Category Archives: General

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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Husafell Stone Mold

You have seen the stongmen lifting the Husafell Stone on TV for years. Now you can use this mold to make your own stone and build the same brute strength. The mold is reusable and can be filled to different depths to vary the weight. You can make several stones and go up in weight as your strength increases. You can even add lead shot or steel plates to the concrete to get the weight up to 500 lbs.

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Rogue 3 X 3 Monster Racks are Coming

Rogue 3X3 Monster Racks are coming. These are the strongest racks we have ever built, with reinforced J-cups, 1″ hardware and laser cut numbering. Because these are made with the same modular, “Erector Set” concept as our standard Infinity Rigs, the possible configurations are endless.

You can customize the rig to make anything from an R-4 or R-6 Rack all the way up to a full Infinity Rig or Wall Mount Unit. Sign up for Rapid Fire Updates so you will know the second these are available.

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Flat Pack Games Box

The best deal in plyo boxes just got even better! The only way we could make a 20″, 24″ and 30″ box-in-one better, was to ship it flat to save on assembly and shipping costs. It has the same internal bracing of our standard games box and can easily be assembled in minutes. There is not another box on the market that can do so much for so little.

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Expand Your Hands

You have been working on your grip strength for years, whether directly, using the Captains of Crush grippers or just working out. However, you have been neglecting the extensor muscles of your hands and forearms. It is now easy to remedy this problem with the Expand Your hands Bands from Ironmind. They come in an extremely affordable set, so you can use a linear progression as you work on your strength, just like you do with the major lifts.

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Elevation Training Mask

The principle behind the Elevation Training Mask is that if your body has less oxygen to work with, it will adapt to make the maximum use of the oxygen that it has available.

The Elevation Training Mask increases the resistance to air flowing in and out of your lungs. This increases the work of breathing makes it so there is less oxygen available and you have to work harder to get rid of the carbon dioxide you build up. This makes you go anaerobic sooner in the workout and at a lower power output. Just like weight vest training, once you have spent some time training in this mask, working out without it will be a breeze.

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Top of the Line Made in the U.S.A. Weightlifting Bars

When people think of high-end weightlifting bars, they usually think of bars made overseas in countries where weightlifting has been big for years. Until the past few years, they would be right to overlook America when it came to weightlifting bars. However, with the explosion of CrossFit and the renewed interest in Olympic weightlifting, American companies have put out some top-notch products.

Rogue set out to make some of the best weightlifting bars in the world. The bars are made to IWF specifications with a few improvements that really make a difference for their everyday use.

1. IWF certified weightlifting bars have a center knurl. This really only makes sense if you are planning to use the bar for back squat. Whether or not you need a center knurl for back squat remains controversial, but there is no mistaking that a center knurl will chew up your neck during cleans, especially high rep cleans in a CrossFit workout. We felt that a bar this specialized should be as well suited as possible for its intended use and should not make compromises to give questionable benefit for a secondary use.

2. Most high-end Olympic weightlifting bars are chrome plated. While this protects them from rust, it makes them slick. Manufacturers somewhat compensate for this by changing the knurling texture, but it can not be overcome completely. Our Olympic weightlifting offerings are zinc coated, either bright or black for a more secure feel. Zinc coatings also offer better rust protection than chrome. The zinc coating allows us to give the bars an understated knurling texture that is not found on other brand’s bars.

3. Most of the top end weightlifting bars have 4 needle bearings per sleeve. We have 5 top of the line German needle bearings per sleeve, to ensure that we have some of the smoothest rotating sleeves available.

Add to all that 185,000 PSI tensile strength spring steel for a perfect whip that rivals the best bars in the world, and snap ring construction on the perfectly machined sleeves and you have one of the best bars in the world, made in Indiana for a bargain price.

Coach Burgener’s Signature Bar is finished in bright zinc. Its sister bar, The BlackJack Bearing Bar has a shaft that is finished in black zinc for those that prefer the chalky feel of black zinc and the way it wears over time.

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