Sunday, September 30, 2012

Review > Atomik > Bombs


Ahahaha; Kenny the owner of Atomik has just made our life easier!! This week we're looking at the Atomik Bombs, something that we've had for a while and we've been using as part of our training program... a bomb! Actually... these:

These are the BOMBS, and they come in two sizes; we gave one pair (the smaller ones (which are still large) to our review at large Mr David Bursey the head setter for Vertial in Ontario (see his comments below on those), the larger set that are attached to the Boulder Board that we use as our training station at CHR HQ.
They attach nicely to the top of our board and before we raised the board up to be closer to the ceiling (read about that in our upcoming review of the board) they were easily reachable; now we have them a little lower on slings so we can reach them and we put them up as we want.

So what are the Bombs? The Bombs if Kennys video (below) doesn't explain them too well (see why our life is easier?) are balls that you can hang from to do pull ups; you're thinking I've got a pull up bar I don't need a set of bombs. Well you'd be wrong on a number of fronts! Pull up bars don't allow you to rotate your shoulder like the bombs do (yes we know our photo of our bombs has them set in a way that doesn't allow them to swing freely)... and when using these it does allow you to pull up symmetrically and in a more natural way and with less force on the shoulder... lets let Kenny talk through them quickly:

Atomik Climbing Holds Bombs. They hang, they rotate, you pull. from Kenny matys on Vimeo.

We also love the information on these holds (well training devices really) that comes from the Atomik website:
Pressed for time to get to the gym? Tired of fatiguing on your latest project or do you simply want your shoulders to stop aching? Well allow us to introduce the Atomik Bombs. There's a lot to be said about large muscle group and core strength training and this is what we have to throw at that challenge. The spherical/sloper shape of the Bomb makes these perfect to give you a forearm burning workout. What you can expect to do on the Bombs are lock offs, typewriter, pull ups, dead hang and most importantly the ever so important core strength workouts you need to have to climb efficiently on steep walls. 

There are not many training aids on the market that allow you to train "around" a hand injury, but the Bombs do. With their open hand concept design, all of your hand tendons lay ergonomically around the ball allowing you to continue to stay on top of your core and upper body strength; injured or not. Never surrender! Since you can rotate the Bombs while on them, you can switch from pull up, to chin, to biceps pull up all in one set.

The diameter of each Large Bomb is 3.5 inches in diameter which is about the size of a regulation softball. The diameter of each Extra Large Bomb is 4.5 inches in diameter which is the size of a really big grapefruit or the mid section of a football.

The eye bolt measures 5/16" and will accommodate a climbing rated carabiner, quick link, 6mm static cord and/or chain. Chain works the best to extend the Bombs to the exact height you want them to hang. Looped and sewn webbing is the second best option. Static cord is a cost effective alternative but it poses the challenge of getting the holds to hang even.  You can also use quick draws.

Common places to hang the bombs are from pull up bars, rafters, door ways and of course, everywhere you would think of putting up a hang board. They also are very cool to set boulder problems with!

Phew, that's a lot of information! One of the things they say is that they allow a climber to train around a finger injury... that is a big bloody claim but read Noodles comments and see what he has to say about that. What we've found is that they're way more comfortable than a pull up bar and in some cases where you're really working hard a nice change from hanging on a finger board. Now lets get this right first off, we love finger board training, but sometimes you need to mix it up before you get injured or worse than that bored. The Bombs have allowed us to go hangs and pull ups without knackering our fingers all of the time... we've always said "if you want to get strong without an injury climb on slopers inside" well that's what these allow you to do.

They're also multi purpose.... you can set routes with them, but as Kenny has made some videos lets let him talk for a little bit about training... (we think Kenny trains a lot, check out that pull up bar he has) assistance band chin ups on Bombs from Kenny matys on Vimeo.
Hell, lets roll with him doing some more workouts: chin ups on Atomik Bombs from Kenny matys on Vimeo.

Right enough of Kenny flogging himself to death...

When we had both sets of these on the CHR wall you know what we did we put them onto the ceiling and we part of a route with them!! Swinging madness did occur!!We've used them for training, we've used them playing around on routes and they are (HA) bomb proof :) They're well constructed, which isn't a surprise given the fact that all of their holds come with a guarantee that's second to none.

