bomba

FringeSport Bomba Wood Gymnastics Rings Review

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Bomba Rings – Made in the USA

Muscle-ups are tough.

They’re the holy grail of CrossFit but once you get a taste, you can’t help but to want to do them more often.  Lots of things are require when it comes to getting your muscle-ups. At my gym, I have a standard progression of must “have” things to train in order for the athlete to get their muscle up. There’s a ton of questions during this phase, a lot of “What if…” this and that, but something that isn’t really spoken of is what you’re actually doing the movement on.  I know when I first got my muscle-up, it was on some really thin, slippery wood rings. When I finally got to try out nicer, beefier rings, my whole world changed; never again would I look at rings the same.

 

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Rogue v.s. Bomba

 

The Fédération Internationale de Gymnastique (FIG) standard ring size is 1.1″ OD, while this may prove better for female athletes with smaller hands, holding these with a false grip as a male hurts like a mother. Typical “CrossFit” ring size is 1.25″ OD, this what you’re going to see used in the CrossFit games, as the equipment is supplied by Rogue Fitness; more comfortable for bigger hands, tougher for smaller hands. If you don’t think that amount of size would make a difference, grab a 15kg bar compared to a 20kg bar. Huge difference, and that’s only 3-3.5mm.

So, what is the standard for how to size your rings? Whatever you can do muscle-ups on, comfortably.  Personally, I don’t have big hands, but I don’t have small hands either. That’s why FringeSport created their Bomba rings in a size that accessible to most people, 1.15″ OD. Falling right between FIG and CrossFit standards, the diameter of the Bomba rings is going to be perfect for most people; not to thin or thick. I’ve got all three sizes of rings loaded up at my gym, but the one I find myself going for the most are the Bomba rings.

 

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Difference looks slight, but feels substantial.

 

Texture is another big thing when it comes to a quality set of rings.  The rings I learned muscle-ups on were awful, shiny and slippery. Let’s not even get started on plastic rings that you’d never get a good grip on; you shouldn’t have to tape your rings up. If your grip is constantly slipping out of the rings, it not only makes your muscle-ups harder to do, it’s also a lot more dangerous. Before I even knew the difference, my coach at the time was telling me about how certain rings felt “softer”. Sounds like a crazy way to describe them, but it actually works when you get your hands on wood this smooth (lol). The artisans that make the Bomba rings use Baltic birch with a triple sanding process that makes the rings texturally perfect. Good ol’ American wood working. No rough edges or divots in the wood to tear up your hands, but “soft” enough to provide ample grip even without much chalk. I could do muscle-ups for days on the Bomba rings, if I could do muscle-ups for days that is.

Hanging your Bomba rings up comes with ease with the included straps. 15′ is plenty long to hang rings from just about anything, and feeding them through the cam buckle system is easy as could be. The straps are a beefy 1.5″ in width so you can count on them not failing on you any time soon. Not to mention the actual cam itself is hefty and is one solid piece of metal.

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Smooth, real smooth.

Will getting a quality set of rings help you get your muscle-ups? Possibly, it definitely couldn’t hurt your chances. Practice and consistency is really the only thing that will definitely get you them, so owning a pair of rings wouldn’t be such a bad idea either. Muscle-ups aren’t the only thing you can do on rings either. Pull-ups, dips, toes to ring, push-ups, rows, skin the cat and the list goes on! If you’re on the go, you can just pack up your rings and go to a park for a workout with such versatile pieces of equipment.

As Allen Iverson once said: “Practice”. That’s the only thing that’s going to really help you get muscle-ups, but you should be practicing on FringeSport’s Bomba rings.

Rogue Ohio Bar ver. 1.2 Review

I try to not have too many regrets in my life.

One thing I do regret, was selling my original Rogue Ohio bar.  Granted I sold it off for a good price,  but I couldn’t help missing it.  I set a ton of PR’s on that barbell, it was my first bar, and though not the best barbell on paper, there’s no other bar that feels like a Rogue made barbell. (That I’ve used at least.)

