There are so many options for setting up an in-home gym that it can be hard know where to start.
Do you need a weight set or can you work with a gym system like a Bowflex?
Do you have any options if you don’t have a ton of space?
If you are looking into setting up your own home gym, there is one thing that you shouldn’t be without – a Power Rack.
What is a power rack and how can it change your in-home workout experience?
We’ve taken a look at some of the best power racks on the market to see what sets them apart.
What should you look for in a power rack if you want to strength train in the comfort of your own home?
Read on for reviews of:.
- ROGUE R-4 POWER RACK
- ROGUE RE-4 ECHO RACK
- Rogue RM 6 Monster Rack
- ROGUE R-6 POWER RACK
- Titan Power Rack
- Rep Power Rack – PR-1000
- ROGUE RE-3 ECHO RACK
- Titan T2 Power Rack
- 1 What is a Power Rack?
- 2 What Are The Benefits of Training With a Power Rack?
- 3 How To Choose A Power Rack
- 4 How much weight can a power rack hold?
- 5 How much space do I need to use a power rack?
- 6 What sort of accessories can I get with my power rack?
- 7 How much do power racks cost?
- 8 What do I need to know to assemble and anchor my power rack?
- 9 What exercises can I do with my power rack?
- 10 Power Rack Reviews
- 11 Wrapping It Up
What is a Power Rack?
A power rack, or power cage, is a steel cage that resembles the skeleton of an old phone booth.
The steel cage itself is used for a weight training.
Depending on the specs of the individual model, a power rack will probably contain pins or catch bars that can be adjusted as needed for different exercises.
A power rack is a free standing piece of equipment.
Unlike its relative the squats rack, the power rack encases the entire body.
Squat racks, in most cases, will only reach up to your shoulders – this is the minimum height needed to be able to support your barbell for squats-style exercises.
They are usually constructed very simply, with a single pair of uprights designed to hold a single bar, and a pair of stabilizer feet to keep it place while you’re doing squats or bench presses.
Squat racks also don’t offer the same sort of safety benefits that a power rack can offer, nor can they match the sort of versatility or customization options that you can find in a well constructed rack.
What Are The Benefits of Training With a Power Rack?
- Convenience – You don’t need to worry about heading to the gym if you’ve got your own power rack at home.
- No Need for a Spotter– If you’re training alone, a power rack is a necessity. It enables you to do a variety of different exercises at higher weights without worrying about getting pinned underneath the bar if you drop it.
- Improved Confidence – You don’t have to worry about putting on those extra weights and you can work on your form with improved confidence.
- Variety of Exercise– There’s so much more to a power rack than just squats and bench presses. There is an enormous variety of exercises that you can complete with nothing more than a power rack and some weights.
- Cost – The average cost of a yearly gym membership is more than $400. With a power rack, you only have to worry about a single initial investment and you’ll get years worth of workouts from your new power rack.
- Versatility– Accessories that can be used for the power rack to increase the number and type of exercises that you can perform on your power rack.
These are just a few of the benefits of investing in your own power rack. We’ll go into more detail about these benefits in just a moment.
How To Choose A Power Rack
There are a number of different things that you need to consider when choosing a power rack, including:
- Budget – How much available money do you have to invest in a power rack.
- Space Available – How much space do you have available to dedicate to your home gym? Power racks are not collapsable and often cannot be moved without being fully disassembled.
- Weight being lifted by user – How much weight are you going to be able to lift? How much weight are you planning to lift in the future? You want to ensure that your power rack will be able to support your weight no matter how much you lift.
- Accessories available – Do you just want a power rack for lifting, or do you want a more rounded home gym? Different racks will offer a number of different accessories.
Let’s take a closer look at the things that you need to consider when purchasing a power rack.
How much weight can a power rack hold?
How much weight can your power rack hold?
It will depend on the size of the rack, the material that it is made from,and how the pegs and frame are arranged.
First, look at your rack’s maximum weight limit.
It could be rated for any weight from 500 to 1,500 pounds (227-680 kg), but what does that really mean?
In most cases, the weight limit for a power rack is going to include your weight as well – most base their calculations on the assumption that the user weighs approximately 200 pounds (91kg).
