Nike Strength Training Equipment Review
On October 17th, Nike released their new Nike Strength equipment line with a post on social media stating that they're offering, “Premium training equipment for all athletes”.
We've had the opportunity to use some of this new equipment in the last week and have recorded our preliminary results in this blog with the intention to release a full review in the near future.
Our Initial Findings
Our thoughts on this new Nike venture are positive when considering their intended audience, even though we may disagree with some of the equipment descriptions found in their marketing materials.
Typically, when we review a piece of equipment, we compare it to the gold standard for that equipment type (olympic bars vs. olympic bars, specialty bars vs. specialty bars, etc.), and with this in mind, Nike doesn't seem to be making equipment to dethrone what is considered the "best" in each category.
One more thing to note: the Nike Strength website is marketing their new release for home gyms. But it's good to remember that home gym owners vary widely, from recreational fitness and competitive athletes to high-end garage gyms.
Who Should Buy Nike Strength Equipment?
We've found that Nike Strength equipment is a solid option for general fitness enthusiasts as well as garage gyms interested in collecting equipment.
New Nike Strength Equipment Line
Below is a list of all current products available on NikeStrength.com at the time of this publication:
- Squat cage
- Squat rack
- Squat stand
- Flat bench
- Flat bench with wheels
- Dumbbell storage rack
- 20kg premium barbell
- 15kg premium barbell
- 20kg barbell
- 15kg barbell
- Rubber bumper plates (grind)
- Rubber bumper plates
- Change plates
- Dip attachment
- Spotter arms
Next we'll take a deeper look at Nike's Weight Plates, Barbells, and Dumbells.
Nike Coated Premium Barbell 20KG
- Iconic Nike orange paint (or Red Swoosh)
- Medium volcano knurl feels comfortable
- Ceramic coating doesn’t feel slippery even with chalk
- Able to spray and wipe down the bar with a towel to avoid scratching the paint
- 20 kg (typical of an olympic weight lifting bar vs. being an "all around" bar)
- No center knurling
- The shaft rotates while you squat which can be difficult to keep the bar in place
- Thin diameter can make squats uncomfortable
- The bearings on one side started to give out
- States it’s performance tested but doesn’t specify what tests were performed
- 5-year warranty (other premium brands offer lifetime warranty)
The premium barbell looks good, as it matches Nike's iconic orange used on their shoe boxes.
Unfortunately the bar we received came with a few blemishes pictured below.
In terms of function, the bar offers a decent whip with the deadlift; however, when using this bar for squats, at 225 lbs the bar started to roll quite a bit.
Our testing indicates that this is a sound bar for those lifting up to 405 lbs, but is not intended for intermediate-to-advanced strength athletes who exceed those limits. We noticed that the barbell end cap states that it is performance tested, but there is no documentation we could find that describes the tests. During our trials we also found that the bar feels better in the hands with chalk than without.
As per Nike's description of their new barbells found on their website, it indicates that it can be used for all lifts or many types of lifts; however, none of the four barbells they currently sell have center knurling. Center knurling on a barbell is crucial as it provides extra grip to prevent it from sliding or slipping up or down one's upper back while performing squats.
Price: Bar - $325 ; Shipping - $25 for flat rate shipping.
Premium Coating: It has a durable, ceramic-based coating that helps guard against corrosion and wear over time.
Colors: This bar is offered with 3 colors for the shafts, Black (“Just Do It”), Orange Swoosh, and Red Swoosh.
Versatile Design: Nike states the bar is an all-around barbell made for many types of lifting, and even though it’s an olympic lifting bar it can be used for squat, bench, and deadlift.
Medium Knurling: The medium volcano knurling helps to secure the grip on the bar and isn’t too aggressive or too passive. It also has the traditional olympic bar dual marks to guide for hand placement.
Smooth Rotation: The 8 needle bearings allow the sleeve to rotate effortlessly.
- Bar Use: All-Around
- Bar Weight 20Kg (44 lbs)
- Internal Components: 8 needle bearings
- Loadable Sleeve Length: 415 mm/16.3”
- Sleeve Diameter: 50 mm (2")
- Bar Length: 2200 mm (86.6'')
- Distance Between Sleeves: 1310 mm (51.6")
- Diameter: 28 mm
- Knurl: Medium volcano knurl with dual knurl marks
- Shaft Coating: Premium Ceramic-Based Coating
- Tensile Strength: 190,000 PSI
- Whip: Medium
- Limited lifetime warranty on welds
- Warranty is void if dropped from over 24” (this can be problematic if you fail at the bottom on a dumbbell bench press which we measured a typical drop height of around 34”.)
