Currently one of the highest rated and most popular items of home fitness equipment, the Stamina 1690 Power Tower is a low cost, free standing workout station that’s perfect for push ups, chin ups, dips, sit ups, and much more.
But is it just the low price that makes this such a bestselling power tower? That’s what we wanted to find out with this review, where we take a closer look at the design, exercise options, customer reviews, and even the quality of assembly instructions.
If you were to step foot in almost any commercial gym in the country, a set of pull up parallel dip bars are the two pieces of fitness equipment you are most likely to find.
This is really for 3 main reasons:
- They work – Bodyweight exercises remain one of the most effective ways to build muscle and strength
- Easy to use – There’s no need for a lengthy induction to learn how to use the equipment
- Compact and low cost – Whereas a top of the range multi gym can easily set you back thousands of dollars, most pull up and dip bars are relatively low cost
The Stamina 1690 in particular has been designed with multiple workout stations in the same tower, ensuring you make the best use of space in your own home gym.
Despite not providing the same thick steel frame as some pull up towers, there’s no shortage of strength and stability. This has resulted in an impressive weight capacity of 250 lbs.
Of course, if you do happen to weight considerably less than the weight capacity, you can always increase the intensity of your training.
There’s ample room to wear a dip belt and attach some weight plates during both dips and pull ups if you aren’t keeping your reps within your target range.
With 4 workout stations to choose from (elevated push ups, pull ups, sit ups, and dips) we also wanted to provide a quick guide to their benefits, and how effective they can be for growing your triceps, biceps, back, chest, shoulders, and abs.
Stamina 1690 – Features Summary
- Home workout device with multiple exercise stations
- Supports push-ups, pull-ups, sit-ups, tricep dips, and more
- Tough steel frame for solid support
- No-slip end caps
- Freestanding design fits easily in home workout area
With such an intricate and complex group of muscles combining to form your back, it’s no surprise that you need to be able to work the muscle group from a variety of angles to see the width and thickness that many fitness enthusiasts now aim for.
To build on the ergonomic design of the main pull up bar, the Stamina 1690 also features padded grip sections along each end, and through the middle section of the bar.
Where many power towers stop at just coating each end, having the coating in the middle improves your grips on the close grip pull ups and chin ups as well.
While the wide grip variation is excellent for building width, it’s these close overhand and overhand grip positions which really add thickness to your back muscles.
Building a stronger chest
To maintain a balanced physique, it’s also important to train your chest with the same intensity and exercise variation as your back.
This is why the Stamina 1690 provides both the parallel dip bars, and the angled push up bars. The slight angle in the push up bars helps to turn out your elbows and take more of the pressure of your shoulders, which are often the first muscle group to tire once you reach higher rep ranges.
The dip bar handles have been coated similar to the pull up and push up bars. This isn’t so much to improve your grip, but to protect your hands and reduce the pressure on your palms when lifting heavier weight.
Sculpting a stronger core
With the push ups and dips will also helping to develop your triceps and shoulders, this really just leaves your abs as the last major upper body muscle group that needs training.
Due to many people finding sit ups a difficult exercise to perform without their feet lifting off the ground, Stamina have designed the 1690 with a set of padded ankle bracers at the base of the frame.
This helps to keep your lower body stationary while you perform you sit ups, crunches, and twists, to target your abs, hip flexors, and obliques.
Having the high pull up bar also means you can superset these with some hanging leg raises or ‘windscreen wipers‘ to build core strength and endurance.
Ease of assembly
Although they don’t have the same complexity as for a multi gym, it can still be useful to know about the assembly instructions for the Stamina 1690.
When the box arrives, you’ll be presented with all the parts you need to assemble the pull up tower, together with the tools and assembly diagrams.
There’s nothing particularly complicated, and the instructions are easy enough to follow if you lay the parts out before you start.
Fortunately this means that to go from unpacking the parts, to starting your first workout is possible in less than 30 minutes.
Although we always try to provide you with all the information you need for every piece of fitness equipment we review, we can also recommend reading as many reviews as possible from other customers.
As one of the most trusted and well known online marketplaces, Amazon remains the best place to find large numbers of customer reviews, and even a collection of questions asked by people in the same position as you are now.
Whether you want to know more about the assembly, exercise options, or quality of materials, this can be a great place to get a quick response to any questions you might have.
But with over 400 reviews currently available, we realise that you won’t always have the time to read through all of these yourself.
We can’t say that we’ve read them all, but we have certainly read through well over 100 of these reviews ourselves, purely to provide you with an overview of the most important points.
These have then been collected and detailed in the lists of pros and cons you’ll find below.
- Competitively priced
- 4 different workout stations support a number of bodyweight exercise (calisthenics) variations
- All parts and tools required for assembly are already available in the box
- Elevated push up bars create a better stretch and contraction in your chest and triceps than standard push ups from the floor
- Compact footprint reduces the amount of floor space it takes up
- Comfortable padding on all handles and ankle pads
- Quick and easy to assemble
- Stand alone unit means do need for permanent wall fixtures or risking damage to doorways
- An excellent addition to P90X workout programs
- The height of the tower means that you’ll need a room with a suitable ceiling height (tower is 7ft tall)
- Frame can move slightly when used with heavier bodyweights, but this can be countered with weight plates or dumbbells placed on the base bars
After originally starting life as a fitness company that produced a small range of rowing machines and stationary exercise bikes, Stamina Products, Inc. quickly expanded its range of products.
Over the past 22 years, their focus shifted beyond just rowers and bikes, and started to include a much wider range of home fitness equipment. This now includes everything from the Pilates reformers to the power tower that we covered in this review.
With all of their products now showing attention to the latest innovation and function, Stamina’s exercise bikes, rowers, elliptical trainers, adjustable dumbbells, home gyms, and accessories are designed to fit almost any household.