Looking for the Best X3 Bar Alternative? Top 3 Cheaper Options

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This article is for anyone looking for the best X3 bar alternatives. We’re going to take a look at some of the top rated portable home gym solutions that use resistance bands. What we want to find is a piece of equipment with similar features and that will offer a similar workout experience (and results).

Why resistance bands?

Research has concluded that variable resistance training with resistance bands is superior to conventional free weight training in increasing power and developing strength. So even if you’re a fan of weight lifting at the gym, you might still want to throw in some band work for increased strength and gains. Or maybe you just want a resistance training solution for working out at home or on the go.

There are a number of portable home gyms available that utilize this concept of variable resistance, with the X3 Bar being one of the most famous on the market.


With this scientifically designed piece of equipment created by Dr. John Jaquish, you can grow muscles 3x faster than with lifting free weights (according to the official website). And for maximum effectiveness you only need to work out for 10 minutes per day. There’s a full 12 week workout plan included with videos and nutrition info to make a complete “all in one” solution that can replace (or supplement) your gym membership. The X3 bar is hugely popular and has thousands of fans, but it does have one major drawback…

X3 Bar Price

man with musclesMost home gyms using resistance bands cost about $200-$300. Or maybe a little less if you go the DIY route building one of your own using a bar and bands purchased separately.

However the X3 Portable Gym costs $549. Not exactly cheap for a system that essentially consists of just a bar, heavy duty bands, and a base plate.

Now we’re not going to discuss in this article whether or not it’s worth the price. Instead we’re going to look at X3 Bar alternatives, to see if you can get a similar workout from any of the other cheaper portable home gym solutions with resistance bands on the market.

Best X3 Bar alternatives in 2021

#1 BodyBoss 2.0 Home Gym (Most Similar to X3 + Highest Resistance)

The Bodyboss 2.0 Home Gym is the best selling portable home gym with resistance bands in 2021. It’s the most similar in that it has an anchor plate, bar and bands, and is also a total workout system that you can use to replace traditional, more expensive workout equipment.

Body Boss is very portable and can be used at home, outdoors, at the gym, or when traveling. It weighs only 15lbs, comes with a travel bag for your accessories, and folds in half for easy storage (it even has carrying handles).

The Bodyboss 2.0 is extremely versatile and there are thousands of exercises you can do – squats, rows, flys, deadlifts, twists, extensions and more. You get a Body Boss user manual, training videos, workout plans and everything you need to get started, build momentum and reach your goals. There are over 100 live and recorded videos of workouts, and they even give you the opportunity to talk to personal trainers one on one if you need assistance.

Included in the package is the base, a bar, 2 or 4 bands (up to 30lbs each), wrist/ankle straps, handles and a door anchor. There isn’t a carrying bag, but when folded there is a handle for easy portability. When shortened, the bands can simulate over 185lbs of resistance (and you can order more if you need more tension). In total, the platform can withstand up to 500lbs of resistance and is suitable for a full body workout at the level of resistance of your choice.

Body Boss is also suitable for anyone of any height and size, and is an excellent way to burn fat and build muscle. This can simulate just about any exercise you could do at the gym. Bodyboss is far more versatile than the X3 Bar as you can use it for an infinite amount of exercises, cardio, and mass gain (rather than just bodybuilding).

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or read more about the Bodyboss Home Gym 2.0

#2 Gorilla Bow (Most Portable alternative)

alternative to the x 3 barThis is a bow shaped piece of home gym fitness equipment that can be used to do a wide range of exercises that target all major muscle groups. The bow (or bar) is made from aircraft-grade T6 aluminum and can withstand 300 lbs of tension. Resistance bands of different tensions can easily be hooked on to the ends (or swapped) in seconds making this piece of fitness equipment really easy to use.

