“Rest Time between Sets”: Does it matter? Only if you want to gain muscle
“Meal Plans for Weight Gain”: Fodder for the ‘Bodybuilding Supplements’ Industry?

Does PX90 Work? Does ‘Tower 200’ Work?

It depends on how you define “work.”

As a trainer, I’ve often been asked “does Px90 work”, or “does Tower 200 work.”  The former is a workout comprising of aerobic-type exercise with light resistance. The latter is a strap contraption that purportedly provides 200 pounds worth of resistance that can turn any doorway of one’s comfortable living abode into a full-fledged gym capable of carving out an awesome physique.

My initial reply when someone asks me “does PX90 work” or “does Tower 200 work” has to do with goal setting. I simply say “What do you mean by ‘work?’ What is the specific goal you want to accomplish with your body? Only when you’ve decided on that can I tell you whether PX90 or Tower 200 will “work.”


P90xpic1

PX90 or P90X? Whatever you call it - You're not naive enough to think the model in the image built his body with "dumbell dancing" and 'plyometrics' rather than with bodybuilding in a gym.

That reply is sometimes met with an expression of bewilderment before the person comes back with: “Well… you know… the goal of getting a better body. Does PX90 work in the sense that it will help me get a better body? Will Tower 200 work for doing that?”

For the record, here’s my more specific answer: If you want to increase movement and resultantly raise the possibility of burning more calories than you’re taking in daily, PX90 can “work” to do that. But so will just about any other aerobic exercise that burns an equivalent number of calories. There’s nothing magically different about the way one person instructs you to dance or perform plyometrics in front of the television with dumbbells in hand than another one would. If you increase calorie burning and decrease calorie consumption on a daily basis, you’re going to lose some body fat.

That’s my simple answer to the “does PX90 work” question. The one about ‘Tower 200’ needs a bit more analysis.

The first thing that’s obvious when viewing infomercials or two-minute direct-response ads for home exercise equipment is the choice of fitness models that are depicted using the machinery. They possess gym-built bodies. My fitness-educated eye would conclude nothing else. Some of them, I suspect, possess “chemically-enhanced” gym-built bodies. The implicit message conveyed in these commercials – that the athlete built his or her body with the equipment being advertised – is what can be persuasively misleading at the subconscious level.


Strap-Resistance Biceps Curls

Can 'strap resistance' - such as what's used on 'Tower 200' - put on muscle as effectively as weight resistance?


Gaining a lean and muscularly shapely body requires building muscle. It doesn’t happen by “toning” the muscles. It likewise doesn’t happen by doing lots of repetitions using an unchanging amount of resistance. Thus, if Tower 200 provides the possibility of adding resistance straps that move it beyond allowing only two-hundred pound lifts, it might provide some motivating potential beyond merely being convenient to use. On the other hand, if two-hundred pounds is the extent of its resistance potential, then it might not provide much more than a lot of lonely workouts.

“Muscle Confusion" and ‘Strap Contraptions’: One’s a myth and the other – an imitation

There’s absolutely no such thing as “muscle confusion.”  It’s far enough in the myth category that I personally question the credibility of anyone selling their workout program using this “principle” as the premise. This doesn’t mean that PX90 – touting its benefits as being the result of muscle confusion – isn’t effective at burning calories or simply awakening muscles that haven’t been used much. The one thing I can decipher that’s positively different about it than similar programs on the market is that it appears to systematically call the exerciser to add some overload to the muscles: That’s good; muscles can’t be “confused” – they can only be overloaded/recuperated… or not.

The draw-back I would identify when answering the “does PX90 work” question: The ceiling to ‘added resistance’ is too low for creating really exciting physique changes using this type of exercise. I’ll discuss this in more depth within a future blog entry.

The premise behind Tower 200 is that we can get the advantages of weight lifting resistance with resistance created by rubber straps as an imitation. Does this work? I won’t get into the pros and cons of strap resistance in this entry. Of course, there are pros and cons to working out at home as compared to at a gym. The pros are:
  • Convenience
  • Privacy
  • Time-saving
  • Money-saving
The cons are…
  • Loneliness
  • Limitations on exercise selection
  • Limitations on resistance availability
  • Lack of "silent camaraderie" that gym workouts provide
Don’t underestimate the power of the last bullet on that list. There is something subconsciously motivating about working out among other people who are putting forth effort to improve their bodies – even if they’re strangers. The shared display of disciplined effort has a bonding effect that can perpetuate motivation that workouts done in an isolated environment can never provide.

So again, “does Tower 200 work?” I’d say it can “work” for convenience and privacy. However, its time and money-saving potential depends on what your fitness goals are and whether it can actually help you reach them. The biggest potential roadblocks I see to that are the ‘limitations on exercise selection’ and ‘limitations on resistance availability.’ The latter limitation could be overcome if Tower 200 actually allows for more strap resistance than 200 pounds. If it doesn’t, then I predict this contraption being more a garage-sale item in a few years than a permanent fixture in purchaser’s homes.

That’s my opinion without owning one. Please feel free to share your feedback and opinions – especially if you’ve bought either of these items.

Comments

gaining weight

The premise behind Tower 200 is that we can get the advantages of weight lifting resistance with resistance created by rubber straps as an imitation.

Homer

Nice review. I am collecting Tower 200 reviews at http://www.tower200reviews.net you can submit it there too.

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