Best Power Rack Reviews - Our Top 10 Picks for 2017

The Complete Guide to Buying the Best Power and Squat Racks - by Weightlifters and Strength Training Enthusiasts

Best Power Racks for 2017

Imagine if you could have your very own power rack in your basement, garage, or spare room. When you live a busy lifestyle, commuting to the gym is not always optimal for you. It’s better if you can strength train on your own time, at your own place, all while building your sexy body that’ll be envied by your friends, family, and that hot coworker you have a crush on.

That’s why you need a dependable and quality home squat rack so you can focus on shedding body fat and slay your heavy lifts. Whether it’s squatting, pressing, or doing Olympic style lifts, there’s a perfect option that’s waiting to be yours!

Rep Fitness Power Rack

The Rep Fitness Power Rack. A high quality home power rack that gives you the most value. You’re strength is going to increase dramatically when you use the Rep Fitness Power Rack. And your fitness goals will be much closer to achieve.

Fitness Reality X-Class Light Commercial High Capacity Olympic Power Cage

The Fitness Reality X-Class Light Commercial High Capacity Olympic Power Cage. Can you handle beastly weights? Well the The Fitness Reality X-Class Power Cage surely can. With a maximum weight capacity of 1500 lbs., get ready to bring on your heaviest lifts. Let’s see how you stack up against the meanest and toughest.

Imagine your own power rack at home

Read down below for comprehensive reviews of premium power and squat racks on the market for 2017. We’ll guide you through every step of the way so you can choose the model that fits your needs and budget.

Best High-End Power and Squat Racks of 2017

For the extreme lifters or fitness enthusiasts who want the best fitness power racks out there!

Fitness Reality X-Class Light Commercial High Capacity Olympic Power Cage

The Fitness Reality X-Class Light Commercial High Capacity Olympic Power Cage. For the toughest athletes, strength trainers, and weightlifters who aren’t afraid to challenge his or herself. This amazing piece of equipment is for true lifting warriors and will give you the sturdiest and safest workouts.

Valor Fitness BD-7 Power Rack with Lat Pull Attachment

The Valor Fitness BD-7 Power Rack with Lat Pull Attachment. A heavy-duty power rack with an additional Lat Pulldown. This cage gives you more bang for your buck with endless workout options. The Valor Fitness BD-7 is for you if you like having a multi-functional product.

Best Budget / Inexpensive Power and Squat Racks for 2017

Our top 2 commercial power racks for beginners and casual weightlifters who want to strength train at home, tone up, and lose some stubborn body fat!

Akonza 2PCS Adjustable Rack

The Akonza 2PCS Adjustable Rack. This cheap squat rack is less expensive than some gym memberships. Great for beginners who want their very first power rack!

Yaheetech 2pcs Adjustable Rack

The Yaheetech 2pcs Adjustable Rack. A cost efficient and budget friendly home squat rack that gives you a solid lifting experience! It’s great for you if you don’t have a lot of space to work with. Excellent choice for all levels, but especially beginners!

The Winners: Top 10 Power and Squat Racks for 2017

 

  
 
Construction
Rack Weight
Adjustability
Max Weight Capacity
Exercises
Dimensions
Price

1.Rep Fitness Power Rack

Construction : 14 Gauge Steel
Rack Weight : 144 lbs.
Adjustability : 2" hole spacing
Max Weight Capacity : 700 lbs.
Exercises : Pull Ups, Squats, Etc.
Dimensions : 48" L x 48" W x 83" H
Price: $$

2.Fitness Reality X-Class Light Commercial High Capacity Olympic Power Cage

Construction : Steel
Rack Weight : 256 lbs.
Adjustability : 25 height lvls.
Max Weight Capacity : 1500 lbs.
Exercises : Pull Ups, Dips, Squats, Etc.
Dimensions : 71.5” L x 52” W x 86” H
Price: $$$

3. Fitness Reality 810XLT Super Max Power Cage

Construction : Steel
Rack Weight : 133.5 lbs.
Adjustability : 19 height lvls.
Max Weight Capacity : 800 lbs.
Exercises : Squats, Curls, Shrugs, Pull-Ups, Push-Ups, Bench Press, Shoulder Press,
Dimensions : 50.5" L x 46.5" W x 83.5" H
Price: $$

