Tsunami Bar, LLC, a South Carolina partnership formed in Oct 2011 between strength coach David Abernethy and former Navy Captain Gordon Brown, has won a U.S. patent for their signature product, Tsunami Bar® – a line of flexible barbells that use pultruded fiberglass to simultaneously flex and oscillate. Introduced to the market in 2012, Tsunami Bar won the Best of Show Product Award at ACMA’s COMPOSITES conference (now CAMX) in 2013.

The goal of the barbells, according to the company, is to help athletes maximize their “Explosive Strength,” something Tsunami Bar says is “an elusive goal for strength coaches and equipment manufacturers.”

The barbells feature a fat, 2-inch round surface with a choice of fiberglass pultruded shapes, round or rectangular, inside each of the round barbells. According to Brown, most of the barbells feature the use of more than one pultruded shape. These pultruded shapes move inside extruded thermoplastic tubes, which allow them to bend in any direction. As an athlete’s arms move, the bar oscillates back and forth or up and down. And as the ends of the bar move, the weights at each end gain speed, requiring the athlete to exert greater force during the lift to reverse the direction of the barbell.

“This technology is a game changer,” Brown says.

Brown notes that the ability of a pultruded shape to store potential energy when bent and to release it in a predictable and consistent manner is what separates the Tsunami Bar from other similar products. He adds that the fact that the barbell bends when it is in use allows users to train for enhanced strength and speed of muscle contraction during the same lifting movement, which he says is not possible using a traditional steel barbell.

“This is an example of where the use of a composite product delivers more to the user than is possible using a traditional material such as steel,” Brown says.

For more information on how the Tsunami Bar works, check out the video below: