August 17, 2011

LifelineUSA Jungle Gym XT: Review and Giveaway!

So what do I think of the LifelineUSA Jungle Gym XT? How does the Jungle Gym XT compare to a TRX? And what do you have to do to win one of these gizmos?

Find out all this and more in this week's attempt to bribe readers back to Cranky Fitness!

What is a Jungle Gym XT? 

It's a suspension trainer, very much like the TRX suspension trainer. You're basically dealing with adjustable straps that you can put your hands and feet in so that you can use your body weight for resistance.

Here are the two hanging out together before the TRX was unceremoniously banished from the Crab & Lobster's dirty basement gym Fitness Equipment Testing and Reviewing Laboratory for the duration of the review.

(Buh-bye, yellow strappies, see ya later! We already did a TRX Review.)

What are the advantages of suspension trainers?

They're lightweight, portable, and you can toss one in a suitcase to take on the road. You can do a LOT of different exercises, and the Jungle Gym XT package comes with a DVD and a wall poster to give you ideas. You can vary your angle and the length of the straps to make exercises either easy peasey or monsterously difficult.

You can do pushing-type exercises:

Pulling-type exercises:

Leg Exercises:

And all kinds of weird-ass hard stuff that I figured would only end badly if I gave 'em a shot.

Yeah, Right.

Can I Get in Decent Shape Using Just a Suspension Trainer?

I use mine mainly as a handy adjunct to other forms of torture exercise, but sure! Just make sure you challenge yourself and take the time to craft increasing difficult cardio and strength training routines as you get more fit.

Uh, Crabby? Maybe just a little more challenging?

Is the Jungle Gym XT similar to the TRX?

Yes! When you compare the the Jungle Gym XT and the TRX, the workout experience is pretty much the same.

One difference is that the two Jungle Gym XT straps can be hung independently, which allows you to vary the width between them. The TRX straps form diagonal lines from a single point. The Jungle Gym has a dohickey which lets you hook both straps together so that they come from a single point like the TRX if you want, but it's not quite the same feel as the TRX. With the TRX you can quickly slide the connected straps through a central loop so if it feels like one side is longer than the other you can fix it quickly. I couldn't figure out how to do that with the Jungle Gym XT. But this is not a huge difference between the two.

Also, the Jungle Gym had firm plasticky foot holders instead of soft ones. Some folks may find this easier for getting in and out of.

Like the TRX, the Jungle Gym XT seems very well-constructed and solid; it seems like it's built to last a good long time.

What's the most obvious difference between the Jungle Gym XT and the TRX?

That's easy: Price! I don't know what deals can be had in various sales channels, but going to both websites, the Jungle Gym XT goes for $100 while the comparable TRX model retails at almost double that amount.

Curious to read another take? There's another review of the Jungle Gym XT over at the Fit Bottomed Girls!

How Can I Win One of These Babies?

So here's where it gets fun. The good news, for you guys anyway, is that the JungleGym folks went ahead and sent me both the review AND the giveaway samples. Which means I'm the one hauling my ass down to the post office and paying for shipping. So, guess what, Canadians? You're in! In fact, ANYONE can enter.

(And yeah, as I suppose I should remember to mention whenever I'm doing reviews, I got my Jungle Gym for free! If I weren't such a cranky and opinionated blogger, the freebie-factor could easily lead to a tendency to suck up to the sponsor. So it's something you should always be aware of when evaluating the credibility of a product review on the web, especially those by more cheerful reviewers!)

So anyway, leave a comment saying why you might want one of these things, and I'm going to pick a winner myself, based on... WHATEVER THE HELL CRITERIA I FEEL LIKE USING AT THE MOMENT! I'm giving that bossy old Random Number Generator a day off. I'll pick a winner next Wednesday, August the 24th, and you'll need to email by end of day Friday August 26th to claim your prize.

Note: if you are related to me, or are a good friend IRL, it might look a bit on the unethical side if I pick your entry. But next time there's a giveaway I'll go back to the old random number generator, who doesn't give a crap if I know you or not.

So, wanna let me know why would you'd like to have a Jungle Gym XT? Or heck, say anything you want!


  1. I want the Jungle Gym XT because I need to increase my upper body strength. Doing that (and changing my eating habits) will hopefully help me have firm and fit arms instead of the flabby cat-belly-like arms I have now! And I want awesome lats and pecs, too!

    Cross Training rocks!

  2. OH fun!

    May I suggest you simply decide to give it to the second commenter? ;)

  3. Are cupcakes included?

    Don't pick me. I won't use it.

  4. This looks awesome! Thanks for the giveaway. In hopes of being chosen, I shall tell you my favourite, all-ages-appropriate joke:

    What did the 0 say to the 8?

    "Nice Belt."

  5. Always fun to try out new fitness equipment. Especially equipment that lends itself to kicking back and eating cupcakes...What? That wasn't the point of this review?

    More seriously, I've always been curious about the TRX but have not had the chance to try one - looks like this would be a very similar experience.

  6. This would be great when we travel, and also in my dusty basement. I would LOVE to win it. Do the capital letters count for extra kudos? I'm genuinely glad I found this site, great for a laugh in the morning.

