This is the Bob freestanding dummy. It has a similar anatomy to an actual human being, built with a jaw, a temple, and a torso. But for an added fee, you can get a set of arms for it. And it’s these traits that make it an excellent addition to your gym equipment.
Of course, everything comes with a price, and Bob’s is costly. Some people consider the number on the tag worth a small fortune. But that doesn’t necessarily mean the Bob isn’t a practical purchase.
If you’re the least interested in martial arts and self-defense, consider getting yourself a Bob. And in this article, you will see why it could be a sound investment.
The Body Opponent Bag: A Viable Freestanding Dummy
We briefly ran through some of Bob’s best traits. But in this section, we’re doing a deep dive to see some of the benefits of owning one.
Its features set the Bob freestanding dummy apart from a punching bag. The facial and bodily structure gives you a better look at the target. You can see where the eyes are or that perfect spot on the bridge of the nose.
The added realism makes for a practical training session, whether it’s for a self-defense situation or a combat sports setting. Jabs to the eye socket and elbow strikes to the jaw become more accurate.
The same goes with hooks and uppercuts to the body or straight punches to the solar plexus. You can even practice gouging someone’s eye out. But of course, try to perform this move only if you’re in a life-and-death situation.
You won’t get to correctly practice these techniques with a regular heavy bag. And if you’re a visual learner, having a freestanding dummy would be a massive help.
It Allows For the Practice of Precision
“Precision beats power, timing beats speed.” If you’re a UFC fan, you remember this quotable quote from “The Notorious” Conor McGregor. It was right after his 13-second knockout win over José Aldo, who was once deemed by many as the greatest featherweight competitor of all time.
McGregor isn’t known as a significant power puncher, unlike Mike Tyson. He wasn’t taking heads off and putting people to sleep. But his precision in landing his shots squarely on the target brought him tremendous success.
See, there are certain spots in the head and body that, when hit, can automatically shut a person’s lights out or render them incapacitated. Olympic medalist Tony Jefferies enumerated these “sweet spots“: the chin and the temple. There is also an off button behind the ear, and it’s a high-percentage shot since it’s a hidden spot.
A freestanding dummy like Bob lets you focus on these targets without going all out. It allows you to be more creative in finding your angles and openings.
Think of it this way: the heavy bag is the perfect practice tool for power. It allows you to drill your combinations at 100% while learning to modulate the strength you put in behind each punch for maximum efficiency.
But with a Bob freestanding dummy, you can hit these sweet spots while conserving energy. And if you can translate this strategy into an actual fight, you’re setting yourself up for longevity and, ultimately, a better performance that brings higher chances of success.
And since you’re not hitting the Bob with everything you’ve got, practice sessions become easier on the joints. That’s a huge plus, especially for the long run as you progress in training.
It’s Customizable For Every Person
Many of you looking at pictures of the Bob freestanding dummy are probably thinking, ‘This could be a little too short for me.’ It’s understandable to have that impression, but you can customize this nifty tool to accommodate your body type.
Thanks to Bob’s adjustable feature, you can bring it up to a maximum height of 6 foot 6. Even if you’re a shorter individual, you can use it for practice against taller opponents.
“Moving down: VS. BOB stands tall on three dense foam legs. This tripod stance allows users to work on inside and outside leg kicks, attacks on the knees, and groin shots. For this reason, the VS. BOB is intensely popular within self-defense and tactical arts, such as krav maga and jeet kune do.
“Although the foam in his legs is sturdy, what really keeps the VS BOB upright is what’s between them… no, lower. The three sections that form a triangle connecting his feet are sand weights. Each section weighs slightly over 36 lbs., for a total weight of 110 lbs. VS BOB stands 69” tall.
“46 of those inches are in his legs; the rest is torso and head (18″ – keep in mind, although his legs are 46″ long, they extend out at angles so not all that length translates to height).”
We can’t stress this enough: the Bob is more for technique practice than honing your power. The padded exterior still prevents you from going full swing on your kicks. Be sure to proceed with caution and mindfulness.
The Small Downsides of the Bob Freestanding Dummy
Here are the slight downsides of owning a Bob freestanding dummy. Let’s take a look at them.
The Price Tag
In our intro, we directly said that Bob is a costly purchase. The standard product already costs $369.99. The Bob XL, built with a whole torso to enable knee strikes to the body, comes in at $419.99. The VS. Bob has the heftiest price tag at $549.99.
Given these numbers, some of you readers may be put off by it. After all, you can get the same amount of workouts with a heavy bag, which is much more affordable.
The Bob freestanding dummy isn’t a gym necessity, but if you have the extra resources, consider this a reasonable splurge.
All Bob products come with a soft rubber exterior. You don’t always need to strap on a pair of gloves, and it allows you to practice elbow and palm strikes without hurting yourself.
While this freestanding dummy is durable enough, it has a shorter lifespan than a punching bag with a leather exterior. Give or take; the Bob should last you up to five years, depending on how much you practice on it. A heavy bag could remain usable for up to ten years.
The Bob gets to stand upright because of its plastic base that you fill up with water or sand. But even with that added weight, it’s still flimsy enough to move around and be out of place.
It can be annoying to constantly move this freestanding dummy into position, throwing you off your groove. That isn’t an issue with a punching bag chained to a hook and held by a sturdy metal rod drilled into a wall.
Is the Bob Freestanding Dummy a Wise Purchase to Make?
Ultimately, the choice is yours to make. The Bob is an excellent investment if you’re willing to invest in your training to take it a few steps further.
The price attached to it may be less friendly for some. But if you have the resources, the amount you’re shelling out should be just right for the five years you’ll spend with this freestanding dummy.