Hi there! Today we’re doing a review of the Body Champ PT600 Power Tower (formerly the Body Vision PT600). The things we look at during the review include the range of exercises you can do with it, the design and quality, how easy it is to assemble and use, and the value for money you’ll get if you buy this power tower. We’ll be going into quite a lot of detail, so if you’d rather read the short version, here it is:
Alright then, onto the detailed review!
Body Champ PT600 Power Tower Review
If you’re looking for an inexpensive and compact power tower, then this might be the one for you. The PT600 has a footprint of approximately 42 inches wide (3’6 ft; 107 cm), 43 inches long (3’7 ft; 109 cm), and 86 inches tall (7’1 ft; 218 cm). The design of this power tower means that all of the intended exercises are done on the same side. Therefore, if you only have a small home workout space, you can push it up against a wall and save yourself quite a lot of room However, as you’ll see in the sections below, this design causes a few problems.
|Body Champ PT600 Power Tower|
|Range of exercises|
|Design and quality|
|Ease of assembly|
|Ease of use|
|Value for money|
Range of Exercises Possible on the Body Champ PT600 Power Tower
As with most power towers that include a vertical leg / knee raise station (e.g., the Weider Power Tower, Xmark XM-4434, and Stamina 1700 Power Tower), the Body Champ PT600 allows you to do a good range of bodyweight exercises for your core and upper body. Below are the main exercises you’ll be able do, and the muscles they’ll be working:
Pull-ups / chin-ups
The pull up bar allows you to do both pull-ups and chin-ups, all of which will mainly work your latissimus dorsi (lats) and biceps and to a lesser extent your trapezius, posterior deltoids, abdominals, and pectoralis muscles (pecs). The bar allows you to vary the width of your grip between wide, regular, and narrow, which will change the extent to which each muscle is worked (for example, narrow grip pull-ups work the upper part of the lats and the biceps more intensely than wide grip pull-ups do). You can also use the pull-up bar to do hanging leg/knee raises, which will give you an intense abdominal workout.
The dip station will work your pecs, anterior deltoids, and triceps. Varying the angle of your dips will also alter the degree to which the various muscles are worked. Bending your torso forward will concentrate more of the effort into your pecs, whereas keeping your torso upright will work your triceps more intensely.
Vertical leg / knee raises
The padded back and armrests in the leg raise station can be used to do back-assisted vertical leg and knee raises, which will give your abdominal muscles a good workout. Also, if you have the strength to support your own bodyweight, the dip bars can be used to do unassisted vertical leg/knee raises, which will give you a more intense abdominal workout (similar to hanging leg/knee raises).
The padded foot grips below the pull-up bar double as push-up platforms. Platform push-ups allow you to lower your body below the level of your hands, which works your pecs, deltoids, and triceps more intensely than regular push-ups performed on the floor.
PT600 Power Tower Design and Quality
The design and quality of the PT600 Power Tower are where you’re most likely to be dissatisfied. There’s a lot to say in both of these areas, so let’s start with the design.
All multi-station power towers like this one have an issue with stability. Most ‘entry level’ (read ‘cheaper’) bodyweight stations will wobble a little during use, especially when you’re doing pull-ups and dips; it’s almost unavoidable. Power towers like this one are made primarily for home use, and so they have to be light enough for people to carry into and around their houses, and then assemble. But lighter equipment also means less stability. The PT600 is particularly light, weighing in at 64 lbs (29 kgs). It seems that the manufacturer has tried to compensate for this by making the frame wider. At its widest point, where the base of the frame angles outwards, it measures 42 inches, and the dip bars are 25 inches apart. That’s comparatively wide; the Weider Power Tower is 23 inches between dip bars, the Stamina 1700 Power Tower is 22 inches, and the Xmark XM-4434 is 21 inches. The width of the bars (and the armrests) puts extra stress on the shoulders, which makes dips and leg/knee raises a bit uncomfortable, especially for shorter people. It’s important to concentrate on keeping the arms tight against the body while performing these exercises in order to avoid putting unnecessary strain on your shoulder joints.
They’ve made the power tower wide to minimize instability, but it certainly doesn’t solve the problem. While using the dip and pull-up bars, you will notice some rocking in the machine, particularly back and forth (as opposed to side-to-side). This instability will get worse the heavier you are; if you’re under 160 lbs (72.5 kgs) you won’t feel much rocking, but if you’re over 220 lbs (100 kgs) you’ll probably feel a lot.
As with all cheaper and lighter power towers, you really have to make sure you’re using good technique when exercising on the Body Champ PT600 Power Tower, especially when doing pull-ups and dips. Try to make sure you’re completing controlled movements, and that your body is moving straight up and down. On that note, this power tower is definitely not suitable for doing either explosive variations on pull-ups and dips or advanced bodyweight exercises like muscle-ups and front levers. Seriously, if you try these kinds of movements, you risk having it tip over and hurting you or damaging something. If you use this power tower for standard bodyweight exercises, you won’t have to worry about it tipping over. However, if you’re concerned about it’s stability, you can place some protective lightweight gym flooring beneath it, and / or some sandbags or weight plates over the base. This will make it more stable, and the protective flooring will protect your floors from damage.
Another issue with the design is that when doing dips if you’re facing the backrest, you may hit your head on the pull-up bar. This happens because the dip bars are quite high off the ground, but it’s easily solved by facing away from the power tower while doing dips. It’s a design flaw that comes from having all of the stations on the same side of the power tower in order to save space.
