Lightweight weight training kit on the go. Domyos expander – fit for purpose?

Ok – my confession. I am a freelance travel writer who also happens to be a vain little gym bunny.

For me keeping fit is not just a way of life but also a great way to boost my state of mind. It’s about freeing those endorphins.

Anyway, I digress.

My travels take me places far and wide – many without running water let alone a gym. I need lightweight training kit to satisfy the most pitiful 15kg baggage allowance, yet robust enough to provide decent resistance to flex those pectorals.

Often you’ll find me using whatever happens to be in my hotel room or mountain shack. There are times though when it becomes unwise for a man to continue to use that rickety table for his triceps dips.

Enter the Domyos Expander.

Weighing in at under 500g, it’s small and compact enough to fold into your rucksack.

The blurb on the box states a minimum resistance of 5kg and a maximum of 25kg for your workout. On checking the price tag – £11.99 – surely worth a punt.

So how does the Domyos size up?

Portability: 10/10 – Lightweight and fits neatly into the smallest of spaces. Packing the Domyos is a breeze. No complaints there.

Range of exercises: 3/10 – Except for three common sense exercises shown on the back of the box, the Domyos appeared to come with no exercise chart showing what else you could actually do with it.

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After several rather dangerous attempts to conjure up moves of my own I logged onto the website www.domyos.com to locate the free exercises touted on the reverse of the box. Unfortunately there were none.

Of course they may be have been hiding somewhere but I purchased the Domyos to get a workout for my body, not a workout for my eyeballs wasting time scouring for elusive exercises. Please Domyos, if you’re going to point people to exercises on your website at least make them obvious!

Ease of use and resistance: 6/10 – For the limited exercises I tried (bicep curls, triceps extensions, seated/upright rows) it sufficed. Nothing to rival a set of free weights mind you. However, the Domyos did allow adjustment from one band (made of surprisingly robust and springy oxylane providing approximately 5kg of resistance) right up to the 25kg maximum resistance indicated on the packaging.

I could feel my muscles working against the bands so some good was being done but not enough to produce serious fatigue for effective training. The Domyos is more use for toning.

The bands are easy to fit/remove but you do need to ensure that they remain securely attached. My initial use led to my nearly decapitating the dog and taking out my eyeball in one swift movement.

Quality: 5/10 – I would have given a slightly higher rating if the lettering on the foam handles hadn’t peeled off during first use. The foam handles aren’t the most robust but in fairness the product has been designed with lightweight portability in mind.

Overall value for money: 6/10 – Tough one. For the limited exercises that the Domyos facilitates I’d say it was a worthwhile buy BUT only as an addition to other exercises you might engage in. If you’re buying the Domyos to provide a satisfying full body workout you will probably be disappointed.

Now where’s that rickety table gone?

Where to buy: Decathalon £11.99. Visit the Decathalon website

by Mark Stanley | @GranCanMan76

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