Have you seen the ads for X3 Bar exercise system on Instagram or Facebook? How about the YouTube videos? I've been seeing a lot of ads for the X3 Bar system, so much so I got curious. I wrote this unbiased X3 Bar review to help you decide if it's right for you. No hype. Just me breaking down the claims and revealing the good and not so good about it. Who makes X3 and does it really work? Is your best body just a few weeks away with you using X3 Bar system? Let's take a look at the claims and evidence and find out if it's right for you.
What Is The X3 Bar System?
The X3 system also called the X3 Bar is a home exercise training device and 12 week program created by a biomedical engineer. It uses heavy-duty elastic tubing and a steel bar which allows you to perform a variety of exercises designed to increase muscle mass, strength and bone density. There is also a foot placement plate which allows you to perform lower body exercises. Some of the exercises in the X3 Bar 12 week program are familiar to many such as:
- Standing chest press
- Upright row
- Triceps pushdown
- Front squat
- Bent over row
- Biceps curl
- Calf raise
- Standing shoulder press
Each X3 exercise consists of only 1 set performed to absolute fatigue. Can you do more than 1 set? Yes, but it's generally not needed according to the company. Going to absolute fatigue appears to be very important to how well X3 Bar works.
The X3 Bar system comes with a 12 week exercise program. Different exercise are performed during each week. There are videos which describe how to do each of the exercises. As I watched the videos, a few of the exercise, I'd use suggest caution with such as:
- Overhead press
- Bent over row
- Triceps pushdown
My thoughts on these were related to using proper form, band placement and mainlining a constant grip on the bar.
What Is Variable Resistance?
To understand how the X3 Bar system works, I need to tell you about variable resistance. This phrase comes up a lot on the X3 website and videos. Variable resistance occurs when the resistance (tension on the muscle) changes (varies) as you perform an exercise. The resistance is less when you start to perform a rep and it's most when your at the end of the rep.
For example, if you perform the standing chest press exercise with the X3 Bar, the latex fitness bands give you less resistance when you first start to push. As you push forward, the resistance increases as the fitness bands are stretched. When you are at the top of the rep (when your elbows are almost fully locked out) this is when the X3 bands are giving you the most resistance /tension.
Variable resistance machines are very common in fitness centers. Most of the chest presses, leg presses, shoulder press machines, etc. I've seen are variable resistance machines. They gave you more help where you are weakest and less help where you are strongest. The same thing is also true for the X3 latex fitness bands.
Variable resistance machines like X3 Bar are different than free weights. Free weights – barbells and dumbbells – give you a constant resistance. For example, if you do a biceps curl with 25 pound dumbbells, the resistance is 25 pounds when you start the exercise and 25 pounds when you finish the exercise. It's constant. It does not vary.
With the X3 Bar system, the philosophy is variable resistance is better because it puts less stress on your joints where you are weaker and more stress at points in the range of motion, where you are strongest. This might reduce the risk of injuries. It does make some sense.
The debate of whats better – variable resistance or constant resistance – has been going on for a long time. While both sides of this debate have their points, I'll just say they both make some sense.
Who Makes X3 Bar?
The company is called Jaquish Biomedical. Another name is Titan Biomedical (TitanBiomed.com), although TitanBioMed redirects to the Jaquish Biomedical website, so I think Jaquish is the main name for the company. It's named after the owner of the company, Dr. John Jaquish.
Jaquish Biomedical describes itself as a “research and development group that applies new findings in human physiology to physical medicine and rehabilitation device design.”
X3 Bar Company Address
The X3Bar.com website doesn't seem to provide a company address. But, another name for this company -Jaquish Industrial Research (JirInstitute.com) – lists this address: 14093 Sierra Woodlands Court Nevada City, CA 95959.
