Frequently Asked Questions
Q Does Atomic Athletic ship outside the United States? A
Q: Does Atomic Athletic ship outside the United States?
A: Yes. As an example, we can ship 3 DVDs like: Tendon & Ligament Strength Training, the National Basque Festival and Classic Core Training to Great Britain for only $15 USD.
LARGE ORDERS: We have also shipped large orders to international destinations. One of the most interesting was a load of our Granite Balls to New Zealand, for one of the professional rugby teams. We look forward to challenges, but please only contact us if you are serious. Small orders may be able to ship via the US Postal Service. Just plug in your quote like any US customer.
Q: Does Atomic Athletic ship to APO and FPO addresses?
A: Yes. However, there are different requirements and restrictions from standard shipping within the US. Please call one of our Customer Service Representatives between the hours of 9:30 – 4:30 EST (Eastern Standard Time).
Q Do you have Tai Chi Balls that are uncoated or with a natural wax? A
Natural Bee's Wax Finish on Tai Chi Balls
Wax on Wax off
This article is really about wax. Seriously, it is not about karate or iconic movies of the 1980s. We have had a ton of questions about wax and polyurethane lately.
The subject is a real issue for the tai chi world. As it turns out, it is also a serious subject for the environmentally conscious individual. One subject where these two types of people converge is wax, which makes a lot of sense. You see, many of the tai chi ball trainees want to make sure they can feel the chi energy of the wood in the tai chi ball they are using. Well, man made, typically petroleum based, waxes block the chi energy from the wood, for those who are sensitive to it. Sure, it gradually wears off and apparently works better and better. Unfortunately, as the wax wears off, so does the reason for putting the wax on in the first place, preservation of the wood.
Enter the crunchy, hippy anti-toxin, pro-environment people. While paste wax has been used for a very long time to preserve fine furniture, why not go with something that is anti-microbial, natural and renewable? Sounds good to me. After all, if the wax is wearing off, then where is it going? If it was on a Tai Chi Ball, odds are it came off on your hands...
I will not send a real wood product out of Atomic Athletic without some kind of finish on it. When it gets covered in your hard earned sweat, the salts and acids in your sweat are going to start tearing down that wood. The wood simply needs protection.
Here is the perfect solution: a 100% Natural Bees Wax Mineral Oil Combination from right here in Northwest Ohio. Our source is a Sustainable, Non-Conventional Farming CSA that is also chemical free.
Best of all, it really, really works! It's great stuff. The wood sucks it right in. In fact, we put on a few coats and the process uses heat and hand polishing. There's nothing more natural.
Right now, we are only using this finish on Tai Chi Balls. Please note that we have 3 different finishes, which are noted in the each Product Description.
Q How quickly do you get your orders out? A
OK, so you are on a deadline. Let's say you forgot your wife's birthday and this shipment is URGENT. Your order must be placed before 11 AM Eastern Time, to catch that day's Postal Pick-Up and maybe the UPS pick-up for that day. We also have to know that you placed the order. We also need time to process and pack it. Please call us at (419)352-5100. We may have just finished processing the orders for the day. Please remember that there are real human beings on this end. Generally, we get orders out to the warehouse for shipping the NEXT morning after they are placed. If we have the item in stock and ready to ship and we are NOT on a delivery that day, then we ship the oldest order first. Additionally, UPS and the Postal Service do minimal work on the weekends. Remember, we are a small family business that deals in SPECIALTY Items and entire commercial GYM packages. Many of those items need special packaging, require unusual handling or may even have our staff delivering and installing. If your order is heavy, defined by UPS as over 70 Pounds, then it gets more complicated. Please call (419)352-5100 if you have to get that birthday present out by a specific date and time. Everyone is going to be unhappy if you place that order at the end of the day on Friday, California time and expect it to arrive on Tues morning, simply because the Priority Mail ship time says 3 days. That is not 3 business days.
If your Order's Shipping Weight (fully packaged) is over 150 Pounds, the UPS guy cannot take it... (There may be some tricks to get around this issue, but we must TALK on the PHONE 419-352-5100). It then must be put on a pallet or even custom crated. That means it has to ship Common Carrier Freight. Yes, a giant SEMI Tractor Trailer with a pallet is in your future... and we MUST talk with you on the phone. That does NOT mean Texting, Twitter, Facebook, phone tag Voice Mail or e-mail, but Talking to a Real Human Being on the phone. BTW, it will NOT ship out the next day if it is a common carrier order. This is the number you will call: (419)352-5100. If this sounds like a pain in the butt, well, that's small potatoes compared to the problems that can arrise if we don't get all the details right ahead of time. I know that other companies will downplay common carrier shipping, saying "piece of cake, you'll get a call". Sometimes it does work out seamlessly, just like the smiling picture of the customer service rep on the web site. That's very reassuring, until there is a problem. At Atomic Athletic, we try to get your specific shipping details right ahead of time.
Example: If you want to have the first order going out on Monday morning, then get it placed Thursday afternoon or Friday morning, before anyone else gets their order in house. Then we can let the shipping service company do its job.
Thank you for your order.
"Today is a good day to lift."
