We go hands on with a workout device (crazy, I know) that combines exercise and gaming in a way that feels both unique and effective.
Staying active is always a difficult thing. With the onset of the pandemic and gyms closing or people being stuck at home, working out is even more problematic than ever before. As such, the Stealth gaming device seems to have launched at an opportune time. The developers behind the product were kind enough to send one my way to test out (I utilized the basic version, so that’s what I’ll be talking about), and I’m very happy with what I’ve seen.
Though the feeling isn’t always mutual, I’ve long enjoyed working out. From my decades as a martial arts instructor to finding a (very unexpected) love for running, it brings me joy. As the size of my family has increased, keeping up with it has been difficult, but I still try to get a little something in each day, if only to help with my mental health.
It’s long been known that exercise has mental health benefits and now, more than ever, that’s an important thing to keep up with. As such, when the company behind Stealth reached out to me, promising an effective workout in limited bursts of time, I was eager to check it out.
The idea is simple, take the exercise benefits of “the plank” and crank it up to the next level. The equipment itself is fairly straightforward, taking an triangular platform and raising it up on a gimbal. This gives a full motion effect to it, allowing you to pivot, twist, and rock forward/backward using the muscles in your core and legs. Resting on top are a pair of urethane arm pads where you’ll rest your forearms for the plank.
Thankfully, these are just as comfy as advertised. I’m used to doing planks as part of my normal warm-up, but just on the floor or even a thin mat. As such, my elbows would start hurting before too long and I’d find myself stopping the exercise due to discomfort than the actual workout aspect. That’s not a problem here, and due to the layout of the device itself it forces your arms into the proper position the whole time. There’s no cheating here, which really helps give you one less thing to think about while exercising.
The big difference with the Stealth, however, is the gaming aspect that’s included. Built within the equipment is a depression to hold your smart phone device. It’s geared to fit pretty much any sized phone and features a texture/coating that prevents the phone from sliding while pivoting around. I don’t know exactly what they used, but it’s damn effective.
Seriously, once I set my phone down, it doesn’t move at all. My girlfriend’s phone has a pop-socket on the back, but even with that the Stealth managed to hold it in place. While it wiggled a tiny bit more than a flat phone did, it didn’t have any impact on the gameplay and exercise.
Let’s chat about that gameplay just a little bit. By and large, this is the big selling factor of the Stealth and a large part of what makes it a unique workout device. There’s a separate Stealth App you’ll need to download on your phone, but don’t worry, it’s free. There is a premium subscription associated with it to unlock more games and features (only $24.99 a year), but the free version has some nifty features to get you going.
The games are fairly simple overall, utilizing the gyroscope in your phone, and the motion of the gimbal to control the actions within the game itself. From guiding a para-glider through goals and around obstacles, to shooting down space aliens in a starfighter, you have to utilize the muscles in your body to improve your score. Due to this, many of the games are, understandably, similar in nature, but that doesn’t make them any less fun…Nor is that entirely the point.
The true genius behind the idea is how it uses a video game to distract from the fact that you’re working out. So instead of sitting there in a plank position staring at the countdown on your phone and hating life, you’re focused on blasting enemies and getting that high score. So you barely even notice when that timer finally hits zero!
Within the game you can set your own time limits for how long to play, and then build around there. For instance, you can start off with a one minute game, and after that work to improve your score within that time limit before bumping it up to the next level. Because there are other goals in the game to boost your score (tracking points, distance traveled, etc) there are myriad ways to get a higher score; ways that will force you to use your muscles beyond the traditional plank exercise.
Like any good workout app, Stealth also tracks your overall progress with a personal log. Here you can see the frequency of your workouts, your scores over various games, and access challenges to change things up. Challenges can be shared among friends, or stacked up against other online leader boards. So not only are you working toward your own benefit, but to put other gamers to shame.
If you’re looking for a fun new way to exercise that takes advantage of limited time and your gaming tendencies, there’s a lot to like about the Stealth Core Trainer. It’s simple to use, lightweight (so you can move/use it anywhere you want), and delivers on a seriously effective workout that will leave you sweaty, but eager for more.