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I’m getting married in eight months and 27 days — but who’s counting? Aside from finding a dress, choosing table settings and praying it’s safe to invite my friends and family, I’m also on a mission to try and get in shape for “the big day.”
Under normal circumstances, I would just renew my membership and head to the gym to break a sweat, but nothing about 2020 or 2021 for that matter, has been normal. When it became clear that life in lockdown was far from over, I went online to try and find some affordable gear to get in shape at home.
It turns out, weights and kettlebells are pretty expensive. And since I’m nowhere near ready to sink thousands of dollars into a pricey treadmill, stationary bike or rowing machine, I decided to go the resistance bands route instead.
SHOP IT: Amazon, $48 (originally $59)
What is it?
The FitLife Exercise and Resistance Bands Set, available on Amazon Canada, is essentially a total body work-out in one convenient little travelling pouch. The set includes five different levels of durable resistance bands (between 10-50 lbs) that be used on their own or in combination with one another. The bands attach to cushioned handles or ankle straps for you to work out different parts of your body and is sold with a door anchor, so you can diversify your workout to build muscle and burn fat.
The set includes a user guide with a list of exercises that target different parts of the body, which I’ve found helpful. There are also tons of resistance band workouts you can follow on YouTube for free that makes working out at home easier.
My fitness goals are to build muscle and tone my arms, so as soon as I received my set, I tried to follow a quick arm work-out that I found online. I found starting with the 20 lbs and moving to 30 lbs useful for toning - but as the weeks progressed I’ve been able to increase my resistance to 40 lbs and have noticed some improvements in my arm definition within the past few weeks.
My partner has been using the bands and has been stacking them to increase his resistance. We’ll both randomly start a quick workout while we’re watching TV or have a break in the day. I’ve been considering buying FitLife’s Resistance Bands to work out your legs and bum (glutes? booty?) to add to my burgeoning home gym to target some specific areas that I’d like to tone.
What others are saying
Since I write about Amazon products often, I always look for products with as many customer reviews as possible before I make a purchase. The FitLife Exercise and Resistance Bands Set currently has more than 8, 200 customer reviews and a 4.5 out of five star rating.
Like me, Amazon shoppers love how that these bands are an affordable way to get a full body workout at home.
“These bands are 10/10,” one shopper wrote. “I'm a fitness professional and got this as a Christmas gift to myself for my home gym and they are awesome. High quality, variety of weight, quality, durable accessories like the ankle straps. I get killer glute exercises from the yellow band! Delivery was crazy fast! I highly recommend.”
“I have been a gym regular for years. These days I exercise with home equipment. I bought these bands specifically to do some rehab exercises for a knee injury and didn't expect to use them for anything more. But slowly but surely I started to integrate them into workouts and they have added tremendous variety. They are highly versatile as can work almost any muscle group and very quickly transition between exercises,” another wrote. “They also challenge your body in ways that traditional weights and strength training do not. Now, to be clear you are not going to build much muscle with these bands. But they will absolutely firm, tone and build endurance. If you exercise regularly I think you will find that these bands can add a new dimension to your routine, and if you don't then they are a great way to get started at a reasonable price.”
After waiting it out to see whether or not it would be possible to head back to the gym, I’m glad I decided to buy a set of resistance bands to help me get moving at home. It’s definitely inspired me to make small changes and fit in small workouts when I can. I told myself that after the holiday I would get serious about toning up my arms - and these bands are a welcomed alternative to push-ups.
If you’re looking to get into heavy weight lifting - these might not be the best for you, but since you can stack the bands up to 150 lbs, it’s probably as good as you can get during lockdown without purchasing an entire home gym.
The reviews quoted above reflect the most recent versions at the time of publication.