Activbody describes the Activ5 as "a tiny gym in your pocket," and it's a fist-size strength-training device in the shape of a puck. The Activ5 measures compressive force when you press the two sides together with some part of your body, such as the palms of your hands, or your hand and thigh, or even by pressing down with your foot. It's designed to be used in short workouts throughout the day, and it's pocket-size, so you can use it anywhere. Usually $140, you can getright now, no code or coupon required. It's listed for a discounted $109 on the product page, but you get an exclusive additional $10 off when you get to checkout. (If the price isn't $99, add promo code CNET manually.)
I've been using the Activ5 for a while now and it's become a standard part of my daily fitness routine. It pairs with your phone and reacts to the hundred or so workouts you can choose in categories like Office & Travel, Full Body, Upper Body, Lower Body and Core. You can do an entire workout -- it ranges from about 4 to 7 minutes, depending on the one you choose -- or just jump into specific exercises, each of which is generally about 30 seconds long.
Performing the exercises is easy and, inasmuch as any exercise can be fun, this one sort of is. The app tells you exactly what you need to do and shows you some photos to eliminate any ambiguity. A typical exercise might include holding the puck between your hands while extending your arms straight out in front of you, alternately pressing your hands together and resting, based on a follow-the-bouncing-ball style visual. You're not just exerting your muscles, you're trying to do it precisely so the virtual ball stays on a specific course, with just the right amount of power. It's like working out to Flappy Bird.
Does this really deliver a meaningful workout? I'm neither a doctor nor a physical trainer, but the Activ5 really does induce an invigorating burn when I power through a 5-minute workout, and it does give me the impression that I'm doing some meaningful weight-training without needing weights. It feels like the missing ingredient in my own workout that already includes 20 minutes of theand 20 minutes on the elliptical.
If you want to try it out for yourself, you might want to grab it soon, since this deal expires Dec. 14.
This article was published earlier in the year and has been updated to reflect the latest deal.
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The information contained in this article is for educational and informational purposes only and is not intended as health or medical advice. Always consult a physician or other qualified health provider regarding any questions you may have about a medical condition or health objectives.