After TONs of requests, I finally got around to doing a review on some LALO Tactical shoes. I heard about these shoes a LONG time ago, but just never felt like they would fit my training purposes, so I never tried them. At the end of the day, I think they’re decent shoes, but just not optimal for my type of training. The Bloodbirds are great running/all terrain shoes, but the Maximus’ more closely fit a CrossFit WOD where you need stability, but also the ability to move. I’m actually surprised that the Maximus’ work as well as they do!
This review has been a long time coming. I’ve always wanted one ever since I saw this bar at the Games in 2014, but I never wanted to shell out the money they were charging for it. Why you ask? I just thought it was overpriced compared to other import bearing barbells that I thought would be better barbells. Comparably speaking, at the time the Pendlay HD could be had for much less and was a very similarly spec’d barbell. So why did I even want this bar? The amount of free spin in the sleeves was incredible; I couldn’t believe it was a bushing barbell. A part of me concluded that since it was the display model at the games, they had just pumped the sleeves up with oil, so it was kind of a risky buy since just about every Rogue bar doesn’t have the greatest rotation. Luckily, that’s not the case, and the Rogue Fitness Training bar is one of the greatest bars that they make, if not the greatest.
From a specification standpoint, the Training bar doesn’t really stand out; it’s pretty much like every other Rogue barbell, or like most popular barbells for that matter. With the Training bar, you get a 190k psi tensile strength 28mm shaft, bronze bushings, light knurling with a single IWF marking and the choice between either bright or black zinc coating. So on paper, it looks like that premium over a typical Rogue bar just nabs you a 28mm shaft. It’s very easy for the Training bar to get lost in the crowd this way, but the specs are only half the story. I wish there was a place that you could go to try these bars before you purchased them! If that were the case, you’d see more people with this bar. (Any SoCal natives are welcome to come to my gym, CrossFit 805 and check some of my collection out.)
Unlike the 190k 28.5mm shaft thats used on the Ohio bar (Rogue bar, operator, Castro…), the training bar uses the exact same shaft as the NA weightlifting bar. Since that’s the case, the whip is much more substantial than you’ll find on a typical multi-purpose Rogue bar. The Ohio bar, while still an awesome bar, feels like a powerlifting bar compared to the Training bar. You’ll notice things start to get going around 200lbs, but from there it only picks up and gets better. It’s true that at these weights, whip isn’t necessarily going to have the same impact that it does at advanced weights, but you can definitely feel the bar oscillate during cleans and jerks.
Another thing reminiscent of Rogue’s higher end weightlifting barbell is the knurling pattern. Once again, the same exact style you’ll find on both of the bearing barbells. In my opinion, one of the best patterns on any barbell, but those who prefer aggressive knurling might not be thrilled at it because it falls into the shallow category. I’ve never found it to not have enough grip, so I wouldn’t worry about it too much, sweaty folk.
By far the most intriguing aspect of the Training bar is how well the bar rotates while using bronze bushings, much like you’d find in most of Rogue’s bars. Anyone that has ever owned a Rogue bar will tell you that though they’re fairly smooth, there’s always something left to be desired with how fast the sleeves spin. The Training bar is the exception – these sleeves spin like mad. When put up against my higher end Rogue WL bars, the Training bar out-spun my EU bar and was just slightly behind the NA bar. The only question this leaves me with is: “Why the hell don’t all Rogue bar’s spin like this?!”
I get it, spinning a sleeve and pulling under a clean are two very different things, but the real world performance is just as stunning as watching the sleeves spin. Having a bar that spins this smooth and fast really makes you doubt just how important bearing bars are for beginner to intermediate weights. The necessity to have bearings becomes more apparent when you’re trying to get under 400lbs, but for sub-300lb lifts, any smooth bushings that don’t get stuck should be fine.
Just FYI, I scored this bar from Rogue Fitness’ boneyard bar section for $245 before shipping and tax. One of the reasons I pulled the trigger on this bar is because it had center knurling on it, which I highly recommend if you’re in the market for a brand new barbell; they only offer it on the Chan, WL and EU bars. The Training bar came to me in new condition, with very, very minimal blemishes. This barbell for that price is an outstanding value and a no brainer if it pops up again. Most people will be paying the full $330 MSRP, and like previously mentioned, it looks like you’re not getting much more than a standard Ohio bar. You’re just going to have to take my word for it when I say that for the money, the Training bar is probably the best bar that Rogue Fitness sells at the moment. Unless you’re not training the Olympic lifts, this bar is the one to get for weightlifting and even WOD’s.
I’m happy that I didn’t pull the trigger sooner on this bar because it was such a great deal, but I probably wouldn’t regret it if I had spent the full price on this bar either. For this price, you can either get a cheap-ish feeling import bearing bar or a high quality U.S. made Training bar. Personally, I would choose the latter.
A quick video review of the WOD Life’s Pro leather belt. Great performance and price for a leather weightlifting belt that should last you for years to come.
