Tag Archives: humanx

Invest Fitness Plate Carrier Review

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I have to admit, my experience with plate carriers is (was) somewhat limited as this is the first one I’ve ever owned. Over the years, I’ve used different kinds of weighted vests for workouts, but never a real plate carrier. In my defense, it never really became a popular thing until they did “Murph” at the 2015 CrossFit Games. Who really needs a plate carrier instead of a weight vest anyways? Isn’t it technically the same thing?

Well…yes and no.

To say that weight vests and plate carriers are the same thing is like saying oranges and apples are the same thing.  The latter are both fruits, they’re both round, but when you eat them, they taste much different. The same things can be said about plate carriers v.s. weighted vests; except I don’t recommend trying to eat either of them.

All of the weighted vests I’ve used in the past have been bulky, cumbersome, didn’t fit well, got too hot, were uncomfortable after some time, or all of the above. Sure, most the ones I used don’t typically cost as much as a plate carrier does either, so I guess you get what you pay for. Plate carriers were designed for practical use, and other than looking really tacticool, they’re meant to be equipped in the most realest of scenarios, the ones where people live and die. When so much is on the line, you’re going to want something comfortable, and that you can move around pretty well in.

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There are no options for sizing, but there are plenty of adjustments on the Invest carrier. The cummerbund is elastic,  totally removable, and is accompanied by two buckles that are adjustable. If you feel like the carrier is too high or low, the shoulder straps are two adjustable buckles that are covered with some nice removable pads. I don’t foresee being comfortable doing “Murph” in this carrier, or any carrier or weight vest for that matter. Its just part of the workout I guess, but for the most part, I found the Invest carrier pretty breathable. Inside the vest, there are ventilated and padded sections that keep you as comfortable as you possibly could be wearing a plate carrier. Since it is a real world plate carrier, the sides have two pouches for side armor, but in the future I would like to see these removed for a little more ventilation. Also, some more color options would be nice! Maybe ACU or OD Green?

The plates that come inside of the Invest Fitness carrier aren’t designed to stop bullets, but they’re the same 11×10″ sized ones  you’d typically find in a normal plate carrier. Normal weight vests have weight cartridges in various locations on the vest or bunched up in one spot, whereas the Invest Fitness carrier has just two plates that are pretty evenly balanced across your frame on the back and on the front. Each plate weighs  8.75lbs and the vest weighs 2.5lbs, totaling out at 20lbs for the male’s variant.

Most movements with the Invest plate carrier are fairly comfortable to do, as much as they can be while wearing a weight vest. Strapped down, the vest doesn’t bobble too much when you run, but in the future I would like to see an internal lockdown system to hold the plates in place better. When it came to doing gymnastics movements, wearing the Invest carrier didn’t hinder any of my movements; there’s a lot of range of movement for your arms to be dynamic. The only movement I really struggled with was bar muscle-ups, because of the inability to “wrap” yourself around the bar; you really have to pull close to your hips. Surprisingly, I could also do a few kipping handstand push-ups before gravity kicked in and the carrier clocked me in the chin.

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Now the real reason I never bothered with a plate carrier in the past was because they’re fairly expensive, and typically don’t come with the plates included or shipping. Invest Fitness sells theirs altogether with carrier and plates for either $170/14lb or $180/20lb, with free shipping and a t-shirt! If you’re looking for a plate carrier, there is not even remotely close to this price point. Sure you can get a cheaper weight vest, but then you wouldn’t be reading this review either.

I’ve since gotten the 5.11 Tactec plate carrier, which is what they use in the CrossFit Games and probably is the standard (I had to compare to something). It’s definitely a little nicer, mainly because it’s smaller, but fully loaded from Rogue plus tax and shipping costs $280…and it doesn’t perform $100 better than the Invest Fitness one does. The Invest Fitness plate carriers are high performing and definitely the best value of all the plate carriers available. Unless you’re a Games athlete (in which case, you have a 5.11 already), I highly recommend Invest Fitness.

Get you Invest Fitness plate carrier here.

