Category Archives: Tips

Storage

A well organized gym is a more functional gym.

So you have bought the bars, plates, dumbbells, Kettlebells and medicine balls. Now you need somewhere to put them so you can make the most of the space in your garage, or affiliate.

We have all your storage solutions, including stand alone solutions, products that will attach to your existing stands, racks and rigs as well as specialized shelving.

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Concept 2 Ski Erg

Concept 2 has come up with a New way to build strength an endurance, based on Nordic skiing technique.

The Concept2 SkiErg is based on the same mechanics and electronic monitoring systems as the Concept2 Indoor Rower, the proven choice of rowing athletes around the world since 1982.

Each pull engages the arms, shoulders, core and legs in a downwards “crunch,” using body weight to help accelerate the handles. A workout on the SkiErg works the legs at least as hard as the upper body. This is one of the few places in the gym where you can work a negative squat against resistance. This has potential to improve speed under the bar for Olympic lifting.

A benefit to the Ski Erg over a standard rower is the fact that it can take up less space in your gym or garage. It includes a floor stand so it can be set up and used in minutes, but it can also be attached to the wall, so that it takes up almost no space when not in use.

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Aluminum Technique Bars

There are many companies out there that offer aluminum technique bars. However, most have cheese grater knurl texture, a large diameter and non standard knurl markings.

For about the same price as competitor’s “Alumilite” bars, we offer both 25 mm Diameter, 5 kg and 28 mm Diameter, 15 lb aluminum technique bars that are identical to standard men’s and women’s Olympic Weightlifting bars between the sleeves. They have competion grade knurling and correct Olympic Weightlifting knurling marks. Whether you are training children or new adult lifters, these bars make teaching the lifts safe and effective without the need to relearn things like the hook grip, or grip position, when transitioning to standard bars.

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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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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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Competition Ring Straps

One of the biggest complaints that people have about dealing with gymnastics rings is the ability to set them up and adjust them to different heights quickly. You often spend a lot of time making small adjustments to ensure the rings are level. After supplying rings for the 2011 CrossFit Games Regional Competition all over the world, and adjusting them for each heat, Rogue realized that they could make things much more efficient for the 2011 CrossFit Games Final.
The Rogue Fitness Competition Straps come in 8 foot and 6 foot versions and allows for set up of your gymnastics rings in seconds without worrying about keeping them level. Setting them up is as easy as throwing the straps over the bar and clipping the carabiner into one of of the divisions that is sewn into the straps every 3 inches.

Having the straps held static also eliminates the possibility that the buckle will slide down to interfere with an athlete during a workout. Both the athletes and the judges at the CrossFit games loved the new system.

Whether you are in a situation where you have to set up your rings every day, often change the height of your rings to accommodate different exercises, such as dips, muscle ups and pushups, or have a busy gym where every athlete is a different height, you will love the ability to make precise adjustments quickly anytime you need them.

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Barlean’s Ultra DPA-EHA Fish Oil

Once people read about the benefits of fish oil they want to know how much they need to take. The general recommendation is for 2-4 grams of EPA/DHA (Types of Omega-3 fatty acids) per day. The problem is that with many products, people need to take 20, 30 or even 40 capsules per day to reach that number. Even with high quality products this can lead to stomach upset and fish flavored burps. The other problem that people run into is that products with high enough concentrations of EPA and DHA to get the number of capsules down to a reasonable number
often cost up to $60 per bottle. If you buy cheaper products they end up being even more expensive due to the number of capsules needed to reach the recommended daily amounts.

With Barlean’s Ultra DPA-EHA Fish Oil you can reach the recommended amount with just 4 capsules and the low price will surprise you.

Although the mechanism for the health benefits of Omega-3 fatty acids remains controversial, the results have been proven. This AHA Scientific Statement summarizes the research done to date and the benefits of Omega-3 fatty acid supplementation.

The amount of Omega 3 fatty acids in the American diet has dropped by over 90% percent in the last 100 years, largely due to the switch from animal fats in the diets to vegetable oils and the switch from grasses to grains as the source of feed for meat producing animals. Unless you eat 100% wild caught fish, free range chicken and grass fed beef, you are most likely not getting the correct ratio of Omega-3 to Omega-6 fatty acids in your diet.

