NO BIAS OR BS HERE
Here is the official Massenomics review of the RhinoFlex Bar made by BandBell. We took a look at the quality of the product, as well as its usefulness and effectiveness. We also give some tips and tricks we learned about the bar as we put it to the test. Massenomics is in no way affiliated with BandBell, so rest assured this review is straight from the heart.
THE BANDBELL BASICS
"The horse is here to stay, but the automobile is only a novelty.. a fad."
Bank President advising Henry Ford in 1903.
There was a time when people thought the automobile would never take off, that broadcast television wouldn't have an audience, and that the internet would fizzle out. There was also a time when people thought there was nothing left to change with a standard old barbell. Then Jim Seitzer, the owner and creator of BandBell, flipped that idea on it's head with the introduction of the original bamboo bar, and subsequently the RhinoFlex Bar.
Jim picked up a thing or two throughout his experiences as an original member of the infamous Westside Barbell and in his training on the way to becoming both Mr. USA and an elite level powerlifter. He coupled those experiences with his degrees in physiology and anatomy to develop his line of bars that utilize oscillating kinetic energy to heal, strengthen, and protect joints. These bars may have originally been geared more towards rehab of injured shoulders, but we have found that a bar like the RhinoFlex has countless applications in strength training.
WHEN/HOW TO USE IT
The most common exercise we see people use this bar for is the bench press, but the RhinoFlex bar can be used for just about any exercise that you would do with a traditional barbell. Squats, deadlifts, good mornings, rows, curls, tricep extensions.. your imagination is the limit. We have a lot of competitive powerlifters in our gym, and they like to use the bar for assistance work to the normal barbell movements. These guys and gals have to compete on the platform with steel barbells, but find the RhinoFlex to be a very functional tool to add in to training. We see a lot of possibilities for the bar in both strongman and CrossFit style training as well.
If you don't have any intentions of competing in powerlifting, you may find that the RhinoFlex can almost replace some of your traditional barbell movements all together. The thought of completely replacing steel barbells is probably a little extreme for most of us at Massenomics... but the devils advocate position would suggest that if your ultimate goals are to just generally get stronger in a safe manner, then the idea may not be that crazy after all.
HOW DOES IT FEEL?
The feel of the RhinoFlex Bar can be difficult to describe to someone that has never used one before. It is a much more dynamic movement then that of a traditional steel barbell. Imagine the difference of going from benching in a smith machine, to benching with a typical 45 pound barbell. There is a lot of added movement and extra stabalization required. You take that entire feeling one step farther when you replace that steel barbell with the RhinoFlex Bar. The bend of the RhinoFlex reacts to the forces that you place against the bar. That reactionary response (whip) of the bar requires you to stabilize and brace more during the movement. Many find this to actually feel better on the joints.
If you have never used one of BandBell's bars before, it will take a little getting used to. Don't go crazy with the weight on the first day. Work into it, and allow your stabilization to develop over time. As you get more comfortable with the dynamic movement you will be able to add weight safely. The play in the RhinoFlex bar is not as dramatic as it is with the Bamboo bar or the Earthquake bar that BandBell makes, but it is still significant. The Bamboo/Earthquake bars are loaded by hanging weights by bands from the ends of the barbell. That hanging weight requires even more stabilization throughout the movement. Because of this reason we have noticed that you can generally handle more weight with the RhinoFex bar than the Bamboo bar.
LOADING THE BAR
This is an area where the RhinoFlex shines in comparison to the other BandBell predecessors. Regular plates of all sizes slide right onto the sleeves at the end of the bar, just like a normal barbell. Watch the short video at the top of this article to see the loading and unloading done easily and quickly with the RhinoFlex. You can see that the weights can be secured with a normal clamping style clip. The process of hanging the weights by bands on the Bamboo bar isn't super difficult, but loading the RhinoFlex is certainly a simpler process.
You may find that the plates don't slide onto the rubber sleeves of the RhinoFlex bar easily. A helpful tip is to make sure to apply some upward pressure on the plates as you move them across the sleeve. It keeps them from dragging on the rubber, and they move much easier.
*IMPORTANT* Make sure you either have someone helping you load plates evenly on both sides of the bar at the same time, or load the first set of plates with the bar resting on the ground. The bar only weighs 7.5 pounds so if you throw a 45 pound plate on one side and not the other, it will go for a ride. Once you have the first set of plates loaded, it is safe to load one side at a time going forward.
You don't have to slide the plates all the way on. The rubber sleeve has lines on it for you to line up the plates in different spots. The further out you have the plates, the more motion and instability you will notice. It's a cool way to adjust the difficulty of the lift, while using the exact same weight. Keep in mind that the manufacturer recommends that whenever you are using more than two 45 plates per side, they need to be slid on all the way.
CRAFTSMANSHIP & DURABILITY
BandBell says the bar is constructed from a combination of carbon fiber, ceramics, fiberglass, and poly-rubber. We don't know exactly what all that means, but we can tell you how it seems to us. It feels very well made. The bar only weighs 7.5 pounds, but it somehow maintains a durable feel to it. The rubber-ish sleeves hold up very well to the rub of iron plates.
The bar withstands the 400 pound rating that they give it, but we would not recommend going above that limit. We haven't pushed that number, because we like ours too much to break it. Just like any barbell in your gym, it still needs to be taken care of and stored properly. No matter what, it will scratch and scuff up with use. The decals and overall appearance will not stay perfect for long, but the functionality and purpose will last.
$350 & Free Shipping
The RhinoFlex bar by BandBell utilizes oscillating kinetic energy to strengthen, heal, and protect your body as you train. It's not quite as wobbly as their Earthquake bar, but you can use more weight on comparable exercises. It's a fun tool that can easily be implemented into any type of strength training program, and it produces effective results. It is very light weight, but durable enough to stand up to the largest of gym rats. At $300 it costs about the same as most reputable power bars like the Texas and Rogue Ohio. The RhinoFlex bar will be unlike any other bar in your arsenal. If you've got room in your budget and in your gym, it will be a very welcome addition.
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