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Review: Harbinger HumanX Classic Oiled Leather Weightlifting Belt (4″)

Visit any gym and you’ll probably find a few things there that bear the brand Harbinger.  They’ve been in the fitness industry for years, and recently with the introduction of HumanX, targeting the functional fitness and weightlifting communities.  Belts are one of the many things HumanX supplies and the CoreFlex belt is one of my favorite minimalistic weight belts.  Belts throughout the years have been traditionally made with leather, since the material strong and pliable.  However as of late, belts have transcended leather to the cheaper to produce, nylon.  The Classic Oiled Leather Weightlifting belt is an ode to what our fathers and our fathers fathers were lifting in.

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Everyone should have a good belt to lift with, it’s a good way to brace your core for those heavy lifts where you need a bit of feedback for your abs.  The COLWB comes in only a natural saddle tan leather, sports the “Harbinger” logo on the back and some pretty sweet details like logo stamped rivets and a classic roller buckle clasp.  The leather on my size medium belt was initially pretty stiff.  My “fit”, without it being too loose, was initially pretty tight, but over time it’s broken in and fits very comfortably, 3 holes in.  Since the COLWB uses an old school roller buckle, it’s not going to be as adjustable as the velcro on a nylon belt, but it definitely won’t pop off mid-lift either.  I didn’t need a whole lot of support for my back, since I’m not the biggest athlete out there, so I opted for the 4″ version.  I also dig that the belt is contoured in the front so that it doesn’t pinch my muffin top when I squat.  The thickness of the belt is 5mm, which provides ample support for all unless you’re the most elite level weightlifter.

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For pretty much all applications of weightlifting and powerlifting, I would recommend the COLWB.  It’s sturdy enough for just about anything you can throw at it.  For metcon’s, I would stick to using nylon belts mainly for the easier adjustments and that when you’re moving around that much, the edges could get uncomfortable digging into you.  Wearing the COLWB shirtless is a little weird, but that’s to be expected since it’s a raw leather inside, although it should wear down and get softer over time. The look of the Classic Oiled Leather belt is awesome and you just feel cooler wearing something like this; sure you could probably get away with wearing a normal nylon belt, but you wouldn’t quite get the same style bonuses.

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The Classic Oiled Leather Belt retails for $50 from HumanXGear.com, which isn’t much more than a nylon belt, and costs a whole lot less than other offerings of leather belts.  If you’re looking to lift in what your daddy was lifting in, check out the COLWB from HumanX!

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Review: 6″ & 5″ Harbinger HumanX Competition CoreFlex Belts

CoreFlex Squatting

Deadlifts, squats, snatches, kettlebell swings, atlas stones, double unders…

…okay maybe not double unders.

You could benefit greatly from having a good weightlifting belt while performing most of the above movements.  Personally, I try to not put a belt on until I’m going past my 90%’s just so I can train my midline.  At the end of the day though, like I always say, I’m all for whatever can make you go on longer and stronger.  Some people may just throw a belt on for preventative measures, and some just to hit that PR.  Others just need the extra support due to injuries and that’s okay too.  At the end of the day, it just pays to keep a belt handy in your gym bag.

What makes a good belt?  Well, it really depends on what you’re doing.  If you’re powerlifting, you might want to stick with the thicker leather options.  Maybe a little bit thinner and contoured if you’re going for Olympic weightlifting.  Most of the people reading this site are going to fall towards the CrossFit/functional fitness category.  So what would I recommend?  Personally I like lightweight belts that are easily adjustable so they don’t bother me too much if I’m wearing them in WOD’ s and that don’t take up too much space in my bag.  Obviously they’re going to need some degree of support too.  My kind of belt is simple, yet effective, and looks cool. Emphasis on looking cool.

So I bring to you, the Competition CoreFlex Belt by HumanX.