A great illustration of the effects of Omega-3 versus Omega-6 fatty acids in the diet is the fact that the high concentration of Omega-6 fatty acids in corn and other grains fed to cattle in feed lots leads to stomach inflammation, ulcers and infection, necessitating the use of antibiotics in the vast majority of the beef produced in the United States. If the lack of Omega-3 fatty acids is doing that to cattle, this is further evidence that without Omega-3 fatty acids in your diet, you are opening yourself up to unnecessary inflammation. However, even though feeding grass, which has a high Omega-3 concentration to cattle eliminates the need for antibiotics, the fact that the cattle take 2-3 times as long to grow to full size makes it economically beneficial for most ranchers to produce grain fed beef that is not nearly as nutritional as grass fed.

With the current state of agriculture in the United States, for Americans to get the EPA and DHA they need, supplementation is necessary. Barlean’s Ultra DPA-EHA Fish Oil offers the best combination of convenience, price and efficacy available.

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High bar back squat or low bar back squat?

There are several differences between the high bar back squat and the low bar back squat. Each type of squat has it’s supporters.

The high bar back squat is often advocated by Olympic weightlifters because the more upright position is closer to that of a front squat or overhead squat. However, the movement does have some disadvantages.  A large portion of the weight is sitting on the lifters spine and it does not bring in as much of the posterior chain as a low bar back squat.

A low bar back squat, where the bar sits just below the spine of the scapula, has 3 main differences from the high bar back squat. 1. By placing the weight lower on the back, the lever arm between the load and the hips is shortened, often allowing the athlete to lift more weight. 2. The weight sits on the shoulder muscles (deltoids and infraspinatus) rather than directly on the bones of the spine, 3. The more horizontal position of the back brings more of the posterior chain into the lift. For these reasons, the low bar position is often favored by people who use the movement as part of a strength building program to support CrossFit or other sports. However, as stated above, the more horizontal position in the bottom of the squat does not as directly correlate with the more upright squats of the Olympic lifters in competition.

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A great post from HyperFit USA about quality versus speed.

This is a post from HyperFit USA a CrossFit affiliate in Ann Arbor Michigan. Some of the following editorial refers to Hyperfit but is very applicable to us here at Rogue. Enjoy.  And remember you don’t want to be a “Clock Whore”.

Clock Whores

We first started doing CrossFit back in late 2004 and affiliated in early 2005. The single greatest innovation the program advocated was the time clock. The clock measures what each specific workout is and creates a unique performance data point. I introduced the concept to my clients to help them shift perspective on training. The paradigm shift was profound, and resulted in shifting the training from not just working hard; we were working very hard, and being able to measure their specific performance in every workout. Before I was introduced to CrossFit we were doing functional movement that was constantly varied. The workouts we were doing were intense in the sense of a lot of work done but adding the clock added a new dimension to our training. I think of it at as a person following a moral code before they were introduced to the theory behind it. The concept of timing all the training shifted the concept to performance measurement as the means for getting results. The results from changing to actual performance metrics in every workout were and are fantastic. The change in view point resulted in people changing focus from narcissistic superficial appearance based fitness goals to a performance-based “How much can I do” model of training. The results are a stronger motivation to train and surpass superficial promises in the typical gym brochure. People began to focus away from judging people’s fitness on their appearance and replaced it with a real measure of fitness, actual physical output. The focus has become more centered on how much weight, how far, how fast and the results have been astounding. All of the superficial goals are being achieved by having legitimate performance benchmarks to strive for.

The essence of the time clock as a performance measurement is to have exercises with ranges of motion standards, specific weights and repetitions so the performance can be measured and repeated again to track progress. The idea is to measure overall work capacity in specific repeatable measurable terms. (The scientific method) The program itself attracts people who are by their very nature competitive and like to see things done in real terms. The typical “I feel better” is replaced with “I am performing better” and as a result, “I am happy with my training.” A person being able to deadlift more or run faster or do more pull-ups help people to self-actualize their performance in terms of best effort yesterday versus best effort today. The idea of personal best and competing specifically with yourself is the essence and core of HyperFit USA’s application of CrossFit philosophy in our training.

The dark side of the clock

Over the years of doing CrossFit style training and scoring the workouts some strange idiosyncrasies have come to light. The unfortunate aspect of human psychology is we tend to compare ourselves to others. Sibling rivalries for parental attention, co-worker pay raises and who has the better car are all typical societal measures of one ups man ship. The nature of our classes and the clock ticking off in the background leads to some unfortunate behaviors which run contrary to good health and training. The basis of our training is group classes. Group classes begin with a structured warm up, equipment set up, skill set with an expectation of ROM and technique expectations and finally the WOD (Workout of the Day). The WOD is begun with what has become a staple in the CrossFit training communities a: 3, 2, 1 GO and people begin the workout. The workout is where the magic and some of the horror begins.

