Best Power Rack For Home Gym
There will come a time when you are too strong for dumbbell use exclusively, exercises like dumbbell deadlifts will no longer be a challenge, you will find your training needs to move to the next level, the barbell becomes essential for progression to continue. It’s at this time we need to start thinking about the best power rack for our home gym.
“A power rack will be the centerpiece of your home gym, you will not be able to lift a barbell in progressively heavy manner safely without one, in other words, they are not optional,” says Craig Cecil pro bodybuilder and Author of Bodybuilding At Home
A power rack lets us bench press without the fear of being pinned under the bar and squat without fear of not being able to stand up again, these fully enclosed beasts let us train with intensity without the need for a spotter, they are the backbone of our home gyms, it’s the one piece of equipment coupled with an Olympic bar our home gyms can not go without.
I’d recommend you scroll past our reviews if you have never bought a rack before, you find all the information you need to help make your decision that little bit easier and then return to the reviews.
For those of you who might be in a rush or already have a good idea what you want from a power rack, you can go straight to the reviews below, here you find our best overall rack, best value racks under $400 and best commercial rack.
Titan T3 Series V2
The Titan 3 series of racks really are the best power racks available, very similar if not cloned copies of the Rogue Fitness M3 racks but for half the price! Made from 2″ x 3″ heavy duty 11 gauge steel the Titan t3 racks are commercially rated.
It’s as close as you’re going to get to the feel of training inside a tank for around the $500 mark, weighing between 230lb for the short version and 280lb for the tall deep.
The T3 series racks are heavy and that’s just what you are looking for when buying a rack for home gym use.
With weight comes stability, and these racks are very stable even when not bolted to the floor, what they do feature are four flat feet which already have predrilled holes, so if you wish and I’d definitely recommend you do, you can bolt these beasts to the floor for extra stability, great for keeping the thing stable when chinning or lifting outside of the rack.
What’s awesome about this series of racks is they all come with the WestSide barbell spacing scheme, yes even the $400 short version incorporates the
Having the holes on the uprights closer together in the bench/clean and pull-up areas can make a huge difference to your workouts especially pressing. The closer the holes the higher quality the rack and with 2″ x 3″ 11 gauge steel and WestSide spacing for $400-500, we’ll have some of that!! Great stuff from Titan.
Each rack comes with 2 chin-up bars as standard and weight plate holders for storing your plates on the rack. Titan offers a massive range of attachments for the T3 series, such as V-dip bars, parallel dip bars, flying pull up bars, dumbbell bar holders, tricep pulley, low pulley, spotter’s arms, I won’t go through them all, there’s too many but as you can see there are enough attachments there for all of your training needs.
The Titan 3 series racks have a weight capacity of 1100lb on the safety bars and they are built to take it, there are not many people out there going to be able to lift more than this in their lifetimes so no worries about outgrowing this beast.
The Titan T3 V2 is simply an excellent choice for any home gym, a heavy-duty, versatile, durable power rack at a price most can afford.
There are 4 options for the T3 series, all options have exactly the same features, i.e. weight capacity, frame gauge, hole spacing… Just the height and rack depth is different, so whether you want a tall rack or a short rack a deep or shallow the choice is yours when it comes to Titan…
Titan Short, 24″ depth
Titan Tall, 36″ Depth
Titan Short 36″ Depth
Best Budget-Friendly Racks
Rep Fitness PR1000
It’s a close call as to who takes the No.1 spot for the best budget-friendly rack, and for a long time it would have been the excellent Fitness Reality 810xlt, but it looks like Rep Fitness have taken it with the brilliant PR1000 power rack, at 84″ tall Rep’s rack should fit into most homes and basements, it’s kind of in-between a full height rack and a short rack, it measures 79″ inside for height.
So what do we like about this rack? Well what we like most is the hole spacing, you have to remember this rack is in the $300 range, and it surprisingly has the 2″ hole spacing, I know it’s not the WestSide spacing but it’s pretty damn good to see 2″ spacing on the uprights.
What’s also really impressive about this rack is the depth between the pillars, Rep Fitness have given you a substantial 26″ of depth between the pillars. (inside depth) With a 26″ depth between both pillars, it’s going to give you more than enough room for arc movements and extensions, it’s rare to find a budget rack with more than 24″ for pillar depth so big thumbs up here.
You have a whopping 1000lb weight capacity with this rack, again surprisingly high for a budget rack, but Rep has a great reputation for quality home gym equipment so you can be assured this rack will take it.
The PR1000 comes with a fat and skinny pull up bar, one at the front one at the rear, the rack is supplied with 2 weight plate horns for storing your weights on the back of the rack.
There is also a lat pulley system available to buy separately along with other important attachments such as dips bars. The 2″ hole spacing, great rack depth and not forgetting the massive 1000lb capacity will make sure this rack appeals to beginners and the more serious seasoned lifter.