  7. I have a TRX and my brother really wanted one for his dorm but can't afford it. I would love to be able to send him a Jungle Gym XT.

  8. I've been wanting to try out one of these systems since the TRX came out but could not afford it. Thanks for offering it for giveaway!

  9. I want it! This is my bribe:

  10. Oh Dr J... I am always impressed with the lengths people will go to in the interests of Scientific Research.
    This jungle gym thing looks pretty impressive too, except... where's the jungle? How can it be a 'jungle' gym if it doesn't include a jungle? I don't see any monkeys or bananas either.

  11. I'd love to try this out as I just took my first TRX class last week and would love to terroize my triceps even more. Holy crap were they sore after that workout.

  12. I would like one, so as to help keep my motivation up...having this set up in the basement will allow me to workout without traveling down to the gym!

  13. I would like to win based solely on my Canadian status. I rarely get to enter to win giveaways although I only live 45 minutes from the border. Imagine!

    Thanks for the review and thank you for choosing me.

  14. I've been using the TRX at the gym and I love it! I'd get one for my home except for that whole $$ thing. I think using the Jungle Gym XT at home would be better, especially if you'd give it to me for free. Pretty please?

  15. I'd love to have that! I went to a gym that had it and really liked it. I can't afford to go to the gym right now so would be great at home!

  16. Assuming these attach easily to any door, I would LOVE them to pack in my suitcase so I can use them at whatever hotel where I am. It would be such a treat to have a regular daily workout instead of constantly having my routine interrupted by the peculiarities of whatever hotel gym I have at my disposal that week.

  17. It would enable me to destroy my apartment trying slightly mad stuff with it. Looks like crazy fun!

  18. I already have a TRX but would love to add the Jungle Gym to my own Fitness Equipment Testing and Reviewing Laboratory. Yes, I am greedy.

  19. Looks interesting! I think my husband and I both would have fun with this! I would use for upper body the most I think.

  20. Would I like this thing? I'm inclined to step out of the way and let the Canadians increase their chances, but I actually have a basement now....

    Mary Anne in Kentucky

    "dendled": what happens to people who get entangled in their Jungle Gym XT

  21. First, I doubt you need to do anything to get readers back here cause you are so friggin entertaining!!!!

    Why do I want this - can you guess?? I LOVE CHALLENGING MYSELF & I had been wanting the TRX since I first saw it over 5++ years ago but no money for that. This looks like a great substitute for it too!

    Crap, I wonder what type of things I could do with my hubby & that too - just kidding! ;-)

    OK, how about the sympathy factor - the 24th is my dad's bday & he died way too young for me!

    OK, no sympathy - I JUST WANT IT! I LOVE building muscles & trying new things! :-)

  22. OK so you want to know why I want one of these. Here it is. I have been there done that with exercise. I am sick of machines, hate my bowflex and basically other than personal trainers (which I can not afford on a weekly basis) I need something that works those little muscles that help stabilize your bigger muscles and joints. I am still dealing with those - never work them right unless with a PT. I tend to gravitate to the machines which do great for the main muscle it is made for but little else. They are the easy lazy way for me. Standing on a Bosu ball is getting old too btw. So long story but I need something new and challenging! :) So pick me LOL!

  23. How could you not like a contraption called a Jungle Gym? Just the sound of it makes it seem more fun than the TRX in my mind. Btw, I love reading all the comments here! Such a fun group!

  24. So, why the HELL wouldn't anyone want a personal torture device that's more complicated and painful looking than eyelash curlers? Are you kidding me? This gives me yet something else to complain about not being able to figure out until I do, then it gives me something to bitch about why a new part of my ever aging body is in massive amounts of pain and a reason to force my husband and children into yet another day of slavery. Pssshhhht! Count my crabby ass in!
    IDK how you feel about a fromer winner entering, but HOT DAMN! I'll take a torture rack to go with a side of freedom to bitch. I'll even take torture PHOTOS and send them to you to put on your cranky ass blog so others can point and laugh as I whimper in pain like a puppy. I'll even throw in a quick video of my slack ass pull ups, or what I call pull ups anyway. lol

  25. PICK ME! PICK ME!! I am too frugal to even buy a medicine ball! Please pick me! xD

  26. Pick me! I need something like this pronto!

  27. I promise to get Cranky Fitness 50 new readers if I win this!

  28. Been wanting a TRX but the price is a little too much for me. This will definitely help me out. I like to change things up.

  29. This looks like fun! Would love to win.

    xmeliss182x (at) yahoo (dot) com

  30. I want one to confuse my Shiba. Whenever I do pushups, he gets really interested and starts investigating my face with his nose, no doubt to discover why I put myself through 25-30 repetitions of torture. The Jungle Gym? In addition to making my upper body strength even more impressive, it will blow my dog's mind and I'll have the pleasure of seeing him running around in circles and barking while I execute another series of exercises that keep my chest and shoulders strong and my face away from his cold, wet nose.

