Reviewed by Julie Powell
Recovering from recent surgery I have been desperate to get myself back to the gym, however at the moment this isn’t an option. So when I received the Activ5 Portable Strength Training Device to review I was delighted as it meant I could safely and conveniently workout at home to help aid me with my recovery and build up my muscle strength again.
The Activ5 device is a small palm sized portable isometric-based strength training device which alongside the app (paired together via Bluetooth) guides you through a choice of full workouts (taking around 5 minutes per work-out) or individual specific area targeted exercises without the need for any additional weights or equipment which makes it ideal for those that can’t make it to the gym such as whilst you are on holiday, travelling, on a lunch break at work or a busy mum with little ones napping/asleep at night.
The device comes in a small box which includes:
- A quick start guide
- The handheld device
- Mobile phone stand
Setting up the device was really easy and straightforward to do; you just have to download the Activ5 training app (free of charge and available on IOS and Android) then turn on the device and pair the two together via Bluetooth.
Once you are all set up the app takes you through a quick tutorial which teaches you where best to position the device, it then guides you through each of the exercises to that you can set calibrate the exercise (set the maximum power) this involves you doing the exercise and maintaining the pose as hard as you can for a period of five seconds be doing this it enables you to track your progress and see how well you are progressing.
Once the maximum power for the exercise is set you are then able to complete the exercise, this is where I started to get a bit stuck to complete the exercises you have to squeeze the device in the position shown and described on the screen (it also shows you which muscle areas are being targeted) and try and keep the marker on the exercise curve which has been created based on your max power, at times you have to squeeze a little bit harder. I found that even though I felt that I was maintaining the same amount of pressure the marker was just bouncing around the place and struggled to stick to the exercise curve, I guess with frequent use this will improve. Once that exercise has been completed you get a little summary which tells you your max power, total weight lifted and your muscle control precision.
The app contains a large choice of workouts which you are able to choose from this include the Acitv5 challenge which involves doing 3 daily workouts for 6 weeks, upper body section, lower body, get strong, get toned, yoga/Pilates, awesome abs, butt burner, lean legs, boomers, stay strong, office, watching TV, car/plane/train, hotel and lastly surprise me.
However if you don’t want to do a workout there is a huge array of seated, standing and advanced exercise targeting specific areas such as shoulders, chest, biceps, triceps, forearms, core, obliques, back, glutes, hip flexors, abductors & adductors, quads, hamstrings, calves and shins, neck. As with the exercises in the workouts these individual exercises also show you what to do with a brief description on the screen and a little body picture showing you which muscle areas you are targeting.
The one thing that I found hard work with the app is that the writing over the images very hard to read as its in white and would be much clearer if it was in a darker colour or if the app came with an option to choose the font colour per your personal preference.
One of the handy things about the device is that it comes with a replaceable AAA battery already in place meaning that there is no need to charge the device as the battery life should last between 6-12 months.
I think that the device is very good for those that can’t get to an actual gym and will definitely help aid my recovery and keep my muscles working but once I’m able to go back to the actual gym I feel that I would prefer that to using this device however at times where I need a handy gym in my pocket this definitely does the job!