Hi there! Welcome to our ProGear 275 Extended Weight Capacity Power Tower Fitness Station review. That name is ridiculously long, so we’re just going to refer to it as the ProGear 275 Power Tower. And we’ll start off by saying that this is a very good beginner / intermediate level power tower❄. If you’ve got $150 or less to spend, then keep reading, because this power tower is definitely worth looking into. In fact, we rated it one of our 5 best power towers for the money.
The things we look at in this 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 and watch a quick video, then here you go:
Alright then, onto the detailed review!
ProGear 275 Power Tower Review
If you’re looking for a nice and compact power tower that can sit in the corner of your home workout space, then the ProGear 275 might be the one for you. It has a footprint of approximately 38 inches wide (3’2″; 96.5 cm) x 43 inches long (3’7″; 109 cm) x 84 inches tall (7′; 213 cm). This power tower is designed with all of the stations are on the same side, meaning you only need space in front of it to use it effectively. So, if your home workout space is only small, then you’ll be able keep it in the corner, or up against a wall and save yourself a fair amount of room.
ProGear 275 Extended Weight Capacity Power Tower Fitness Station
|Range of exercises|
|Design and quality|
|Ease of assembly|
|Ease of use|
|Value for money|
Range of exercises
Most power towers that have a vertical knee / leg raise station allow you to get a really good upper body and core workout. There aren’t many beginner / intermediate level power towers that provide much in the way of leg exercises, except for the Bowflex Body Tower (which is another great option, albeit considerably more expensive than the ProGear 275 Power Tower). Below are the main upper body and core exercises you’ll be able do on the ProGear 275, and the muscles they’ll be working:
Pull-ups / chin-ups
The pull up bar allows you to do a variety of 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 is a little unusual in that it doesn’t go straight across, but rather has multi-grip bars with a space in the middle. The multi-grip bars allow you to do wide-grip, standard-grip (i.e., shoulder-width), and neutral-grip pull ups, and standard grip chin-ups. Varying your grip between these options changes the extent to which the various muscles are activated. For example, neutral-grip pull ups and standard-grip chin ups activate the biceps more significantly than standard- and wide-grip pull ups. It’s also possible to use the pull up bar to do hanging leg / knee raises, which will provide a great abdominal workout.
The dip station will work your pecs, anterior deltoids and triceps. Varying the angle of your body when performing dips will also change the activation of the muscles involved. Bending your torso forward will activate your pecs more intensely, whereas maintaining an upright torso will activate your triceps more intensely.
Vertical leg / knee raises (VKRs)
The padded back and arm rests in the VKR station can be used to do back-assisted vertical leg and knee raises, which will give your abdominal muscles a solid workout. If you have the strength to support your own bodyweight, then the dip bars can also be used to do unassisted vertical leg / knee raises, which will provide a more intense abdominal workout (similar to hanging leg / knee raises).
The padded hand grips below the pull up bar are available for platform pushups. These 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.
Design and quality
Of all the single-sided beginner / intermediate level power towers, the ProGear 275 is a competitor for the best overall design and quality. Let’s start with the design, which has some clever features.
Having all of the stations on one side of the power tower is convenient, as it saves a lot of room in your home workout space. Two-sided power towers (e.g., the Weider, Gold’s Gym XR 10.9, Stamina 1700, etc.) require a significant amount of room to be able to use all of the stations properly.
However, the trade-off with single-sided power towers is often that they require you to perform dips facing away from the frame so that you don’t hit your head on the pull up bar. The ProGear 275 Power Tower avoids this issue by replacing the standard straight pull up bar with a multi-grip pull up bar that has an open space in the center. This design means that you can do dips while facing towards the frame, and not have the annoyance of hitting your head.
The multi-grip pull up bar also gives you the option of doing neutral-grip pull ups, something that almost no other power tower offers. Being able to do all of the major pull up variations will ensure that you get even development in your back muscles (primarily your lats).
A minor drawback of the multi-grip pull up bar is that it doesn’t allow for good narrow-grip pull ups or chin ups. Also, only the outer curved bars have padding, which is a somewhat puzzling oversight from the manufacturer.
Another great design feature of the ProGear 275 is the ability to fold the dip bars up so they’re parallel with the frame’s upright bar. This gets them out of the way while you do pull ups, and makes the pull up bar easier and more comfortable to use.
The quality of the ProGear 275 Power Tower’s construction is much of what makes this a great piece of equipment.
The powder-coated steel frame feels very sturdy. It’s nice and heavy, which adds to the overall stability. That said, although the frame is good quality, the design of this power tower (using a single upright post) means that it has a lower weight capacity than many others – 275 lbs (125 kgs) .
The padded back and arm rests use double-stitched vinyl around 2″ thick high-density foam, and make the VKR station as comfortable to use as possible. The extra-long back rest is also a nice touch.
