10 Best Power Racks in 2021 (Review)
To perform a wide range of exercises for a whole-body workout at home, it only takes a few staple pieces of equipment. Once you’re ready to start lifting heavier weights, however, it’s important to consider your safety when training alone.
Power racks, and their stripped-down cousin, the squat rack, act as a spotter to protect you as you push your limits in your home gym. It’s a lot easier to try for that new personal best in the bench press or squat knowing that you won’t get stuck under the bar – or worse, injured.
Not all power racks offer the same capabilities and features. These power rack reviews will provide you with everything you need to know about what we think are 10 of the best power racks in 2021.
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The Best Power Racks
1. Fitness Reality 810XLT Super Max Power Cage
The Super Max Power Cage from Fitness Reality is a relatively light weight functional fitness power rack. While not the most heavy-duty entry on this list, it is a quality power rack that doesn’t require bolting to the floor.
The two rear supports at the rack’s rear stabilize the rest of the rack with its 2” x 2” steel frame. These support bars can be used to attach resistance bands, to assist with incline push-ups, or as an anchor for sit-ups and other exercises.
Another of the rack pros with the Super Max is the two additional chrome J-hooks. Because there are two already included at the ends of the adjustable safety bars, this saves having to constantly shift your hooks to the front of the rack between exercises.
The addition of a great multi-grip pull-up bar adds even more diversity, but it does mean this power rack stands at nearly 84”. Overall, this is a quality full power rack at an entry-level price.
2. CAP Barbell Power Rack Exercise Stand
A great offering from CAP Barbell, this ergonomically designed rack or squat stand is an essential addition for your home gym equipment. From bench press to pull-ups, this 11- and 12-gauge steel frame will serve all the fundamental needs of a home strength training regime.
These squat racks are designed to take up a smaller amount of space in your home gym, although they do take up similar floor space. There are more heavy-duty power cages in this review, however, a 500 lb. capacity is still a lot of weight for most individuals.
One consideration with a squat rack design like the CAP Barbell stand is the lack of safety bars. These can be purchased separately, so factor this in to ensure you feel safe while training. One thing that is included, however, are the rear plate storage pegs. This can prevent your rack from having to be bolted to the floor in some cases, making it more easily moveable.
3. HulkFit Multi-Function Adjustable Power Cage
This multi-function power cage from HulkFit sits at a competitive price for the features it offers. This is one of the only power racks, for example, that comes with a pair of adjustable dip bar handles included. This adds versatility to your fitness equipment, making it a go-to for bodyweight training in addition to the handy front mounted pull-up bar.
The HulkFit Cage sports a medium build, 2.5” x 2.5”, 11-gauge steel frame. This gives it a great weight capacity of up to 1000 lb. Adjust the four J-hooks for your squats with the 2-inch hole spacing.
All the additional extras are on offer here, too. Purchase a lat pull-down attachment of spotter arms for a more robust safety system on your rack. This will serve as a trusty companion for your weight training, and comes with some unique additions not offered by its competitors.
4. Fitness Reality Multi-Function Adjustable Power Rack
This next squat rack from Fitness Reality has some really nice features. While it does use a slightly thinner steel frame with a 2-inch depth as opposed to some of its thicker contemporaries, this rack more than makes up for it with attachments.
These include a resistance band bar, weight plate holders, and best of all, a landmine attachment. This can be used for versatile exercises such as the T-bar row, landmine press, and standing twists. This attachment even comes ready to accommodate both Olympic and standard size barbells.
The Fitness Reality Multi-Function rack also comes with a pair of spotter arms, as opposed to the pin pipe safeties of a full cage. The front upright has a 2-inch hole pattern, and the lower cross member is angled to allow for assisted push-ups.
With a solid 800 lb. weight capacity, this rack will get the job done for most home trainers, and comes with some extra attachments unique to this model.
5. Valor Fitness BD-33 Heavy Duty Power Rack
The BD-33 from Valor Fitness is a well-balanced power cage for any home gym. With its laser cut, 1-inch spaced holes along the 12-gauge steel frame, you’ll be able to customize your workout to a more granular degree.
