The Sugar.Fit resistance training bar is making waves with people who want an effective home workout on a budget. The system is pretty straightforward – a steel bar you use with variable resistance bands. So, does it work? This review will help you decide if the Sugar Fitness resistance bar is worth it and how it stacks up against the very popular X3 Bar.
Sugar Fit Products
Sugar Fit Crow Bar (Candy Bar)
This is the main part of the system. It's an 80,000 PSI tensile strength steel bar of 1 inch in circumference that is said to be able to hold 600+ pounds of force. The Crow Bar is 28 inches long (2 feet 4 inches). You may see this also called the “Candy Bar.” The steer bar comes in different colors and gives rise to other names like:
- Space Bar
- Prime Time Lime
- Electric Blue
- Flamingo Pink
All bars are made of the same materials. The only difference is the color. The strength bar does not have carabiners /hooks to fasten resistance bands to. It is a straight bar that you loop fitness bands around.
Crow Bar Foot board
The foot-board / foot plate is what you stand on to anchor the fitness bands as you perform the exercises. The foot-bard is 1/2 inch tall, 18 inches long, 10 inches wide and 1.25 inches thick. It should accommodate most people's feet. It weighs about 5.3 pounds (2.4 kg) and is made from High-density polyethylene or polyethylene (HDPE) plastic.
There are rubber feet below the board, which raise it up 1/2 inch to provide a space for the resistance bands to wrap under. This makes the workout easier to perform.
Here are many brands of resistance bands that should work well with the Sugar Fit Candy Bar.
Sugar Fit Resistance Bands
Currently, Sugar Fitness system is BYOB – Bring Your Own Bands. The Candy Bar/Crow Bar is designed to work with any flat 41 inch long resistance bands.
Here are some videos courtesy of the Sugar Fitness YouTube channel.
Chest Press Demo
Sugar Fit Prices
You can purchase both the Candy Bar and foot board together for $175 (plus shipping). If you want to purchase them separately, the prices are:
- Crow Bar alone: $99
- Foot Board alone: $99
Both the steel bar and footplate come with a 1-year warranty against defects.
Sugar Fit Resistance Program
Variable resistance is at the heart of the system. This is also known as accommodating resistance. Variable resistance means the resistance varies according to your point in the range of motion. This is similar to many strength training machines found in gyms. With variable resistance, your muscles work harder the more you push. The resistance is easiest at the start of the movement, and hardest at the end.
There are many resistance band/bar home workout solutions on the market which is a testament to their popularity.
Unlike weight lifting with free weights, with the Sugar Fitness system, you don't lift for a number of repetitions. Rather you perform as many slow, controlled reps with good form as possible for 90 seconds. This increases time under tension and ensures your muscles are under constant stress to help them grow. Each exercise is to be performed to muscle failure.
- If you cannot perform reps for 90 seconds, then the resistance band you are using is too heavy.
- If you can easily perform reps for more than 90 seconds, the resistance band is too light.
- If you are close to the 90 seconds but can't complete full repetitions, push far as you can and hold the rep until you reach 90 seconds. The repetition now becomes isometric. The idea here is that working isometrically while fatigued still increases time under tension, providing a stimulus for muscle growth.
- You can perform single sets or multiple sets. It's up to you and your goals.
- Between exercises, take 2 to 3 minutes of rest. Take 5 minutes rest if you are very fatigued.
Pro Tip. If you are a beginner, it may take your nervous system 8-12 weeks to adapt to what you are doing. Therefore, single-set resistance training programs will be just as good as multi-set programs. For novices, single set programs also reduce muscle soreness and overuse injuries.
Pro Tip. Going to muscle failure is not for everyone. Consider your strength, health, and injuries first. If you are just starting an exercise program, I do not suggest going to muscle failure. Another option is to stop when you think you can only do 2-3 more repetitions.
Will You Get Stronger?
Anytime you stress your muscles, they will adapt and grow stronger. It doesn't matter if you are lifting free weights, using resistance bands or using your own body weight. So yes, your muscles will grow stronger. Since the Sugar Fit program has you lifting for 90 seconds, it's also likely to improve muscle endurance as well.
Who Makes The Sugar.Fit Bar
The company is called Sugar Fitness, located in Seattle. Another name is Olive & Estia LLC. The Website is Sugar.Fit. The head of the company is Jeremy Cottle. While the company website does not list an address or customer service phone number, there is a live chat option that works very well.
How much does it cost?
