The Rogue Thompson Fatbells are a collaboration between Rogue Fitness and Donnie Thompson that are designed to essentially replace both kettlebells and dumbbells. We find, after using them over two years, that they are a great addition to training, but not a replacement for kettlebells.

Rogue Fitness
Rogue Thompson Fatbells
(3 ratings & reviews)
The Rogue Thompson Fatbell was co-developed with powerlifting legend Donnie Thompson as a revolutionary new take on the traditional kettlebell. With this design, we’ve made the simple but significant change of re-positioning the handle inside of the bell—set dead center and straight across like a dumbbell handle within an open-ended, cast-iron sphere. The result, as Donnie explains it himself, is a “perfect geometric shape for maximizing optimal performance,” as your hand and the bell essentially act as one. The center mass design allows athletes to improve the efficiency and balance of every swing/press while also reducing common kettlebell safety risks. With your hand inside the sphere, “every single infinitesimal point on the surface of that sphere is equal distance to the center of your hand.” This dynamic reduces the shearing force on joints and adds more load distribution on muscle and connective tissue. Rogue Thompson Fatbells are available in many different weight increments and include Rogue’s signature black powder coat finish. The 9LB, 13LB, and 18LB Fatbell feature an additional, second opening on the underside of the sphere for athletes with smaller hands. For Donnie Thompson, decades of experience as both a champion powerlifter and world renowned trainer went into conceptualizing this new breed of kettlebell. Since his first sketch of a spheroid bell with an internal handle back in 2006, the blueprint was refined and perfected into its current dynamic form. If it meets Donnie’s standards, it’s up to just about anybody’s. The center mass design of the Fatbell allows athletes to improve the efficiency and balance of every swing/press while also reducing common kettlebell safety risks. As Donnie Thompson puts it, this is the “perfect geometric shape for maximizing optimal performance,” as your hand and the bell essentially act as one. “Every single infinitesimal point on the surface of that sphere is equal distance to the center of your hand.” This dynamic reduces the shearing force on joints and adds more load distribution on muscle and connective tissue. Thompson Fatbells feature a solid, cast-iron construction with a black powdercoat finish and a grip-friendly ergo handle. The exterior design includes both Rogue and Thompson branding, as well as a color-coded stripe around the opening for quick recognition. All bells 26LB and up have a flat machined base, while the 9LB, 13LB, and 18LB bells are opened-ended on both the top and bottom, providing an alternative option for athletes with smaller hands. SPECIFICATIONS: Based on an original design by Donnie Thompson Interior Handle and Center Mass reduce shearing force, add more load distribution on muscle & connective tissue Solid Cast Iron construction 9LB - 18LB Bells: 32MM diameter Ergo Handle 26LB - 88LB Bells: 37MM diameter Ergo Handle 97+LB Bells: 40MM diameter Ergo Handle Flat machined base (open-ended on 18LB bell) Black Powder Coat Finish Rogue and Thompson branding w/ color-coded stripe for quick recognition Applications: Presses, Swings, Lunges, Snatches, Cleans, Rows, and more BELL WEIGHT / DIAMETER 9LB - 161MM 13LB - 172MM 18LB - 185MM 26LB - 194MM 35LB - 204MM 44LB - 214MM 53LB - 221MM 62LB - 230MM 70LB - 236MM 80LB - 244MM 88LB - 244MM 97LB - 256MM 106LB - 262MM 124LB - 273MM 150LB - 286MM

Every once in a while a fitness device comes around that changes the industry.

The dumbbell, one of the most prominent pieces of equipment in gyms around the world has stayed relatively the same for some time.

It has a handle with two weights on either side of the hand and is mostly used for pressing and pulling movements. Sometimes for snatches as well.

The kettlebell, a piece of training equipment that has also been around for quite a while, possibly longer has made it's way into the hearts and minds of the general training public in the US pretty heavily within the past decade.

The kettlebell for those unaware is mostly used for dynamic movements like swings, snatches, and clean and jerks.

Just imagine with me for a second though what it would look like to combine the two.

That's exactly what Rogue has done in partnering with Mr. 3000 himself, Donnie Thompson in creating the Rogue Thompson Fatbells.

Rogue Thompson Fatbells Review

I've been following Donnie's journey for sometime.

Powerlifting was my first foray into training as my father was a powerlifter many years ago and impressed upon me the importance of strength.

