I think you might agree with me that having a home gym is a lot more convenient (and more affordable) than a membership to a commercial gym.
However, it is difficult to decide what exactly to have in your home gym to ensure you can get a thorough workout.
Or is it?
We have the solution for you to revamp your home gym – simply get a Power Rack!
Not sure what a Power Rack is, or how to go about purchasing one? Don’t worry, we’ve got you covered. In this article, we’ll go over:
- The benefits of incorporating a Power Rack into your workout sessions,
- Tips on choosing the right Power Rack for you,
- The top five brands for Power Racks and we will compare them on the basis of price, value, and usability, just to make your shopping experience a lot simpler.
What is a Power Rack?
If you’ve been to a gym, you’ve definitely come across a Power Rack before.
A metal frame that looks like it was extracted from an old telephone booth,
With pins, you can adjust to different heights for different exercises, and safety catches so you can lift without a spotter.
Don’t be misled by its simple structure though – it is one of the few pieces of gym equipment that provides a full body workout! It is for this reason that it is considered to be the ideal piece of equipment for strength training.
You must be wondering,
Just what types of exercises can I do with a Power Rack?
Lucky for you, we have the answer!
What types of exercises can I do with a Power Rack?
These work your buttocks, hips, thighs, quadriceps, hamstrings, and calves.
2. Bench presses
These work your chest, front shoulders, and your back.
3. Overhead presses
These work your shoulders.
4. Rack pulls
These work your hamstrings, abdominals, middle back and forearms.
5. Barbell curls
These work your biceps, forearms, and shoulders.
6. Barbell bent over rows
These work your upper and middle back, as well as your lats, deltoids, biceps, triceps, and pecs.
7. Inverted rows
These work your lats, rhomboids, mid and lower traps, shoulders, biceps, forearms and your abdominal muscles.
8. Upright rows
These work your side deltoids and traps, as well as your rhomboids and front delts.
9. Pull Ups
These work your entire body but are focused on your lats and other back muscles as well as your upper arm muscles.
These work your pecs, shoulders, and triceps.
11. Hanging leg raises
These work all the abdominal muscles, as well as hip muscles and quadriceps.
12. Lat pull downs
These work your upper arms, especially focusing on your biceps.
13. Cable rows
These work your traps, back, biceps and forearms.
14. Biceps cable curl
These work your biceps and forearms.
15. Cable crunches
These work your abdominal muscles.
Of course, there are more exercises you can use a Power Rack to do, but these are our top 15 picks. As you can see, this simple piece of equipment really does give you a full body workout!
Apart from helping you work each and every muscle in your body, are there any other benefits to a Power Rack?
The answer is yes!
Added benefits of Power Racks:
1. No more spotters!
Lifting while lying down on a bench requires a spotter – so they can lend a helping hand for when you’re too exhausted to lift the barbell any longer. Without a spotter, you run the risk of dropping the heavy barbell and seriously injuring yourself.
Well, no longer will you have to call a friend to come over and spot you during your workout! Power Racks come with safety catches to hold your barbell and ensure it does not fall on you.
Don’t worry, these safety catches can be adjusted to an appropriate height for you.
2. Push yourself to the limit
You can now truly test your muscle strength and see if you can handle an extra 5 (or more!) pounds on that barbell. Don’t worry about dropping it and injuring yourself – the safety catches are there for you!
Plus, with a home gym, there is the added benefit of privacy while working out. You will not need to feel insecure when you can’t lift that weight, or make weird faces as you struggle to complete that rep. You can take on more and more challenging workouts without the fear of anyone watching!
3. Train to failure
This is an extremely important part of working out. Training to failure refers to doing reps until you physically cannot do them anymore, and it is the best way to build strength and muscle.
With a Power Rack, you can train to failure in the comfort of your own home! You can take as long as you want to complete each set of exercises as you will not feel the pressure to finish up quickly so the next person can use the Power Rack, as you would if you were in a commercial gym.
4. Customize your rack
You can even customize Power Racks to get the most out of your workout! There are plenty of Power Rack attachments out there to ensure you get a full and thorough workout – get a pull up and dip bar attachment, or a cable pulley system attachment, and you’ll be able to do so many more exercises.
Other accessories include band pegs (used to hang bands, chains, etc., or to increase resistance for your workout), j-cups (used to protect the knurl on your barbell), stabilizers, benches, heavy bags (for cardio exercises such as boxing) and more! Each brand of Power Racks comes with their own accessories, so be sure to check it out before making a purchase.
5. Boosts your metabolism
By providing you with a vigorous, full body exercise, Power Racks will boost your metabolism and promote fat burning. They will also create an anabolic environment within your body, which will help you build muscle.
