There is a lot of information to take in, so here are some shortcuts...
Multi-Layering Technique using Natural Liquid Latex
The many layers in ElastiTone's tubing (forming the concentric circles inside the "Black Mamba" band's core shown below) reduce the chance of a breakage. If you get a nick or tear in the tube it should stop before it reaches the next layer instead of quickly spreading through the band and snapping, which happens with regular unlayered extruded bands.
ElastiTone tubes are also made from natural Malaysian liquid latex, often used in the medical industry were strength is vital, which not only makes them stronger but also gives them a smoother feel when in use. Using multiple layers combined with liquid latex makes ElastiTone bands more expensive to produce, but the end result is well worth it!
Higher & Honest Tension Ratings
Many sellers of exercise bands use very misleading ratings. A band that has 25lbs of average tension will often be rated as 50lbs! This is because the rating was recorded with the band stretched almost as far as it will reach before it breaks, but for most exercises you will never reach this rating because you won't be stretching it to that length, making these ratings quite misleading and causing disappointment when the customer finally gets their purchase.
ElastiTone uses not one, but two ratings. Both are easy to understand and more importantly are honest. All the ratings used are easily achievable.
For a visual example, below is a side by side comparison of our Blue Medium band (left) and a cheap competitor Blue Medium band (right) found on eBay. Both had similar tension ratings.
As you can clearly see, the walls of the ElastiTone band are much thicker than the cheaper competitors, reaching right to the edges of the image. You can also see the cheaper band is just one piece of extruded rubber.
For another comparison, below is a side by side of the ElastiTone "Extra Heavy" resistance tube on the left, and a competitors "Black Sniper" tube on the right. The Black Sniper is rated as being Extreme Tension at 62lb. The Extra Heavy is around 60lbs average. I would assume therefore that the 62lb rating was taken at almost full stretch and is not the average rating, since it is much thinner.
If you want true "Extreme Tension", then you need the "Black Mamba" band. It is the thickest / strongest resistance band ever made, with a whopping 35KG of average tension rating and a 56KG max rating.
It is aimed at strong individuals and serious bodybuilders who need more of a challenge, and is perfect for bicep curls and rows etc. If you thought exercise bands where just for rehab, think again! A few people actualy returned it because it was too much for them, but most customers love it!
Tension Ratings Table
Tension Ratings Explained...
ElastiTone use 2 easily understandable resistance ratings.
The "Average" rating is the minimum rating that is easily achievable for all exercises and is taken with the bands stretched to around 2x their resting length, so a bicep curl would be a good example of an exercise that will produce around the average rating. By using a wider foot spacing on the band or standing further from the anchor point, you can easily achieve a higher resistance than the average.
The "Overhead Press" rating was taken at the very top of an overhead press by a person of average height (about 5ft 7") with feet close together. During the overhead press is about as far as you will ever stretch an exercise band, so any tension that may be created beyond that point is irrelevant and would be both unfair and pointless to record.
Using these 2 ratings gives you a better and more realistic idea of how much resistance each band will offer you, and is not misleading.
A 21 Kg rated band will produce AT LEAST 10.5 Kg on each side when using a handle on both ends, just like a 21 Kg barbell would have 10.5 Kg of weight on each side. The wider apart your feet are, the higher the tension will be, every inch makes a noticeable difference in tension but also reduces how far you can stretch the tubing and sleeve. You can also attach both ends of a band to the same handle and use it like a single dumbbell, this will give you the total rating on one side of your body, e.g. 21 Kg on one arm.
NOTE: As with ALL exercise bands things such as your height, limb length and posture will effect the tension. E.g. a taller person may achieve a higher rating, a shorter person may achieve a lower rating. If you are quite short you can put more resting length between your feet to make up for this.
Ratings are rounded off to the closest 0.5 Kg for the sake of simplicity, e.g. if a band is 20.2 Kg it will be rounded down to 20 Kg, if it is 20.4 Kg it will be rounded up to 20.5 Kg. Because the tension of an exercise band constantly changes as it is being stretched and relaxed, rounding off really makes no difference as there is no such thing as a fixed tension with resistance bands anyway, which is also why the bands are labeled with words such as "Heavy"and not fixed numbers.
A Set to Suit Everyone
There are 3 main exercise/resistance band products currently on offer.
The first option is the "PRO Ultra" set, which is made up of 6 bands ranging from "Extra Light" to "Extra Heavy" with a total combined tension of 135.5KG. It is ideal for bodybuilders and beginners alike and is the best selling set by far. This set is also perfect for the P90X beach body program, as it gives a varied and greater amount of tension and is safer to use than the original non-sleeved P90X exercise bands.
