Hi folks! In this review we’re looking at Xmark Fitness’ XM-4434 Power Tower. We’ll go into detail about the range of exercises you can do on this power tower, its design and quality of materials, how easy it is to assemble and use, and what kind of value for money it offers. If you want the short version here it is:
Ok, let’s get into the detailed review.
Xmark XM-4434 Power Tower Review
We’ll start by saying that, as with most multi-station power towers, the Xmark XM-4434 is suitable primarily for beginners and intermediate users who want to do ‘regular’ bodyweight exercises. Advanced users who want to do hardcore crossfit workouts, or advanced bodyweight moves like muscle-ups and front levers are going to find this power tower inadequate.
Also, the XM-4434 takes up a quite a bit of space. It’s one of the bigger power towers on the market, with a footprint of approximately 48 inches wide (4 ft; 121 cm), 55 inches deep (4’7 ft; 139 cm) and 86 inches tall (7’2 ft; 218 cm). This means you’re going to need a good amount of space in which to assemble and use it.
Xmark XM-4434 Power Tower with Dip Station and Pull Up Bar
|Range of exercises|
|Design and quality|
|Ease of use|
|Ease of assembly|
|Value for money|
Range of exercises
Similar to other power towers that have a leg raise station (e.g., the Weider Power Tower), the range of exercises on the XM-4434 is very good. You’ll have everything you need for a solid core and upper body bodyweight workout. Here are the basic exercises you can do, and the muscles they work:
Pull-ups / chin-ups
Using the pull up bar to do pull ups or chin ups will mainly work your latissimus dorsi (lats) and biceps and to a lesser extent your trapezius, posterior deltoids, abdominals, and pectorals (pecs). You can vary the width of your grip between wide and narrow on the XM-4434, which will change the extent to which each muscle is worked (e.g., narrow grip pull ups work the biceps more intensely than wide grip pull ups). You can also use the pull-up bar to do hanging leg raises for an intense abdominal workout.
The dip station will work your pecs, anterior deltoids and triceps.
Vertical leg / knee raises
Use the padded back and arm rests in the leg raise station to do back-assisted vertical leg and knee raises, which will work your abdominal muscles. There are platforms to help you into the leg raise station, and these can also be used to do calf-raises. Also, if you’re strong enough to support your own bodyweight, you can use the dip bars to do unassisted vertical leg or knee raises, which will give you a more intense abdominal workout (similar to hanging leg / knee raises).
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 Xmark XM-4434 Power Tower is a well-designed piece of equipment. It’s good and sturdy, and you’ll be able to give it a lot of decent workouts without having to worry about it bending, breaking or wearing out. That said, the XM-4434 is no different to other similar power towers in that it will wobble if you do not use controlled form in your pull ups and dips, or if you try to do explosive variations on these exercises. This is especially true if you are a heavier individual (say, 220 lb / 100 kg or more). This is almost unavoidable in equipment that’s made for home use. Power towers like this one have to be light enough for people to get it into their houses and assemble, which means there is trade-off in stability. In a way, getting some movement in the power tower when using it isn’t a bad thing because it’ll let you know that your form is a bit off. Once you can do your sets of pull ups and dips without any wobble, you’ll know you’ve got your technique just right.
Although the XM-4434 is very unlikely to tip over (unless you do really explosive movements on it, or swing on it), if you are concerned about the wobble, you can try using some lightweight gym flooring. This will both improve stability during use, and protect your floor from damage. If you’re still getting a lot of movement while you’re using it, a couple of sandbags or weight plates (if you have them) placed over the base should sort the problem out. And even if you do get a bit of wobble, it has a load capacity of 350 lb (158 kg) so it certainly won’t break or bend.
In terms of quality, the Xmark XM-4434 Power Tower is mostly made up of good quality materials. The 14 gauge steel frame is very strong; among the strongest you’ll find in a piece of equipment like this. The padded back and arm rests are double stitched and vinyl covered, and they make the leg raise station as easy to use as can be expected. The foam grips on the various handles, however, don’t quite meet the same standards. Although they work just fine and won’t give you much cause for concern, they aren’t particularly comfortable. The grips on the pull up and dip bars are high density foam, but the covering makes them a bit slippery once you start sweating. Also, the dip bars are a touch thin and you may well find that they get uncomfortable after a few sets of dips. Realistically, these are fairly minor complaints and you’re likely to get used to them over time.