4.Best Fitness Power Rack

Construction : Steel
Rack Weight : 117 lbs.
Adjustability : 23 height lvls.
Max Weight Capacity : 500 lbs.
Exercises : "Bench Press, Incline Press, Decline Press, Upright Row, Deltoid Raise, Shoulder Press, Standing Military Press, Bent Over Row, Shoulder Shrug, Biceps Curl (standing), Squat, Calf Press, Dead Lift
Dimensions : 45.5” L x 46.5” W x 82” H
Price: $$

5.Titan T-2 Series Short Power Rack

Construction : Steel
Rack Weight : 132 lbs.
Adjustability : 21 height lvls.
Max Weight Capacity : 700 lbs.
Exercises : Squats, Military Press, Bench Press, Curls, Shrugs, Dips, Etc.
Dimensions : 45" L x 58" W x 71.5" H
Price: $$

#1 Recommendation: Rep Fitness Power Rack

4.265 Overall
Construction
Performance
Max Weight
Safety
Price

Are you ready to build your dream home gym? Rep Fitness has only been around for 5 years, but their dedication towards the creation of premium strength equipment makes it feel like they’ve been in the industry for decades. It all boils down to two brothers in Colorado who were madly in love with fitness. So in 2012, they decided to create high-quality fitness equipment with great value that they’d want to use themselves.

Design & Construction

  • Dimensions: 48″ L x 48″ W x 83″ H
  • Rack Weight: 144 lbs.
  • Adjustability: 2″ hole spacing
  • Max. Weight Capacity: 700 lbs.

The Rep Fitness PR 1000 takes the #1 spot and ultimate crown for the best power rack out on the market. The matte-black powdered frame is constructed with solid 2” x 2” steel. The chrome-coated safeties and plastic covered J-cups all contribute to this equipment’s stunning look and finish. While the dimensions are 48″ L x 48″ W x 83″ H, the inside-to-inside depth is 26” and 44” wide. At 83″ tall, it’s a great to put in your spare room, garage, or basement. This work space provides you plenty of room to crush your heavy lifts. The rack comes with dual pullup bars (1.25” standard grip and 2” fat grip), which are nice bonuses to add variety to your exercises.

Have you ever set up your j-cups, placed your barbell on top, only to see that it’s lopsided? It’s mad annoying. Thankfully, the Rep Fitness PR 1000 has numbered uprights every 5th hole. This gives you quick and accurate adjustments for your safeties and j-cups. No more tilted barbells with awkward re-adjustments.

Performance

The Rep Fitness PR 1000 has an impressive weight capacity of 700 lbs. It can handle more weight than most people will ever lift. Simultaneously, the rack feels very solid and safe. You can further stabilize the rack by throwing extra spare plates on the back (used as a base weight storage). You’ll find this beneficial when counter-balancing the opposite peg when doing dips. The plastic lined j-cups do an excellent job of protecting your barbell and rack’s finish to avoid rusting and any possible knurl damage. The safeties can be extended out to be used as a  rack for your barbell. However, we highly recommend that you utilize the j-cups to both protect the finish and knurl. You could, of course, buy an extra pair for additional support.

The two pull-up bars are an amazing addition for you to throw in and mix up your fitness routine. If you want to train with a friend or family member, these bars come in handy for a fun 2-person workout. You can also use the optional pull-up bar if you’re racking the bar on one side. Or you can even use the fat pullup bar to challenge your grip more and increase the strength of your forearms. Unfortunately, dip attachments are not included. If you want to add that to your workout, you’ll have to purchase them separately.

Price

The price is super reasonable. It’s an incredible value for what you pay.

Bottom Line:

The Rep Fitness PR 1000 is designed to fit under your budget and under your ceiling. If you want one of the best fitness power racks that’ll satisfy most of everything you need, you can’t go wrong with this choice. Truly a powerful rack that’s perfect for any home gym. Great for beginners just starting their strength training program, all the way to more experienced and advanced lifters!

#2 Recommendation: Fitness Reality X-Class Light Commercial High Capacity Olympic Power Cage

4.225 Overall
Construction
Performance
Max Weight
Safety
Price

Fitness Reality is one of the greatest leaders in the industry of fitness equipment. They manufacture everything from bikes, treadmills, ellipticals, strength training equipment, and much more. They know that you deserve to have the most options. And the Fitness Reality X-Class Olympic Power Cage is no exception.

Design & Construction

  • Dimensions: 71.5” L x 52” W x 86” H
  • Rack Weight: 256 lbs.
  • Adjustability: 25 height lvls.
  • Max. Weight Capacity: 1500 lbs.

