Customer Reviews: Bowflex BodyTower
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on June 16, 2012
This is the second piece of equipment I have from Bowflex. As of earlier I have a Bowflex 3000 Home gym. In both cases I've experienced things that were broken on arrival, on the home gym I had a pulley that was bent and rod broke early on. On this, one of the grip was cracked and tore of at first use. The Bowflex customer support is awful so I'll probably end up fixing it myself. Back to the body Tower, it was fairly easy to put together, clear and easily to understand instructions. A good thing is to have you own set of tools then you have it installed in no time. It isn't super robust, but I'm 6'1", weigh 220 and can do dips, chin and pull-ups. If you grip the handle for the dips too far out, it starts to wobble a bit. When you do the Supine Row you initially get a sense that it will not hold, but it does. Another thing when you do the dips is that you get a bit of a feeling that you are crammed in and of course you need to bend you knees quite much. Over all I'm satisfied it is very versatile product and you can do a great deal of different exercises. I couldn't fit in a taller pull up construction in my house and I didn't want to go with a doorframe construction that's why I chose a stand alone one. If I could, I would have had one with the Pull up bar at a great height, now it feels little low. It also looks quite good if that is of importance but it is a good bang for the buck I think. You just need to be prepared for that a couple of things can be broken. Not the best quality but you don't pay top dollar as you have to for others.

Updating the review after 3 month. Im even more positive to it now. It is holding up very very well. I do chin up's and Dips with 45lb extra weight, ring row and knee rais without any problems what so ever. I don't have any problem with the wobbling I mentioned earlier. This is besides my bar/barbell my favorite equipment. I strongly recommend it and and want to change my earlier statement "you get what you pay for" to worth paying for.
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on May 4, 2014
I'll start off by saying I'm roughly 6'1"/175 lbs. I'm a 'moderate' workout warrior (and more of an 'endurance' to 'strength' guy). I'm in the military and regularly score high on PT tests. I'm not Sly Stallone or Arnie, but I'm not Bobby Hill or Mr. Burns. If you saw me in a bar and I pissed you off you'd probably think that you could take me. But I digress... I'm 'normal' and this review is from the POV of an 'average' athletic person (although, with America being so increasingly obese, perhaps I am 'above average'... but whatever, I digress again...)

After more than six months of use, I feel like a proper review is due. I like the Bowflex brand and I own many of their products (resistance bands, adjustable bench and weights), which is why I trusted them and bought this tower and not others.

I'll break down each aspect of this product properly, by grade, then give an overall grade.

BLUF: This is good-to-great (certainly useful) for 'moderate' athletes like myself, but probably not quite as good/useful for more 'advanced' athletes (over 6'2" and/or 220 lbs), and certainly not a substitute for circuit training/general gym workouts. If you use this to supplement your routines or to learn/perfect new exercises you like, go for it. This product qualifies as 'quality' and 'bang for your buck'.

Shipping: A

Shipped fast, isn't too bulky or large to get into a tight space or doorway (as packaged). The average person will need to two-person carry, but any moderately athletic person should be able to single carry (or push) this without injuring themselves.

Assembly: B/B+

Nothing too complicated. One person can do it. The hardest part is, after assembling the bottom 'A' frame and top 'H' frame, connecting the top and bottom. The tower is over six feet tall and is not lightweight (relatively speaking), so having to get the short screws through the 'A' frame and screw them tight to the 'H' frame is a hassle. I tipped the tower over on it's side and did it that way. Other than that, assembly was straight forward and simple.

Transport: D

Maybe I just have narrow doors in my apartment, but, when assembled, this will not fit through a doorway if you wish to move this from room to room (or to a garage, storage, etc.). The bottom 'A' frame is too wide, so you'd have to 'pivot' this through a doorway (provided your hallways had the proper angle to do this), IF that is possible... this tower is over six feet tall... not sure there is any angle available to 'pivot' this through a doorway. So the only way to move this around your house/apartment/condo/place of residence would be to disassemble the (bottom) 'A' frame from the (top) 'H' frame, move the separate parts and then reassemble. This might not be a problem for those with a dedicated space they KNOW they will be using. For those who might be prone to moving around, it's an inconvenience. So basically, be sure you KNOW where you want this to be at, because it's not meant to be relocated at will.