The second option is for those who want maximum resistance! "The Pro Ultra + Mamba" is basically the Pro Ultra above, along with the "Black Mamba" band added, which is the thickest exercise band in the world! The total tension offered by this set is 191.5 KG and it is aimed at serious bodybuilders.
The third option is the "Quad Tension" bundle, which contains the 4 heaviest / highest tension bands, handles, straps and a door anchor for those who don't want or need the lighter bands. The total tension is 156KG and it is also the cheapest option in the range, although I still recommend the Pro Ultra over this since the lighter bands are useful for adding just a little more resistance instead of jumping straight to the next band which may be too much, and there is only a ¬£2 price difference.
You can also add extra bands and attachments to your order should you need them, or purchase the bands and components alone to create your own bundle.
Click HERE to Buy! Or continue reading....
Must Have Safety Sleeve
Having a band break on you is a painful experience, especially when they are as thick as ElastiTone's.¬†
This extremely strong and durable sleeving stops people accidentally over stretching the band, which is the main cause of breakages.
If a band does somehow break it wont hit you, leaving a bruise or possibly even taking your eye out! Instead it will simply repel inside the sleeve and you can request your replacement. The sleeve also protects the tubing from outer wear and tear, meaning it should last longer!
The sleeve material has excellent resistance to Mildew, Acids, Alkalies, Oils and Greece, good resistance against UV rays, and will not absorb water, so is perfect for outdoor use and you don't have to worry about rain or sweat ruining the sleeve. It is also very strong and should easily take the full force of a person pulling against it. I personally have been able to hang from the sleeve and I weighed 12.5 stone at the time, although this is not recommended!
Snapping resistance bands are a serious safety issue that the sleeve helps prevent. Injury's can and have occurred from breaking bands which range from a nasty bruise to permanent scarring or even blindness. To avoid this make sure you have a sleeve, as it is always better to be safe than sorry!
Essential Quick Switch Clip System!
All ElastiTone band sets now come complete with 70mm heavy-duty zinc coated iron carbine clips on the straps and handles, and durable chrome plated iron rings on the bands. This enables users to create different resistance combinations, just like you can with free weights or at a gym.
Advantages of the Clip System
Some other brands do not offer a clip system, instead they have handles attached to the bands which you cannot remove. Bands designed in this way have no resistance combinations at all since you can only use one at a time, which means they are very limited in functionality because once your body becomes used to the resistance each band alone offers, which it will eventually do as you grow stronger such is the nature of the human body, you are forced to use the next band up. This may either be too much of a step up, or may not be enough meaning you are then stuck with a useless set of bands.
Yet another problem with bands that come with attached handles is that you only ever get half of the stated resistance rating! For example a 50 Kg band will only give you 25 Kg per side because you are forced to use a hand at both ends, like with a barbell. With a clip system however you can simply attach both ends of the band to just one handle giving you the full tension on one side.
Durable & Comfortable Attachments!
The handles, straps and door anchor are bigger and of a higher quality than your average resistance band set.
The handles are made from nylon plastic which is a lot stronger than the average thin standard plastic alternative, and they are 13.5cm wide to help prevent chaffing of the material against your hands. The circumference is 11cm so you get a better grip. We tested regular handles but with the thicker bands they just bent and were not very comfortable to use.
The straps are now made almost fully from thick neoprene for extra comfort on bare legs instead of just nylon with a thin layer of neoprene sewn on, and come with detachable carbine clips.
The door anchor is extra large with plenty of foam to stop your paintwork getting damaged, and comes with a detachable carbine clip in case you only want to attach one end of a band. Normally you would remove the carbine before use and simply thread the band through the padded loop at the end.
How can you offer such low prices for such high quality products?
This is a very good question, since other sleeved bands such as the Adidas power bands cost around ¬£16.99 - ¬£20 EACH and have less tension and options.
The biggest reason for the costs being low is that ElastiTone does not use 3rd party retailers, wholesalers or brick and mortar stores, so cutting out the middle man means savings can be passed directly to the customer, giving you close to wholesale prices. The only reason brands like Adidas and Nike etc cost so much is that they sell mostly through 3rd party retailers such as sports and fitness stores, and those stores also need to make a decent profit, meaning a very large chunk of the money you pay for the product goes to the retailer and is not going towards the quality or production of the product. ElastiTone sells direct ONLY which means higher quality at a lower price.
Secondly, time and money was not spent paying for fitness models, photo shoots and a studio to make DVD's, instructions and demonstrations. There are already well over 1000 resistance band videos and exercises on YouTube and the Internet, creating more of the same really was not needed and would only push the price up.