The Fitness Reality X-Class Power Cage is one monstrous rack. The 2” x 3” heavy-duty tubular steel frame is eye-catching with a gun-metal grey and chrome finish. This framework provides strength and durability for all your hardcore workouts. Whether you’re doing wide stance squats or need an extra spotter to keep an eye on your lifts, the 36” inside depth in the cage gives you plenty of space to comfortably execute your movements. The U-shaped bar located at the front provides you stability to counterbalance the weight inside or opposite the power rack. There are also pre-drilled holes for bolting the cage to any floor surface. The 35.5″ dual mounted safety bars have a weight capacity of 1500 lbs. and 13 adjustable positions for the dip handle adapters.

Two 11.5″ safety bars and two j-hooks are included with this model. Furthermore, the safety bars are compatible with 7 ft. Olympic bars. The 25 adjustable levels on the frame make it easy for you to position the barbell to your desired height.

Performance

The Fitness Reality X-Class outshines its competitors when it comes to flexibility and gives you the most adjustability options to cater towards your fitness goals. Advanced weightlifters will love that the Fitness Reality X-Class Olympic Power Cage can easily handle up to 1500 lbs. of serious weight capacity. The types of strength exercises you can perform are endless – squats, chip-ups, pull-ups, dips, bench presses.

The cage comes with two adjustable 2″x 20″ high-density rubber grip dip handles with a maximum user weight capacity of 600 lbs. If you want to push yourself, this allows you to conveniently perform dips with weighted belts. Also, there are 2 height position adjustable multi-grip pull-up bars with a weight capacity of 600 lbs. The multi-grip is awesome because it lets you target different muscle groups during your pull-ups.

For an additional $200, this machine is upgradeable to the version that comes with a lat pull-down attachment which allows you to increase the number of exercises you can do even more.

Price

This unit is the most expensive out of our top pics. But the quality is phenomenal. And the equipment bonuses that are included make up for this cost.

Bottom Line:

The best squat rack you can own for your home gym. Honestly, the quality of this power rack is better than some of the ones you’ll find in mediocre gyms. Recommended for all serious lifters, athletes, and strength trainers who want a dependable home power rack to last them for many years!

#3 Recommendation: Fitness Reality 810XLT Super Max Power Cage

4.075 Overall
Construction
Performance
Max Weight
Safety
Price

Design & Construction

  • Dimensions: 50.5″ L x 46.5″ W x 83.5″ H
  • Rack Weight: 133.5 lbs.
  • Adjustability: 19 height lvls.
  • Max. Weight Capacity: 800 lbs.

The Fitness Reality 810XLT is more compact compared to the Fitness Reality X-Class Power Cage. But this smaller guy packs a lot of support and durability for its size. Made with durable, solid 2” x 2” tubular steel, this cage is designed with a large walk in space at 42” wide and 24” deep between posts, providing you easy side to side movement. It comes with two chrome dual mounted safety bars and two chrome lock-on safeties. Each pair of bars can handle an impressive maximum weight capacity of 800 lbs. The multi-position overhead pull-up grip bars are great for strengthening your arm, shoulder and back muscles. This power rack is adjustable to 19 height levels to give you a good range of workout positions.

Performance

With an 800 lb. weight capacity, this is a wonderfully stable choice. Overall, the Fitness Reality 810XLT performs surprisingly well and holds up, even when you accidentally drop down the barbell on the j-cups. It has good space and doesn’t need to be bolted down.

The overhead pull-up bars are great to use. We like the multi-position grips of the bar. Although it’s not as comfortable or functional as the Fitness Reality X-Class’ multi-grip bars, it still gives you plenty of positions to grip the bar to work on your upper body.

Price

Mid-price point. An excellent bargain!

Bottom Line:

The Fitness Reality 810XLT is a great addition if you’re looking for something that’s not too bulky or massive. If space is a concern for you, you’re going to love this! It doesn’t sacrifice performance or quality, while still giving you everything you need for an incredible squat rack for your home. Ridiculously good for the price, the 810XLT provides you plenty. For people of all ages and levels who want to strength train in the comforts of their own home. This is definitely one the best power racks out there!

#4 Recommendation: Best Fitness Power Rack

3.8 Overall
Construction
Performance
Max Weight
Safety
Price

Body Solid is a company that’s been around since the late 80’s. And perhaps that’s why they know what you want when it comes to quality fitness equipment. The BFPR100 Power Rack blends quality and value together in one of the most popular machines for strength training.

