Stevie Martin | Staff Writer | 1,000 day ago

Here' s What Happened When We Put Poundland's New Gym Gear To The Test. Yep, They're All A Quid

The Debrief: From sweat bands to free weights, oh my god Poundland have nailed it.

First they did makeup, now the geniuses at Poundland (Geoff and Clare Pound) (I've made this up) have brought out all the stuff you need to get fit in the new year. From high-vis running vests and protein shakes to weights and resistance bands, I tested out the ActivLife range (available online and in store now) to see what's worth spending your money on. Because you could buy a £90 designer sweat band and sign up to a £40 a month gym, or you could spend a five quid on Poundland exercise gear and work out at home . It'll produce the same results. And who spends money on designer sweatbands? They're bits of material to wipe your forehead with. 

Before we get going, I have to apologise for the fact I'm wearing a pencil skirt in the below vines. Today is my day off from the gym - because yesterday I went on the cross trainer for too long and had to get help walking down the stairs from a girl who was roughly seven years old - so I forgot to bring my kickass Lululemons. Alright, Primarni. And throughout the workouts, I wore the high-vis vest which, while not having particularly reflective strips, is very very bright and will help you not get hit by cars. 

There is also a pedometer that I didn't Vine because loads of me walking around wouldn't be very interesting - but it definitely works in the sense that I stomped around the office and it informed me I'd burned 1.5 cals. Bloody exciting shit, guys. 

Resistance Band (FOR A POUND!) 

What is it? One of those things you see massive muscled people tangled up in, and you think 'What's the point of that? I'm scared to try that out in public'. 

Did it work? Yes, but it's a lot smaller than I thought resistance bands were - I did some Googling around for exercises, and couldn't stretch it. Then I realised it's a mini one, so Googled that and there are loads of stuff you can do. Apparently it really helps tone things like your legs and your arms (!). I had fun walking around the office in it, and it didn't break. Which is good. 

Is it worth a pound? Yes. This doesn't feel cheap, it just feels like a resistance band you'd buy in a sports shop. Go Poundland. 

Protein Bars (FOR A POUND) 

What is it? A bar with shitloads of protein that you can use as a meal replacement, or to recharge after a workout. There's Peanut Caramel BLAST one (30g of protein), a Fruit CRUNCH one (23g) and a Choco BLAST (34g)

Did it work? The Peanut Caramel BLAST tasted so incredibly sweet and artificial and sickly that I couldn't finish it. I am someone who, quite regularly, eats entire blocks of cheese without realising. I once ate 14 slices of pizza when challenged. The last time I left food on my plate was in 2011 and that's because I had food poisoning. I couldn't finish this relatively small protein bar, though, because it made me feel sick and full and like I'd just eaten the most unhealthy thing that has ever graced our fair planet. I then tried the Fruit CRUNCH and that was even sweeter so I spat it out into some cold coffee on my desk. I am too upset to try the Choco BLAST, sorry everyone.

On the other hand, they act as incredibly effective meal replacements because it's currently 4pm and I don't have any cravings for lunch. Plus, they're around 200 calories which is probably a lot better than the 700 plus wraps I normally have. 

Is it worth a pound? Argh, I don't think so. I feel a bit haunted. 

Skipping Rope (FOR A POUND) 

What is it? A skipping rope that counts your skips. Remember those skipping rhymes you used to sing as a child that, on reflection, were really weird and incredibly unpolitically correct? I won't document them here. 

Did it work? Yes! I skipped five skips and it counted five skips. The reset button also worked. Don't be put off by the fact that the handles sometimes fall off - it's supposed to happen, because they're actually adjustable, and they only shoot off when  not being used/there's no tension. 

Is it worth a pound? If you have high ceilings or a large yard then go fucking mental. 

Weights (A POUND FOR TWO) And Weight Lifting Gloves (FOR A POUND)

What is it? Slightly heavy object you lift to get really toned arms. And gloves you use to lift said slightly heavy objects to you don't get blisters.

Did they work? Yes! The gloves also come in pink if you're into pink (I'm not), and the weights are weights. Good for beginners, as they're only 0.5kg but that's better than a kick in the face. Or no weights. I mean, you can't really go wrong with weights unless you make them out of egg or something - and these aren't made out of egg. They also stock 1kg weights for people who prefer to lift heavier things. 

Are they worth a pound? YES. They don't look particularly cheap and the gloves stay on your hands and also aren't made out of egg. 

Stopwatch, High-Vis Armbands, Sweatbands, Waterbottles, Waist Bag,Towels And A Sports Bag (FOR A POUND EACH) 

What are they? Re-read the above headline. 

Did they work? In order: the stopwatch works a treat in a no-nonsense 'I'm going to time you what else do you want from me' way, the armbands look pretty cool actually, the sweatbands are great because if you spend loads of money on designer sweatbands you're a moron, ditto the waterbottle (I love the fact it has a hole in it for top notch gripping), the waist bag is my absolute favourite thing because you can genuinely fit a phone and some keys inside there which is unprecedented, the towel is the perfect size for dabbing off sweat (don't expect it to cover your nude body in the changing rooms though unless you're a mouse) and the sports bag looks a bit like it should contain a sleeping bag or a tent, but it's not the worst sports bag I've ever seen. Yesterday I used a bag for life that said SNAPE MALTINGS on it. I mean, that's weirder. 

Are they worth a pound? Everything is worth a pound except for maybe the sports bag because it's not something you'll want to be spotted wandering around with. I mean, I'm fine with it but that's because I don't give a shit about what I put my gym equipment in or what I wear to the gym. 

Exercise Band (FOR A POUND) 

What is it? Lord knows. Although after a lot of pissing about, I worked out it's basically a resistance band (see above) but bigger and more adjustable. 

Did it work? You can do all the same things as the resistance band - but actually more, because the resistance band is quite small. And you can tie it to an anchor (workout word for 'a thing that's steady like a heavy table leg that you pull against') as well as wear it as an attractive gothic headpiece. It's also super portable and won't take up much room in your gym bag (that you spent a pound on at Poundland) which gets it 500 bonus points. 

Is it worth a pound? YEAH MATE. If you like rubber and bands and having toned arms then you're in for a treat. 

Protein Shakes (FOR A POUND) 

What is it? A vitamin enriched drink full of protein that will rebalance you after a workout (see also: protein bars). Not a meal replacement.  You add water or milk halfway, shake loads and then glug. 

Did it work? Well, I really liked these even though they're pretty sweet - mainly because I opted for the Vanilla one (there are Strawberry and Chocolate ones available too), which reminds me of the time I used to steal my mum's Slimfast. Not because I liked Slimfast, but because it was so vanilla-ey. With this shake, I gave it a good, erm, shake for about two minutes to make sure all the lumps had blended but it was still pretty lumpy, in the sense that I had to do some chewing. Luckily, I like things lumpy - from aforementioned Slimfast to hot chocolate to... that's about it - so this didn't bother me. If it bothers you, then pour it into a glass and give it a good mix with a fork. 

Is it worth a pound? Yeah! Protein shakes are pricey, and these just taste the same. A bit artifical, a bit sweet, but if that's your bag then it's worth giving them a go. 

SUMMARY: Poundland, you have excelled yourself once again. Whether it be resistance bands or protein shakes, you've inspired me to steal everything before Team Debrief get their hands on it and start working out at home. Nice one. 

Like this? You might also be interested in...

We Test Out Poundland Makeup - Here's What You Should Buy

Some Gym Clothes That Might Actually Make You Want To Work Out

The Gym Bag You'll Also Want To Take To The Pub

Follow Stevie on Twitter: @5tevieM

Tags: Witness The Fitness