Body Boss 2.0 Review
In a world in which home workouts and portable gyms are gaining traction, there is arguably a place for any fitness gear that can give you maximum utility via a full body workout with options for progressive overload, that can be easily stored away, and that can be packed away in the trunk of your car for you to take anywhere. Innovations like these should be celebrated.
However, not all portable, lightweight fitness solutions are created equal. Some, such as simple yoga mats and fitness bands, offer a tremendous, low cost, easily portable workout for those with a little knowledge.
Others, such as the BodyBoss Home Gym 2.0, one of the best-selling pieces of home fitness apparatus on Amazon, offer a slightly more complex, nuanced experience. I’ll be running through this experience today, telling you all about the BodyBoss Home Gym 2.0, and its direct competitors, hoping to shed some light on whether gadgets like it really have a place in the fitness world.
Body Boss 2.0 Specs
So, what exactly is the BodyBoss 2.0?
At heart, it’s a fully integrated resistance band system designed to replicate the effects of the kinds of heavy free weights you will find in any commercial gym. It is portable and has an impressive degree of versatility.
The BodyBoss 2.0 stands out from other, simple resistance bands in large part because of the base to which its bands connect, called the Fold Up VectorFit Platform. This gives a solid anchor point for harder resistance levels, which is vital in resistance band training, and will allow you to use heavy grade bands for movements like back-loaded squats and overhead presses – movements typically ungainly, impractical or outright impossible with most band systems.
There are several attachments that come with the BodyBoss 2.0. First and foremost, you get a collapsible bar and handles, which all attach to the bands. This will allow you to replicate barbell and dumbbell moves. Simply attach them to the bands, attach the bands to the base, stand on the base to keep it grounded, and you can do most rep-style, eccentric-focussed work to a pretty high standard.
You can use the bar across your upper back or posterior deltoids/traps for low bar or high bar squats, respectively, or across your anterior deltoids in a rack position for front squats. This, in particular, is almost unique to this style of machine – regular bands won’t allow you to do this.
There are two limb straps that come with the BodyBoss 2.0, which BodyBoss claim can be used for cardio. This is debatable – I didn’t find them to be too useful, though I’ll get into this in greater detail below.
The bands don’t offer too much resistance (though this is, of course, all relative, and plenty of people will find the basic set adequate to begin with). The set comes with 30lbs of resistance over two bands, which can be increased by shortening the bands. You can then buy extra bands, with the base able to take five attached to each side.
Finally, there’s a door anchor that comes with the BodyBoss 2.0 which allows you to do various high/low pulley-style exercises.
You get a pretty comprehensive instruction manual and access to live or pre-recorded online workouts. To me, this is the best part, and the thing that goes some way to justifying the price tag – this kind of coaching from experienced professionals genuinely is invaluable.
As well as extra bands, you can buy a few more add-ons from the BodyBoss site. These include an ab wheel (one of the most effective forms of ab training going, and by far one of my favourite) as well as RepLoops, a tracking device that can pair with your smartphone. Reploops attach to the handles or bar and provide workout information, allowing you to track your performance and progress.
Laid out, ready to use, the whole base measures 19.75” x 34” x 1”, which is more than enough room for most exercises. It has a non-slip bottom to keep it in place and it is padded, to reduce pressure on your joints whilst training. You can fold it in half and carry it like a briefcase, making it that much more portable.
What It’s Like To Use The Body Boss 2.0
First things first, don’t be fooled into thinking that the BodyBoss 2.0 is in any way a true replacement for weights. It isn’t – the body mechanics are all off. When we lift weights, there are a range of stimuli placed on our bodies, from controlling bar path, to arresting momentum, to breaking inertia, to balancing the bars themselves, that are in some way diminished when using bands.
I quite like using bands as assistance work and as portable training tools when I’m travelling. However, they serve little use beyond this. There are a few reasons for this, most of which come down to preferred training style.
I like to lift heavy weights explosively, powerlifter style. I like to work complex movement patterns under load to improve proprioception and spatial awareness. I like explosive, high energy HIIT routines.
None of these are viable with bands.
For starters, they simply don’t go heavy enough. There is no way that you can use the BodyBoss 2.0 to replicate a double bodyweight low bar squat or deadlift. The pressure would probably snap the base, and the bands themselves would be ridiculous if made to that intensity.
You are also fixed in where you can move. The bands are anchored in place, meaning that you are, too. You cannot change their centre of gravity too much, nor can you elicit any kind of resistance that isn’t directed downwards. No Turkish get ups, swings, clean and presses, farmers carries or anything like that.
The final reason they are inappropriate for this kind of training, however, is the same reason that band work can be beneficial. This is something called accommodating resistance. Essentially, a lift gets harder the closer to the end you get. With barbells, dumbbells and kettlebells, the hardest part is breaking inertia. Breaking inertia on a band, when it is slack, is easy. What is hard is to keep up the movement as it gets tauter – the resistance increases.