When Donnie was attempting to break the 3,000 barrier (3,000 total pounds in the squat, deadlift, and bench) I remember seeing it on the cover of Powerlifting USA (a great magazine that is no longer around.)

Donnie seemed to use unique training methods in building massive slabs of muscle and one such method was using kettlebells. This may seem like no big deal today, but a powerlifter using kettlebells 10 years ago was unheard of.

The story goes as quoted from Donnie Thompson's personal site goes like this:

It was 2006 and I was training extremely hard for professional powerlifting.  One night after squats, I went to bed and started dreaming I was swinging the 48k KettleBell.  Suddenly, I pushed my hand into the center of the KB while holding the handle.  My hand was dead center inside the KettleBell.  It felt amazing.  Control and ease of movement no matter what I did with it.  IT WAS PERFECT.  I woke up and immediately drew a picture of it.  The time was 3am and I thought I was going crazy. Maybe too many KettleBell Swings?  Not sure but continued drawing my dream and this is what I came up with:

The idea for what would eventually become the Rogue Thompson Fatbells was born.

If you'd like to read more of the story, which I find pretty interesting you can find it here.

Long story short though, after talking with many companies, Rogue eventually decided to produce them and Sorinex and a company called J-Bells has taken his idea.

The Fatbells are made out of solid cast iron.

There's really no getting around how solid cast iron is, and is the same material many kettlebells are made of.

There is a 37 mm handle welded in the center of the bell that feels very similar to the size of most dumbbells. Because it is cast iron, it also takes chalk really well which allows you to get a great grip.

They look very similar to planters pots as I saw many comments when Rogue first introduced them, and one reason for that is the bulbous shape and the flat machined base.

As Rogue seems to do with just about every other piece of equipment they produce, it's powedercoated black.

Of course.

Also, to help identify the size of the bell, there is a stripe running on the inside of lip of the bell. It's a nice touch, and will help in commercial gym settings.

That being said, I don't think the stripe was very well done. To me, it looks like somebody took a paint brush and just slapped it on. I would have liked to see a perfectly symmetrical line as I don't think it would have been that difficult, but this is kind of just me knit picking.

The Fatbells are solid, simple as that. They aren't overly complicated, and the 53 lb. Fatbell I purchased is just over 53 lbs which is pretty good considering they're made of cast iron.

Due to this being a completely new take on the dumbbell/kettlebell, the construction is not the most important feature.

What you really want to know, and what I wanted to know was simply:

Why should I purchase Fatbells versus dumbbells or kettlebells?

First off, I'd like to say, all three have their place.

But, I want to be clear when I say, if I could only choose one, I would choose the Rogue Thompson Fatbells.

And here's why:

1. Versatility

You can do everything you can do with a dumbbell with the fatbells. In my opinion, they're a dumbbell replacement that will lead to less wrist injuries as well as a better connection. You can also use them for one arm swings, snatches, clean and jerks, and just about everything you can do with kettlebells except for two handed swings. Two handed swings are considered by many in the kettlebell world to be an improper use of the kettlebell anyway.

2. Blood Gorging

This is a little hard to explain, but in speaking with Donnie Thompson, the creator of the bells, he spoke a lot on how the muscles became much more engorged with blood than when you use the traditional dumbbell and kettlebell. This is something I also noticed, but mainly at higher repetitions.

3. Connection

When you place your hand inside of the sphere, it feels much more a part of your hand than any a dumbbell and especially a kettlebell. As is written on the description on Rogue's website:

Every single infinitesimal point on the surface of that sphere is equal distance to the center of your hand.

This causes fewer shearing forces on your joints and causes more load distribution on the muscles and connective tissue. You really have to use one to feel it.

4. Smaller Diameter

Due to the Fatbells diameter, when pressing such as on the bench press, you can get a much better contraction due to being able to lower the Fatbells into a deeper stretch. With dumbbells, they're so big and awkward they just get in the way causing many egos to grow (you know what I mean if you've ever been to a globo gym and seen the guy benching with 150 lb. dumbbells.)

5. Safer

Due to the flat machined base, the Fatbells don't roll around. They also don't rock back and forth in your hand due to the weight being placed 360 degrees around your hand. They're also easy to dump and I never felt any worry about getting cut by the edge of the bell as its rounded and smooth.

Suggested Improvements

My main dislike with the Fatbells is in their weight increments.

Currently Rogue offers an 18 lb, 35 lb, 53 lb, 70 lb, and 88 lb.