Contact X3 Bar
The X3 Bar website only had an email contact option when this review was crated. That said, the Jaquish Industrial Research website provides this phone number 01 530 271 5700. If you take out the “01” in this phone number and just Google 530 271 5700, it takes you to another company called Performance Health Systems, LLC. The address for Performance Health Systems is the same as Jaquish Industrial Research – 14093 Sierra Woodlands Court Nevada City, CA 95959.
Who Invented X3 Bar?
Dr. John Jaquish invented X3 Bar and 12 week resistance training program. His LinkedIn profile states he holds a PhD in biomedical engineering from Rushmore University. His personal website is JohnJaquish.com. Before he invented X3 Bar, he invented a device to reverse his mothers osteoporosis. Here's a video which discusses it:
Before creating the X3 Bar, Much of Dr. Jaquish ‘s efforts were directed to improving osteoporosis-definitely laudable. Here is a video of the BioDensity device he used with his mom.
Can You Reverse Osteoporosis?
In the videos above, you saw how Dr. Jaquish reversed his moms osteoporosis. Some of you may have wondered if osteoporosis can really be reversed. Yes it can. I have seen the before and after bone scans of women who used to have osteoporosis. After a year or two of the right kinds of exercise, their bone density had improved so much, they no longer had the disease.
I know this comes to a shock to some people. We rarely hear of diseases being reversed or cured anymore. I would not say exercise can “cure” osteoporosis but I don't mind saying this disorder can be reversed. While we are on the topic, diabetes can be reversed too.
X3 Clinical Research
Does the X3 Bar training system have any clinical proof it's better than free weights or machines or body-weight exercises? I cannot locate any peer reviewed, clinical research on the X3 Bar itself. The X3 (X3bar.com) website does not list any research. I likewise could not find any studies published at Pubmed.gov.
I can say with confidence the X3 Bar will stress the muscles and help them grow stronger. The same is also true for anything which overloads the muscles. Is X3 Bar system better? I can't say.
Does X3 Bar Raise Growth Hormone?
Growth hormone makes things -like muscles- grow. It also does a bunch of other things too. In some of the exercise videos and the website, growth hormone has come up. So can the X 3 Bar raise growth hormone levels? In this video Dr. Jaquish discusses growth hormone and the X3 system.
In the video, Dr Jaquish mentions a study he published – a meta-analysis (a study of other studies) of exercise and growth hormone. Here is the study he's referring to in the video. I would agree there is probably a relationship between what he calls “whole body stability firing “ and HGH release.
I take whole body stability firing to mean, the more muscle used at the same time, the greater the HGH production. In other words, I'd expect more growth hormone release from a deadlift than a biceps curl.
But, I looked at the study and I did not see any which used elastic fitness bands or the X3 exercise program. The research I saw involved:
- Free weights and machines
- Whole body vibration training
Sure, it's possible resistance training with elastic bands might create a similar release of HGH as those other exercise programs. I'd just like to see a study on this.
One the website, X3Home.com this statement is made:
“Within weeks you will see the fat simply melt off of you. This is HGH doing the work for you. Your best body is just a few weeks away.”
While they don't actually come out and say it, the hint is X3 Bar exercises will raise HGH (human growth hormone) and burn off body fat. This is just good marketing. On the X3home.com website they even make references that HGH helps with:
- Glowing skin
- Happier moods
- Deeper sleep
- Increased Libido
- Thicker Hair
- Organ health
OK, these might be some of the benefits of HGH, but I doubt X3 Bar will help your hair grow thicker. You get my point; HGH benefits may not be the same as X3 Bar benefits. I'm sure nobody would think so, but just in case, I wanted to say it.
I can understand how using big muscle groups (chest, legs, etc.) might stimulate the production of HGH. But, unless I see clinical proof showing X3 Bar raises growth hormone, I can't know for sure. The same thing is true about the statement “your best body is just a few weeks away.” How many weeks is a “few?” Is it 3 weeks – or 24weeks? And what about “fat melting off of you?” Again, there seems to be no published clinical studies of X3 training system and fat loss. If it's out there, I can't find it.
