Liteboxer review: Challenging workout, tough design
“Its design may present challenges for some, but the Liteboxer offers an immersive workout at home. ”
Excellent trainer course
On the expensive side
Over the past few years, typical gym training has evolved into fitness programs that we create and follow in our own homes. Companies like Peloton have long offered a home outlet for intensive cardio training, but gear dedicated to muscle groups is a bit harder to find and sell.
While we’ve tried our hand at several home gym packages that have hit or missed the mark in some way or another, the only question we never thought to ask is how would we stack up? exactly in the boxing ring? Technically, we didn’t have to ask. Liteboxer did it for us.
Released in 2020, Liteboxer is a home boxing training machine that combines music, LED light pulses, and educational content to deliver a rapid-fire shooting experience that will get you stung and your way to a high score. Is this a major improvement over a cellar punching bag? Let’s be judge.
Designed to be commercial, especially in terms of size
Home fitness equipment tends to aim for a rather compact design, even if the end product is relatively close to the size of something you would find at your local gym. Going all the way with the concept of a home boxing experience, the Liteboxer demands a lot of space. Fully assembled, you have a 37.5 inch by 55.5 inch footprint.
My demo unit was assembled in the living room of my apartment and although it was not totally bulky the machine was sometimes difficult to live with. Ideally, you’ll want to make sure you have a dedicated recreation area to use the Liteboxer. Home gyms, garages and open basements would be my suggestion.
At the end of each round of Liteboxer, my party guests were sore, sweaty, and short of breath.
In terms of actual hardware, you can expect your $ 1,595 Liteboxer kit to be shipped in two separate boxes. Assembly is required, unless you opt for the installation of company white gloves. Parts include the main punching shield, a height adjustable pedestal with a tablet stand, and the platform you stand on (two pieces). If you want a little more training space, you can purchase a third platform section, giving you an additional 20 inches of boxing area. You will also receive boxing gloves, hand bandages, hex keys, and general assembly material.
Rhythm game meets boxing fundamentals
The Liteboxer’s Smart Shield is your formidable opponent, with six individual target zones with force sensors. As you box, the track lights emit from the center of the shield and move towards one of the six strike zones. Your objective is to hit the target as soon as the LED on the track hits the center. Direct hits light up green, while bad pitches flash red.
I had some doubts at first about how much hits a glorified punch pad could take, but I was immediately proven wrong. I hosted a family reunion and invited everyone to hammer the Liteboxer. Dude, that might take a beating. Even the harshest snaps from those more muscular than me (everyone at the party) left the Smart Shield in place and the Liteboxer platform firmly entrenched.
As you go through a round, your boxing stats are tracked in the Liteboxer app (available for iOS and Android devices). The app tracks the overall score for a single round, as well as the accuracy and force of the shots (sensitivity can be adjusted in the app). Items like this push the Liteboxer into a more fun realm, as opposed to the full-bodied boxing device it is marketed under. I’m not saying that’s a bad thing at all. Working out can be a chore, but ‘gamification’ of fitness is an inspiring and engaging way to get more people involved in some form of physical activity – and Liteboxer will definitely get your heart racing.
At the end of each round of Liteboxer, my party guests were sore, sweaty, and short of breath. So our homemade sangria was very popular (there was also water).
Jab with a trainer, practice to music or reign freestyle shots
Similar to Peloton bikes and other top fitness equipment, there is an intuitive app that runs the show for the Liteboxer. And, like its competition, a number of features are locked behind a monthly subscription payment portal. After your first three months of free premium features, the courses and the majority of the music catalog charge a price of $ 29 / month. Subscriptions are pretty common these days when it comes to innovative home workouts, but you get a lot with your Liteboxer subscription.
For starters, there is an impressive range of training courses with real-time instruction. Coaches build their lessons around multiple songs with lessons divided by music genre, duration, and training style. Under the Build + Restore tab, you’ll find instructional videos for everything from 20-minute total body conditioning workouts to targeted muscle group training.
Walking away from the instructors, there is a tab called Quick play in the app. Here you will find three categories: Punch Tracks, Freestyle, and Boxer thumb, the latter being more of a “bonus” mobile mini-game that reproduces the Liteboxer experience on your phone screen. Punch Tracks this is where you’ll find Liteboxer’s entire library of streaming songs which you can filter by genre and premium or non-premium levels. While there is a decent selection of non-subscription tracks, you’ll need to pay the monthly fee of $ 29 to unlock the rest of the archive.
The idea behind Free style The mode allows you to follow the rhythms of your own music. Once the app is linked to your Liteboxer, start a track and start working on your punches, combos, and overall stamina.
Impressive bones, but lacking in technology
As you step onto the Liteboxer platform, one thing you won’t see is an interactive touchscreen of any kind. While the company is more than transparent that you’ll need a mobile phone or tablet to properly use the Liteboxer, that doesn’t mean that some sort of built-in display isn’t missed. I always appreciate being able to ditch my devices in favor of my Platoon screen. This keeps me from looking on my phone, keeps my device from getting sweaty or damaged, and relegates all the necessary features and settings into a sleek, easy-to-reach interface.
I wasn’t too crazy about the Liteboxer’s tablet support either. Yes, the machine is designed for a more audio workout experience, but the coach-led classes are video lessons that you’ll want to watch at some point in your class. The only way to observe is to dip your head and neck in to pick up your tablet, which makes it difficult to properly aim and land your punches on the punch pad.
I wouldn’t exactly say these are deterrents for me, but they could be for some. For the price of $ 1,595, it would certainly be nice to have speakers on the Liteboxer at least. Headphones are a must-have fitness tool, of course, but plugging my ears during a workout gets irritating after a while, and not everyone has an external Bluetooth speaker (or loud enough to be heard over them. the sound of your fists hitting the punch pad).
If you ask me, I think it’s hard to get home fitness equipment nailed down. If a business goes too hard with entertainment technology, the hardware can become more of a towering gaming system than something designed to tone our bodies. Then again you sort of need this fun element to attract those who may not be so willing to jump on a stationary bike or weight trainer.
In fact, I think Liteboxer does a decent job of landing comfortably in the middle. It’s a pleasure to use and it feels like a good workout. Is this a fully realized boxing simulator? I’m not a pro, but I guess it’s not quite, especially considering how little movement you make when you’re on the platform and your opponent is also still.
Is there a better alternative?
Yes, but it mainly depends on the type of workout you want. Obviously Liteboxer specializes in boxing, but another alternative to boxing is FightCamp. It’s a bit more traditional with his straight punching bag and he also offers kickboxing workouts.
For more general workouts, you’ve hooked up fitness mirrors like Mirror and Tempo, both of which also offer their own take on boxing workouts with the help of instructors. Plus, they involve a bit more tech as they use heart rate sensors, fancy screens that guide you, and built-in speakers to keep lots of music playing along with your workouts.
How long will it last?
The Liteboxer is built like a tank, and proper cleaning will help reduce wear over time. In the event of a defect, a one-year limited warranty is included with the purchase.
Should we buy it?
If you have over $ 1,000 to spend (with the subscription cost of $ 29 / month) and want a cool centerpiece for your basement gym and party fun, the Liteboxer could be a good choice for you and yours. Now add in built-in speakers, a screen, some design tweaks and keep the price the same, and I think we’d see as many Liteboxer setups as we do in Pelot. Here is hoping a Liteboxer 2.0.