Portable training systems are always going to appeal to those that don’t have space for massive home gyms or racks of free weights. Right now, at a time when many countries are in quarantine and people are practicing social distancing, the trend for working out at home has increased massively. The most popular portable home gyms on the market are the Bodyboss 2.0 Portable Home Gym and the Gorilla Bow. They claim to be able to replicate many of the most popular weight training exercises you'd normally do in the gym, with minimal equipment and no free weights. So, just how portable and advantageous are these products? Are they helpful solutions or gimmicks that need a bit of work? Let's take a closer look with a comparison of the Bodyboss vs Gorilla Bow...
Bodyboss vs Gorilla Bow: what do you get in each box?
Both of these concepts are simple. You get an alternative to weight training with a bar and a series of resistance bands. From there, they both take slightly different approaches with additional features and design.
The BodyBoss Portable Gym is the more complex of the two. You get the following in the basic package:
The basic package of the Gorilla Bow is a little simpler - you get:
There is also the Ultra, Heavy and Total packages which are slightly more expensive and come with more bands of different resistances. You can see all the packages here on Amazon.
Bodyboss vs Gorilla Bow - The Main Differences
Both home gyms are lightweight, portable and easy to use. The main difference between the two is that Bodyboss has a higher max resistance than the Gorilla Bow. Either will require an extra purchase of additional bands to hit their top resistance. The travel version of the Gorilla Bow folds up smaller (and is lighter) for easier portability.
Yes (Travel Version)
Up to 500lbs (Extra bands needed for max resistance)
Up to 340lbs (Extra bands needed for max resistance)
Workout & exercise videos included
Can be used for HIIT
Bodyboss comes with 2 resistance bands, each with up to 30lbs of resistance (more bands can be purchased separately). Resistance bands can be shortened through the base plate's anchor points to create up to 70-80lbs per band. The shorter you make the bands, the higher the resistance (and vice versa). The Vectorfit Base Platform is made from a durable material that has been tested and proven to withstand up to 500lbs of force. So you can basically customize your resistance with the bands making this very versatile for beginners all the way up to experienced weight lifters.
The basic package comes with 4 bands totalling 110lbs of resistance. You can use up to 4 bands at a time. The bands equate to 10lbs, 20lbs, 30lbs and 50lbs. If 110 doesn't provide enough tension to be challenging for certain exercises you may want to purchase an extra heavier band set - 2 x 50lbs and 2 x 60lbs. The original Gorilla bow can withstand up to 300 lbs of tension and the Travel Bow up to 350 lbs.
What exercises can you do?
Both systems are very versatile and are only limited by your imagination. However if you normally lift heavy, you probably will need to invest in extra bands for either. There are hundreds of exercises you can do including all the most popular ones - lunges, squats, rows, crunches, calf raises, side bends, chest presses, chest flys, deadlifts, extensions, pulldowns and more. With the Gorilla Bow you can also do tabata workouts and HIIT.
Bodyboss Home Gym vs Gorilla Bow Ease of use
This is probably the easier of the two to use - all you have to do is hook your bands with resistance of choice (up to 4 at a time) onto each end of the bow and you're ready to go. Customers find the bow very easy to use but a few have complained that the bands could be labelled better. They are different colors for different tensions, but its easy to forget which is which in the beginning. There's a workout library full of free videos included, showing you how to do each exercise with the bow.
There's more of a learning curve to the Bodyboss because it comes with more equipment. Mainly it just involves clipping the bands to different anchor points, clipping on wrist bands etc to set up for each exercise so it's still pretty easy. To get more resistance though you'll have to get a little more creative with how you use the bands - threading them through different anchor points to shorten them. Again, very easy once you've done it a few times. There are plenty of training videos, live training sessions and more to get you started.
Both the BodyBoss 2.0 and Gorilla Bow offer a very portable work out solution. In fact portability is one of the keys to the success of these two products.
The plate is foldable and the bar collapsible so there should be no problem transporting it between locations. Then means that you can take it out to the park, to a hotel, or to someone else’s home for a joint training session. The 7 pieces of equipment weigh in at just 15lbs total and there is a durable carrying bag for the accessories.
Portability is also a big selling point for the Gorilla Bow because of its lightweight design, lack of parts and the carry cases in some of the packages. The original Gorilla Bow is less easy to carry around because the bow itself (which is 56 inches in length) isn't foldable. Due to demand for a really portable option Gorilla Bow designed their collapsible Travel version, which means you can work out at home, in the office, or on the road. It weighs just 6lbs and can be taken apart into 3 different sections (which is also great for easy storage).
Price of Each
Both home gyms are priced very similarly at approximately $200 for their basic packages. However if you want to customize these (some people need extra resistance bands for heavier weights) you may need to invest more.
BodyBoss 2.0 Portable Home Gym is pretty simplistic in its concept – just some bands, bars, and that clever design of the plate. However, when you consider the versatility of this product and the amount of exercises you can do, you'll probably find it's worth the price. Priced at $179 on the official website, the basic package will be enough for many users, however some find that they want to use more than the two bands that come with system. For extra resistance, or just for easier use (saves you having to constantly unclip and clip the resistance bands for different exercises).
The basic bundle of the Gorilla Bow is $199.00 on the official website. If you want the full set with every type of band, the cases and the bag for the bow, it is $350. That’s a lot more than the BodyBoss but at least it is a “Total” package that includes everything. There is also a cheaper Lite Bow option for beginners or those who don't want to lift too heavy, a Heavy package for heavy lifters, and a Travel Bow. If you start with the basic package and want to upgrade you can buy the heavy bands separately. See the different Gorilla Bow packages on Amazon
Final Verdict - Which is best?
The final recommendation here on these two pieces of resistance weightlifting equipment depends on your own preference. Both are excellent pieces of equipment that will help you "get the job done" if you're working out from home or on the go.
The Gorilla Bow is the simpler to use (and lighter) home gym of the two. It's just a matter of hooking on and off the different resistance bands and you can get straight into your workout. The comprehensive library of free videos show you exactly how to do popular exercises such as deadlifts, curls, rows and much more. It can even be used for HIIT training and Tabata workouts. If you want to travel with it though or need to store in a small space opt for the Travel Bow rather than the Basic package. The Basic has a max resistance of 110lbs so if you normally lift heavier than that, you may want to opt for the Heavy package, or buy a set of heavy resistance bands.
Bodyboss 2.0 Home Gym similarly can be used to do most of your favorite weight training exercises, but it requires a little more effort to set up for different exercises. Bodyboss is actually the top selling portable home gym on many top retail websites, mainly because of its affordable price and versatility. There are hundreds of different exercises you can do, but like the bow though you'll want to purchase some extra bands to get the most out of our workouts.
Cost and multi-functionality are both very similar when considering Bodyboss vs Gorilla Bow (although it depends on how you want to customize them with extra resistance etc.). Both are impressive designs with great workout options in a truly portable package - it's up to you which you think will suit your situation better. See them both on Amazon: