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Immortal Combat Equipment has been around since 2014 with the focus of bringing strength and conditioning components into the world of combat sports. The company produces their products for people focused in areas such as MMA, Mauy-Thai, BJJ, Wrestling, Boxing, Sambo, Judo, Taekwondo, Karate, Kickboxing.
In fact, UFC legend Matt Brown is the one who founded the company.
Before hitting the UFC scene, Matt Brown was actually a personal trainer for a number of years. While personal training, Matt Brown was trained in the Mixed Martial Arts for over 10 years until making the switch to UFC in 2008. He also trained under some of the top strength coaches in the world such as Louie Simmons, Joel Jamieson, and Mark Phillippi.
With the knowledge he gained from these world-class coaches and his long study of science of strength and conditioning, he was able to translate it to Immortal Combat Equipment Company.
Beginning in 2014, Immortal Combat Equipment has produced three different pieces of equipment aimed at increasing general physical preparedness with more on the way.
The three pieces of equipment are the Immortal Grip Ball, Battle Hammers, and the War Wagon.
The Immortal Grip Ball is simply add-on to any carabiner or War Wagon to increase difficulty of a movement. These are great to use to add weight while doing strict pull up, dips, and a number of other movements.
The Battle Hammers are another version of a sledgehammer. The design is a little different with its cylindrical head that prevents the feedback you get when striking a tire with a normal hammer. Immortal also attached a ball to the end of the hammer to ensure the Battle Hammer will not slip out of your hand. We have a full review coming on these.
The third piece of equipment is the War Wagon which is the subject of this review.
Immortal Combat has made some sweet looking pieces of equipment, and Matt has told us he has many different pieces of equipment waiting to be released in the near future.
As stated before, Immortal Combat Equipment focuses in areas such as, MMA, Mauy-Thai, BJJ, Wrestling, Boxing, Sambo, Judo, Taekwondo, Karate, Kickboxing...
For those that do not know...I do none of these. BUT I use Immortal Combat Equipment in my programing and would recommend their products to just about anyone.
Specifically, the War Wagon by Immortal Combat Equipment is a very versatile and durable piece of equipment that is built to last and make a person sweat.
The idea behind the War Wagon is simple, yet incredibly smart. I love it when companies can take something that would normally collect dust in a John Deer room and recreate it to enhance grip and overall strength.
The War Wagon ix constructed with a powder coat 11-gauge steel. 11-gauge steel is what is used in just about every piece of equipment currently made from your racks to your machines like the GHD. The 11-gauge steel frame is then powder-coated in a smooth black finish.
We talk about powder coat finish a lot. One, because pretty much every company uses it in some manner to protect at least a portion of their equipment line-up. Second, because powder coat finishes vary from company to company.
In salt spray tests, powder coat has been shown to last 2,000 hours and longer without failure That’s not to say powder coat can't be scratched, as evidenced by the many scratches on my power racks, but it does a great job for this sort of application.
As stated, powder coat finishes vary, some are extremely rough, like EliteFTS and Williams Strength, while others are smooth like Titan Fitness. The War Wagon features a smooth powder-coat finish that looks good, although I do wish it was a rougher powder to help increase grip while pushing and pulling the wagon. This is a personal preference, but I'm sure others would agree that for this application, a rougher powder would be more idea.
The greatest feature of the War Wagon is the versatility it offers.
With normal grip strength movements, it usually comes down to what weight am I going to use. The War Wagon offers not only the ability to load it up with all sorts of weight (and handle it extremely well,) but it also allows four different places for plates to be added.
The machine was built for all skill and strength levels thanks to the ability to load any amount of weight.
There are four different areas to add weight to your movement.
The first place is near the fulcrum of the machine, or closest to the wheel. When weight is added near the fulcrum, it will increase the difficulty of moving the wagon, but not nearly as much as placing the weight closer to the back of the wagon. This will keep the movement relatively easy for anyone to hold on to.