In fact, studies show that those who exercise regularly with a Power Rack have a sped up metabolism for years to come – even after they have stopped regular exercise!
So there you have it! There is no reason to not get a Power Rack, and every reason to get one.
However, before you buy a Power Rack, you will need to consider a few things.
How to ensure you are getting the best Power Rack for you:
1. Do I have space for it?
Remember, power racks are pretty tall. Not only do you require floor space, you will also require ceiling space – so make sure your home gym can accommodate this piece of equipment.
You require enough space for your head to fit above the Power Rack for when you do exercises such as pull ups. You will also need space for all the accessories such as a cable pulley system attachment. You must also ensure that your barbells will not rub against the wall while you lift as this can cause your barbells to be scratched and damaged. Keep in mind that Olympic barbells are more than 7 feet long, and you will require a large amount of space to rack them!
Thirdly, you will need space for the accompanying gym equipment. Power Racks are simply a frame; you may need to purchase benches, barbells, weights, etc., as these accessories are not always included. While some Power Racks do come with storage spaces, most do not so ensure that your gym is large enough for you to store all these pieces of equipment safely!
Of course, power racks come in varying sizes, which leads me to the next question:
2. What size should I get?
To get the most use out of your power rack, you need one that is appropriate for your height. If you are short, don’t get one that is too tall, and if you are tall, don’t get one that is too short!
You also need to look at the weight capacity of the power rack. Depending on the intensity of your work out, and the weight of your barbells, you may need to opt for a Power Rack with a higher weight capacity. A good weight capacity is 700 pounds, although some Power Racks can have weight capacities of up to 1000 pounds.
Consider the Power Rack dimensions before making a purchase.
3. Does the brand have all the accessories I need
Different people perform different workouts, and different workouts require different accessories. What types of workouts do you plan on performing with your Power Rack, and what types of accessories will you require? Ensure the manufacturer of the Power Rack you intend to buy carries these accessories. Keep in mind that some Power Racks already come with accessories, for example, most if you’re looking for a Power Rack with weights, you will easily be able to find one.
You can even look through Power Rack reviews to check out what others are saying about the Power Rack you intend to buy and confirm whether your type of workout will be compatible with that product, or not.
4. What are the safety features?
Most Power Racks come with pin/pipe safety systems. However, these safety systems are cheap and difficult to use – it takes a very long amount of time to set up these safety systems in between lifts. Luckily, most Power Racks offer additional safety systems that are easier to use and confer more safety and stability.
If you only plan on performing simple, mild workouts with your Power Rack, you may not need these safety features.
However, if you plan on performing intense workouts with your Power Rack, you should definitely look into additional safety features. These include:
- Anchor holes: This safety feature is for those who plan on performing pull ups or dips. These holes will ensure that you can anchor your rack down while you perform these exercises.
- Storage pegs: This safety feature can be used to store weight plates which will not only save space but also firmly stabilize your Power Rack to the ground.
- Removable stabilizers: This safety feature keeps your Power Rack stable when it is not anchored, however, it can get in the way of your feet or bench during your workout. As long as you have a removable one, your workout will go smoothly!
5. Should I get a Squat Rack or Squat Stand instead?
The short answer? No.
The long answer is that it truly depends on you.
Squat Racks and Squat Stands can be cheaper than Power Racks if you get one without any safety features. When it comes to working out, and especially so for intense workouts, safety is imperative – it is every gym goer’s number one priority.
Safety features cannot be added to Squat Racks and Squat Stands – in fact, there have been cases of these pieces of equipment tipping over while being used due to their instability.
A common misconception about Squat Racks and Squat Stands is that they take up less space than a Power Rack. However, this is not necessarily true. While Squat Racks are smaller than Power Racks, Squat Stands are roughly the same size.
Of course, if your gym is in a room with a low ceiling, such as the basement, you may have to opt for a Squat Rack as a Power Rack just will not fit.
Overall, Power Racks offer more versatility than Squat Racks, and Squat Stands with their safety features and added attachments, as well as adjustable pins so you can choose the height you want to bench at, etc.
6. What about shipping?
Power Racks are huge, and shipping can be very expensive. Sometimes, shipping fees can cost as much as the Power Rack itself – in which case, it is probably best to opt for another brand.
More importantly, however, you need to confirm how it is going to be packaged and shipped.
Opt for Power Racks that are shipped in pieces which you can then assemble yourself, as Power Racks that are shipped in one piece are difficult to fit through your doorways – especially if you have purchased a larger model.
Power Racks vs. Folding Racks – which one is better?
