If you’re serious about barbell training, and you do any of your training alone (especially squats), then you’re in need of a rack; either a squat rack or a power rack (also known as a power cage).
It’s that simple.
Training with a loaded barbell is an effective means of building strength, muscular endurance, and muscle mass. But, it’s inherently dangerous. A properly set up rack will help minimize that inherent danger. Power racks are the gold standard, and that’s what we’ll be looking at today (see our previous post for the best squat racks and stands available)
Today we’ll show you our top picks for the 7 best power racks (and power cages) on the market. After we go over our picks, we’ll discuss why power racks are so important, how to choose the right one for your setup and training goals and a bunch more.
Let’s get straight into it!
Best Power Racks At a Glance
Best Power Rack Overall
Rogue’s RML-490 represents the crème of the crop when it comes to heavy-duty, durable power racks. This is the type of rack you’d find in commercial settings where reliability and durability are paramount. If you’re after the best possible quality, this color-customizable model in Rogue’s Monster Lite series is it.
Best Value Power Rack
Rogue’s R-3 Power Rack brings the optimal bang-for-buck value to those who appreciate performance and efficiency. The rack is proudly made in the USA and carries with it the well-known Rogue manufacturing quality. Thanks to its compact footprint, it’s particularly great for smaller home gyms where space is a commodity.
Best Budget Power Rack
Building a home gym on a budget is hard, but not impossible. Rep Fitness’ PR-1100 is a perfect example of a power rack that will get you into the world of weightlifting at a very reasonable price. With that said, this is a great deal for beginners and intermediate users.
The Best Power Racks
|Rogue RML-490 Power Rack||
|Rogue R-3 Power Rack||
|Rep Fitness PR-1100 Power Rack||
|Rep Fitness PR-4000 Power Rack||
|Titan Fitness TITAN Series Rack||
|Fitness Reality X-Class Light Olympic Power Cage||
|HulkFit Multi-Function Adjustable Power Cage||
|Rogue RML-490 Power Rack|
|Rogue R-3 Power Rack|
|Rep Fitness PR-1100 Power Rack|
|Rep Fitness PR-4000 Power Rack|
|Titan Fitness TITAN Series Rack|
|Fitness Reality X-Class Light Olympic Power Cage|
|HulkFit Multi-Function Adjustable Power Cage|
At the very top of our list is Rogue Fitness’ RML-490. Rogue is a household name in the world of strength training / general fitness and a brand you turn to when you want the absolute best. The quality of their equipment, much of which is manufactured in the US at their Ohio factory, is second to none when it comes to quality. However, it also often comes with a hefty price tag. It’s worth noting that you absolutely get what you pay for. The quality Rogue guarantees with their products is constant, reliable and proven.
This particular power rack represents the best deal you’ll find in terms of durability and performance. It’ll set you back a pretty penny, but it’ll give you that peace of mind. The rack is made in the USA and is part of the Monster Lite series of equipment which uses 3 x 3″, 11-gauge steel tubing. The uprights include Westside hole spacing (1″ through the bench zone) that ensures you can find the optimal spot for your safeties. Also included are a pair of pin and pipe safeties plus a pair of high-quality Monster Lite J-hooks with UHMW plastic inserts.
The RML-490 isn’t a small rack but it’s not overly large either. You’re looking at a 53″ by 53″ footprint with the max height of the uprights reaching 90″ high. The rack comes with both a fat/skinny pull-up bar and single skinny pull-up bar so that you can include that king of bodyweight exercises (pull-ups) in your strength routine.
As with most good power racks, the RML-490 can and should be bolted into the floor (using a ⅜” concrete anchor or equivalent). This will keep it super stable, and ensure the uprights don’t splay outwards over time. If bolting to the floor isn’t possible for you, you have two options:
- Purchase the stabilizer bar accessory, which is basically just an additional 43″ crossmember
- Use the Monster Lite Rack Wall Mount Kit, which allows you to fix your rack to a wall, rather than drilling holes into your floor.
Ultimately, this is an expensive piece of equipment because it’s also the best power rack currently available.
- Ultra-high quality construction, made in the USA
- Features 3″x3″, 11-Gauge steel uprights
- Westside hole spacing for optimal bench press
- Available in a wide range of colors
The Not So Good
- It’s expensive but you get what you pay for
- Compatible with plenty of useful accessories, most of which must be purchased separately
While Rogue’s catalog is expensive, they definitely include a few more affordable options. One such model is the R-3 power rack. This rig brings probably the best bang-for-buck value, all things considered. Compared to the RML-490 above, the R-3 features a smaller footprint and thinner steel tubing. But, the rest of the setup is every bit as rock-solid as you’d expect – especially from Rogue Fitness.
The main difference, aside from a 19″ narrower footprint, is the fact that the R-3 uses 2″x3″ uprights for this build instead of the 3″x3″ ones. With that said, the R-3 is all 11-gauge, high-quality steel, meaning structural stability is definitely not an issue. You’ll also find Rogue’s now-standard Westside hole spacing is included as standard, as are a set of pin & pipe safeties. The R-3 also comes with bad pegs and a fat/skinny pull-up bar that runs across the top-middle of the rack.
