Whether you are new to power racks or looking to upgrade your existing one, finding the best one for your requirements can be difficult.
We’ve created this guide to help narrow down your search, so you don’t end up wasting your money.
Here is a quick list of racks for a range of requirements and budgets:
Top Rated Racks
- Rep Fitness PR-5000 – Best Overall
- Ironmaster IM1500 – Best Under $1000
- Fitness Reality X-Class
- Rep PR-3000 – Best Under $500
- Fitness Reality 810XLT
- Valor Fitness BD-11
- Body-Solid GPR370 Multi-Press Station – Best Squat Rack
- Rep Fitness SR-4000
Rep Fitness PR-5000
|Dimensions||48” W x 93”H x 36” D (56” with extra storage)|
|Steel Thickness||11 Gauge (3.18mm)|
|Steel Dimensions||3”x 3”|
Receiving the Home Gym Sumo stamp of approval as the number one pick is the Rep PR-5000.
Rep Fitness have managed combine high quality materials and workmanship with affordability.
The PR-5000 features a maximum capacity of 1500lbs, sandwich j-cups, a powder coat finish, multi-grip pull up bar and numbered holes all at a reasonable price of $699 for the basic model.
The 3”x 3” 11-gauge (3.18mm) steel uprights have 1” holes which are spaced out at 2” centers throughout the workout area.
With a total of 25 different height positions you will be able to adjust the spotting bars and catches to suit your personal preference.
If you like to incorporate bands into your workouts, there are a number of positions you can install band pegs.
The horizontal members and outside faces of the uprights have alternating 1” and 5/8” diameter holes. This gives you a wide variety of possible positions for bands to be attached.
The base price is $699, but you will need to consider the extra cost of the safety bars as they aren’t included.
It might seem odd not including safety bars in the base price, but the advantage is you only pay for what you actually going to use.
You have 3 safety bar options to choose from, Pin/Pipe ($100), Flip Down ($139) or reinforced nylon straps ($149).
Pin/pipe safety bars can be frustrating to use as you have to hold and align both the pin and pipe simultaneously.
The flip down option is much easier and comes lined with UHMW (Ultra high molecular weight polyethylene) which prevents any damage to your barbells.
The sandwich J-cups also use the UHMW protection to further minimise barbell scratching. Sandwich J-cups don’t come as standard with most models and to buy separately for the PR-5000 would cost $100.
In addition, there are a number of other possible attachments to choose from such as:
- Lat pulldown and cable row attachment
- Dips attachment
- Additional weight storage
- Barbell storage (dual hanger or barbell tube storage)
- Band pegs
- Globe pull up bar (the shape of the handles is circular)
Bear in mind, that if you opt for the additional weight storage the depth of the rack will increase to 56”.
These attachments allow you to build a garage gym that suits your goals and needs.
For an extra $299 you can get the lat pulldown and cable row attachment which connects to the back of the rack. If you opted for the additional weight storage addon it will connect to that instead. The version with additional weight storage is also available from amazon.
The lat/ row tower has aluminum pulleys which make the cables flow smoothly even with a considerable amount of weight onboard. You will struggle to find a lat/row tower of this quality for a better price.
Overall the PR-5000 is a rock solid, high quality rack that is great value for money. It will be able to withstand any weight that you could physically throw at it.
Best Under $1000
|Dimensions||51”W x 84.5H x 51” D|
|Steel Thickness||11 Gauge|
|Steel Dimensions||2.5” x 2.5”|
|Weight Capacity||1000 lbs|
|Warranty||10 year and 30 day back money back gurantee|
Iron Master regularly appear in a number of our product reviews and for good reason. They produce good quality equipment with a unique functional design.
This is true with their IM1500 half rack where they have chosen to have 3 upright legs instead of the standard 4.
The IM1500 comes with a built-in chin up bar, 8 weight horns, 3 barbell storage positions, 4 adjustable bands pegs, numbered holes at 2” spacing, 14” spotting arms and Double bar hooks.
Iron Master have tried to minimize the overall footprint by locating the weight horns on the central third upright on the rear of the rack. In theory this is a good idea but in reality you will still need to use a 7-foot Olympic barbell.
Nonetheless, having 8 weight horns (which can take Olympic and standard plates) and 3 barbell storage positions, it makes the arduous task of tidying the gym that little bit easier.