Design & Construction

  • Dimensions: 45.5” L x 46.5” W x 82” H
  • Rack Weight: 117 lbs.
  • Adjustability: 23 height lvls.
  • Max. Weight Capacity: 500 lbs.

The BFPR100 screams personality with its red, durable powder coated paint finish. It’s constructed from heavy 14 gauge steel and can handle weights up to 500lbs. There are 23 adjustment positions, spread 3” apart, for your lifts. The 2 adjustable lift offs and full-length safety bars are included to ensure a proper starting position for a multitude of exercises.

Performance

Despite the weight capacity holding up the 500 lbs., it’s definitely a lot of support for the average lifter. We like that you can do pull-ups on this power cage, but we wish there were more grips like the Fitness Reality X-Class or 810XLT. Still, this at least allows you to mix in some pull-ups or chin-ups into your exercise routine.

Price

This unit is at a reasonable intermediate price point.

Bottom Line:

Great for beginner to intermediate lifters or athletes. The BFPR100 is affordable and perfect for anyone wanting a fully functional rack. If you’re looking for a commercial power rack that’s not your usual black or grey color, then grab this one today!

#5 Recommendation: Titan T-2 Series Short Power Rack

3.775 Overall
Construction
Performance
Max Weight
Safety
Price

Design & Construction

  • Dimensions: 45″ L x 58″ W x 71.5″ H
  • Rack Weight: 132 lbs.
  • Adjustability: 21 height lvls.
  • Max. Weight Capacity: 700 lbs.

The Titan T-2 aims for simplicity and is designed with 2″x2″ steel tubes. It’s constructed specifically to fit in rooms with short ceilings as low as just 6 ft. tall. The wide walk-in area has a depth of 45” offers you plenty of side-to-side movement for a variety of total body exercises. The rack offers a total of 21 positions with 1.25” hole spacing, helping you accommodate different heights and exercises. Included are a pair of 1” round steel j-hooks and safety bars. The storage weight plate is located at the back of the cage and is approximately 1.25″ in diameter and stands 7.5″ tall. It can accommodate Olympic plates but not standard 1″ diameter plates. The pull-up bar on top is 1.25” in diameter, allowing you to perform standard pullup and chin up movements.

Performance

The Titan T-2 is a fairly sturdy power rack. While the overall structure of the cage seems pretty solid, it is a little bit shaky when approaching really heavy weights. As for the performance of the pull-up bar, it has two sets of knurling grooves that aren’t too harsh nor light.

You may encounter performance issues if you’re over 6 feet tall. Keep in mind that when compared to its competitors, this is a short power rack. If you’re a tall individual, the top notch may barely be high enough for squatting.

Price

Bottom Line:

The Titan T-2 may have the stability of a titan, but it’s certainly not for people with a height of a titan. This is a great low ceiling power rack. A good squat rack if you’re under 6 feet tall! If you’re a tall person, you may want to look at alternatives.

#6 Recommendation: Valor Fitness BD-7 Power Rack with Lat Pull Attachment

3.625 Overall
Construction
Performance
Max Weight
Safety
Price

Valor Fitness is a company established 2006. They specialize in home and fitness studio training equipment.

Design & Construction

  • Dimensions: 59″ L x 63″ W x 86″ H
  • Rack Weight: N/A
  • Adjustability: 17 height lvls.
  • Max. Weight Capacity: 800 lbs.

The Valor Fitness BD-7 is constructed with a 12-gauge steel 2”x 2” frame. It offers you an in-cage working space of 23.5″ front to back and 43.5″ side to side. For easy storage of standard sized plates or Olympic plates (up to 550 lbs.), there are 4 plate storage pegs at 8” each to the rear of the unit and 2 on each side. The pull-up station is located at the top of the rack, boasting a solid steel construction with knurled grips at both ends.

You can achieve the perfect height adjustment with 27 positions for bar supports from 17.5″ to 68”. The peg holes can be used for squat bar holders (500lb. maximum weight capacity) and safety bar catches (500lb. maximum capacity). Although not included, you can also use the peg holes for accessory dip handles, dumbbell holders, short bar holders, and safety bar extensions.

In addition to the power rack, there is a lat pulldown for you to work other muscle groups. The low pulley station attached towards the back of the cage allows you to perform seated and upright rows.