If you're looking to train then these are some pretty powerful tools to have in your arsenal... if you're setting something for a comp a couple of slings and you've got some fun routes for your competitors


If you're tired of hanging from a bar then these guys make pull ups a nice task again. If you have an injury then these guys allow you to train without stressing out your hands; of course if you have elbow problems then they won't really help because pull ups will just aggravate the problem.

Noodles had a hand injury when these arrived and he used them to train around his injury and he loves them... from just training to adding them to a roof will add some interesting moves that will catch some people off of guard .

Now if hanging on a big pair of balls (HA, sorry had to say it) isn't your thing then there are some other options. The Missiles shown on the right might be more your things; personally we like the radii of the different sized bombs for our workouts


  • Number of holds: 2
  • Type (Bolt / Screw Ons): These need to hang from quick links and some slings if you don't have a set up that allows just a quick link set up
  • Price per hold (set price divided by number of holds):
    • Large: $39.99 (sold as a set of two)
    • Extra Large:$69.99 (sold as a set of two)
  • Color: Ours are pink and yellow swirled
  • Bolt placement: Top, for sling / attachment for hanging
  • Sanding: None
  • Hollow backed: None
  • Soft back (Rubber backed): No
  • Texture: Grippy
  • Set size: Large and Extra Large
  • Versatility: Good
  • Pre-drilled screw holes: No
  • Shaper: TBC
  • Weight:
    • Large: TBC
    • Extra Large: TBC

What can you say? Look at your anchor placement on these guys; it's bombproof; 5/16" placements that take a carabiner; you can order silver or black for these placements and can order any colors you want.

The Bombs are made in two parts so they do have a small seam running around them, but as you're focused on just hanging on these guys most of the time you'd never notice it; we didn't because it's not that prominent.
On the texture front you have enough to hang from as you train without giving you a burning sensation and this allows for long sessions (not that they should be) on the Bombs. As usual Kenny had provided us with some great colors, the Large Bombs that Dave has are neon green and blue and ours are Neon yellow and pink and when you see them hanging in a gym you kind of just want to hang on them because they're different!

Atomik doesn't make cheap holds, they make solid holds and these are definitely that, these guys do weigh in pretty well but that's fine because you're probably only going to put them up once and then you'll just leave them to train upon



So a finger injury; yup it's part and parcel of climbing sometimes. I've had a niggle here and there and when the balls had arrived I was struggling to not climb and to keep away from trying to play on some plastic. The balls came at the right time they allowed me to rehabilitate myself back into the realm of the gym again; would I say that they're something that I want to keep in my arsenal of things that hang around my house for me to knock my head on? Yes of course, these Bombs helped me climb again.


Because of their radius it meant that I could hang without stressing my hands. They came at the right time for me that's for sure, I've not stopped using my hang boards (on the Blank Slate) I still use them and I train on them; I've just added these into my arsenal and glad that I have.

In the end, these are something that is better for pull ups than a bar, if you have a bar then I strongly suggest that you hang these from it and do your shoulders and fingers some good

David Bursey:
First time I saw training balls was in a Patxi Usobiaga training video, and it was basically two softballs
bolted with an eye bolt.

What Atomik did with these is great. Super easy to set up, given you have access to a strong anchor
point, and perfect size to give you one hell of a burn!

The website description says they’re perfect to train “around injuries” and I’ve found it to be true, and
others I’ve had hang on these with tweaked fingers have said the same. Since there’s not one specific
point where these rest, it’s really the whole hand/forearm, not the digits getting beaten up.

I think the only thing I’d change about these is the texture. Awesome to help you hang on, but after
longer sessions on these, I needed a day or two to grow skin back.

Bottom line, these are great to add on to your training system if you have the room to hang them, and
at 40 bucks, they’re worth it, if only for the hours of ball jokes they fuel.

Chris Simmons:
Chris is a reader of CHR and he's started a video series called "The Average Climber", although he's probably far from average his take on the Atomik line of bombs is a good one to have up here on this review

  • Easy to install
  • Great for not aggravating a finger injury
  • Added fun when put into a route on a roof
  • Not everyone likes doing pull ups :)

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