My GMB Fitness (Gold Medal Bodies) Parallettes One Review | NoobStrength
I tried the Parallettes One program by GMB Fitness (Gold Medal Bodies). Here is my experience and review.
The Parallettes One Program by GMB Fitness is a three-month, 3x a week bodyweight fitness course that focuses on building the strength and skill on the parallettes.
You can watch the video version of my review here on my YouTube channel!
Why Did I Choose Parallettes One (P1) by GMB Fitness?
You know all that cool bodyweight stuff that you see people on Instagram do? Wouldn’t it be cool to be able to do them too? Well, that’s exactly what I was thinking. I wanted to find a program that would help me develop some bodyweight fitness skills. Because lets face it, it looks friggin’ awesome! And calisthenics folks tend to look good and are generally ripped. (Probably more correlation than causation but whatever.)
So I went online and did my research and eventually found a company called Gold Medal Bodies or GMB Fitness (official site here). They offered quite a few different courses and they’re all cool, but the ones I was most interested in was the Parallettes Course. One day I hope to be able to do a planche, and based on the information on the website, the Parallettes courses seemed to be the most appropriate for my goal. There are two levels, Parallettes One and Parallettes Two. I decided to start with the basics and go for Parallettes One.
It can actually be pretty tough to find a program that’s right for you. And there are a lot of good ones out there. But for me, the thing that ultimately made me choose GMB Fitness over the other options was actually because of the main guy, Ryan Hurst. He seems and looks like a down-to-earth, genuinely nice guy. Does that make me an easy sell? Maybe. But in my opinion, having a clean, relatable and friendly look goes a long way.
How Much Does Parallettes One (P1) Cost?
The course was priced at $95 for the 3-month program, which I thought was reasonable.
And I know what some of you are going to say. “Oh my god its 95 bucks! I could just find a bunch of stuff on the Internet and do my own program!”
Well you could. But how long would it take for to you to gain all that knowledge and then put together an intelligent program. Probably way longer than it would take you to make 95 bucks. But I digress.
So What Are Parallettes exactly?
Well they’re basically just portable parallel bars. You can use them to do basic things like push-ups or more advanced things like planches or shoulder stands. One of the advantages of using paralletes as opposed to the floor is that it is easier on your wrists and the fact that its raised off the ground can make a lot of moves easier than they would be on the floor.
So is Gold Medal Bodies’ Parallettes One the program for you? Well that depends, but let me break down the more obvious pros and cons.
1) P1 is great value for the money.
The program consists of two levels. A and B. Basically, A is easier and more beginner friendly and B is harder. I did the B level program so everything in this review is going to be based on the level B program. But the fact that there are two levels is a pretty strong positive. It’s basically like getting two programs for one.
And there’s a Leg day program included that you can do if you also want to do legs as a supplement.
2) P1 is highly customizable to you.
For each exercise, GMB Fitness provides a range for sets and reps. You can do more if you’re feeling gung ho. If you’re maybe just having an off day, you can do less. They also have alternative exercises in case you can’t do the more difficult ones they prescribe.
No program is ever going to fit everyone, but this wiggle room is going to give everyone the ability to tailor the program to where they are without feeling like they are incapable of doing the program. Because feeling incapable or not good enough is a shitty feeling and, I imagine, a big reason why people quit workout programs.
3) There is no guesswork required.
They tell you exactly what to do. There’s a warm up, cool down, and even instructions on how to incorporate pull-ups and weights into the program.
1) Parallettes 1 is not a balanced program.
The exercises in this program are almost entirely pushing movements. So if you’re already someone who is front heavy, this program isn’t going to make that any better, unless you take steps to balance that out.
2) P1 is not for true beginners
If you can’t do a single push up, this might not be for you. Fortunately Gold Medal Bodies has other programs that are more noob friendly. So you should probably check those out instead.
3) Limited Advanced Movements
Sorry no planche work in Parallettes one. No frog stands. So if you’re already comfortable with fairly advanced stuff, you might be better of jumping into Parallettes Two.
With all that said and done, here is the experience I had with the program.
Before starting the program, I did a max L-Sit hold as a baseline for my strength level. I got 16 seconds. I wanted to use this as a metric for progress and I would revisit this at the end of the program.
Both the A and B versions of the program are broken into four phases, with the first two phases lasting a month and the last 2 phases being just 2 weeks. I did the B program.
The first phase is the strength phase, where you build strength.
The exercises are simpler and more straightforward. I’m not a beginner to working out so I felt that it was a little bit on the easier side. The good thing is that the program has a range of sets and reps for each exercise so I would usually go for the higher rep and set range to make it more challenging.
The second phase is skill focused so the moves get a bit more technically challenging.
This is also where things get more interesting. I admit that I would sometimes let ego get in the way and not always have the cleanest reps. Oh well. It happens to the best of us. The L-Sit drive, in particular, was really hard and I don’t think I had a single pretty rep in there.
The third and fourth phases introduce flows, which are basically chaining moves together.
Overall, the third phase was a significant jump up in difficulty from the second phase. It was in this phase that I started to find myself unable to do certain moves at the prescribed level. Thankfully, the program offers scaled down alternatives.
The flows in the fourth phase are a lot more difficult and longer than the ones in the third phase. I was unfortunately not able to do the entire flow due to getting fatigued and had to do each part separately. The fatigue also made it hard to do certain moves full on during the flow. For example, I couldn’t hold a full shoulder stand during the flow, and could only have one leg up at a time. I guess I’m not quite there just yet. But what I was able to do at the end of the fourth phase still looked pretty good so I don’t feel bad about it!
Now that I finished the program, lets take a look at the results:
Well for one, I could now do a cool flow.
Also, remember the 16s L-Sit I did at the beginning? Well now I could hold the L-Sit for 30s.
And while I may not have been able to do a full shoulder stand during the flow, I could easily do one by itself. I’d say that’s a pretty big win.
I was also pretty happy with the way my physique turned out at the end. I wasn’t even tracking it so this is purely anecdotal. Very worthy if I say so myself.
Overall, I’m very happy with the program. But I do have some final for you to consider when you’re making your decision.
GMB’s Parallettes One is all about quality of movement.
It’s better to do fewer, slower quality reps than a bunch of shitty ones. So it’s important to have a good temperament when you go about it and trust the process.
Its also a very skill focused program, so you’re not going to feel as sore or as tired as you would in say, P90x. Personally, I’m all for it. I hate being tired and if I can get results without being exhausted all the time, heck yeah. But if you’re something who enjoys being out of breath, this is probably not for you.
And now for my verdict!
I would give GMB Fitness’s Parallettes One Program a 9/10.
Mostly because it does exactly what it says it’s going to do, which is teaching you basic parallettes moves. Just make sure you know what you’re looking for and what this program offers. Then you can decide if it’s a fit.
And before you ask, no GMB Fitness did not bribe me to make this video. I am doing this out of my own free will and am not under the influence of any alcohol, drugs or magic potions. You can check out Parallettes One at GMB’s website here!
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I’m gonna be doing a lot of fitness experiments so I’ll be making more posts and videos as I finish them. My Instagram has more of my day to day progress!
I’m a National Academy of Sports Medicine (NASM) certified personal trainer and StrongFirst Bodyweight Instructor based in West Los Angeles and Santa Monica. I offer 1-on-1 personal training, group/couples training, and online fitness coaching!
If you’re interested in working with me or have any questions, feel free to reach out!