If you purchase power rack that has a 800 lb (363 kg) maximum weight limit, it is rated for 600 lbs plus your 200lb weight.
While you don’t want to overload your rack, it’s important to keep in mind that your rack’s maximum weight is likely well below the rack’s overall failure point – this is designed with your safety in mind, however, so try not to exceed the racks maximum weight limit.
How much space do I need to use a power rack?
How much space do you really need to install and set up a power rack.
That is going to depend greatly on the kind of equipment you need make the most progress. With any power rack, you’ve got two size variables to consider – the footprint and the height.
To discover your rack’s footprint, just look at the width and depth measurements. Not counting things like benches and weight storage, this will tell you how much space your rack will take up on the floor.
With a power rack, you’re effectively creating a self-contained workout space, so if you’ve got enough room to accommodate the footprint, you won’t need a ton of extra space.
The second variable you need to consider is the height – how tall the overall rack is once assembled.
This is important, especially if your workout space has low ceilings. The average power rack is between 7 and
9 feet (84” to 108”) tall, and if you are planning on doing a lot of chin ups, you will need enough clearance for both the power rack and your head.
To give you a good idea of the variety of sizes, we’ve broken down the size specifications for all the power racks that we listed above.
|Power Rack Name||Height||Width||Depth|
|Rogue R4||90” (228.6 cm)||53” (134.62 cm)||53” (134.62 cm)|
|Rogue RE-4||90” (228.6 cm)||47” (119.38 cm)||43” (109.22 cm)|
|Rogue RM-6||90”,100”, or 108”|
(228.6, 254, 274.32 cm)
|49” (124.46 cm)||76” (193.04 cm)|
|Rogue R6||90” (228.6 cm)||53” (134.62 cm)||80” (203.2 cm)|
|Titan||96” (243.84 cm)||48” (121.92 cm)||84” (213.36 cm)|
|Rep Power||84” (213.36 cm)||44” (111.76 cm)||26” (66.04 cm)|
|Rogue RE-3||90” (228.6 cm)||47” (119.38 cm)||24” (60.96 cm)|
|Titan Power||83” (210.82 cm)||59” (149.86cm)||48” (121.92 cm)|
If you don’t have enough space indoors to accommodate a new power rack, you’re not without options.
High quality power racks are made from steel, so they can be stored and used in an outdoor setting – not as comfortable as an indoor workout during extreme hot or cold weather, but an option nonetheless.
Folding power racks can be screwed to the wall (securely into concrete or wooden studs) that fold away when not in use.
They don’t have anywhere near the weight capacity of a free-standing system, but they offer a good alternative for people who are short on space.
Be mindful of the rack that you choose though – many folding racks still require that you have 9 foot ceilings in order to install them correctly.
What sort of accessories can I get with my power rack?
Your new power racks is good for more than just working on your bench press and squats – you can purchase accessories for nearly every power rack that add additional functionality and increase your at-home training options..
These can include but aren’t limited to:
- Pull Up/Chin Up Bars – Whether you’re looking for a crossmember for over the head exercises, a crow pull up bar for grip training, or an infinity pull up bar to test your strength, there are plenty of accessory options to meet your needs. Some racks even offer kids pull up bars to accommodate your kids as well!
- Band Pegs – Pegs for securing rubber weight lifting bands so you can do band-assisted pull ups or other exercises.
- Speed bag and/or heavy bag mounts – Hang up your punching bags for an additional workout option.
- Ring/Rope Attachments – These accessories require additional height but can be used to increase your rig’s height and wingspan to increase the variety of exercises.
- Parallel bars – Useful for training grip strength and upper body. Essential if you’re a gymnast.
- Stall bars – Essential for balance, flexibility and core strength training.
- Weight storage – Both vertical and horizontal plate storage that can be attached directly to your rack.
- Bar storage – Instead of storing your bars in the corner, why not keep them organized and out of the way in their own attached storage rack.
This is just a small sample of the accessories you can purchase for your power rack, and the functionality that they offer.
Check out your racks manufacturer to see what accessories they offer and which ones are compatible with your particular rack.
How much do power racks cost?
You get what you pay for, as the old saying goes – and that goes double for power racks.