All of the handles (except for the inside of the pull up bar) are foam dipped, which makes them easy on the hands. However, they may tend to get a bit slippery once you start sweating. You can deal with this issue by adding some good quality athletic tape or tennis grip to them.
Overall, the design and quality of the ProGear 275 Power Tower is very good.
Ease of assembly
Assembling the ProGear 275 Power Tower is a relatively quick and easy process. While you should always ask someone to help you put exercise equipment like this together, if you have to do it on your own you should be ok. With two people doing it, we think you should plan for 30 – 60 minutes to assemble. If you’re alone then it’ll take roughly 1 – 1.5 hours to have it fully set up and ready to use.
The assembly instructions are clear and easy to follow, and include both written instructions, exploded diagrams and directions on what hardware you’ll need.
Although it is a compact power tower, it will still be best to assemble it wherever you’re going to use it. Once completely assembled, it won’t be easy to get through doors or up and down stairs. That said, it’s not hard to undo a few of the bolts and disassemble it into three main parts, so if you have to move it into different rooms it shouldn’t be too difficult.
Below we have some tips to help you get it together as easily as possible:
- Even though there are tools included, if you have some of your own, it’ll make assembling the ProGear 275 easier. In particular, a socket wrench with 13mm and 17mm sockets, and an adjustable wrench.
- Leave all of the bolts loose until you have the power tower completely assembled. Then, tighten all of the bolts from the bottom up. If you tighten the bolts before it’s fully assembled, your power tower may not sit level, especially if you have solid and / or uneven floors (e.g., concrete floors in a basement). This applies to pretty much all fitness equipment that requires assembly.
Ease of use
The ProGear 275 is not terribly different from any other single-sided power tower, or really any power tower at all. We don’t imagine anybody having much difficulty using it.
It does have a few features that make it particularly user-friendly, such as the small step on the upright post to help shorter people get into the VKR station and reach the pull up bar, and the angled arm rests that make the VKR station more comfortable to use. Also, when folded back, the dip bars lock into the upright position so that they don’t fall while you’re doing pull ups.
One thing you should be aware of is that even though the ProGear 275 Power Tower is compact, it’s also relatively tall. The pull up bar is approximately 7 feet tall. As such, you’ll need at least 8 feet ceilings to give you enough clearance for pull ups and chin ups (8 feet ceilings may even be a bit too low).
We’d like to address the ProGear 275’s stability here, as this seems to be a concern for many people looking to purchase a power tower for home workouts. Most beginner / intermediate level (i.e., cheaper and lighter) power towers will feel a little shaky during use, especially when you’re doing pull ups and dips; it’s almost unavoidable. This kind of equipment is made primarily for home use, and so it has to be light enough for people to carry into their houses and assemble. But lighter equipment also means less stability.
While using the dip and pull up bars, you will notice some wobble in this machine. This instability will get worse the heavier you are; if you’re under 160 lbs (72.5 kgs) you won’t feel much shakiness, but if you’re over 220 lbs (100 kgs) you’ll probably feel a lot. That being said, the ProGear 275 Power Tower weighs about 90 lbs (40 kgs) fully assembled, which is heavier than many other power towers, and reduces the instability.
Still, as with all cheaper and lighter power towers, you really have to make sure you’re using good technique when exercising on the ProGear 275, especially when doing pull ups and dips. Ensure you’re using controlled movements, and that your body is going straight up and down (try not to swing your body).
Now, here is a point that 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). Also, we don’t recommend doing weighted exercises with this machine as that will compromise its stability, and you may exceed the 275 lbs weight capacity.
If you use this power tower for standard bodyweight exercises, it may shake a little but it certainly won’t tip over. Nevertheless, if you’re concerned about it’s stability, you can place some lightweight gym flooring beneath it, and / or some sandbags or weight plates over the base. This will make it more stable, and the gym flooring will protect your floors from damage.
Value for money
This power tower is usually priced around $130, which is a good deal for this sturdy and functional piece of equipment. When it goes on sale, it can even get below $100, which is fantastic value. As far as single-sided, beginner / intermediate level power towers go, the ProGear 275 is arguably the best value for money. If you can get it for $130 or less, it’ll be one of the best investments in your upper body and core strength that you’ll make. Then all you’ll need is something to help you build strength in your lower body. Arguably the best piece of equipment you can use for lower strength is a good quality barbell / barbell set.
Overall, the ProGear 275 is a really good power tower, and well worth considering, especially if you don’t have a heap of room in your home workout space. It offers a good range of exercises, is designed and built really well, quick and easy to put together and very straightforward to use, and is exceptional value for money (particularly if you can get it on sale). You can certainly do a whole lot worse than this power tower.
If you think it’s the right power tower for you:
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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)