What is The Best Fitness Power Rack for a Home Gym 2020?

Man looking at us while standing with a barbell at a powervrack.

For many people who are serious about their regular gym workout, creating their own home gym offers several advantages over going to the local gym.

Firstly, there’s the membership fees. Eventually, the gym equipment you buy will be offset by the savings you make on not paying for gym membership.

The advantages of having gym equipment at home are not just about money, either. While some people enjoy the social aspect of going to the local gym, many people find the wait for machines and equipment frustrating.

Waiting around in the gym for people to finish their sets, stop chatting with other gym goers and move on can interrupt the flow of your workout, and double the length of the time it takes to complete your workout.

One of the best pieces of equipment you can start to build your home gym with is a power rack. In this article I’m going to take a look at the options for the best fitness power rack for a home gym.

Product
Details
Our Rating
Our #1 Rated
BD-7 Power Rack

Valor Fitness

BD-7 Power Rack

5 out of 5

In the Fitness Power Rack category

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  • HEAVY DUTY- Constructed of 2” x 2” 12-gauge steel. Rubber base caps encase each foot to add safety, stability, and floor...
  • VERSATILE- Includes a pull up station with knurled grip at the top of the rack, in addition to the lat pull down station with...
  • ADJUSTABLE- 27 variable positions for bar support, ranging in height from 17.5” to 68”. Vibrant numbering system to...
HealthAmbition Stamp

Our #1 Rated

5 out of 5

In the Fitness Power Rack category


Our #2 Rated
810XLT Power Cage

Fitness Reality

810XLT Power Cage

4 out of 5

In the Fitness Power Rack category

Click for price
  • NOTE: 800 lbs weight capacity for both cage and bench. Large walk in space providing easy side to side movement. New OPTIONAL...
  • 2" x 2" square steel frame construction. Two 3 1/4" long chrome lock on safety bars. Two 23" long chrome dual mounted safety...
  • 19 adjustable height levels for the safety bars. Safety bars are Compatible with 7' Olympic bars
HealthAmbition Stamp

Our #2 Rated

4 out of 5

In the Fitness Power Rack category


Our #3 Rated
Power Rack

Titan Fitness

Power Rack

4 out of 5

In the Fitness Power Rack category

Click for price
  • IMPROVE YOUR FORM: If youre not lifting weights right, you could strain or injure a muscle, putting you out of the game for...
  • BUILD MUSCLE: Get ripped using Titans Power Rack. It offers a total of 28 positions, accommodating several different heights...
  • MADE FROM HEAVY-DUTY STEEL: Steel is renowned for its ability to support heavy loads without bending or bowing. This...
HealthAmbition Stamp

Our #3 Rated

4 out of 5

In the Fitness Power Rack category


Our #4 Rated
PPR200X Power Rack

PowerLine

PPR200X Power Rack

4 out of 5

In the Fitness Power Rack category

Click for price
  • QUALITY CONSTRUCTION: Power racks help weightlifters work out safely and effectively at home
  • SAFETY: The Body-Solid Powerline Power Rack has a wide walk-in design with 24 inches between upright pillars for easy motion...
  • CAPACITY: Rack weighs 133lbs, and has 2 heat-tempered lift-offs, and 2 saber-style safety rods .
HealthAmbition Stamp

Our #4 Rated

4 out of 5

In the Fitness Power Rack category


Our #5 Rated
Pro Power Rack

Body Solid

Pro Power Rack

3 out of 5

In the Fitness Power Rack category

Click for price
  • QUALITY CONSTRUCTION: Made from 11-gauge heavy 3 in. x 3 in. vertical support columns and 4-sided welded construction....
  • DESIGN: Wide walk-in design with 20 adjustment levels with 41 in. wide and 1-1/2 in. diameter knurled chinning bar
  • FEATURES: Freedom of movement combined with adjustable racking and safety positions make the power rack a must-have and works...
HealthAmbition Stamp

Our #5 Rated

3 out of 5

In the Fitness Power Rack category

What Is a Fitness Power Rack?

