Coach Chris Sommer, of "Building An Olympic Body Through Bodyweight Conditioning" article and Gymnasticsbodies.com has come out with his version of gymnastics rings for strength and conditioning.
His own blurb about the rings (in comparison to ringtraining.com's Elite rings):
The primary differences between the Xtreme and elite, in no particular order, are:
1) The Xtreme Rings have a heavier texture that matches that of the competitive rings that my athletes compete on. This is not an inherent design flaw of the elite rings. It is a little bit like which is better; chocolate or strawberry? In actuality neither; my personal preference is simply for the heavier texture in the training of my athletes and clients. Your personal preference may vary.
2) The Xtreme Rings have no slots on the sides of the rings, nor will they in the future. This is not a design element that I find useful. Competitive gymnasts tape their rings to stabilize them for swinging skills, not for strength work. There is no need to stabilize them for strength work. My athletes have always conditioned on rings that move freely. Not having slots on the Xtreme Rings also greatly accelerates the speed with which Gymnastic Bodies attachments can be both placed on and removed from the straps. More on the Gymnastic Bodies attachments later this year.
3) The Xtreme Rings are a solid single piece manufacture, not two halves glued together.
4) The strapping is extra long (18') to accomodate handstand work.
5) There are velcro stays provided to control unused length of strapping.
In conclusion, you don't need the Xtreme Rings and only the Xtreme Rings to enjoy the benefits of the Gymnastic Bodies program; the elite rings are more than adequate for general fitness training. The Xtreme Rings are simply more convenient for some aspects of the Gymnastic Bodies training and follow the personal preferences I have developed after thirty years of training high-level athletes. The most important point is that you have rings of some sort to train on.
Yours in Fitness,
I recently purchased a pair of these rings. I have wanted a pair for a while, and Coach Sommer is currently running an introductory special on them, so I ponied up the money and ordered them through Ebay using PayPal.
Shipping: Reasonably priced at ~$9 for US Postal Delivery via Priority Mail. They were mailed on Wednesday, and at my door on Friday. I ordered on Monday, and Coach Sommer emailed me saying he was out of town, and would ship them first thing when he returned on Wednesday. The heads-up note was very courteous and professional.
1. The rings are one piece of solid textured plastic. I looked closely and there were no sprue or oversplash from the molding process. Having worked extensively with plastics previously, I was pretty impressed. The rings are a finished product, professionally made, and sturdy.
2. The straps are thick and approximately 1" wide and 18' long. The buckles are easy to use, making adjustments ridiculously easy.
3. The velcro pieces are a nice touch to keep the excess strap out of the way.
Coach Sommer wrote a bit about the Xtreme Ring's capacities:
You will have to be doing weighted dips with over 2000lbs to exceed the strength of the Xtreme Rings as the rings, straps and cam buckles are rated at over 1,100lbs each. If you do manage it though, please post a video. Just kidding about the video, but seriously the rings are more than strong enough for any and all gymnastics conditioning work that you could ever manage to undertake. Remember though, that they are designed for conditioning work, not for swinging work.
I am very pleased with purchase. So far I've done push ups, body rows, pull ups, L-sit, and low ROM dips on them, and they've been very solid and a pleasure to work with.
EDIT: People have been asking me how to order these from Coach Sommer. Right now his website's store does not work, and he has his rings on Ebay as a "buy now" product.
The relevant links are below. Me providing these links is a reflection of me trying to be helpful, and also a vague endorsement of my approval, it does not reflect an overall approval by everyone else associated with Beyond Strong.