This power cage boasts four plate storage pegs to save space storing your weights around the home gym. This Valor Fitness rack also comes with the most J-hooks of any model on this list, with four separate supports, as well as two additional ones on the spotter arms. Avoid having to constantly change positions!
You’ll also be able to perform all types of pull-ups with the versatile multi-grip bar. The rubber caps on this power cage will protect the floor, as this model can support an impressive 750 lb. without having to be bolted down. The BD-33 may just be the best fitness power rack at this price level.
6. HulkFit Multi-Function Adjustable Power Rack
This slimmed-down variant from HulkFit is suitable for those with simpler home gym needs that may not have the requirement (or space) for a full power rack. With the safety-locked spotter arms, you’ll feel safe performing all your heavy lifts.
For your pull-ups, you’ll have the choice between the thick and thin pull-up bars that come included, and can be placed at various heights. The rest of the rack has its additions, too, with resistance band pegs and vertical plate storage.
This squat rack can support a respectable 800 lb., with a 1000 lb. capacity variant also available. If you’re shifting a lot of weight anywhere close to 1000 lb., however, you might want to invest in a full sized, quality power rack instead.
The HulkFit squat rack option will be a heavy-duty, dependable addition to your home gym equipment. The two options for pull-ups are a nice touch for those interested in training their grip strength.
7. CAP Barbell FM-8000F Deluxe Power Rack
When you’re ready to take your training up a level from the CAP Barbell squat stand, look no further. The upright frame FM-8000F Deluxe is built with 3” x 3”, 14-gauge steel. If you’re planning to use full-sized Olympic barbells and plates, this rig has got you covered.
The 15-inch spotter arms are some of the toughest on this list, and the rack has storage for both your plates and barbells. There are also three attachments for resistance bands on each side of the base for added resistance to your barbell lifts.
It’s not just the frame that earns the title of deluxe, either. Even the J-hooks are commercial gym quality plastic supports. To match any style of home gym, the FM-8000F comes in seven different color options.
If you like the style of the CAP Barbell range, and you’re looking to go a little heavier with your bench press or squat, this deluxe squat rack is one of the best.
8. Merax Athletics Fitness Power Rack
This power cage from Merax Athletics comes with several inclusions no other rack on this list has – at least without additional purchases. First, it includes a cable machine attachment. This allows you to load up your plates and perform lat pull-downs, cable rows, curls, and dozens of other exercises.
The lat pull-down is supported by a unique padded cross-bar that locks on to the safety bars to anchor and support your legs as you perform the exercise. Once you’ve progressed your pulling strength, you’ll be able to jump right on to the pull-up bar, with a textured knurl for extra grip.
The pegs for plate storage, as well as to load the cable pulley, are built to accommodate both standard and Olympic-sized plates. The four storage pins will hold all the weight plates you can stack on, with the added benefit of weighing the frame down – no need to be bolted to the floor.
9. CAP Barbell Full Cage Power Rack
The third entry from CAP Barbell is their full-size power cage. Able to shoulder up to 750 lb., this is a sleek and solid frame for all your heavy strength training. A nice feature of the CAP full cage is that it comes in a 72” or 84” height option.
The shorter version is perfect for those with limited ceiling height, while the taller variation is great for tall individuals with longer limbs to be able to clear the ground more comfortably with pull-ups. If you have the space, the taller variant may also accommodate overhead movements in some cases.
While this CAP Barbell power cage doesn’t come with some of the fancy bells and whistles of its peers in this review, it’s a sturdy 14-gauge steel cage that will spot you when you need to push for that personal best. This is a reliable power rack from a trusted brand.
10. Sunny Health & Fitness Power Zone Strength Rack Power Cage
The final entry in this review is the Power Zone from Sunny Health & Fitness. For a power cage in this price range, the Power Zone has an impressive weight capacity. It also has a few features that make it one of the best power racks on this list.
The safety bars and weight catches on this rack are super heavy duty. Rather than the pin pipe safeties of many other models, the Power Zone has bulky safety spotter bars to catch any weight you might struggle with.