The price is $279. This is an increase in price. The cost was 175 when this review was originally created.
What's the warranty?
The steel bar and foot board come with a 1-year warranty to guard against mechanical defects.
Can you buy just the bar?
At this time you can purchase the full system – bar, bands and foot-plate. You can't buy the parts individually.
What's the return policy?
You have 2 weeks to try it out. The two weeks begins when you receive the items. That's good. It means you have a full two weeks to try it out. Returns must be in like-new condition. You pay the shipping to send it back.
Is it made in America?
Both the steel bar and foot board are made in the US. The materials from which they are made are sourced locally whenever possible.
Discounts for first responders?
At this time there are no discounts for military or first responders.
How much weight can the footboard hold?
There is no weight limit for the foot-board.
What payments are accepted?
Visa, Mastercard, Discover, AMEX, Google Pay, Paypal, Diners Club, Venmo among others.
Sugar Fit. Vs X 3 Bar
The X3 Bar, known as the complete home gym is one of the most popular resistance training systems today. While there are no Sugar Fit vs. X3 Bar clinical studies, here is a side-by-side comparison of some of their attributes:
|Sugar Fit Bar
||X 3 Bar|
|Type of resistance||Bands. Variable resistance||Bands. Variable resistance|
|Bar length||28 inches||23.5 inches|
|Bar made from||Steel||Steel|
|Bar can hold up to||600+ pounds||600+ pounds|
|Does the bar have hooks||No||yes|
|Does the bar rotate||No||Yes|
|Foot plate||Marine Grade HDPE||Marine Grade HDPE|
|Made in America||Yes||Yes|
|Return policy||2 weeks||30 days|
Is Sugar Fit Candy Bar Worth It?
Resistance band workouts you can do at home have become very popular due to their effectiveness and ease of storage. While the Sugar.Fit Candy Bar strength training system is not the only solution out there, it will surely appeal to those looking for an affordable solution.
I bought the sugar fit bar and plate set up. Mainly wanted it for deadlifting at home or at a park where I like to work out with kettlebells. The problem I am having with size 13 feet is running out of room to set my feet to create tension and lift. A wider foot plate in all directions and a platform that had a little grip to create tension would be great. I feel like I don’t get the same feeling from the bar as with free weights. Much more stressful on the upper body at the top and I feel less lower body in the pull.
Hi Will, thanks for the feedback. Sorry to hear about the difficulties you are having. I wonder if there might be a DIY workaround to this, you could find a hardware store? Maybe an extra long /wide board of some type? Just a thought. I believe the person who makes the candy bar monitors the these comments. Hopefully, he makes an option for larger size foot plates in the future.
Andrew E says
Thanks for this. I got the candy bar, not having confidence in my skills to make a board and considering the price. I am very happy with the candy bar, and feel it deserves a positive review. I am using the Serious Steel black band for deadlifts and squats, though I sometimes go down a band. I have a long history of strength training.
What I had not done for many years was bodybuilding and this has brought that back. For ten minutes a day I can bodybuild anywhere. The absence of hooks is not an issue for me. The bands work perfectly using the system on the videos. This review was very useful thanks.
Andrew thanks for saying that. I’m really glad to hear the Candy bar is working well for you 🙂
CS in NY says
HI – looks like they jacked up the prices and changed the package – now its, base, bar, and bands for $279. I don’t see any option to break out separately.
Thanks so much for the reviews. No idea what to do – go cheap, go expensive, somewhere in the middle…..
CS in NY, thanks so much for letting me know. I’ve updated the review with the new price. Let me know what you decide to go with.
Thank you for your excellent review. I coming off a 2 1/2 year hiatus from lifting and the gym in my town has gone under due to financial strain from Covid restrictions. Due to that, I was looking for home gym options and came across the X3.
Before I laid out $549 (1/1/21 price) I wanted to try the concept and bought Sunpow bands and a Horkey bar from Amazon. I picked the Horkey bar because of the rotating hooks on each end; then added climbing carabiners to hold the bands.
One issue I’m having is there is too little resistance at the beginning of the range of motion. Now that I see how they loop the band around the ends of the Candy-bar, I’m embarrassed for not figuring that out myself. I will try looping to shorten the band length.
I will also buy the Sugar.fit footboard when they get stock back in (everything sold out as of this New-year’s day).
Darin thanks so much. I’m glad to hear my review helped you. I do believe the footplate can help with adding resistance since it stretches the bands out a bit. Let me know how you like it when you they get it back in stock.
