With many working from home, there’s a big demand for health & fitness products. This time, people are looking for home gym equipment that won’t take up space. In this high-demand environment, resistance bands are the latest product to get smart. Still, this begs the question. Do we really need smart resistance bands?
I’m reviewing the Hygear Gear 1 Portable Smart Fitness System It’s a kit of adjustable smart resistance bands that turns any room into a smart gym. It includes built-in sensors that pair with the Hygear App. I’ve also reviewed the Hyrope Smart Jump Rope from Hygear so I’m familiar with this app. Like the smart rope, users can monitor live resistance band workouts, track personal stats, and receive customized workouts.
Could smart resistance bands be the missing piece in your health and wellness goals? Let’s begin with some notable specs and a brief discussion on how resistance bands work. We’ll then look at the design, see what it comes with, and how it works with your smartphone.
Notable Specs: HYGEAR Gear 1 smart home gym & trainer
- AI connected functional fitness trainer, real-time feedback, personalized workouts, and community
- Monitors reps, calorie burn, power and weight applied, average pace, and more.
- Adjusts your training in real-time for maximum fitness results
- Access to 500+ moves and workouts on HYGEAR App
How do resistance bands work?
In full honesty, this is the first time I’ve used resistance bands. I mostly use barbells and dumbbell weights, so this is a new fitness experience for me. I did some research beforehand to educate myself on how resistance bands actually work.
The big takeaway is they offer variable resistance. This means the resistance weight you’re going against changes based on your position in the movement. As you pull or push farther away from your body, the resistance goes up.
In a normal training program, people add more weight or volume to get bigger and stronger. Unlike traditional weights, however, it’s hard to gauge the actual resistance provided by resistance bands. This can make it difficult to program a progressive overload workout regime.
Hygear looks to solve this problem with smart resistance bands. Let’s look at the design to see how they work.
Design of the HYGEAR Gear 1 smart home gym
The HYGEAR Gear 1 smart home gym comes with two smart bands, handles, wrist/ankle cuffs, door anchor, portable anchor, USB charging cable, and travel bag. Together, inside the bag, the entire system weighs approximately 3lbs.
The elastic bands have built-in Bluetooth sensors that pair with the HYGEAR app. These sensors allow the app to track your workout time, reps, weight average, total calories, and more.
The HYGEAR Fit Smart Home Gym works by attaching the system to a solid anchor point. This can be over/under a door or wrapped around a pole. It’s a good idea to look around your home to find good anchor points ahead of time.
What I found particularly impressive was the inclusion of a slide adjuster. This changes the length of the band. This is useful in small rooms. It allows you to adjust the resistance, without moving away from the anchor point.
Setting up the Hygear Fit Smart Home Gym
After downloading the Hygear app and creating an account, setting up the bands is simple. Each band has a button to power it on. From there, you follow the steps to have both bands connect to the app.
However, to activate the bands to track workouts, you need to subscribe to a Hygear monthly membership. This costs approximately $13 Canadian a month. This gives you access to workout plans with separate videos for each exercise. It’s like having a personal fitness class inside your smartphone.
Without the Hygear subscription, you can’t do much. You will not be able to activate the bands and follow the provided workout plans.
Using the Hygear Gear 1 smart home gym
I have a home gym with a pull-up bar that I installed on the ceiling. That is what I used as my anchor point. Since I like to create my own workouts, I choose the freestyle option. This allows users to set their own workout goals. This could range from time, total weight, total effort, reps, or calories. I selected time because I just wanted to see how the app tracked resistance.
I started the workout and put my phone down on the ground where I could see it. As I did my exercise, I could see a live reading of the resistance level. After a while, I extended my range of motion, and I could see the resistance level go up.
The bottom of the app features a pace and RPM slider. This gives you a visual representation of your pace which is easy to follow. There’s also a female coach who gives you inspirational messages while you work out.
Tracking workout data
After the workout is completed, the Hygear app provides a workout summary. Here you see total reps, total calories burned, total weight, and more. This data is perfect for someone who likes to track each and every workout. It makes it easy to set goals before a workout, and then see if you hit them.
The workout data tracks workouts over days, weeks, and months. It is also displayed in a visual format making it easy to assess your progress over time. The app even allows you to share your workout data on social media.
It was only a matter of time before health & fitness equipment became smart. For one, it’s hard to track traditional resistance band workouts. This smart gym solution brings resistance data to workout bands. That’s impressive and shows where the fitness industry is heading. However, I do have a couple of issues.
First, you need a monthly subscription. I think it would be nice to have some free features as some people just want to track their workouts. Without the subscription, you don’t get any of the smart features. These are just high-quality resistance bands.
Second, you really need to find really good anchor points. You can try to use the top and bottom of the door as an anchor, but I wasn’t having any luck. It felt like I was putting too much pressure on the door and frame. It’s better to wrap it around a secure structure. Unfortunately, I didn’t have many options in my home.
Lastly, I wish the app was more streamlined. It takes some time to open the app, sign in to your account, pair the bands, select a workout, etc. The last thing I want to be doing in my home gym is staring at my phone. If they can make the load-up time quicker in future updates, I’m sure users would appreciate that.
Home gyms are getting smart
With so many people working out at home, it’s no surprise to see new smart fitness equipment. Home gyms are getting smart and tracking workouts is easier than ever. If you like resistance band workouts and want to track your workouts, then the Hygear Gear 1 Portable Smart Fitness System is worth checking out.