Now I know there are lots of you iron men and ladies out there who know exactly what we’re talking about here, but let’s go back to basics for anyone who’s new to the sport.

A power rack – also known as a power cage – is a great piece of gym kit for weight training. It’s a metal frame that essentially acts as a mechanical spotter, which is necessary to support the weight bar you use, especially when fatigue sets in on that last rep, to avoid injury.

Power racks have a number of pins you can reposition in a number of ways to change the height you work at, and feature safety bars or “catches” to make sure the weight can’t move past a specific point.

Different power racks have different features. All have holes in to adjust the height of the rests for your weight bar, many have a pull up bar across the top of the frame. Some incorporate a pulley system and can be used for exercises like lat pull downs, pull ups and other resistance work.

Who Needs a Power Rack?

When training with free weights, especially barbell weights, it’s a lot of work for the muscles you’re targeting, which is basically the whole point of training.

What you are able to lift depends on your current fitness and strength level, your diet, your general day-to-day activities and a whole range of other factors.

In addition, as you train, your muscles fatigue and often can’t perform as well as they did at the start of your workout. However, according to the overload training principle, to increase muscle strength, we need to demand more of our muscles than they were previously capable of. (source)

It is incredibly easy to overload the muscles, and on that last rep, not be able to lift the weight back into a safe position. Accordingly, you might find that the weight forces you into a position you can’t get out of, resulting in a failed lift that endangers you and risks injury.

Below is a textbook example of how easily things can go wrong – this guy would easily have been able to handle the situation with the correct use of a power cage!

As well as providing a safe way to use free weights, a good fitness power rack is a flexible piece of equipment that can be used in a range of different ways to improve muscle strength, tone and anaerobic endurance.

The Advantages of a Power Rack

The decision to add a power rack to your gym does involve a bit of expense. Even a basic budget cage is going to set you back at least a couple of hundred dollars, and in a sport such as weight lifting, where safety has to come first, selecting a cheap power cage isn’t always the best idea.

That said, including a power rack in your home gym arsenal adds so much to your training, and offers many significant advantages. In fact, a good power rack provides such a big training benefit in so many ways that for some people it is the only piece of gym equipment they need at home.

Wide Range of Training Exercises

The power rack is one piece of gym equipment that adds a lot of variety to your training. It can’t do everything – I haven‘t yet come across a single piece of equipment that can – but it covers a lot of different muscle groups.

With a power rack it’s possible to use a combination of free weights for numerous exercises including deadlifts, squats, bench press, military press, calf raises and many others, and use the frame for chin ups, dips, lat pull downs and whole lot of other great exercises.

So with a little effort on your part, a power frame can really make a huge difference to the results of your training.

No Spotter Required

The most obvious benefit of a power rack is it allows you to train alone. While it’s great to work out with a training buddy, busy schedules mean that coordinating free time to train isn’t always possible.

In fact, some people might say that a power rack is a better choice than a human spotter. Speaking from personal experience, I can recall more than one occasion where the person who was supposed to be my spotter was more focused on other…distractions, shall we say…in the gym, and I’ve had a few near misses. With a power rack, this is never an issue!

Target Weak Areas

A power rack can also really help to improve your lifting technique and target areas of motion in a weightlifting movement where you need the most training.

As an example, let’s suppose you struggle to control the weight bar at the lowest point of the squat position. A power rack gives you the flexibility to place the safety bars in a low position and practice your lifting movement in a small range, strengthening the muscles in that particular position.

This will be challenging at first, but you can use less weight while you imprint the motion into muscle movement patterns and gradually increase the weight as you improve.

More Workout Flexibility

One of the problems with working with weights in a gym is people tend to go for a gym session and have to fit everything into that one session. This leads to a potential problem of overloading yourself.

