Bodylastics are great, if you are on the edge of buying them then stop reading and do it, if you are unsure then read on!
Let me start off by saying that I have been in and out of different gyms for around 20 years. My main choice of workout in that period has been weight lifting, I never really enjoyed cardio vascular work although I do it these days. I’ve always been more concerned with seeing results on the outside of my body and I saw weight lifting as the way to achieve that.
Unfortunately for me I never saw very good results, I’m an ectomorph, I struggle to put on weight. I’ve always been skinny and probably always will be. Depsite this I ploughed on with the weight training until one day I had joint pain. Like I said I’d been lifting for a few years so I was starting to see strength gains and lifting heavier weights, my joints did not like this. Not a bit. My wrists and elbows are not the best, I have very skinny wrists.
This is when I started looking for alternatives to weights and I stumbled across exercise bands in my local supermarket. I bought some and trained with them but I was way to strong for them, I wasn’t getting a good workout. I started to Google.
That’s when I found Bodylastics. They seemed to be a premium exercise band and boasted stack-able weight and anti snap technology. This was appealing. If you’ve ever used bands it’s always in the back of your mind that it might snap.
I bought the small set from Amazon as I wanted to see if they were all they were cracked up to be before I invested in the larger set. Straight away when I took them out of the packaging they felt like a quality product in my hand compared to the cheap ones I’d got in the supermarket. Bodylastics claim to be 99% snap proof and I have no doubts about the legitimacy of that claim, they are strong bands and the clips on the end are well sewn on.
The main benefit of these bands is they are stackable, you can clip on extra bands to increase the resistance. Now I had the resistance I was looking for. If you are a serious lifter do not dismiss these bands as being to weak for you, I guarantee if you get the big set and clip all the bands on it will probably be too much for you to move.
The bands come with handles and a door anchor. The handles are self explanatory but the door anchor is where the genius of this product starts. By shutting a household door on the anchor and then attaching your bands to it you can recreate every imaginable exercise and then probably some you haven’t imagined. You get a chart with in the package which shows you the main ones but I recommend taking advantage of the free trial at liveexercise.com to get started. More on that later.
The main thing I was worried about (well my wife was worried about) was damaging the door or frame using the anchor. Well Iv’e been using it for a few months now and there isn’t a mark in site, it’s a padded foam which is unlikely to damage your door.
Now I will say about the door anchor, you really need to put it on the hinge side or at least use a door that shuts towards you. Failure to do this could result in the anchor slipping from the door and smacking you in the face at high speed. I can testify that this hurts. A lot. I won’t be making that mistake again.
I’d always viewed exercise bands as something that people used for warming up or injury recovery and this is true people do use them for that but you can also use them to build muscle. Serious muscle. Muscle is what I was interested in. Bodylastics come from a company that runs liveexercise.com that has complimentary workouts that go with these bands. You dont have to use their product to do the workouts but it does help. When I bought the bands I got a 3 month free trial to liveexercise, I don’t believe this is the case anymore, anyone can now get a 1 month free trial, bands or no bands. I’d recommend trying it, after the trial it’s around £6 a month and you would do well to find a site with more content. Especially at that price point.
So I had my bands and I had workouts to follow. I’d given up going to the gym for a while because of the joint issues so I was starting to get unfit and the muscle was not what it had been on my body. So when I started with bodylastics I was fairly weak. After about a month the small set of bands I had bought wasn’t heavy enough for some of the exercises so I bought a big set, I had no qualms about doing this. At this point I was really enjoying the workouts and using the bands. Unless they get damaged I doubt I will be buying anymore because my strength has outgrown them. Clipping on all the bands will give you 262lbs of resistance, way more than most people will ever need.
Blake Kassell is the friendly face of liveexercise.com and he was encouraging me all the way, I was really enjoying the workouts and I was starting to see results.
The down side of the bands is it much harder to gain your strength increase, you’ve got to make a note of what bands you are using or you will forget. I always found it easy in the gym to remember I was using 20kg dumbbells for this and 15kg for that etc but for some reason my brain wont remember what colour combinations I use for bands. Also the weight indicators on the bands have nothing on common with the equivalent dumbbell or at least that’s the way I feel about it.
A few months after I started to use them a friend asked me to go to the gym with him so when I went I didn’t know what to expect. I thought I would be lagging behind him in the strength department. I was stunned at how strong I turned out to be. I could lift weight that I had struggled with previously with ease and I on some exercises like bench press I was lifting more weight than I ever had before. My friend also noticed my strength gains and asked what the hell I had been doing. He now has a set of bodylastics.
Going back to the gym made me realise something else, it felt horrible. The machines in the gym are jerky and awkward. I was feeling my joints again as well. I gotten completely used to the smooth fluid way of working out with bands.
Bodylastics really are a portable gym, they come in a bag so you can take them anywhere. They are light as well so you can take them on holiday if you are that serious about your workouts. Try packing dumbbells into your suitcase! You can easily hook them around any stationary pole as well if your hotel room doesn’t have a suitable door. I occasionally hook them around the leg of the bed when I’m away. Be careful though, like I said these things are unforgiving if you don’t secure your anchor properly.
So what about physical results I hear you ask. Well I still didn’t look like Arnold Schwarzenegger but I am confident that my body composition was the best it had ever had been. I could see my ab muscles for the first time in my life. People at work were noticing my arms and asking me what I was doing. All this and I had no joint pain. I think you would struggle to get injured using bands whereas injuries with free weights are quite common, at least for me.
The only negative for me was the motivation to work out at home. It started to wane after a few months, live exercise helped with this but I would still come in from work and think ‘oh I can’t be bothered today’ but then again I did that when I was going to the gym. It helps to have a training partner to keep you motivated, liveexercise does its best to take on that role but obviously it isn’t the same.
So would I recommend Bodylastics? Well that’s a massive yes. In fact they are what inspired me to start this blog, I felt like I had to let other people know about them. It’s unfair that they are dismissed so quickly, especially by more experienced weight lifters or gym goers. I challenge you to try them if you still feel that way, they are a great addition to any workout regimen even if you aren’t looking for a complete gym replacement.
I’d recommend going for a large set straight away to avoid buying twice like I did but there are many sizes to choose from.
- Light and portable
- Infinite range of exercises
- Unbelievable quality.
- Self Motivation Required
- May smack you in the head!