For those who truly do not have enough space for a Power Rack in their home gym, a Folding Rack may be a viable option. Folding Racks are simply wall attachments that can be opened up into a full-size rack that is almost as good as a Power Rack, and then closed back up after a workout. Folding Racks are especially popular in garage gyms.
Most Folding Racks can handle the same accessories as Power Racks, however, they are typically not as sturdy. The good news is – they are cheaper than Power Racks!
The bottom line is, if you have the space for a Power Rack, then do opt for one. However, Folding Racks are the next best choice.
Now that we’ve covered everything you need to know about Power Racks, let’s take a look at the 5 best ones in the market so you can decide which one is perfect for you!
If you’re just beginning to work out and/or perform weightlifting exercises, this Power Rack is for you! This is the perfect Power Rack for beginners, as it is sturdy, stable and safe. It is 44 inches wide, 46 inches deep, and 82 inches tall. The best part about it is its wide walk-in design, allowing you to have plenty of space to move around during your workout!
It has a weight capacity of about 700 pounds – unless you are an extremely experienced lifter, this is more than you will ever need. Those who participate in extremely intense workouts may need to opt for a Power Rack that has a weight capacity of 1000 pounds.
The PowerLine PPR200x comes with a pull-up bar and can be used for all sorts of exercises – squats, shoulder shrugs, inclined bench presses, flat bench presses, pull-ups, calf raises, etc. There are 2 heat-tempered safety bars and 2 saber-style safety catch bars to ensure your workout is as safe as can be. It also comes with J-cups to protect your barbells from getting scratched as you rack them!
This Power Rack has 18 different heights at which you can mount the safety bars to ensure that no matter how tall you are, or how heavy your barbells are, you can work out at an optimum level.
It comes with a 10 year warranty on the frame, and a 1 year warranty on all the other parts. The safety features have been designed to last for years, even despite frequent and rigorous use.
Price: $321.00 on Amazon
Shipping: Free, ships within 2-3 days and arrives in pieces which must be assembled by yourself
Pros: Good warranty, strong and well-designed safety features, affordably priced.
Cons: It is rather narrow, and there may not be sufficient space for all types of exercises.
Rogue R4 Power Rack
This Power Rack is part of Rogue’s Infinity Power Rack line. When it comes to home gyms, the R4 is the perfect size out of the three Power Racks available – the R3 is too small to allow for a flexible and versatile workout, and the R6 is much too large for a home gym.
The R4 Power Rack is 43 inches wide, 43 inches deep, and 90 inches tall. However, this Power Rack has extra features for added stability – it has feet that extend a few inches to allow this Power Rack to be anchored to the ground. Therefore, this Power Rack is actually 51 inches wide and 53 inches deep – although these few extra inches do not add to the internal space of the Power Rack.
The R4 Power Rack also comes with two pull up bars, a pin/pipe safety system, 4 band pegs and 2 j-cups. However, you can purchase extra accessories such as a Matador dip station, landmines, additional pull-up bars, spotter arms and straps, and more!
The R4 Power Rack has several different heights at which you can mount your safety/spotter bars. It gets better – throughout the bench zone, mounting heights are spaced 1 inch apart to ensure that your safety/spotter bar will be comfortably placed no matter what your height is. The rest of the Power Rack has mounting heights spaced 2 inches apart.
Rogue offers a lifetime warranty on the frame of the R4. Warranty differs for the rest of the parts – ranging from 90 days to 5 years. Warranty on barbells purchased are not offered by Rogue, but by the manufacturers of the barbells themselves, and they range from 90 days to a lifetime warranty.
Price: $960.00 from Rogue Fitness’s website
Shipping: Free, ships within 24 hours
Pros: 1-inch holes for the mounting of safety bars, varied and diverse accessories, sturdy j-cups that keep barbells from being damaged and scratched, extremely stable once anchored to the ground, good warranty on frame and most parts.
Cons: The default safety system (pin/pipe system) is not the best, an additional safety system (i.e., spotter arms) must be purchased to ensure full safety, width is rather narrow, the price is rather high, and warranty on some parts is quite poor (only 90 days).
Valor Fitness BD-7 Power Rack
If you’re an experienced lifter, the Valor Fitness BD-7 Power Rack is just what you are looking for. This Power Rack is perfect for those who perform intense workouts!
This Power Rack is 63.5 inches wide, 47 inches deep and 82 inches tall – there is plenty of room for you to engage in a flexible and versatile workout. Plus, it comes with 4 weight bar supports and 2 squat safety bars, both made of solid steel, for your safety!
