Some of the best power racks you’ll find on the market today can be found in this review. If you are looking for a quality power rack to add to your home gym, then look no further. Here at FitnessMastered we use over 30 years of experience combined with countless hours of combing through numerous power cages comparing features and reading customer reviews and their experiences to come up with our top 5 best power racks for home gyms.
High Quality, Sturdy & Safe
I will only list power racks that are high quality, sturdy and safe to use, but also functional and easy to operate and adjust. At the same time, we also want to make sure you get the best bang for your buck.
Best Prices – Best Features
Therefore, we have intentionally left out power cages that exceed the $1000 price tag. Thus, listing equipment that is affordable for most users, yet still, top quality equipment for all. Be aware that prices vary according to power rack type and features. However, all power cages are top quality machines.
A cornerstone piece of equipment you can own for your home gym – supports all barbell workouts: squats, overhead presses, bench presses, you can perform safely without a spotter.
Below you will find our list of 5 best power racks comparing features such as load capacity, structural strength and size, weight, safety, functionality, and extra features to name a few.
You will also learn what a power rack is used for, and the benefits of using one. In addition to the types of exercises you can perform with them, accessories you may need, and more.
And if that’s not enough to help you make up your mind, we have also included our top recommendation, Editor’s Choice, for best power rack for your home gym based on overall features and price.
PREVIEW: EDITOR'S TOP PICKS FOR BEST POWER RACKS
|Editor's Choice||Runner Up|
for the Buck
What is a Power Rack?
A power rack is a piece of equipment you use primarily for compound exercises using a barbell and weights, typically heavy weights, which acts as a spotter for free weight exercises. This enables to user to use heavier weights without a spotter and without the movement restrictions imposed by other fitness machines such as the smith machine, or many other cable operated weight machines for both upper and lower body exercises.
You can also refer to the power rack as the power cage, squat rack, or squat cage. However, don’t let these references be misleading. You can use the power cage for more than just squat exercises.
Other common exercises you can perform on the power rack include bench presses, shoulder presses to name a few. Some of the newer cage designs also include pull up bars, and cable pulley systems for additional exercise options.
Power racks are designed to support heavy weights, and will require an additional barbell and Olympic sized weights. It is also recommended that you add an adjustable bench to perform exercises such as bench presses and shoulder presses.
Top 5 Benefits of Using a Power Rack
Using a power rack can be beneficial in many ways. Here are what I consider to be the five most beneficial attributes when you use these cages in your home gym.
No Spotter Required
If you exercise at home, then more than likely you are also working out alone. When working out with heavy weights, we all fear that last forced rep and not being able to quite make it back to the starting position safely.
The power cage solves this problem as it has support bars that you can adjust to the perfect height. Thus making sure you can always drop your weight safely without getting pinned under the barbell should you not be able to complete that last rep.
Besides being able to save you from being crushed by a heavy barbell bench press or pinned under hundreds of pounds of weight doing squats, the power rack also acts as a very sturdy support cage that can withstand loads over 800 pounds without any problem.
We all know that in order to make progress we must be able to challenge our muscles. And we do this by increasing weight load or increasing reps. With the power rack, you have the peace of mind you need knowing you are safe to force that extra rep or add that extra 10 pounds.
The power rack makes it easy to target a specific range of motion on a particular exercise. This is easily done by adjusting the safety catches or support bars. These are also referred to as partial reps. You can target your muscles more at the top or bottom of the exercise to improve any weaknesses or give yourself a crazy pump.
Free weights do not restrict your movement the way a machine will. Thus exercises with free weights grants you the freedom of movement that is natural for your body. This natural free movement also demands the stabilizer muscles engage in the movement. When stabilizer muscles are engaged, they too can become stronger over time. This can help prevent joint injuries over time.
Most weight machines will lock your movement into place. In turn, this will require very little involvement from the stabilizer muscles. Over time, this could lead to weak stabilizer muscles that could lead to weak stabilizer muscles and poor posture.
Therefore, a good healthy workout routine should include at least both free weights and machines to reap the full benefits of weight training.
What to Look for in a Power Cage for Home Gyms
There are many factors to consider when finding the best power rack for your particular workout goals and workspace. Besides safety, functionality, strength, and maximum weight capacity, there are many other features and options you may want to look at before making your decision to purchase a power rack.
