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2015 Holiday Gift Ideas for Weight Trainers & CrossFitters

Gift Ideas for Weightlifters and CrossFitters

As is the tradition, I have created a list of Christmas gift ideas for those of you that have a lifter on their shopping list. I’ve considered the CrossFitter, weightlifters, and the regular ol’ gym rat. There’s something for everyone!

The first section consists of fairly substantial gift ideas; $50 or more. In a few cases, much more. The second section consists of stocking stuffers; smaller gifts under $50 or so. Finally, at the very end of the article, I offer my personal assistance to those who are clueless about training equipment, but still need to find the perfect strength training gift for someone and would love some help.

Grand Gift Ideas

Be warned, these gifts have the potential to make everyone else’s gifts look lame. I’m not saying there is anything wrong with cargo pants or a Target gift card, but they just aren’t the same as finding some new gear for the gym under that tree.

Vulcan Alpha Bumpers – Shhhh

Gift ideas! Vulcan Alpha Bumper Plates
Vulcan recently launched the Alpha bumper plates. They are very similar to HI-Temps in that they are a crumb rubber of sorts, but as you can see above they’re a little bit different. The Alphas are low odor, slightly softer plates that make less noise when dropped from the rack or overhead position. They’re a hint quieter than HI-Temps, and a lot quieter than virgin rubber plates.

Prices for the Alphas are slightly better than for the HI-Temps, and by all accounts they appear to be a better choice for the money. The Alpha plates are slimmer than HI-Temps, and they are the full IWF 450 mm in diameter rather than being 17½” in diameter. You also get the unique color flakes embedded in the Alphas; very useful so you don’t grab the wrong plate by mistake (I’m totally kidding btw.) They aren’t the prettiest things in the world, but it’s the best you’re going to do in color for the money.

This is the kind of gift I see someone buying for a family member that currently makes a lot of disruptive noise out in the garage gym. The 160-lb Alpha set is about $300, and the price gets better with bigger sets.

Isolator Fitness Meal Management System

Meal management Bags from Isolator Fitness

If the person that you’re gift shopping for is the type of person that carries their meals around in reusable food containers, brings multiple shaker bottles to work, and obviously has every calorie, macro, and supplement for the day planned out, then maybe a meal management bag would be a much appreciated gift.

The Isolater 3-meal bag ($69) pictured above should have more than enough food storage capability for most folks. It has insulated pockets that can keep stuff cold for up to 12 hours, six different leak resistant and stackable containers of varying sizes for prepared meals, and additional storage for supplements, shaker bottles, snacks, utensils, and whatever else one could possibly require for the day.

This is a thoughtful and affordable gift for the serious macro tracker, but if storage for three meals doesn’t sound like enough for the person in mind, there are a ton of other options out there. Gym bags, backpacks, and briefcases all exist for the travelling macros. See some more of them here.

American Barbell SS WOD Bar

The American Barbell SS WOD Bar for only $299

Still the best priced multi-purpose bar on the market, the American Barbell SS WOD is a 190k PSI stainless steel Olympic bar with hard chrome sleeves for only $299. This bar is a pretty safe bet for any strength trainer, and no doubt a home run for a CrossFitter.

Much like standard raw steel bars, stainless bars offer an incredibly secure grip unlike any finished or treated bar. Stainless steel has a huge advantage over raw steel though, and that’s the ability to completely resist oxidation. The SS WOD will not rust, nor will not fade.

The bar itself is 28.5 mm in diameter and is built to all the standard IWF specifications for length, weight, and sleeve diameter. The 190k shaft is strong and it offers a nice balance of whip and rigidity that’s great for going from the clean & jerk to the back squat to the bench press without needing to switch bars. The SS WOD also has a composite bushing system which means plenty of sleeve rotation for those cleans and snatches.

Stainless steel is generally super expensive and the low price of this bar is only temporary, so get it while you can. Whether for yourself or as a gift, it’s a hell of a deal either way.

Rogue Ohio Power Belt & Ohio WL Belt

The Rogue Ohio Powerlifting Belt

It’s probably already too late to order a custom suede power belt in time for Christmas, but it’s not too late to get one of the two Rogue Ohio leather belts.

Both the Ohio Power and Ohio WL belt are 10 mm thick, 4″ wide, vegetable-tanned leather belts with single-prong buckles. The Ohio Power Belt maintains the 4″ width all the way around as is typical of a power belt, and the Ohio WL Belt is still 4″ wide in the back, but tapers down to 2″ in the front. This difference in width is to help eliminate the risk of making bar-to-belt contact during the Olympic lifts.