Ohio Bar 1.2 Snap Ring

I actually had absolutely no clue that Rogue was going to be doing an update on the Ohio bar prior to selling my original one, so I probably lucked out and got rid of it at just the right time.  Not more than a month after selling mine, did Rogue introduce a 190ksi version of the same bar.  What a perfect reason to go buy another one, right?  Not that I was scared of bending the original 155k version, but 190k is supposedly the lowest value tensile strength for a bend to not permanently set into your barbell.  Though, we have Pendlay HD’s (190k) at my affiliate that are definitely bent, so take it that statement with a grain of salt.

So what else is different with the Rogue Ohio bar version 1.2?  Nothing else.  Which isn’t necessarily a bad thing and helps me keep this review brief. (Click here for the original review)

This time around I went with the black zinc coated option, not only because it was cheaper, but because I didn’t care too much for having to 3-1 oil the oxide version every now and then.  If I had to buy this bar over again, over again, I would probably stick with the oxide version.  The zinc coating does takes away some of the grippyness compared to the oxide version.  Not a dealbreaker, but it’s something worth noting.  I haven’t noticed much difference in the whip of the barbell compared to the original model, so nothing to report there; I couldn’t imagine it being too different, if at all.

Ohio Bar 1.2 Bushing

One of the major reasons I actually decided to buy another Ohio bar was because I saw in a reader review or comment on Rogue’s website that the spin of the sleeves had been increased.  One thing that I didn’t care much for on my original was the fact that it wasn’t necessarily the fastest bar.  Smooth and steady, yes, but definitely not fast.  Well, I can report that nothing has changed there either.  Still spins the exact same way that I remember it spinning.  Wait for the new Rogue bearing bar if you need something super fast.

Ohio Bar 1.2 Knurl

One thing that changed for the worst…Something I LOVED about the Ohio bar was that when you dropped it, it didn’t sound cheap and clang all over the place.  It had a very solid thud when it hit the ground, only until a while after using it and dropping it did it start to rattle a little bit.  My updated bar has the rattles from the get go.  It’s not awful, but it’s definitely not as reassuring sounding as my original bar.

The main question is, should you spend the extra money on an Ohio bar still?

Yes.

It’s still an awesome, quality made barbell from Rogue.  Definitely one of the best barbells on the market, still.  Just don’t expect any huge differences if you tried the earlier model.

Please use my links to make your purchase!
Shop Now Rogue Fitness

Review: OneFitWonder Squat/Pull-Up Rack

The dream of every crossfitter is to have a gym to call their own.  It might be to own their own affiliate, it might be to just have a box to go to, or it might just to convert their garage into a gym; most likely the latter two.  While you might not get the same experience as going to an affiliate, a garage gym might be one of the more economical ways to get a workout in.  Sure, it might seem like it costs a lot upfront, but just think about how much you’ll be saving in comparison to a couple years dues of going to an affiliate.  Now let’s get this straight:  I recommend going to an affiliate over just doing your own thing at home. Why?  The community, the coaching, and the competition.  You’re just not going to get the three “C’s” working out at home by yourself.  If an affiliate is just inaccessible, you just can’t afford it, you’re socially inept, or you just don’t like people, then maybe a garage gym is the way to go for you.  Personally, I do the majority of my WOD’s at affiliates and most of my supplemental work at home when I’m just too lazy to drive back to the gym.  There’s also nothing like turning the music up loud, slamming weights down and grunting as much as you want, all in the comfort of your very own home.

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Being a somewhat budget minded consumer, putting together a home gym required a little bit of patience and homework.  Also keeping in mind the fact that I wouldn’t be primarily working out at home, I sought out for things that would just get me by, and not necessarily be top of the line.  If I really had it my way I would have a garage full of Rogue equipment, that SML-2 though.  Unfortunately, that rack was way out of my budget, while the asking price isn’t all that bad, shipping and tax for California residents kills that deal.  Shipping on just about EVERY squat/pull-up rack killed every deal, and trust me when I tell you that I looked at ALL of them.  The one rack that stood out and fit my budget was the OneFitWonder squat/pull-up rack sold by Fringe Sport.  What made this one stand out was that Fringe offers FREE shipping to the contiguous 48 states!  That alone saves you about $100 compared to the rest of the racks out there.  I had my hesitations, obviously.  I know the people at Fringe are great and stand behind their products 100%, but I wasn’t so sure about the craftsmanship of this rack, being that it’s made in China and there aren’t any specifications on the gauge and dimensions of steel used.  There were some insane deals on Black Friday/Cyber Monday and I just couldn’t pass up the deal on this rack, and I ended up being one of the lucky ones that was able to get it on Cyber Monday.

