A power rack is a great investment for any home or garage gym and can help you reach your goals without breaking the bank. Also referred to as a power cage or squat cage, it is a great way to work on main compound exercises safely while in the comfort of your home. A rack will allow you to break your personal records on bench presses, squats, and deadlifts and strengthen your body like never before. So let’s have a look at some options to consider when searching for the best power rack for the home gym:
Last update on 2021-04-08 at 00:08 / Affiliate Links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API
Our recommended power racks for the home gym:
Fitness Reality 810XLT Super Max Power Cage
This option from Fitness Reality is quite a popular option and thanks to its reasonable price it’s a great budget-friendly option to consider. Despite its low price, this rack is rated at 800lbs and feels very stable. You don’t need to bolt it down, but it would definitely be more stable if you want to perform strength training close to its weight limit. The power cage needs to be assembled but it is straight forward and you won’t have any problem whatsoever.
If you are just starting out strength training you will appreciate that it can be bought as a bundle with a weight bench but you can always go for just the power cage if you already have a bench. The bench is adjustable, so you can easily choose between 12 positions that range from -20 degree decline and +80 degree incline. You can also use it as a flat bench if you like, so it can cover a very wide range of exercise, good for both beginners and experts.
The power cage is made of 2×2 square steel and offers enough room to perform overhead exercises. The safety bars are 23″ long and will allow you to safely perform exercise alone. Overall, this is a great power cage for its price, and if both as a bundle with the weight bench you can save even more, so I would highly suggest having a closer look if you need a power cage for your home gym. You can’t go wrong with this one.
CAP Barbell Full Cage Power Rack
Another great option for anyone looking for a power rack, this time from CAP. This is a great power cage at a great price, backed by a well-known manufacturer so you can’t go wrong investing in this one. Despite its low price, this is a great addition to anyone’s gym looking to upgrade their strength training setup without breaking the bank. You can find the cage in 6 foot or 7-foot tall variations, so depending on your available space you can pick the perfect cage for your needs. If you have tall ceilings I would suggest going for the taller option as it will allow you to work on overhead exercises with more headroom, and the same applies to taller athletes.
This is a power cage made of 12 and 14 gauge steel, a very well made construction that is built to last a lifetime. The rack is rated for up to 500 lbs which are great for beginners and will allow you to train for a long time, on the other hand, it might be a little limiting for more advanced athletes. The safety bars that are included will allow you to work on strength training alone without having to worry as they will provide great security while lifting. Overall, this is a great product from a great manufacturer. It definitely worth having a closer look before making up your mind and if you find lifting less than 500 lbs this is a great candidate to consider for your home gym.
Things to consider when buying a power rack for your home gym:
Power racks are ideals for any garage gym since they will help you build muscle effectively with minimal investment. They will keep you safe while working on your strength training, better than squat stands. I would like to highlight a few factors you can consider in order to narrow down your research to the best rack for your needs. Combine the rack with one of the ab rollers on our top ten list and you have yourself a great set to start working out.
The very first consideration to make is where to place your power cage. They are the most versatile and effective support systems when it comes to home gym equipment, so they deserve a dedicated space allowing you to work around it easily. Power racks are not designed for portability and easy transportation, they are designed for maximum stability.
Look for the footprint of the power cages you consider. This gives you a rough idea of how much space you need to dedicate to them but it is vital to visualize them as fully kitted out. There are options on the market that have a smaller footprint and remain relatively compact. Moreover, you can find a few options of foldable power racks that might be your best bet if you have limited space.
Apart from their footprint, it is also vital to take into consideration the height of your ceilings. There are a few short racks on the markets that can be your only option if you have low ceilings to work around. Keep in mind that you will need some clearance above the rack in order to perform pull-ups. It is wise to measure your available space and rearrange your home gym before committing to a power rack. As a last resort, if you are really in lack of space you can opt for a squat rack or squat stand as an alternative.
A rack is a great all-in-one solution for a home gym. They are very versatile thus eliminating the need for other workout equipment for strength and muscle-building exercises. In most cases, a power rack is built like a tank and can withstand a lot of abuse, yet there are small details you need to consider since this is an investment where you should go for the best you can afford.
