Gift CardsContact UsOrder Status
Live Chat
News & Press

Rocking Chair Check

The most important thing for our team is to know our history. Where did we come from, what was our mission, and are we holding fast to the same?

The idea to start Rogue began as I was buying equipment for my own garage gym back in 2006. At the time, I was purchasing bumpers from Alf the “Rubberman,” barbells from York (via e-mail), a squat stand and kettlebells via eBay, etc. The lead time and costs were very high. From this frustration came the simple concept: What if we created a store that was a one-stop shop for everything strength and conditioning equipment?

Bring in, launched later that same year. The original site was drop-ship only with vendors from Pendlay bars to Dynamax balls all shipping from somewhere in the U.S.

In 2007, I decided to leave my job at GM and open a CrossFit affiliate in Columbus. Shortly thereafter we began “warehousing” jump ropes and DoWin shoes. Things snowballed from there as the founding team began forming. Two of our founders, Caity Matter Henniger and Matt Behnke, are still at Rogue. Kris Warner, Ian Maclean, and Alana Twelmeyer have all moved to new ventures, all of which are very successful. This was our team, and it was during these years that we clearly understood investing in people and equipment was the way forward. We worked every hour of every day.

In 2009, we set out to fulfill orders in 24 hours from time of order; same day if purchased by 3PM. This was at a time when most companies were still taking 4-6 weeks. We also set out to price at a fair level; this is what drove vertical integration into manufacturing.

The goal was simple: make Rogue equipment feel like your grandfather’s tools rather than the modern-day Sears tools with all the value stripped out. Over-engineer and over-deliver on value.

By 2009 we were welding all Rogue equipment in-house, and by 2012 we were doing all laser cutting and CNC work. In 2017, we moved into our current campus with over 600,000 square feet of industrial space, where we now have 200,000 LBS of steel entering our doors every day and heading back out in boxes to customers around the globe.

Our current footprint in downtown Columbus is close to 100 acres, and we’re continuing to invest in our people, campus, and equipment.

Why is this important?

Rogue is still 100% family and Veteran owned. We have not taken one penny since our inception and not a single share of ownership has changed. No board meetings or capital calls, just straight work. The team we have now have 10+ years of service and form the second round of founders. There is a reason we don’t talk about individuals at Rogue; it is about the team, not the person. If done properly our work and success will be shared by all. This is our legacy and our role is to continue stacking good bricks.

It is common to hear Rogue referred to as “the big guy,” and yes, we have grown. But we have not forgotten who helped us build that dream. Our customers believed in us early on and we honor that commitment.

We have created partnerships with many innovators, from Westside Barbell, Nebula, and Reflex to Ghost, Kabuki, Mutant, Thompson, OSO, Pritchett, and many more. The best race car is always built with many different brands.

There is more competition now; the good news is that this only makes us better and pushes our team to raise the bar. Best in class is the rule.

The path forward is building a network of creators, builders, and innovators. The Rogue community should and will share in the success of the sum of all. Soon we will have the ability for the global creation of training programs via our Iron Game Programming. With this tool we can offer customers a constantly expanding library of unique eBooks, programs, subscription services, and more.

In 2010 I wrote a newsletter about the Rocking Chair test. In short, when we are all old and sitting on the front porch in our rocking chairs, we will look back and won’t regret anything. Our mission remains unchanged and we have not wavered from it. This is our true north. We will continue to build factories, make jobs, and add value to the communities within our ripple effect.

In 2023, Rogue will launch a bicycle that is built in Milo-Grogan, Ohio. The frame will be US steel, laser cut and welded by Rogue.

The Rogue Barbell lineup will get a complete overhaul. We have read every review, every message board, every email and we won’t stop until we are designing and building the best in class. The New Hybrid Bar has some really cool updates: Rogue Hybrid Power Bar

We will also expand our global footprint; much of that expansion was put on hold during the pandemic but we are looking for partners in every region.

In short, we are on it. There is no time for rest, just work.

Thank you all for making it possible to reflect on 17 years of business.

Bill Henniger
Proud Owner