It’s very tempting to try and tear into those few additional reps or an extra set when your muscles are already fatigued, and this increases the risk of bad technique and injuries.

With a power rack set up at home, you can work out whenever you want to, and give your muscles a good rest period in between, because your own power rack is always accessible for you, so no more cramming everything into one short session!

Potential for a Greater Challenge

The peace of mind that the safety aspect of a fitness power rack gives can actually push you to challenge yourself more in you training. You know the power rack will guarantee that you won’t end up trapped under the bar – unlike our friend in the video. This can give you the confidence to try that last extra rep, or add a little extra weight.

No Waiting Times

Because you and whoever you choose to work out with are the only people who are going to use your equipment, it means there’s no waiting around for Iron Man to finish nailing his sets and chatting to his buddies while he finishes up and picks up all his stuff, which makes your workout more accessible and efficient.

Cost Savings

Talking of efficiency, as a side note, you also save on transport costs of getting to the gym and back, in addition to the saving you make on gym membership, and when working out at home.

There’s also no pressure to buy the latest name brand gym clothes to fit in with the crowd of workout warriors in the local gym – it’s your space, your workout, and you can wear anything you darn well please!

What to Look for in a Power Rack

Man in red sleeveless shirt standing with a barbell at a power rack.

Here are the main things to consider when looking at different power rack models to help you make the best choice for you:

Weight Capacity

A good power rack should have a rating for more than the maximum amount you’re planning to lift. If you fail on a lift, your power rack needs to be able to cope with the weight itself and the force of it being dropped onto the bars.

We all have different training goals – some people will want to work with lighter weights and complete more sets for muscle toning and endurance; other will want to be working low reps at maximum capacity to build strength. This means the actual weight capacity is potentially different for everyone, and you need to consider what will be right for you.

Hole Spacing

Another important consideration is how far apart the holes on your power rack are. This will affect your potential reach and the level of comfort when training.

Hole spacing generally varies between different models, but most power racks have the holes spaced at two or three inches apart. Some models, however, feature 1.5 and one inch spacing between the holes particularly through the benching range, which facilitates your training by making full range of motion easier to achieve,

Attachments

Most power racks will have a chin up bar, but should also have the option of buying different attachments – dip bars, for example.

Other attachments which may be included in a power rack, or available as optional purchases are lat pull downs, upright extensions, strength rings, resistance band pegs, weight plate holders, dumbbell lifts offs…you get the idea!

Privacy

Not everyone feels comfortable in a gym environment – and believe it or not, I’m, speaking from personal experience.

When I first started to get serious about my own personal training, I wasn’t the most muscular guy; I didn’t have a lot of experience, particularly when it came to free weights. I wasn’t confident about just jumping in a having a go among all those beefy bros.

Gradually, with a lot of help from the staff at the gym, I overcame my concerns and have never looked back, but I know I’d have had a lot less anxiety about my training if I’d had the space for a power cage back then.

Having a power cage at home gives you the opportunity to try out new exercises and new weight levels without worrying that other people are looking at you – which is a sad but true reality in some gyms.

Having your own power rack also means that you get to choose the environmental conditions you work out in too – which includes the temperature and whatever music you want to listen to!

Disadvantages of a Fitness Power Rack

Clearly we can see that there are many advantages of having a fitness power rack at home. There are also some disadvantages, such as:

Initial Setup Costs

While a power rack is a very effective training tool, good quality ones aren’t cheap, and you need other equipment, like a barbell and weights plus a weights bench to go with it. It is a considerable financial investment in your fitness – one that is no doubt worthwhile, but a lot of money to spend for most people.

Differences in Workouts

If you’re used to exercising in a gym, you will most likely have used a range of different equipment rather than focusing on just one. So a decision to buy a fitness power rack is likely to also require a change in your exercise repertoire.

Many people who previously used isolated movement machine find it a challenge to get used the different way of exercising using a power rack, which requires lots of compound, or combined movement.

