If you’re in the market for a new home gym equipment but are unsure whether to choose a power tower or a weight bench, look no further because we’ve compiled all our research and findings into one place to help you decide.
In this article, we’ll take you through the key differences between each item of equipment and compare them to find out which is best in each category.
So, read on to find out everything you need to know about power towers and weight benches, along with our head-to-head comparison to help you choose the best one for your needs and workout goals.
What’s the Difference Between a Power Tower and a Weight Bench?
Power Towers and Weight Benches help the user do a range of exercises that can focus on different body areas; however, the kinds of activities performed on each piece of equipment are pretty different.
The main difference between a power tower and a weight bench is that a power tower is designed for those who want to perform bodyweight exercises.
In contrast, a weight bench is mainly used by bodybuilders and those who perform regular weight training using physical weights. However, a weight bench can also be useful for support during certain moves that don’t require weights.
Below is a breakdown of what each item of equipment does, the variations available, the benefits you can expect with regular use, and the kind of exercises you can perform.
What is a Power Tower?
The Power Tower is a versatile piece of equipment that might look simple, but if used properly, you can perform various exercises, from pull-ups to push-ups on.
Most power towers have the following basic attachments, which form part of the overall frame and are located at different height sections of the tower.
Having handles and bars positioned at various heights allow the user to complete a workout that focuses on different muscle groups.
Here’s a breakdown of the three main sections which are included in most power towers:
- Pull-Up Bar (Top Section) – this section often has extended handles for a wide arm pull-up.
- Parallel Bars (Midsection) – usually with arm supports & backrest to help you hold pose at the correct angle.
- Push-Up Grips (Base Section) – to add extra height to raised push-ups for greater strength building.
You can attach other equipment such as resistance bands and gymnastic rings, although some higher-specification models have these attachments incorporated into the frame. Some models also have built-in fold-down weight benches for those who want an all-in-one product to help perform weight training and body weight exercise.
Power Tower Body Benefits
By performing a range of body weight exercises regularly using a power tower, you can expect several benefits and improvements over time. These benefits include:
- Increased Muscle Strength. The kinds of exercise performed on a power tower can help increase muscle strength in various muscle groups, especially in the arms, shoulders, back, and core.
- Improved Flexibility and Mobility. Many calisthenics-style moves performed on a power tower are known to help with flexibility and mobility, which is an excellent way to expand the kind of moves you can make.
- Improvements to Posture, Stability, and Coordination. Power Tower exercises can help focus on key areas often affected by bad posture, including the shoulders and back.
Power Tower Exercises
There are a wide range of exercises that you can perform on a power tower, and the type of moves you can do vary for each section of the tower.
Here are just some of the exercises that can be done on a power tower as part of a complete workout:
- Various Kinds of Pull-Ups. Using the pull-up bar at the tower’s top section, you can perform a range of pull-ups, including regular pull-ups, wide arm pull-ups, L-sits, and negative pull-ups.
- Chin-Ups. Again using the top bar, you can perform various styles of chin-ups.
- Dead Hang Moves. Provided the tower is tall enough, you can perform dead hangs, which are an excellent way to build up upper body strength before moving onto pull-ups and chin-ups.
- Leg and Knee Raises. The mid-section is good for leg and knee raises to get more leg stretches into a workout, and you can also perform these as part of a pull-up or dead hang from the top bar.
- Dips. The mid-section small parallel bars are excellent for performing dips to build upper body strength.
- Raised Push-Ups. The main purpose of the handles on the base section is to perform raised push-ups, which increase the strength-building potential compared to a regular push-ups.
What is a Weight Bench?
A weight bench is a useful piece of equipment designed to support bodybuilders and those who perform strength training with various exercises.
Weight Benches are not essential if you want to weight train, but they help increase the range of exercises you can do, and the possibilities of how you can incorporate a bench into a workout are fairly endless.
Although a weight bench might look simple, you can get various kinds of benches that adjust to different angles depending on your needs. Here are some of the different types of benches that are available:
- Regular Flat Bench. This is the most popular and also the most basic kind of bench, but they can still be useful for a wide range of exercises with or without weights.
- Adjustable Bench. An adjustable bench helps expand the range of moves you can do and can be used either in a flat position or on an incline or decline.
- Olympic Bench. Olympic benches are the kind you often see in gyms and are often too big for a home gym (unless you have the space). They usually have various attachments and room to stack dumbbells and barbells.
- Folding Bench. Folding benches are usually regular flat or adjustable benches that can be folded away for easy transportation or if you don’t have much space.
- Abdominal Bench. These are designed specifically for ab exercises and have foot supports to ensure you’re at the correct angle for an abs workout.
Weight Bench Body Benefits
There are a wide range of weight training and non-weight training exercises that you can perform using a weight bench. If done correctly, you can develop a routine that works for you to increase body strength in all major muscle groups.
