A big thanks to all of our backers for making this project possible! If you missed our campaign, find us at EvoGrips.com
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We all know that we should exercise to stay fit...
What some may not know is the importance of incorporating resistance training (weights, bands, etc.) into their exercise routine. Some form of resistance training should be the cornerstone of any good fitness program. Whether it's losing weight, adding muscle, sports training, or just staying fit, resistance training is the most effective route one can take.
The issue at hand (pun intended)
Unfortunately, the gripping surfaces of most fitness equipment and weight training accessories are typically cylindrical metal bars or ropes, which are not optimized with regards to the mechanics of the human hand and wrist. These poor ergonomics inhibit full muscle activation and can potentially lead to a myriad of problems.
How EvoGrips work
EvoGrips solve these common problems by ultimately altering the position of the user's hand in a way that distributes force to the natural shape of the human grip. This simple alteration allows the user to utilize their natural gripping power during the execution of an exercise. The improved grip shape and position promotes an increase in arm muscle activation while decreasing user discomfort.
EvoGrips are designed to be attached to fitness equipment quickly and easily via the elongation of the material. Our Patent Pending design helps to prevent any shifting or slippage between the separating faces of the grip during use and also allows for use on a wide variety of bar/rope thicknesses.
Design and Prototyping
When I was just starting to get serious about fitness, I noticed that when I did certain exercises I would experience pain in my forearms and elbows. I later found this was a common problem for many people who train. Through education and experimentation I came to realize that this was most commonly due to improper grip position resulting from poor ergonomics. I began experimenting with different grip shapes, materials, and methods of attachment.
- Experimentation: The first ever EvoGrips I made for myself. These were simply drilled out rubber balls that were permanently attached to a barbell. They wouldn't have been practical for the typical user. The process was important as it helped us to decide what properties the next iterations should and shouldn't have
- Improvement: For the next generation prototypes we made a mold with silicone rubber and then cast the grips in polyurethane resin (A learning experience to say the least). These cast prototypes had a simple radius cut that allowed for easier attachment and removal. For us, the design was still lacking though. (We later discovered that similar products use this same basic method.) The separating faces of the grip had no interaction. This meant that this design had the potential to shift or slip, which was not an option for us.
- Innovation (Current Prototype): To fix this, we came up with the idea of adding C-shaped teeth to the separating grip faces. These interlocking teeth helped to prevent shifting during exercise and also allowed for use on a broader range of bar and rope sizes. We then added a double-helix surface pattern for an even better grip. We had our new design 3D printed and used the same techniques from the previous prototype to mold and cast the grip in polyurethane.
- Evolution (EvoGrips Final Design): After handling and using the prototypes for a while some final refinements were made. We decided that one larger C-Tooth would work better than a number of smaller ones. The double-helix surface pattern was swapped for a design that was more appealing. See Final Design Video below.
Our final design needed to be:
- Easy to use. Attaches/Detaches in seconds.
- Safe. Our Patent Pending design helps to prevent slipping.
- Versatile. Interlocking “C-Tooth” allows for use on a wider variety of equipment.
- Comfortable. Perfect size and density.
- Durable. Made of a non-toxic, eco-friendly, highly resilient material.
We have built and tested many prototypes and are extremely impressed with the results of EvoGrips. We are now ready to put them into production but we need your help as backers to make it happen! Funds raised will go towards making an injection mold and putting in a high quantity order to keep costs manageable.
Vote for your favorite color!
We wanted to give our backers the opportunity to help choose what final color EvoGrips will be made in. That's right, you get a say in the final color call! Black, Green, Red, or Blue. All backers get one vote and the color voted highest will be put into production.
Voting will be part of the backer survey at the end of the campaign. You will receive an email notification requesting information. Votes will be counted and posted one week after the end of the campaign during the time the injection mold is being made. (So don't wait too long to put your vote in!) Production will follow immediately after samples are approved!
How EvoGrips are made
EvoGrips are to be made from a special thermoplastic elastomer. This material has a high elasticity, is incredibly durable, non-toxic, and eco-friendly because it is potentially recyclable! The manufacturing process involved consumes considerably less energy than other common methods and as a result is more economically and ecologically sound. EvoGrips will wipe clean and are more resilient than similar products made from silicone based materials.
Our design has already been approved by our manufacturing partners. As soon as we put down a deposit, they can begin! Project Phases will begin after funding is received and are as follows:
- Tooling (1 Week). This should be completed relatively quickly but we have allocated a week here so that backers will have a chance to get their color votes in before samples are made.
- Sample Approval (1 Week). After the color is finalized our manufacturer will send some samples. We will inspect and test them before approving production.
- Production (2-4 Weeks). Production capacity is limited by our mold size. We're planning on a 2-cavity mold which our manufacturer tells us can produce up to 500 units a day if needed. If we totally blow our goal out of the water we can simply increase the mold size.
- Shipping and Reward Fulfillment (4-6 Weeks). This will be the most time consuming phase of the project. Finished grips are shipped to us and we ship them to you! Fulfillment time will vary, depending heavily on how many pledges we receive. Rewards will be shipped via USPS. Shipments will go out in order of backer survey completion, so make sure you complete yours at the end of the campaign!
- Updates. If anything does change during the course of the campaign or fulfillment process we will post a public update.
Risks and challenges
There is some risk with any new project but we are confident that we can deliver EvoGrips without any hiccups. Our design has been finalized, submitted and approved. We are ready to begin the process of creating a injection mold as soon as the funds are received. Reward fulfillment requirements and challenges have been considered and planned for. We have partnered with an excellent shipping solutions company that will help us to get your EvoGrips to you in a fast and efficient manner.
We hope you enjoy our project!
- Ramon & MarkLearn about accountability on Kickstarter
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