Performance

The Valor Fitness BD-7 is not quite a commercial grade, but the build is outstanding. The pulleys and sliding weight holder are smooth. Your workout experience will drastically improve. You’ll also feel much safer benching and be able to transition from the bench, to shoulder press, to standing exercises compared to low-quality models.

For those who prefer to work a lot inside the cage, the lat pulldown could potentially get in your way if you’re trying to do squats. This won’t be an issue for most people since you can still successfully squat at the entrance of the cage.

One piece of advice: before assembling together, make sure you position knowing that it’s going to take up a little more space than the product itself. Put together the base and account for the rear foot that protrudes from the back. You need adequate space for the pulley and the weights you’ll put on it. Doing this in advance will save you the headache of trying to move the entire unit once you’re finished putting it together.

Price

Higher price due to the extra lat pulldown and low row cables.

Bottom Line:

For the money, you can’t beat it. It’s solid, doesn’t move, and offers safety when you’re working out alone. This is an incredible purchase if you’re looking for something more than the standard power cage or squat rack. With the lat pulldown, rowing cable, and pull-up bar, you’re bound to get into the best shape of your life!  

#7 Recommendation: Gold's Gym GGBE20615 XRS 20 Squat Rack

3.525 Overall
Construction
Performance
Max Weight
Safety
Price

Design & Construction

  • Dimensions: 65″ L x 49.5″ W x 73″ H
  • Rack Weight: 57 lbs.
  • Adjustability: N/A
  • Max. Weight Capacity: 300 lbs.

The Gold Gym XRS 20 is a compact squat rack. The smaller design will appeal to you if you are tight on space. It runs on the shorter side like the Titan T-2, but don’t let its smaller appearance fool you. Perhaps it’s due to the bulky design, but it still has the capacity to hold up to 300 lbs. It features adjustable uprights and safety spotters which accommodate multiple heights and comfort levels. When you are done exercising, you can store your weights in the conveniently integrated plate storage unit.

Performance

The Gold Gym XRS 20 isn’t going to give you the security or safety that higher-end options will provide you. But as far as lifting performance goes, this will definitely get the job done. It’ll allow you to perform many different strength exercises like bench presses, squats, and overhead lifts.

Price

Affordable for those on a tight budget.

Bottom Line:

The Gold Gym XRS 20 is purely a weight lifting power rack. It doesn’t have any fancy features. But it’s great for people who want a good-quality and budget-friendly squat rack. Nothing more. Nothing less.

#8 Recommendation: PowerLine PPR200X Power Rack

3.425 Overall
Construction
Performance
Max Weight
Safety
Price

Design & Construction

  • Dimensions: 44″ L x 46″ W x 82″ H
  • Rack Weight: 136 lbs.
  • Adjustability: 18 height lvls.
  • Max. Weight Capacity: 600 lbs.

Get ready to pump some heavy iron with the Powerline PPR200X. This chrome power rack boasts a wide walk-in design that offers plenty of side-to-side movement for a variety of exercises, along with two heat-tempered liftoffs and two saber-style safety rods that will hold up against intense use. In addition, the rack offers 18 height positions, helping you accommodate a ton of different lifts and exercises.

Performance

The Powerline PPR200X does a great job helping you workout efficiently and safely while performing squats, military presses, and more. Whether your workout regimen includes squats, incline presses, flat bench presses, shoulder shrugs, or calf raises, the Powerline PPR200X makes your fitness routine fun, easy, and safe.

Although not a deal breaker, there have been some complaints about the paint coming off or chipping away a little too easily.

Price

The price is towards the upper range of an intermediate price range.

Bottom Line:

This is a fantastic product and a great upgrade for you if you currently own a low quality cheap power rack. At this price, it’s a reliable piece of equipment that’ll last you many years. Great for all levels!

#9 Recommendation: Yaheetech 2pcs Adjustable Rack

3.125 Overall
Construction
Performance
Max Weight
Safety
Price

Design & Construction

  • Dimensions: 20″ L x 21″ W x 44-70″ H
  • Rack Weight: 45 lbs.
  • Adjustability: 44″- 70″
  • Max. Weight Capacity: 390 lbs.