A well made, versatile rack for any level of
Fitness Reality 810XLT
Just pipped at the post by the Reps PR, the Fitness Reality rack is still a very useful choice for your home gym.
The rack weighs around 130lb and is built from 14 gauge steel tubing, it’s not a super light rack at 130lb and it’s known to be very stable even when chinning but with no predrilled holes for bolting this one to the floor, I think many of you might want to take to a little bit of DIY with this rack and bolt it down.
Thankfully it has the minimum us bodybuilders need for depth and that’s 24″ between the pillars, so no need to worry about room for arc movements etc. Reasonably tall at 83.5″ ( 7 foot) you’re going to need 8-foot ceiling with this one, you have to remember you need to leave at least 10″ above the height of the pull-up bar for performing all the pull-ups comfortably.
Great to see a budget rack equipped with a multigroup pull-up station and this racks also allows for dip bars, weight storage horns
A high weight capacity of 800lb makes this rack attractive to most lifters, I fear the 3″ hole spacing will put off the more serious weightlifters among you but overall a very well made rack with some useful attachments on offer.
Body Solid Powerline PPR200
This is a very popular power rack for beginners and intermediate lifters, it’s been around for a while and has always received a high rating for its durability and stability, and 2 yrs ago this would have been in first place for budget-friendly. But with racks like Rep’s hitting the market and costing $100 less and offering more the Powerline can only make it to 3rd position. Just like the Fitness Reality rack, the PPR200 has the recommended minimum of 24″ depth between the pillars which is Body-Solid’s first thumbs up. The rack is built from 2″ x 2″ 12 gauge steel so slightly heavier gauge than both the Rep and 810xlt which is great to see, the weight of the heavier gauge will give you some extra stability. Only the one pull up bar with the PPR200 certainly not a deal breaker but would have been nice to have seen a multi-grip bar, and the weight capacity of the Powerline is the lowest of the top 3 at 600lb still more than enough for most but some serious lifters may avoid the PPR200 for this reason alone. And lastly 3″ hole spaces, again not a deal killer, 3″ spaces won’t affect your squatting but when it comes to presses the larger the spacing the more awkward the reach and setting up of exercises becomes, we can live with 3″ spacing but it’s certainly not ideal. Overall a very sturdy rack, but being the most expensive out of three budget-friendly racks and offering the least, I think either BodySolid need to lower the price or update the design of this rack. It’s still better than most of the budget racks out there just not good enough to make it to the top 2 spots.
Best of The Rest
Body Solid SPR1000
Full height rack, rated for full commercial use, with oversized 3″ x 3″ 11 gauge steel tubing, this rack is a tank, the SPR weighs 370lb and if I was lucky enough to own a garage I’d buy one. So you might have guessed you need a fair bit of room for this beast but if you have space then the SPR1000 is worth some serious consideration.
As you may have expected from a rack that costs a $1000 and weighs 370lb it’s rock solid, there’s no movement with this rack and it’s great to see the WestSide hole pattern as well.
No attachments come as standard with the Body-Solid, you have to buy the weight plate horns and dip bars etc separate from the rack, the rack comes with a single 1″ pull up at the front of the rack, a multi-grip pull-up bar is available separately.
There are 15 attachments available in all for this beast, including rack extension kits, dip stations, and band pegs to name a few. A top of the line heavy duty commercial rack, maybe a little overkill for a home gym, but a great price for a rack rated for full commercial use. To lean more you can read our full review here
Valor Athletics BD-7
What’s nice about the Valor rack is what it comes with, and it’s a lot for the price tag, this is the only rack in our guide that comes with a lat pulley system as standard, so that’s a $100 saved right there. Also, the rack comes with 4 weight horns for storing your weights and 4 solid steel chromed adjustable weight bar supports. Ok, when a rack offers so much as standard for a reasonably low price you have to ask yourself have they cut on quality, and the answer is no! You have an 800lb weight capacity, a rack made from 12″ gauge 2″ x 2″ tubing with a weight of 135lb. That puts it in the same league as the Fitness Reality and Powerline but here you get the lat pulldown and a few other extras thrown in all for around $500. It’s worth a closer look especially if you’re looking for a rack which comes with a lat attachment as standard, hole spacing on this one is close to the 3″ mark so again we may have some issues when pressing with this rack but as mentioned earlier 3″ is not a deal killer, it’s borderline ok but some of the more seasoned lifters might be put off by this. Height and depth are ok too, with a pillar to pillar depth of 24″ and 80″ height inside the rack. A well-designed power rack that includes just about all you need to make the transition from dumbbell work to rack work that much easier. Great to see a pulley system included with the price.