I have a big X3 Bar review too in case you missed it.
Sorry to hear about your gym closing. I’ve seen a few close near me too. It’s so sad see the impact COVID has had on gyms.
Good review, thanks for taking the time to highlight the candy bar. I made my own bar from 1 inch Schedule 80 PVC pipe which can accommodate up to 727 pounds of tensile strength. Paid $15 for a 3 foot piece and will add silicone o rings after I cut it down to 30″. Had a friend build a foot plate out of some spare lumber and then I purchased a set of Draper’s Strength bands ($51) which are layered latex. Loving the workouts and definitely increasing size and strength!
Peter, thanks so much. Im glad to hear you are getting effective workouts from your DIY Candy Bar 🙂
Joe, great review! I was attracted to the sugar fit bar because of the price. Im curious if you know the difference between the sugar fit bar and the gorilla bow?
Hi Sandy, thanks so much. About the gorilla bow. As you know its a resistance training bar that looks like an archers bow. It uses resistance bands the same way as the sugar fit bar and the X3 bar do. Im sure its a fine product. Ive looked at some YT videos on it too. The only thing about the gorilla bow that jumps out to me is that you need to use special resistance bands. The ends of the bands have bulb that fits into slots on the ends of the gorilla bar. You can get these bands from gorilla but Im not sure if anyone else makes them. On the plus side, replacement bands, if you need them, are not too expensive.
Overall I think the gorilla bar is a fine product. If you try it -or the sugar fit candy bar – let me know how you like it 🙂
Joe do you know if the Candy Bar uses American steel or steel from China?
Robert, good question. So I asked the head of the company – Jeremy Cottle – about this. He said they try to get materials locally whenever possible. Based on that it may be some Sugar Fit Bars are made from US steel while at other times the steel may come from other countries like china or elsewhere.
Just a 2 week trial? Is that’s not a lot of time. You can try out the X3 bar for 30 days. I’m very pleased with my X3 Bar.
Stephanie, I hear ya. For what its worth the X3 Bar used to come with a 2 week return policy. I was told they increased it to 30 days after seeing my X3 Bar review.
$175 vs $649. its a no brainier! Even 175 is a lot of you ask me. Do you have any lesser expensive options?
Hi Jane, I do have a lesser expensive option. Both X 3 bar and Sugar Fit Candy Bar (Crow Bar) are basically rubber fitness bands and a steel bar.
Here are Body Bars
Here are fitness bands
When choosing fitness bands, remember both X3 and Candy Bar use flat resistance bands. Look for flat kind and not the types that look like hoses. If you do this, you should be able to do squats, deadflifts, bicep curls etc.
Thanks for the reviews of the Sugar.fit bar and the X3.
I am planning to buy a set of the Draper or EliteFTS bands, and make a bar from a 24″ length of 3/4 nominal steel pipe (gas or water pipe – the outside diameter is 1.05″, close enough to 1″) from my hardware store. A plastic cutting board (these are usually HDPE) from Walmart or wherever, with nice round edges so the bands won’t get nicked, will be my foot plate, with plywood spacers screwed to the bottom to make a gap for the bands to pass under the foot plate.
The steel pipe won’t hold up to the same max resistance as a solid bar, but I can always upgrade later (as I get stronger) to using a weight bar from Dunham’s, or just buy a piece of good alloy 1″ round stock from one of the usual suspects (McMaster Carr or other online metal dealer).
Even with the pricier EliteFTS bands, the all-up cost should be around $120. With some of the lower priced bands, you should be able to get into this for $40-50 without haunting Goodwill or the Habitat For Humanity ReStore for the cutting board and pipe. The only reason I’m even entertaining coughing up for the EliteFTS bands is a few people complained about breaking/tearing the Draper bands in the Amazon reviews.
I may still shell out for Dr. Jaquin’s book, so there’s another $15. Still a lot less than X3, and if I decide that this is really for the system for me, I can get the full X3 system or a competitor if I outgrow the homemade version.
Gotta do something though. I’m not getting any younger, and this whole lock down thing isn’t doing me much good, either.
Hi Kevin, thanks so much, I’m glad to hear my reviews have helped you. That’s interesting what you said about the Draper Bands. I have not heard of any problems with them.
Another option is CLENCH Fitness bands. They are not expensive and several people have told me they like Clench bands. I’m also intrigued by their resistance band handles. I’ve thought of getting a pair of them myself.