The reason they do this is because it's a great way to get people introduced to the Fatbells and they mimic the weight increments of kettlebells.

In my mind though, kettlebells will always have their place due to the way the weight is loaded below the handle. The Fatbells are a dumbbell replacement. Meaning they should come in increments of 5 lbs which I believe will happen when more people begin to adopt using the Fatbells.

Imagine walking into a gym and instead of dumbbells, you see a row of Fatbells. Eventually that will happen and it will be GLORIOUS!

Final Thoughts

These are not a fad product.

I'm sure when dumbbells came out, many people looked at them as a silly idea. That's typical of innovation and is very typical of innovation in the fitness industry. Mainly due to the Shake Weights and ab growers of the world.

My suggestion would be to try and get one in your hands. Many gyms will soon have them I imagine or you could order one for yourself.

They've been out for under a week and are already sold out of some sizes.

The revolution has begun!

Full Rating

Rogue Thompson Fatbells

Construction - 4.5
Value - 4.3
Durability - 4.3
4.4
Great

The Rogue Thompson Fatbells are a collaboration between Rogue Fitness and Donnie Thompson that are designed to essentially replace both kettlebells and dumbbells. We find, after using them over two years, that they are a great addition to training, but not a replacement for kettlebells.

Where to Purchase

Rogue Fitness
Rogue Thompson Fatbells
(3 ratings & reviews)
The Rogue Thompson Fatbell was co-developed with powerlifting legend Donnie Thompson as a revolutionary new take on the traditional kettlebell. With this design, we’ve made the simple but significant change of re-positioning the handle inside of the bell—set dead center and straight across like a dumbbell handle within an open-ended, cast-iron sphere. The result, as Donnie explains it himself, is a “perfect geometric shape for maximizing optimal performance,” as your hand and the bell essentially act as one. The center mass design allows athletes to improve the efficiency and balance of every swing/press while also reducing common kettlebell safety risks. With your hand inside the sphere, “every single infinitesimal point on the surface of that sphere is equal distance to the center of your hand.” This dynamic reduces the shearing force on joints and adds more load distribution on muscle and connective tissue. Rogue Thompson Fatbells are available in many different weight increments and include Rogue’s signature black powder coat finish. The 9LB, 13LB, and 18LB Fatbell feature an additional, second opening on the underside of the sphere for athletes with smaller hands. For Donnie Thompson, decades of experience as both a champion powerlifter and world renowned trainer went into conceptualizing this new breed of kettlebell. Since his first sketch of a spheroid bell with an internal handle back in 2006, the blueprint was refined and perfected into its current dynamic form. If it meets Donnie’s standards, it’s up to just about anybody’s. The center mass design of the Fatbell allows athletes to improve the efficiency and balance of every swing/press while also reducing common kettlebell safety risks. As Donnie Thompson puts it, this is the “perfect geometric shape for maximizing optimal performance,” as your hand and the bell essentially act as one. “Every single infinitesimal point on the surface of that sphere is equal distance to the center of your hand.” This dynamic reduces the shearing force on joints and adds more load distribution on muscle and connective tissue. Thompson Fatbells feature a solid, cast-iron construction with a black powdercoat finish and a grip-friendly ergo handle. The exterior design includes both Rogue and Thompson branding, as well as a color-coded stripe around the opening for quick recognition. All bells 26LB and up have a flat machined base, while the 9LB, 13LB, and 18LB bells are opened-ended on both the top and bottom, providing an alternative option for athletes with smaller hands. SPECIFICATIONS: Based on an original design by Donnie Thompson Interior Handle and Center Mass reduce shearing force, add more load distribution on muscle & connective tissue Solid Cast Iron construction 9LB - 18LB Bells: 32MM diameter Ergo Handle 26LB - 88LB Bells: 37MM diameter Ergo Handle 97+LB Bells: 40MM diameter Ergo Handle Flat machined base (open-ended on 18LB bell) Black Powder Coat Finish Rogue and Thompson branding w/ color-coded stripe for quick recognition Applications: Presses, Swings, Lunges, Snatches, Cleans, Rows, and more BELL WEIGHT / DIAMETER 9LB - 161MM 13LB - 172MM 18LB - 185MM 26LB - 194MM 35LB - 204MM 44LB - 214MM 53LB - 221MM 62LB - 230MM 70LB - 236MM 80LB - 244MM 88LB - 244MM 97LB - 256MM 106LB - 262MM 124LB - 273MM 150LB - 286MM

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