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Popular home gyms TRX, Tower 200 put to the test

August 26, 2011 12:00:00 AM PDT
A gym workout can feel great, but you may not need to drag yourself to the gym to get one. Two exercise products promise a total body workout so you can exercise without ever having to leave your house. Consumer Reports put both products to an exercise challenge.

Both the $200 TRX and the Tower 200 from Body by Jake for $150 promise an effective workout at home. Consumer Reports rounded up 14 panelists to try them out.

According to Nicole Sarrubbo of Consumer Reports, the panelists were men and women of different ages, heights and fitness levels.

The TRX uses your body weight as resistance with exercises that work your entire body.

Alternately, Tower 200 uses resistance bands and pulleys to get the job done. Each can be installed on almost any door in your home.

Both come with a workout DVD. The TRX's 35-minute video has two variations of each exercise - one for beginners and another more advanced version.

"The exercises might be challenging for someone with limited strength, mobility or flexibility," Sarrubbo said.

Some panelists initially complained about a TRX exercise where you have to put your feet in stirrups and flip to a plank or push-up position. With the Tower 200, some panelists complained that the bands rubbed against their bodies during some of the exercises.

Bottom line: the TRX and Tower 200 both deliver effective workouts, but Consumer Reports says the TRX has the edge.

"The TRX allows you to perform functional exercises at different skills or fitness levels simply by changing your body's position," Sarrubbo said.

And at just two pounds, it's easy to take with you wherever you go.


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