While it does create some issues, the space-saving design of this power tower is genuinely helpful if you don’t have much room in which to use it. Unlike many other multi-station power towers, the PT600 can be flush against a wall without preventing you from using all of the stations. Also, being a light piece of equipment (64 lbs; 29 kgs), it’s very easy to move around. You won’t have any trouble pulling it out of a corner to use it, and then moving it back in when you’re finished. Therefore, this power tower is a really good option if you’re after a piece of equipment that’ll give you a solid bodyweight workout in a small space.
We’re going to cut to the chase here: The quality of many of the materials is low. We don’t think its a deal-breaker, but there are some things you should be aware of before buying it
The dip bars don’t sit tight against the frame and may move side-to-side during use. No amount of tightening will fix this and, in fact, tightening the bolts that secure the bars too much will probably strip the threads. The sideways movement is annoying and will probably distract you from doing your dips properly.
The padded grips, especially on the pull-up bar, aren’t very good and may rotate freely on the bars. This is also frustrating, but you should get used to it pretty quickly. On top of that, they may also come with a strong odor, which is from the mold release agent (part of the manufacturing process). The odor will dissipate after a while, but it’s a good idea to have the power tower in a well-ventilated area if possible.
Some of the welds on the frame may also be sloppily done and could prevent certain bolts and washers from sitting flush against the frame. This is more of a cosmetic issue than a structural one, but it still speaks to the overall quality of the power tower.
Finally, the bolts are not particularly good quality; over-tightening them will very quickly strip the threads. The 250 lbs (113 kgs) weight capacity is lower than most similar power towers and is probably indicative of the lower quality components.
Overall, the design and quality of the Body Champ PT600 Power Tower leave something to be desired.
Ease of Assembly
The PT600 Power Tower isn’t a complex piece of equipment, and so it’s quite straightforward to put together. Although you should always have someone on hand to help you assemble home exercise equipment like this, if you have to do it alone you should be ok. With two people doing it, we think you should plan for 45 – 90 minutes to assemble, but if you’re on your own then it’ll take roughly 1 – 2 hours to have it completely set up and ready to use.
The assembly instructions that accompany the PT600 are not all that good. They seem to have been translated into English, probably from Chinese considering that this power tower is manufactured in China. That said because it’s a fairly simple machine, even those who are not manually inclined should be able to quickly figure out how it goes together.
Although it is a compact power tower, you’ll still want to assemble this one in the space that you’re going to use it. Once assembled, it won’t be easy to get through doors or up and down stairs, and disassembling and then reassembling it will be a hassle.
Below we have some tips to help you get it together as easily as possible:
- You’ll need a few of your own tools to assemble the PT600 easily. If you have a socket set, then get it out because it will come in handy. You’ll also need an adjustable wrench (two if you have them) and a Phillips screwdriver.
- Leave all of the bolts loose until you have the power tower completely assembled. Once you have it assembled, tighten all of the bolts starting at the bottom and working your way up. If you don’t do this, your power tower may not be level and this will make the instability even worse, especially if you have solid and/or uneven floors (e.g., concrete floors in a basement). This applies to basically all fitness equipment that requires assembly.
Ease of Use
Despite the issues with the design and quality of the materials, the PT600 Power Tower is easy to use. Having all of the stations on one side means you can move from one exercise to the next with a minimum of fuss. On that point, the grips for the vertical leg/knee raise station fold down so that they don’t get in the way while you’re using the pull-up bar, and as mentioned above, if you find that you hit your head on the pull up while doing dips, simply turn and face outwards from the power tower to stop this from happening.
Also, even though this power tower is compact, it’s actually quite tall. At its highest point, the pull-up bar is approximately 7’1 inches. This means that you’ll need at least 8 ft ceilings to give you enough clearance for pull-ups and chin-ups.
Yes, we’ve already said it, but we can’t stress it enough: This power tower IS NOT suitable for doing advanced bodyweight movements like muscle-ups or front levers, and it’s certainly not suitable for doing kipping pull-ups (i.e., the CrossFit style pull ups), because it is just too unstable. If you do controlled pull-ups and dips, you’ll minimize the wobble and instability. However, if it does bother you, place some weights or a couple of sandbags on the base. Also, we don’t recommend doing weighted exercises with this machine as that will compromise its stability, and you may exceed the 250 lbs weight capacity.
Is the PT600 Power Tower Value for money
As far as multi-station power towers go, the PT600 tends to sit at the lower end of the price range. Expect to pay somewhere between $80 – $130 for it. Overall, any piece of exercise equipment that you actually use is a good investment in your health and fitness, but the value for money you get from this power tower will depend on what you want from it. If you are looking to place it in a small home workout space, or be able to easily move it around whatever room you have it in, then it’s a good choice for you. If you are looking for a really strong, well-designed power tower and have plenty of room in your home workout space, then we recommend looking at something different, like the Weider Power Tower or the Stamina 1700 Power Tower.
Body Champ PT600 Power Tower Review in Summary
Ultimately, the Body Champ PT600 Power Tower isn’t a bad piece of equipment. If you’re looking for an inexpensive, compact, and easily movable power tower that’ll give you a good range of bodyweight exercise options, then it’s definitely worth considering. If, on the other hand, you’re looking for something really heavy-duty with high-quality components then it’s probably not for you. Overall, the PT600 offers a good range of exercises, is somewhat lacking in its design and the quality of materials, will be easy to assemble and use, and won’t break the bank if you do decide to buy it.
Thanks for reading our Body Champ PT600 Power Tower review. Leave any comments or thoughts you have in the comments section below.
All the best with your home workouts. Remember, when it comes to our health and fitness, we can make the effort or we can make excuses, but we can’t make both.
THFF (The Home Fit Freak)