Hell, I didn’t even know if it was going to fit but I’m glad that I took that leap of faith.

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The OneFitWonder squat/pull-up rack is mainly what you’d expect from a quality squat rack.  The steel is very sturdy and seems to be just as well put together as a Rogue rack.  Despite the price tag, nothing here feels like it’s cheap or indicates that they cut corners to put it together.  All the hardware to assemble the rack fit just fine, nothing was loose or too tight fitting.  Speaking of assembly, I spent more time clearing the space to put it in than I did actually putting the rack together.  It’s an easy job for one person to do alone.  It stands at 99″ tall, so it is on the taller end of things; it just barely fits into the space that I have it in only because my garage is older and there’s nothing above it.  The footprint is also a little larger than most comparable racks at 4’x6′.  The longer base aids in stability for when you’re doing kipping or butterfly pull-ups; which I’ve had absolutely no problems with especially with my hard kip (see my Instagram video).  It comes with UHMW lined j-cups like most other racks would, but they also throw in spotter arms (lined too) for no extra charge, adding to the enormous value already.  Welded on to the frame are weight horns for storage of plates or just to get a little added stability for when you’re doing pull-ups/muscle-ups.

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As stated before, I’ve had no issues with stability with body weight movements.  The powder coated finish looks great, holds chalk well and doesn’t really destroy my hands, definite plus.  As a squat rack, it performs just as admirably.  It has a claimed 600lb weight capacity, which even at my heaviest, I’m still 200lbs away from squatting.  No worries there.  One thing I did wish they had more of here were holes to put the j-hooks or spotter arms into.  I just fit into the spot where one notch up is a little too high, and if I go one lower, it’s a tad bit too low.  I can adjust to the lower setting, nothing to really cry over.  Same goes with the mounting holes for the pull-up bar.  I had to flip it upside down, sacrificing a little bit of my grip space so that I could mount it to a level that I could do pull-ups and not hit my head on the rafters in my garage.  YMMV, you might be using the rack outside or in a garage with a higher ceiling than mine and it would probably work just fine for you.  As small a detail as it is, I really like that the j-cups and spotter arms are lined to protect my bar’s knurling.  I had to rig pads onto my old York squat rack so that it wouldn’t destroy the knurling on my barbells.

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Considering the price I paid, even the price that it normally sells for, there aren’t many negatives that you can say about the OFW squat/pull-up rack.  Despite not being manufactured in the U.S.A., the value is just amazing for what you’re getting.  I had a lot of hesitations before purchasing this rack, even though it is one of the lower priced racks on the market, $430 is not chump change to me and I wanted to make sure that I got something that performed well and was built to last.  Sure, you could spend more money on a better rack, and maybe one day I’ll get that Rogue SML-2, but do you really need it?

I guess if you’ve got it, spend it…but I can rest easy knowing that my money was well spent on the OneFitWonder squat/pull-up rack.

Get yours here!

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Fringe Sport Bomba 20kg Oly Bar Review

First off, before I start this review, I want to commend Peter and the team over at Fringe Sport for being such a great company to work with.  They pretty much bent over backwards to get me the right bar.  Super friendly customer service, not to mention fast and FREE shipping on their products with competitive prices; you just can’t go wrong doing business with such a company.  One thing that I will always bring up about Crossfit, is the community being an amazing group of people – this remains the same with the people who distribute and manufacture the gear we use (including Again Faster and Rogue!).

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Pretty cool endcap.

Now that I got that off my chest, let’s get to what we’re here for.

Barbell shopping is interestingly enough, a very painstakingly complicated procedure.  There are so many different sizes, shapes and variations out there and no real resources or in-depth reviews on them.  Probably due to the fact that everyone is also going to have a personal preference towards a certain type.  Personally, I needed a barbell that could handle Crossfit movements: power and Olympic lifting.  Also, since this was just a bar that I was buying for my home gym set-up, it had to be on the inexpensive side of things.  After doing some sleuthing on the Crossfit forums, I was contacted by Peter at Fringe Sport to try out their Bomba (Boh-m-ba) bar. To be 100% honest, I had just purchased a bar from Again Faster, but I couldn’t resist the deal that Peter gave me.  One more thing that Fringe Sport didn’t have to do for me, but they did anyways.