The original bow comes with 4 resistance bands that total 110lbs of tension, but you can purchase an extra set of heavy, or extra heavy bands. The extra heavy bands (to build more muscle mass) consist of 2 x 80lb and 2 x 90lb bands totalling 340lbs. Up to 4 bands at a time can be added to the bar.

A library of free home gym workout videos is available to show you how to use it. You can do numerous weight lifting exercises including squats, calf raises, twists, lunges, rows, deadlifts, bicep curls, chest presses and more. It can also be used for Tabata and full-body HIIT workouts.

There is also a travel version available (the bow can be separated into 3 sections for easy portability when travelling) and a Lite bow which is smaller with lighter tension (for beginners). Carrying bag is included.

Check out the customer feedback on Amazon:

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#3 Tension Toner

tension toner with door anchorThe Tension Toner consists of 2 latex free resistance bands (2-5lbs and 15-20lbs), a door anchor, instruction booklet and travel bag to carry your bands and accessories. It’s only 16 inches when folded, weighs just 2lbs, is TSA friendly and will easily fit in a carry on bag.

There are over 70 exercises available to hit every muscle group and there are 10 and 30 minute online workout programs included.

To use it, you pull apart the bars under tension. The center straps flatten and you must keep enough pulling tension on the bars to keep the straps flat during each movement. There are 3 levels of resistance built into the Tension Toner.

It’s small and versatile and the cheapest of the options available. In comparison to the X3 Bar though it’s more for fitness and toning than building serious muscle mass.

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Important features to consider in an X3 Bar Alternative

x3 bar alternativeResistance

The resistance level is the amount of tension a band offers when exercising. Resistance bands usually come in different tension levels such as light, medium, heavy and extra heavy. Each tension level equates to a certain amount of weight in lbs/kg and different bands may be used for different exercises (depending on the weight/resistance level) you require. The X3 Bar’s highest tension band is 120lbs which can be doubled up with a second 120lb band for 240lbs of tension.

The home gym alternatives mentioned below generally don’t have as high a tension level as they’re not designed for power lifters. However, bands can be doubled up or shortened to increase resistance and it may also be possible to purchase extra higher tension bands.


Because these training kits are all based around resistance bands, bars, and anchor plates they’re all relatively light and portable. Very easy to throw in the car when travelling without taking up much space. Although you may not be able to fly with all of them in hand luggage, they should all be small and light enough to fit in check in bags.

Will it build muscle?

The X3 Bar is marketed as being able to grow muscle 3 times faster than with free weights. Although this claim seems unrealistic and possibly marketing hype, they do point to specific research and studies that prove the efficacy of resistance bands for building muscle and strength. Whether or not you will build muscle THAT quickly, any resistance band system WILL build muscle mass if you do the exercises that target the different muscle groups. You’ve got to put the work in though and do the workouts as recommended.

Workout program included

All of these home gyms can be used for multiple different exercises, but for best results you need to have a suitable program you can follow. Preferably with instructional videos demonstrating how to do each exercise. All of our top picks above come with easy to follow training programs.

Final thoughts

The above best X3 Bar alternatives are quality pieces of fitness equipment in their own right but might not necessarily pack the same punch for power lifters. There isn’t really an X3 competitor that is EXACTLY the same right now, although you could rig up something similar by buying a bar and bands on Amazon. Realistically that would probably only cost about $150 or less but you wouldn’t have the base plate. This means you’d have to anchor with your feet so it would be harder to workout barefoot (if that’s what you prefer). Also, it probably wouldn’t withstand the same tension that X3 Bar can if you’re a heavy lifter who is into heavy duty muscle building. When buying make sure to check the bar will meet your weight requirements.

If you don’t want to create your own resistance band system then any of the portable home gym options we mentioned above would make a good alternative. They all offer a slightly different workout system, but they all ultilize resistance bands and the principles are the same. X3 is the best for power lifters who need an alternative to lifting heavy free weights, but if you just want to get fit, strong and build some muscle mass (without the ridiculously high price) try one of the cheaper options:

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