This is as simple and straightforward as a home gym can get. There are no moving parts on the Stamina 1690, no resistance bands or weights, or any pulleys and cords to deal with. Instead, the tower provides a set of handles at different heights that allow you to do a variety of workouts, such as pull ups, push ups, tricep dips, and a variety of others. There are a surprising number of different exercises possible with this simple setup. As there are no added weights or other types of resistance, the workout depends entirely on your own bodyweight.
The Power Tower is all-steel construction and is designed to take your full weight in a variety of ways. It takes up a bit of room, covering about 4 feet square on the floor and being about 7 feet tall. A little extra headroom for pull ups is also a good idea. It only weighs a little over 50 pounds, which is light for an exercise machine, so it is relatively easy to move around. However, the Tower does not fold up in any way, as everything is fixed for maximum stability. The simplicity of this setup means it is one of the less expensive exercise machines on the market.
It comes with everything required to assemble the Tower, including tools to tighten bolts. A few people have complained that they needed a more substantial wrench to tighten the hardware properly. Properly tightening everything evenly is extremely important, as otherwise weight can be distributed unevenly leading to stability issues. Some people have had to replace the bolts and washers with new ones in order to make it truly stable. The actual bars and handles are all steel and extremely solid, however. There have been no reported problems with them.
With this sort of exercise machine, stability is a big concern. If it wobbles, or even tips, that can put an end to your workout and perhaps even result in an injury. The Power Tower is pretty stable, and the bars are arranged so that your weight is always adding to the stability. Some really energetic exercises, for example kipping pull ups, might set the thing wobbling and cause stability issues. Adding extra weight to the bottom of the tower usually resolves these issues.
This is a good upgrade from an over the door type pull up bar, with added benefit of a bunch of additional possible exercises. It is an inexpensive option if you’re looking for a simple way to add some variety to your exercise at home, or add a cheap pull up bar to your home gym. It is overall a sturdy, simple exercise machine.