Both of these are beautiful belts; very classic both in design and color, and hand-made to last. They both have seamless steel rollers on the buckle, reinforced stitching, the handsome Rogue logo on the back of the belt, and come in a multitude of sizes to help make sure you get a good fit around the waist. The Power Belt is $108, and the WL Belt is $115; both are made in the USA.

***If you are ordering this for a gift, note that the sizing for lifting belts is not the same as a person’s pant size, but rather the distance around their mid-section, right at the belly button. 

Bose Soundlink Mini Bluetooth Speaker

Bose SoundLink Mini Bluetooth Speaker II

Good ol’ Bose with their tiny but loud speakers. I grabbed one of these Soundlink speakers for my gym last year because a) I hate headphones of any kind in the gym, and b) I didn’t want to commit any space for a stereo. I think I made a good choice.

It’s a Bose, so it’s unnecessary expensive, but after I reluctantly paid for mine and got it set up, I couldn’t have been more pleased. The system has lots of bass and the music is crystal clear, so no sound quality issues. It plugs in to the wall or a USB source, but it will also run for like 10 hours on the rechargeable battery, so it can be taken outside on nice days. Way, way better than dealing with headphones when squatting.

Let me tell you that this little guy is plenty loud for a garage gym. Even with a 36″ high-speed steel fan blasting I don’t need to crank it; and I train to black metal. Not something you play on low volume.  $199 everywhere. Check out the like 800 reviews on Amazon. I’m not alone in my opinion.

Rogue Adjustable/Utility Bench 2.0

The Rogue Adjustable Bench 2.0 - Merry Christmas!

If you know someone that still only has a flat utility bench in their garage gym, the Rogue Adjustable Bench 2.0 would make a pretty killer gift. There are plenty of new compound and accessory exercises that you get access to with an adjustable bench, but the big additions are the incline bench/bell press, and the seated shoulder/military press.

I like the Rogue 2.0 for a couple reasons. First because they’ve reduced the gap between the seat and the backrest; not a big deal when the bench is angled, but a huge perk for when the bench is being used flat. Also this bench has a handle and wheels for easily mobility, one of those things that seems “whatever” until you don’t have it and you have to manhandle a 100+ pound bench around the gym.

The 2.0 is adjustable from 0 degrees to 85 degrees. The 2″x3″ 11-gauge frame is indestructible, and it’s a Rogue, so it’s made in the USA. This would be an awesome thing to find under a tree. -$545

Nike Metcon Training Shoes

Nike Metcons - Full selection at Rogue Fitness

I’m not going to get too into this because I’ve done so a number of time already, and we all know about the Nike Metcons by now. I’m just going to tell you that inventory is much better and it is far more likely that you will find them in the color and size that you want this year. Go here to see what’s available.


Stocking Stuffer Gift Ideas

These may not all fit into a stocking, but I’ll keep them around $50 or less.

Ranger Panties – Squat Shorts

Go ATG and show off those quads in ranger panties

Good ol’ Ranger Panties. Ranger panties are men’s nylon shorts that have about a 2-3″ inseam; shorts that are perfect for leg day. They are short enough to comfortably go deep, but long enough to cover the downstairs mix-up. The fabric stretches, which is exactly what you want in the squat, but it’s kind of a non-issue anyway since they are too short to get hung up on anything. You can’t ask for a better pair of shorts for leg day; save for your underwear (please don’t.)

 

You can find Ranger panties at Rogue in four colors (green, black, grey, and blue).

Light Reading Material, Rippetoe-Style

mark Rippetoe books - Starting Strength, and Practical Programming

I’m always recommending Starting Strength by Mark Rippetoe. I think it’s an amazing book not only for novice lifters who want to learn proper execution of the major barbell lifts and get on an easy to follow, linear program that all but guarantees immediate gains, but also for experienced lifters who want to get educated on the physics and mechanics of these lifts. Everyone should own a copy of this book.

For this Christmas list, I also wanted to include Rippetoe’s other best-selling book, Practical Programming for Strength Training. Where Starting Strength left off, this one takes over. I only recently picked up this book, and I’m about halfway through and already know it has a place right next to Starting Strength on my bookshelf. If I may steal the summary from Amazon,

“Practical Programming for Strength Training 3rd Edition addresses the topic of Training. It details the mechanics of the process, from the basic physiology of adaptation to the specific programs that apply these principles to novice, intermediate, and advanced lifters.”

