If the cost and culture of a traditional gym turn you off from a regular fitness regimen, the TUT Tower Trainer may be exactly what you need to get in gear.
Even if you’re anti-gym membership, shopping for a home gym can conjure up its own collection of anxiety and seemingly unconquerable challenges. Prices can soar well over $1,000, setups require hours of time, and the finished product can take up its own entire room.
TUT Fitness tackles each of these hurdles in designing the Tower Trainer — a space-efficient home workout system that sets up in minutes and costs less than $800. If you’re on a budget, tight on space, or just not into clanging iron, this might be the solution you’ve been waiting for. We tried one out to see for ourselves.
In short: The TUT Tower Trainer reduces cost, hassle, and space in one fell swoop by replacing traditional weights with a series of resistance bands. These color-coded bands offer varying levels of resistance and are easy to add, remove, and change.
They also require almost zero real estate to store, adding to the simplicity of the already svelte Tower system. If you have a doorway, you can set up (and take down) the TUT Tower Trainer with ease. Overall, it’s a solid option for beginning muscle-builders looking to step into a regular fitness routine.
TUT Tower Trainer: First Look Review
- Cost: $795
- Weight: 11.6 lbs.
- Includes: Curl bar, ankle straps (x2), single handles (x2), 150 lbs. of resistance bands (6 x 20 lbs., 2 x 10 lbs., 2 x 5 lbs.)
- Installs options: Wall mounts (included), door clamps (sold separately)
The primary caveat to the TUT Tower Trainer is that it will have more value for those whose fitness and strength-training goals are less intense and more lifestyle-oriented than those who truly want to build big muscles. For that, pumping iron still reigns supreme.
We received a sample TUT Tower Trainer and — to be honest — put off setting it up. The assumption was that it would require at least an afternoon of unpacking and a healthy dose of pinched fingers and cursing. But one of TUT’s main selling points was its easy install — a claim that proved true.
There are two options for installation — mounting into wall studs or clamping to a doorway. For our test, we used the door clamps, which TUT sells separately. If ease is your number one requirement, we highly recommend this installation.
Two clamps pinch your doorway, one up high and one low, and the entire tower system slides right onto them. Presto!
The tower itself comprises two sections that screw together with a couple of screws. All that’s left is to attach the “power bar,” the handlebar that serves as the primary lifting mechanism. This also installs quickly with a single screw.
TUT’s other main selling point is its motley array of resistance bands. These take the place of traditional plates and help make the home gym feel more accessible. The bands offer 5, 10, or 20 pounds of resistance.
Each of these “plates” has slide-together clips at either end. So, if you wanted 30 pounds of resistance, you could snap in a 10-pound plate on either side of the trainer, and then snap a 5-pound plate onto each of the 10-pound plates.
For reference, TUT refers to “Time Under Tension,” the amount of time in which muscle is held in resistance or strain during a workout. TUT workouts are designed to lengthen the time under tension to force your muscles to work harder.
Not only does it create a good amount of tension with minimal weight, but the movements also tend to be slower. This makes it a great option for those who aren’t used to speed work and people who aren’t comfortable with heavy weight.
TUT’s tower design has three workout stations — one at the bottom, one at the top, and one in the middle. It also allows you to adjust the height of the middle station to accommodate various workouts and user heights.
Each of these stations uses a carabiner to attach a cable, which pulls the resistance bands, to a strap or bar.
With the Power Bar (sold separately), users can perform military presses while seated or kneeling, upright rows, and bench presses while lying on an exercise ball or bench.
Using the included straight bar, you can perform standing bicep curls, lat pulldown, standard rows, raises, and tricep extensions.
Ankle straps let you do various leg raises to strengthen hips and glutes.
These are just some of the workout options — feel free to get creative or use the array of video tutorials on TUT’s website.
TUT Tower Trainer: Who It’s For
While the TUT Tower is easy to use and, dare we say, fun to boot, it’s probably not the choice for anyone accustomed to training with traditional weights — especially those who lift heavy weights (50-100 pounds and above).
TUT even hints at the Tower’s target markets on its website: “You can use it daily at home to fight aging, get fit, and help you come back from sports injuries.”
And we see a real benefit for both older users and those rehabbing — for each of these segments, workouts are likely to be simple, repetitive, and most easily done at home.
Beginners, too, might enjoy the TUT Tower’s simplicity and variety of accessories to build a personal fitness regimen. The brand offers an accompanying app to help monitor performance and offer workout ideas and routines.
It also has more hardware to expand on the tower. This includes a rowing system and a variety of accessories to expand workout options.