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Hammer Strength Standard: Charles Robinson's Obstacles Have Built A Warrior

There are notable athletes, some professional and some not, who excel in the face of adversity. They simply do things differently and aren’t satisfied with just being good enough. These standouts raise the bar and live their lives to a higher standard. Similarly, Hammer Strength isn’t content being ordinary. Our equipment is constructed to be better than the rest, and just like these athletes we’re highlighting, Hammer Strength is built to a higher standard. See all of the athletes we've featured who live life to a higher standard. 

Charles Robinson’s life has had more than its share of peaks and valleys. But a dedication to fitness got him through one of the darkest points in his life, and he’s now devoted to it.

After spending four years of active duty with the Marine Corps and one tour in Afghanistan, Robinson returned to Chicago to face an uncertain future.


“Believe it or not after I got back from the military I was homeless for almost two years,” said Robinson. “I slept outside, slept in parks, under park benches. It was more of a lack of preparation that put me in that spot. (Had I not) found fitness I don't know if I'd be here today. During the time of dealing with homelessness I had suicidal thoughts, I dealt with being alcoholic, being in and out of the hospital. So, fitness saved my life.”

Workout Warrior

It didn’t take long for Robinson to fully embrace fitness. He started Traps House Fitness, his own personal training business, and in 2016 competed in American Ninja Warrior. He made it to the third obstacle, the fly wheels, on ANW and finished in the middle of the pack among nearly 100 competitors. In 2017, he competed on Ultimate Beastmaster, a Netflix series hosted by Sylvester Stallone. His youthful activity prepared Robinson well for the acrobatics and strength required by both.

“I think what drove me to fitness in the first place as a child I was never allowed to play too many sports,” he explained. “It was either they always told me I was too small or we just couldn't afford it. So, I used to always run and jump over everything, turn back flips, etc.”

Rugby Competition

Robinson wasn’t content with just the American Ninja Warrior work. Robinson’s close friend, Carlin Isles, plays for U.S.A. Rugby, and so, looking for yet another challenge, Robinson began playing rugby with the Chicago Lions. He now has his sights set on training to be a part of the 2020 Olympic rugby team.

Until you've actually had to deal with adversity and had your back against that wall, you really don't know who you are or what you're made of.

Battling Adversity

Getting to where he is now hasn’t been easy for Robinson. He had a hardscrabble upbringing in Maywood (Ill.), a tough suburb just west of Chicago.

“I knew I didn't want to turn out like some of my family members did,” he said. “Where they'd be selling drugs, being in jail, dealing with alcoholism.”

Hard work and a never-say-die attitude have served Robinson well, and helped him achieve all that he has in just 29 years of life.

“I believe dealing with adversity really shows you who you are. You can say this and you can say that, but until you've actually had to deal with adversity and had your back against that wall, you really don't know who you are or what you're made of,” added Robinson. “Regardless of if I don't want to do (something), I still wake up and do it. I might not want to work out, I still work out. To me, that's the true definition of commitment. It's not about saying you doing it, it's about doing it when you don't feel like it. It’s finding a different way to implement and reinvent myself every day.”