I highly recommend both of these books. They both have perfect 5-star reviews on Amazon, and for the size of them and the amount of information they contain, they are a steal at only $20 each.

B&D 6″ Orbital Buffer

Black and Decker 6" Orbital Buffer

I was going to suggest a foam roller, but everyone already has at least one foam roller; probably more. Besides, there is something better than a foam roller, and it actually costs a lot less money than most of today’s fancy rollers. Yup, it’s a simple 6″ car polisher.

I’ve only known about using orbital polishers for myofascial release for about a year now. It only took about two or three sessions with my coach’s polisher before I ordered my own for the house. I cannot even begin to tell you how satisfying this $30 piece of hardware is to use on the hamstrings, glutes, quads, lats and well pretty much everywhere. Check out this article to get some more info on this technique. There is a video there as well.

OSO Pro Barbell Collars

OSO Aluminum Pro Olympic Collars

OSO Collars are all the rage in garage gyms right now. They are very unique barbell collars made with Billet Aircraft Aluminum and offered in a multitude of metallic colors. They have a rubberized lining that helps both to grip the bar and protect the bar from scratches, and a secure locking mechanism that should last for ages. They don’t do anything that that other collars don’t do, but for a few bucks more than Muscle Clamps or Lock Jaws, why the hell not, right?

You can get OSO collars almost anywhere. Rogue, Amazon, and many more sell the original OSO Pro Collar in varying colors. Prices and color options are all about the same no matter where you go (about $50), so it’s kind of a wash. Go with who you know.

There are a few other variations of the OSO Collar that you can find at Rogue and Amazon. There are OSO Axle Collars designed for specialty bars that have 1.9″ tubing, Elite OSO Collars that have a bit of weight to them for accurately determining your total on the bar, and even OSO Mighty Collars which are basically economy collars ($27) that don’t look as neat and only come in grey.

OSO Collars - Mighty, Elite, and Axle

Optimum Nutrition Whey Isolate

Gold Standard whey protein powder

You can almost never go wrong when giving the gift of protein. The only real effort that this gift requires is picking a flavor, but it almost doesn’t matter anyway because no serious athlete is going to not consume whey because they wish it was a different flavor. Remember, macros = money, so it’ll get used. In any case, vanilla, chocolate, and banana are the most popular flavors and pretty safe bets.

Optimum Nutrition is a stand-up company. They’re not the only ones, but it happens to be the one I like. If you go with a different brand, just avoid the generic stuff that you’d find in like a pharmacy or a Wal-Mart.

Captains of Crush Grippers

Captains of Crush Grippers

Training the forearms is often overlooked by folks who do a pretty good job of training everything else. This is despite the fact that they can’t pull a heavy deadlift set without straps, or do heavy farmers carries for more than a few meters without their grip failing. Forearms are not going to grow if they’re not trained, and grippers are the fast track to a stronger grip and manly arms.

The Captains of Crush Grippers start at 60-pounds of resistance, which most people should find relatively easy. They go all the way up to 365-pounds, which you (yes you) cannot even budge. There are a total of 10 of them with the biggest jumps being towards the end. Each gripper is about $20, but you can save by buying them in sets of three, or as a full set of 10. Each time you move up to a new gripper, it feels like putting another plate on the bar.


Need Help Picking Out a Gift?

Read this.


 

I hope this has helped. Don’t forget to keep an eye on my post that tracks Black Friday and Cyber Monday sales for equipment dealers. As soon as I know, you’ll know. As always, I appreciate any shares. They help me grow.

{ 38 comments… add one }
  • Eric Oltersdorf November 20, 2015, 12:32 pm

    +10 internets to you for the Old Gregg reference!

    • jburgeson November 20, 2015, 12:43 pm

      It was too perfect for the situation haha

  • T November 20, 2015, 12:47 pm

    I received my Alpha bumpers yesterday, and I will say they are hands down better than Hi Temps or Crumb. They have the feel of virgin rubber and are oddly quiet with a dead bounce better than some virgin rubber bumpers out there.

    I wasn’t sure about the look of them in pictures, but they look pretty sweet in person with the exception of the 35s (the yellow stands out too much for my taste). The 55s, 45s, 25s, and 10s actually are pretty slick as the color is just muted enough to give a higher end, more polished look than you would get with standard black bumpers.

