Summer is here. For me, I know summer has arrived when I instantly start sweating the minute I walk into my house. If I’m going to be walking around shirtless most of the time, I want to make sure my abs are on point. I went on a pretty heavy bulk during the winter where I gained around 15 pounds. I decided to start cutting after my friend looked at me and said “dude, you look awful”. In the spirit of trying new things, I decided to try out the Slendertone Connect Abs Toning Belt as a supplement to going to the gym.
How it works
The Slendertone Connect Toning Belt utilizes eletrical muscle stimulation (EMS) to cause your abdominal muscles to contract. The belt wraps around your navel and fits a waist of 24″ to 42″. The Slendertone Belt comes with three gel pads to evenly distribute electrical signals to your abdominal muscles. The belt links up to the Slendertone Connect app, which has a multitude of programs designed to fit your training needs. The intensity of the EMS is adjustable from a range of 0-100.
The belt is charged via micro-USB. The battery life lasted around 8-9 sessions, with each session lasting around 20-30 minutes. The gel pads are supposed to last around 20-30 sessions, which should last you around 1-2 months.
Click here for a list of compatible phones.
Like most fitness products, the Slendertone website and box cover is full of pictures of models who are in fantastic shape. I’ve always hated this kind of marketing on fitness devices because it misleads the consumer into forming unrealistic expectations. I’m always reminded of Shake Weight commercials that would always show a ridiculously jacked dude claiming he got his body by shaking something up and down.
Ideally, the Slendertone Connect Toning Belt should really be used as a supplement to proper exercise and nutrition. The company states that for best results, this belt should be used along with regular exercise and proper diet. If you are expecting to go from gut to 6-pack abs by using this belt exclusively, you are going to be very disappointed. Getting visible abs boils down to one simple thing. Having a lower body fat percentage. You can do all the ab exercises in the world, but if you aren’t actively eating at a caloric deficit, you will not get the results you want.
I do believe that the Slendertone Connect Toning Belt increases abdominal muscle strength. The strength increases I found were localized only to my abdominal region. If your only goal is to increase abdominal strength, than I think the belt could be a good option for you. If you’re looking for translatable results to increase functional strength for real world activities, I would look elsewhere. You are better off performing compound movements like squats or deadlifts, which work many different muscle groups together. The core is extremely important for stabilizing your body when you are performing these compound movements.
However, the majority of people don’t care about being the strongest guy in the room. Many people just want to look good without a shirt. I find that as I get older, I care less about being a beast in the gym and instead just want to look good in front of a mirror. It can also be incredibly intimidating for a newbie to start going to their local gym. The Slendertone Connect Toning Belt can give you an ab workout in the comfort of your home, while avoiding sweaty meatheads in cutoff tees.
Let me start off by giving you a summary of my body type. I am an ectomorph, which means I am naturally skinny. This makes it easier for me to lose weight due to my faster metabolism. The caveat is that gaining weight and putting on muscle is much more difficult for me compared to other body types such as mesomorphs or endomorphs.
Like I mentioned before, I used the Slendertone Connect as a supplement to going to the gym regularly and eating at a caloric deficit. I used the ab belt four times a week, with each training session lasting around 20-30 minutes. The intensity varied anywhere from 50-60.
I was shocked at how hard the workout was. Being the cocky person I am, I set the intensity level to 85 the first time I put on the belt. I screamed in agony and immediately lowered the intensity after my first abdominal contraction. I found that an intensity level of 50-60 was the perfect balance of to give the best workout for me. The EMS comes in waves, cycling from contraction to relaxation. The belt caused my abs to contract extremely hard every time the signal was sent. My roommate scoffed at me during my workouts because I would groan and writhe every time my abdominal contracted. He stopped making fun of me after he tried it and I set the intensity level to 85.
I did see an increase in strength during the six week program. I found that I was able to plank much longer going from two to three minutes for each set. I attributed this to the Slendertone belt because I have never been able to plank for that long. However, I did not see an increase in translatable strength in my compound lifts such as the squat. I’ve always been able to squat relatively heavy, but have always been weak when it came to ab exercises. It was a nice surprise to finally see some improvement in ab exercises, which I normally hate.
The Slendertone Connect Toning Belt is a different approach to working out your abs. The main benefit that this belt will provide is an increase in isolated abdominal strength. Using this belt alone will not help you lose fat around your mid-section. This can only be done with the proper diet.
I’d recommend the Slendertone Connect Toning Belt as a supplement to working out and eating at a caloric deficit to see the best results. However, this is a bit biased because I am a 25-year old male who regularly goes to the gym around 4-5 times a week. This product is most likely not going to be for the everyday gym-goer who loves throwing around heavy weights. Instead, this product is most likely going to be for people working out at home who aren’t on a strict budget like most millennials I know.
The Slendertone Connect Belt is not cheap at at a price tag of $199.99 on Amazon. If you’re on a strict budget, there are cheaper alternative options to working out your abs such as buying an Ab Wheel Roller, which will only cost you $10. However, if you’re not a broke millennial like I am, this is a great device that gives a tough abdominal workout. Just know that you will have to continue buying gel pads every couple of months which cost $8.70.
For more information, click here to view the official Slendertone website.