To be honest, this isn’t even really a disadvantage, as compound movements better reflect how our body works in real life; it’s just something to be aware of before you dive in.

Loss of Space

There’s no getting away from the fact that a power rack is going to take up a bit of room somewhere in your home, be it in the garage – or even in the bedroom, as I have seen before.

It’s important not to forget that in addition to the space for the actual cage, you need a good amount of clearance space around the power rack to allow for the barbell, weights, etc.

Top Tips for Using a Fitness Power Rack Safely

Close-up of man's legs as he's giving his best at a fitness power rack in his home gym.

I wouldn’t feel like I’d done my job properly if we didn’t cover some basic safety aspects of using power racks. Some of this may be common sense to many, but it’s way better to get safety advice lots of times than not at all!

Wear Appropriate Clothing

Nothing so tight that it will restrict movement and nothing too loose that’s going to catch on equipment and potentially put you in a position where you could get injured.

Warm up Well

Weight training asks a lot from your muscles and can put them under a lot of strain, so make sure you do a good warm up every time before you lift any weights.

Maintain Your Power Rack

Give the frame a quick check to make sure it’s still stable every time before you use it. This is a good habit to get into. Periodically, check all the bolts to make sure they are secure.

Secure Your Plates

Check the weight plates are secure before any lift – another action that should become part of your workout routine.

Technique Is Everything

Slow lifts performed with good technique win hands down over pushing yourself to lift heavier weights. Get the technique right and the weight will come later – promise!

Have a Backup Plan

Especially if training alone. Let another family member or friend know to listen out for you in case you need help.

What Is the Best Fitness Power Rack for a Home Gym?

While you might think a metal cage with holes in it doesn’t allow for much variation, there are actually some advantages and disadvantages to different models of power racks.

Here is my low down on five of the best fitness power racks for a home gym and what they have to offer.

Our #1 Rated
Our pick our #1 rated

Valor Fitness

BD-7 Power Rack

  • Quality
    Quality

  • Quality
    Price

  • Quality
    Our rating

This power rack from Valor is very popular with users. It’s a solid, stable frame and features a high and low cable pulley, making it very good value for money. Most users felt this power rack was good quality, and felt very safe using it when training without a spotter.

Some users commented that the coating on the cables wore off quite quickly after purchase, but the company was very helpful in providing replacement cables.

Some users commented that while many weights benches will fit with this cage, it can make the incline and decline positions quite limited. Overall, though, most users were very impressed with this power cage.

Pros
Pro Dimensions: 59 x 63 x 86 inches
Pro 800 lbs. weight capacity (50 lbs. on pulley)
Pro Large walk in space
Pro 17 height levels
Pro 2.75-inch hole spacing
Pro 6 standard plate holders
Pro Overhead textured pull up bar
Pro High quality safety rails
Pro Easy assembly
Cons
Con Not enough room for some weight benches inside the cage
Con Premature cable wear and tear
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

Our #2 Rated
Our pick our #2 rated

Fitness Reality

810XLT Power Cage

  • Quality
    Quality

  • Quality
    Price

  • Quality
    Our rating

With a good, solid feel and a nice painted finish, this power cage is a good bit of kit. Users were reasonably impressed with the quality, especially considering the low price.

Most people found it was easy to assemble, with clear instructions, and was pretty sturdy once assembled for exercises like pull ups, although it swayed a little when racking a squat with heavier weights. Taller users found that the stability bars got in the way a little when lining up for squats, but this wasn’t generally too much of a problem.

This is a good choice for the average user and an excellent choice if you’re on a budget, and plan to lift light to moderate weights. However, if you’re planning to work your way up to heavier weights in your training program, this power cage may not be the best option for you.

