The Best Power Towers 2017 – Top Picks & Reviews
What’s the key to developing astonishing strength, flexibility, and just plain old muscle without enrolling in a gym? Progressive body weight exercise. Through this form of exercise, you can use your body weight to push your physique to its optimal level. The basic and intermediate forms of this exercise regimen require little to no equipment. However, the advanced progressions require a dip station and a pull-up bar.
You could purchase the equipment separately. But the smarter thing to do is to buy the best power tower you can afford for the price of a few months at a gym. A power tower is a self-contained unit with multiple body weight exercise stations, such as pull-ups, dips, vertical knee raises, push-ups, and sit-ups. With this equipment, you can sculpt a strong, attractive, and flexible body without leaving the comfort and convenience of your home.
Our Top 4 Power Tower Picks
|MODEL||PRODUCT DIMENSIONS||USER WEIGHT CAPACITY||USER RATING||PRICE|
|Stamina 1690||50 x 81.5 x 41.5 inches ||250 pounds ||4.6/5||$
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|Fitness Reality X Class High Capacity Multi Function Power Tower||63.4" L x 49" W x 83"||150 pounds||4.4/5||$$$$
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|XMark Fitness XM-4434||Dip handles 21.5" apart, back cushion: 14” L x 11” W, forearm pads: 12” L x 4” W||350 pounds||4.2/5||$$$
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|Body Vision PT600 Power Tower||42 x 43 x 85.8 inches||250 pounds||3.8/5||$$
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Through this article, we want to help you find the best power tower for your needs with a minimal investment of time and effort. To that end, the article has two parts. The first part, our picks for the best power towers of 2017, is a quick-stop destination for those who are in a hurry. But, if you want more options, the information in the second part will outline the factors to consider when buying a power tower, will help you do your own research.
#1 XMark Fitness XM-4434 – Our Top Pick
I believe that high-end products offer better build quality and utility than the XM-4434 does. Also, budget friendly products grant better economy than our top pick. So, why is this product the best power tower on the market? Balance. Let’s explore this more deeply.
First and foremost, the XM-4434’s four exercise stations facilitate push-ups, dips, vertical knee raises, and pull-ups. These exercises and their variants strengthen and develop all the major muscle groups in your upper body, core, and lower body. However, the product does not have a sit-up station. And, it doesn’t have a station for doing incline/decline push-ups or horizontal rows. So, this product gets dinged a little for utility but generally still holds up well.
Next, let’s look at the build quality. The durable main frame of this power tower is made of 14-gauge steel with scratch resistant powder coating. The knee braces connecting the main frame to the stand and the main frame to the vertical knee raise arm provide great stability. Thus, the XM-4434’s material and frame design can support a use weight of 350 lbs. While working on the vertical knee raise station, the 2-inch thick cushions provide ample support for your back and arms. And, all the stations have comfortable grips. So, from a build quality perspective, it also scores very well.
Lastly, let’s consider the cost. Costing between $150 and $170, this is certainly not the cheapest power tower on the market. But, considering its well above average ratings for utility and build quality, the product’s price is definitely justified. So, if you’re looking for the best power tower for home use, this is the right product for you.
- Reasonably priced
- Excellent utility
- Durable construction
- Comfortable support cushions and grips
- No sit-up station
- No station for incline/decline push-ups
- No station for horizontal rows
#2 Stamina 1690 – Best For The Money
Picking a low-cost power tower is all about making the right compromises and investing in a trustworthy brand. As far as trust and reputation go, the Stamina 1690 is second to none. With hundreds of authentic five-star reviews, this Amazon bestseller is the best power tower for the money. But, what about the compromises? That’s what we’re here to discuss.
The stamina 1690 comes with stations for pull-ups, push-ups, dips, and sit-ups. It does not have a station for vertical knee raises. In my opinion, this is not a big sacrifice if you have the strength to do hanging leg raises. In any case, people should switch to power towers only after mastering floor exercises. Overall, this equipment has enough stations for exercising all the muscles groups in your body. So, I give it strong marks for utility.
In build quality and construction, this power tower shows its lower cost to some extent. First, although the machine is stable enough for basic exercises, it will wobble if you try advanced variations or aggressive exercises. Secondly, you may have to weigh down the power tower with sandbags, wooden planks, or dumbbells for extra support. Lastly, the frame narrows towards the top, making wide-grip exercises a little tricky.
