Home training systems seem to be a dime a dozen right now. Thanks to the internet, it doesn’t require much effort to find valuable reviews from real people willing to praise and condemn the most popular home workout programs.
Two of the most sought-after home training products are the X3 bar and the Gorilla Bow. Each offers various features and benefits.
Which is right for you? It depends on your goals and budget.
This review will provide insight into relevant considerations. One option leads the industry in terms of safety, versatility, and scientific results.
Only one serves as the primary strength-building system for professional athletes.
And only one has been shown to drastically increase muscle and strength in as little as 12 weeks.
Which band training system takes the gains? Read on to find out.
Gorilla Bow Benefits
The Gorilla Bow, often referred to as Gorilla Bar, starts at just under $200, is a sound band system for those with a tight budget looking to supplement an already well-rounded home training system.
The Gorilla bar itself is crafted from aircraft-grade aluminum, and some users are pleasantly impressed with its sturdy build. While the standard model doesn’t fold up for air travel, it is light enough to carry to the park or the beach to enjoy an outdoor training session.
Gorilla Bow claims to replicate the weights it replaces with strong bands. However, you need multiple bands of varying lengths to produce heavy force, which can be a hassle. Plus, the bow’s wide-angle can cause the band to lose tension in the weak and medium ranges of specific movements.
If you need a lightweight, portable band system, Gorilla Bow can help you break a sweat.
When it comes to building muscle and strength, you may want to look elsewhere.
Gorilla Bow Drawbacks
Reviews are mostly positive for the Gorilla Bow and tout its ability to provide a fun training session with minimal equipment. Still, it has substantial drawbacks.
You can combine four of the short bands (sold separately) for a 360 lb chest press, but those bands can’t be used for the squat. The X3 Bar package, on the other hand, offers more than double the resistance, and you can use the bands for all exercises.
The Gorilla Bow claims to replicate 300+ lbs of resistance; however, you can only produce such force with the chest press.
Despite its durable build, it’s not beneficial for advanced lifters looking to squat and deadlift more than 300 lbs.
Additionally, some users have complained of injuries from the bands where the heavy bands are wrapped directly around the body. Both skin and joint pain have been reported. X3 uses thicker bands for the heaviest exercises, as well as a ground plate to provide extra stability and protection for heavy movements like deadlifts.
Finally, other users have complained that the movements allowed by Gorilla Bow are not all-encompassing. Some say the Bow is useless on leg day, while others enjoy the lightweight leg movement options.
X3 facilitates maximal muscle growth through a safely loaded heavyweight stimulus. While light leg days may feel good, research suggests that heavyweight leg training is most effective in building muscle.
Some find a horizontal bench motion enjoyable, while others complain that this impinges upon the skin.
The heavier Gorilla bands are sold separately, and while the bands do attach securely, they only work for specific exercises.
Additionally, X3 offers all customers free access to its 12-week training program without restrictions, whereas Gorilla Bow sells its training program for a monthly fee. All in, the system runs about $350, maxes out around 300 lbs, and works for many push and horizontal pull variants—but vertical pulls, squats, and deadlifts are limited by less powerful band options and the lack of a ground plate.
Gorilla Bow’s new Ultra Heavy Band Kit hits a capacity of 340 lbs.
Do Gorilla Bow Workouts build muscle?
Long-term studies have yet to be conducted on its efficacy, but users are not disappointed with their results, outside of minor injuries and training limitations. As always, any workout is better than none. And the Gorilla bar system will help you break a sweat and build (or maintain) some muscle.
The Gorilla Bow site features over 2,000 reviews, which are mostly positive. Plus, the company now offers on-demand training for users.
However, many users appear to use the workout bar mainly for accessory workouts and travel.
The Gorilla bands have posed some problems. Numerous users mention bands snapping, which is a common latex tube bands. The company recently launched flat bands; however, users have complained about how difficult it is to put on the bar.
One might conclude that users are pleased with their purchases, “considering the low price.”
X3 Delivers On Bold Claims
The X3 Bar variable resistance system promises to safely deliver 600 or more pounds of load in an ergonomic format to properly fatigue muscles, protect joints, and build lean muscle in a short amount of time. For those that feel this sounds too good to be true, there’s plenty of scientific research to back these claims.
Developed by biomedical engineer Dr. John Jaquish, this training system operates around the principle of continuous variable resistance1.
According to Dr. Jaquish, the problem with free weights is twofold: they overload the joints at certain positions and fail to tax the muscles hard enough in other positions, leading to wasted time and high injury risk
Such injuries are evidenced by thousands of dedicated weight lifters who complain about having blown out their shoulders, knees, and hips by middle age just by lifting weights. Lifting weights should make bodies stronger, not broken down.
