Here are 5 rather expensive fitness gadgets I’ve bought and tried out in the last couple of months. Were they worth it? Well, I think I could have saved some money by not buying some of them ; but sometimes you just need a new “fitness toy” to keep your routine interesting!
These self-supporting grips are meant to eliminate grip fatigue. They are great for doing deadlifts and pulling exercises because your hands don’t slip off easily. I’m training my back with heavy weights (goal is to be able to do a full bodyweight pull-up ; I can do a few unassisted chin-ups with my own bodyweight but doing an unassisted pull-up with a wide grip is still very far far away…). That extra ‘grip and hold’ on the heavier weights allow me not to be limited by the strength of my hands and wrists. These grips do allow me to pull more weight while doing back exercises.
Price: 40 dollars, with shipping and taxes I think I spent more than 60 euro for a pair…
Do I use it? Yes but only for specific or “pull” exercises: back workouts and deadlifts and dumbbell lunges. For all other exercises I prefer using weight-training gloves.
These elastic bands I bought are very solid and of good quality, but I don’t like the fact that they have a huge metal loop on the handles as well as metal clips on each band. They make a lot of noise when you take them out of their bag or drop them on the floor which doesn’t make them the perfect fitness accessoire to take with you to the gym or for traveling. When doing some exercises the metal rubs against your arms: they’re just less comfortable than classic elastic band sets with no metal. These bodylastics bands may however be more secure and stronger than regular bands. I’m pretty sure that their elastic power doesn’t face off with regular use. However, they’re just too uncomfortable and unpractical.
There are tons of exercises you can do with it if you’re a bit creative, but I just don’t have a good space at home: very limited floorspace (I live in a small apartment) and no solid anchor to fix the elastic bands somewhere.
Price: around 90 dollars, with shipping and taxes I think I spent over 120 euro.
Do I use it? No very often. When I want to weight-train at home I usually end up using my pair of dumbbell or doing bodyweight exercises.
Ipad mini capsule speaker
This is not a fitness gadget but I’ve been pretty satisfied with it so far. This small speaker allows me to play my favorite workout video with a bit more volume on my ipad. The sound is not crystal clear, but it’s a louder than the iPad on its own. And I really need this to hear Insanity trainer Shawn T scream “dig deeper” or Jillian Michael “Don’t phone this in!” even louder :)
Price: around 40 euro
Do I use it? Yes, I usually take my iPad and speaker in my gym bag, and I follow an exercise video with full volume in a quite room or on a empty squash court at the gym.
This scale uses a Wi-Fi connection to sync your weight and body fat readings with your personal dashboard. You just need to step on the scale and it will automatically sync your weight and body fat readings with a personal health dashboard available on your iPad or directly on Withings.com. It’s an easy way to monitor the evolution of your weight thanks to a view of all your weight data collected by the scale.
It’s extremely convenient to have my data auto update to their server and subsequently available on my iPad. However, I do have to agree with many customer reviews on Amazon: the body fat percentage is a bit off. Or better, the body fat percentage measurement is not reliable at all. It may be a good scale regarding the weight, but it is not a very good digital wireless body fat monitor.
If you don’t really care that much about the body fat and are happy with the weight being accurate (which it is), then it’s a pretty nice scale.
Price: 130 euro
Do I use it? I get on that scale on a daily basis and I enjoy occasionally checking my weight dashboard on my ipad.
An aquabag is like a sandbag but filled with water. My boyfriend bought one when we were visited the FIBO fitness expo in Germany. Doing exercises with the aquabag feels completely different than with a barbell. The water moving inside the bag (the bag shouldn’t be completely filled up) creates a lot of instability.
Price: 120 euro!
Do I use it? No that often honestly. I sometimes do series of squats or rows with it but crossing movements or shoulder exercise are a bit dangerous if the aquabag is heavy. And it also takes a bit too much space in my small apartment.
So what’s the takeaway here? Do you really need fitness gadgets? Do they help you staying motivated?