Friday, January 25, 2013

Product Review: The Equalizer by Lebert Fitness

Equalizers in Pink
I had my own Black Friday fun last November, scouring fitness equipment websites for great deals on new and exciting "toys."  The two outcomes of that mission were my purchases of the Ultimate Sandbag and the Lebert Fitness Equalizer.

My main interest in the Equalizer was that it was a simple, portable piece of equipment that could help me train my upper body strength through chin-ups and vertical body rows. I was hesitant to spend $100+ on a piece of equipment that would only be useful for 2 exercises. But upon reviewing the website, I saw how functional these 2 simple bars could be. Watch the main video on that page and you'll be inspired by all the exercises that can be done with them.

The Equalizer arrives with the U-shaped bars, tools/materials necessary for assembly, assembly instructions, an instructional DVD with 2 sample workouts, and an exercise poster.

Product Assembly: You do have to attach the crossbar (or feet) to each U-shaped bar. All equipment and tools are provided in the box it's shipped in and total assembly time is approximately 10 minutes. It's best to assemble these on a smooth, flat surface so that you can ensure stability when you tighten the nuts/bolts. Ease of Assembly:  A

Product Quality: The Equalizer bars are very stable if used on a flat, smooth surface. There is a slight "rockiness" or instability when used on carpet. Other reviews that I read commented on this too. As far as the ability to support body weight, they are sturdy and durable and I feel they definitely support my weight (and could support more) when I do dips and push-ups on them. I do find it helpful to wear lifting gloves when using them, to prevent callouses. I am a huge fan of the fact that they come in the color pink. Since I bought mine, they also have debuted a lime green color, in addition to the original bright yellow. Quality Grade: B+

Product Education: The Equalizers come with an exercise poster and instructional DVD, and there are some free materials on the Lebert Fitness website.  However, compared to some other fitness equipment, the educational material and exercise differentiation provided by Lebert Fitness for the Equalizer is limited. You can find additional exercises and workouts via YouTube and by doing a general internet search. However, for the price of this equipment, one would hope to have more training available to maximize the usage and creativity with the Equalizer.  A novice to fitness might be fine with the basic dips, push-ups, squats, lunges, and chin-ups that are included in the instructional materials, but an intermediate or advanced user would easily get bored with these. Granted, a more advanced user may have the knowledge to implement their own exercises, but in my opinion, an innovative piece of fitness equipment is only as good as the training and education provided by the manufacturing company.  Education Grade:  C

Product Usage & Effectiveness: As I mentioned before, my main reason for investing in this equipment was to be able to mimic the movement of a chin-up, with a piece of equipment that had a small footprint and wouldn't have to attach to any house fixtures. I have been pleased with the ability to do chin-ups and vertical body rows, and there is ample ability to increase the complexity and challenge of these exercises as I make improvement. I also enjoy using the bars to stretch, for tricep dips, incline push-ups, and for agility exercises.  However, one must be careful on some agility exercises, as the slight instability of the bars could lead to injury. For example, there is an "over/under" move, where you jump over the bar, then immediately crawl back under it.  I tried this several times and without correct hand placement, your body weight when jumping over can easily tip the bars. Grade for Effectiveness as a Fitness Tool:  A

Summary: The Equalizer's best qualities are that it's portable, easy to store, and creates a virtual playground in your home gym. For the mere fact that I can now add chin-ups to my exercise routine without leaving my house, it was a good investment. However, what makes that investment better are the other exercises that can be done with the Equalizer. It would be beneficial for consumers if the company would add some more training/educational components to their product. I wouldn't recommend the Equalizer as a stand alone piece of training equipment without other pieces to support it and round out one's workout routine, but it is an excellent complementary tool in a fitness toolbox in one's home gym.


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    Gym and Fitness Equipment

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