When Slendertone contacted me about reviewing one of their abs belts I was initially skeptical, but after some research I found that there are lots of good reviews out there for them. I decided there was no harm in trying the belt out myself. As the saying goes: be firm about your goals and flexible about your methods.
I have committed myself to one 30-minute toning session 5 days per week. Slendertone Connect has a really cool app which allows you to control the belt remotely as well as tracks your toning progress.
Inside the app, it asks you to choose your activity level, your motivation (to strengthen my core) and your ideal toning plan (Fitness Programme).
After a few slightly scary sticky moments getting the gel pads positioned correctly, I got the belt on and opened the app.
It’s so simple to sync to your phone and I love that you can change the intensity simply on the app.
The programme I selected does tell me how many days and minutes they recommend I wear the belt, however I didn’t see anything about recommended intensity to start on. I suppose everyone is different and it’s a bit of trial and error. I started with 40. I could cope with the contractions and it wasn’t too intense, letting me get used to the sensation.
The belt actually had me giggling at one point because the toning sensations were so strange, but after a few contractions you get used to the new movement patterns.
Over this week I took the intensity up to 60 then back down to 50. By the end of the week my abs, especially my obliques, feel like they’re getting worked out.
I’ve found it slightly harder this week to get my 5 sessions in. I would say that it’s probably best to pick a set time and commit to it. I discovered this week that the app lets you set toning reminders. How fantastic is that?
It’s certainly not something that is difficult to find the time to do. I have started wearing mine when I cook dinner. The belt feels more comfortable to wear when I’m standing as opposed to sitting down.
Looking closer at the app, it has F.I.T. Points and weekly targets which slowly increase each week. It also gives you the stats for each session, including your maximum and average intensity.
My abs have been aching like they would after a workout, so something is going on under there. I haven’t and wouldn’t expect to see any visible results just yet, though.
This week is the first time I needed to recharge the controller on my abs belt, so I’m very impressed with the battery life. The app very helpfully reminded me that the controller needed charging too.
One thing that I found odd about the app is that the toning weeks run from Friday to Thursday, but it’s still a great way to track your weekly progress and track individual toning sessions.
I played around with changing the intensity during the programme and found it easy to do and very effective. During the less intense portions of the session, I managed to reach 70 and then lowered it to around 60-65 in the harder parts. I have found that my obliques are especially feeling the effects.
I am enjoying the belt. It makes me feel like I have accomplished something each day and it’s so easy to pick up and put on while cooking dinner.
I went on holiday bang in the middle of the weeks 4-5 so I have merged these two weeks together. I didn’t take my belt away with me due to only having very small hand luggage, although I think it is such a slim belt it’s the sort of thing that you could throw in a weekend bag and take away with you.
I made sure I used the belt every day before I went away and have used it every day this week since I got back. I did find that after a few days off my core was weaker. It was also tougher to go back up to toning level 60, so I spent a few days on 50.
I suppose it’s the same as exercises in the gym: if I don’t do flat bench press for a week or two I find I come back into it much weaker, so using the belt is something that benefits you the more you use it.
Overall, 5 weeks in my core is feeling stronger and my obliques are popping out a bit more than they were before I started.
What I also found this week is that having the app meant that Slendertone emailed me to remind me to use my belt after a few days of not using it, which I think is amazing.
The F.I.T. Points seem like a great idea but I lacked direction in how to increase them. I think I should have tried upping the intensity a bit more and using the app to change the intensity during the sessions.
It has, however, spurred me on to make these last two weeks really count by starting the Advanced Toning programme. The description calls it: “The most intense program in the range, delivering 192 powerful contractions to challenge the most advanced toners.” Well hey, I may not be an advanced toner quite yet, but I plan to be!
After 6 weeks, my oblique muscles seem to be more visible (which on a bulking body can only be a good thing).
After my 8-week review I intend to continue with the belt to finish my Advanced Toning programme.
I’m loving this new Advanced Toning plan. It’s quite tough, but if I keep busy when wearing the belt, like cooking dinner or putting a wash on, I seem to be able to handle higher intensity levels (65-67 is my current best).
I had to change my gel pads this week when they began getting a bit sticky and leaving a residue on my stomach.
All in all, I’m really enjoying using the belt. I feel like I’m doing something productive when I’m doing something more mundane and it feels like I’m getting stronger even when I’m not in the gym.
I found a lot of research and reviews commenting on people’s emotional satisfaction and how using the belt acted as a mood elevator. I can certainly agree with those findings.
My 8-week review of Slendertone Connect has finished, however my journey with the belt certainly won’t. I can see more definition (particularly in my obliques) and considering I’ve been at the end of a bulking phase, it’s surprising to see any result at all. I feel that a programme when I’m leaner would see even greater results.
No, the Slendertone abs belt isn’t magic. It’s not going to make you lose weight or give you a six pack on its own. What I found, though, is that it helps to tighten the abdominal area. After regular toning I could increase the intensity levels and found that my core felt tighter and stronger, despite the extra fat I’m currently carrying.
Using the belt is an enjoyable experience and helped with motivation and confidence. Just by using the belt I felt like I was doing something productive with my time and getting stronger. Having a strong core is one of my main goals for this year, so I will certainly continue using the belt along that journey.
I wouldn’t recommend Slendertone to someone who wants a quick fix or huge results with no effort. If you lead a healthy, balanced lifestyle, are relatively active and slim, and want to improve definition and core strength, then the belt is definitely for you.
Read the full abs belt review on her amazing blog