What sets this Power Rack apart from the rest is its Lateral Pull Attachment. Few Power Racks come with accessories for you to work your lats, as this muscle group is frequently overlooked during workout routines. However, the Valor Fitness BD-7 ensures that you can truly work out every single muscle in your body!
This Power Rack also comes with a pull-up bar with side knurling to give you a firm grip – guaranteeing your hands will not slip. There is a low pulley station so you can practice your rows (in the seated or upright position), and a foam-padded bar for curls and/or inclined pull ups.
Push yourself to the limits with the weight plate carriage, where you can load additional weight plates to increase the intensity of your workout. When you are not using these weight plates, you can conveniently store them on the pegs of the rear frame.
Don’t worry about your height either – the Valor Fitness BD-7 comes with 17 different positions for you to mount your safety bar supports.
Warranty for this Power Rack must be purchased. A 3 year warranty plan is offered for $58.77 and a 4 year warranty plan is offered for $79.24.
Price: $407.99 on Amazon
Shipping: Free, ships within 2-3 days, and arrives in pieces that must be assembled by yourself
Pros: Has a Lateral Pull Attachment as well as several other accessories included, affordably priced, and all reviews online are positive.
Cons: Warranty is not provided with the purchase of the Power Rack; it must be bought separately.
CAP Barbell Ultimate Power Cage with Performance Pack
This Power Rack is targeted primarily at experienced lifters. CAP is one of the premier gym equipment producing companies, and their Ultimate Power Cage with Performance Pack Power Rack is no exception.
This Power Rack is significantly larger than most, allowing users to truly engage in an intensive, vigorous workout. It is 60 inches wide, 74 inches deep and 90 inches tall – so do not purchase this Power Rack unless you are sure you have the space to accommodate it!
This Power Rack is so heavy that it does not need to be anchored down (although it is always a good idea to do so).
The Ultimate Power Cage also comes with various accessories such as a pull-up bar, dip and knee raise station, etc., so you can do dips, pull-ups and resistance band training. A Plyo Jump platform is included for simple exercises like box jumps and squats, and there is the option for a 70 pound heavy bag option on the outside for cardio workouts.
There are 26 different positions for the mounting of the safety bars. All safety bars are lined with rubber to ensure your comfort. Additionally, there are also 2 Olympic weight storage posts, hooks at the bottom of the Power Rack for you to wrap resistance bands around and use to increase the intensity of your squats, and a hook on the inside of the Power rack for you to attach a heavy training rope.
The best part – there is even storage space for you to keep extra equipment such as kettlebells, or anything else you may need, such as your phone. There is also a water bottle holder and a stat board included.
With all the space and added features, this Power Rack is essentially a gym in itself – you will not need to stock your home gym with anything else!
Price: $1,299.00 at retail prices, $799.00 on www.shopfittrax.com.
Shipping: Free, and arrives in pieces that must be assembled by yourself
Pros: Includes everything you will need for a thorough workout (cardio and strength) and is sturdy and safe.
Cons: CAP customer service is rather poor and there is no mention of warranty for this product. It is also on the expensive side of Power Racks.
Powertec Fitness Power Rack
The last Power Rack on our Top 5 list is that of Powertec Fitness. This Power Rack is ideal for those who are looking to focus on free weight training. With a width of 50.6 inches, a depth of 50.8 inches and a height of 84 inches, there will be plenty of room for you to exercise freely.
This Power Rack comes with 2 pull-up bars with multi-grip features, adjustable safety bars, as well as optional accessories such as a pulley system, j-hooks, a dip attachment, Olympic weight storage pegs, step up plates, anchors for ropes, a barbell landmine attachment, and more.
Powertec Fitness Power Rack’s weight capacity is 400 pounds, making it unsuitable for experienced lifters who lift extremely heavy weights. However, it is perfect for beginner and intermediate lifters.
When it comes to safety, this Power Rack takes it up a notch with Gravity Lock catches. These catches not only increase the safety of the spotter bars, but they are also much easier to operate than the typical safety catches on most Power Racks.
Price: $779.00, as well as a handling fee of $43 on www.powertecfitness.com.
Shipping: Shipping fees vary based on location. Product is shipped in multiple pieces that must be assembled by yourself
Pros: Has several accessories that can be bought, is extremely safe and sturdy, and ensures a large amount of space for a flexible and diverse workout.
Cons: Not suitable for those who lift very heavy weights, and shipping costs can be expensive. Furthermore, there is no mention of any warranty.
We hope that this article has answered all your questions on Power Racks, and helped you pick out the best one for you! Remember, pick your Power Rack based on how it will suit your workout routine, budget, desired accessories and features.
Most importantly, be sure to get a Power Rack that will fit in your home gym – you don’t want to have to send it back because it’s too big!