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Altus Athletic Altus Turbo Tower

The TURBO TOWER is a less than five feet high metal framework for use at home for exercise of arms, legs, spine; for stretching, lifting weights, even chin-ups.

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For less than $70 you can fill a nook in your home with a versatile workout machine

  • Apr 28, 2011

TURBO TOWER by Altus looks like a nearly five foot high clothes rack or a frame to dry a large wet towel. Amazon.com sent me a free sample to try out and then review of this made-in-China, assemble-it-yourself, 35-pound, 57 inch high metal exercise framework.

It took my septuagenarian wife and four-years older me about 20 minutes to assemble TURBO TOWER after five minutes taking the notably heavy, carefully packaged metal components, nuts, bolts and one small wrench out of their colorful packing box. Also another five minutes were given to looking over the clear two-page "Assembly Instructions." Promised assembly time was five minutes, but, hey, we're old and don't assemble bookshelves, exercise frames or toys for grandchildren more often than we have to.


I had planned eventually to donate TURBO TOWER to the workout room of our retirement community (and myself, of course). But it is not sturdy enough, I judge, for heavy use by a variety of exercisers (who dare not weigh more than 350 pounds apiece per instructions -- I am 6'1" and weigh 225) over the course of a busy workout week. I think taking it apart (probably to transport 75 miles south and give to a son for his home use) will be very easy, and he can certainly reassemble TURBO TOWER in five minutes or less. I don't have that much extra room to keep the frame permanently in our small retirement house. My wife talks of moving it to a patio and covering it. But I suspect it might rust.


As I write this review for lunch.com, I have already had the benefit of reading early reviews on amazon.com. Others agree with my wife and me that TURBO TOWER wobbles a bit, left to right, front to back. That wee wobble is the primary reason I would not expect to find the machine in a professional Pilates Exercise Center or in any public workout facility. For heavy, continuous duty or for public service TURBO TOWER does not claim to be. It's not a big wobble, but by all accounts, friend wobble cannot realistically be eliminated. It took me only about 30 seconds of use to feel familiar and safe using TURBO TOWER.


Just beneath TURBO TOWER's fixed top bar is an "adjustable bar" that you can use to chin, do arm presses, leg stretches and the like. Two easily added or removed "cloth handle straps" allow you  to stretch your legs on an exercise mat below you and pull yourself up and down on the adjustable bar. That adjustable bar is easily raised and lowered and fixed firmly in whatever place you choose by two spring clips among 18 parallel holes about an inch and 3/4 apart spread evenly from top to bottom.


There are also barbell holders that can go side by side about 32 inches apart if you want to place barbells on the TURBO TOWER. You would have to supply your own weights and weight pressing bench.


The packing box contained a page with 27 illustrations of people using TURBO TOWER. Of these one shows the assembled TOWER. Four show people using weights and back supports and fully  22 show things that you can do with the equipment standing alone: except that five illustrations also show a standard exercise (yoga) mat spread under the TOWER for users to slide their feet along.


I have notably tight calves and thighs and work on them via tai chi, Feldenkrais and Pilates. I have already had good usage standing erect before the TOWER and placing my heels one at a time atop the adjustable bar at a medium height and stretching. Put that bar a little lower and I have done standing pushups at an angle. In one illustration, a female is doing full pull-ups with legs lifted off the ground. I have also used the cloth straps to pull myself up off the ground. 


As I learned from some of the amazon.com reviews, there is a symbiotic relationship between American manufacturer/distributor Altus (of Altus Oklahoma) and fitness trainer Cathe Friedrich. Friedrich enthusiasts among amazon.com reviewers were delighted to use the Cathe-endorsed TURBO TOWER for the list price of $149.99 currently marked down by amazon.com to $66.61. For my part, I was pleased to read a new (to me) theory of exercise: Cathe Friedrich's Shock Training System (STS). Go to the website of both the Altus Company and Cathe Friedrich and find an abundance of training aids, including DVDs. Our congenial TURBO TOWER is no orphan. It is embedded in Cathe Friedrich's theories and practice, supported by Altus's line of equipment and is product of components impressively made in faraway China.


I like the TURBO TOWER a lot; and costing less than $70, it's a steal. I might even give TOWERS to fitness-minded friends as birthday presents.



For less than $70 you can fill a nook in your home with a versatile workout machine

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About the reviewer
(Thomas) Patrick Killough ()
Ranked #6
I am a retired American diplomat. Married for 47 years. My wife Mary (PhD in German and Linguistics) and I have two sons, six grandsons and two granddaughters. Our home is Highland Farms Retirement Community … more
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