Gym in a box faceoff

August 2, 2011 2:25:20 PM PDT
If your gym membership is costing too much, there may be a less-expensive way to go. Two exercise products promise a total body workout without having to leave the house.

They're TRXfor $200 and the Tower 200 from Body by Jake for $150. Consumer Reports rounded up 14 panelists to try them out. Men and women of different ages, heights and fitness levels work out with each product.

The TRX uses your body weight as resistance with exercises that work your entire body. 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. Consumer Reports says that the exercises might be challenging for people with limited strength, mobility, or flexibility. And 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. And at just two-pounds, it's easy to take with you wherever you go.

While the TRX out performed the Tower 200 if you're looking to spend less the Tower 200 can provide a good workout. And Consumer Reports found both are easy to set up.