The Yaheetech Adjustable Squat Rack has an attractive look and looks great standing in an apartment or small room. No doubt, it makes you look like you’re a fitness fan. The Yaheetech is even more minimalistic compared to the Gold Gym XRS 20. This comes in a metal black finish constructed out of carbon steel. The solid H frame ensures the unit’s balance and stability and has a maximum weight capacity of 390 lbs. and is adjustable for height ranges between 44” – 70”. The safety spotters on each post can be adjusted to improve safety for your lifts. On the bottom, the rubber feet are anti-skid and anti-scuff, ultimately keeping the rack in position and preventing damage to your floor.

Performance

With the performance, the standard solid steel squat stand holds a barbell safely and securely. We don’t recommend this for crazy heavy lifts. Fortunately, it’s a little more heavy-duty compared to the Gold Gym XRS with a greater weight capacity. If you’re buying this, you need to understand that you shouldn’t be slamming the weight against it and dropping the bar, this a controlled placement rack. The heightening bars are a little loose, and the frame may wobble a little bit, so these are all things to be mindful of while you’re working out.

Price

Super cheap!

Bottom Line:

This is a good power rack for beginners or casual lifters who want to strength train lightly or need fitness equipment that’ll fit in a smaller space! This item can be yours for an unbeatable, cheap price. You know you can achieve that toned body or muscular physique you’ve always wanted without spending hundreds of dollars.

#10 Recommendation: Akonza 2PCS Adjustable Rack

3.075 Overall
Construction
Performance
Max Weight
Safety
Price
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If you want the barest and basic squat rack, you will want the Akonza.

Design & Construction

  • Dimensions: 18.25” L x 17.75” W x 66.5” H
  • Rack Weight: N/A
  • Adjustability: 34″.5″ – 62″
  • Max. Weight Capacity: 395 lbs.

This model is made of a sturdy carbon steel material that provides you a fairly solid frame for maximum support up to 395 lbs. It also provides adjustable spotters on each post that ensure your safety. The safety bar catch is 18.25″ – 28.25″. On the bottom, there are rubber end caps that protect your floor from scratching.

Performance

The Akonza performs okay. Nothing exceptional or surprising, but it does what it’s supposed to do. This model runs the shortest compared to many of its competitors. So taller individuals may not have the best experience using this. Also, when your lifts start to weigh more, the frame will shake a little bit. It holds, but you may feel like it’s not sturdy enough.

Price

Our top pick’s cheapest option for you!

Bottom Line:

The Akonza is one the best home power racks that is cheap but performs and holds up against light lifting sessions. Although not the sturdiest, it’ll help beginners and moderate users improve their strength.

Ultimate Guide For Buying the Right Power Racks

If you’re serious about improving your lifts, presses and squats then you need a power rack. There’s a lot of variety to choose from, and this is one of its biggest advantages. Whether its power racks, squat racks or power cages, they all are pretty much the same thing but with a few little variations.

It is important to understand these differences, and in this guide you’ll find the information you need to pick the right piece of equipment for your home gym.

Power Rack vs Squat Rack: What’s the Difference?

Power racks, also referred to as cages, are designed to act as a “spotter” when you are training alone with barbells. The metal frame resembles a cage, and comes with hooks attached at different levels to the 2 vertical rods that hold the weighted bar. There are also 2 horizontal rods that will stop the barbell from falling on the lifter.

Squat racks are smaller and designed specifically for one exercise. Instead of 4 rods, there are only 2 vertical ones. The hooks on the rods can be adjusted for height, and safely hold the barbell when your set is done.

There are advantages to each type of rack,

Power Racks

  • One of the main advantage of a cage is safety. The lateral pins can be easily adjusted for height and ensure that the barbell won’t fall on you during the set.
  • Cages are sturdier than squat stands, and this is important if you are lifting heavier weights. Their rigid design prevents them from tipping over, so you can concentrate on lifting without worrying about your equipment.
  • Since they are versatile, you can safely perform curls, dips, deadlifts and other barbell exercises without having to switch equipment.

Squat Stands

  • Their lower price makes them a good choice for lifters setting up a home or garage gym on a budget.
  • Squat racks are smaller making it easier to fit them in corners and other tight spaces.

There are also disadvantages with each one.

Power cages are larger, often needing 10 feet of floor space or more. Their higher price tag can put them out of some lifters budgets. Squat stands are not as sturdy. This, combined with their smaller size, limits the type of exercises you can safely perform with them.

Understanding these differences will help you pick the one that is best for you.