The upside of doing group classes is a camaraderie, the intensity and general communal feeling that comes from group suffering/successes. The bond between people because of mutual respect for toughing out a hard workout develops friendships that go far beyond the normal saying “Hi” at the globogym. People find that they have a lot more in common with the people in the classes than they do with many of their professional peers. The community of people created as a result of the training goes far beyond the normal gym.

The downside of doing classes and having public performance measurement can cause people to feel pressure to perform in ways that borders on obsession. It is healthy to be competitive and want to have someone that will push us to bring out our best. It is unhealthy to derive one’s self image from how we stack up relative to others. That sounds all well and good and is really symptomatic of “mine is bigger” western society. How does this behavior manifest itself in something as simple as a gym? Our very nature as human beings pushes us to measure score and evaluate our success in terms of other people. Over the years we have had several members that were so competitive with others that they would skip repetitions, cut range of motion short, or in the worst case I can think of they actually lied about their score. I am going to use a derogatory term in the hopes that it will catch on and hopefully prevent people from undermining their own training: Clock Whores.

Definition of a Clock Whore: Person who is so obsessed with beating the clock/others that they will prostitute themselves and sacrifice important and vital components of training such as range of motion, repetitions or other performance metrics for a “better” time.

These people actually miss the whole point of the training. The point of physical fitness training, from my perspective, is to improve oneself both physically and mentally, not necessarily in that order. The people who have taken the time clock or score beyond the extreme and compromised range of motion, number of repetitions, etcetera are doing so at the expense of the utility of the training. If someone judges their performance solely based on their status relative to others it reflects a distinct lack of self esteem. The idea of the style training is to develop self-esteem to increase capacities in many, many different modalities. A person who compromises training in order to beat others harms their self esteem. People know inherently when they are doing something wrong and there is a price to pay when they go against what they know is right.

Spotting Clock Whores: I imagine it is the same a proctoring an exam – The person who is constantly looking for the instructor is suspect. Another suspect behavior is always partnering with the same person when they score their workout. If some only does a full range of motion when the instructor is looking, then they are suspect. These behaviors are not hard and fast. On more than one occasion I have been called out by my instructors, rightly so, for ROM violation because I was exhausted. (The call outs are done with much joy and aplomb.)We all have issues when we get tired, it is part of the training. I have asked Tamer on more than several occasions what rep he was on because I had no idea where I was. The real difference is the consistent corner cutting. It takes time to become apparent, but when it is, it is like the giant elephant in the room no one acknowledges.

Why am I bringing this up?

A person’s performance is PERSONAL! We want all of our members to improve, have perfect form, go faster, get stronger and get the results they want. The strict adherence to performance standards is the key to your success. The competitive environment should bring out the best in our natures, not be a showcase for our flaws. Occasionally, bad behaviors become apparent and harm the entire community. Members know when someone else is cutting corners or bragging about a performance they really didn’t earn. If the chin doesn’t get over the bar, then it doesn’t count. Claiming a score on Fight Gone Bad or a Fran time that cannot be repeated when the camera is on is a clear identifier. It harms the integrity of the program as a whole.

We want people to keep records of results to help them track their progress, not to compare to others. We have opted against performance boards in the gym in favor of the forum and personal training logs on our web site. Our goal is the improvement over time based on your efforts in terms of mechanical efficiencies (better form), faster times (higher metabolic capacity) or an overall strength gain as well as the rest of the physiological markers and is the basis of training at HyperFit USA. The culture we have developed is to strive for perfect mechanics as well as fast performances. We stress perfect mechanics because bad or marginal repetitions contribute to chronic injuries over time. Part of perfect mechanics is developing full range of motion and correct biomechanical body alignment. Our clients often hear “and make the repetitions right” rather than going fast. Forcing a square peg into the round hole to get a faster time is like intentionally hitting your thumb with a hammer; you are tough and stupid, thanks Jeff Martone for that one! It does someone no good to work to get a fast Fran time at the expense of shoulders back or knee soreness (chronic injury).

We post videos and pictures on our web site so people may see what they are doing. The camera usually goes for really good stuff or really bad. In either case, let both be a lesson for personal improvement for each of our people. When someone is doing something right, be like them, when someone is doing something wrong, learn from them.

Striving for perfection is the journey along the only road you make worth traveling. There is no end, but the ride is great.

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Tips Entry

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