Above Average: I Worked Out in Resistance-Band Fitness Leggings and Lived to Tell the Tale

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Last week I told you all about Physiclo, a new brand that just launched a new line of fitness apparel outfitted with resistance band technology. The concept behind the pants is simple: when you add the extra resistance to your preexisting workout, your body works even harder to overcome said extra resistance, resulting in a better, more intense workout, without actually having to change your routine. I hate change, and I’m innately lazy, so these pants sounded great to me. What follows is my own personal account of exercising in Physiclo’s magical, resistance-band pants.

(Related: 94-Year-Old Fashion Icon Iris Apfel Just Designed Wearables, Proving You’re Never Too Old To Learn New Tricks)

First things first, I want to assure you that these are, in fact, otherwise normal fitness leggings. I’m vehemently anti-gym selfie, so here’s a PR-provided photo of a human lady in said Physiclo pants:

physiclo above average

So, yeah, normal pants. The only difference is this: half the workout is getting pants on your body. If you’ve ever worn a pair of Spanx, the Phsyiclo leggings aren’t too far off. Honestly, I’ve never felt more like fat sack of meat in my entire life than I did pulling these bad boys on. Physiclo’s PR rep had warned me about this though—the pants feel particularly tight, especially at first, because of the added elastic layers of resistance—so fortunately it didn’t take too much of a toll on my self esteem.

Once they were on, I immediately found myself having to take a lap around the locker room before working out to get adjusted to the added weight. If you’ve ever worked out with ankle weights, the sensation is similar, except, of course, the weight is in your waist, hips, and thighs rather than your ankles. Once I was acclimated, or as acclimated as I could be to pants that were actively holding my body in place, I got to work.

It was just a normal day in the gym for me, and while I definitely felt that the resistance leggings were having some kind of impact on my workout, though initially all it was was that I got hotter faster. After about 20 minutes on the elliptical, I started to feel the extra weight of the leggings, so it felt like the right time to switch over to the bike. The same thing happened after 20 minutes on the bike, thus prompting me to believe that, if I were to work out in these leggings again, I need to be prepared for a day of interval and cross-machine training. Since I exercise after work in New York City, this isn’t exactly ideal, unless you’re the kind of person that considers getting into a fistfight with a stranger over a treadmill exercise.

(Related: Meet the Workout Bracelet That You’ll Actually Want to Wear)

After those 40 minutes, I conceded to the fact that, as much as I could feel the resistance doing something, it wasn’t worth making myself more uncomfortable than I normally am when I exercise (I sweat a lot, you guys). I found that the resistance leggings didn’t have as much of an impact when I was doing my free weight and core exercises, but maybe I was doing something wrong. With all that done, my session was over, and my pants I took ourselves home.

All in all, I have to say that the resistance leggings did definitely have an immediate impact on my workout, even if it wasn’t as intense as I was expecting it to be. At $110 for the cropped leggings and $125 for the full tights, these are definitely an investment, so unless you’ve got money to burn, I definitely wouldn’t suggest just buying them on a whim. That said, if you’re dead-set on not changing your workout ways but want something to give you a little extra boost, Physiclo could be a good brand for you. Or, you know, you could just strap some rubber bands to your legs. Though I’m not so sure that’s how resistance works…oh well.

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