To be fair, I understand the company is not speaking to me. They are speaking to the average person who may not have a science background. My goal in bringing this up is to not confuse anyone or attack the X3 Bar. My desire is to try to give you answers free from marketing hype. I want you to make the best decision for you – and be happy with your purchase.
What Does X3 Bar Stands For?
My guess is the name is a reference to their claim you can build muscle 3 times (3x) faster than with machines, free weights etc.. See the next question…
Can You Gain Muscle 3X Faster?
It's sometimes said X3 Bar will help you gain muscle 3x faster than with free weights or machines. Is this really true? I can't say either way. I have not seen clinical studies directly comparing X3 Bar training program to using free weights or machines. Hey college students: This would be an excellent thesis or dissertation project. If anyone does this research, let me know what happens.
Are We 7X Stronger?
Dr. Jaquish has stated we are 7 time stronger at the end of our range of motion (ROM) than when we start. In other words, we are weaker when we start to do a rep and stronger when we are at the end of the rep. I believe he is using his own research when he quotes this statistic. I've never seen this statistic elsewhere.
Because of the way muscle fibers work, it is true we are stronger at the end of the range of motion than at the beginning. So, does this mean are we 7X stronger at the end of ROM? I agree with the basic idea of what he is saying. I'm just am not sure if it's 7X stronger.
No Weights. No Cardio. Just X3 – Really?
One of the things I noticed when I watched the X3 Bar workout videos was the idea you don't need to do cardio. Dr. Jaquish says in at least one video, he doesn't do cardio. I admit I was not crazy for the subtle downplaying of the health benefits of aerobic exercise. Aerobic exercise has benefits.
Buy X3 Bar Program
Currently the X3 Bar home gym is not available in stores like Walmart, Bed Bath and Beyond, Target, Walgreens, Costco, Sams Club, Rite Aid, GNC, Vitamin Shoppe or Kohls. The X3 training system can only be purchased at the X3.com website or through a reseller or distributor.
X3 Bar Price
The X3 Bar system cost $499 when this review was updated. OK, I'll just say it: X3 Bar is expensive. In this video Dr. Jaquish discusses the price:
OK, I don't know how much it costs to make a steel bar, let alone a well-designed steel bar such as what they are using. Maybe it costs a lot? I don't know. For the average person considering X3 Bar, I think this is a lot of money to pay a steel bar with hooks, some latex bands and foot platform.
What Do You Get When You Order X3 Bar
Here's a summary of what you get when you purchase X3 Bar system:
- X3 bands
- The steel bar with internal bearings and band-placement hooks (per-assembled for you)
- X3 ground plate
- 12 week training program
- 3 weeks of X3 coaching
- X3 nutrition program
- Facebook community
X3 Bar Unboxing Video
Here's an X3Bar unboxing video I thought was helpful:
X3 Bar Questions
Here are the answers to several questions I ran into as I created this review. If you have a question I missed, leave a comment below and I'll look into it for you.
1 Is There Financing For X3 Bar?
Yes. If you use PayPal you can pay for X3 Bar with multiple smaller payments. Check to make sure but it looks like you'd have 6 months of financing with 0% interest.
2 Is There A Military Discount?
While they do not mention discounts for currently active and former military, I'd say reach out to the company. While I don't want to put words in their mouth, I'd bet there are options for you.
3 Is X3 Bar Made It America?
Yes. All parts of the X3 Bar are made in the USA. I liked that.
4 What About The X3 Olympic Bar
One of the components of the X3 exercise system is the steel bar. This is sometimes called the Olympic bar in videos. I know some lifters will raise an eyebrow at calling the X3 bar “Olympic” because it's not 7.2 feet long. The X3 Bar is an Olympic-like in that it's made from alloy steel and it has internal bearings which allow the bar rotate as you perform an exercise. This helps keep your hands and wrists in the correct position while you do the exercises.