The first bar I bought, was a Rogue Ohio bar.  I’m not going into direct comparisons of the two bars, as the Rogue costs at least a full $100 more, so you can’t say that they’re in the same league.  What I can tell you though, is that the Bomba bar, performs up to 90% of the Ohio bar’s performance and is $100 cheaper.  I’m not saying the Rogue Ohio bar isn’t worth every penny, it’s an amazingly crafted piece of steel, but if you’re looking to just get your lifting done, the Bomba bar is all about the business end of things.

Let’s take a look at the specifications (copied from Fringesport.com):

  • Weight: 20kg/44lb; Material: 165,000 psi steel, black zinc plated shaft, bright zinc plated collars
  • Origin: USA(!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!)
  • Length: 86in
  • Oil-lite bushings
  • 28.5mm shaft diameter
  • 1200lb static test weight limit
  • Snap ring collar construction
  • One year warranty

I’ve used a TON of different bars in my Crossfit career; anything from crappy 31mm economy bars that hardly spin to the Rogue Ohio bar (duh!) and Pendlay Nexgen HD bar.  The Bomba bar fits somewhere towards the top end of what I’ve used.  The 28.5mm diameter of the shaft is pretty common for what you’re going to find on bars that are geared towards Crossfit since it’s right there in between 28mm Oly bars and 29mm power bars.  In my experience, steer clear from anything that’s above 29mm.  They’re usually a thicker diameter to compensate for the bar’s weaker PSI rating (and still bend), and they just feel crappy in the hands.  The Oil-lite bushing provides a very smooth and reliable spin, without being overly fast when you need to do slow power lifts.  I had absolutely no problems getting my elbows around the bar doing semi-heavy clean & jerks in my Oly lifting session.  I noticed no performance decline switching to the Bomba at my heaviest lift (I warmed up to that lift using a Pendlay HD).  The collars held well doing overhead squats (ugh) even as I was moving quickly though the WOD.

Silver bushings.

We’ve got some bars that are similar to the Bomba bar at my box, except I have no clue where they’re from and their black zinc finish is of the glossy kind.  The coating on the Bomba is a more “matte” feeling black zinc and just feels more sturdy in the hand, even without having to chalk the bar up.  I’m personally a big fan of the knurling here.  My Ohio bar (black oxide) and the Pendlay’s at my box pretty much rip my hands to pieces.  The Bomba just feels right in the hands, not aggressive and not too weak.  With some chalk on it, it’s perfect.  Combined with the finish, you’ll have no problems with slippage here.  It also comes in a full bright zinc flavor if you’re not down for the two toned look.

At 165k PSI, you probably shouldn’t have to worry about bending this bar under normal use, dropping it on an edge is a different story as that can bend pretty much any bar that has weight on it.  Snap ring construction is nice so that if the collars ever get gunked up and stop spinning, you could get in there and add some lithium grease to rehab it; though that probably will void the warranty.  Speaking of which, the Bomba comes with two options:  1- Year for $219 shipped(!) and lifetime for $269 shipped.  The 1 year option is backed by their satisfaction guarantee.  Don’t like the bar?  Return it on their dime!  You probably will like the bar though.

IPF & IWF Markings, though not the cleanest start and stop points.

Gripes?  Yes, there are some.  First off, I like a very fast bar, mainly because my elbows are somewhat slow.  The Bomba spins well, but I prefer the fast spin of the AF bar to it.  Let me add this in, the Ohio bar spins the slowest out of the three.  I haven’t had the Bomba for too long, and theoretically since the bushings are self-lubricating, it should spin better over time, right?  The knurl start and stop points aren’t the most well defined?  That’s COMPLETELY superficial and I’m probably just nit-picking.  Paying more for a lifetime warranty, not so keen on that either.  Then again, chances of me ever needing that warranty are probably slim to none.

I don’t know what more I can say about the Bomba bar.  It’s an awesome choice when it comes to barbells for any purpose and I have no qualms recommending it to anyone looking for a bar that’s going to perform well and last for a lifetime.  Add on top that Fringe Sport is a stellar company to deal with and you’ve got a winning combination.  Even though I have multiple barbells at my house and at the box, I probably won’t ever be getting rid of my Bomba bar.