I bet there’s quite few people old enough to remember the classic Bullworker. When it first came out in the 1960’s, which was a bit before my time, it was a revolutionary piece of training equipment. And not just for upper body exercises either, but also for leg exercises. Take a look at the Bullworker training PDF charts / books, new or vintage, and you will see that there are lots of exercises that train many parts of the body. Most, if not all, are still relevant today. It’s considered as old skool Isometrics / resistance training.
Pictured to the right: One of the best alternatives. The Retrociser® RV5
These days the original Bullworker has been replicated by a few of different companies. There are products in the marketplace that are basically identical to the original Bullworker, with the only noticeable difference being the brand name. If you want to see the original Bullworkers for sale just take a look on eBay, they are available to buy. Especially the X5 model. Prices online can be surprisingly high for second-hand examples. You’re probably better off looking in your local classified Ad listings if you want to save some money.
Of course, almost all of them will be in a used condition but you may get lucky and find one that was found in a shed that is still in its genuine packaging and has never been used. But unless you’re a die-hard “I only want an original Bullworker” type of guy, why would you need to search high and low when there are products out there, which are brand new, that look and do the exact same thing the vintage Bullworker and green ended Tensolator does.
If they aren’t enough to quench your Bullworker fever, I should add that the genuine Bullworker is still being sold today. It has gone through some changes over the years to keep it rolling with the times, but overall, it is still the same product. If not a bit better. There was a version being sold in Argos, but I believe it has now been sold out / discontinued for sale. Overall, the review scores for this type of equipment, regardless of the brand, is always high. People love them.
The newer models appear to be more easily obtainable in the USA, as the main distributor that sells them is American based. In the UK, there is a stockist of the original product – The Classic. And also the Steel Bow version + Extension, but they are fairly expensive. If you don’t care about the price give a website called sport-thieme a look.
However, there are some cheaper alternatives are being sold on Amazon, such as the Retrociser® RV5, and another one just called the Heavy Duty Press Exerciser (Both pictured). So it looks like the design must not have been protected by a patent. Either that or the main patent has run out / expired. And I presume that as long as manufacturers of similar products are using a different name (Trademark protection), it seems as though they are allowed to use the same general design.
How effective are these contraptions in 2017?
Resistance training will always be very effective, regardless of the year. It’s still just as relevant now then it was decades ago. Only difference being we now know much more about the body, and have many more training aids at our disposal. So, in 2017 there is so much more choice available.
With that said, Bullworkers and similar products are still effective tools for resistance training. They can work as great all-in-one, or many-in-one exercise companions for those who travel (it’s very portable), have little time to spare, or individuals who want to train at home and want that one extremely durable product which can easily and effortlessly become a key part of their training regime. Although a chart is included with most of these products, so you won’t be stuck for ways to use it, the more creative you are with this device, the more muscle groups you can potentially target.
While these may not cover the same exact muscles due to how versatile these devices are, a free and natural alternative is the timeless 3. Press-ups, Dips and Pull-ups. Add sit ups and running to the group and you have most of what the average man or woman needs to stay in good shape. No expensive Gym memberships which don’t get used that often to worry about either!