I’m going to preface this review with one quick caveat – I’ve never been into exercise bands. I’ve always looked at them as a way for the inexperienced and/or older exerciser to work their muscles and prevent atrophy, but not something that should be considered as part of a serious training regimen. So when RubberBanditz reached out and asked if I’d be interested in trying their product, I was hesitant at first. Nonetheless, owner Ari Zandman-Zeman explained RubberBanditz wasn’t another exercise band company. Simply put, this isn’t your grandma’s exercise band. Fair enough, he convinced me to give them a try, and a few days later my set of bands arrived in the mail.
Upon opening the packaging and removing the bands from their carrying case, I noticed something immediately. These really weren’t my grandma’s exercise bands. These things were thick, heavy, and looked as though they’d been ripped off some sort of heavy-duty machinery. I picked them up, strapped on the handle, did a couple of quick reps to test them out before putting them back in their bag. First impression; the tension was definitely much greater than any band I’d used before, and the concentric/eccentric movements seemed much more natural – they lacked that often herky-jerky feeling that a lot of rubber exercise bands produce.
It was a few days before I got the chance to really give these bands a workout. I checked out the RubberBanditz website and looked up a few exercise routines in the meantime. One thing I noticed after checking out their site was the ability to perform CrossFit-esque workouts with these rubber bands. You see, these bands are a little different. They’re one continuous loop, as opposed to a long band with handles on the end. This allows for movements like push presses and overhead squats, along with explosive drills like resistance runs and resistance box jumps.
RubberBanditz provided a long list of exercises and workout types, but I ended up creating own exercise routine with these bands instead. I created a little six exercise circuit using these bands (and a mostly willing partner to help out on a the resistance runs). Here’s my breakdown:
- 8 Squat Presses
- 8 “Bench” Band Presses
- 8 Front Renegade Planks
- 30 second Resistance Runs
- 8 Bicep Curls
- 8 Overhead Tricep Presses
I completed the above circuit 8 times, gave myself 45 seconds rest between rounds, and did my absolute best to maintain short transition periods between exercises. As a lot of you guys know, I’m big into metabolic conditioning and circuits that work the whole body. After running through this routine, I definitely had the same feeling I had when I leave the gym doing a similar routine using a barbell or set of dumbbells. I had a good sweat, muscles were pumped, and overall I felt I actually did something. If not for the resistance runs, which could easily be excluded, this could all have been done in a 4 x 4 foot area like a living room or bedroom.
The real test, at least in my mind, was going to come in the days ahead. I know muscle soreness isn’t necessarily an indicator of progress, but c’mon…we all like feeling that burn after a tough workout right? Subconsciously, if we’re not getting that burn, there’s an inkling of doubt that we actually accomplished anything, despite what the scientists tell us. I’ll say right away, I’ve never developed muscle soreness from any sort of exercise band. Despite the physical difference I immediately saw in RubberBanditz’s product, I still wasn’t expecting much. Within the next couple days, that changed. While I wouldn’t say I was experiencing a level of “oh my god what did I do to myself” pain, I definitely could tell that I hit my muscles hard. My chest, biceps, and quads in particular were feeling the effects of excess lactic acid accumulation. Overall, at the 48 hour point, I felt very similar to the way I’d feel had I done the same routine in the gym with a set of dumbbells.
So wrapping everything up, what do I think about RubberBanditz and perhaps more importantly, is it a buy? I think RubberBanditz really does deliver on their claims that they’re not just another exercise band company. Their bands provide a tougher workout than any band I’ve previously tried. They also come in a variety of strengths, making them pretty versatile for a wide variety of exercisers. Their toughest band in particular was very effective and felt it provided a workout pretty identical to a stacked barbell one would typically use at a gym. The nature of the band (the continuous loop) also allowed for some variation where other exercise bands fall short. If you’re looking for something that allows for CrossFit style workouts in your own home, without the necessity for tons of equipment, I honestly can’t think of a better product than RubberBanditz. I would consider RubberBanditz a buy for most exercisers, but especially for those who are looking for something they can do at home. I’ll provide the disclaimer that I didn’t bring these to the gym with me, though their website does indicate there are variety of exercisers that can be supplemented with their bands. So for those of you who workout in a gym, it’s possible these could improve your routine too.
The only improvements I have to mention pertain to their website. I mean, I get it – these guys sell exercise equipment. They’re probably less concerned with their website, but I do think a more robust and user-friendly database of exercisers/workouts would go a long way. Like I mentioned, they did provide a very detailed book with a ton of exercisers, but adding a little more information and workout routines on their site would be much appreciated. Overall though, solid product which I will continue to use and will happily put my stamp of approval on it.
Check out the RubberBanditz store right HERE.
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