In summary, this product is the best low-cost power tower. But, it isn’t the best power tower on the market. So, I recommend waiting until you’ve saved enough to buy our top pick. If waiting is not an option or if this is supplemental to going to the gym, then this is the best option.
- Good for basic to intermediate exercises
- Durable construction
- Not ideal for advanced exercises
- Requires weights to boost stability
- No vertical knee raise station
#3 Body Vision PT600 Power Tower
If space is a concern for you, you’ll love the PT600. It has all its exercise stations on one side. This means you can put this piece of equipment right against the wall. But, apart from this feature, all the other aspects are standard.
This power tower has four stations that cover pull-ups, vertical knee raises, dips, and push-ups. So, it gets very good marks for utility. However, the capacity of the machine is only 250 pounds, which is less than all the other machines on our list.
Now, the construction quality of this machine raises a few issues. Although some customers have no issue with the product, others have reported missing parts, poor welds, and low-quality armrests. A related cause for concern is the product’s brand value. Body Champ doesn’t have the brand strength to match the reputation of other companies featured on our list. Due to this inconsistency, I have to ding this machine significantly when it comes to construction quality. Trust is important.
However, for the price, I can let most of these issue slide. Although there is a lot of scope for improvement, it is still a good piece of equipment that gets the job done. So, if you’re looking for a fully functional and space saving power tower for the best price, consider buying the PT600.
- Affordable price
- Four stations
- Occupies less space
- Inconsistent build quality
- Weak brand
#4 Fitness Reality X Class High Capacity Multi Function Power Tower – Another Honorable Mention
If I were to reorder this list without considering the price, the X Class would be at the top. However, the price is an important factor and I cannot take it out of the equation. At the same time, I didn’t want to leave it out because the X Class captures the essence of the ideal power tower. That’s why I’m awarding it an honorable mention.
Among all the power towers on our list, this one is the most versatile. The product description says you can do over 30 exercises but I actually believe you can do many more than that. For instance, you can use the two adjustable handle bars/foam rollers to do incline/decline push-ups and horizontal rows. I’ve not seen this feature on any of the low-end power towers.
Also, the pull-up station has multiple handles that allow you to choose the correct grip for different pull-up variations. In addition to this, the X Class has stations for push-ups, dips, vertical knee raises, and sit-ups. Clearly, this power tower deserves nothing less than five stars for utility.
And, when it comes to construction and build quality, the X Class leaves nothing to be desired. Its frame is robust, back support and arm support cushions are thick and well-made, the grips are comfortable, and the base is extremely stable. So, that’s another five-star. In short, if you have the budget, the X Class is the definite winner.
- Perform over 30 exercises
- More than 5 stations
- Very stable and robust
- Durable construction
- High capacity
Factors To Consider When Buying a Power Tower
The power tower is not an entry level exercise equipment. That’s why you must evaluate your current fitness level, set future fitness goals, create a plan to achieve your goal, and choose the right power tower to help you along the way. A mistake in any of these steps can cause serious problems.
For example, you may buy a power tower only to realize that you don’t have enough strength to use any of the stations on it. Or worse, you may find the stations aren’t enough. To help you sidestep these possible snags, we’ve devoted this part of the guide to discussing the details of every consideration that ultimately leads to the best product for your needs. So, let’s get started.
Do I need a power tower?
Progressive body weight exercises is a form of exercise where you use your own body to provide the resistance needed to develop strength. But, after a point, your muscles grow strong to a point where the body doesn’t provide enough resistance. In other words, the exercise becomes easy. To overcome this, you need to switch to a more difficult version of the same exercise.
For instance, if you can’t do a full push-up yet, you switch to an easier version of push-ups, such as knee push-up of incline push-up. At the same time, if a regular push-up is too easy, you can move to tougher variations, such as decline push-up or one-arm push-up.
Now, you can do the beginner and intermediate level bodyweight workouts without a power tower. But, once you move to advanced exercises, such as dips, pull-ups, hanging leg raises, and vertical knee raises, you’ll need a power tower to perform these exercises.
Therefore, the right time to buy a power tower is after your master all the floor exercises for your upper body, core, and lower body. Also, make sure that you’re at your ideal weight before you buy a power tower. This equipment is for strength training, not weight loss.
