Pull ups, push up, dips, and leg raises; these are among the best bodyweight exercises you can do. And if you want to do them at home, you’re going to need a sturdy piece of equipment.
In this review we’re looking at the Stamina 1700 Power Tower. We go into detail about the range of exercises you can do on this power tower, how well it’s designed and the quality of materials. We also look at how easy it is to put together and then start using, and the value for money it offers. If you don’t want to read the detailed review, then here is the short version:
With that out of the way, let’s get into the detailed review!
Stamina 1700 Power Tower Review
The Stamina 1700 Power Tower is the bigger brother of the Stamina 1690 Power Tower. As we mention in that review, the 1690 is very lightweight. For that reason, you get a lot of movement in it when you’re doing pull ups and dips. Explosive or swinging movements could easily cause the 1690 to tip. In comparison, the 1700 Power Tower is much sturdier, which is one of the reasons it’s in our list of the 5 best power towers for the money. It’s still not particularly good for really explosive movements, or advanced bodyweight exercises like muscle-ups*, but it will allow you to do a solid upper body and core workout without having to worry about its stability.
That said, the Stamina 1700 Power Tower occupies quite a bit of space. It’s one of the larger power towers on the market, and has a footprint of about 48 inches wide (4 ft; 121 cm), 54.5 inches deep (4’7 ft; 138 cm) and 85 inches tall (7’1 ft; 216 cm). As such, you’ll need a fair amount of room in which to assemble and use it.
Stamina 1700 Power Tower
|Range of exercises|
|Design and quality|
|Ease of assembly|
|Ease of use|
|Value for money|
Range of exercises
The Stamina 1700 Power Tower is similar to other power towers with a leg raise station (e.g., the Weider Power Tower, Xmark XM-4434), in that the range of exercises you can do on it is very good. It provides everything you need for a really good core and upper body workout. Here are the main exercises you’ll be able do, and the muscles you’ll be working:
Pull-ups / chin-ups
The pull up bar will allow you to do a variety of 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). Varying the width of your grip between wide and narrow on the pull up bar will change the extent to which each muscle is worked (for example, wide grip pull ups work the lower part of the lats more intensely than narrow grip pull ups). You can also use the pull-up bar to do hanging leg raises, which make for 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. The more you bend your torso forward, the more you work your pecs. A more upright torso works the triceps more intensely.
Vertical leg / knee raises
The padded back and arm rests 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. The platforms below the dip bars will help you get into the leg raise station, and they can also be used for calf-raises. 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).
By slipping your feet underneath or over the top of the horizontal bar that sits between the station’s two upright supports, you can also do sit-ups. These will give you a good ab workout and are ideal for beginners who may not be able to do vertical leg / knee raises yet.
The handles below the pull up bar are for platform push ups. This variation on regular push ups allows you to lower your body below the level of your hands, which works your pecs, deltoids, and triceps more intensely.
Design and quality
The Stamina 1700 is one of the best power towers on the market in terms of design and quality. It’s a heavy duty piece of equipment that provides more stability than other models. Many other models tend to get a bit of wobble in them, especially when using the dip bars. That’s not as much of a problem with the 1700.
At approximately 93 lbs (42 kgs), it’s a heavier power tower than comparable machines, which makes it more stable during use. That said, it’s no different to most other power towers in that it will wobble if you use uncontrolled form in your pull ups and dips, or if you try to do explosive variations on these exercises. That’s especially true if you weigh 220 lbs (100 kgs) or more. This is almost unavoidable in equipment that’s made for home use. Power towers like this one are built to be light enough for people to carry into their houses and assemble, however that comes with a trade-off in stability.
In many ways, having a bit of instability in your power tower is not such a bad thing. It will help you to learn to do your bodyweight movements in a nice and controlled fashion. When you can do your exercises without feeling significant movement in your power tower, you’ll know that you have your technique right.
Unless you’re doing very explosive movements or swinging on it, the Stamina 1700 is very unlikely to actually tip over. However, if you’re concerned about it wobbling, you can try using some protective lightweight gym flooring. This will improve the stability of the power tower during use, and prevent it from damaging your floors. Alternatively, a couple of sandbags or weight plates (if you have them) placed over the base should sort the problem out. Also, with a load capacity of 250 lb (113 kg) it certainly won’t break or bend.