  31. I'd like to win b/c it looks like it would be something fun and different then my regular old workout.

    hewella1 at gmail dot com

  32. Sweet! This looks like a fun way to work out my big ol' booty. Pick me!

  33. My entrance, for your enjoyment:

    An Ode to Cranky Fitness
    One day, long ago, perhaps in a June,
          I was interneting away a fine afternoon,
    When I stumbled across the blog Cranky Fitness,
          How did I manage for so long to miss this?
    There was advice, knowledge, and giveaways too,
         And all from a rather refreshing point of view.
    Alas, I was late joining into the fray,
          Coming by not long before Merry went away.
    And then, all of a sudden, the blog was done.
          Now where to go for my procrastinating fun?
    I turned elsewhere to try to fill my need,
          But kept Cranky Fitness on my RSS feed.
    Then, one day, my heart was filled with hugs!
          Cranky Fitness was back!  (Though now with shameless plugs) :)
    I was too happy it was back to even mind,
          Especially with the return of posts of the giveaway kind.
    So now to the point of this rhyming plea,
          On why I’d like a Jungle Gym XT:
    My life is, for the most part, nomadic,
          Which can make exercising a bit problematic.
    The XT would let me exercise while on the go,
          And I need the incentive to strength train, you know.
    I could take it with me, whether near or far,
          It’ll easily fit in my sub-compact car,
    Or a suitcase if I go back oversea,
          You see, it’s rather perfect for someone like me.
    So please consider me for this new toy,
          And I hope my little poem filled you with joy,
    The same joy I’d get from the Jungle Gym XT,
          If, you know, you gave it to me.

    The random number generator seems to hate me, so I figured I'd do my best when I didn't just have to leave it to fate. :)

  34. Jungle Gym?? I remember when I was young and agile enough to play on one... maybe again??

    BTW - welcome back! Enjoy your blog.

  35. This system would be great! I work in the CT department of a hospital and our schedules were recently changed - drastically! I am now working midnights and am finding it difficult to be consistent with my workouts because my sleep schedule is so off. The Jungle Gym XT would give me - and others - the opportunity to workout at work between patient exams and make it much easier to stay alert. It would be so nice to go home after work and not be stressed about finding time to fit my workout in somewhere between sleeping and my 3 boys coming home from school

  36. as a former member of the Navy and having spent plently of time in desert war zones, I have complete gratitude and respect for all of our military members. I have quite a few teammates that are on the continual Afghanistan deployment rotation and leave their families for months at a time. Although I know there is "no place like home" I send care packages over with a variety of things to bring a little bit of home to them. I would love to include the Jungle Gym XT in one of my next packages. It would be something that all fitness levels could use and would be a great way for my buddies to workout, relieve stress and not have to go too far.

  37. It's highly unlikely I shall be more creative than those who commented above me. So I'm just going to ask:

    How much do I have to pay to get you to try that jumpy thing on camera? With cupcake in hand, of course.

    I bet you could pay me back with the million dollars you win when you send it to America's Funniest Home Videos (or whatever that show is called).

    Another awesome giveaway Crabby - thanks for stirring my equipment envy once again.

  38. I want to win the sex swing!


  39. OMG is this gonna be HARD to choose, you guys rock!

  40. I want one to help tone my upper arms
    rjs682 at yahoo dot com

  41. I just really want one! It looks fun, and lord knows I need all the help I can get.

  42. I would use it at home on the days that I can't get my crabby ass to the gym. Probably. Well, maybe.
    Linda H

  43. Today is the 24th, and I suppose I should stop procrastinating if I want to gave a chance getting a jungle gym, and I really, really do! Being a Swedish-Canadian born of a Czech father (and having a Finnish grandmother) living in France, I guess I can finally enter the give away competitions in the category "anyone".

    So, why do I really, really, more than anyone need this gym? Nine months of pregnancy and then three weeks of a cold turning into a nasty bacterial infection kind of got me down on my knees. If I want to be able to get out of bed (not to mention run after my three-year-old!), I really must get into shape. Going to a real gym isn't an option with two small ones, but the jungle gym seems just perfect! So please, please, please with sugar on the top, Cranky, give me the jungle gym!

  44. I need one to tone up and lose my post pregnancy "baby" fat
    tmc480 at yahoo dot com

  45. I never win anything so at first I figured, why bother posting a comment? But I am working on a list of all the things I've never one, so I thought now I can add this to my list. Looks like it would be something I'd enjoy using - I'll put a star next to it on my "list".

  46. Just went to the fitness equipment store and saw several suspension systems side-by-side. Would really love to own the Jungle Gym (did I mention my son's list of things to take when he moves away for University includes my TRX). Would also love to hear your thoughts on Rip:60?

  47. Are you still giving one away???
    I would LOVE to have one.
    I am a mom of 4 kiddos ages 6 and under. I am serious about exercise and have a gym membership.
    Just saw at our gym today that as a member I can sign up for a TRX trainer session. Problem: where do I find the time to do this at the gym?
    BUT at home since I am a night owl I would definitely use this after putting the kids to sleep at night.
    So if you happen to have one more laying around I would LOVE to have one.

  48. Well, I cannot find this in stores in Norway, so this thing costs alot, if you include airmail.... It would be nice to just pay the airmail cots for once!

    Peter, from across the big blue one.


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