Body by Jake Tower 200 reviews by H. Jaffe and Cindy M.
I recently bought the Tower 200 and thought I should give it a solid review.
The Tower 200 by Body by Jake is resistance band training equipment that you install onto any standard door. It offers 200lbs resistance and 200 different types of workouts, hence the 200 in the name. But this is more of a marketing thing than anything. I'm not sure where the 200lbs resistance comes from because they actually have a maximum 40lbs resistance on each hand. Also the 200 exercises are only 200 because they count 2 exercises for changing sides/hands/feet etc. So in actuality it's only like 100-120. But that's still more than enough for a good workout.
While the printed guide illustrates many exercises, the included DVD is well-done and easier to follow. It includes an 11 min. total body workout, a 3 min. MMA total body workout by Randy Couture, and three quick (3 min.) routines to target the abs, triceps/biceps, or chest/shoulders. They include some moves not shown in the printed guide.
The routines are fast, comprehensive, well thought-out, and ordered to minimize the time wasted switching the handles between the top and bottom. It would have been nice if the Tower 200 came with a second pair of handles, as shown on the DVD. Additional handles can be purchased separately, but I borrowed a pair from some other resistance bands I have. You could also grip the included pair of ankle straps, but it's not overly comfortable.
The resistance is adjusted by hooking the handle's carabineers to one or any combination of the three resistance bands on each side. This is fast and simple, and offers a fairly fine range of adjustment. As with any resistance band system, resistance increases as the bands are stretched. This means that minute resistance changes can be made by moving closer to, or further away from, the door.
The three pairs of bands are rated at 25, 35, and 40 lbs. (approx. 11, 16, and 18 kg.) of resistance. This provides a useful range, although 25 lbs. (11 kg.) may not be low enough for some difficult exercises, such as the lateral raise. You can overcome this in some instances by cramming two hands onto a single handle.
After unpacking the box, the setup was straightforward and required no tools. The setup instructions were adequate, but I would have liked to see more, and larger, pictures. Line drawings would have been clearer. It installs by simply hooking the top part on the top of the door and hooking the bottom part under the bottom of the door. Yes it's THAT EASY. So it's perfectly easy to install for anyone. There's no assembly required since everything is already put together for you.
BUT, the instructions don't mention that you should install the Tower 200 on the side of the door opposite of the way it opens (e.g. if the door swings out, install it on the inside). If you don't, all the stress from pulling on the gym will transfer to the door's latch and hinges, which is probably a bad idea. Maybe that's obvious, but I didn't realize it until I was almost done installing the gym on the wrong side.
It is surprisingly good construction and feels VERY solid and sturdy. I feel perfectly safe to use it as hard as I can with as much power as I can. I've read on other sites that other products made by "Body by Jake" aren't very high quality, but I must say that the Tower 200 is has VERY good construction. It's also quiet too, so you can listen to your music while working out without having any noises from it.
The metal brackets that contact the door have insufficient padding, and may scuff up your door. I added some stick-on rubber bumpers to avoid this. The brackets are wide enough to accommodate a thick door, up to approx. 2 in. (5 cm). The downside is that if your door is thinner, like my interior door, there will be some forward and back play in the brackets, which will scrape up the doorway as the door is repeatedly opened and closed. This was easily remedied by fashioning some spacers to take up the extra width.
Well, this greatly depends on you. If you're a beginner or haven't worked out in a long time, then this could be GREAT for you. But if you're a seasoned bodybuilder, then I would definitely give this a pass. As for my personal experience, I used to be a seasoned veteran but my fitness has dramatically changed over the last 2 years because I "let myself go" and didn't work out. So I would consider myself as a beginner now with little fitness ability. This is why the 11 minute workout is so good for beginners like me who are trying to get back in shape.
This is a little misleading, just like any other fitness equipment on TV. It says try now for $14.95 free shipping and handling, which you can try for 30 days before sending it back. But then they charge you $39.95 for 4 months after each month. Then add sales tax on top of that which means you're actually paying a total of $191.79! So it's a lot more expensive than you may think. But they do have these details on their web site, so they still inform you of the total costs. Best price: Body by Jake Tower 200
So now that you've read my review would I honestly recommend it? ONLY if you are a beginner. I'll be honest I really DO like the Tower 200 and I don't regret paying for it, but for most people reading this website, you'd want to save your money and buy a new set a dumbbells or barbells or something.
Dumbbells are cheap and probably give you a BETTER workout too. The only reason why I don't like dumbbells anymore is because I can't push myself harder at higher weights because my fitness has gone down a lot. With the Tower 200 you can definitely push yourself hard because of its solid construction and you can't drop it through the floor.
Despite the minor issues mentioned above, the Tower 200 is overall a highly versatile and compact system that offers a lot of bang for your buck.
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