Friday, November 26, 2010

Review of Rogue Fitness' CrossFit Package Alpha

Okay, so, I like Rogue Fitness. I like the fact that they are trying to have as much of their equipment made in this country as possible. I like that they are building their own factory in Ohio, at a time when other companies are building factories in China. The newsletters they put out seem to embody the entrepreneurial spirit that our country has lost in recent decades. If you want/need fitness gear, I urge you to buy from www.roguefitness.com.

I purchased one of the Rogue Fitness CrossFit equipment packages, Package Alpha. Shipping was pretty quick, everything was packaged very well. All the bumper plates, kettlebells, medicine balls, and other odds and ends came in cardboard boxes stacked neatly on a pallet. The entire pallet was shrinkwrapped as well, which was nice since the gear came during the rainy beginning of spring. The pallet made it easier to unload from the UPS truck, since we have a tractor we can use at our house to lift extremely heavy objects.

The kettlebells have a nice, thick handle, which I prefer to some of the skinnier versions. They also have flat bottoms which make them fantastic for doing Renegade Rows.

Rogue Fitness's standard bar is very solid, and does not have a knurled grip in the center, which makes it somewhat easier on my shins during cleans and deadlifts. It also doesn't bounce like some of the bars I've used before. The bumper plates themselves are solid rubber, and did no damage whatsoever to the concrete pad that I dropped them on. It's nice being able to just drop heavy weights instead of having to lower them to the ground in a controlled manner. Makes for much more efficient workouts.

The jump rope is kind of scary, since it's pretty much a thin, plastic coated cable. Make no mistake, if a person hits themselves anywhere there is bare skin with this thing, it's going to hurt.

The collars for the Rogue Bar are very different from the average collar. They don't slip very much, although I think a little slip is inevitable. They clamp down tight, and when not clamped slip off very easily.

I haven't had a chance to use the resistance bands much, however I have put the weight vest to good use. I really like the straps on the weight vest, they're simple, effective, and don't restrict breathing or movement too much. When running or even walking this vest definitely bounces a lot less than other vests I've used. I think the only thing that would bounce less than this would be body armor. This vest can be purchased in increments up to forty-five pounds, which is what I chose. I decided to go for the full weight, and downsize as needed, rather than having to buy more weights in the future as I grow stronger. I use this vest for pullups, dips, box jumps, running, or as just a little extra resistance when I'm walking my dog. The weights themselves are two and a half pounds of cast iron, with nine in front and nine in the back. My only complaint about this vest is the addition of the U.S. Army's universal camo pattern, but that is more of an aesthetic complaint than a functional one. I would prefer multicam.

There was a little bit of confusion on my part as to the Ader kettlebells. I had thought they were made in the USA, but it turns out they were made in China. However, Rogue now offers Rogue "Kilo" Bells, which are 100% American made. The bumper plates were also made in the U.S., as the Rogue bar and the Rogue rings.

All in all, the equipment that I purchased from Rogue Fitness was a good investment, I feel. It has allowed me to continue my weight training at home, as well as throw some weights in the back of my truck and haul them down to the track for days that involve running mixed with weights. The kettlebells and the bumper plates have added a whole new dimension to my training at home. I would like to see more people support companies like Rogue Fitness, and I will continue to purchase equipment from them as I need it.

www.roguefitness.com

Kent

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