In terms of quality, the Stamina 1700 Power Tower is constructed from very durable materials. The steel frame is very strong; among the strongest you’ll find in a piece of equipment like this, and comes with a 5 year warranty. The back and arm rests are high density foam covered in black vinyl, and they make the leg raise station very easy to use. The grips on the pull up bars and various handles are also high density foam and are nice and comfortable. All of the parts that attach to the frame come with a 90-day warranty, which isn’t terribly long, but it’s better than nothing.
Overall, the Stamina 1700 has a strong design, and is made from high quality materials. It’s definitely as good or better than many similar power towers on the market at the moment.
Ease of assembly
For the most part, the Stamina 1700 Power Tower is very straightforward to put together. Although you should always have someone to help you assemble equipment like this, if you have to do it on your own you shouldn’t have much trouble. Altogether, it takes 1 – 2 hours to have it completely set up and ready to use. We said ‘for the most part…’ because it seems that sometimes this power tower is shipped without the assembly manual. However, this isn’t a problem as the manual can be downloaded from here.
The assembly instructions walk you through an easy-to-follow 10 step process, and include written instructions as well as exploded diagrams (see image below). As mentioned, we estimate it’ll take you between 1 and 2 hours to assemble it completely. The box it comes in is about 95 lbs (43 kgs), so it’s definitely a good idea to ask someone to help you move it to the area in which you want to put it together. Also, because it’s big, you’ll absolutely want to assemble this power tower in the space that you’re going to use it. It will be very difficult to get into and out of doorways or up and down stairs otherwise, and disassembling and then reassembling it will also be a pain. Below are some tips to help you get it together as easily as possible:
- The nuts and bolts are not packaged particularly well, and many of them are very similar in appearance and length. Therefore, you’ll save yourself some time and potential frustration if you gather all of the parts, especially the hex bolts and washers, and sort them into piles according to the assembly manual.
- If you have a socket set, this will come in handy and an adjustable wrench is also a must. This is because the included wrenches are small and not very useful.
- Wait until you have the power tower fully assembled before completely tightening all the bolts. This applies to almost all fitness equipment that requires assembly, and will ensure that it is level.
Ease of use
The quality of the Stamina 1700’s design means that it is very easy to use. One of the best features of this power tower is the padded arm rests in the leg raise station. These are much wider than what you get on other power towers and it makes using leg / knee raises easy and comfortable.
As previously mentioned, 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). If you do controlled pull ups and dips, you shouldn’t feel any wobble or instability, however if you are concerned about its stability, place some weights or a couple of sandbags on the base.
Finally, the Stamina 1700 Power Tower is tall – the pull up bar sits approximately 7’1 ft off the ground. Therefore, if you are shorter than 5’7 – 5’8, you’ll probably have to jump to reach the pull up bar. This can be annoying for some, but its really matter of preference; some people like not having to bend their legs when doing pull ups. Hanging with straight legs from the pull up bar makes it easier to do good quality hanging knee / leg raises. However, if you do want to do hanging knee / leg raises from the Stamina 1700’s pull up bar, we strongly suggest you place a counterbalance on the base (e.g., sandbags or some weight plates). Not counterbalancing the machine when doing hanging leg raises from the pull up bar can be a safety issue, as it may tip over if you get too much swing happening.
Value for money
Admittedly, the Stamina 1700 is one of the most expensive multi-station power towers. Although this reflects the higher quality materials and more heavy duty construction, you’ll probably end up paying somewhere between $40 and $80 more for this power tower than others. That said, considering that it’s a very strong piece of equipment, which will help you do a lot of quick and effective bodyweight routines, we think the price you’ll pay is actually a very good investment in your health, fitness and physique. So, while it is more expensive, the Stamina 1700 is also up there with the very best power towers in its price range.
All-in-all, if you’re looking to add a good piece of equipment to your home workout space that’ll give a very solid bodyweight workout, then the Stamina 1700 power tower is a sound option. It offers an exceptional range of exercises, is well-designed and built with good quality materials, and is mostly easy to assemble and use. You will pay more for it, but in the end you get what you pay for when it comes to equipment like this. If you have enough room for this power tower, we’re confident that it’ll be a good addition to your home workout space.
Thanks for reading the 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)