Another apparent disadvantage of this 3-legged design is that the IM500 seems to be lacking in the accessories and attachments department. The only 2 extras I could find are an multi grip chin up bar and dips attachments.
Considering that the Super Bench is also made by Iron Master and has so many different attachments it was surprising that their power rack was lacking attachments.
In spite of these drawbacks, Iron Master have produced a good quality half rack that is stable and comes at a fair price.
They also have several package deals available that include other equipment such as the Iron Master super bench. If you buy the bundle, you receive both products at a slightly discounted price.
Fitness Reality X-Class
|Dimensions||52”W x 86” H x 71.5” D (86.5” D with lat pulldown)|
|Steel Thickness||12 Gauge|
|Steel Dimensions||2” x 3”|
|Warranty||10 years frame, 3 years parts and 2 years wearable.|
Coming in a close second in the under $1000 category, this model is worth mentioning.
The Fitness Reality X-class was created as a beefier version of the very popular 810XLT Super Power Cage which appears later in our guide.
One of the biggest selling points of Fitness Reality equipment is the balance between quality, features and price.
The X-class costs twice as much as the 810XLT at about $600 but has twice the specifications and extras.
The rack comes with a 15000lbs weight capacity, dips attachment, 35.5” rubber lined flip-down spotting bars, two shorter 11.5” spotting arms, multi-grip pull up bar, numbered holes and the option to add a variety of attachments.
As you would expect with a 1500lbs capacity rack, it feels safe and secure when being used.
There are 2 stabilizers, one mounted on the rear or the rack and one on the bottom of the rack.
The rear stabilizer is bent into a U-shape and raised off the ground to prevent it ever getting in the way.
However, the stabilizer on the bottom of the rack is a little bit annoying as you can feel it under your feet at times. But it is low profile and just takes a bit of getting used to.
If you did find the stabilizer too much of an annoyance, you could bolt the rack to the ground using the anchor holes and remove the bottom stabilizer.
There is the possibility of having a lat/ row tower added on for extra variety at a cost of about $200.
A nice feature that Fitness Reality include with the lat/ row tower is 2 foot rests that mount on the rear stabilizer so you can perform low rows comfortably.
Some other brands seem to forget these small details which can help improve the functionality of the equipment.
The attachment can take either Olympic plates or standard plates thanks to the adapter sleeve included.
Fitness Reality give you a lot of bang for your buck with the X-class. They have also included a 10 year frame, 3 years parts and 2 years wearable warranty for added peace of mind.
Racks Under $500
|Dimensions||48”W x 60”D x 93”H|
|Steel Thickness||11 gauge|
|Steel Dimensions||2” x 3”|
If the earlier top of the range model by Rep Fitness (PR-5000) was out of your budget, then the mid-range Rep PR-3000, and winner in the under $500 category, might be a great option.
Made using the same 11-gauge steel, the PR-300 can withstand an impressive maximum load of 1500lbs. It also comes with a matte black powder coat finish, anchor bolt holes, 2” hole spacing and plastic lined J-cups.
The main differences between the PR-5000 and PR-3000 are that the uprights are 2”x 3” instead of 3”x 3” and there are less positions for band pegs to be attached.
Also, the J-cups included with the PR-3000 are plastic lined instead of being sandwiched like the PR-5000. Nonetheless, the vast majority of people won’t even notice the difference.
Unlike the PR-5000, safety bars are included with this model. As a result, you will not need to add another $100 to the price to allow for spotting bars. Even though, you can still upgrade to the flip-down or nylon strap safety options if you wish.
In addition, you can also get access to a range of optional extras and attachments such as:
- Weight storage
- Lat and row attachment (same as the one for the PR-5000 as it fits both)
- Dips attachment
- 5” spotter arms (needs to be bolted down to use spotter arms)
- Bolt on weight horns.
- Multi grip pull up bar (if you want more than straight bar)
Overall, the PR-3000 might not have quite as many features as the PR-5000 but it is still a very stable and safe and will last you a lifetime.
Rep Fitness also offer bundles with other equipment such as a flat or adjustable weight bench for a very good price and worth checking out.
There is another cheaper model offered by Rep Fitness, the PR-1000. But, the PR-1000 is only about $100 cheaper and is no where near to the quality of the 3000 or 5000 using 14-gauge steel and a maximum capacity of 700lbs. You get far more for your money PR-3000 and PR-5000.