Important Features & Specs To Consider
Before buying a power rack there’s a lot to take into consideration. We need to take a look at all of the variables when buying a rack, particularly the rack’s footprint, just how much room will this thing take up. The height, width and depth determine the power rack’s frame size and more importantly what you can do in there.
HeightThe height of your ceiling will be the deciding factor as to whether you can have a short rack or a full height rack, it’s also a good idea to consider if you will ever move the rack to a different location in your home. There has been many a weightlifter who started out training in the garage and for whatever reason decided they needed to relocate the gym to another location in the house only to find the ceiling height wasn’t high enough. The only option left for you now is to buy another rack that will fit the new location. Opting for a rack that fits in a couple of locations is always a good idea. Don’t forget to allow for head clearance space over and above the rack for standing presses and chinning.
DepthThe depth of a rack determines how much forward and backward space you have for bar travel. Powerlifters need to worry less about rack depth because their training involves the bar travelling in a straight line for deadlifts, squats, and presses. For bodybuilders bar depth is crucial as our exercises involve arc movements such as extensions and curls, when choosing your rack make sure the depth is a minimum of 23″ the gold standard being 30″+ but if you’re buying budget at least look for 23″, you’ll be spending a lot of time inside that thing so make sure you have enough space. Remember this is the depth inside of the rack, not outside depth (pillar to pillar depth) if you are interested in a rack and it doesn’t state the inside depth, send the manufacturer an email and ask.
WidthMost racks are standard width because of the Olympic bar length, the racks have to be able to accommodate the 7ft length of the Olympic bar.
CapacityIdeally, we’re looking for 800lb+ on the safety bars, and thankfully even some of the budget-friendly racks in this review surpass this which is great, having a higher weight capacity allows room for you to grow, you will be surprised how much your strength will improve over time.
Weight/Frame GaugeHeavy duty commercial standard or industry standard for a power rack is 2″x3″ 11 gauge steel, it’s highly desirable to have this gauge for your home gym rack and with heavy gauges come stability because of the increased weight of the steel.If you can afford it look for 11g 2″x3″. Good racks weigh 200lb +. When we look at the weight of a rack especially budget racks, we hope not to see anything under 13lb this is high enough to give a good amount of stability to the rack, I suggest if you’re buying a budget-friendly rack to make sure you can bolt it to the ground for extra stability.
Hole SpacingIt’s amazing how many people forget about the importance of hole spacing when buying a rack for home use. Hole spacing is measured from the centre of the two adjacent holes on the uprights and it’s this distance that can affect your level of comfort reach and range of motion.
3″ spacing is only just acceptable although there are many racks out there with 4″ or 5″ but they are pretty useless for pressing, ideally we want 2″ spacing, that’s pretty good for a home rack, the gold standard being the WestSide barbell spacing scheme which is spacing of 1-1.5″ which you will find on top end home gym racks and commercial racks.
The closer the holes the better quality the rack and yes normally they come with a higher price tag.
Even if you don’t want a lat pulley right now, you might do in the future so I recommend buying a rack with a pulley system or at least gives you the option to buy one as an attachment later on.
Lat pulleys are unique in that they offer something free weights can’t and that’s the opportunity to perform constant resistance exercises like tri-cep push downs and side lateral raises. The weight plate loaded type are normally around 100-150$ as an attachment for your power rack.
This is a much better option than having to buy a pulley separately to the rack, it takes up a heck of a lot less space having one incorporated into the back of a rack than it does a separate machine, great if you’re training in tight quarters.
If you are lucky the nice people who made your rack might have numbered the holes, it certainly helps when they come prenumbered it makes adjusting the safety bars that much faster, it’s a pain having to constantly count the holes everytime you change the safety bars for each exercise, but don’t fear if your rack doesn’t come prenumbered you can always use a permanent marker or some paint to write the numbers on yourself.
Nearly all the racks either offer dip handles as an attachment or they come as standard with the rack. This is one of the most important attachments you can buy for your power rack, many people call dips the squats for the upper body, a great exercise for lower pec, shoulder, and tri-cep development. Look out for:
- Dip handle should be spaced 22″ apart and have an outward angle to allow you to adjust your grip width by moving closer or farther apart from the ends of the handles.
- Look for handles wider than your bar diameter, larger diameters are great for grip and tricep work but you can always add the rubberized handle for wider diameter for certain exercises, just make sure the actual diameter of the dip bars isn’t larger than your barbell diameter.
Weight plate horns are one of the cheaper attachments to buy, if your rack doesn’t already come with weight plate horns as standard to store your weight plates, it’s a good idea to get hold of a few, they also help to keep the rack stable if you load them with plates either side of the rack.
You want to save as much space as you can in your home gym and plate storage allows you to keep the weights out of the way off the floor and easily accessible to the bar on the rack.