Try to avoid buying a rack that is made with portability in mind and even tries to avoid the absolute cheapest options you can find. In order to make a power rack portable and easy to transport, manufacturers have opted for vertical steel frames that are cut in half and then bolted together. This is a design you should avoid at all costs since their weight capacity is really low and you will grow over it after a few months, forcing you to upgrade to a model with the greater weight capacity.
The strongest options on the market feature 11-gauge steel uprights making them ideal for commercial and home gyms. Some manufacturers have made 12-gauge steel variations as a budget-friendly option, which in most cases are more than enough for home gyms, and definitely worth considering. If you are looking for a well-built and durable rack these two are your best options and better avoid investing or other gauges.
Keep in mind that in most cases you need to assemble the power cage yourself. A great example of excellent design are models that feature only one size of bolt for quick and easy assembly, even by one person. Unfortunately, the cheapest options on the market are more challenging to assemble, so have a friend or two to help you set up the rack for the first time.
Stability and Durability
If you are looking for maximum stability, a power rack is a better option compared to squat stands. You can look for models that can be bolted to the ground for maximum stability if that is something you are interested in. But even without attaching them to the ground, most power racks will be stable enough.
If you can see power racks in person, look which racks have some wobble while you try to move them, you will find that they tend to have a little while moving them left-right, back, and forward. You can opt for racks that have a plate storage system, which will help you stabilize the power cage by storing unused plates on it. If you are on a limited budget or you can find a half rack that has a storage system for plates, this is the best option when it comes to stability without buying a full cage.
It is wise to pick a rack with 6 posts or 4 posts one that can be bolted, especially if you plan to push hundreds of pounds. They might be built like a tank, but as you add more plates you will appreciate how sturdy these racks will be.
The security of a power rack is what sets it apart from squad racks and two post stands in general. A power rack with 4 or 6 posts not only is more stable but you can also add attachments for added security. These will allow you to beat personal records and push yourself further without worries about safety.
You will find that manufacturers have a variety of attachments to choose from, so make sure the power rack you pick has the attachments you need for your workouts. There are manufacturers that have used a greater distance apart for the attachment holes, which means that only the attachment made for this specific rack will be able to work, narrowing down your choices.
It is also vital to check the distance between those holes, as holes placed closer together will allow you to easily pick where to put your spotter arms, your J hooks, and generally better customization for your lifting exercises. If those holes have a great distance, like some cheaper models, you will only be able to use your attachments in these fewer holes making its placing less than ideal.
Some power racks come with safety support while other manufacturers have decided to sell you a rack only, so you can pick only the add-ons you need, narrowing down the cost. If you opt to go for a power rack not bundled with the spotter’s arms, make sure you pick at least a pair to attach. On the market, you will find spotter’s arms, pin safety, and straps, so while it comes down to personal preference which one to use, at least make sure they are rated for the maximum weight you will be using.
The power rack should be able to handle the plates you will be using, especially for squats. To be honest, when you start a half-rack might sound reasonable since it takes less space, it is budget-friendly, and can easily handle the weights used. But as you progress and find yourself lifting more, you will see that such a half-rack might be limiting you, and decide to go for a full cage. I would suggest that if you have the budget and space, you should definitely go for a 4 post power rack for your home gym. If you are limited on budget, try looking for a used one on the local market, or work with only a bench until you can afford one.
If you think that a half-rack is the answer for limited space, I would argue you to look for full cages that are foldable. These are far better options for your investment and can either be stand-alone or mounted on the walls. After all, a power rack is the centerpiece of a home gym and a great investment that will be part of your gym for many years to come. It is vital to pick the right one for you from the start and try to not limit yourself thinking it will suffice, once you start training regularly you will easily be lifting a lot more in a few months.
There are many reputable manufacturers that offer great pricing and long term warranty for their rack, so please try to avoid budget options from brands you have never heard of before. This piece of kit plays a vital role for a home gym, and you will be using it for a wide range of exercises, it is wise to get a model that is built to last and has plenty of attachments you can collect through the years for even more options. Look for brands like Rogue, Titan, Fitness Reality, Hulkfit, Rep fitness, CAP, Prx, Force USA, or Marcy to name a few.