5 Can You Travel With It?
The fitness bands should fold up easily so no problem. If you are flying however, you probably won't be able to bring the steel X3 Bar on the plane. I'm sure the steel bar will set off TSA metal detectors.
6 The X3 Bar Foot Plate
The footplate (the part you stand on) is made of marine grade CNC milled Marine Grade HDPE (high density polyethylene). It's made in America.
7 Is X3 Bar Sold Internationally
Yes. The product is sold both in the US and Canada and there are X3 Bar distributors and resellers in many other countries ranging from Austria to Turkey. See the X3bar.com website for a full list of countries.
8 What About Latex Allergies?
Remember, the X3 Bar elastic bands are made from heavy duty latex. If you have a latex allergy, the X3 Bar might not be right for you.
9 X3 Bar Return Policy
The X3 system comes with a 14 day return guarantee. That's 2 weeks. To quote the company “if 14 days have gone by since you received the X3, unfortunately we can’t offer you a refund or exchange.
I had 2 thoughts about this:
- What I like about this is the 14 days starts when you receive it (not when you order it).
- What I didn't like is you only have 2 weeks to try it out. That's not a long time.
Before you return X3 Bar, you need to email the company and obtain an Return Authorization Number (RMA number). You can email the company at : email@example.com
If you need to return your X3, you must have proof of purchase. The product must be in the same condition as when you received it and it must also be in the original packing.
The company also states “You will be responsible for paying for your own shipping costs for returning your item. Shipping costs are non-refundable.” This sounds reasonable but But, this next part did not make sense to me: “If you receive a refund, the cost of return shipping will be deducted from your refund.” Why does the company deduct the cost of return shipping from your refund if you paid the return shipping cost? When in doubt, email the company for clarification.
Consider adding tracking and insurance when you return the product. This will protect you if it gets lost in the mail.
10 How Long Do The X3 Bands Last?
I asked this question during a facebook chat. I was told the X3 elastic fitness bands should last at least 9 years. That's really good. I was also told since this is a new product, they don't have much of a need for replacement bands yet. This makes sense.
11 What Are The Resistances Of The Fitness Bands
Here are the resistances of the X3 Bar fitness bands:
- Super light band: 15 to 50 lbs, then doubled over 100 lbs
- Light weight band: 25 to 80 lbs, then doubled over 160 lbs
- Middle weight band: 50 to 120 lbs, then doubled over 240 lbs
- Heavy weigh band:60 to 150 lbs, then doubled over 300 lbs
- Elite band: (may be sold separately): 200 to 300 then doubled over 500
You can also combine fitness bands together for greater resistances.
Obviously these are approximations. Also, remember the tensions of the fitness bands (the resistance) increases the more you push or pull. The tension is lowest at the start of each movement. The tension is greatest at the end of each movement. This is similar to any other rubber band you have pulled on.
The company says – and I agree – to not get too wrapped up in the resistances of the bands. Focus instead on doing the exercises slowly with good form. I also liked the lack of emphasis they placed on counting reps. Just do the exercise properly to fatigue and don't worry so much with counting reps.
12 Replacement X3 Bands
The X3 Bar system is pretty new so the fitness bands are unlikely to need replacing anytime soon. In time, I'm confident the company will have replacement X3 bands available. From a YouTube video, I discovered the X3 fitness bands at one time came from a company called IronWoody Fitness. Depending on the cost of replacement bands, this may be an option if you ever need them.
I also found many high tension bands on Amazon too.
13 How Much Resistance Do The Fitness Bands Provide
As can be seen in this video, it appears X3 fitness bands provide a high degree of resistance – over 500 pounds if needed.
Dr. Jaquish says the steel Olympic bar can withstand over 1000 pounds. That's more than enough for most people.
