The Bodylastics Resistance Bands Home Gym System works for me. And it works for me on a number of different levels and factors. I’m going to talk about my experiences with it, but you can also check them out directly by going or clicking here.
But before I get into that, please humor me as I give you a little bit of background and perspective into my experiences with home gym.
Those experiences go way, way back…
My journey into the fitness world began back around 1973 or 1974. Those were the years when my 2 older brothers were establishing themselves as the premier football talents in our little town. No small feat, when you consider that football just doesn’t come that naturally to Koreans.
Plus, my oldest brother was one heck of a hockey goalie – a key sport in New England. And My older brother was just one tough kid and athletic to boot.
I was about 5’4″ and 110 lbs. at the time. I had zero athletic skills or inclinations (or current, as my wife will attest to). I was your typically last kid picked for any sport – except for maybe chess.
There was enormous pressure to live up to my brothers’ reputation – made all the more difficult by my puniness.
I started buying these gadgets advertised in the back of the comic books. I bought rubber bands shaped like an “X” with molded handles at the 4 ends. I bought this dual vise thingie that I could pull or press along a nylon rope.
I used shock absorbers with handles, at a later point – my brother’s soloflex (which I actually liked), chest expanders, friend’s bullworker (I think it was called), and of course, weights.
Basically, I was desperate to get big and spent a lot of time looking for the magic bullet, the magic equipment that would give me biceps bigger than the Matterhorn Peaks (what Arnold Schwarzenegger used to visual his biceps looking like).
Can you relate – by chance.
Not only have I tried them all; in my current job where we sell every kind of fitness equipment, I’ve seen them all.
Which brings me back to Blake Kassel and…
I won’t get too into who Blake Kassel is – you can google him or click here to go to his website and read why he felt compelled to create this system of resistance bands.
Let’s cut to the chase here, I’ve become a big fan of Bodylastics. I think it represents, or can represent, the perfect solution to a lot of folks in situations similar to mine.
And my situation was – and continue to be:
- Live in a fairly small condo with no room for a traditional home gym
- Work 55 plus hours a week (not including time goofing around on this website) with nearest gym about 20 minutes away
- 2 very curious little girls
- Broke (ha-ha, in a “tears of a clown” kinda way – cuz all my “pennies” go to my daughters)
- Gout, joint pain, arthritis, etc.
- A wife that just thinks I should act my age - God Bless her!
My other challenges has always been my curiosity – or if you will – my ”magic bullet” mentality. And I was always looking for that one piece of equipment that I could really use to get in shape. I’ve always loved the idea of owning a Bowflex. I’ve always loved the idea of having a great all in one home gym with about 300 lbs. in olympic weights and a rack of dumbbell.
None of which was or is ever going to happen for the reasons stated above.
At some point, a couple of years back I ran into this headline:
And that started my adventures with Bodylastics.
Of course, I spent several months back in spring of 2010 debating – haw and hemming about whether I should buy it or not.
Truth was I actually didn’t think I needed it. I was on an irregular workout routine, running 4 to 5 miles about 2 or 3 times a week. I’d do
some pull-ups, push-ups, and deep knee bends after running. I actually thought I was in decent condition.
I was not – as the pictures will show.
range of motion, locked my joints in place, and it fast became a clothes hanger until I sold it on Craigslist.
So I started looking around again and came across that headline.
Now I’m a terrible buyer. I hate spending money. I just couldn’t see myself buying a set of Bodylastics when I could get a couple of bands for 10 or 20 bucks at Kmart. And I had bought a couple many years ago when we first left Hawaii, I didn’t like it.
Besides, how on earth could a could of straps be pretty than a hot looking Bowflex – really!
So I went back and forth on whether I should order a set…
Now I could tell you that I finally bought into the sales pitch of this and that, but no…
The tipping point came when I started seeing the Tower 200 for a couple hundred bucks and the Weider X-whatever for over $100.
Bodylastics was under 60 bucks and I could live with that.
With or without the money back guarantee, I could live with spending 60 bucks – so long as I got a couple of decent workouts from it.
But having now used it over well over a year and a half, I can tell you that it was – and is – the best investment I have made in many years. That $60 was money well spent 19 or 20 months ago. I still use it today as my primary fitness equipment and will use it for many years to come – hopefully.
- Workouts: Man, this is real. This is real progressive resistance. I have the Max Tension set which came with 5 bands marked from 5 lbs. to 23 lbs. In theory, hooking all 5 bands to the handles and pulling/moving/pressing both ends at the same time generates the equivalent of 134 lbs. Whatever. Give it a try. In some positions, pulling all 5 bands is like pulling on steel cables. Not going to happen. And because each band comes with clips at the ends, you can interchange any combination of bands to achieve any weight level you want. You can really do pyramid sets and drop sets. The workouts are real and will challenge you totally. I love that.
- Age: Now officially over 50, I concede that my joints and ligaments – not to mention muscles – have seen their fair share of wear and tear. Now more than ever, I need to use correct form with full range of motion. And I need to be able to tweak my positioning to eliminate pains in my shoulders and knees. The free flowing handles and ankles straps allow me to do that. More to the point, because elastic bands are not gravity based, I can target muscles almost in an isolation type movement using compound movement - that’s sweet. And safer for my joints. This is also key for you young’ans as well.