Here are some main features to observe to help you make a more informed decision.
The structural integrity of any power rack is notably our number one concern when choosing the right power cage for your workout level. Steel strength is measured by gauge, and the lower the gauge the thicker and stronger the steel.
So for safety reasons and peace of mind, we want to assure adequate strength.
What we are looking for is at least a 12 to 14 gauge steel frame. 12 gauge steel is 7/16 (.109375) inches or 2.778 millimeters thick and is more than strong enough for the most advanced bodybuilder or powerlifter.
Welding strength is important but is not a factor I would be very concerned about. Any company, especially brands that have been around for a while would never risk a lawsuit due to an injury caused by poor welding. However, to play it safe, simply check all welding spots for any cracks. If you have any concerns contact the company for assistance.
Frame Size and Space
Cage interior may be a deciding factor for some depending on what exercises you intend on performing inside the cage area. Or the size of the bench you will be using inside the power rack. (i.e. 42.5”W x 24”D – side-to-side and front-to-back).
Available space in your workout room is also very important to take into consideration. Typically most cages are 7” in height. So besides the depth and width of the cage, also take into account your ceiling height. Especially if you are anchoring your power rack onto a plywood surface or using a matt.
Another aspect to consider and related to width space is the added room needed to compensate your barbell. Typically an Olympic barbell will measure around 7”. Then you need to add at least another few feet on each side in order to freely add and remove weights on the bar.
J-hooks and spotting bars should offer adequate adjustment levels to ensure a safe and effective workout. I good adjustment measure would be about every 2” to 3”. The closer the holes the more height adjustment levels you will have.
If hole spacing is too wide it is harder to get the right setting for your specific exercise or body size; more than 3-4” is not ideal.
If necessary, it is always possible to add a matt under your feet or bench to fine tune your height to the support bar and j-hook level.
Another great feature to look for is a thick rubber lining in the j-hooks and spotting bars. This ensures a more comfortable workout without the loud banging and scratching of the steel and barbell.
Maximum Weight Capacity (300 – 1500 lbs.)
It is important that you know how much weight you will be using now and even more so how much you may be using in the future. It is not uncommon to add 100 to 200 pounds of weight to your current workout max over the years. Therefore, it is better to order the correct weight capacity now than to be stuck with a power rack one or two years from now that is no longer functional for your workout level.
For most women, a 300-pound maximum weight capacity is more than sufficient. Besides, why pay the extra money for a higher maximum capacity power rack if you will never need it.
Otherwise, for anyone who plans on maxing out over 300 pounds of weight now or in the future, it would be highly recommended you consider the 600 to 1000 pound maximum weight capacity power racks for your home gym.
Closely related to frame size, the frame style can also be helpful when deciding which design may better fit your available workout area.
We have 3 power rack frame styles to choose from – full cage, half cage, and fold away power racks.
The three most common frame styles to choose from are full power rack, half power rack, and folding power racks. Each rack style has its advantages and disadvantages depending on how much space you have available and what extra features and options you may require with your power cage.
Obviously, the full cage will require more floor space. However, it may also have more add-on options and features. If you have less space and don’t require any of the extra features, then the half power rack would be ideal for your situation.
Last but not least is the fold away power rack. This cage is ideal for a garage setting or any room that offers only very limited space. These racks are wall mounted and can be easily folded out when being used, and folded flat against the wall when not in use. Definitely an option to consider when floor space is an issue.
Best Power Rack Add-on Options and Extra Features to Consider
Having some extra features on your power rack or the option for add-ons in the future can increase your workout options tremendously. The small amount you pay extra now will pay off tenfold in years to come. All-in-all a small price to pay for the rewards you will get in return.
The pull-up bar comes pretty much standard on any full power rack. And is a must for those of you wanting to build a strong back. Pull up bars are an excellent way to add size and thickness to your back and upper body strength. And if you do not have cable pulleys, I would definitely consider the pull-up bar a must have.
Some power racks offer a dip bar which is an excellent add-on to build strong and thick triceps. Maybe not as important as a pull-up bar, but definitely a consideration especially for those who love dips.
