ORIGINAL DRAWINGS FROM 2021
The original Landmine U 'ThunderKap' prototype was developed on November 11th, 2021 by using a handgrip from Torque Tank to fit on the end of the barbell. It was confirmed by my buddy Dan Palacios who has been a huge help with The Breath Belt since early 2019.
I first experienced the Landmine concept around 2014. I even took a few certifications but ever felt it was taught properly for me to recommend to the athletes I was coaching. I had worked with thousands of kicking & punting athletes by that time who were serious about playing at the next leveI.
Flash forward to early 2020. I became aware of Alex Kanellis and his story when he was working with one of my inventor mentors', David Weck at Weck Method. I was intrigued when I found out Alex was a Defensive End at Iowa in college. I played at a high level myself, but since high school I always had an idea about how badass the mythical defense linemen were at Iowa - they have been known for absurdly low scoring games and for decades had some of the best defenses in the country. Alex was already working on his system by the time we had our first conversation. I quickly learned about his extensive athletic feets and storied coaching career with Regina HS (Iowa) working with football and wrestling teams. In Spring 2020, he started working at BB HQ with Junior Leoso, owner of Pacific Beach Training who has played an integral role helping me get The Breath Belt where it is today.
Each month I would fly to HQ to work on The Breath Belt, I'd watch Alex in action and started asking more questions, experimenting with his system. It was infectious to watch him inspire and enlift clients of all ages, which leveled up the personal training at the gym! It was clear DAY ONE that he had identified a handful of missing integral education pieces compared to the way it was traditionally taught. Both males & females of all ages were truly infected by the EARLY SUCCESS of landmine training. As someone that cares deeply about high performance development training, I was hooked on the mission to have Landmine as a better (and safer) longterm option than Olympic Lifting for HS and NCAA in youth sports development. It was impossible not to get on the LU train and I'm routing for him daily!
The nail in the coffin was when I saw Alex saw him teach a 15 yr old male the basics in minutes. In turn, the kid was able to teach ANOTHER KID another 14 yr old in MINUTES with better built in Injury Prevention cues than any previous coach had ever used.
My first and only invention to this point was The Breath Belt. To get the product out there , I had made it my job the last few years to see as many high level respected coaches and weightrooms across the USA. The idea was to find the best way to integrate the BB into college performance training just like another product (TRX) i was attempting to trail. I became obsessed with how the BB could be an effective tool in the weightroom, and was fortunate to spend time with great coaches and observe multiple male and female teams at different universities at all levels. It was clear that the Landmine was being used by more coaches, but having spent the time with Alex it was IMPOSSIBLE to see how coaching points could be improved with his simple and direct system where the basics can be integrated in minutes.
As I began to experiment with different Landmine lifts especially with bands (which make you feel like SUPERMAN btw), I noticed the sweaty arm/hand factor was becoming an issue with longer explosive workouts. I was already thinking about potential ways to minimize any opportunity for injury for male and female clientele. For me, chalk became an option but it was clear that with longer workouts i had to chalk up to wrists between each set - not just for me, but for the next person behind me so they wouldnt have an issue. Wrist wraps were an option, but the sweat factor still came up.
From talking to male and female athletes at colleges I have access to IG about the Landmine, they would tell me that low backs and shoulders were the two most common complaints to coaches. I already had a solution for the Abdominals/Hip Extension under load (BB), but it was clear that some type of grip for the end would solve a LOT of problems automatically for both coach and client. And after learning the FULL day schedule of the college perfomance coach, I knew that cleaning chalk off the bar at the end of the day is the LAST thing they need to be doing after how much they already do for the athletes.
The biggest problem I have found after 3 months of searching - is that there are LITERALLY NO PRODUCTS WITH A 2" DIAMETER GRIP IN HEALTH AND FITNESS !! In fact, after raking countless industry products for products to repurpose, I could not find anything and was determined not to give up. I had thought of the Torque Tank handles before but it never occured to me it would work. I bought a Torque Tank for HQ earlier in the year and finally made the measurement. It took a day to make the effort to go to a store and get the spinny thing that unscrews the top so you can take it off. The rest is happening in real time!
Typically, one mold for a hand grip is in the 5K-7K range. If you use 2 colors you need 2 MOLDS. The USA manufacturer I am using is making 2 molds for a product that is over twice the size of their normal molds, and so the prices are astromical starting from scratch. I am hoping to get help from early adoptors to get close to breaking even because i believe in Alex, and I believe how the product will not grow for next ten years. I have to price it a bit higher for Version 1.0 to bring it to reality. Longterm - i want to have a badass product below $50 when demand grows.