When you wish to build up your house gym with some of the best equipment. It is recommended that the investment must be in either a high-end or mid-range power rack than investing in a cheap one. The high-end power racks offer more stability and are durable. However, in case you do not have the funds to splurge on high-end power racks and wish to have a simple gym at your home.
You must research all the available options and ensure you get the best equipment that is worth every penny spent. In this article, we help you buy the perfect power rack within your budget by keeping in mind a few important aspects like the features, dimensions, specifications, weight, etc. These aspects will definitely help you understand if the machine will fit the gym area and take care of your training requirements.
So, can anyone get a good power rack within $700? Yes! If you have an eye for detail, you can get an effective power rack for under $500! Though it might lack in a few areas, it will definitely cover all the basic requirements. There are a lot of cheap yet effective power racks available in the market such as the Powerline PPR200X, the Weider Pro 7500, the TDS Power Rack, and the Fitness Reality 810 XLT.
When you look into the price and functionality of the machine, you will notice that a lot of unnecessary add-ons are provided at extra costs which might not be actually required by you. In fact, what you must pay heed to is the ability of the machine to hold a bar, offer security, and be stable.
Which is better – A Half Rack or A Full Rack or A Cage?
There are a few distinguishing features between a half rack and a full rack. A half rack requires lesser space and offers additional flexibility in performing Olympic style lifts as well as overhead pressing. They also provide lesser options of safety and less stability and may not be the best choice for squats and bench pressing, in contrast to the full power cages.
Benefits of a Power Rack
A Power rack is designed and created to work in sync with free weights. When you make use of free weights, it helps you build a lot of muscle and strength in contrast to machines. Free weights help in using the primary muscles as well as stabilizes the muscles. The benefits of using a power rack are listed below:
1. Safety and security: The power racks have safety pins on their side that can be adjusted as per the height requirements. These ensure that in case of any issues, the user can just drop the barbell and the bar will be caught by the pins easily.
2. Easy to use: A power rack makes it quite easy for the user to perform squats which are required to increase strength and build muscle mass.
3. Versatile: A power rack is very versatile and allows the user to perform dips, bench presses, squats, pull-ups, etc. It is the perfect weightlifting accessory.
Points to Consider While Buying a Power Rack
1. Space: A power rack is quite a large fitness equipment and will need sufficient space. You will not just need a good amount of floor space, but also have enough room to move around. When you perform workouts such as pull-ups and military press, you will need an additional ceiling height. You can compare various models and their specifications and make a decision on the model that suits you the best.
Also remember that you might be having other gym equipment like benches, dumbbells, etc., in your home gym that will require space. Along with the power rack’s size, you must also remember that the Olympic size barbells are very long and you might need space for it.
2. Accessories: You must also check if the power rack you intend to purchase comes with the required accessories. You must ensure that you go through the information on the power rack well before you purchase it. Check out the Body Solid SPR500 Power Rack with LAT Pull Attachment and Pull Up Station that is available for less than $500 and has a weight capacity of about 500lbs.
3. Size: Getting a power rack of the right size depends on who uses it. It differs from person to person. The power rack size will be different for a person who is 6 foot 4 tall and will not be the same for someone who is 5 foot 8 tall. Also, check the power rack dimensions. You must lookout for a power rack that has a big squat cage. Short and narrow power racks are cheaper, for instance, the CAP Barbell Orange Cap Exercise Power Rack is a simple power rack for less than $200 and no fancy attachments.
4. Stability: When performing extreme chin-ups or pull-ups with the power rack, you will have to make sure that the power rack can be anchored. Not many power racks have this feature and hence you must check out this feature before you buy the machine. Those power racks that cannot be anchored into the floor might come with a stabilizer bar and this could possibly cause injuries as well. Ensure you check that this bar can be removed.
5. User weight capacity: This is one area that you must always check when you buy a fitness machine. Though you might want a challenging workout, you must ensure that the machine can withstand the capacity and you remain safe. Ensure that you purchase a heavy-rated power cage. A power rack rated for about 2000lbs is way better than one rated for just 600lbs.
