I just got my pump on at CES with the tiny Activbody Activ5 workout puck

The Activbody Activ5 is a small puck-sized device that is surprisingly effective at working your muscles.

Eric Franklin

Eric Franklin

Senior Managing Editor / Mobile

Eric Franklin leads the CNET Reviews editors in San Francisco as managing editor. A 20-year industry veteran, Eric began his tech journey testing computers in the CNET Labs. When not at work he can usually be found at the gym, at the movies, or at the edge of his couch with a game controller in his hands.

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I just squeezed the puck as hard as I could. That was all it took to get me a good pump. The Activ5 from Activbody is a small puck-sized device, on show here at CES, that responds to the pressure your hands, thighs or whatever put on it.

The idea is to use it for 5 minutes at a time, several times a day. According to Activbody, a clinical study found that users who did this experienced a 5 percent increase in strength per week.

Tyler Lizenby/CNET

I haven't looked too deeply into the study, so I've no idea how valid it is, but what I can say is that in the few minutes I used it, I got a pretty good pump -- that is, my muscles got filled with enough blood to make them look and feel larger than normal -- and the game-based strength challenges in the accompanying app were fun and challenging.

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Despite its touted effectiveness in increasing strength, however, the Activ5 isn't meant to replace going to the gym or doing Insanity or a similar workout at home. It's more an alternative to doing nothing at all, for people who don't make time to workout as often as they'd like or you know, if you're just really busy one day.

Tyler Lizenby/CNET

Personally, I'd need to test it out for more than just a few minutes before deciding it was worth the money. Maybe a couple weeks or so to really determine that it does what it promises to.

The Activ5 is available for preorder now and will start shipping at the end of January 2017 for $100 in the US, which converts to about £80 or AU$140.

Key Activ5 features:

  • Measures more than 200 pounds (90 kg) of force
  • Six-month battery life
  • Companion app available on iOS and Android
  • Can look really silly when done in public (trust me)
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