Gabriel Simon

This article reviews a classic piece of equipment for CrossFit: The Rogue S-2 Squat Rack and Pull Up Bar.  Remember also check out our other reviews of equipment for CrossFit!

Why a squat rack

Last summer I decided that I wanted to start putting together a garage gym.  Aside from bumpers and a barbell I needed a solid squat rack.  I figured if I was going to buy a rack it may as well have a pull up bar.  After a lot of searching and research, I settled on the Rogue Fitness S2 rack.

squat stand for CrossFIt

My S2 set-up in my garage-gym

Click here or on the picture to check out the S2 on Rogue’s website!

The S2 makes a fantastic pullup bar, in addition to a killer squat rack. 

The S2 comes with a dual pull up bar.  There is one fat bar and one skinny bar. The S2 has the ability to set the pull up bar at different heights based on your needs.  I personally decided to just use one of the pullup bars (I removed the second one) and put it at the highest position available.  With the pull up bar set all the way up to the top I was able to do kipping pull ups without my feet hitting the ground.  Perfect!

The S2 protects your bar from wear and tear

The S2 comes with 2 J-hooks that are coated with high density plastic to protect your bar from being eaten up by metal on metal contact.  Without this plastic buffer the knurling where your bar sits on the rack will be ground down and you would have minimal grip at these points.  There are holes spaced at various intervals along the vertical supports so that you can set the J cups to whatever height you need for different lifts and different height athletes. The holes are spaced out 1” through bench and clean pull zones and then 2” spacing above and below these zones.  The various hole settings, referred to as Westside hole spacing, allow the bar to be set up for exercises such as squats, bench, pull-ups, clean pulls, floor press, overhead press and any other CrossFit lift you can think of.

Rogue S2 for CrossFit

Notice the J-cup bracket which help protect the bar from wear and tear

Click here or on the picture above to purchase!

Plate storage posts are well worth the additional spend, particularly for stability

In addition to the S3, I also purchased some plate storage posts to store my weight plates.  These posts mount to the rear corners of the rack that assist in holding the rack in place as well as simple storage.  I did not want to bolt my rack to the ground in case I needed to move it at a later date and also wanted to avoid drilling holes in my floor. The weight storage posts do a very good job of keeping the rack stable when doing kipping pull ups.  I will typically also put a 45lb plate on each of the two front corners for  extra stabilization.  With the rack weighted down like this I can do kipping pull ups, toes to bar, knees to elbows, and even bar muscle ups without the base moving at all!

equipment for CrossFit

I use the storage posts to help weigh down the rack for added stability.

Click here or on the picture above to check on the storage pins on Rogue’s website

I also purchased a horizontal plate storage pin that I use to keep my change plates on rather than having them sit on the floor where I would trip over them.  I have four 10’s, two 5’s, and two 2.5’s that fit on there with plenty of room to spare.  I keep this storage pin up on the top right side of my rig to keep it out of the way. I do keep a canvas wrist wrap on there to keep the weights on but there has never been an issue with the weights working themselves off when I do any kipping exercises.

home gym for CrossFit

I find the these horizontal storage pins very useful

Click here or on the picture above to check them out on Rogue’s website

There are more accessories that you can get for the S2 such as a “matador” which is a dip bar that attaches to one of the vertical supports.  I do not have the matador but I have hung rings from my pull up bar which allows me to perform ring dips-weighted or body weight-as well as ring rows or ring push ups.  You can also buy long spotter arms that would be useful when performing exercises such as squats by yourself when you may be going heavy and need to dump the bar for safety.  I also even purchased a kids pull up bar for my daughter to use and she loves it!  I am able to adjust the height of the bar to fit her height.

Conclusion

All in all this is an incredibly solid and versatile piece of equipment for CrossFit.  I can use it for many different Crossfit exercises and with its small foot print of 48” x 48” it can easily fit on one side of my garage and still allow me to park my car in the garage when I am not working out. I see zero issues of durability as it is solid as a rock.  Ideally bolting it down would be best; however for me I have no problems with just weighing it down with my bumpers.

{ 0 comments }

This article reviews Merrell Shoes for CrossFit, specifically the Women’s BareFoot Run Pace Glove.  Remember to check out are many other reviews of the best shoes for CrossFit!

I think it is time.  No, I know it’s time.  You know how I know? I was pushing through the last 400 meter run in our WOD today, and my feet were absolutely soaked.  Yep, definitely time for a new pair of Merrell’s.
I have worn these shoes out completely (but only because I have had them for going on three years now.)  I absolutely love them, too.  The company is all about the outdoors, and provides a multitude of shoes for different outdoor settings.  The first pair of Merrells ever made (by Randy Merrell himself) was a pair of incredibly sturdy hiking boots.  Backing packing magazine was quoted as saying that they were “the most comfortable and functional boots in North America.” From there, the company diversified and now makes footwear that fits with every lifestyle.

Merrell Shoe for CrossFIt

My Merrells are the Women’s Barefoot Run Pace Glove. Click on the picture to check them out on Amazon!