Here are just some of the main benefits you could see if you perform regular workouts that incorporate a weight bench:
- Increased Muscle Strength. Most people who work out using a weight bench incorporate weight training, leading to increased muscle strength and mass.
- Decreased Risk of Injury. Increasing your body strength can reduce the risk of injury by helping strengthen joints and increase mobility.
- Metabolism and Fat Burning. When you perform weight training exercise, it increases the metabolic rate, and the body continues to burn calories more effectively for some time after a workout.
It’s worth pointing out that these benefits come from the exercise performed and any weights used, rather than the bench, which is for support, posture, and height.
Weight Bench Exercises
There are many possibilities on the kind of exercises you can perform using a weight bench, below are just some of the most popular that can be done using weights (usually a barbell or dumbbells):
- Bench Press. Using a barbell or dumbbells, a regular bench press is performed lying on a flat bench.
- Incline or Decline Bench Press. Similar to the regular bench press, but they’re performed on an incline or a decline on an adjustable bench to use different muscle groups.
- Dumbbell Rows. There are various ways to perform rows, but the most common is using a dumbbell with one knee on a flat bench.
- Dumbbell Curls or Concentration Curls. A variety of curls can be performed on a bench using dumbbells.
- Skull Crushers. These are done laying on a flat bench using a dumbbell.
- Dumbbell Shoulder Press. Performed on a bench that adjusts to sitting position or sitting on a flat bench.
You can incorporate a weight bench into everyday exercises without weights, such as leg raises, step-ups, and sitting to standing squats.
You can also use a weight bench to add extra height to an exercise, such as raised push-ups, mountain climbers, or burpees. Doing this makes a move harder and increases the benefits you can get out of it.
Power Tower Vs Weight Bench Comparison
So we’ve looked at the power tower and weight bench differences, including uses and benefits. We’ll now look at the comparison between the two to find out which is the best item of equipment in each category.
1. Best for a Full Body Workout
Winner: Weight Bench
The weight bench wins in this category because there’s more opportunity to use a weight bench with a range of exercise that contributes to a full body workout.
Working out on a power tower is a great way to work the upper body, back, and core, but with this kind of exercise, there’s less opportunity to work on the legs than with a weight bench.
It’s important to point out that most weight training exercises on a weight bench don’t involve the legs either. However, you can get inventive and do various activities using the bench to strengthen leg muscles using body weight moves or resistance bands.
2. Best for Strength Building
Winner: Weight Bench
Because a power tower workout is based on body weight exercise, there’s a limit to the amount of muscle strength you can build if muscle mass is your goal.
With the weight bench, you can incorporate weight training that can increase muscle mass beyond that of a bodyweight routine, depending on how much you work on strength building.
Of course, if you prefer calisthenics-style activity and don’t want to build huge muscle mass, you can still see amazing results using a power tower alone.
3. Best for Beginners
Winner: Weight Bench
If you’re an exercise beginner or you’ve taken a break, then the best piece of equipment for you between the power tower and the weight bench is probably the weight bench.
Because there are so many exercises you can do using a weight bench as support, you can start with a simple routine to build up strength over time. You can also build up the amount of reps and weight you use as you get stronger.
In contrast, although beginners can use the power tower, most exercises that can be performed on a power tower (such as pull-ups and dips) take a little more strength and expertise.
4. Best for a Home Gym
Winner: Joint Winners
It’s difficult to reach a conclusion about which is best for a home gym between a power tower and weight bench because this really depends on the space you have and your workout goals.
A power tower is a tall piece of equipment, whereas a weight bench is much lower, but the floor space they take up is fairly similar. Both require room around either side when you’re working out, so you’ll need to plan for this if you have limited space.
As with most home gym equipment, check the quality before you buy. Sometimes cheaper equipment isn’t very sturdy and might not last for too long. Our advice is to invest in the best you can for your budget to avoid any potential problems after purchase.
5. Best Value
Winner: Weight Bench
You can pick up a basic flat weight bench for less than $100, but for a good quality adjustable bench, you’ll need to spend around $150-200.
In contrast, the lowest-cost power towers will set you back around $130, but for better quality gym-style towers, you could pay anything up to $1,000.
Although the cost at the lower budget end is similar, the weight bench offers better value for money due to the wider range of activities that it can be used for.
So the winner is—the Weight Bench. Regular strength training using a weight bench as support can produce greater gains. It also has greater full-body workout potential and is better value for money.
However, this isn’t to say that the power tower isn’t an excellent piece of equipment because it still comes with many benefits and is perfect for those who want to focus on body weight activities.
Ultimately the piece of equipment which is best for you depends on your goals and which kind of exercise you enjoy most. If bodyweight calisthenics-style exercises are your thing, then a power tower will provide you with the most benefits. However, if you’re into weight training and have the space, a weight bench can be an invaluable piece of equipment for any home gym.
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