    Agreed on the SS WOD bar, OSO collars, V locks, and Optimum Nutrition. Would love a Rogue belt this year too.

    • jburgeson November 20, 2015, 1:26 pm

      If other than the yellow color you have no complaints, that seems pretty solid. I’m also glad to hear that they look better in person. I only wish there were kilos as well.

      • T November 20, 2015, 1:40 pm

        The yellow is just a minor issue and probably just a personal preference for me. I’m overall extremely happy with them. I haven’t used them enough to fully comment on performance yet, but my first impression is that they’re better than any others I’ve used (Wright, Rogue, Hi Temp, VTX, and even OFW).

  • Steven Ward November 20, 2015, 1:53 pm

    The OSO’s are available from many people. The gray Mighty’s are the Rogue color. The standard Mighty color is blue. We also offer the full lineup and offer free logo / naming as well as all colors and carry them in stock for prompt shipment. They also have replaceable levers and liners for down the road. Our box customers have buckets of broken Lock-Jaws to throw away.
    Plates: I don’t happen to like the Alpha plate look personally and think overall they won’t go over with most people. A bit of a gimmick. There are way too many plates to choose from as is. They have become a price football from China with suppliers always “waiting ” for their next container of goods to dump. Hi-Temp and Eleiko XF is my choice by far. Just my own opinion however.

    • T November 20, 2015, 3:22 pm

      Honestly, the color had no bearing on my purchase. The V locks blew me away, so I decided to give Vulcan a look. J Burgeson seemed to be high on them. I chatted with them a bit, and they assured me that these were head and shoulders above their standard black plates. For what it’s worth, those that have seen them in person have raved about the look. I’ve been kind of surprised by how much people have liked them, but I will say that they seem to have a more polished quality than most standard plates.

      Everybody has different preferences though. I’ve never met anyone face to face who likes to train with Hi Temps especially in a home gym where noise and bounce are important, but the reviews online are obviously great.

      • Steven Ward November 20, 2015, 3:41 pm

        Agree, the Hi Temps, unless you have a little space, will bounce a bit more but you can also take them out in your drive and use them anywhere. Eleiko’s are quieter and are quite nice as well. Most of the boxes I sell use Hi Temps, from me or otherwise, especially for the 10lb. and 15lb. I get a little leery of new plates and their long term overall use, since all plate manufacturers seem to think theirs are always best of course. I’ll just say over time, the throw away HiTemp rate is low.
        I’ll also comment the newest rubber blends that have gloss finishes and often a bit slippery when new and look great, are often a bit on the brittle side and chip when they happen to hit something wrong. (had a recent issue with new black Pendlay 45’s and just replaced them at the box). They were 3 weeks old. So, overall, fun to see new direction but I’m a bit old school and try to sell what works for the intended use. VTX and some others are plates that are in a heap in the corner of most boxes with cracks and loose centers. Pendlay also has had some issue with loose centers, although I’ve not had that issue with them. Will be interesting to see how you like these after some time goes by as well. Thanks for the feedback….good info.

        • T November 20, 2015, 4:03 pm

          Yeah, I hear you about longevity. We’ll see. You couldn’t give me a pair of VTX or Pendlay plates. I tried the Hi Temp style plates because of their reputation but my garage just isn’t big enough for the bar to bounce to my chest when I drop it. My wife is usually training a few feet away. You obviously work in the fitness industry. Which company are you with if you don’t mind my asking?

          • Steven Ward November 20, 2015, 4:18 pm

            I own STP Fitness Products, selling boxes, gyms and schools. Enjoyed your comments. Most of my box clients want to go Hi Temp on 10’s and 15’s and don’t care much on the rest. (price etc.) They like the option of doing WOD’s outside and also taking plates to local competitions, which are sometimes on blacktop or track surfaces. The Hi Temps are great for that. Everything else gets beat up. I really like the Eleiko XF but it’s a little higher.

  • Brian S November 20, 2015, 2:15 pm

    Was glad to see the CoC’s on there. I’m eating crow for ever dismissing them as a circus trick. Very humbling, if you’ve never trained grip directly before.

