No Conformity Co, or NoCo for short, was created with the mission of developing weightlifting and strength training gear. In addition to addressing long-standing issues with current products on the market, NoCo seeks to elevate the quality, fit, and style of strength gear to levels normally reserved for premium sneakers and activewear. What started as an endeavor to expand the utility of a celebrated piece of equipment has grown into a multifaceted collaboration with Trig, resulting in a full line of category-defying weightlifting products.
NoCo partnered with Trig for guidance in designing weightlifting gear to match their premium fitness brand—one that didn't “follow the rules” like others in the fitness/strength equipment market. Despite weightlifting remaining an ever-popular activity, and new fitness trends like Crossfit expanding the market for quality peripheral products, lifting gear has remained largely unchanged for decades. Common products in the industry are devoid of innovation and excitement with products that are ugly, heavy, bulky and bland. From the entrepreneurial mind of our client came the radical notion that the workout experience could be dramatically improved not only for himself but for the entire fitness community by rethinking the design of the equipment so vital for proper weight training.
First came the idea that the humble and celebrated bicep isolation brace, originally called an Arm Blaster, only used for curling weights in a standing position, could offer a richer workout by facilitating additional curling positions. Through our iterative design process we were able to develop a product that could efficiently transition and improve technique between multiple exercises. Shortly after came the challenge to take the four most common pieces of protective lifting gear—the lifting belt, the wrist wrap, the grip strap and the knee sleeve—and optimize the design of each for a workout experience like no other.
Crafting a device that supports the arm comfortably in 3 distinct positions is a feat of ergonomics, and not something solved on paper. Through a lengthy series of functional prototypes, the architecture of the ArmTrainer evolved from a cumbersome mechanical contraption with many moving parts to a simple, 3-part system with intelligently sculpted touchpoints. The client was involved in decision making at every stage. Being a weightlifting enthusiast, he was the perfect candidate to collaborate and vet concepts from the user's standpoint, dropping by weekly to put the latest prototype through its paces and inform the needed refinements.
Similar to the ArmTrainer development Trig engaged in prior, evolving the state of weightlifting accessories didn't start with pen and paper. Trig procured, tested, and dissected dozens of class-leading products. Trig combined this exploration with the client's aspirational objectives to begin crafting the ultimate lifting belt, wrist wrap, grip strap, and knee sleeve. Each of the 4 elements were concepted, prototyped, refined, prototyped again, and destroyed until we arrived at a solution we felt stood head and shoulders above everything else in the category. No element was a mere styling exercise or afterthought. From the complex lifting belt to the humble grip strap, details as minute as stitching were relentlessly challenged and perfected.
Intermittent challenges during this project called for a consistent collaboration between Trig and NoCo. As we continually tested prototypes, we would find areas for refinement in order to create the most robust and effective products possible. The Arm Trainer and lifting gear line’s main goal is to improve technique and performance, making it crucial that during every step of our process we evaluated for ergonomics and function. Early designs that included heavier fasteners and cumbersome mechanics were slimmed and trimmed wherever possible. Trig also worked alongside a fitness expert, continually providing new design prototypes for testing, helping to pinpoint features requiring improvement, adjustment, or elimination.
While our work with NoCo culminated in one cohesive family of products, it actually consisted of multiple project paths for each piece of equipment. These individual products each required their own set of nuanced refinements to make sure they held up to the abuse required of them while maintaining the style and language of the brand itself.
Over the last 6 years, Trig helped me successfully bring my product vision to reality on a variety of development projects. At all times, I found the Trig team to be professional, responsive, constantly improving and always willing to take on new challenges. The Trig team doesn’t shy away from challenging projects but takes them on with confidence. I’ve had several instances where I’ve hit hurdles during the development process but was always able to benefit from the team’s outside-the-box perspective and creative solutions to overcome those hurdles.
The NoCo brand boldly defies the competition with a product line that goes outside the perceived boundaries of what weightlifting products should be. Trig and NoCo's founder actively collaborated to develop products that are innovative and versatile, reduced in weight and bulk and multi-functional—eliminating the need for equipment for each and every exercise and minimizing the gear in a typical gym bag. The product line’s functional improvement is additionally enhanced by the brand’s aesthetic and the application of thoughtful visual design details and graphics that further solidify NoCo’s bold stance in the workout room.