Every exercise equipment has its upsides and drawbacks. Each one has different functions, benefits, and requirements. Not one piece of equipment is absolutely the best or the worst.
When we compare one type of exercise machine with the other, most of the time, we are comparing the compatibility of each one for us particularly. We do it based on multiple factors that are limited to one’s choices, personal experience, fitness goals, and availability of certain resources at their disposal.
Here in this article, we are attempting to present you the difference in functionality, structure, space requirement, suitability, etc. between the two most popular fitness equipment.
Both these power stations have their advantages, going through this article would help you understand which one suits you the best.
What Will I Learn?
What is a Power Tower?
A power tower is a floor-mounted gym machine that can provide a platform for performing bodyweight compound exercises. There are no moving parts in the structure and there is no need to add weights while exercising on the power tower.
Made out of solid steel tubes, the power tower frame is supported by four anti-slip foot grips installed on two horizontal tubes that act as a stable base for the tower. The two uprights are mostly height adjustable and have a pull-up bar installed at the top.
There is a provision of push-up handles at the bottom and a dip station at the mid of the structure. The dip station has arm cushions and a padded back to enable you to perform multiple bodyweight exercises comfortably.
What Is A Power Tower Used For?
Almost all popular bodyweight exercises can be performed on the power tower. It has a multi-grip pull-up bar at the top, on which you can perform pull-ups, chin-ups of different varieties like close grip, wide grip, etc.
The push up handles at the bottom can be used to perform push-ups efficiently with ergonomic wrist position and soft hand grips that the handles offer.
The dip station in the middle is for performing, knee raises, leg raises, bodyweight rows, tricep dips, etc.
Pros & Cons
You don’t need to buy any weight plates or barbells
Maximum resistance is limited to your bodyweight
The power tower is not too expensive to add to your garage gym
You need more than eight feet tall space to install these
It is multifunctional
No lower body workouts
Supports many compound exercises for upper body
Can’t perform isolated exercises focussing on a single muscle group
Need very little floor space
Need to develop upper body strength to use the pull-up bar or push-up handles
Can train your arms, shoulders, chest, core, and back
Hard to store and move around
Very safe to use even for the beginners
Do Power Tower Build Muscle?
All upper body muscles can be worked out on a power tower. It can help you build your chest, back, core, arms, and shoulder muscles along with helping to gain strength in those.
Through the compound moves like pull-ups, push-ups, leg raises, etc a beginner or intermediate level lifter can improve their upper body strength and muscle hypertrophy. Even the advanced lifters can use the power tower to work their weak points.
There is no safe way to work on your legs and lower back using the power tower. If you choose to have only a power tower at your basement gym, you can use other free bodyweight moves to work your legs.
Do I Really Need A Power Tower?
Yes, you do need a power tower. The compound movements that you can perform on the power tower help you work on multiple muscle groups at a time, which saves a lot of time.
You would be able to perform multiple exercises on this single gym machine which saves you a lot of money and space of your home gym. You will end up in spending on multiple types of equipment if you choose to go for the alternatives of the power tower.
What is a Power Rack?
A power rack has many names, it is called a squat cage, or power cage. While working out using the power rack, you stand inside the four vertical members of the structure, that might be the reason it is called a power cage.
The structure of a power cage is simple. Built out of heavy-duty steel, it has a high weight capacity. It has four uprights, made of square steel tubes supported by a solid stable base at the bottom and steel frame or bars for additional support at the top.
The uprights have holes along their length for inserting the J-hooks and weight catcher arms at different heights. J-hooks are for holding the loaded barbell before starting the set and to rack them at the end of the set. The weight catcher arms or spotter arms are there for your safety, they catch the barbell on your failed rep.
What Is A Power Rack Used For?
You can use the power rack to perform barbell squats, bench press, overhead press, deadlifts, and some of these can be used for pull-ups too.
You need a power rack for muscle building, toning, and strengthening your lower body and upper body.
With the flexibility to adjust the J-hook and spotter arms height and a possibility to accommodate the bench, it can be used to perform many exercises.
A power cage is essential for all powerlifting moves. It provides safety catcher arms for your heavy lifting sets when there is a high possibility of a failed rep.
You can load your barbell keeping it on the J-hook, then it can be unracked and racked on it safely while standing inside the power cage.
Pros & Cons
You can lift heavier weights safely
It may need to be fixed on the floor for stability
Can easily set it up for different exercises by adjusting the J-hook and spotter height
Need too much space
Can also be used for performing bodyweight exercises
In itself it is of no use, you need to combine it with weights, barbell to make it work
Cable pulldown pulley, rowing pulley can be attached to it
May damage the floor due to heavyweights and movement
You can perform exercises lifting heavy weights without a spotting partner
Not suitable for those who like bodyweight exercises
Can attach resistance bands for added versatility
Durable and multifunctional
Do Power Rack Build Muscle?
Yes, power racks are made to help you in muscle and strength building. It is a supporting gym machine that can play its part in building all major muscle groups. It can be used to perform back squats and front squats that would help you build quads, hamstrings, and glutes.
You can utilize the power rack for building chest muscles by performing low rep high-intensity bench press sets safely. Power cage can also be instrumental in the development of the lower back through deadlifts and upper back and arms with the pull-up bar.
You can also increase the functionality of a power cage by attaching a pulley system.
Do I Really Need A Power Rack?
No matter if you are a beginner or an advanced level powerlifter, the answer to this question is, yes. You do need to have a power rack at your home gym to support you to lift the loaded barbell.
If you are working out from your basement gym, it is not feasible to get a spotter buddy for every workout. Thus, you need a power cage to keep you safe during your main lifting exercises.
If you are a beginner, you may end up at a failed rep even with the lightly loaded barbell, the power rack can act as a safety net in this case. If you are an advanced powerlifter who likes to attempt 500+ pounds squats at times, then even if you are performing them with a spotter, you must be doing these in a power cage.
What Is Better The Full Power Tower Or The Power Rack?
It is a kind of question that needs some reference to answer. For some a power rack is better for others having a power tower might serve their needs better, it all depends on their purpose, fitness level, and fitness goals.
- If you are a beginner or an intermediate level fitness enthusiast who likes to perform bodyweight-only compound exercises then the power tower would be the better choice for you.
- If you like lifting barbells, want to perform both compound exercises and isolated movements to target particular muscle groups, or if you are a serious powerlifter and want to work on your man lifts, then you have no other choice, go for a power cage.
So, in conclusion, it is not about which one is better in power tower vs power rack, it depends on type of training and fitness goals.