    • jburgeson November 20, 2015, 2:28 pm

      Short story. I hadn’t done grip work in ages, but I got back into it as a way to supplement my rehab for elbow tendinitis (it works, btw). I got to where I could squeeze the 100 lb Training gripper all day even without total injury recovery, so I bought the Men’s set; the #1, 1.5, and 2. Let me just say that the different between the Training Gripper and 140/160-lb #1 and #1.5 is insane. Outside of the training set, progression does not come easy. I love the results in normal training though. Strapless deads, hanging for minutes at a time, carries are easier. Worth it.

  • Jason November 20, 2015, 6:13 pm

    I have an all Hi-Temp set now and was wondering if I could blend some Alphas in or is that a bad idea with the different circumferences.

    • jburgeson November 20, 2015, 6:35 pm

      You can mix them, but if you’re working with a lot of weight and you’re dropping the bar from the rack position or higher, it’s probably not ideal; especially if you have more smaller diameter plates than large. You don’t want one 45 eating 135 over and over. The likelihood of you actually damaging anything is slim though, and another soft plate like HI-Temps (Alpha) is probably the best thing to mix if you’re going to do it.

      • Tony November 22, 2015, 7:14 pm

        Would you see any issues mixing the alphas with the OFW black bumpers? I have 160 lbs of OFW right now but I like the idea of being able to take my next set outside (low basement means I can’t military press so I have to do seated overhead press on my flat bench at the moment). I didn’t like that the Hi-Temps were a different diameter so the Alphas seem to solve that problem. I just don’t know if it would be an issue on the bar if it were dropped due to the difference (is there a difference? they still say low-bounce) in bounce.

        • jburgeson November 22, 2015, 8:19 pm

          Nah, so long as they all touch down and contribute to the distribution of the weight it’s fine. I’ve seen all kinds of plates mixed up for heavier deadlifts and such; no big deal.

  • Tony November 28, 2015, 11:54 am

    Have you seen the Spud Inc Traveller’s Farmer’s Walk Handles? They are basically straps. They take up way less real estate and are cheaper than farmer’s walk bars. If they work well, they seem to me to be a great gift idea for people who want to incorporate farmer’s walks but may not have the real estate in a smaller home gym (I would basically be walking down a hallway so the traditional bars wouldn’t work for me). Do you have any experience with these? I saw them for sale at Rogue.

    • jburgeson November 28, 2015, 12:52 pm

      Yeah those are a pretty cool idea. I haven’t seen them though, but I wouldn’t be afraid to. I have classic farmers handles, and yeah they’re a pain to store and use in terms of space requirements.

  • M November 28, 2015, 12:32 pm

    Hi, John:

    Do you have any suggestions for dedicated landmine bars? Or do you not expect, as I do, that if you used your good bars they’d get chewed up?

    You know, bearing vs. bushing, possible odd choices that’d be best. I know you get tons of requests about cheap bars and it’s not an area I’m famiilar with — I’m expecting you’ll probably have some good suggestions out of there.

    I suppose one other take on it is to try to make these (2, for dual landmine) bars fill a gap, trying to get tough bars to help with landmine survival. Like maybe a fat bar (not sure how the accessories will fit on the tubing) and a power bar (neither of which I have) or two different size fat bars. What do you think?

    Thanks to you too for one of the most objective and conscientious gear blogs I’ve run across, in a world sometimes seemingly full of shills.

    I did

    • jburgeson November 28, 2015, 1:04 pm

      Yeah I have a dedicated landmine bar but I didn’t buy it for that purpose, it just got put into that role when it lost spin and turned green and I knew I wouldn’t ever lift with it again lol. I would be reluctant to use a nice bar of course because they absolutely do get chewed up. The tube material used is a standard piping size so you can’t really count on a “better” landmine in the sense that you could find a better fit.

      This is one of those rare situations in which I’d say that if your bars are too nice to slip into landmines, but some cheap, box-store garbage bars. Axle and specialty bars have a smaller diameter so they’ll be a lot more play, plus all landmine accessories are built for standard Olympic sleeves so you’d get play there as well. Seems less than ideal to have extra movement on both ends of the bar, so I’d stick with Olympic bars.

      I like the idea of dual landmines. I had shoulder bursitis for five or six months; totally prevented me from benching for the first three or so. Supposedly there are a number of presses you can set up with double landmines that are easier on jacked up shoulders that I should have tried… but I didn’t =/

      • jburgeson November 28, 2015, 1:08 pm

        Oh and thank you, I appreciate that. I have my preferences of course, but I try not to be a shill. There’s already plenty of websites you guys can go to if you want to be bombarded with advertisements and 100% positive reviews.