14 What Is OsteoStrong?
Osteostrong is another company Dr. Jaquish is involved with, along with Tony Robbins. Recall from above, Dr Jaquish reversed his moms osteoporosis with a device he developed. Much of his research has been with bone health. The device depicted on the OsteoStrong website (osteostrong.me) looks like what Dr Jaquish used with his mom. As far as I can tell, there seems to be no connection between OsteoStrong and the X3 Bar training system.
15 Weight Loss And X3 Bar
If you only do the exercises, I'm not convinced you will lose a lot of weight. If weight loss is one of your goals, you will have to also follow the X3 Bar nutrition program – or some other lower calorie eating program. One of the things most people don't know is exercise – by itself – is not very good for weight loss. Most people just don't burn enough calories. I think the same thing is true for 10 minute X3 Bar workouts too.
I've looked some of the X3 Bar nutrition program videos on YouTube. They put a lot of emphasize on cutting out sugar and junk food from diet and increasing fiber. An emphasis is also put on the glycemic index too. Glycemic index is a rating scale which rates foods according to how quickly they raise blood sugar. Glycemic index has been around a long time.
Here's what I think: advice about reducing added sugars, increasing fiber and using the glycemic index is really about eating fewer calories. Exercise doesn't burn as many calories as you think. So if losing weight is your goal, you have to eat fewer calories.
You can definitely reduce calories by increasing fiber (which has no calories) and eating less junk food. Fewer calories is the secret behind every diet you have ever heard of too.
X3 Bar Testimonials
There are several X3 Bar reviews online. Some people are saying some pretty impressing things. For example, at 2:08 minutes into this video, Dr. Jaquish hints he put on 30 pounds of muscle in 1 year when using the X3 device
OK I'll believe him when he said he put on 30 pounds of muscle in a year. I have no reason to doubt him. I'll just point out, he was a pretty muscular guy to begin with. He was a muscular guy before he invented the X3 Bar system. He didn't start off as a 90 pound weakling and turn into the big guy you see in the X3 Bar videos. I just want to point this out in case you did not know.
Another video I liked was this one from the YouTube Channel LifeSpan and Longevity:
For the average person using the X3 Bar training program, I think this woman's honest review will be more typical of what the average person might experience.
X3 Bar Vs. The Competition
Let's take a quick look at how the X3 system compares to some other popular home gym equipment:
X3 Bar vs. TRX
The TRX is one of the most popular training systems on Earth. It's been around many years. While no research has compared X3 Bar to TRX, one difference is the resistances used. While the X3 Bar system uses variable resistances, TRX uses body weight resistances. While TRX could be seen as a form of variable resistance, you're not using elastic bands. Rather you are using percentages of your own body weight.
What they have in common is both brands of equipment are lightweight and can be stored easily. Both also do not take up a lot of room either. The TXR will need something stable like a door to hook it around though. The X3 Bar does not.
X3 Bar vs. Body Boss
The BodyBoss Portable Home Gym shares a LOT in common with the X3 Bar. Both systems use elastic bands, providing variable resistance. Both utilize a bar which the fitness bands hook on to. Both systems also have a foot plate too. In addition both also allow you to do a variety of exercises and are compact.
As I see it, I think where they differ is the tension provided by the fitness bands.
To me, the X3 Bar fitness bands look more heavy duty than the BodyBoss. I didn't try the Body Boss but I can see the differences in the videos I watched. This is not to say you can't get an effective workout with the BodyBoss. I'm sure you can. I just feel the tension proved by the X3 bands will be greater. On the plus side, the BodyBoss is WAY LESS expensive than the X3 Bar system. This will definitely appeal to many people reading this.
X3 Bar vs. BodyGym
The BodyGym has been around for a few years. You may have seen it advertised on QVC. Like The BodyBoss, the BodyGym also uses elastic fitness bands and a bar which the bands latch on to. Like the X3, the BodyGym also has several positive testimonials online. You can do a variety of exercises from a standing and seated position too.
Where I think they differ is the BodyGym bar is plastic where the X3 bar is made of steel. Also the X3 fitness bands are will provide more resistance. This is not to say your muscles won't burn with the BodyGym. If you do enough reps, they will. Another advantage is the BodyGym is also a LOT less expensive than X3 Bar.