- Only the straight handle option is available from 70-100 lbs.
The sculpted edges design of the dumbbells is useful to keep dumbbells in place after dropping them.
Still, if you drop them above 24”, the warranty is voided. How the company might tell if the user dropped them from a particular height is questionable, but more so it's concerning since the measurement on a standard bench from the chest is 34” from the ground.
We weighed a pair of 55 lb dumbbells, and one weighed in at 55.6 lbs while the other weighed in at 56.5 lbs, which is a 3% error in weight.
Anti-Roll: It has a durable rubber hex construction that prevents rolling and reduces the damage to the floors.
Sculpted Edges: The dumbbells come with contoured edges that provide comfort while lifting.
Knurled Handle: The knurling provides the perfect blend of friction & control.
Ergonomic vs Straight Handle: The 5-65 lb dumbbell pairs come with a ergonomic handle while the 70 to 100lb dumbbells come with a straight knurled handle.
- Weight range: 5 to 100 lbs
- Weight Precision: +/- 3%
- Handle Diameter: 28mm to 37mm depending on size
- Handle Width: 128mm
- Handle Type: Ergonomic (5 through 65 lbs); Straight (70 through 100 lbs)
- Handle Material: Chrome-plated Steel
Nike Weight Plates
Nike Rubber Bumper Plates (Grind)
- They are aesthetically pleasing
- They do not make much noise when dropped
- 10 & 15 lb plates cannot be dropped alone
- Warranty varies
The bumper plates are aesthetically pleasing and made with Nike Grind rubber. Nike strength mentions the plates are drop tested 10,000 times, but 10,000 drops is easy to accumulate with consistent use.
Nike Claims Their Bumper Plates Will "Yellow Over Time"
A significant downside to the plate is that in small print on the paper that comes with it, it states that due to it being a natural product, it will yellow over time, and that is not mentioned on the website at all! We weighed the plates, and both of the 45s weighed 45.6 lbs, slightly outside of the 1% tolerance advertised.
- 6-month warranty on 10-15 lb plates
- 3-year warranty for plates above 15 lbs for home use
- 1-year warranty for commercial use
- Warranty is voided if the plates are dropped on anything besides wood or 12mm rubber surface
Material: The exterior layer is made with at least 99% Nike Grind rubber, which is a recycled material made from Nike’s manufacturing shoe rubber.
Versatile: The Bumper plates are perfect for use in a wide variety of weightlifting exercises including olympic weightlifting, powerlifting, bodybuilding, and general fitness.
Testing: The bumper plates have been drop tested 10,000 times for Nike's durability standards so plates can withstand repeated drops. Our calculations frame this as about 3 months of use.
- Fits All Standard 2" Barbells
- Thickness: 1.1" to 3.15" depending on weight
- Diameter: 450 mm
- Weight Precision: +/- 1%
- Bounce: Moderate, durometer of 65 +/-3
Manufacturing, Shipping & Warranty
Where is Nike Strength equipment manufactured?
The equipment is manufactured in China; however, Nike and their long-term partner Dimension 6 are based in Portland, Oregon.
Shipping and warranty policies
The dumbbells we received shipped individually instead of in pairs. The boxes were roughed up when they arrived, with the dumbbells moving freely inside the box. We liked that at the end of the barbell; they had a cap that protected it from damage in the shipping container.
Nike states that they offer a Limited Lifetime Warranty, “Nike Strength Equipment warrants that its strength equipment products will be free from defects in material and workmanship for the lifetime of the original purchaser, provided that the equipment is used under normal, indoor, and non-commercial conditions”.
Nike Customer Care Responsiveness
When we received the dumbbells, one dumbbell had a deep mark that looked very similar to a metal grinder tapping the handle. We sent an email with the photos to Nike customer care, and their team replied within 24 hours, offering two possible solutions: a discount credit or a replacement.
Included QR Codes
The included documents contain a QR code stating, “Access Instructional Guides at NikeStrength.com”. Unfortunately, the QR code leads to the main website without any instructional guides. We're looking forward to the updates here and will update our review when this changes.
Full Review Coming
We decided to offer our initial review on Nike Strength products to educate those looking for any helpful details before buying into this new release. Our review process is to fully vet all equipment that makes its way into our training facility, so stay on the lookout for an in-depth review of the new Nike Strength equipment line.