In general most people will either already know how to use the bands OR will look Online to see how the equipment is used before purchasing it. They have been around for so long that using an exercise band is becoming as common as using a dumbbell, with plenty of info available Online if you don't know how.
To point you in the right direction, I have created a collection of some of the very best instructional videos and workouts from the Internet in our Exercise & Workouts link at the bottom of every page, or you can click HERE, which should keep you going for a while. You will even find links to competitors videos on this site, and the reason for this is simply because no matter what brand you use the exercise is still performed the exact same way.
Bands or Weights - which is better?
Free weights and resistance bands are not in competition with each other and never will be, they are simply different tools for the same job. They both stress and grow your muscles, but both use a different method to do so and each has it's advantages. Neither is better than the other and each has it's own advantages.
Muscles grow during the repair process when they recover from being stressed, regardless of whether that stress comes from a weight, a band or even your own body weight. Bands do however have many advantages over free weights...
Resistance band training involves the application of elastic resistance to cause muscle contraction, rather than gravity.
Weight training provides the majority of the resistance at the beginning, in the initiation of the movement, when the muscle must overcome the inertia of the weight’s mass. After this point the overall resistance alters depending on the angle of the joints being used.
Or in simple terms‚Ä¶.
Dumbbells do no not give the same kind of workout as a band can because dumbbells are at their heaviest from the bottom (the beginning) of the curl, up to the half way mark when your forearm is at 90 degrees to you elbow, after they pass this mark the weight is greatly reduced the more you curl due to the way the elbow effects the weight and tension applied to the muscle. For example at the top of a curl the weight is almost falling in to your shoulder which is of no benefit to your muscles.
The above is why people can do a lot more curls from the middle to the top than from the start to the middle, or walk around for ages holding a barbell at chest height, because the joint angle of the arm and the direction of gravity have helped relieve most of the stress. Of course you can get around this by bending over or laying facing down on a bench to do all of your bicep curls, but that's not really ideal.
Elastic resistance (tensile force) however, provides a more progressive amount of resistance throughout the entire range of motion. Elastic resistance gradually rises and provides the greatest resistance at the end of the motion, when the band is stretched to the greatest extent. This allows the user to put more stress on their muscles towards the end of the motion and less at the beginning.
As an example, most people would struggle to lift a 30 Kg dumbbell as they would not be able to lift it from the start of the curl onwards due to their wrists and forearms maybe not being able to handle the weight and gravity pulling the arm straight down before you have even begun. With a band resistance gradually progresses, enabling the user to perform the full curl, and exert 30 Kg of tension upon the muscle at the top of the curl whilst allowing less tension at the start.
Resistance bands challenge your muscles in a way that free weights simply can't and have many more exercise possibilities than free weights. For example you cannot row with free weights properly unless doing so straight up and down, the only alternative is an expensive cable or rowing machine, but with bands you can also row forwards, backwards, diagonal, any direction you can think of, thus challenging your muscles in a way they have perhaps never been challenged before.
Of course there are some exercises such as the bench press, dead lift and squats, were the user benefits from the constant weight that free weights offer on a vertical plane, and does not need the increasing tension bands offer. Also a dead-lift obviously cannot be done properly or effectively with an exercise band anyway, as you are not lifting a dead weight off the ground which is the whole idea, so why not...
Combine weights and bands for the ultimate workout!
Many people like to attach bands to their weights in order to get a lot more out of a workout than they could otherwise.
To do this either wrap the band around your bar, or attach 1 or 2 ankle straps to the bar and then clip the bands on to the hooks on the straps.
Next either stand on the band or thread it through the anchor point or around an object, to prevent the band from lifting up off the floor, then simply pick up the bar with the bands attached and proceed to exercise as normal.
This way you get the benefit of the weight and the band at the same time, which is great for stepping up your routine and fantastic for breaking out of a plateau, since your muscles like to be challenged in ways they haven’t been before which should encourage growth. You can also use bands to confuse your muscles, e.g. spend one week using weights only and the next week using bands only for more variety.
Safer than weights & easier on your joints!
The major problem with free weights is that they are a weight! With bands you are not holding any weight in your hands worth mentioning, so there is never any pressure on body parts such as your back or knees until you begin the exercise, which means keeping perfect form is much easier and the chance of injury is vastly reduced. This also makes them great for rehabilitation after an injury.
Very light & portable, workout anywhere, anytime!
Bands are very light and portable which allows you to take them with you anywhere! On holiday, to a hotel room, on business trips, to work, camping, etc etc, because they are easily folded in to the surprisingly small bag provided and weigh very little in comparison to the tension offered.
Bands are basically like a cable machine in a bag, and you can perform all the exercises you generally could with a cable machine and free weights, but without the need for the size and space free weights and machines require.