How many stations do I need?
To decide the number of stations, you must have a broad understanding of muscle groups and the exercises that target them. Broadly speaking, you can group these muscles into three categories: upper body, core, and lower body. The best exercises for these groups are as follows:
- Upper Body: Pull-ups, push-ups, and dips are some of the best exercises for developing upper body strength.
- Core: Hanging leg-raise, vertical leg raises, and sit-ups are the most recommended exercises to strengthen your core.
- Lower Body: The ultimate lower body exercise is squats.
So, when you buy a power tower, make sure that it has at least one station for each category. Also, the nature of progressive body weight exercises makes some stations more valuable than others. For example, a sit-up station isn’t as valuable as the pull-up station, which also doubles as a station for hanging leg raises.
Another point to consider is the exercise progression. Some progressions, such as the squat progression and the push-up progression, does not require a power tower. Some progressions, such as leg raise progression, require a power tower mid way. Some progressions, such as pull-up progression, require a power tower from the start. Thus, it is important that you identify the stations for the entire progression, not just individual exercises within a progression.
What are the factors I must consider when buying a power tower?
Stations are the most important factor when buying a power tower. However, other important factors include maximum capacity, stability, ease of assembly, construction quality, comfort, durability, and cost. Let’s discuss each factor.
- Maximum Capacity: Each power tower is rated for a maximum capacity. For example, the XM-4434 has a maximum capacity of 350 lbs. Ideally, your weight must lie within 70 to 80 percent of the power tower’s maximum capacity.
- Stability: A wobbly power tower is a useless power tower. However, there’s no accurate way to determine stability through visual inspection alone. Therefore, you must rely on customer reviews to assess this factor.
- Ease of Assembly: Many power towers on Amazon come with an option for expert assembly. This option is extremely expensive. So, choose a machine that is easy to assemble. Most of the reputed power tower manufacturers provide the manual for their products online. Download the manual to check whether the assembly instructions are clear.
- Construction Quality: The power tower’s frame is structurally the most important part of the equipment. Good quality power towers have heavy duty steel frames with a powder coating that guards the frame against scratches.
- Comfort: Elements of comfort on a power tower include grips on each station and back support and arm support for vertical knee raise stations. A non-slip grip and thick cushions are some of the comfort features you must prioritize.
- Durability: Durability is a measure of the products ability to retain its form and functionality with prolonged use. Generally, power towers from reputed brands are more durable than the off-brand counterparts.
- Cost: I recommend that you set a budget of $150 to $200 for buying a power tower. This is the price range in which you get the best mix of all the above parameters. If you have a higher budget, it would be wiser to spend it on some other equipment or accessories.
Is there anything else I should know?
Many people forget to consider the dimensions of the product. This is a huge mistake. To avoid this, you must identify a spot for your power tower in advance. Pick a spot in a way that you have easy access to all the stations. Also, account for the height of the pull-up station. It should neither be too tall or too short for you.
Wow, I could really use a power tower. What are my options?
In order to minimize the effort on your part, we have put together a list of the best power towers on the market. So, picking a product from the list is the path of least effort. However, if you want to explore your options further, you can use the information in this section to do your own research. And, if you’re doing so, Bow Flex, Golds Gym, XMark Fitness, Stamina, and Fitness Reality are some of the brands I recommend exploring.
Once you understand your present fitness level and future fitness goals, you’re ready to buy a power tower. Based on the information and reviews of power towers on this article, you can go for a low-tier, mid-tier, or top-tier power tower. All three price brackets have high-quality products.
But, if I had to prioritize, I would choose a mid-tier power tower, such as the XMark Fitness XM-4434, over a low-tier or top-tier equipment. The reason is that power towers in the $150 to $200 price range offer everything you need to advance your body weight training routine. Beyond that price range, although the quality, durability, and capacity increases, utility stays more or less the same.
The principles of body weight exercise are thousands of years old. The power tower brings nothing new to the table. But, the reason they are so popular is that power towers bring everything together.
However, this popularity creates a paradox of choice. When you have too many choices, the likelihood of making the wrong one increases. Unless you learn to trim your options systematically, you may find it hard to find the ideal product. Fortunately, this article has all the information you need to carry out this process confidently. I hope it helps you find the best power tower for your needs.