My favorite add-on by far is the cable pulley. You can adjust most cable pulleys to use from the top and bottom of the power rack. Consequently offering you more exercise options than any other add-on.
Great for compound and isolation exercises for both upper and lower body and even core muscles, the cable pulley offers you more exercise variations. Some great cable pulley attachments include wide and close grip lat pull-down bars, nylon strap handles and grips, and triceps press down bars. Not to forget triceps press down ropes, press down straps, ab crunch harness cables, and nylon ankle straps to name a few.
Another great feature, but again not a must, are plate storage mounts. This allows you to conveniently store your 45, 35, 25, 10 and 5-pound plates directly on the power cage. This is a great space saver option. But also makes it easier and faster to load or unload your barbell when working out.
Different Types of Power Racks
Even though we briefly touched upon this subject above in the available power rack styles, let’s address some additional bullet points for each of these below.
Full Power Rack
With its full box design and added cross beams, the full power rack offers greater support, stability, and frame strength than most half power racks or folding racks. Furthermore, the full power racks tend to offer more features such as pull up bar and dip bars, and even cable pulleys.
Full power racks typically include a full-length spotter bar used from the internal cage area, and additional J-hooks to support a barbell from the outside of the cage.
Depending on design and steel strength, a full rack will allow a maximum weight capacity of up to 1000 lbs. More than enough for any level of powerlifter or strength training enthusiast.
This power rack uses more floor space but is nonetheless the more popular choice among all power racks.
Half Power Rack
If you are low on cash or on a budget, or simply don’t need anything over a 300-pound max capacity rack, then the half power rack may be a good option for you.
The half power rack is still heavy-duty, made with 12 and 14 gauge steel. However, it does not offer as many add-ons and features as the full power rack. Furthermore, the half rack has a smaller footprint than most other half racks and only two vertical posts as opposed to four on the full rack.
Therefore, if you are low on space, have no use for cable pulleys or dip bars, and don’t require super heavy loads, then this would be a more cost-effective choice for you.
Folding Power Rack – Wall Mounted
Another very interesting choice for those of you with limited space is the wall mounted foldable power rack. This interesting design is securely attached to a wall, typically using heavy-duty screws and wood stringers which are secured to wall studs. Then mount the power rack directly to the wood stringers. Great for any room or garage with limited space.
Don’t be fooled, these designs are very sturdy and are excellent space savers. Very easy to operate, simply fold out the power rack when in use. When you are finished with your workout routine, you can fold the power rack flat against the wall again and immediately free up that entire workout area.
The following is a list of what we consider to be the best bang for your buck power racks for home gyms. These power racks will vary in structure, functionality, and price. Some will have extra features. These features may include added pull up bars, or cable pulleys for extra exercise possibilities. Yet also features for added safety, easy to use adjustment mechanisms for smoother operation. And not to forget added size and workload capacity, to name a few.
Top 5 Power Racks in order of price and design type.
Ultimately, your decision will depend on your workout goals, and fitness level. If you are serious about working out and workout regularly, then you may consider opting for one of the more advanced power racks with the extra features. Paying the little extra will pay off big in the long run.
However, if you are just getting your feet wet and considering a more basic model, then you may want to look at one of the last few power racks toward the bottom of our list. These are still quality power racks, but with less of the extra features.
#1 Fitness Reality X-Class Light Commercial Power Rack w/ Pulleys
The Fitness Reality X-Class is one of the strongest light commercial power racks available for your home gym. It can handle a maximum weight capacity of 1500 pounds and includes adjustable dip bars that can withstand a max weight capacity of 600 lbs.
This power rack comes with 2 full-length safety bars. Two 11.5” safety bars with rubber strip covers to prevent scratching, denting and loud racking noises. And 2 bonus barbell catches adjustable to 25 height levels.
The lat pulldown and low row cable attachment is 81” in height and can handle 360 lbs. of weight plates. Furthermore, the high lat pulley system and low row pulley come with 2 high-density foam grip bars: a 44” lat pulldown bar, and 20” low row bar.
Strongest Light Commercial Power Rack with Cable Pulley attachments, pull up bars, dip bars, and a whopping 1500 lbs. max weight capacity.