6. Adjustable: A majority of the power racks have a pipe safety system as well as safety pins which are not quite easy to use. These need time to adjust the height and this disrupts the workouts. The best power racks have either straps or spotter arms which are quite safe and also more practical. They might be a bit more expensive, however, it is worth investing in such a machine.
7. Other Equipment: You must remember that the racks might not include barbells or weight plates. So, in case you do not own any of these, you might have to purchase them separately. The barbells and weight plates of good quality are not cheap, however, they can be used for a long time. In case you wish to perform bench presses, you will require a weight bench too.
The Marcy Pro Full Cage and Weight Bench is available for about $600 and comes with an adjustable bench, a dip bar, a barbell training station, a pull-up bar, and also a lat pulldown station.
8. Delivery and Shipping Cost: A power rack is normally quite huge and heavy, which indicates that the shipping can be expensive and it is quite a tough job to get it home. Before you purchase a power rack, you must find out the method of shipping, the cost of shipping, and whether you can get free shipping? Also, make sure you understand if the product will arrive pre-assembled or in pieces.
9. Assembly Process: Though every fitness machine comes with instructions. The assembly process of power racks can be time-consuming. Since they are huge and heavy once assembled, the machine must be assembled in the room where it will be used. Also, you will be requiring tools for the assembly process.
10. Frame Gauge: A very important aspect to be considered while purchasing a power rack is the steel gauge being used in the machine’s construction. You will be using weights, barbells, etc. with this machine. You will definitely be concerned about your safety when you use the power rack and do not want any damages on yourself and the machine as well. The gauge refers to the thickness of the steel.
The steel is thicker if the gauge is lower. For instance, a 12 gauge steel will be much thicker than a 14 gauge steel. This means that the parts will be heavy and assembly might be tough. However, this is the factor that gives the machine the required stability.
11. Build quality: Construction of the rack is quite crucial and this is what helps a machine become effective. Poor construction such as poor welding, bad B-tier metalwork, or making use of poorly-manufactured movable parts ruins the power rack. The power cage, in fact, is a 3-dimensional cube of steel that has holes in it to place the safety rods. If the cage is built using poor-quality materials, then your safety is at stake.
12. Hole Space: The spacing pertaining to the j-hook holes (one that holds the barbells) and the safety pins or bars (which withstands the weight of the bar) are very important. They make a lot of difference to the bar’s height when it is taken out of the power rack or the height at which the bar is “dumped” when you miss a lift. These directly impact the performance as well as the safety of the user. Hence, being able to adjust the pins and hooks is crucial while you train.
A product that has many holes that are consistently-spaced offers a lot of customization options that helps a user improve their experience. This makes sure the user is safe and allows them to execute exercises such as squats without worrying about safety.
The upper holes have to be wider-spaced, and the lower holes must be grouped closer together. This is an indicator of the refinement required when it comes to safety bars as they need to be close to the user’s bottom position but must not contact the bar until the user fails.
13. Add-ons: Though you need not add anything extra to a power rack, there are a few attachments that might be worth considering. For instance, weight pegs are a good option to store the weight plates and they do not change the rack’s functional footprint.
It also offers stability and convenience. Other add-ons may be certain chin-up attachments, landmine attachment or dip-bars. In case your power rack is compatible with the add-ons, you can save a lot in the future. The Fitness Reality X-Class Olympic Power Cage comes with an optional attachment for lat pull down.
In case you wish to join a gym and execute some intense training, then you must make sure that your commercial gym has a power rack of top-quality. If the gym doesn’t have it, head to another gym. For those who wish to workout at home and work on the core as well as different muscles of the body, a power rack is the perfect piece of fitness equipment. You could make use of your garage, basement or any other spare room to create a home gym and save money on a gym membership.
You can check out the Fitness Reality 810XLT Power Rack or the Marcy Power Cage that fall under $700. If you are looking for options that offer all the required stations and can be folded as well. You can check out the Marcy Pro Folding Cage System that definitely comes at a price higher than $700. However, in short, keeping the above points in mind, one can definitely find a good power rack for a low price based on your requirements.