Types of Power Racks

If you need the versatility of a power rack, the next step is to decide on the type. While there is only one type of stand for squats, the same is not true when it comes to power cages. The amount of space you have, along with budget will factor into your decision.

Half Racks

Home gyms with low ceilings or limited space will want to consider one of these models. There are still four rods, but you will be lifting outside. The spotting is done with arms, instead of the pipes found on full size models.

Full Racks

They can come with four or six uprights, providing you with safety and storage. Unlike stands and half racks, you work out inside the cage. Their larger size may not be practical for every home gym, but they are the best choice if you plan on heavy lifting. There are also more accessories available with this equipment.

Folding Racks

Even though there is technically only one type of squat stand, you can find some that fold-up for easy storage. Designed to hang on the wall, they are affordable, sturdy and can be versatile. If you want to take a stand with you, a folding squat rack might be the best choice.

What to Look For in a Rack or Stand

Regardless of which type you choose, there are some aspects that remain the same. You want it to be sturdy, able to support the weights and designed for the lifts you want to perform.

Construction

Most of the top models are constructed from steel. While this does add weight, it also provides plenty of stability. The last thing you want is for it to tip over when you place the barbell on the stand. Steel also ensures that it is durable, and will last for years.

You can also find quality metal and carbon steel power racks. They are lighter in weight and lower priced, but you are often sacrificing durability.

Equipment Weight

The weight of the equipment will vary depending on size and construction. Steel stands and racks will weigh more, but they are capable of safely supporting heavier weights.

Adjustability

Unless you are planning on only performing one lifting exercise, you want the rack to be adjustable. Holes at varying heights on the vertical bars allow you to safely and effectively perform different lifts. Some models will even allow you to adjust the seat and height of the storage shelf.

Maximum Lifting Weight

This is important for your safety. If you try to rest more weight than the power cage or squat rack can handle, it can break or tip over. It’s size, type and materials used will play a role in determining its maximum user weight.

Generally, ones constructed from steel will be stronger with some models being able to safely hold 800 lbs. and more.

Type of Exercises

While squat stands are designed for one type of lift, power cages will allow you to perform a variety of exercises. These include,

  • Pull-ups
  • Dips
  • Presses
  • Curls
  • Squats

If you can’t perform your sets, the equipment will be a waste of your money.

Accessories

Some models come with accessories, while others will let you add them as needed. There are several to choose from and your budget, along with fitness goals will factor into which ones you need.

Shoulder straps can improve your form, while a dip or rope pull attachment will increase the stand’s versatility. There are also attachments for high rotations, along with a variety of chin bars. You can even add more storage for everything from stability balls to heavy bags.

Questions to Ask Before You Buy a Power or Squat Rack

There are a few questions you should ask yourself before you choose a cage or half rack.

  1. How much space do you have?

Power Racks come in various sizes, and your available space is something you should consider before buying one.

  1. Does it come with all the accessories you want?

Make sure that the manufacturer offers all the addons and features that you might need in the future if you plan on doing compound exercises.

  1. Is it the right height?

Find one that suits you. How does it match up with your height and will you be comfortable working out on?

  1. Can you anchor it?

You generally want to be able to anchor the rack to the ground to avoid any mishaps. This means that you want it to come with anchor holes.

  1. Does it come with a stabilizer?

If for some reason you do not want to anchor the rack, a stabilizer bar that runs across the bottom of the rack is another option. However, it can be annoying when you are working out since it is always in contact with your feet or bench. If the rack does have a stabilizer you want it to be removable.

  1. How is it shipped and how much does it cost?

These racks are huge and if you’re the one paying for shipping then it can be expensive having it delivered to your home.

How to Use a Power Rack

It’s never advisable to start working out on new equipment, if you don’t know how to use it. If you’re new to lifting with a power cage, here are a few tips to help you get started.

  • Use the right settings. This is usually done by experimenting with light weights. Move the pins or saddles through the holes to find the right height.
  • Ensure stability. The rack should have spokes at the bottom that allows you to anchor it securely to the floor. If not, a stability bar will also prevent it from lifting off the ground.
  • Check your range of motion. This will vary, depending on the type of exercise. It is also determined by the placement of the pins or saddles. You will want them lower for squats, and in the middle of the rods when performing bench presses.

Remember to take it slow in the beginning, and keep track of the settings that work best for you. While you might be impatient to get started, this will help prevent injuries.

Now that you know what to look for in a power or squat rack, you are ready to choose the right one for your workouts.

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