Adding weight is great here if you want to walk or hold for a long duration. Having the weight here also allows a person to run with the War Wagon the easiest.
The second place is right in the middle of the War Wagon. Both the front and the middle loadable weights shaft represent the length closest to that of a barbell sleeve. So the thicker your plates are, the less weight you will be able to add.
The final place you can add weights to is also the same place that will make your movement the most difficult. Immortal Combat Equipment has designed the War Wagon to have adjustable handles to add weight and to increase difficulty.
Having the weight away from the fulcrum and closest to your body will create the highest level of difficulty.
Being adjustable, these handles are a great design, because it doesn't force someone into a difficulty they won't be able to handle. The handles themselves are a little smaller steel than the frame of the War Wagon, which allows a those with smaller hands to not have any issues and for it to feel closer to a barbell than an axle bar. The thicker the handle, the harder it would be to grip.
The versatility of the War Wagon allows a person to not have to use the thinner handles while working out, a trainee can hold the wagon with the thickest steel portion to increase the difficulty if they choose.
Each platform of the front and middle weight sleeves use four bolts into the War Wagon frame to ensure the weights won't break through while working out. Just as the platforms, the legs that prop the War Wagon up when not being used are heavily bolted together making it a very durable.
Against popular belief, the War Wagon is not just designed to increase grip strength, but can be utilized as a full body workout.
Involuntarily, while working out with the War Wagon, the machine will wear down your legs and upper body. This can be accomplished simply by using the wagon for what it is designed for, by walking through any terrain. The War Wagon will hit your quads, hams, and glutes. If you aren't feeling like walking, the War Wagon can also be utilized as a means of deadlifting or even pressing (both from the floor and overhead at an angle.)
One feature of the War Wagon that I'm glad was included are the sled feet on the bottom of the wagon. This allows the wagon to be dropped after running without having the fear of hurting the machine or yourself. One improvement that could be made, however, is to increase the thickness of the steel used on the sled feet. I'm guessing it's around 11 gauge which is a bit thin for that application.
When it comes to actually using the wagon, it can be absolutely brutal. Posture is super important with any movement, and we find it especially important with the War Wagon. By forcing your chest out and back straight, the War Wagon will not only punish your group but will force you to keep your trunk engaged, similar to the feeling during farmer's carries.
The last feature of the War Wagon that I'm a fan of is the wheel on the front. Rather than having a sled foot, Matt chose to use a full rubber wheel. These sort of wheels are pretty expensive because they don't use air for inflation, but are rather solid rubber. This means you'll never have to air them up or worry about having a flat during use.
The War Wagon is a very durable and versatile piece of equipment that can maximize grip and overall conditioning strength. We highly recommend it to anyone looking to add more GPP to their training. In fact, if you don't want to take our word for it, Louie Simmons has had his Westside Barbell guys using it for some time with great success.
The War Wagon is a very versatile and durable piece of equipment, however, there are a few improvements that I believe can make this piece of equipment even better.
The powder coat finish was a great idea to round out the War Wagon, with that being said, this specific finish is a little slicker than desired. The idea is to be able to hold on to the wagon as long as you can, the slick finish does not help the cause. Maybe adding knurling on the handles or just make the powder coat a little rougher would be a great way to improve the wagon.
The sleds on the legs could be a little thicker as well. This isn't a hill I'm going to die on, I haven't had any issues with mine, but I could see it maybe being a problem in the far-off future. It wouldn't take away from the purpose of the War Wagon and shouldn't add much to the cost.
The last suggestion would be to make the War Wagon shorter and have higher sleeves. The War Wagon is a long piece of equipment and takes up quite a bit of real estate in my garage. By making it smaller, it would make it easier to house and more likely to pull out for a workout.
For someone who has thicker bumper plates, a trainee will be able to add about 3 45's to each position. Adding just a little more height will allow a person to go for a bigger number when working out.
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