Fitness Reality 810XLT Super Max Power Cage
|Dimensions||46.5”W x 83.5” H x 50.5” D|
|Steel Thickness||14 Gauge|
|Steel Dimensions||2” x 2”|
|Warranty||1 year limited warranty|
If you are new to lifting weights and not looking to break any world records, then the Fitness Reality 810XLT Power Cage might tick all the boxes for you.
The 810XLT is the downgrade from the X-class we reviewed earlier. But, that doesn’t necessarily mean it is worse.
Not everyone is going to need a 1500lbs weight capacity rack.
Even the 800lbs capacity you get with this rack is going to be far more than most people will ever lift.
For $300 you also get 19 adjustable height levels, a pair of 23” long chrome safety bars, 2 chrome bar catches and a multi position pull up bar.
The safety bars and bar catches are both chrome plated and will scratch your barbells, just in case you are concerned about maintaining your barbell.
With that being said, you can always choose to upgrade to J-hooks which will help to protect your barbell.
One major drawback is that the top stabilizer bar can get in the way for taller users while getting ready to squat.
They have bent the stabilizer bar into a U-shape in an attempt to prevent this from happening. However, some users did find it still got in the way.
Ideally, we would have liked to see a minimum steel thickness of 12 gauge (2.78mm) instead of 14 gauge(1.98mm) but that would have likely increased the price.
We couldn’t find any attachments for the 810XLT which is surprising considering that the X-class could have a lat/row tower added on.
However, as the uprights are the standard 2”x 2” upright like a number of other models it is likely that a number of other attachments will fit this particular rack.
In spite of the few drawbacks, for $300 it is hard to complain as you are getting great value for money.
Fitness Reality also offer a package which includes an adjustable bench with a capacity of 800lbs for only an extra $70 which we would highly recommend.
Valor Fitness BD-11
|Dimensions||48.5”W x 46”D x 87.25”H|
|Steel Thickness||12 gauge|
|Steel Dimensions||2.5” x 2.5”|
In an attempt to show you multiple options in each price range we have included the Valor Fitness BD-11.
By no means is the BD-11 the top rated rack in the under $500 price range, especially compared to the PR-3000. However, the BD-11 does have a trick up its sleeve and is the reason it was included in the list.
The attachments which are available for this power rack transform it into a complete and versatile home gym.
There is the option of adding on a lat/row tower like we have seen on other models, but it can also have a cable cross over attached.
A cable cross over will allow you perform a wide variety of movements such as chest flies, tricep pushdowns, bicep curl, one legged kickbacks, cable crunches and many more.
The lat/ row tower adds an extra $250 to the power rack price and the cable cross costs and additional $500. You don’t have to buy both, so you can pick and choose what you want.
Buying a cable cross over on its own could easily cost you $1000+.
However, there are a few drawbacks with the Valor BD-11. The stabilizer bar is aligned directly in between the two rear uprights. This gets in the way when you are trying to position yourself under the barbell for squats and will cause your shins some pain if you are not careful.
The rack does come equipped with 4 weight horns, but the top 2 will likely be in your range of motion for exercises such as bench press. Nonetheless, while you are not working out they will help keep your gym tidy.
Another minor drawback is that the bar catches offer no protection for your barbell. You will notice after a while that the knurl of the bar will become smooth and prone to rust.
However, if you are not concerned about the bar smoothing where it touches the rack then this is not an issue.
Overall the versatility that the Valor BD-11 offers with its attachments will make it a great option for someone looking to carry out a wide variety of exercises.
If you are looking for a complete home gym system, we have a home gym reviews and buyer’s guide.
Best Squat Racks
Body-Solid GPR370 Multi-Press Station
|Dimensions||45”W x 64”D x 74”H|
|Steel Thickness||11 gauge|
|Steel Dimensions||2” x 3”|
If height is limited in your gym and you require a shorter alternative to the power racks we have seen so far. Then the Body Solid GPR370 is a great option coming in at 74” high.
The squat rack comes with a strong 11-gauge (3.18mm) steel frame that can support a maximum load of 1000lbs. You also get 2 x 17” long spotting arms, 4 weight horns and 14 bar positions.
A common downside to this style of squat rack is that the spotting arms aren’t always adjustable, which can be a prove problematic for bench press and shorter users. But this is not the case with the GPR370 as the spotting arms are adjustable.
The only drawback of the spotting arms is that are 17” long which is short when compared the racks we have seen so far.