The pull-up bar angles upward for extra floor clearance, and comes with a nice textured grip. This power rage also comes with Olympic plate holders with clips, and six resistance band attachment sites.
While the Power Zone is not as compatible with as many kinds of attachments as other racks, it does have the option of a lat pull-down cable machine for additional purchase.
Power Racks – Buying Guide and FAQ
As with any home gym purchase, you’ll want to consider your budget. As there is quite a large price range with power racks, this is an important decision. Because a power rack acts as a base for your whole home gym, and it is also built to protect you from harm when lifting, consider investing in the best quality product you can.
That being said, it’s not necessary to go for the biggest, scariest rig that can handle thousands of pounds, when that money could be spent purchasing additional equipment like a quality bench or barbell.
Make sure your power rack is going to fit in your home gym! It’s important to allow extra space around the rack, for example, to allow you to comfortably place your plates on the storage pegs, or to have room for your head when performing pull-ups.
Take the time to measure around your home gym space, and confirm the dimensions of the product. Don’t mistake the inside measurements for the total footprint.
Are you a professional powerlifter, planning to break records in rack pulls? Or do you perhaps just want to be able to perform your bench press and other barbell lifts with more confidence, having the safety bars to back you up?
To get the best power rack for your needs, simply think about what exercises you need to perform, the maximum weight you’re likely to be lifting, and any future attachments you might want to add as you include more advanced moves to your program.
There are also different types of racks with unique selling points. For example, for those with limited space, you may consider a folding rack with a wall mount, to tuck away between workouts.
For the more competitive lifters, there are also power racks which feature laser cut, Westside hole spacing. This is an arrangement where the holes are spaced one inch apart through the bench press range, and two inches apart along the rest of the uprights. This allows a more granular adjustment of bar positioning.
Power Racks FAQ
Q: How much does a power rack cost?
A: The products in this review range from around $110 to $600. The cost can also vary depending on any additional attachments you might want, like dip bars, plate storage, or even a cable pulley attachment.
For the rack itself, the cost will usually depend on the size and weight capacity of the product. A smaller, light weight squat rack, for example, will be cheaper than a 3” x 3”, 14-gauge steel power cage. The squat rack may support up to 500 lb., whereas the more heavy-duty power rack may have a capacity closer to 1000 lb.
Q: How do I use a power rack?
A: Power racks have adjustable weight catches, called J-hooks, that you can place your barbell across at various heights. There are also safety bars, or shorter spotter arms, that can be placed to allow you a full range of motion, but also to catch the bar should you fail on a rep.
There are various ways to use a power rack, or a squat rack, for different exercises. For a full article on the subject, refer to this useful write-up on how to use a squat rack.
Q: What additional equipment do I need with a power rack?
A: Most of the racks in this review come equipped with a pull-up bar, and perhaps a lower cross-bar that can be used for push-ups. A couple even come equipped with additional attachments such as a lat pull-down or dip bars.
For most exercises, however, you’ll need some weights. A quality barbell will be the anchor for all your compound strength exercises. For an in-depth look at different types of bars, check out this article on whether an EZ or straight bar might be best for your situation.
Of course, once you have a bar, you’ll need weight plates to load it up with. Confirm what type of plates are compatible with your bar and with the storage pins on your power rack, and build up your collection as your training progresses.
If you plan on training your bench press, the next main piece of gear you’ll want is a good bench. If your main aim is to work on your powerlifting at maximum weight, take a look at our article covering Olympic bench sets. To allow an even greater range of exercises, such as incline flyes or seated overhead press, we also have a great review of adjustable weight benches.
Q: How much space does a power rack take up?
A: Most power racks have a total footprint of around 45” x 50”. If you include the extra width of any plate storage pegs, that width can stretch into the mid 60s. This footprint will apply to the whole height of a full power cage, but a slimmer squat rack will take up considerably less air space.
As for height, the average for these power racks is 80-85″. This is mainly determined by the design of the pull-up bars, with some being angled upwards for more ground clearance. Make sure to measure your space before making a purchase.