Stability: B+

It says it supports up to a 300 lb person. As previously stated, I am roughly 6'1", 175-180 lbs. If you do the exercises properly (no jerking; nice, controlled movement(s)) then this works, no problem. If I were over 200 lbs (220+) this would probably feel more problematic. I haven't had any problems with tipping, but again, I'm more 'streamlined' (or 'skeletal') build. Weights could be added to the bottom 'A' frame for those concerned with/experiencing tipping, or other methods could be used (put this in a corner/against a wall, pads used under it to help with 'grip', etc.). Most shouldn't have problems with stability.

The adjustable arms work good, too. Unless improperly secured, they don't seem likely to 'come loose'. Adjusting them requires moderate effort (removing pins, unhooking metal 'catches' from holes), but nothing too extreme. I don't adjust the arms often enough for it to be a point of annoyance.

Exercises: This product claims to be able to help you perform eight (8) exercises. They are:

Squat (single leg): N/A

I haven't done this one yet (why not just do body squats?). I imagine it wouldn't be difficult to do and that one would feel the effects of the exercise.

Chin up: B+

One of the main reasons why I bought this. Again, I'm 6'1"/175. This is JUST tall enough to support me on this exercise (with my knees bent). The tower moves a little, but nothing worrisome. It's best to move the 'arms' down low so they don't get in the way when doing chin/pull ups. The top bar doesn't get in the way of getting your chin above it. The exercise is functional and effective with this tower... but I'm not sure it would be for someone taller/heavier (6'3"+/220+)

Triceps Dip: A

One of the main reasons why I bought this. This tower makes it easy to perform dips. Arms are locked in and stable during and the height is perfect to execute the exercise. The only minor annoyance is the chin up bar, which one MIGHT hit their head on if they bob their head around (especially if they keep the arm slings attached; I hook them on the top bar). Just control your movement (and/or unclip the arm slings) and no problem.

Push-ups (decline): N/A (B+)

I don't do this exercise often enough to know for sure (I just do tons of regular pushups), but I did TRY them as shown. The rubber mat keeps your legs steady and you certainly feel the exercise. This tower could help someone do declined pushups if that was their thing.

Supine Row: N/A

I tried these, but I'm not familiar with this exercise (I'm more of a pull ups/lat pull down guy). I don't want to comment on something I don't feel qualified to. All I will say is that this tower seemed to provide adequate spacing to perform the exercise as shown.

Raised Bridge: N/A (B+)

I just do (regular) planks, but this is fully functional for the exercise as shown. It might not be a 'perfect fit' for each person since their height/arm length varies and this tower has specific sets (holes for arms to rest in), but it's not like it would be a drastic difference in height/length. If one wanted to do this exercise, they could with stability and effectiveness.

Vertical Knee Raise: A/A+

One of the main reasons why I bought this. I don't know why, but this tower/arm slings makes this exercise BURN. Boy, does your core feel these. I mean that in a good way. As a fairly tall person, it's hard not to tap my feet (toes) on the floor slightly when doing these, but if anything that helps with stability and/or concentration. The adjustable arms may get in the way for some, too, but I keep them at dip length and don't have a problem.

Crunch: C

I only tried these just to see how they'd work, so... maybe it's just me and maybe I'm being unfair. I'm an avid cruncher, so maybe I'm so used to doing these on different surfaces/with different feet holders and perhaps even 'incorrectly'. I found this tower impractical for crunches/sit ups though. You have to lower the adjustable arms all the way down and lock them in and the arms protrude out. The rubber mat doesn't really hold my feet all that steady and I have canoe-sized feet. The mat/arms clattered back and forth as I did the exercise, which was an annoying as hell sound. It's just not comfortable to do crunches or sit ups with this tower. Maybe if I had a better mat below the tower it would work better? I don't think so.

Exercises Overall: A

The three exercises I bought this for work GREAT with this. I could/would do all others, but one, if I wanted to. You can cover nearly every muscle group working out on this. I'm not sure how well sculpted (or muscular) you'd get doing JUST this, but you COULD work just about every muscle group using only this.

