment from the factory
4) Factory gets paid, welder gets paid and retailer gets paid when goods are sold
5) All of the people in that chain spend money on goods to support their family and lifestyle
6) Retailer places another order and the cycle continues
Option 2 The Death Cycle:
1) There is no factory
2) There is no welder
3) Retailer buys equipment from outsourced location
4) Employees of retailer are paid
5) Only those that work at the retailer spend money on goods to support their family and lifestyle

Just imagine if every single steel weight plate that is in the United States was made in the United States.  That alone would fire up US foundries which would generate countless jobs.  Problem is that no one has stepped up and figured out how to compete with overseas pricing.  Come on really?

Does this mean that you should pay an astronomical amount for US made goods, no it does not!  My village is Logan Ohio and it is broken, all the factories are gone and people drive an hour both ways to work in the service business.  The village thrives only when their is work and I am certain the many of you can drive through your home town and see buildings vacant.  What does it take to turn the lights back on?  All it takes is your simple demand for high quality American made goods coupled with manufacturers building lean operations.  This is the gasoline that starts the V8, pretty soon you will have a high powered village that can support their families.  It cannot be a temporary contract it needs to be a daisy chain event.

It is time to break the cycle and figure out how to make things in the United States, if you can’t figure it out then you are not being creative enough.  Rest assured that we work every single day to make everything in our store in the US.  You have my commitment that we will do our part to start the chain, do we have yours?

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Building Families of Equipment

If you go to any good restaurant most likely some where behind the scenes someone is trying to use the fewest amount of ingredients as possible.  Our latest creation does just that:

New S-1, S-2 & S-3 Squat Stands

The base is the same across all three squat stands, here are some of many options:

1) Height: 70”, 90”, 108”

2) Pullup Bar on S-2 & 3:  You can use the 1.25” OD bars or get the 2” OD bar – Just flip the bar over

3) Dip Station: All new Rogue Matador Dip attachment – This uses our new channel system to attach to the S-2 & 3

4) Safety Arms: The base on the new stands is 48” deep so you can use the new Safety arms on all three versions

5) Plate Storage: Add single or double plate storage to the new unit

We wanted to design a system that you can modify to your training needs and now it is here.  With the portability of this system we can ship it via UPS ground and save a ton on shipping as well.

The feedback has been great so far and we are looking forward to bringing out more attachments for this to include a Yoke conversion kit!

The most frequently asked question is can you do pullups on this without it rocking.  The answer is yes but if you plan on doing the kipping type pullup then you need to secure it by using the plate storage, sand bagging or with our new bolt down feet. Checkout a vid of our kipping on the S-3 demo.

Things are gearing up for a huge wave of new equipment, so keep an eye on our facebook page!  We are hiring more welders regularly now to keep up with everything, thanks to all of you for making that possible!

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The Rocking Chair Test

Some day you will be sitting on the front porch in your rocking chair as an old man or woman and you may ask yourself, “Did I make an impact on something or someone in my life?”.  Maybe you will ask yourself if you followed your dreams and pushed yourself to do something extraordinary.  This could be a Navy SEAL or school teacher, doesn’t really matter just that you did what you set out to do.

I do not want to look back and realize that I accepted the norm and just went with the flow.  One of my old bosses at GM told me, “ If you always do what you have always done, you always get what you always got.”  We are going to make things and they will most likely be Matte Black, in fact I would paint my kitchen table matte black if my wife would let me.  From the first set of rings we made to the ones coming off the table now, the end user will see the American craftsmanship.

My rocking chair test is – How will people view our Rogue Team?  Did we hold up our end of the deal and bring back American jobs?

In 2011 we are going to tip the scales further and bring more work to the US.  We will be exporting American Made equipment to Canada, Europe and Australia.  We have our challenges with shoes, jump ropes and solid bumper plates but I assure you we are working on it.

We have all watched while factories shut down, now Rogue has a factory.  Our factory will make strength and conditioning equipment the way people are telling us they want it made.   We are not worried about automating processes or outsourcing our products overseas.  Everyday I watch my team create something new and I am damn proud.

I can’t wait to tell my grand kids about this venture.

Bill Henniger

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Industrial Revolution 2.0

My buddy Matt stopped over the other day to ask me what we were doing here. At first I didn’t know what to tell them then I thought about it and came up with what I thought best explains Rogue Fitness.

I told Matt to go back and ask his dad what his favorite tools were, you know the ones that were fifty years old and held a permanent spot in his tool box. Matt’s dad is a retired Iron Worker, he drove past my house in an old Chevy step side every day for 35 years. He built just about every building in Columbus Ohio which is something to be very proud of.
What I am trying to say is that the guy knows tools and I am certain does not need a fancy hammer to pound a nail in or a crazy wrench to tighten a bolt. I told Matt we have gone back and made that wrench and that simple hammer.  We are not reinventing the wheel we are building it the same way that has worked for hundreds of years.

There was a time when we made things in the United States and we were damn proud of them. We designed, cast, forged, machined and polished steel. When I started this business I couldn’t understand why we could not cast American Made Kettlebells, how is this possible. Well apparently it is possible because the fine people in Rhode Island are making them by the hundreds for us.

It is high time for all of us to begin building and inventing again, time to make things with your hands. I am tired of the excuses, look at the talented people around you and figure out how to make things happen. It is time for a second Industrial Revolution. Is there a factory in your home town that used to make something, where did all those skilled folks go? These people can sew shoes or build skyscrapers but for now they are doing nothing.

Time to be entrepreneurial and make something, go find a journeyman.

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Kevin wins the Masters Class!

Kevin Mueller won the Master’s class with a total of 225kilos! Nice work, we will post some pics later of the event along with pictures of his forehead that he split open!

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J, Caity and Eric registered competitors in the CrossFit Games!

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Jonathan Thomas “J” & Eric Jones “Hitman”
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Caity Matter

We will be holding fundraising events to assist in reducing the travel costs to the CrossFit games. Here is a link to the games: CrossFit Games

Training for Saturday

Prison Break

Eric did 27 rounds of Cindy prior to the 45 minute workout!

We hope to add Sam Chappell and Eric Riethman to the ranks!

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