Commercial Grade with Pulleys
The weight plate bar can be used with standard weight plates and comes with 2x 1” spring clip collars. These can be converted using Olympic adaptor sleeves (included) to use Olympic sized plates if needed.
This cage is compatible with any 7’ Olympics sized barbell. It has 2 multi-grip height adjustable pull up and chin up bars and maximum weight capacity of 600 pounds.
The frame comes with pre-drilled holes to anchor or mount the frame to the floor for added stability if needed.
Customers rave about how this power rack is similar to commercial grade machines at the gym. The cable pulley is very smooth, even when using only one plate on the storage bar.
NEW: The Vanswe OLYMPIC Power Rack is a great pick for those who need a heavy-duty 1000 lb maximum weight capacity rack at an affordable price.
This full cage power rack is designed with heavy-duty 2 x 2 inches square steel frame construction and an H-Shape base for maximum stability and safety.
This power cage includes both high and low pulley attachments, a solid steel chrome pull-up bar and 4 weight holder bars.
PLUS 10 FREE ACCESSORIES:
If that’s not enough, Vanswe Olympics has also added the following accessories for free:
- 2 safety bars
- 2x solid steel chrome adjustable weight bar supports
- 2 dip handles
- 2x clip collars
- 2 adaptor sleeves for 2” Olympic plates.
Lowest price for a full cage power rack that includes both high and low Lat Pulley attachments; Plus Free Accessories!
The maximum weight capacity for the bar catcher inside the cage is 500 lbs and 650 lbs outside the cage. The dip handles 380lbs and 330 lbs for the pull-up bar.
Note that the specs for this power cage show 82” in height. But when adding in the pull-up bar you will actually need to clear 85”. This is very important to know if you have limited ceiling space.
The Marcy Platinum PM-3800’s unique design is basically a full power rack with two full vertical bars to the rear and two half to three-quarter bars on the front. Thus, making it a more open design such as the half rack but without sacrificing much on the stability of the rack.
This open full-cage design boasts a heavy-duty 12-gauge, 3 inch welded steel frame. With all the stability and support of a full cage, this power rack has the advantage of taking up very little room – similar to a half power rack.
Get the benefits of a full cage but with the space-saving design of a typical half power rack. A bench is included!
The PM-3800 includes 2 full-length safety bars with bar catches, 2 separate bar catches, 2 dip handles, and pull up bar.
Full Cage Open Design
This design has a maximum weight capacity of 600 pounds and also includes a bench.
The bench, included with this power rack, has a quad-linkage system for immediate front-to-rear seat positioning. But also a front-tube swivel catch for leg-lock access for sit-ups and lower body exercises. This bench offers numerous seat adjustments for the backrest and seat pads. These include incline, decline, flat, and straight back. Thus, allowing for a wide variety of bodybuilding exercises.
Includes helpful online User Manual and Installation manual ready to download as PDF file.
The CAP Barbell Deluxe power rack is a very affordable option for beginners or those just wanting to add a new dimension to their current home gym. This power rack is your basic design with only 2 vertical support beams, also known as a half cage.
This simple design is nonetheless very sturdy with both a 12 and 14 gauge 3-step powder coated finished steel construction. And it supports up to a maximum weight capacity of 300 pounds. Enough weight for your average fitness enthusiast or bodybuilder.
The CAP Barbell Deluxe comes with two regular bar catches and two 15” spotter arms. Both with ABS sleeves to prevent scratching and fits a 7 foot Olympic sized barbell. The overhead workout bar is made from high-grade tubular steel and will safely support up to 300 pounds.
Half Cage for Smaller Areas
Half cage power rack, small footprint, heavy-duty construction, maximum recommended weight 300 lbs., for a low price.
To step-up your workout intensity 6 band posts are available to add resistance bands to your workout routine. Great to use with or without weights.
With it’s smaller than average footprint, this power rack is a good choice for anyone with minimal space. However, it still offers enough workout area (41” x 41”) to fit a workout bench if needed.
The Titan Fitness T3 may require some handyman experience to mount on your wall. Nevertheless, when done correctly, this heavy-duty 11-gauge 2” x 3” tube construction and 2” diameter bars have been shown to support 600 pounds of weight with ease.