Product Overall: B (more advanced athletes) to A (less advanced/'moderate' athletes)

Like I said in the BLUF, this is less practical/effective the more athletic you are. Taller people will likely be annoyed by some exercise discomfort(s) based on the tower design. Heavier/more muscular people may be less comfortable and/or be less stable and/or feel less 'burn' compared to more 'advanced' exercise regiments available. For those building up their athleticism, looking to consolidate equipment, looking for a lightweight substitute for bulkier equipment or as a home gym substitute/starter this works quite well.

If you're looking to supplement your workout(s) and/or consolidate how you perform the varying exercises that this tower can help you do, then this is a great buy.
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on March 20, 2012
I have used many dip/pull-up stations and I purchased this product because of the excellent reviews. While the product is built amazingly well, and looks beautiful, it lacks a bit in functionality compared to other stations I have used.

* Built well and easy to put together
* Looks good
* Straps for hanging knee raises
* Dip bar is decent

* Rocks a bit when doing dips or pull-ups
* I tend to swing a bit doing pull-ups, and if you do not lower the dip bar you can find yourself bumping your legs
* The pull-up bar is kind of thick in diameter compared to normal pull up bars
* I am 68 inches and I thought the pull-up bar could have been higher
* You cannot do dips facing the station without bumping your head on the pull-up bar

My biggest dislike is the thickness of the pull-up bar as it makes it difficult to get a good grip. I would not buy this item again and would shop around a bit more before purchasing next time. To summarize, is this a nice looking functional station?, yes, is this the best one out there?, no.
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on July 15, 2013
The cons: One of the pins that holds a bar in place is broken. While this didn't cause the product to stop functioning as designed, nor did it constitute a safety issue, it did break within a few days of owning the product and felt it was worth mentioning. Also, I'm 6'2" and that makes me about an inch or two too tall for a couple of the exercises.
The pros: Excellent for situps, pull ups and a number of other exercises that focus on the core and the legs. This is typically an expensive proposition without buying a bunch of free weights or expensive equipment. For the price, it gets most of the job done. I'm dropping it one star for build quality and another star because I can't use the product for 100% of its designed use (the height issue).
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on May 2, 2012
I demand a LOT out of my workout equipment, and I use (abuse?) it to its maximum. I've been eyeing freestanding body towers for a while due to limitations in my environment (using a door-mounted pullup bar meant I had to leave my door open, and I couldn't put studs in my wall for a wall-mounted one), but I had misgivings about the sturdiness. Not only did I want to use it for pullups, chinups and dips, I also wanted to use it as an anchor point for my TRX. I also did NOT want a back for the abdominal exercise station (since this places undue pressure on the lower back).

The BodyTower delivers, and I'm very happy with it. The equipment is VERY high quality and sturdy, and it comes with clear assembly instructions. It is designed with the functional fitness enthusiast in mind: it comes with ab straps instead of those padded arm handles you normally see on power towers, as well as suspended rings for some challenging core and upper body exercises. The dip bar is adjustable, allowing a whole range of additional exercises. I have anchored my TRX on the pullup bar and can do suspended pushups, atomic pushups, suspended lunges, etc. with no stability issues.

My few minor quibbles:
-It is not quite as sturdy as gym-quality equipment. It rocks a tad when I do pullups, although not to a point at which it actually moves on the floor. The only way around this would have been to make it heavier, though, so I'm fine with it.
-I can't use the TRX anchored to the pullup bar to do exercises that require me to pull away from the bar using all my body weight, like suspended rows. For those exercises, I have to use the handles that are attached to the tower itself because they are anchored lower. Again, this probably has to do with the weight of the tower, and it doesn't bother me because I can use the tower's handles.
-As someone else mentioned, the pullup bar is unusually thick, which makes it hard to grip when my hands are sweaty.