      • Steven Ward November 28, 2015, 2:47 pm

        On the landmine issue, I’ve used a good bar for a garage workstation and wrapped one end in tennis tape to snug it up some and also protect it. Seems to work fine. Didn’t go the double landmine route however at this point. Has started to help my overhead development. Farmers walk is another issue. The key for me is to use hand towels and slip them through heavy kettlebells and do them holding on to the towel only. They really help build grip in the process. Although I’m a bit of a Spud promoter, straps usually are for weights you can’t normally hang onto for long. (100lb. +) The kettlebell idea with towels are mostly for walking say 40-60 meters and 50-70lbs. is plenty for that. Just my opinion, depends on the goal.

      • Tony December 1, 2015, 5:38 pm

        I noticed some vendors have a plastic lining on the inside of their vertical bar holders to protect the sleeves. Could this theoretically help with a landmine as well?

        • jburgeson December 1, 2015, 7:26 pm

          It can, so long as the plastic extends the whole length of the inside of the landmine. It’s the edge of the tube that puts the big cuts into the bar. I don’t know of any landmines with that lining though; do you?

          • Tony December 1, 2015, 10:27 pm

            Alas, I have not. I was hoping you had lol. It seemed like a nice idea though. If someone were to release one I’d give it a shot.

  • scott December 3, 2015, 2:06 pm

    There’s also an official iOS app for Starting Strength for $5.

    https://itunes.apple.com/us/app/starting-strength-official/id1008697836?mt=8

    • jburgeson December 3, 2015, 4:40 pm

      Have you used it?

  • T December 6, 2015, 12:38 am

    I’ve used OSO collars in a friend’s garage and was very impressed by the functionality. They hold better than any other collar I’ve used. I specifically used the Rogue branded OSO collars that have a unique design that doesn’t quite match up with the Elite or the Pro.

    My question is whether anyone can comment on the reviews that suggest that these damage regular training bumpers. No issue with the metal insert on comp plates, but I keep seeing reviews that say these chew up rubber bumpers. I haven’t seen this mentioned in any of the more in depth reviews, but there’s really not much out there from anyone who’s not actually selling the collars. One Rogue review actually suggested just buying the Mighty for the lower profile as the hold is similar with 50% less cost. That reviewer had used both but preferred the Mighty.

    I’ve noticed a light wear pattern on my V locks caused by my Rogue HG collars which I don’t mind. Not sure if this is what people are referring to or if the rubber is actually being damaged around the collar. If that were the case, I’d want to avoid these or go with the Mighty version.

    • Steven Ward December 6, 2015, 3:52 pm

      I sell and distribute the OSO line up as well. Rogue seems to like to have a shape or color that’s unique to them, but basically theirs is a slightly different looking Pro is all. How they perform is no different. The Elite and Pro both work the same. The Elite came about, to have non colored edges, eliminating the color wear off that can happen to the Pro’s with extended use. The Mighty’s are a totally different method and the outside frame is not split. The pressure comes from the lever only, so I consider it a “lighter version” collar for the average WOD user. Those lifting heavy and with a lot of drop use or high use boxes will benefit from the Elites or Pro’s. I’ve not had issues so far with them wearing the rubber from the plates since the collar itself also is pressured against the center sleeve. Again, not enough long term history to report but will keep an eye on it as well. I like the longevity potential with replaceable levers and liners rather than having to throw then away when some wear shows up. I think they will slowly replace most of the buckets of LockJaws that fall apart and continually open up. Although not offered by most, I offer personalization that is included with box logo or member names as well. There is a small trend in owning your own collars these days, similar to jump ropes so many avid CrossFitters are getting their own, especially at Christmas. Hope this helps.

      • T December 8, 2015, 7:17 pm

        Steven, thanks again. Always appreciate your perspective on this stuff. I had been wondering what the difference between the Pro and the Elite was. I have noticed that the paint job on the Pros looks pretty beat up over time. I think I’ll try a pair of the Pro and the Mighty for a while and see which one I prefer for different applications. The Mighty looks to have a pretty great holding capacity based on OSO’s specs and at least one YouTube video I found. However, I wonder if these will wear down more quickly with time when compared to the Pro.

