* This post is written by one of our volunteer ambassadors in partnership with Invictus Active. *
If you follow Access Your Life's social media channels then you might have seen, that I have recently been trialling the Invictus Active Trainer in a bid to help maintain my fitness levels now that lockdown restrictions have begun to ease in the UK. I will be sharing my honest thoughts and opinions throughout this post, but you can also check my complete product review (coming soon) for more information relating to the product specification.
The trainer is essentially a treadmill for wheelchair users! It has four rollers on which your wheelchair sits and without going anywhere your arms do all the hard work! It is suitable for most wheelchair users looking for ways to get fit in the safety and comfort of their own home! Before the trial, I was only going out in my basketball chairs to push around the park, but with the weather being so unpredictable this wasn't always possible. Plus I am still wary about going to gyms and sports halls, so this opportunity provided me with the perfect way to stay active, as I could now do cardio indoors without ever leaving the house!
Let’s go back to the beginning when the trainer was delivered to my parents’ house. It took a couple of days to receive the item from its dispatch centre. The box used to deliver the trainer was very big, whilst also being very secure with no damage to the packaging or products. The item itself was heavier than I expected, and even though I’m an independent person who doesn’t like asking for help unnecessarily, I had to get my Dad to help me lift, unpackage and assemble parts of the trainer. So if you are considering getting a trainer of your own, just bear in mind that you will probably need someone on hand to help as I did. It takes around 45 mins to put together, but the instructions online are really detailed and easy to follow.
In addition to using the trainer, there are various add ons you can purchase to help track your speed, distance and heart rate. I especially liked using the distance monitor, because it gave me a rough idea of how far I’d pushed as if I were to do it in the park. Although I have got to say, I was super impressed with all the additional services that were easy to control/monitor once connected to the Invictus Active app on your phone or tablet. All of which, could then be displayed on their handy phone stand!
As an athlete I get very curious about my heart rate when exercising, so the images below show the difference between two of my sessions. They were completed two months apart from each other and as you can see, there is a big difference in the speed I completed my 20-mile target! There are obviously other factors that could come into play, such as increased training with the GB team and thereby getting in more cardio; however, I think that by using the Invictus Active Trainer, I’ve managed to get fitter in a much shorter time period.
To conclude this review, I think the Invictus Active Trainer is a great piece of equipment for anyone interested in getting/staying active without having to leave your home. Something I’m sure many of us will once again be trying to achieve now that the prospect of another lockdown is looming. The only downside would be that the product price is relatively expensive, especially if you want to add the heart rate and distance monitor onto your order - however, I think it is 100% worth it! There are not that many pieces of accessible gym equipment available, let alone ones that can be used at home and I think this is one of the best on the market!