X3Bar vs. Tension Toner
The Tension Toner works on the same principles as the X3 Bar – variable resistance is provided by latex fitness bands and a bar. The Tension Toner bar is actually two pieces which allows for a different type of workout. Like the TRX, the Tension Toner can also be hooked over a door to allow different types of exercises to be performed. It's super portable too.
X3 Bar vs. Bowflex
The Bowflex is one of the most popular home gyms in the world. It's been around for many years, is durable (I've owned one) and can perform many different upper and lower body exercises. Like the X3 Bar, the Bowflex also provides variable resistance. One way they are different is Bowflex uses PowerRods to provide variable resistance instead of latex bands. Other areas they differ is the Bowflex takes up more space in your home, you have to put it together and it's more expensive than X3 Bar. Still, the Bowflex is a VERY well built machine.
X3 Bar vs. Booty Pro
The Booty Pro is a home gym system which uses elastic tubing and a foot placement pad to allow you several different exercises. While you can do some of upper body exercises with Booty Pro, it did not look like you could easily do a chest press exercise.
One advantage is the Booty Pro let's you do hip extensions which work the gluts (booty) and are one of the most popular exercises among women today (and some men too). Hip extensions would the big reason someone would pick Booty Pro over X3. You can't do hip extensions with the X3 Bar.
X3 Bar vs. XBar
Even though they sound similar the XBar and X3 Bar are not the same thing. I believe the XBar has been around longer. The XBar, by professional snowboarder Damian Sanders shares some things in common with the X3 such as exercise bands and a sturdy bar. The XBar can double as a pushup bar, which takes the place of a chest press. You can do a variety of exercises with the XBar too.
X3 Bar Safety Workout Tips
- Wear a shirt when working out. Sweat may cause the bands to slide.
- Start with less resistance at first. Practice performing each rep slowly. Get the hang of it.
- Do NOT open your hands when you perform exercises over your head. We don't want the steel bar sliding out of your hands and accidentally hitting you on the head.
- Don't turn your head while performing any exercise. This can hurt your neck.
- Don't press your head forward during exercises. This may hurt your neck.
- Make sure your feet are firmly on the footplate.
- When doing the upright row, don't let your elbows go higher than your shoulders
- Pull your shoulder blades together when doing the bent over row. Also keep your back straight/neutral.
- Despite the “No weights. No cardio. Just X3″ T shirt I've seen Dr Jaquish wearing in some videos, I'm going to suggest your weight loss and health results will be better if you do some type of aerobic exercise. Even waking will help.
X3 Bar Likes And Dislikes
After looking at the websites, claims and videos, here are the things I liked about X3 and things I was not too crazy about.
|Light weight||Price ($499)|
|Easy storage||No peer reviewed clinical research on X3 Bar|
|Exercises are done from standing position||Return policy|
|Most exercises are multi-joint||References to X3 raising HGH with out proof it does this|
|Efficient||Subtle disapproval of aerobic exercise|
Take this quick synopsis for what it is-my opinions. Your likes and dislikes may be different than mine.
So Does X3 Really Work?
Does the X3 Bar training system really work? If by work, you mean strengthen your muscles, then the answer is yes! There is no doubt you can get a good workout using fitness bands. The fitness bands used in the X3 Bar system are heavy duty and are likely much more difficult than most of the bands you've seen before.
While I am sure it will improve your strength, and I like the idea of variable resistances, I'm not convinced 1 set to failure can get you optimal health, fitness and strength. I'm also not convinced it's better than other variable resistance machines or free weights.
That said, buying this gets people to do resistance training, then I'm all for it. Anything that strengthens muscles has a myriad of health benefits.
For some, I think the biggest drawback may be the price ($499). Still, if you use it consistently, I'm sure you will get stronger when using X3 Bar training system.