- Versatility: There literally is no exercise that you cannot replicate with this system. If you took all the equipments found at a gym, you could not find one that Bodylastics couldn’t simulate. Man, for 60 bucks – that’s a big statement. You can take your Bowflex, your Tower 200 – whatever, and this system is more versatile. How do I know – I’ve used them all! If all you have is a barbell, a pair of dumbbells, and a bench at home; you can get a great workout – but you’re also not going to have the capacity to do a lot either. Sure, you could spend a thousand bucks to put together a home gym that can give you a workout as good as you can get at a fitness club - but that’s still a $1,000 plus.
- Safety: When I started using Bodylastics, my youngest was 2 and half (I started late). Sophia loved to watch me work out. She’d want to spot me or help me do a forced rep. She’d see daddy straining and she’d immediate jump into help. Gotta love a training partner. With these bands, I was okay with her not accidently stubbing her little toes on a dumbbell or 10 lbs. plate. I wouldn’t worry about her as I would in the middle of prone bench press. We were living in a 2nd floor condo unit. I worked out in the second bedroom. There is no keeping the little one out. I loved that the potential for harm to her was basically zero – not that I let her use it or be inattentive around her, because you never know. But 5 bands that all fit in a little pouch beats having a couple hundred pounds of iron weights and a bench around. I finish, I put it away, and that’s that.
- I take it with me: I love it that I can take it to the local park and use it there. I mix in chin-ups/pull-ups or dips with my Bodylastics workout while I take in fresh air. It’s back to the versatility aspect that I think is so great – in that I can take my complete gym to wherever I want and get in a great workout. That’s just sweet!
I bought because it was cheap – bottomline. But in using it, I have found that it’s value so far exceeds it’s cost that – well, it’s just been a great investment for me.
But let me be clear:
The one thing I have learned over the years – or you think I’d learn by now - is that there is no magic fitness equipment that is going to turn you into a lean, muscular paragon of manhood or womanhood. It’s not that shakeweight or ab swivel rocker crunchizer, or tower 900 or aeroflox flex whatever – but you.
Any fitness equipment will work…
If you work it…
The key is in finding an equipment that you will use.
I have no doubt that the Tower 200 can work. I have no doubt that Total Gym can work. And I’m absolutely positive that Bowflex works.
I know the treadmills and ellipticals can help you lose weight. A great pair of running shoes will definitely work. And that 24 Hour Fitness Center will most definitely work.
If you work it…
If you find the system that works for you…
At day’s end, that’s all that matters.
Bodylastics Resistance Bands Home Gym works for me. It works for me, for the reasons I listed.
Will it work for you, I don’t know. Hopefully though, by giving you some of my experiences and thoughts; I can give you an idea of whether it might work for you – or not.
Whether you spent $60 or $600, you must do your due diligence and I hope this has helped.
You can click here to visit the Bodylastics website, where you can start your research if you haven’t already.
PS – My current workout
- Leg - Deadlift, One Leg Lunges
- Back – Pull-ups, Inverted Rows
- Biceps – Standing Curls, Spider curls
- Forearms – Wrist Curls, Reverse curls
- Abs – High/Low Axe
- Chest - Incline Press, Flye Cross, Band Assisted Push-ups
- Shoulders – Handstand Push-ups, Laterals, Face-Pulls
- Triceps - Standing Tricep Extension, Leaning Reverse Extensions
- Abs – Resistance Band Crunches
Occasionally, I’ll do Gironda 45 degree pulls or Bentover rows (two or one arm) for my back. For chest, I will also sub one arm,inverted flyes or chair dips. For shoulders, of course military presses. For forearms, hammer curls…
With Bodylastics, the variations are really only limited to your imagination.
Feb 1, 2012 Update:
Had been using the Visual Impact program – or variation - for a while but recently changed it a bit more. I’ve been on a superset program for a month or so and actually like quite a bit. I still use the set/rep scheme outlined in Visual Impact but here’s what I’m doing currently:
- Superset 1 – Band Assisted Push-ups/Pull-ups (or if at the park, then Dips/Wide Grip Chins)
- Superset 2 – Incline Presses/Bent-over rows
- Superset 3 – Standing Flyes/Lying Pull-overs (or if at the park, then Flyes/Standing Stiff-arm Pulldowns)
- Tri-set 1 – Parallel or Half Squats/Sissy Squats/Stiff-Legged Deadlifts (this is a killer)
- Abs: Hanging Raises/crunches/depends on whether at park or not or how wasted I’m at the end
- Tri-set 1 – Face-pulls/Standing Laterals/Handstand Push-ups
- Superset 1 – Standing Curls/Standing Triceps pressdowns
- Superset 2 – Spider Curls/Leaning Reverse Extensions
- Superset 3 – Wrist Curls/Reverse Wrist Curls
- Abs: Ab Wheel/Plank