The T3 comes in two sizes being the Titan Fitness T-3 21.5” Deep and the Titan Fitness T-3 41.5” Deep power racks. It is said that the 21.5” still has adequate space for using a bench. Both designs easily fold together when not in use, and extend approximately 4”-5” from the wall (not including wood stringers).
Best power rack for saving space – wall mounted – fold away after use to completely free up space!
This power rack comes with a powder coated durable finish and laser cut for a precise fit. The 4 J-hooks will support a 7” Olympic size barbell. Installation Tips for the Titan T-3 Folding Power Rack:
Wall Mounting Tips
This folding Power Rack requires some extra handy work for you to securely mount it to a wall. Therefore this will require some extra tools and hardware. With a little bit of elbow grease, this can be done without a problem. In order to make the task even easier, I have included the following procedure to take out any guesswork.
It is important to note that with this folding power rack you will not be fastening it directly to the wall studs. You will bolt it directly into the wood stringers (which are bolted into the studs). Here is the hardware you will need.
- Two 6 to 8 feet long 2×10” or 2×8” wood stringers (depending on your stud location; most studs are 16’ on center).
- Twenty-four ¼” Lag Bolts
- Eight ½” x 2.5” lag bolts (2 per anchor)
The 2 wood stringers will be bolted to the studs for the top and bottom locations. Studs are typically 16” on center, but if necessary, use a stud finder to locate studs behind a wall. User three ¼” lag bolts per stud, per stringer. Therefore, each stringer should have 12 ¼” lag bolts.
You will then use the lag bolts to attach the rack to the stringers. There are 2 large lag holes per anchor.
Look for a Manual and Diagram
If you do choose the folding power rack, there is a diagram available for more precise measurements for mounting purposes, and there should be a manual included with the rack.
Note: None of these lag bolt sizes are written in stone, so feel free to choose the size you feel more comfortable using for peace of mind. A good idea is to read through the customer reviews; there are plenty of very helpful hints and tricks to make your installation a smooth process.
It has been very difficult to decide which power rack to consider as my top pick Editor’s Choice in this lineup of heavy-duty cages. All are very effective and sturdy cages with unique designs and functionality. Many factors will determine which power rack is ideal for your purposes, goals, and limitations. Some may need to prioritize cost, or weight capacity, while others may need to prioritize space or extra features.
Personally, when it comes to any type of fitness equipment, I’m the type that would rather pay more now for something I know will offer me the most benefits in the long run, than to regret having made the wrong decision and going through the trouble of having to upgrade later. Which in most cases ends up costing me more money, time and frustration. Especially when it comes to something this big.
Therefore, if space is not an issue, I would highly recommend the…
Fitness Reality X-Class Full Power Rack
Best Quality – Strongest Frame
Are you looking for something that will last a long time and never let you down? Then the Fitness Reality X-Class Power Rack may be the answer. This rack is not only the strongest power rack but will give you the quality workout and smooth operation you would expect from a commercial grade power rack in your own home. And may I add, at a great price!
Best Bang for your Buck!
You will find commercial grade power racks used in gyms to easily cost $2000 to $3000 or more. But this power rack is still way under $1000. Not to forget, this power rack is also loaded with extra features such as the adjustable dip bars, adjustable pull-up and chin-up bars, and upper lat pulley system and low row pulley with bars.
Getting the Most from your Power Rack!
If you’re going to have a power rack that takes up a good size footprint, then you may as well have all the bells and whistles you can get. Thus giving you the most workout variations possible for a complete full body workout. With the additional cable pulley system, you can absolutely do all that with the X-Class!
Best Built-in Spotter for Safety
If that’s not enough, the X-Class offers 2 full-length safety bars which I consider one of the most important features. This bar acts as a spotter. So if you should not be able to complete your last rep you will have peace of mind knowing you can safely drop your weights. Thus avoiding any injuries. J-Hooks alone will not offer you that kind of security.
Maximum Weight Capacity – 1500 Pounds!
With a max weight capacity of 1500 lbs. you can rest assured this machine will take a beating. It will take whatever you throw at it without in problem. Furthermore, the dip bars and the pull-up and chin-up bars will also handle a whopping 600 pounds of weight. With this much weight capacity, you will never need to worry about limitations. Thus giving you more time to concentrate and work on your progress.