Also, the bar catches have no plastic/ rubber protection and will smooth off the knurls on your barbell with time.
In spite of these few drawbacks, if you are looking for a squat rack that will suit a low ceiling room then this is a great option and will withstand a substantial amount of weight.
Rep Fitness SR-4000
|Dimensions||48”W x 72”D x 94” or 110”H|
|Steel Thickness||11 gauge|
|Steel Dimensions||2.5” x 2.5”|
If you are not limited on ceiling height but want the freedom that you get with a squat rack, then the Rep SR-4000 is good all-round option.
The SR-4000 comes in 2 different heights, either 94” or 110” high. This extra height will give you plenty of room to perform exercises such as muscle ups or kip pull ups.
You also get plastic lined j-cups, 2 weight horns, 2 pull up bars, 24” spotting arms and band pegs which can also be attached to the spotting arms and used for dips.
The rack is rock solid when in use, but extra stability can be added by putting weight on the plate horns on the back of the rack. Alternatively, you can bolt the rack to the ground using the anchor holes.
The SR-4000 doesn’t come with the array of attachments and accessories we have seen with the other Rep Fitness models. But, this rack has its advantages and would be a great option for a cross fitter that needs the extra room for dynamic movements.
What to Look for?
New to power racks? then the following factors are worth considering to ensure you get the right rack for you.
How big is it?
Power racks can take up a lot of room. Therefore, it is important to double check it will fit in your garage before you buy it.
They come in a variety of heights ranging from 80” to 108+” and even bigger. If you are planning on making a gym in your basement that has a low ceiling it will limit what models are viable to buy.
Do you really have room?
The dimensions of the power rack only tell you how big the frame is. It doesn’t take into account the amount of space around the rack you will need to actually use it.
For instance, you will most likely use a 7ft Olympic barbell on your rack. But to be able to change the weight on the bar you require enough space to stand at either side.
You will need a minimum of 10ft so that you can load the bar without being squashed against the wall.
Most models on the market have a variety of accessories that can be bought separately and added onto the uprights. It is worth checking to see what accessories are available, so you can make further improvements in the future.
There are a number of accessories which are cross compatible and could be used on a number of different racks.
What Other Equipment will you Need?
A power rack with no weights is a very expensive pull up bar. None of the models in our buyers guide come with a barbell or weights included.
You need to take this cost into consideration when deciding which model fits within your budget.
If you are hoping to do bench press you will also need a bench. Some of the models do have bundle options which include a bench such as the Fitness Reality 810XLT.
We have a Best Weight Bench buyers guide if you are unsure of what to look for.
Does it have anchor holes?
Some power racks come with anchor holes which allow you to fix the rack to floor. This will help increase the stability and make it much safer to use.
Easy to use and adjust?
If you are like me and use a rack in every workout, it is surprising how much time it can take to prepare the cage for your next exercise.
This will help speed up your workouts and allow you to keep the intensity high.
What Gauge of Steel is it Made From?
Manufacturers often specify the thickness of the steel used in their power racks as being a certain “gauge”. Typically, 11, 12 or 14-gauge steel is used in making power cages. But what does that actually mean?
Below you can see the different thicknesses/ gauges in the table:
|Gauge||US Standard Thickness, inch (mm)|
For serious lifters that are looking to get as strong as they possibly can, they will be looking for equipment made using 11-gauge steel.
This will give them the extra capacity they will eventually need, but higher gauge racks tend to cost more.
Cheaper models often use a combination of 12 and 14 gauge. You should try to make sure that you are getting at least 12-gauge steel.
Dimensions of the upright steels?
Following on from the thickness of the steel knowing the dimensions of the steel box used to make the uprights is a good indicator of quality and strength.
Cheaper models tend to have 2”x 2” box steel, whereas high capacity racks tend to have 3”x 3”.
You may also come across models that use 2”x 3” steel box section. This is the middle point between the other options.
How is it shipped?
Some power racks come partly welded together and just need a couple of stabilizer bars fixed in position on arrival.
Will you be able to get itto where you want to assemble it?
Getting a pre-welded unit up a spiral staircase might be challenging.
The majority of racks in this review come in pieces which are easy to move into place.
How much is delivery?
Is delivery included in the price or is it an extra cost?
Power racks aren’t light, and shipping can quickly add a significant extra cost.
What exercises do you want to do?
Knowing exactly what exercises you plan on doing can help you save money.