The lockdown has done so much damage to use in so many ways. I feel so badly for the gyms and for those who are older and not healthy. Like you, I’ve heard so many bad stories of what’s happened. Let’s hope we get past this soon and get back to some semblance of normal.
Keep me posted on how your DIY X3 / Surgar Fit bar works out. 🙂
Joe – Thanks for the tip on the Clench bands. I ordered their Essential Starter Kit for my wife and I to share (I’ll add the homemade bar and footplate), and another of the same as birthday gift for my son, who is rehabbing a knee this winter.
I let the guys at Clench know you had pointed me in their direction, and that it was in the context of discussing the Sugar.fit and X3 programs/products (probably some valuable marketing data to be extracted from that!).
I plan to post a follow-up in a week or two.
Kevin, Im glad to have been of service. I hope the Clench Bands work well for you, your wife and your son (I hope his rehab goes well!). Yes, keep me posted on how things are going too 🙂
Quick update on my fauX3 setup: I made the bar from 1″ nominal black gas pipe, fished a length of grade 30 1/4″ chain through it, and used two “cold shut” links as hooks, attached with hammer closed chain repair links. Total cost of the bar parts was about $30 from my local hardware store. There is a somewhat similar one to be seen on reddit, though I arrived at my arrangement independently. I haven’t yet finished a footplate – I’m trying to lay out the bottom such that I can use a roller (plastic pipe), balance board fashion, since Jaquish mentions in his book ($6 as a Kindle, I read it on my laptop), that stabilizer firing enhances the effects of resistance training. I want to keep that option open by applying a bit of forethought to the footplate design.
For the bar, I initially used a 28″ length of pipe, with the chain one link (approximately) longer than the pipe, since the Sugar.fit bar is spec’d as 28″ long. Thus, 1/2 a link protrudes beyond each end of the pipe, with each repair link just clearing its end of the pipe when hooked through the chain. However, 28″ is too long (in my opinion) if using hooks. I’ll be cutting mine down to nearer the same length as the X3 bar – 18″. The Sugar.fit bar doesn’t use hooks, and the bands can be looped around the bar anywhere along its length, so that any “extra” length does minimal harm. With the hooks as fixed-width attachment points, 28″ is too long – except possibly for someone who was very broad, Andre the Giant perhaps. The hooks may not be strictly necessary, but they do provide some rotation for movements like biceps curls and they allow for an alternate rigging of the 41″ bands. Jaquish insists the rotation is needed to prevent injury.
The hammer closed repair links are the weakest part of this setup, with a safe working load of around 500# each, as I recall. If my hardware store would have had screw links of the proper size in stock, I would have used those instead. The cold shuts and chain have working loads in the thousands of pounds – plenty, in other words, even misusing the cold shuts. If the cold shuts begin to straighten out, I’ll upgrade to “slip” chain hooks. If the pipe ever bends significantly, I’ll know its time to upgrade to a solid bar and a full redesign, but that will be a while! The footplate may also be a weak point, since it is made from plastic cutting boards – we’ll see.
I will say that going to total fatigue with the variable resistance bands (and I am probably not yet going quite as far as I should – more psychological than physical) is very noticeable, even a day later, and even using what initially feels like a too light resistance. Not soreness, per se, but still a feeling of having worked very hard. It also takes some mental adjustment to maintain tension in the bands by shortening the range of motion so that the bands don’t go slack for some of the movements. It is possible that the real X3 bands differ in their resistance versus extension curves from the Clench bands I’m using. I am following the Jaquish Biomedical YouTube videos.
I’ll give a longer term update in a while.
Kevin, thanks for the update! That sounds like a great job you are doing with the bar. You bring up a good point about modifying the range of motion so as to not let the bands go into slack. I think the footplate will help with that since it will spread the bands out over a wider distance. For what it’s worth, I don’t think X3 bands are better than Clench bands or any other resistance bands. I think you will get a lot of benefit out of what you are creating.
Thank you so much for this Joe! I just heard about the Sugar Fit Candy Bar and wondered about it. I was thinking about pulling the trigger and getting X3 bar but the price is insane. its a steel bar and rubber bands. Why so much?? Thanks for comparing Sugar Fit to X3. Im still on the fence with X3 but may give Sugar Fit a try and see what happens.
Thanks for being an impartial source of health information for so many years.
Ben, thanks I appreciate that. Let me know which you get and how you like it.