The guys at Pullup & Dip keep surprising us with their innovative solutions to Calisthenics equipment. So too their FREESIXD suspension trainer is a new feat of German engineering which is sure to impress even Siegfried himself. Designed by two young industrial engineers and funded by over 1300 community backers, the FREESIXD was a success the moment it left the factory. Reason for us to investigate what makes the FREESIXD so popular, what makes it work and what it can do for you.
What is FREESIXD?
The FREESIXD is described as an ultraportable full-body sling and resistance trainer. It consists of a number of straps, resistance bands, rings and buckles. The entire setup can be used to perform over 100 different exercises covering practically the entire scope of Calisthenics exercise. In essence, what the FREESIXD does is help guide your movements while using a resistance band, greatly increasing the variety and effectiveness of resistance training. We’ll go over the entire package below and give you our thoughts as well.
2x Adapter Plates for Tree or Wall Mounting
These plates are used to loop a ratchet strap around a wall or bolt the plates semi-permanently to a wall. The ratchet straps for outdoor use are included. It is between these adapter plates that you suspend and tighten the Super Belt. These are made of steel, not aluminum. This makes them durable and rugged.
1x “Super Belt and Buckle”
This is the backbone of the FREESIXD and it is from the buckle on this belt where you attach the different training utensils to do different workouts. You can adjust the length of the Super Belt at will, increasing or decreasing the base resistance the Super Belt gives you. Once you have the adapter plates up, suspending the Super Belt is fairly easy once you’ve done it before. You hook the end caps of the Super Belt into the base plates and then you can adjust the length accordingly so that the belt hangs tautly. The Super Belt is made from heavy duty nylon and stands up to any practical load a human being can exert.
2x Door Attachments
If city planning still lives in the 1970’s and you can’t find a single tree anywhere near to you and you also don’t want to drill holes in the wall either, there are the door attachment adapters. These attachments allow you to suspend the FREESIXD from any door. This also works great if you’re staying at a hotel.
3-part Pluggable Exercise Bar
An exercise bar which can be taken apart in three equal length pieces. You can either shorten the bar to two sections, or have two smaller equal sized sections. This will become an important feature for different kinds of exercises you do with the FREESIXD like squats, deadlifts and triceps curls. The Pluggable Exercise Bar has a smooth surface finish and we found it best used with either gloves or liquid chalk to keep the bar free of sweat.
2x Resistance Bands sets
The engine of the FREESIXD which provides most of the resistance during your exercise. You get one set of 2 times 15kg (33lbs) and one set of 2 times 30kg (66lbs). This gives you options between 33lbs and 132lbs at 33lbs increments. For the beginner the included bands are more than sufficient. You can also use after-sale heavier resistance bands and pretty much any brand will work. Pullup & Dip also sells the black 77lbs (35kg) set.
2x Ankle Straps
A pair of padded ankle straps which can attach to the Super Belt for various leg exercises like kickbacks. They are essentially very big Velcro straps and we worried that these would not hold up while doing 132lbs kickbacks. The Velcro adhered well, though and the padding is thick and soft enough so that the straps don’t dig into your skin.
2x Sling trainer bands
With the sling trainer bands, you can use your own body weight to train with a variety of exercises. The straps can be adjusted to any length to accommodate the height of the FREESIXD and your own height. Like the Super Belt, the Sling trainer bands are made of highly durable nylon and can resist any realistic strength or weight a human body can exert.
2x “Trings” Tri-Rings
The Trings, or Tri-Rings are an innovative take on Gymnastic Rings, combining them with the usual handles you find on many resistance trainers. They give you three options on how to hold the handles, depending on what is most comfortable to you.
A set of more traditionally shaped handles are included in the package as well. The anti-slip coating works well to provide you with ample grip during the exercise. They also fit nicely in the hand and are comfortable to hold. They are of a softer type of rubber which have some give, giving you the feeling like you can really grip them firmly. They also do a great job at lessening the pressure on your hand palms while pulling a high resistance. Between the handles and the Trings included in the package, we actually prefer these for a lot of exercises.
The whole package comes neatly packed in a durable bag. If you’re worried that once unpacked, it’ll never fit back in the way it came out, Pullup & Dip has you covered. The bag contains a number of labeled pouches for each single part of the FREESIXD, ensuring that it all goes back equally neat. How thoughtful!
What is a suspension trainer?
A suspension trainer, often also called a sling trainer, is a setup by which one or two straps are suspended from a high point and from which you suspend your bodyweight to do Calisthenics exercise. Sling trainers allow you to incline or decline your regular Calisthenics exercises like Pull-ups and Push-ups among others. Due to the movable nature of the straps, other exercises and variations of non-suspended exercises become available as well.
