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  • Sierra Rathbun

Embrace Fitness as a Lifestyle: Edition 11

The Embrace Fitness as a Lifestyle blog is back with its 11th edition. This time, we'll be reviewing the Primal Armor Olympus barbell and delving into a DIY project that I completed. Let's get started!

DIY Lat Pulldown Project

About 6 weeks ago, I started to plan out my lat pulldown project. I started with a few sketches, researched parts, and sold my Titan lat pulldown to another local home gym owner. The goal was to create a premium grade multipurpose selectorized station at a fraction of the cost compared to pre-built versions. I am currently in the testing phase of this project, finding ways to maximize the design and make this piece as versatile as possible. I will be testing a seated/lying leg curl, leg extensions, belt squat, assisted Nordic curls, and many more exercises. I will also be pushing out a more comprehensive guide in PDF format for anyone else looking to pursue this build.

Parts List I Used for the Build:

  • 2 x 90" uprights (I used Rogue)

  • 2 x 30" crossmembers (I used Rogue)

  • Rogue Monster Mini Feet (I had mine custom fabricated)

  • Rogue Monster Slinger

  • Rogue Monster Half Rack Foot (I had mine custom fabricated

  • Prime Fitness Prodigy Foot Plate

  • Rogue Monster Cave Low Swivel Pulley (need to contact Rogue customer service to order)

  • Lat Pulldown Seat (Sorinex Bulldog Pad)

  • Straydog Strength Dual Utility Roller

  • 220 lb weight stack and 83" guide rods

  • These came from a old lat pulldown tower that I sourced parts from

  • 1" bolts/washers/nuts from McMaster Carr

  • 1" shaft collars for the guide rods

  • 60 inch cable for low row

Kamway Parts has been really helpful in finding all the miscellaneous items I need for this project. The only downside is that shipping can be expensive, but I was impressed that everything arrived at my door just 2 days after ordering.

Primal Armor Olympus Barbell Review

I had the opportunity a couple of weeks ago to attend the first ever HomeGymCon in Indiana. I can't express how amazing this experience was meeting everyone and getting to see all of the vendor's products. There was one product though stuck out and made it's way back with me to Upstate New York.

Here's a quick story:

I spent most of Saturday hanging out in the GORX Fitness booth sharing my experience as a home gym business owner. The booth to the right of us was Primal Armor. Whiskey the Golden Retriever was very intrigued by the Primal Armor booth and all of it's visitors. She was so intrigued that she tried (multiple times) to hop the barrier to hang out with her new best friend Kim Kimpel. In-between Whiskey's venture for attention, I chatted with Kim and Jeff and learned about their mission to support research for Huntington's Disease (HD).

As the day was coming to an end, I picked out a black zinc Olympus barbell to bring back with me. It is now my daily driver and a bar that I use with barbell athletes when I coach. What I really like about the Olympus bar is that it's a nice moderate knurl. I have enough grip without being too rough on my hands Overall the Olympus Bar is a versatile piece of equipment suitable for various training styles, including powerlifting and Olympic weightlifting.

Olympus Bar Specs:

  • Brand: Primal Armor

  • Made In USA: Yes

  • Loadable Sleeve Length: 16.5”

  • Bar Length: 86.5”

  • Diameter: 28.5MM

  • Bar Weight: 20KG

  • Knurl: Moderate

  • Center Knurl: No

  • Knurl Marking: Olympic & Powerlifting

  • Coating: Bright Zinc/Black Zinc

  • Tensile Strength: 190,000 PSI

  • Weight Rating: 2,000 LBS

I'd like to add that Primal Armor also offers two other barbells, the Denali and Appalachian bars. During my visit to the HomeGymCon, I had the chance to test drive the Denali bar and found its knurling to be impressively aggressive. Meanwhile, the Appalachian bar is currently the most affordable made-in-USA Buffalo bar I've come across, available for pre-order at $395 with shipping included.

In summary, I highly recommend checking out Primal Armor if you're in the market for a barbell. All their barbells are made in the USA and come with free shipping. Moreover, your purchase would support a noble cause to find a cure for Huntington's Disease. As a dog lover, I also trust Whiskey's judgment in people, and I can say that both Kim and Jeff are fantastic individuals. Knowing their personal connection to the disease, buying a barbell from Primal Armor feels like contributing to a greater cause. My next barbell will undoubtedly be the Denali bar from Primal Armor.

Appalachian Bar

Denali Bar

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