Most racks come with a lot of extras you can add on and some of them are very useful, but if you don’t want to do dips then there is no need to have a dips attachment.
Get maximum value for money but cutting out unnecessary extras.
Do you have any personal preference for certain features?
Personally, I like having sandwiched J-cups instead of the standard bar catches that a number of the cheaper power racks come with. However, I know some people that prefer having a monolift attachment instead as it makes un-racking weights that little bit easier.
Pull up bars tend to vary from one rack to another. A multi-grip pull up bar can add a variety of exercises to your workouts and be worth the extra cost.
Knowing exactly what you want on your rack can help you when it comes to choosing the right model for you.
Position of the stabilizer bars?
The stabilizer on a power rack is important to add, you guessed it, stability. But depending on where the manufacturer decided to put it, they can get in the way when doing certain exercises.
Racks may have the stabilizer flat on the floor while some might have it raised or even removable.
The removable stabilizers will require you to anchor the cage to the floor before removing it.
If the stabilizer is on the floor and directly between the rear uprights you may find it gets in the way while getting set up for squats. Some models have the stabilizer set back from the uprights to prevent this from happening.
These stabilizers can also cause problems if you intend on using a bench in the rack. Being able to freely move the bench into a position that suits you will no doubt help your lifting ability.
Westside hole spacing?
Westside hole spacing is when the distance between different height positions is reduced to 1” intervals through the bench press region of the power rack.
This means that you can adjust the height in small increments and find a height which feels comfortable.
The majority of racks come with holes that are spaced out at 2” centres. A 2” height difference can feel like a big leap when it is only the length of your arms and not your entire body.
Westside hole spacing is a nice feature that will benefit anyone that is looking to perform a lot of bench press.
While not a necessity, features such as numbered holes can help speed up the change over time between exercises.
Knowing what position the spotting bars and hooks need to be before you start an exercise will save you the time of testing the bar height.
Holes on all 4 sides of the uprights?
For extra versatility it is useful to have holes on all 4 sides of the uprights. Even if you don’t plan on using the outside holes to begin with, you could add attachments such as extra weight horns on the outside of the rack at a later date.
Does the Rack have weight storage?
A number of power racks come with weight horns which you can store weight plates on.
Besides from keeping the gym free of trip hazards it can also help speed up change over time between exercises and improve the stability of the rack.
It is worth checking whether the weight horns only take Olympic weight plates, standard 1” plates or both.
Made in the USA?
If you are like me then you try your best to support American companies. There are a lot of cheaper import power racks on the market, that often don’t come with the same quality finish you get from the American brands.
Yes, the American made companies such as Rogue and REP Fitness do tend to cost a little bit extra. But they do have more budget friendly options available that are a great choice for a garage gym.
Unsure if a power rack is the right equipment for you? Here are the main benefits:
No need for a spotter
Training on your own can be dangerous, especially if you are squatting the weight of a small car.
A power rack will enable you to lift heavy weights without putting yourself at risk thanks to the spotting bars.
They are highly adjustable and you can have the spotting bars set just below the barbell height in the bottom of your squat. Then, if you do fail a rep they will catch the weight and prevent any possible injury.
Lift heavier weights
Following on from the previous point, having the safety net will allow you to lift heavier weights.
Pushing yourself to the limit is what will ultimately lead to muscle growth and development.
Power racks allow you to confidently lift weights that you wouldn’t dare do on your own.
Use free weights
This may seem obvious, but the benefits of using free weights over a machine are significant. Free weights force you to engage stabilizing muscles and will give you a better workout.
Saves you time and money
Being able to train at home with the same, if not better intensity than you would at the gym is possibly the best part of having a power rack at home.
You will no longer need to spend $50 – $100 a month on a gym membership. An added bonus is that weight lifting equipment will hold its value well and could be sold if you find you no longer needed it.
A lot of time is spent traveling to and from the gym. Having a gym at home will remove this travel time. You could easily save yourself 30 minutes a day by not having to travel.
No waiting to use the gym equipment
Not having to wait for someone to finish the equipment you need is a dream come true.
It will also help speed up your workouts ensuring that you maintain a high intensity throughout your workout.
Can perform a wide variety of exercises
As power racks are so adjustable it allows you to carry out a vast array of different exercises, such as:
- Back squat
- Pull ups
- Floor press (if you don’t have a weight bench)
- Good mornings
- Bent over rows
- Barbell shrugs