Depending on your budget, you have a wide range of options for purchasing a new power rack.
For the sake of argument, we’re going to divide these racks into two categories – high budget and low budget.
High budget racks, like the Rogue R-4, Rogue RM-6, and Rogue R-6, have a larger footprint and are made of a higher gauge steel.
You will also have a greater number of accessories that can be equipped, due to the larger footprint and higher overall weight limit.
Lower budget racks, like the Rogue RE-4, Titan T2 and Rep Power racks, provide a great alternative for people looking for a high quality power rack without breaking the bank.
They have comparable maximum weight limits, but often have a smaller footprint and fewer compatible accessories.
When purchasing a power rack, make sure you incorporate the cost of shipping and accessories into your budget.
If possible, look for sites that offer consolidated shipping for racks and accessories purchased together. This can save you quite a bit of money in shipping costs alone.
What do I need to know to assemble and anchor my power rack?
Now that you’ve ordered and received your power rack, it’s time to think about assembly.
What do you need to assemble your power rack?
Specific tools will vary depending on the model and manufacturer, but in general you’ll probably need:
- An impact gun or a heavy duty socket set.
- A friend (especially for larger rigs)
That’s about it. Most power racks are held together with nuts and bolts, so your biggest problem is making sure they are secured tightly.
This is easy to to with an impact wrench but if you don’t have one handy, a socket wrench works just as well.
Make sure you bring a friend along – some of the larger rigs are impossible to assemble without an extra pair of hands. With some help, you can get your rig assembled and start lifting in an hour or two!
Power racks do need to be anchored to the floor to be used safely if they don’t come equipped with ‘feet’ or stabilizers.
Many racks come with anchor sets included in the purchase price or as a purchasable accessory.
The racks themselves are heavy, made of high gauge steel, and can weigh upwards of 250 pounds by themselves, but it’s important to anchor your rack to the floor to keep it from moving while you’re lifting.
If you’re going to anchor your rig to the floor, you will need one additional tool – a drill and a masonry drill bit.
An impact wrench comes in handy to screw the concrete anchors into the floor once the holes are drilled, but again you can complete the task with a socket wrench and some elbow grease.
Make sure your check your racks assembly guide before you start putting it together for any rig-specific instructions that we didn’t cover here.
What exercises can I do with my power rack?
Power racks often get a bad reputation for being kind of a one-trick pony, because they’re generally associated with squats and bench press exercises.
Once you have one assembled and anchored, what kind of exercises can you use it for?
A basic power rack is good for a variety of exercises, including:
- Bench press
- Incline/Decline press
- Barbell row
- Calf raises
- Weight-assisted isometrics
These exercises can be completed without the use of a power rack, but having the rack helps you be more confident in your exercises.
You can complete them with better form and with higher weights without worrying about dropping your weights or injuring yourself inadvertently.
Everything you can do with a barbell you can do with a power rack – just better.
Add a pull up bar to your rack (or purchase a rack that comes equipped with a pull up or chin up bar and you can add:
- Pull ups
- Knee raises
- Knees to elbows
- Leg raises
- Muscle ups
- Toe to bars
Basically, anything you can do with your feet of the ground, you can do with a pull up bar on your power rack.
Add in some of the accessories we mentioned earlier and you can do:
- Ring Dips
- Ring push ups
- Parallel Bar workouts
- Rope climbs
- Lat pull downs
The sky is the limit with a power rack, especially when you start adding accessories to your build.
Power Rack Reviews
And now, the part we’ve all been waiting for – the reviews!
Now that you know what to look for in a power rack, let’s take a closer look at what makes these power racks stand out in this industry.
The first entry in our list is the Rogue R-4 Power Rack. This rack has one of the largest footprints on our list, at 53” by 53”, with a 43” interior depth so you’ve got plenty of space for everything in your workout.
The rack itself is crafted from high quality 11-gauge steel, and features a Westside peg pattern – if you’re unfamiliar with the moniker, this just means that in the most frequently used areas (bench press and clean pull zones), the peg holes are 1” apart, and above and below that area, they are 2”.
This allows for a host of customization option to ensure that you’re getting the most out of your rack.
