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We've been using body tempering for over a year now, and when the Rogue DT Tempering Rollers were released, we knew we had to pick them up to compare to our DIY options as well as other commercial options available. We will go into more detail on what exactly body tempering is and its viability, but suffice it to say, we enjoy using body tempering devices and find the Rogue DT Tempering Rollers to be one of the best body tempering roller options for most people.
Featuring a cast iron design, grooved exterior, recessed ends for an easy grip, contoured center, and the potential for future accessories all at a price that blows all other options out of the water, the Rogue DT Tempering Rollers are likely to become the standard body tempering roller in commercial and home gyms across the country.
If you spend any time on social media, you've probably seen the phrase Body Tempering. If not that, then likely the word X-Wife, X-Husband and other unique names in relation to someone laying a big tube of steel on their body. Body Tempering is a term coined by Donnie Thompson, a former powerlifter who was the first human to total 3,000 lb in the squat, deadlift, and bench press in competition. Donnie Thompson is also the inventor of the Rogue Thompson FatPad, Rogue Thompson Fatbells, Spud Inc Bow Tie and likely a few other things.
I have yet to find a clear definition on what Body Tempering is, so I'll try my best to create one based on the many out there. Body Tempering is a type of mobilization done on soft tissue via the rolling of weighted cylinders across various muscles of the body. To simplify the idea, it's like foam rolling, but instead of you providing the weight of your body on the muscle and joint, you use an external weight (Rogue DT Tempering Rollers for instance) to provide the pressure.
From an evidence-based standpoint, in the same way that studies done on foam rolling have shown very little long-term changes for mobility, there is little evidence that Body Tempering produces long-term changes. However, I see no reason to believe it doesn't provide short-term changes, which, if done in conjunction with other mobility work, could lead to long-term changes.
I have been body tempering in some manner for the past two years (until this point using a 160 lb steel/concrete cylinder) and I "feel" better after body tempering. However, I want to make it clear that "feeling" is much different from there actually being results. Regardless of a placebo effect or not, I and many others enjoy Body Tempering and will continue to perform the method.
Also, it seems that many, myself included, are using Body Tempering for "strength preparation."
According to Rogue Fitness' product page, "Compared to other massaging rollers, the substantial weight of the DT Tempering Rollers can create a much more intense form of soft tissue mobilization, without causing any additional pain or discomfort in the process." It also goes on to say Body Tempering is meant to be a strength preparation or rehabilitation method and not meant to be used for body manipulation or to be used in terms of "chiropractic work." This may be said more for legal purposes, but it's worth noting.
The Rogue DT Tempering Rollers aren't the first body tempering rollers that have come to market and they're not the first ones we've used.
The first body tempering rollers that were used were large cylinders of solid steel that cost an insane amount to buy and machine, even from a local shop (trust me, I tried.) Imagine a foam roller, but instead of being made of foam, they're made of solid steel. Those early rollers eventually evolved into better designs with a concave center to protect the spine, holes on the sides for easier maneuverability, and in some cases, handles. The first names used were destined to become household, marketable terms like X-Wife, X-Husband, and Cheater. Unfortunately, companies like Rogue Fitness have removed those inspiring names and more professional terms are their replacements.
I kid, I kid, I'm happy to see the name change.
In any event, the Rogue DT Tempering Rollers, although certainly not the first commercially available body tempering rollers available, (we have a review of a plate-loadable version coming soon) they are the best value. In comparison to the competition like the Kabuki Strength PainPill, which weighs less than the lightest Rogue DT Tempering Roller and costs more than twice as much, the Rogue DT Tempering Rollers can do just about everything they can, at a much more affordable price. This isn't to say the PainPill and others don't have their place, but for most, they don't offer the value that the DT Tempering Rollers do.
Body tempering rollers are pretty simple, and the Rogue DT Tempering Roller is no different. Starting out with two weight increments of 50 and 80 LB (depending on the popularity, they'll eventually offer more options), the DT Tempering Rollers are cylinders of cast iron that have some additional features because they can without skyrocketing the price.
The first, and most notable feature that we like are the bored holes on each end. The original body tempering rollers had solid ends, and at the weight they were often made, this made it extremely difficult to maneuver, even if you had someone else performing the rolling. The holes also include a small lip that aids in lifting the roller. I would have liked to see a slightly larger lip to get a better grip than just your fingertips, but this is a minor gripe.
Throughout the entire exterior of the DT Tempering Rollers, there are grooves designed to "work with the natural contours of the body for a more precise and beneficial treatment." Donnie Thompson puts it like this: "The spiral agitators diffuse tissue much like your washing machine moves your clothes up, out and down. The grooves spiral towards the center of the roller. Grabs tissue with it, pulls in or pushes out. Diffusing muscle tissue!" Whether this claim is true or not, I do prefer the grooves compared to a smooth surface.
The entire DT Tempering Roller is powder coated and features an inset logo with a colored ring at each end of the roller. One thing I'm surprised was overlooked was the lack of a weight marking. Unlike a dumbbell, kettlebell, weight plate, barbell, or any other piece of gym equipment that is lifted, the Rogue DT Tempering Roller being sold in various weight increments includes zero markings of the weight on the device. I foresee this getting pretty annoying in gyms with a whole lineup of rollers.
The last feature of the DT Tempering Rollers that we're glad to see included is a contoured center. This feature has been used on various rollers up to this point, and for good reason. When rolling the back, the concave helps to pass over the spine, and can be used pass over other bones when used on other areas of the body.
Overall, Rogue and Donnie Thompson knocked it out of the park with the DT Tempering Rollers and even have them listed for a great price. If you're wanting to dip your toes in the body tempering pool, or want to eventually have an entire set that looks as good as they perform, then these are the ones to get.
There are many DIY options to make rollers for Body Tempering, however, due to the amount of weight needed, the Rogue DT Tempering Rollers are honestly your best option. If you have the materials lying around or find an old concrete filled parking block like I did, then that works great, but the DT Tempering Rollers are priced such that they're hard to compete with.
We've already mentioned a few of the other Body Tempering Rollers that are available on the market, but we'll go ahead and compile them here:
The difference between the Rogue DT Tempering Rollers and the other options is the price per lb is MUCH lower for the cast-iron DT Tempering Roller than the other options.
The above statement is true, except for The Forge Body Tempering Roller, which is a model that features loadable sleeves. Although we have a full review in the works for The Forge, we must say, for many, a loadable version is a great option if you plan to need multiple weight increments. The downside is, it is a bit less versatile due to its width and your plate size will dictate how what body parts you can use it on (for instance, using 25's make it impossible for using the roller on your forearms, unless your Popeye.)
I love secrets, and Rogue with their latest offerings have been including various clues as to what potential future attachments they plan to make for their equipment.
At first glance, the DT Tempering Rollers look like what you see is what you get, but upon closer inspection, you realize there are expandable properties built in. Specifically, when you peak on the inside of the roller there are two screws expanding from the center of each side of the roller that I would assume will be used to attach handles for easier maneuverability. This could be a cool attachment that could eventually lead to even more. We'll keep our eye out.
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