Are you looking for a power rack that will take a beating for many years to come? Then the Fitness Reality X-Class is definitely a winner!
Other Power Rack Suggestions
Best Power Racks for Limited Space
Should space be an issue I would still highly recommend any of the other half power racks. Even the wall mounted folding power rack. I have read many great reviews on the Titan Fitness T-3 Folding Power Rack and would highly consider this power rack as a second option, especially for a garage setup.
Best Power Racks on a Budget
If you are on a budget I would suggest looking into the Marcy Platinum with Bench. It is a bit smaller than your typical full power rack. Nonetheless, it is heavy duty and comes with a max weight capacity of 600 lbs.
For something similar but with a higher max weight capacity of 1000 lbs., you may want to consider looking into the HulkFit Power Rack.
Full Power Rack vs. Multi-Station Gyms
Are you contemplating on whether to buy a multi-station gym over a full power rack? If you can’t decide which is better for you, maybe we can help.
We do have some great space saver half cage and even folding power racks in our review. However, if you are comparing a full power rack to a multi-station gym you may be surprised at how much more floor space and workout space you would require with a multi-station gym.
The typical workout area with a full power rack is in most cases directly in front of or within the four corners of the power cage. Not the case with most multi-station gyms.
Free Weights & Cable Pulleys
Multi-station home gyms are mostly only cable driven, whereas full power racks are both free weights and with the extra option also use cable pulleys. Cable pulleys are an excellent way to tone and build strong solid muscles. But nothing beats free weight exercises such as barbell squats, or shoulder presses, or heavy barbell bench presses.
Even after purchasing all the accessories necessary, like barbell, weights, and exercise bench, the price you will pay for even our top runner power rack will be far less expensive than most multi-station gyms.
Accessories for your Home Gym Power Rack
7’ Olympic Barbell and Weights
Every power rack needs at least one barbell and weight plates to go with it. All of the power racks in this review fit a 7’ Olympic Barbell and Olympic weight plates. If you are not familiar with this reference, an Olympic weight plate simply means that the center hole is 2’ in diameter. As opposed to the standard weight plate which is only 1’ in diameter.
For safety reasons, it is also very important that you invest in 2 barbell collars. You can clamp these collars onto each side of the barbell to keep your weight plates from slipping. Or even worse, falling off.
There are various types of collars to choose from such as the Olympic size spring collar or spinlock collars.
Personally, I suggest using the spring collars on the cable pulley weight mounts if you have them. And for your barbell the and the spinlock collars.
Either way makes no difference as long as you use them.
Olympic Barbell Squat Pad
Another great investment and very affordable is the barbell squat pad. This pad is designed to fit around your barbell. Thus creating a soft comfortable barrier between your neck and the barbell. But also, help reduce the risk of injury or painful pressure on your neck and shoulders.
If you are using your power rack to exercise your upper body, then a quality workout bench is a must. There are many types of workout benches. But if you are doing bench presses and shoulder presses or even flies to name a few, it is important that you have a bench. One that is sturdy and comfortable. But also has a back adjustment option to set various incline levels.
If you are big into free weight squats, bench pressing, or shoulder presses using a barbell, then the power rack is by far the best choice. No other machine will let you use a barbell as safely as with a full power rack.
Therefore, a huge advantage you get with the full power rack is safety. These bars act as spotters to safeguard you should you not be able to finish that last rep. And also give you peace of mind when forcing an extra rep without having to worry about getting stuck.
These power racks are heavy-duty, very strong and sturdy and can withstand weight limits of up to 1500 pounds. So throwing everything you got at this equipment is not a problem.
Furthermore, throw in some dip bars, pull up and chin up bars, and a cable pulley system and you have to best of both worlds.
I’d like to thank you for reading our review on the best power rack for home gyms. I hope we able to help you make and easier and more informed decision.
Take care, be safe, and stay healthy.
You may also be interested in reading Smith Squats vs. Barbell Squats.
With over 30 years of experience in strength training and fitness, Mark LaRue is the founder of Fitness Mastered, a blog to help educate fitness enthusiasts of all fitness levels, age, and gender. We write topics that range from weight training and exercise routines to weight loss strategies, motivational videos, and home workout machine reviews, to name a few.