        I figured Rogue’s version was similar to the Pro, but I had wondered if fewer “spokes” on the cog might make for a lower profile and less potential wear on the plates since my buddy’s Rogue Hi Temps looked no worse for the wear. If you haven’t had any issues, I’m guessing the reviewers who complained about this are just griping about the fact that you can see the superficial wear pattern near the center of the rubber, but I have seen that with HGs as well.

        • Steven Ward December 8, 2015, 7:40 pm

          The Rogue version is a bit like the Elite with a slightly different shape to the cogs.
          Everyone likes to be unique. I’m not big enough to offer volume to manufacturers to create my own shape, etc, so I market what they make and combine it with other quality items I represent. The Pro’s color will wear with use, thus the original reason for the Elites. I’ve not seen or heard of and OSO’s wear out yet but it’s early in the game. The mechanism is the same for both and is stronger than the Mighty since it actually has a slot in the sleeve that compresses besides the lever pressure. Worst case, from an engineering standpoint, the Mighty’s lever and liner is what will need replaced. Holds up well so far however and is a bit easier for women to use and a good value. I also will replace the liners or levers if and when my customers need it. Another “killer hold” collar that works well and is bullet proof is the Hi Temp, if you don’t mind the method. Not very fast on and off but holds well and should last a long time. For WODS, the OSO’s are quick and easy.

  • Pete December 7, 2015, 11:31 pm

    Bought the buffer off the recommendation of this article. It works great for its intended purpose of muscle massage. Just dont use it with a drawstring hoodie. It WILL try to strangle you. Or at least tuck the drawstrings inside.

    • jburgeson December 7, 2015, 11:51 pm

      lol that’s very good advice indeed!

      I love that thing. I couldn’t believe it took me so long to hear about it. Downside of training at home I suppose; no immediate access to bro science. I’m glad you like it, and I’m sorry if you actually got your hoodie into a fight with it.

  • Arturo December 31, 2015, 4:33 pm

    Happy new year. I’m really loving this site. Here are a couple of ideas for writing about next year.
    Periodization: I don’t keep track of my routines and sometimes I don’t know if I’m progressing. Are there mobile apps for making a workout journal. I don’t really want to write them down in paper. Are there some apps that tells you what load should you do in the next workout based on the previous ones? Maybe to tell you to rest a week after some months exercising without resting.
    Earphones/headphones: somes that doesn’t fall when doing pull ups, cardio. Maybe bluetooth. Sweat resistant. Maybe some with insulation from noise.

    • jburgeson December 31, 2015, 6:05 pm

      Thanks Arturo. I’ll tell you one thing, whatever program you follow dictates your next workout.. some of those programs have apps, some don’t. Most of the off-the-shelf apps just allow you to log your workout, they don’t help with the next. I’ll look into that though. I’m still old school though; I write stuff down in a notebook. I have an excel spreadsheet for tracking the big lifts, but I still refer to my notebook for the accessory stuff. Personally I wouldn’t switch to an app, but I can see the appeal; especially in a global gym where carrying around that notebook would be a PITA. Also I’ve mentioned this somewhere on the site but I don’t remember where.. you’re not supposed to need headphones in your own garage. That’s one of the perks!

  • Tony January 3, 2016, 7:04 pm

    Any recommendations on dip belts? Limited research shows lots of options from $25 – $50 but reviews tend to be mixed as far as durability, comfort and fit. I’m mostly looking to use it for pull-ups since I’ve hit a bit of a plateau just upping reps but I imagine dips will be in the future as well.

    • jburgeson January 4, 2016, 1:20 am

      I picked up the yellow Rogue dip belt probably 3 years ago, still looks pretty new to this day and I use it a couple times a week. I bought an additional caribiner from Home Depot to latch it together as an actual belt for chins since it doesn’t sit the same just hanging off of us as it does for dips. I can’t imagine it’s any worse or better than any other dip belt though, as this isn’t a very complicated piece of equipment. Spuds is probably the same.

  • Jordan January 5, 2016, 4:00 pm

    I wanted to add a comment around the meal management fitness system bag. If you are like me (which it seems you are, based on the fact you are here reading this now), you like to get as much information as possible before spending your hard earned money. After both personal research and getting to see the bag in person, I would suggest taking a glance at the “Six Pack Fitness – Beast Duffle” gym bag. While it carries a hefty price of $199, it holds 6-meals + almost every piece of personal equipment you could want in your typical gym bag including a separate shoe compartment.

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