FREESIXD is a sling trainer as well as a Resistance trainer, combining both suspension trainers and resistance bands into one device.
Our Expectations for the FREESIXD
Pullup & Dip commands a lot of respect in the Calisthenics community, so too with us. Their products have to date all been excellent. As a company, they put their heart into their product and they have made their hobby into a job. That, coupled with smart engineering has created a lot of innovative and powerful Calisthenics equipment. Seeing the FREESIXD advertised we just knew we immediately had to get our hands on one.
First thing we did was go over all the individual components and record our first impressions. For the purposes of keeping this review nice and concise, we’ve worked both those initial impressions and how they each felt in use above, under What is FREESIXD.
For the actual motions of exercising with the FREESIXD, we’ve decided to setup a small routine mixing both suspension trainer techniques and resistance band techniques. We were confident all the mentioned techniques would work, so instead we focused on comfort, ease of use and effectiveness of the workout.
Our routine was as follows:
- Triceps sling extension
- Bicep’s curl
- Triceps curl
- Mid thoracic row
- Assisted squat
- Single leg hip extension
- Chest press/fly
- Shoulder side raise
- Tucked knee raises
FREESIXD Review Results
The setup is something to look into. After doing it once you’ll never forget how to again. But the first time you look at all those straps and buckles, we don’t blame you if you feel overwhelmed. The instructional videos are quite clear however and once you figure out which strap does what (and there is a visible distinction) it becomes so much easier to setup. Realistically, it shouldn’t take you more than two minutes to get it up and running (excluding a permanent fixture to the wall).
Doing Calisthenics with the FREESIXD is easy and won’t break you a sweat at all (see what we did there?). The high-quality resistance bands feel nice and even all the way through the pull and slack off gradually as well on the return. The handles feel very comfortable, especially the rubberized ones. When you’re first starting, you’ll find that the center-line Super Belt also has some slack to it when you make your first pull. Adjust your distance to the wall accordingly and you’re good to go.
Switching to leg exercises, again changing up the bands and straps taking a minute or so, we felt the standard blue band was too light. We switched it to the heavier grey belt and then to a double grey belt. That hit the spot for us, although this will of course differ person to person. The ankle strap felt comfortable and even with the maximum resistance available out of the package (132lbs) didn’t feel tight or uncomfortable.
The materials used are heavy duty nylon and steel. We don’t see them giving up on you any time soon. They’ve been designed to take what’s humanly possible several times over.
Advantages to the FREESIXD
We shouldn’t gloss over the fact that it is a very light package. You can take it practically anywhere with you, including outdoors or to a hotel. But the real kicker about the FREESIXD is that it gives you a lot of versatility.
The smart engineering behind it combines suspension training and resistance bands in one. Those two have always been complimentary but you needed to do them separately. Now, with the FREESIXD you can combine them into a more seamless Calisthenics exercise experience. We believe that this core functionality, although on paper sounding simple, is what is truly revolutionary about the FREESIXD.
The over 100 exercises you can do with them offer a full-body workout. Especially for the beginner this is a great way to start. You get to do full spectrum Calisthenics with just this one solution. Even the advanced Calisthenics practitioner will be hard pressed to find a gap in their routine when using the FREESIXD.
What does FREESIXD stand for?
Germans are known for their peculiar sense of humor so should the meaning remain elusive; we’ll help you out here. FREESIXD is a portmanteau consisting of the homonym free/three and then a take on sixty with SIXD. The meaning behind it being that you’re given a free range of motion as well as a “360 degrees” workout, in other words a full-body workout.
Video review by Calisthenics Worldwide
Frequently Asked Questions About FREESIXD
Here are some frequently asked questions we received about the Pullup & Dip FREESIXD.
A sling trainer only provides you with the means of suspension training, doing incline and decline Calisthenics exercise. You can do this with the FREESIXD as well. In addition to this, the FREESIXD also allows for Resistance band training and it combines the two seamlessly.
The best place to but the FREESIXD is straight from the source at Pullup & Dip, the creators, manufacturers and distributors of the FREESIXD.
Jari Dohmen has a B.A. in physiotherapy and has been involved with Calisthenics since 2013. Around the time Calisthenics began to proliferate in the Netherlands, he was already keenly interested in both the physiotherapeutic and general lifestyle benefits Calisthenics possesses. Jari started Calisthenics Worldwide (CWW) in 2016, after numerous internet searches for Calisthenics topics that sparked his interest yielded barely any information. Today, CWW is one of the largest and most widely recognized Calisthenics blogs in the world. Become part of the Calisthenics community by commenting on this article.