All-in-all, the XM-4434 boasts a nice and strong design, and is made from good quality materials. In this regard, it is as good or better than many of its competitors.
Ease of use
Most people are going to find the XM-4434 an easy power tower to use. Realistically, it’s not much different to comparable power towers in how it functions. That said, even though it has a reasonably large footprint, the base itself is more narrow than other towers, such as the Weider. The Weider Power Tower’s wider base makes using the dip bars and leg raise station a bit less comfortable, especially for shorter people (because your arms are further apart, which puts a more stress on the shoulders). The XM-4434 with it’s more narrow base doesn’t generally have this problem. The trade-off to this of course, is that the more narrow base makes it slightly less stable.
As we mentioned above, the XM-4434 gets a bit of wobble in it when doing pull ups, but mainly when doing dips. For power towers of this type (i.e. affordable all-in-ones) this is almost unavoidable. For beginners and intermediate trainers, this shouldn’t pose too much of a problem. It really just means that you have to concentrate on maintaining good, controlled form during these exercises. This power tower IS NOT suitable for doing advanced bodyweight movements like muscle-ups, 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, there is almost no chance of this power tower tipping over, however if you are concerned about its stability, place some weights or a couple of sandbags on the base. Alternatively, you may need to shell out some extra cash for a more heavy duty power tower, like this one.
Also, as already mentioned, the dip bars are quite thin, and the padding doesn’t really do much to make them more comfortable to use. It’s something you’ll likely get used to after a bit of use, but if it bothers you, you could try wearing some weightlifting gloves, or wrap a dish cloth or towel around the handles for some extra padding.
Finally, even more so than the Weider Power Tower, the Xmark XM-4434 Power Tower is tall – the pull up bar sits approximately 7’2 ft off the ground. Therefore, if you are shorter than 5’8 – 5’9, you’ll likely have to jump to reach the pull-up bar, which some may find annoying. That’s a matter of preference though; some people like not having to bend the legs when doing pull ups. Hanging with straight legs from the pull up bar also makes it easier to do good quality hanging knee / leg raises. On that note, if you do want to do hanging knee / leg raises from the XM-4434’s pull up bar, we strongly suggest you place something weighty on the base as a counterbalance, as this exercise will create extra instability in the whole tower.
Ease of assembly
As far as bodyweight stations go, the XM-4434 is relatively easy to put together. The assembly instructions outline a fairly simple 3 step process, and include written instructions as well as exploded diagrams (see image below). All of the parts are nicely packaged and labelled, which certainly makes things easier. We recommend giving yourself 45 – 90 minutes to assemble it completely. The box it comes in is about 85 lbs (38.5 kgs), so it’s probably a good idea to get someone to help you move it to the area in which you want to set it up. Also, because it’s big, you’ll definitely want to assemble this power tower in the spot 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. Below are some tips to help you get it together as easily as possible:
- Although you should be able to get it together on your own, it’ll be much quicker and easier if you have someone helping you.
- If you have a socket set, this will come in handy; in particular a 17mm socket. An adjustable wrench is also a must.
- Wait until you have the power tower assembled to completely tighten all the bolts. This applies to almost all fitness equipment that requires assembly.
Value for money
Ultimately the XM-4434 does offer good value for money. It tends to be a bit more expensive than comparable models, though this reflects the higher quality materials and more sturdy construction. You’ll probably end up paying somewhere between $100 – $160 for this power tower, depending on whether it’s on sale or not. Considering that it’s a strong piece of equipment, which you’ll be able to get a lot of good workouts from, and it’ll likely last you for years, that’s a very sound investment in your health and fitness. We think the Xmark XM-4434 Power Tower is one of the best power towers in its price range.
Overall, the XM-4434 is a really good buy if you’re looking for a piece of bodyweight equipment to give you a solid core and upper body workout at home. While it has some flaws, it offers a great range of bodyweight exercises, is well-designed and built with good quality materials, is very easy to assemble and use, and presents real value for money. If you have the space for this power tower, it’ll make a very 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)