Pros
Pro Dimensions: 50.5 x 46.5 x 83.5 inches
Pro 800 lbs. weight capacity
Pro Large walk in space
Pro 19 height levels
Pro Overhead pull up bar
Pro 3-inch hole spacing
Pro Adjustable bench – 12 positions
Pro Easy assembly – clear instructions
Pro Can be folded for storage
Pro Good customer service
Cons
Con Sways a little with heavier weights
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

Our #3 Rated
Our pick our #3 rated

Titan Fitness

Power Rack

  • Quality
    Quality

  • Quality
    Price

  • Quality
    Our rating

Many users were impressed with this power rack. It is easy to assemble for one person, although some users felt the need to add washers which were not supplied. It is sturdy, has a wide walk-in space and is very versatile for training.

Some users reported that their cage didn’t align properly for assembly and wasn’t square as a result. Some people also had problems getting a response from the company in the event of a problem. Most users, however, felt that this rack was a good investment for changing from gym to training at home for all except those lifting the heaviest weights.

Pros
Pro Dimensions: 48 x 48 x 83 inches
Pro 700 lbs. weight capacity
Pro Wide walk-in space
Pro 28 height levels
Pro 2-inch hole spacing
Pro Overhead pull up bar
Pro HD J hooks included
Cons
Con Some users found their power rack was not square
Con Poor customer service reported
 
 
 
 
 

Our #4 Rated
Our pick our #4 rated

PowerLine

PPR200X Power Rack

  • Quality
    Quality

  • Quality
    Price

  • Quality
    Our rating

This power rack is simple and sturdy, features 18 positions and heat-tempered saber style safety bars and two lifts offs. The safety bars mean that you don’t need a spotter when using this power rack.

Users found this equipment to be very stable and liked the wide walk in space. While the manufacturer rates the weight capacity at 700 pounds, users found it tends to be less stable at above 500 pounds. Users also commented that the paint flaked off the frame easily.

In general, this rack is great for light to moderate users, particularly given the reasonable price, but for lifting heavier weights, this rack may not be up to the job.

Pros
Pro Dimensions: 44 x 46 x 82 inches
Pro 700 lbs. weight capacity
Pro Large walk in space
Pro 18 height levels
Pro 3-inch hole spacing
Pro Overhead pull up bar
Pro Easy assembly
Pro 10-year frame warranty
Pro Good customer service
Cons
Con Not so stable above 500 pounds
Con Paint flakes off the frame
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

Our #5 Rated
Our pick our #5 rated

Body Solid

Pro Power Rack

  • Quality
    Quality

  • Quality
    Price

  • Quality
    Our rating

Most people felt that this was a good quality solid power cage. At the most expensive cage we reviewed, some people thought this power rack was worth the expense; others expected more for their money – pads on the lift-offs, for example.

Many people reported assembly difficulties due to incorrect instructions, which was annoying, but with that done, the majority of people thought this was a pretty heavy duty cage with good paintwork and powder-coated catch bars.

Many users commented on the very sturdy chin up bar, though some would have liked the rack to be able to accommodate more models of weight benches.

Pros
Pro Dimensions: 49 x 46 x 82 inches
Pro 800 lbs. weight capacity
Pro Large walk-in space
Pro 20 height levels
Pro 3-inch hole spacing
Pro Overhead pull up bar
Pro 10-year frame warranty
Cons
Con Assembly not easy
Con errors in instructions
Con Doesn’t accommodate all weights benches
 
 
 
 

Our Choice for the Best Fitness Power Rack for a Home Gym

Out of all the power racks reviewed, my pick for the best fitness power rack for all-round use is the Valor Fitness BD-7 Power Rack.

It’s a high quality sturdy cage with a good weight capacity rating, and user found it had a generously sized walk-in space and it great for most of their workout needs. Users also really liked the addition of the lat pull down as standard.

Although this power rack was a little pricier than most of the others reviewed, the majority of people thought this power cage offered great quality for the price, and felt confident that this power rack would give good value for money, especially considering the good customer service provided by the company.

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