Overall, I highly recommend this equipment. You can get a cheaper tower, but this one's quality is definitely worth the price.
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on March 16, 2012
This thing is great! It came 2 days after I ordered it, took one hour to set up and that included breaking down all the packing so I could recycle it. Once it was set up, I immediately did every exercise I could on it to take it thru it's paces. It is very sturdy, so pull ups and chin ups are SWEET! The handle size is just right. It maybe a little short if you want to hang weight from your waist, but in my case, that kind of height would make it unusable in my basement. Dips are very solid. Inverted rows are a little tight for me with my head towards the back post, but it makes me stick my form. Doing them head out was no problem and a nice variation. Hanging crunches are a blast. The adjustable bars are just a great idea. Each exercise you are supposed to be able to do you can do with great form and very little shake from the structure itself. I am not sure what I would change with this item.
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on July 25, 2014
Bought because great reviews, but only worth 3 stars and no more than $200 .
THE GOOD easy to assemble,alot of variety of exercises, pull ups sturdy.
THE BAD dips feel awkward because you gotta face opposite way or hit your head on top bar if do em forward plus wobbly due to fact gotta grip the bar farther out where as closer would probably be sturdier.
OVERALL well made but not well thought out.
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on January 5, 2016
I'm extremely disappointed in this product. The pictures showed a man doing exercises comfortably on the station. He must have been under five feet. This station is very small. Also I took great care to put it together tight and exactly as the instructions say but it wobbles. A lot. It makes a clunky sound as you exercise.
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on December 16, 2012
Compared to the other reviews of the Bodytower, I must have bought a bad one.
Most serious thing I noticed is that it shakes when I do the Triceps Dip using the E-Z Adjust Bars. The higher the Bars, the more it shakes. And I weigh less than 150 lbs. This could be a good thing if you want a harder workout doing these dips. It's a bad thing if you don't like the shaking. This could be prevented if flying buttresses for horizontal support were included, but I guess the designers wanted to reduce the footprint.

Another Con I noticed is that the Owner's Manual omits photographs for some of the exercise descriptions. The reason is a mystery.

I had to return to my place of purchase three times. The first time was because I didn't see that the center bar for the "Back Pad Assembly" was not packed with the Back Pad, so I assumed it was missing. In the Assembly Manual, this is depicted and described as an assembly, but the bar was strapped to the Backbone, which is one of the last parts to assemble. The second time was because I couldn't get one of the E-Z Adjust Bars to fit on either of the Uprights. I measured both of the Uprights and found that one was 1/16 of an inch larger than the other, so I believed that was the cause; however, the store manager made an adjustment to the plastic part inside of the Upright, and the Adjust Bar fitted. The third time was because one of the ball bearings of a Locking Pin came out, and I got a replacement Locking Pin.

The Bodytower provides a great workout, but a better design and more robust manuals would make it top notch.
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on February 17, 2013
Before my paralysis, my wife and I did the Insanity Program for 5 months and were in tip top shop shape. Since 6 months ago neither of us have done any exercise. I had to figure out a way that we could the Insanity Program together again and so I purchased this so that I could use the bars to hold me up while we do the exercises. It has been very stable throughout all the movements and the arms have been easy to adjust up and down.

The only thing that has begun happening is the cushion around the end of the arms is receding in from the end of the bar. I put a lot of pressure on the end of the arms, so I am not surprised at this. I couldn't imagine they really do much better, except to perhaps wrap the whole end of the bar as one material versus just wrapping around the bar and using a plastic cap on the end of it.

Setup required 2 people. There points where it has to be lifted off the ground. Good thing I way 250lb, I was able to use leverage while my wife got the final screws in. I also purchased a pad to place under it which I believe has helped keep it from sliding around on the hardwood.

I don't use the Upper Arm bands at all, but I do use everything else. For me with my broad shoulders I wish it could be wider, but not everyone is me, so I am not complaining, at least I can fit between them. The top bar, pullup par, is close to the inside which doesn't help me if I facing out, but I'm guessing they couldn't put it out further. It is fine, if you are facing the inside of the Tower.

The little laminated exercise chart won't stay up so don't have any illusions about it staying in place. I don't use it anyway, since the Insanity Program has me doing different things.

I don't know if this helps you at all but maybe you can get something from my experience.
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