Ever since the pandemic hit, I’ve become a lot more interested in working out at home. My favorite gym couldn’t bear the economic strain of the lockdown, so I had to start thinking about strength training that I could do at home. That’s about the time I saw ads for the Gorilla Bow (go figure) and after some consideration and research, I took the plunge.
The Gorilla Bow is a long bow-shaped metal bar with notches on either end for special resistance bands. You attach these bands like you’re stringing a bow and then you have a whole world of new exercises you can do in your home gym. The Gorilla Bow lets you work every major muscle group, from shoulders down to your calves.
If there’s one complaint with the Gorilla Bow, it’s that, when you decide to get the whole spread of bands from 10lbs to 100lbs (plus the shorter chest ones), it can get quite expensive. But that’s the cost of entry for what amounts to some great workouts. Resistance bands, and by extension the Gorilla Bow, work a lot of the stabilization muscles and they don’t rely on gravity. This requires a bit of rethinking in your strength training, but that’s not really a bad thing.
Curious about the Gorilla Bow? Read on for our full Gorilla Bow review to see if it’s the right piece of equipment for you.
Gorilla Bow review: Build quality
With any piece of gym equipment, you want something that’s built strong, especially when you’ll be lifting “heavy.” The Gorilla Bow certainly delivers in this regard with an aluminum body and strong resistance bands.
As the name suggests, the Gorilla Bow looks like an archery bow and you attach the bands in the curved notches like you’re stringing a bow. The end result is a sturdy piece of equipment that unlocks a lot of potential.
The bow itself is solid metal that is easy to grip. The bands feel very strong, but of course, as with all resistance equipment, there’s always a risk for snapping and injury. I’ve had my Gorilla Bow for over a year and I haven’t felt unsafe once, but bear in mind that bands can snap at any time.
The Gorilla Bow features a two-year warranty and a 30-day money back guarantee. That’s pretty generous, especially given how much you can drop on the bow and all of the bands and accessories.
Gorilla Bow review: Accessories
The Gorilla Bow comes in four variants: Original, Lite, Travel, and Travel Lite. With the Original — which is what I have — you get four bands, 50lb, 30lb, 20lb, and 10lb in the base package with others available. The Lite is a smaller, lighter model, while the travel versions come apart for easy transport.
But you can buy extra bands, including the heavier and chest sets. There’s a flat band for shorter range of motion exercises, plus heavy bands that total 220 pounds or ultra heavy bands that go up to 340 pounds. There’s also a sleeve that you can layer over the bands to soften their impact on you, such as for chest presses and weighted pushups.
For storage, there’s an optional wall rack for the bands and Bow, plus travel-friendly protective cases. You can also buy extra of the bands (from 10lb to 100lb) that you might need once you think you’re ready for them.
Gorilla Bow review: Workouts
Like I’ve said, the Gorilla Bow unlocks a lot more exercises for your home workouts. In fact, you can do a lot of the free weight-style exercises you’re accustomed to, from bicep curls to squats and shoulder presses. Some require you to reorient yourself, like standing for a chest press or tricep extension.
Gorilla Bow also provides a series of instructional videos on how to workout different muscle groups. You can also get creative. In fact, I’ve done basically every exercise using just my feet to stabilize the band except the lat pulldown. This requires something high to hook the Bow over and pull down — I’ve instead substituted in pull-ups since I don’t have anything in or near my home tall enough for me.
You can also subscribe to Gorilla Bow’s workout program, which offers additional workout videos on demand. This is how you can get the most out of your Bow, but it can be pricey at $14.99/month or $149.99/year. But if you’re serious, then this is cheaper than a gym membership. However, with the upfront cost of the Bow and the bands, it’ll take a while for the equipment and membership to pay for itself (versus a traditional gym fee).
I’ll say that you’ll want to approach your workout plans with a little ingenuity to keep your body on edge. For example, I use my Gorilla Bow thrice a week. I have a back and biceps day, a chest, shoulders, and triceps day, and a leg day (with abs). I’ve had a lot of success with this split and it gives each muscle group plenty of recovery time before I hit them hard again.
And the bands themselves work as any other ones do, meaning you can do exercises like hammer curls and delt flyes. The Gorilla Bow is a little more limited in scope compared to free weights or machines, but it’s still very versatile nonetheless. It’ll take a bit of thought and effort to build mass, but it is possible with resistance bands, contrary to some broscience. In fact, bands work the body differently than free weights, which some might find more beneficial for their overall strength profile.
Gorilla Bow review: Verdict
If you want to upgrade your home gym experience, then the Gorilla Bow should be at the top of your list. It’s a lot more expensive than regular resistance bands, but it offers much more than traditional bands can offer. You can load up really heavy without nearly as much injury risk.
I love my Gorilla Bow and it’s eliminated the need for me to go lift weights in a regular gym (I still do HIIT four times a week). For where I’m at in my fitness journey, the Bow offers a lot of variety and room for growth — in mass, strength, and power.
Resistance bands don’t give me the same satisfaction as pumping iron does, but I respect them for how little space they take up in my home office/gym. The Gorilla Bow is the key to reaching my short- and mid-term goals, and I think it could be that for you, too. A somewhat steep cost for entry, sure, but I have found it more than worthwhile.