Most new gym equipment products are near-clones of another brand or small upgrades. Once in a while I take notice of something. These few products are a big enough deal to get my attention…

Texas 27mm Body Building Bar

27mm 7ft barbell

A unique bar worth a mention!

Capps Welding – aka Texas Power Bars – released a bar that has virtually the same dimensions as a normal 7ft bar but has two notable changes that affect its use.

Like every other Texas bar, the knurling is very aggressive. No promises that this bar will leave your skin intact with high-rep workouts. It’s made to stick to your palms and not let go. The correct move after a set is to uncurl your fingers, let go, stand up and slowly back away so as to not trigger its chasing instincts.

What’s new is the thinner 27mm shaft (down from 28.5mm) and an third finger mark in the knurling on each side.

As far as the extra finger mark, it’s an interesting feature to try. Are the dual marks on today’s bars not enough? It’s only to help your hand placement, and I feel like dual marks are sufficient.

The bigger feature is the 27mm shaft, which makes it excellent for your deadlift grip. In that sense, this bar is for lifters who do a lot of deadlifts but have no reason to get an unwieldy 8ft deadlift bar.

By the way, they now make cerakote versions of this and their other bars.

Westside Scout Hyper (Foldable Reverse Hyper)

folding reverse hyper

The main criticism of units like a reverse hyper is that they’re single-use, taking up lots of space and eating up your budget for the benefits of a single exercise. People say that about glute ham developers, and it’s even more true for a reverse hyper.

Rogue and Westside Barbell alleviated one of those concerns by making this foldable version they’re calling the Scout Hyper.

I’m seeing a trend. Foldable racks have gotten more popular this year, and now with foldable reverse hypers… The corona lockdowns have forced people to cram as much equipment as they can into their home gym, and these kinds of foldable options double or triple the number of pieces you can fit.

USA-Made Weights

Casting any iron weights in the US was not cost-effective until now. Just about the only ones you used to see were crazy expensive options like Iron Grip. With some decoupling from China taking place, and huge demand for weights this year, US foundries have started jumping in, and the encouraging prices I’m seeing suggest that as a country we can pull this off. I’m seeing only modest price increases from Chinese counterparts.

made in the USA kettlebells

Rogue is now offering USA-made powder-coated kettlebells for only about 6% more than their China-made kettlebells.

Last month I mentioned Golden’s Cast Iron who has their own foundry making kettlebells and dumbbells. They appear to be a totally legit old company that is getting into this market.

A newer company, USA-iron, is selling a limited range of USA-made kettlebells with free shipping. I don’t know much about the company. It’s their only product, they only started collecting reviews 2 weeks ago, their Facebook page was only put up a few months ago, and some links on their site don’t work. Buyer beware.

I thought I saw that Rogue was developing some USA-made iron plates, which would be huge. Maybe a social media post a while back, or I’m remembering wrong? Anyway, I wouldn’t be surprised to see some pop up soon. All these kettlebells being cast, and no plates??
Edit: An update here on Rogue’s USA-made plates.