In addition to the rack itself, this kit comes with two pull up bars – one skinny bar and one fat/skinny bar – a set of adjustable J-cups to hold your bars, pipe and pin safeties, and band pegs so you can add band-assisted training to your regimen.
It’s also compatible with the majority of the accessories offered by Rogue, as long as it’s secured to the floor.
The rack itself weighs 250 lbs not counting any accessories or weights.
Rogue does offer consolidated shipping, so if you’re going to trick out your rig, it’s best to do it all together to minimize the cost of shipping.
While it isn’t the cheapest rack option, it is definitely one of the most well balanced, which makes it a good choice for beginners and experienced lifters alike.
If you love the Rogue R-4 Rack but are a bit daunted by the price tag, the RE-4 Echo might be a good option for you.
It has a very similar footprint to the R-4, smaller by only 1 inch in either direction, but it is constructed from the same 11-gauge steel as the more expensive version.
The difference is that the uprights in the 4 corners are 2”x2” rather than 2”x3”.
This rack also doesn’t offer the Westside peg pattern that we described in the R4’s review.
Instead, it has 2” peg holes in the bench and squats zone, and 6” separation in the rest of the rack.
As with the R-4, the Echo Rack comes with band pegs and a set of 2 J-Cups, but does not include pipe and pin safeties – those are available as an optional add-on if you need them for your workout.
The rack does come with skinny and fat/skinny pull up bars, so you will still have that options available to you.
It’s smaller footprint and thinner uprights do necessitate concrete anchoring though so make sure you pick up an anchor set either from Rogue or from your local hardware store.
Once it’s anchored, though, it’s got all the functionality of its more expensive cousin.
One downside is that the Echo racks are often incompatible with the accessories offered by the manufacturer, but if your on a budget the R-4 Echo is still a great alternative.
If you just have to be able to customize your rack, and you’re not worried about your budget, you might need to add the RM-6 Monster Rack by Rogue to your shopping list.
This rack is a literal monster, with the biggest footprint on our list – 80” x 53” – and three height options to help you get the most out of your rack.
Rogue uses the same 11-gauge steel for all of it’s racks, but the difference between the Monster rack and the other racks we’ve reviewed thus far is that the uprights are a whopping 3”x3” and the hardware that holds them together is 1” in diameter instead of ⅝” which is the industry standard for most similar setups.
The monster allows you to choose from three overall rack heights – 90”, 100”, and 108” – which makes it ideal for taller individuals who might have trouble getting full extension in shorter racks.
If your rack just has to match the rest of your decor (or you’re tired of the industry standard black) you can get this monster in a number of custom colors as well.
You also have the option to choose your cross-members for the type of the rack – set it up with pull up bars, heavy duty beams with gussets for extra strength, or even one with the Rogue logo!
You’ve got two options for J-Cups with this rig – the standard option or the sandwich cups that offer more complete protection for your bar’s knurling.
For safety, you have three options – the standard pipe and pin safety bars, a safety strap that’s rated up to 10,000 pounds, or a flip-down safety that’s made from the same 3×3” 11 gauge steel as the racks uprights.
If you are a heavy lifter, or just want to invest in something that is going to last you for years, spend the extra money on the RM-6 Monster – you won’t be disappointed.
While not as large as the Monster series racks, the R-6 rack is definitely nothing to sneeze at. This rack adds an additional 2 uprights (as well as plate storage, which is always a plus) to the R-4’s basic frame to create a stable set up for any fitness level.
With this rack, you get the 11-gauge steel 2”x3” uprights and ⅝” hardware.
The R-6 also feature the Westside hole pattern, making it much more customizable for a variety of workouts.
This rack also comes standard with a fat/skinny pull up bar and a multi-grip bar for upper body workouts and grip training.
The multi-grip bar does make the rack a little taller than it’s 90” specs claim, so if you’re installing it in an enclosed space, make sure you account for the extra height.
It also comes with a set of pipe/pin safeties, J-cups and band pegs, like the other Rogue racks we’ve reviewed thus far.
The larger footprint created by the additional uprights adds stability to the rack as well, so you don’t necessarily need to secure your rack to the floor, though it is recommended.