This makes it perfect for high rep movements that rely on squeezing at the top and making the most of the isometric portion of a lift – returning to the start under control. This includes things like high rep squat sets, tight bicep curls and triceps extensions, overhead presses for high volume, and so forth. This is the range you need to work in for hypertrophy – muscle growth – for which bands are perfect.
The BodyBoss 2.0 is a perfect example of band use. It is comfortable to use, the anchor points in the base are phenomenal, and the ability to tether extra bands and thus increase resistance is incredibly helpful, especially for stronger athletes. The bar and handles all do exactly what they’re meant to do, whilst being comfortable to hold and handle, giving you a fantastic way to anchor the bands to your body.
I didn’t like the leg straps. I just genuinely cannot see a situation in which they would be viable for anything other than window dressing. Focus on using the main bars for large, compound movements.
The fact that you can collapse it all down into a lightweight carrycase is the icing on the cake – the BodyBoss 2.0 really is portable.
It is a good product, therefore, with a great deal of utility, that should make working out on the move enjoyable and easy.
- The BodyBoss 2.0 is incredibly portable – you really can take it wherever you go
- The base is innovative and well made, as are the bar attachments and door anchor
- It is a rare example of band work being easily viable through a range of compound movements
- It is costly for what you get
- You need to buy extras to make it viable, as the initial bands are simply not high enough resistance
- The concept is perhaps flawed – there are better portable training options. Simply packing a yoga mat and a few loose bands would come in at a quarter of the price whilst giving you arguably greater utility
Body Boss 2.0 Alternatives
Though the BodyBoss 2.0 is pioneering, and leads the field in terms of build quality and utility, it is far from unique. There are some other great examples of its kind on the market, including but not limited to:
FITINDEX Portable Home Gym
FITINDEX’s Portable Home Gym is a similar, foldable design to the BodyBoss 2.0. It gives you a secure base from which to train, to which you can anchor your resistance bands, and will give you similar results as you seek to build muscle mass and endurance.
It is made from high quality materials, including exclusive structural aluminum alloy bars. The base is durable and strong, giving it an impressive upper weight limit of 242 lbs. It’s as easy to use and pack away as the BodyBoss 2, though a lack of finery detracts from its utility slightly.
However, it’s about a third of the price of the BodyBoss 2, for a very similar product. Well worth considering.
Fusion Motion Portable Gym with 8 Accessories
- STEEL-REINFORCED FOR HEAVIER WORKOUTS: Made with exclusive estructural polyethylene, this bad boy is built like a tank to handle heavier, more intense workouts. While other home gym bundles only support light and normal loads, it’s built tough to handle heavy resistance bands, too. Pop them on and instantly transform your Fusion Motion into a mini squat machine or perform high-intensity resistance curls for shredded upper arms. How many portable gyms do THAT? Maximum Weight Capacity: 290 pounds.
- DETAILED GUIDE WITH 200 EXERCISES: Don’t let another awkward gym stare discourage you from working out. With our detailed instruction guide, you’ll get 200 different exercises to perform right from the comfort of your home. Learn specific exercises for the muscle group you want to train, recommendations for your skill level (beginner, intermediate or advanced), which accessories you need and how to assemble them, plus the correct form to train most efficiently for powerful results!
- FOR BEGINNERS OR ADVANCED TRAINERS: Whether you’re just starting your workout journey or a hardcore trainer looking to beef up your arsenal, the Fusion Motion is perfect for men and women of all ages and skill levels. Even if you’ve never done a single exercise, this incredible all-in-one tool makes it easy to perform whole body workouts in just 20 minutes or less. There’s no better time to get in the best shape of your life and no better home gym than the Fusion Motion.
Gymwell Portable Resistance Workout Set
Gymwell’s Portable Resistance Workout Set is also more budget friendly than the BodyBoss 2.0, though not quite as much so as FITINDEX’s Portable Home Gym. For this, you also get a base that folds easily. Gymwell boast that a special pair of ankle straps were developed for the Gymwell Workout Set to help accomplish numerous exercises such as curls, presses, rows, deadlifts, squats and many more, and you also get an anchor strap that allows you to use it on bars, poles, trees or anything else that can take your weight.
It comes with a decent collapsible workout bar and a good set of resistance bands. Again, not as good quality as the BodyBoss 2.0, but a great saving for a decent enough product.
My main bugbear is the price. Undoubtedly, the BodyBoss 2.0 offers you a lot more than a set of resistance bands would. However, you will end up paying a couple of hundred dollars or more, by the time you’ve bought the initial set and added extras.
I have a drawer full of resistance bands at home that do pretty much the same thing, and I spent around thirty dollars on them, all told – cheaper even than the BodyBoss 2.0’s cheaper alternatives. I can also pack them into a pocket of my bag or the bottom of my suitcase with no drama.
So, the BodyBoss 2.0 a good product for muscle growth, if not strength and power gains, whose main effects can be achieved cheaper without too much lost utility.