Make sure you use code “AMRAP10” for your orders at TWL Gear!
At one point in my life, I used to go to the gym wearing home made muscle tees and basketball shorts.
Yep, I was that guy.
I’d like to think I’ve come a long way since then. I don’t really like wearing shirts when I work out, but I have to wear something to and from the gym because #freethenipple, even for me, isn’t always socially acceptable. In the rare instance that I do wear a shirt when I work out, it’s got to be comfy, but not too loose. I don’t want to be swimming in my shirt and I also don’t want the clothes to not show off my body (yes, guys care about this too). The clothes also have to be stylish and have to match (I wear a lot more black and grey now). All of these things factor in with me when purchasing any new gym wear. They’re not only my gym clothes, they’re also my work clothes after all. In a world where everyone and their moms have a clothing brand, Rhone Apparel aims to separate themselves apart from the bunch by offering premium quality, functional clothing, that looks as good outside of the gym as they perform in the gym. Time to step your gym-wear game up. Rhone Apparel offers anything from some of the best socks I’ve ever put on in my life, to gym shorts that have no shortage of pockets unlike another reputable premium brand, to a shirt that I could probably get into a club with, sweat in and be dry by the time the lights come back on.
Full disclosure: Rhone hooked me up with a full outfit to review. Many thanks!
The black V-neck. What should be a staple in any man’s wardrobe. The Sentry v-neck is basically the gym version of what I wore throughout the majority of my 20’s, except much nicer. I’m not a real smelly guy (at least I don’t think I am), but the Sentry include silver anti-microbial threads that prevent your clothes like smelling like you just pulled it out of the bottom of your dirty hamper (you should not do this even if you could). The design has a fancy looking horizontally lined pattern, and is tailored in all the right places to distinguish itself from the rest of the generic dry-fit looking shirts out there. The large is form fitting around my arms, theres a slight taper to the chest area, and the length sits right below my waist. The shirt feels light and is very breathable, never becomes uncomfortable or hot; definitely something I could keep on the whole WOD. The fabric drys up just as fast as you can start breaking a sweat again. A feature that you might not think about is in the neck opening; on the Sentry, the neck is nice and loose so it doesn’t feel like you’re getting choked out by your shirt.
All I really look for in a pair of shorts is lightweight material, some kind of decent stretch, and POCKETS. The Mako shorts, named after the shark, meet my requirements and more. The nylon/poly blend material barely feels like you have anything on, but is substantial enough so that it can take a beating from the toughest WOD’s and looks nice enough so that you could wear these babies out for Sunday funday. It’s slightly thicker than Lulu core shorts, more close to their Assert shorts. You’ve also got five, count them, FIVE, pockets that are actually useable for more than just a key, including rear and side zippered pockets. Fit on the shorts is excellent, plenty of room in the thighs and seat so they don’t become tights when you sit or squat. I wear a size 30″ inseam and when I stand, the shorts end at right in the middle of my knee caps. While I do wish they were an inch shorter, the 9″ inseam never feels too long or gets stuck behind my knees when I squat. Maybe a little side slit would make them feel shorter than they are. Don’t get it twisted, I really like my Lulu’s, and I will continue to wear them because they’re also very nice. The one thing I can’t get over is why in the hell they don’t have pockets on their shorts. A little waistband pocket for a single key is simply unacceptable. We’re guys, we have keys, a cellphone and a wallet to carry around. I need at least 3 pockets, but I can settle for two.
Quite possibly the most annoying thing that can happen to me is when my socks slip down and I end up walking on them. I don’t know how I used to deal with folding my long socks up so they could be “ankle” socks. The no-show socks from Rhone include the same anti-stink silver material, but the most thoughtful feature on the socks is the little grip pad at the achilles area. Theres a little silicon pad that keeps the socks from riding down. Genius!
Premium fitness apparel is still somewhat of an oxymoron to some people, you can see by the way people dress to the gym. When recommending brands like Rhone and Lululemon to people, it usually garners the same “That stuff is too expensive.” response. Yes, the stuff does cost more than your Target brand items, but they also don’t completely disintegrate after a few washes. That being said, the price tag on the Rhone Apparel items does put it out of reach for the average gym goer. $70 for gym shorts or a gym shirt, even to someone that lives inside the gym, is really expensive. Sixty bucks is usually where I draw the line for any single piece of apparel that isn’t shoes or jeans. Lucky for you, I’ve got an exclusive 10% off code, just make sure you subscribe to me on YouTube and then send me an e-mail via the “Let’s talk” tab above.
Code is: AMRAP10
If you’ve got an uncompromising standard for what you wear, especially in the gym, having an outfit of Rhone gear is a must. I still highly recommend you check them out because it’s just that nice, and sometimes it’s okay to spoil yourself. Invest in yourself, and definitely check out Rhone Apparel.
Look better, lift better!