It is also compatible with all of Rogue’s Infinity accessories, which makes it easier to trick out your rig to make sure you get the most out of your investment.
If you need a rack with a large footprint but want something that won’t break the bank, the Titan Power rack is a great option.
It utilizes 3×3” 11 gauge steel uprights. It’s one of the middle-of-the-road racks in terms of height, coming in at 96”, and comes equipped with three pull up bars (two skinny bars at various heights and a fat/skinny bar).
Unfortunately, if you’re starting out and buying your first rig, this is the very bare minimum.
If you don’t have other accessories already, like pipe/pin safeties, J-cups and plate sleeves, be prepared to pay for every piece.
That said, this rack does have a unique feature that we haven’t seen in other racks – shelving.
While it doesn’t come included, the TItan power rack does have the option for integrated shelving that attaches to either the back or side of your rack.
This is a great option for anyone who has a ton of free weights, kettlebells, or extra plates laying around that need somewhere to live.
If you’re replacing an old rack or already have most of the accessories that you’re going to want to use, then the Titan Rack is a good option.
If not, it’s still a good power rack – you’ll just have to pay extra to get all the accessories that you need.
If you’re just getting started and aren’t lifting a ton of weight, or you just need a budget rack, the Rep Power Rack by Rep Fitness definitely fits the bill.
This rack uses 2×2” uprights made of 14 gauge steel so it’s not as heavy duty as some of the other racks we’ve reviewed thus far.
This contributes to its lower maximum weight of 700 pounds, but if you’re not doing heavy lifting it doesn’t affect your workout.
This is a very shallow rack when compared to some of the racks on this list – it’s got a small footprint of 48×48”, but it doesn’t have to be attached to the floor as it comes equipped with stabilizer feet and weight horns on the back of the rack to help keep it stable during even heavy lifting.
The 26” interior depth might be too small for some larger users though, so make sure you keep that in mind before ordering.
The rack itself comes with two pull up bars – one fat and one skinny – J-cups, and adjustable dip attachments for the side of the rack.
Basically, it’s everything that you need (except for bars, weights, and a bench) to start a successful at-home workout regimen with confidence and safety.
If you don’t have a ton of room but still want a high quality weight rack, the Rogue RE-3 Echo rack is one of the best options on the market.
It’s got a small footprint – only 53 x 32” – and utilizes 2×2” uprights made of 11-gauge powder coated steel.
It comes equipped with a fat/skinny pull up bar, and a set of J-cups and band pegs like most of the other Rogue racks we’ve reviewed.
Because of its small footprint, this rack absolutely has to be secured to the concrete.
Unfortunately, it doesn’t come with pin and pipe safeties included, so those will be an additional cost if you need the added safety that they offer.
Additionally, because of the smaller holes and hardware, this rack isn’t compatible with a lot of accessories.
If you just need a power rack, this is a great option, but if you want a customizable rack with lots of accessory options, you might want to upgrade to the R-4 or something similar.
Budget racks don’t have to be low quality, as this Titan rack shows. It’s a fairly shallow rack in terms of interior depth, but it has a larger footprint because of its stability feet – 59 x 48”.
It also features weight horns on the back of the rack so you can weigh it down to keep it from wobbling while you’re doing pull ups or other exercises.
The rack does have a maximum weight limit of 700 pounds, but for weightlifters who are just starting their powerlifting journey, that is more than enough.
The Titan T2 rack comes equipped with a set of J-hook and a chin up bar, and should be compatible with other Titan accessories if you want to add more functionality to this very basic rack.
It does not come with holes in the feet to anchor the rack to the floor, which does make it slightly less desirable for heavy lifters, but all in all this is a great budget rack to get you started on your weightlifting journey.
Wrapping It Up
Whether you’re training to be a powerlifter or are just tired of shelling out your hard earned money for a gym membership every month, a power rack can be an invaluable addition to any home gym.
Now you’ve got a better idea of what to look for in a good power rack. Keep your budget in mind and make sure you shop around.
Remember – you get what you pay for, especially with power racks, so if you’re in it for the long haul or are trying to increase your weight lifted, invest in a good rack.
You won’t regret it and you’ll be able to exercise safely and effectively for years to come.