Harbinger HumanX CoreFlex Belts

The CoreFlex belt comes in a few different flavors, both 5″ and 6″ versions for men and a specially designed 5″ version for women (in the back, all are 4″ in the front and 3″ on the sides).  All versions are just about a single centimeter thick, but you’d never realize that it was only that thick given the amount of support you get when it’s on.  The CoreFlex belts use a simple velcro loop and roller closure system which works well enough, though adjustments don’t come as quick and easily as SetWear’s BOA dial system.  The unique feature about the CoreFlex’s closure system is that there is a velcro tab under the left side of the belt which you can use to hook on to the right side to hold together while you loop the actual velcro tab through the roller system.  Pretty convenient so you don’t have to keep holding one side while you adjust the belt.  My favorite feature about these belts is that they’re so lightweight and unobtrusive when they’re on.  I haven’t weighed them, but they’re probably under a pound.  Your muffin top will love the contoured sides of these belts.  I’m not a big guy, but I would always get gnarly bruises on my lower stomach from some of my other belts pinching my flab.  Not attractive when you take off your shirt as much as I.

Harbinger HumanX CoreFlex Belts info

As a belt, the CoreFlex works great.  It’s more than adequate in terms of support.  I never would even think to go back to my thick leather Rogue belt, which I couldn’t even WOD in.  The adjustments don’t come as quickly as SetWear’s belt, but it’s definitely easy enough to adjust on the fly due to that inner velcro panel. I have both the 5″ and the 6″ versions of the belt and I find myself keeping the 5″ version in my bag more often.  I’m not very tall and I find that while the 6″ version provides a little more back support, you just feel that it’s there more.  I would probably recommend it to those with longer torsos and the 5″ for just about everyone else.  As for sizing, I usually wear 32″/M but for the CoreFlex belt I find that the large fits better so I would recommend sizing up if you wear a 32″ waist.

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The HumanX Competition CoreFlex belt comes in at $40 for both 5″ varieties and $45 for the 6″.  It’s a little more than you’d be paying for other fabric belts, but the useful additions and style bring some value to mix.  What makes this belt so great is that you can WOD in it and never really notice that it’s there.  That right there is a tremendous amount of value alone.

Get your HumanX Competition CoreFlex Belt here!

 

Updates, updates updates…

Hey guys!  Sorry for the lack of updates, I’ve just been trying to gather my bearings ever since the games.  I’ve actually been putting a lot of work just cleaning up and rearranging my home gym so that I can fit more things in there…expect some pretty big gear reviews coming up!

Some things to expect:

  • Primo Chalk
  • HumanX CoreFlex Belts
  • Rogue Fitness Bella Bar
  • Gymnastic Grips! (WOD Grips, JAW Grips, Again Faster.)
  • A Bumper Plate rundown…?
  • Maybe even a new power rack!

Stay tuned kiddies.  2014 is just getting started!  Once again, if there’s anything new and cool that you’d like me to review, feel free to shoot me an e-mail or leave a comment!  I’m currently in the market for possibly a new bearing barbell, a prowler, and a flat utility bench. (Also if anyone know where I can get some cheap stall mats, that’d be great too.)

Don’t forget to LIKE AMRAP on Facebook and follow me on Instagram!

Rope Off: Round 2

Sometime around July of last year, I went over a few different speed ropes that I had been using at the time.  One year later, ropes are getting more well designed and the choices are getting plentiful.  I’ve already gone over some of my recent favorites with in-depth reviews, but there are definitely a few more than honorable mentions.  Rather than going back into too much depth about them, I’ll just give you the summarized break-down.  Not that this means that any of these ropes are bad and aren’t worth a look, some might actually fit your needs better.  Note that this isn’t really a head-to-head battle, it’s just another guide to help you pick out the right rope.

Harbinger HumanX X4 Competition Rope

To say that I was less than impressed by the HumanX X2 speed rope is one of the biggest understatements of the century.  The X4 takes everything that the X2 tried to do and actually does them right.  While it features the same cable and triple axis system, the bearings in these handles rotate fast and effortlessly unlike the previous model.  The handles are a little bit on the large (6″) and heavier side, but never become too much of a chore to hold; nor do they cause your forearms to fatigue early.  Some might prefer the heft and size of the handles, but personally they’re not for me.  Still, a solid, fast rope that actually kind of looks cool.  Grab your X4 Competition Rope here!

Pros:

  • Bearing spin fast and easily.
  • Rubberized handles.
  • Adjustable without worrying about leaving kinks in the rope to get caught in the handles.
  • Cable is fast and gives good enough feedback; doesn’t retain shape after being coiled up.
  • Awesome build quality!

Cons:

  • Handles are a little heavy, with larger ends.
  • Not the easiest to adjust, could possibly lose the included allen wrench.
  • Ball that holds the cable in place can slip too far out of the handle if you mess up.

HumanX X4

JumpNRope R1.5 Hybrid Speed Rope

The newest creation by world jump rope champion, Molly Metz, the JumpNRope R1.5 speed rope is probably one of the most well balanced ropes ever to come out.  This rope is good for everyone, while not the fastest jump rope on the market (and doesn’t claim to be), it’s cable provides a good amount of feedback while still maintaining the speedy and accurate handles we’ve all come to love JumpNRope for.  The new cable is a PVC coated wire that has the flexibility of old PVC cables, but has added support against binding due to the steel core.  If you want fast, get the R1 rope.  If you want a rope that you’re going to be able to feel on your trip down from flight simulator, durable outdoors as well as indoors, easily adjust on the fly, not have to worry about kinking up or binding in the air, get the R1.5 rope.  Get your R1.5 Hybrid Speed Rope here!

Pros:

  • Usable indoors and outdoors without having to worry about the cable fraying.
  • Adjust on the fly by putting knots in the cable.  Cable doesn’t retain kinks.
  • Cable has good weight, not too heavy and not too light.
  • Great, fast, yet balanced handles that come in two sizes.
  • Very good to learn double unders on, and won’t be too slow for a long time.
  • Doesn’t hurt much, probably won’t leave you looking like you just got in a fight with Indiana Jones.

Cons:

  • Doesn’t come with a spare cable like the R1 does.
  • Not the fastest rope.

JumpNRope R1.5

OneFitWonder Speed Rope

All you really need from a speed rope is something to get you from point A to point B.  The OneFitWonder speed rope has no frills, no crazy bearings or eyelets, it’s just a jump rope that works just fine to do double unders on.  Do I recommend it to beginners trying to learn double unders? No, because the cable is a little bit on the lighter side.  Oh, did I mention that this rope is $10?  It’s cheap!  With free shipping!  Hell, I got mine for free when FringeSport did their promotion for not being able to hit the demand of X-Mas.  How cool is that?  They GAVE away jump ropes!  I keep this in my bag because it’s reliable like a 95′ Honda Accord, with a cooler paint job.  Get the OneFitWonder speed rope here!

Pros:

  • It’s $10.
  • It works.
  • You can adjust the set screws by hand.

Cons:

  • It’s not super fast.
  • The cable is on the lighter side.

OneFitWonder Speed Rope

Axis Jump Ropes

Here’s an interesting rope that doesn’t really have any kind of marketing behind it.  The first time I spotted this speed rope was on IronEdge’s website.  While it’s branded IronEdge, one glance between the two and you’ll know that these are the same ropes.  These handles spin fast and smooth as butter.  It’s a shame and a blessing that this rope isn’t being marketed better because it’s great, especially for the price!  My only gripe is that the cable somewhat retains it’s shape, so you’re going to either have to hang it up or deal with un-working out the cable before each use.  While it retains it’s shape statically, the cable doesn’t bind when it’s in motion in the air which is a relief.   You couldn’t order the Iron Edge Elite Speed Rope because they don’t do international shipping, but luckily you can find the Axis Speed Rope direct from Amazon!

Pros:

  • Fast and smooth bearings.
  • Handles are well built, sized and weighted.
  • $20 gets you the same performance you’re going to find on $40 ropes.

Cons:

  • Cable can be a hassle to unwork.
  • Not quite sure about the company’s customer service.

Axis Jump Rope