Pros of the Merrell Run Pace Glove for CrossFit

Variety and style. The incredibly variety I spoke of before.  From cross-training to hiking to everyday walking, there truly is a shoe for everyone.  They also come in stylish designs and eye catching colors. Check out a few of the great colors that the Run Pace Glove comes in!

Merrell shoes for CrossFitwomen's shoes for CrossFit merrell for crossfit

Click here on any of the picture above to check them out on Amazon, the cheapest place I’ve found to purchase them.
Durability.  These shoes LAST; I purchased a pair of “barefoot” running shoes from them, and mine are still functioning (despite the hole in the bottom.)  WI was concerned initially that a barefoot shoe would not hold up to tough CrossFit workouts, but these shoes did great.
From their website, they provide flat-rate shipping and free exchanges.
The website also provides icons that describe the shoes- these icons, which appear under each shoe, comment on design (“ventilated”, “vegan friendly”, and “traction”, to name a few examples.)

women's merrell shoes for crossfit

As you can see in this picture, these shoes can really take a beating!

Click here or on the picture above to check them out on Amazon

Comfort.  Those of you who have read my other reviews will know that I also have a pair of Vibram Five Fingers [link]. I chose these instead of investing in another pair of Vibrams because my toes were constantly cold with the five-finger design.  The Merrells give excellent minamlist, barefoot functionality without the discomfort that was occuring with the Vibrams. I would honestly buy this exact pair of Merrells again in a heart beat.  They are comfortable, cute and breathable.

Cons of the Merrell Run Pace Glove for CrossFit
   Pricing.   As a college student I would not have been able to afford these shoes on my own; I requested them as a birthday present in fact.  They run at about $100 a pair on the Merrell Website.  That being said, you are paying for quality- and since they last so long, you will end up saving money (and thanking me too for these great shoes!).  Moreover, if you look around at places like Amazon, you can find some great deals. For example, as I write this, you can find a pair on Amazon for only $58.95!

Lifting. One other issue that a Crossfitter in particular might run into is the ability to lift in these shoes. They do have a flat-ish bottom, but not a solid platform like a pair of converse or real weight lifting shoes.  They are designed for running, and are particuluarly good for explosive movements like box jumps and double unders.

For those of you who want a bit more detail on the specifics of the shoe, here are the specs:

  • Microfiber and breathable mesh upper section
  • There’s a special, patented, Merrell Omni-Fit™ lacing system.  This provides a very secure fit, which makes it feel glove like, hence the word “glove’ in the name!
  • Rubber toe caps give it extra durability, which I can attest to!
  • A special section on the rear provides extra stability.
  • There’s an anti-microbial footbed.  This prevents the shoe from smelling. A big bonus!
  • Zero heel to toe drop. As the serious CrossFitter knows, this is one of the key features to look for in a shoe for CrossFit.  It keeps you grounded, and prevents heel striking.
  • A Vibram sole, so you know you’re getting the best barefoot technology in your shoes!

 

Merrell Women's Run Pace Glove

The Merrells use a Vibram sole, so you know you’re getting best barefoot technology

Click here or on the picture to purchase

Conclusion

As I’ve written throughout this article, I really love these shoes.  They’re comfortable, stylish and great value for money.  If you’re looking to invest in a new pair of shoes for CrossFit, I would definitely recommend the Merrell Run Pace Glove!

{ 0 comments }

This article reviews the Rogue Large Sandbag.  If you’re wondering where to get a great sandbag for CrossFit, or are interesting in sandbag training, this article is for you!

Why I bought a Rogue sandbag

There was a time in my life, when I had to sell my olympic barbell set, and I had to find something heavy and cheap to replace the barbell and the barbell movements for my CrossFit workouts.

I ended up deciding to buy a Rogue sandbag based on the reviews I read and the excellent experiences I already had with Rogue products and their customer service.

Rogue has different size sandbag with different weight limits. At the time I bought mine, Large was the biggest size, and perfect for my needs. You can buy the outer shell and filler bags separately, or you can buy a combo package aswell.

rogue sandbag for crossfit

Rogue sandbags comes in sizes small through extra large

Click here or on the picture above to check them out!

I only ordered the outter shell, because I had 3 oval swiss ball laying around and decided to use those as filler bags. This way it was cheaper and the shipping cost was less.

Shipment arrived in 3 days to my US address (MA).

My experience with the Rogue Sandbag

As soon as I opened the package, the high quality was obvious.  I have seen other brands, homemade or cheaper versions, but this one beats them in terms of quality. Buy a good one, and you will only have to pay once.

best sandbag for crossfit

A picture of my Large Rogue Sandbag. Max capacity: 160 lbs/70kg

Once the 3 filler bag was filled with the right weight for my needs -1x10kg (22lb), 1x20kg (45lb), 1x25kg (55lb), time to load the bag.

homemade rogue sandbag for crossfit filler bags

My homemade filler bags

There are tight snaps/buttons that cover the zipper.  The snaps are hard to open and close, and this stayed the same  after 1 year of frequent use.  This is great because it holds the heavy duty zipper in place. The zipper is big and opens the bag wide open for easy loading.

fitness sandbag for crossfit

Notice the snaps that hold the zipper in place

The material is heavy duty and well made, using double and cross sewing almost everywhere.

sandbag for CrossFit

Notice the excellent stitching. These sandbags are made to last!

