Rep Fitness are a company known for building quality home gym equipment; these guys usually specialize in heavy-duty gear. Still, they also have a few excellent powers racks and weight benches in their budget range.
Today we’re going to take a close look at the impressive Rep PR-1000, a rack from their budget range, but don’t let the price fool you because the Rep rack is better than a lot of the racks I’ve reviewed at twice the price.
This thing shines when it comes to hole spacing, max capacity, and inside depth. And it’s durable too, how do we know? It’s been on the market now for years, it’s a product that’s stood the test of time, and people are still praising their PR-1000 racks after many years of use.
In this review, I want to take a close look at all the pros and cons of the PR-1000 power rack, and at the end of the review, I’ll compare it with its main competitor in this price range, the super-popular Fitness Reality 810XLT.
Product dimensions – 83″(height) x 48″(width) x 48″(depth) – 58″ wide at rear bottom brace
Weight – 140lb
26″ depth inside to inside, 44″ wide inside to inside
2×2″ steel frame
Plastic lined j-cups to protect bar knurl
2″ hole spacing
1.25″ and 2″ Pull up bars
Numbered uprights every 5th hole
2 weight horns on rear base for storage
400lb pull up bar capacity
Why Do We Like The Rep PR-1000?
There are many things to like about this rack, but one that stands out is its hole spacing.
Nearly all of the racks in this price range come with 3″ hole spacing; while this isn’t a deal killer if you only want to use the rack for squats, it can make a huge difference in pressing, as this distance can affect your reach, level of comfort and range of motion when setting up and performing exercises.
This spacing may end up being a crucial aspect in your ability to progress past certain training plateaus.
On budget racks, we typically see 3″ hole spacing, sometimes as much as 4″. Good racks don’t exceed 2,” and the high-end heavy-duty racks boast the Westside 1-1.5″ barbell spacing Shechem especially in the deadlift, bench, and clean and pull up areas.
We wouldn’t expect to see Westside spacing on a budget rack under $300, nor would I expect to see 2″ spacing, so it’s a nice surprise to find that Rep has included the important 2″ spacing on the PR-1000 rack.
In general, the closer the hole spacing on a power rack, the higher the quality of the overall rack.
28 Adjustment Holes – Numbered
It can be an absolute pain counting the holes on the uprights every time you change exercises. Thankfully the Rep-1000 rack comes with prenumbered holes. Still, they are only numbered every 5, and as we have 28 holes on this rack, I think if it were me, I’d write the rest in with some paint or a permanent marker.
Stability – Use Plate Horms To Add Extra Weight
This rack is a long way off commercial grade. The PR-1000 only weighs 137lb, and its because most budget racks are built from light gauge 2″x 2″ steel, they often suffer from stability issues. Stability can become especially problematic if you want to lift heavy outside of the rack or perform pullups.
Light gauged frames are not a deal killer; all we have to do is think of ways to add as much stability as possible.
The PR-1000 comes with its own weight plate horns at the back of the rack to store plates. Not only are these great for keeping your pates off of the floor, but they also add some much-needed weight to light racks.
Make sure to load each weight plate horn evenly, and you should, depending on the plates you have at home, add another 100-200lb of extra weight to the rack. This will make the rack solid enough for inside the rack barbell lifting without the need for bolting down.
Bolt Down For Outside of The Rack Lifting
If you’re going to lift heavy outside of the rack, you might have to use your DIY skills and bolt the rack to the floor.
The biggest problem with lifting outside of the rack will be the rack tilting forward, you may be ok with adding the extra weight at the back of the rack on the horns, but I recommend you try and bolt it down if you want a rock-solid rack.
Attachments – Do I need A Pulley System?
For a budget rack, the Rep Fitness Power Rack surprisingly offers all of the essential attachments most of us need for home workouts. We already covered how useful the weight plates horns are, and thankfully the rack is shipped with the horns.
The rest of the attachments are sold separately. This includes the dips bars and the Lat pulldown. The dip bars are a fairly cheap attachment, which I highly recommend you get hold of. Dips are the squats of the upper body and an essential exercise if you want to develop your lower pecs.
Adding dips bars to your rack will also save a ton of space compared to buying a separate dip station.
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 tricep pushdowns and side lateral raises.
The weight plate loaded type are normally around $150-200 as an attachment for your power rack. You can get hold of the plate loaded lat attachment for the Rep PR-1000 for a very reasonable $149
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.
Impressive 26″ Pillar to Pillar Depth
And lastly, the rack’s depth, and it’s this I think seals the deal for the Rep PR-1000 rack. Rack depth determines how much forward and backward space you have for bar travel. Powerlifters don’t need to worry about this too much as the bar travels in straight lines for squats, presses, and deadlifts.
However, bodybuilders need more inside space to accommodate exercises with arc movements such as curls and extensions.
Bodybuilders should look for racks with a minimum of 24,” and sadly most budget racks often fail to offer us even that. With the most popular budget rack, the Fitness Reality only a depth of 23″, even Reps new more expensive PR-1100 gives us just 24″ of inside depth.
The PR-1000 is impressive, boasting 26″ of inside depth, the best we have seen for a rack that costs under $300.
Safety bars and j-hooks rated for 700 lbs
2″ hole spacing
Comes with two weight plate horns – add stability to the rack
28 attachment positions for the catch bars and safety bars
High/Low pulley system and dips bars available
Now with 2 pull up bars fat and skinny – 400lb weight capacity
Easy to assemble – 30 minute assembly time
26″ pillar to pillar inside depth
Fitness Reality 810XLT
For a long time, the Fitness Reality 810XLT has been the preferred choice for people on a budget looking for a decent quality power rack for their home gyms.
And compared to what else on offer for under $300, it easy to see why so many people chose the 810XL. It has an impressive max capacity of 800lb a 2″x 2″ steel frame, and just like the Rep PR-1000 offers the option of a plate loaded lat pull.
Still, there are a few things that let this rack down when we compare it to the Rep PR-1000; the first is the inside depth of just 23″.
You’re going to spend a lot of time inside your rack. You want to feel comfortable and not cramped, the extra 3″ the Rep offers doesn’t sound a lot, but those extra few inches can make a big difference, especially for arc movements.
Plus the Fitness Reality has the 3″ hole spacing, ok 3″ hole spacing is just about alright for pressing, and it’s fine for squats, but when you start to take your training that bit more seriously, you will regret not buying a rack with closer hole spacing for pressing, etc.
Other than the hole spacing and rack depth, there isn’t a lot of difference between the two budget racks. Both are built with the same 2″x 2″ 14 gauge steel frame, both weigh around 150lb, and both will be slightly unstable until you add some extra weight to them or bolt them down.
To Sum Up
If I had to choose between the two, the Rep is the better buy; inside depth is important, so too is hole spacing, and the fact you can buy a power rack, a good one, with both a decent rack depth and the desirable 2″ spacing is excellent for under $300. Plus, the PR-1000 already comes with the weight plate horns, these you have to purchace separately with the Fitness Reality.
Overall the PR-1000 is a great choice for lifters on a budget. Built by a reputable company, it should last years of use. The PR-1000 is a rack that offers everything you need to start heavy barbell lifting at home.