Q What is reality for Postal and UPS Shipping Estimates? A
Great question. Both services have *** marks with exceptions lists a mile long, just for that question. I have never been able to get a straight answer from either one concerning the actual day of pick-up. Is that included in the shipping time? I have no idea. Sometimes it seems to and sometimes it doesn't. I do know that Winter 2014 had more snow storms that resulted in red flashing shipping delay notices than I have ever seen before. Will there be a delay somewhere between NW Ohio and Northern Maine? Hmmm. Please plan ahead.
The Shipping Estimates we have on the web site are also just for the actual shipping company travel times, not what it will take us to get it on to their truck. Atomic Athletic ships out orders in the order in which they arrive. That also applies to Backorders. For example: If you want the first order going out on Monday morning, then get it placed Thursday afternoon or Friday morning, before anyone else gets their order in house. Then we can let the shipping service company do its job. If you have a special deadline to meet, please call and talk to Customer Service (419)352-5100. We will try to get the aireal drones packed up and flying your way as soon as possible.
All the best,
"Today is a good day to lift."
Q Why don't I see Next Day Shipping? A
Atomic Athletic does NOT give other options for shipping because, in the past, we have had very bad luck with them. For example, many faster shipping options have very strict call in limits, weight limits and size limits. With modern on-line update processes (UPS does an update several times per week) we have been tripped up by these changes, for which we are not given any notice ahead of time. As a small family business, that is simply not right for us or for you the customer. If you have a special issue or time limit, make sure to call us at (419)352-5100 and we will do our best to accomodate your needs. However, you must speak to a real human, on the telephone, in order to see if it is possible and what the price will be.
Thank you for working with us.
All the best,
"Today is a good day to lift."
Q What does "Commercial Grade" and "Heavy Duty" mean concerning equipment quality? A
Crushed That Bench
True story. This goes in the category of “Near Catastrophe”.
I have a customer named Jeff*, who is a really good Master's age bench presser. Just to give you an idea of the level he is at, he regularly uses the 150 Pound Pro-Style Dumbbells he bought from me for his bench presses. He is all natural and doesn't use bench shirts, but also doesn't compete. He is a regular garage gym guy.
Jeff was bench pressing and destroyed the bench he was using. The steel bent right up underneath him. This story is about learning the hard way about getting the right tool for the job. He is a smart guy, but was given bad intel when researching.
Let's do some basic math. Jeff weighs about 230 pounds. He does 150 Pound Dumbbell Benches for reps. That means his bench must be able to hold 230 + 150 + 150, which equals 530 pounds of static weight. (Sure, he moves when he benches, but that is not how these things are measured.) When I worked at York Barbell, during the mid-90s, our main competitor sold a dumbbell bench in the “Heavy Duty Home Gym” category with a weight limit of 250 Pounds. Back to our calculators.
530 Pounds – 250 Pounds = 280 Pounds OVER LIMIT
That is 280 pounds OVER the weight limit of the bench.
To this bench's credit, and Jeff's credit, he was actually using a barbell in a safety rack with “about” 500 pounds on the bar, for some lock-out work (a lot of weight, but lock-outs are "easier" than full range of motion bench presses) . Jeff wasn't hurt, but the bench is toast.
I'm not going to tell you the brand, but it is not a bench that I sell. In fact, I don't think it is sold by anyone today, as Jeff bought it used off Craig's List. As I mention in the Garage Gym Guide, used equipment CAN be great, but you MUST get accurate intel. Jeff was told by the seller that this was a commercial grade piece. It did have a large tubing size, 2”x3” for most parts. Jeff had no reason to suspect a problem, but the seller probably wasn't lying.
Big Tough Firemen & Bench Press Weight Limits
In fact, the seller may have been telling the truth. Many manufacturers have a “Vertical Market” sales category, aimed at hotels, high schools, police and fire departments. It is based on volume of usage, not the max weight limit or type of use. That bench may have had legit commercial clients. Some fitness equipment dealers push Vertical Market equipment as “Commercial Grade”, because it is cheaper. To some extent the almighty Dollar is king.
The internet has made it harder than ever to know what you are getting. I searched 3 major manufacturers of benches and couldn't find a weight limit on any free weight benches. In fact, I couldn't find anything even indicating a steel gauge. One of the manufacturers, of a brand I do sell, specs out, “Commercial 2"x3" heavy gauge steel mainframe”. It even has a Lifetime Warranty to the original seller. That is typical today. Yet, for a guy like Jeff, I wouldn't recommend that bench, because I can see some signs for potential problems, given the weights he uses and his love of dumbbells.
Dumbbell benches have a lot of moving parts. Dumbbells put a lot of lateral strain on a bench. Most importantly, the most common source of problems in dumbbell benches is the dumbbells themselves. How many times have you seen someone drop their dumbbells on the rubber mat under the bench? Frequently, the dumbbells bounce up and then hit the bench, breaking the plywood in the pad, or dinging the steel supports. On a light gauge piece of steel, an innocent “ding” can be a serious weak spot.
While Jeff is a good detail oriented lifter that takes care of his equipment, there is no way of knowing what may have happened to the bench before he bought it.
Now Jeff is without the bench and the money. He also has to buy a new bench. Fortunately, he was NOT hurt. The moral of this story is not that you have to spend a ton of money on equipment. You just need to buy the right piece for the job, from someone who really knows the equipment and how you will be using it.
*I would like to thank Jeff for telling me his story and pushing me to write about his experience. Jeff, you know who you are.
All the best,
“Today is a good day to lift.”