The Cordura material is heavy duty, durable .  Its so tough that you could probably pour sand right into the outer shell without a filler bag and you still wouldn’t see a grain spill out.

The rogue sandbag has 5 handles for different grip positions. The two that I use most are on the top, laying crosswise. The handles make the lift easier than if you just had to grab the bag.  The handles though are quite thin and can hurt my hands when doing high reps or  heavy loads. If I would be the designer for the 2.0 version, I would put 4 (2 pairs) handles for closer and wider grip options, and make them a bit thicker.

Fitness sandbags

Notice the handles

Sandbag training equipment for CrossFit

And another view of the handles

 

There are two more handles located at the ends of the bag. These handles are basically small sheets made from the same material as the bag, but stuffed for better grip. I found them useless, not comfortable at all. If it would be stuffed more, it might have been useful for exercises like overhead squats.

sandbags for exercise

Notice the handles on the side of the bag. I didn’t find these particularly useful.

The last handle is not in pair.  It is a single, bigger, longer handle located in the middle of the bag.  This handle is made for farmer walks.  Personally, I haven’t used it.

fitness sandbags for sale

This single handle on thee middle of the bag is useful for farmers walks.

You can replace barbell movements with this sandbag, and it does make the exercise much more difficult due to the uneven and unbalanced habit of the sand. I mostly use the sandbag for Press, Push Press, Clean, Clean and Jerk, and my favorite: carry (on shoulder, zercher, overhead, bearhug). Another favorite is the turkish get up.

Since the bag can be easily carried anywhere, it can be a great option for people on the move or travelling, or for those who don’t have enough room for an olympic barbell. I do have a barbell now, but still switch to sandbag from time to time.

exercise sandbags for sale

The sandbag next to my barbel. I use both in my workouts.

Click on any of pictures or here to check them out on Rogue’s website.

Conclusions

Pros

  • Great material, heavy duty overall
  • Great design and attention to details
  • One of the best company and customer service, who stands behind their products

Cons

  • Price is a bit high
  • Handles can be heavy on hands

Overall, I’m really happy with my Rogue sandbag for CrossFit and would recommend it to anyone without hesitation!

 

{ 0 comments }

20% off New Balance for limited time!

May 10, 2013

We’ve just been told about a special sale from New Balance. For a limited time (until May 14th) take 20% off apparel and accessories and enjoy free shipping on purchases of $99 or more. Just click on the link below! Take 20% Off Apparel and Accessories at Newbalance.com! Ends 5/14

Read the full article →

Get 40% off Reebok gear until 11:59 pm Friday 29th March!

March 28, 2013

This deal is now over.  Make sure to sign up for our newsletter on the right hand side and we’ll let you know about any future sales! We are excited to share with you the Reebok End Of Season Sale! Reebok is welcoming spring by taking an additional 40% off select already-reduced styles Footwear and […]

Read the full article →

Giveaway! Win t-shirts and caps from CaveCloth!

April 19, 2013

The giveaway is now over.  Congratulations to our winners! 1st prize: Natalie C. 2nd prize: Caroline Y. 3rd prize: Grant S 4th prize: Naomi W. Thank you to everyone who entered! We’ll be running another competition soon, so sign up for our mailing list on the right to be notified! ——————– a Rafflecopter giveaway We’re […]

Read the full article →

Weightlifting Shoes for CrossFit: Review of the Nike Romaleos 2

March 26, 2013

We’re very fortunate to have another expert review of shoes for CrossFit by Dr. Ben Frazer of CrossFitSouthYarra.com, this time of the Nike Romaleos 2. The Nike Romaleos 2 are Nike’s flagship olympic weightlifting shoe.  Unfortunately they are mostly sold out currently, but there are still a few pairs left at certain sizes from Rogue. […]

Read the full article →

Review: Cavecloth t-shirt and cap

March 19, 2013

We train hard to feel, perform, and look our bests.  This takes dedication on our part, in and out of the gym.  Because of the effort it takes to train like the best of them, it is important to find ways to make our training as pleasurable as possible.  One of my favorite things about […]

Read the full article →

Reebok CrossFit Nano 2.0 Expert Video Review

March 4, 2013

Welcome to our first video review! Big thanks to Ben Frazer from CrossFit South Yarra for the expert review.  Please find out more about him and CrossFit South Yarra here. You can purchase the Reebok CrossFit Nano’s shoes here. Appologies for the background noise.  We’ve put a transcript of the interview below so that you can […]

Read the full article →

Wrist wraps and wrist straps for CrossFit

July 2, 2012

Front squats, thrusters, cleans – they can all take a heavy toll on our wrists. To make things worse, many CrossFitters may have prior wrist injuries or simply lack flexibility, and this can lead to a lot of pain. For those of you who are experiencing wrist pain, or even just want something preventative, then […]

Read the full article →