Dr. Jaquish saw this problem and invented the X3 system to:
- Load the muscle optimally at every stage of the movement
- Protect and strengthen joints despite extremely heavy loads
- Tax the muscle hard enough to stimulate muscle growth
- Optimize hormonal response
The inventor of OsteoStrong, a device proven to strengthen bones in osteoarthritic women, Dr. Jaquish created X3 to be portable, durable, challenging, and cost-effective for individuals to use at home.
Unlike its competitors, X3 includes a proven, science-backed training program and a steel base plate to protect smaller joints and tendons in the feet, ankles, and knees from heavy bands. The X3 base plate allows users to complete heavy compound movements like deadlifts to stimulate the nervous system and build maximum muscle in the appropriate places.
What about the amount of time it takes to train?
By optimizing the loading principle with continuous variable resistance, only one set is required to effectively tax the target muscle group.
By working smarter and more strategically, the X3 bar provides targeted exhaustion to muscles in much less time than one would need to spend at the gym trying to accomplish the same goal. The entire recommended circuit should take approximately 10-15 minutes per day to complete. This is meant to stimulate muscle growth rather than annihilate muscle fibers and joint capsules.
If you still want to spend more time training, you can—but your gains won’t necessarily be greater. X3 bar puts the Ph.D. into anabolic practice and maximizes strength, gains, and productivity for users.
X3 vs. Gorilla Bow: Head to Head
When it comes to efficacy, X3 shines due to the continuous variable resistance and high forces it provides throughout each movement.
Gorilla bar users have stated that they found their workouts lacking because Gorilla Bow fails to deliver sufficient load at the beginning and end ranges of specific exercises.
X3 also provides at least double the potential resistance that Gorilla Bow can replicate. And with more versatility in movements, buyers will receive a much better product in X3.
X3 has years of tens of thousands of satisfied users to back up its bold claims of building pounds of muscle within a short timeframe.
Its continuous variable resistance, muscle-focused loading ergonomic design, and tremendous weight stimulus allow X3 Bar to produce extremely effective results in users of all ages and physical capabilities.
Gorilla Bow offers more versatility in terms of exercises performed, but X3 provides a greater overall training stimulus and a free comprehensive workout program, which supersedes the need for a wide variety of exercises.
Both resistance band training systems are durable and lightweight, but X3 is portable for home storage or air travel and folds nicely into a companion case.
And while users like the feel of both products, only X3 showcases dozens of professional athletes who trust X3 as a key part of their training methodologies.
X3 aside, resistance band bar systems that emphasize heavy loading without adequate safety features do so at the expense of injury to bones and ligaments, as heavy bands used without a barbell and ground plate interface can apply harmful twisting forces to the small, delicate bones in one’s wrist and ankle joints.
Heavy resistance bands are incredibly useful for training, but delicate bones in the ankles and wrists need to be protected, and only X3 takes this into account.
Is X3 Worth the Investment?
While the X3 is more expensive than the Gorilla Bow, its quality and results have made it a household name. And since it completely replaces an entire home gym, it’s certainly worth the additional expense.
The price of X3 is relatively low, given its comparability to a regular monthly gym membership or even a handful of sessions with a personal trainer. And if you can’t afford to pay in full, financing is available through Affirm.
Gorilla Bow has a two-year warranty, which is decent for a product of its price range. X3, on the other hand, offers a 5-year warranty on the bar and ground plate and a scientific foundation to back up tens of thousands of positive user reviews on the system.
Recap and Final Thoughts
According to a recent interview with Ben Greenfield, the X3 training system represents “a more effective training protocol… that challenges muscle where you are most capable and takes stress off joints where you are least capable.”
As reviewers have pointed out, Gorilla Bow has less load capacity, which may not challenge some users. It does not offer a protective ground plate and charges a monthly fee for its video training program.
X3 can deliver higher forces, with constant tension on the muscle in ranges and exercise configurations that are optimal for growth and joint stability. Therefore, using a tailored band training system like X3 will provide the right load to the right muscles, protect joints, and strengthen bones for decades to come.
One final benefit offered by the legacy of the X3 system over the Gorilla Bow is the engaged online user support group.
Tens of thousands of happy X3 converts provide encouragement, testimonials, and education for new users, adding accountability, solidarity, and community that one might get from the gym.
Gorilla Bow can’t offer anything comparable, perhaps because its users are less committed; the X3 provides for an entire lifestyle, whereas Gorilla Bow is often just a home gym supplement.
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