Rogue offers these racks in a standard height, which measures 90″, as well as a shorty version that’s 84″ high. So, if you have low ceilings, you’re covered.
Compared to the RML-490, which has a 53″x53″ footprint, this rack’s footprint measures 53″x34″. Much like its larger cousin, the R-3 is compatible with a bunch of aftermarket accessories (all of which are the Infinity variants, not the Monster Lites).
- Built-in Ohio, USA
- Made of 11-gauge steel and features sturdy 2″x3″ uprights
- Comes in a shorty version for those with low ceilings
- Westside hole spacing as standard
- Includes accessories such as band pegs and pin & pipe safeties
- Narrower footprint than the RML-490, making it better for more compact home gyms
The Not So Good
- You must anchor the rack into the floor to prevent stability and structural issues
- Concrete anchors are sold separately (about $19 for the kit)
Our next pick for this list lands at the other end of the price spectrum the two Rogue power racks above. Rep Fitness’ PR-1100 represents one of the best budget power racks you can get at the moment.
Coming in at roughly a third of the price you’d shell out for an R-3, the PR-1100 will make for a great, low-cost centerpiece for your strength-based home gym. Rep went with a simple layout that covers all of the basics, while including some advanced features as well.
The rack is 84″ tall and has a footprint of 48″ x 47.5″, making it a relatively large rack. As such, you may struggle to use this rack comfortably in a tight-spaced home or garage gym.
In order to reduce the price of the unit, REP has decided to use 14-gauge steel. This is the thinnest steel acceptable for a power rack and reduces the overall weight capacity. This is the primary reason we would categorize and recommend this model as a beginner rack.
The 2″x2″ black steel uprights feature 3″ holes from top to bottom. There’s no Westside hole spacing on this bad boy, unfortunately. On the plus side, however, there are numbered holes that make it easy to adjust the included J-hooks to the appropriate height for each of your lifts.
At the very top of the rack is a multi-grip pull-up bar, which is always a nice addition to any power rack, and ensures that you can complete all pull up variants, and develop a strong and balanced set of lats. As mentioned, this model isn’t as strong as our previous picks due to its higher gauged steel and thinner tubing. Even though the rack is rated for 700 lbs of weight capacity, we’d feel less confident strongly pushing it to its limits than one of the Rogue racks above.
- The affordable price makes this rack a great choice for beginners and budget users
- Decent build quality all around
- Comes with numbered holes for easier orientation
- Features a multi-grip pull-up bar
The Not So Good
- 2″x2″, 14 gauge steel uprights reduce the weight capacity, but will get the job done
- Footprint is on the larger side, and may be a squeeze in a compact garage gym
If you’re looking for something beefier that’s still within the scope of affordable, Rep Fitness offers another interesting model. The PR-4000 is a larger, more robust version of the rack we’ve just talked about. What you’re looking at here is a no-nonsense rig designed to offer all of the premium features at a lower price point. Rep went with 3″x3″ uprights made of 11-gauge steel. That’s more or less the industry gold standard.
All uprights feature Westside hole spacing that allows you to find that perfect bench press position. As far as the dimensions of this power rack go, Rep Fitness took things a step further by offering complete customization. In other words, you can select the height between 80″ and 93″ uprights, as well as depth between 24″, 30″ and 41″ long cross members. You can choose a variety of colors for each individual element thus ensuring you can get this rack to match your unique aesthetic style and preferences.
Equally as importantly, Rep offers a complete suite of aftermarket accessories for this PR-4000. This includes various weight horns, landmine attachments, band pegs, dip bars, pull up bars, flip down and strap safeties, and plenty more . With a little bit of imagination, you can put together a mean rig that will easily facilitate a full-body workout. That said, these are all aftermarket as the rack comes stock with only a set of J-hooks.
Don’t let its position in the list undermine the fact that we consider this one of the very best power racks you can get.
- Rock-solid build quality with 3″x3″, 11-gauge steel uprights
- Westside hole spacing
- Numbered uprights make switching between exercises easy
- Fully customizable design that can be catered for compact spaces
- Massive array of available accessories
The Not So Good
- The stock rack is pretty bare, but it ends up cheaper than most competitors even when fully tricked out
Our next pick comes from Titan Fitness and bears the brand name as their flagship power rack. Compared to what we’ve shown you so far, this power cage comes across as pretty old school, but robust nonetheless. One glance at this rack makes it clear that Titan went for a tried and true, utilitarian design.
The rack features solid 3″x3″ uprights made of quality 11-gauge steel tubing. With an overall footprint of 53″x55.5″, this is no compact rig. On the contrary, it’s pretty massive considering those uprights reach 100″ in height. This aint going to fit in a small home or garage gym, unfortunately.
As far as features go, you’re looking at a pin & pipe safeties, a pair of J-hooks, four band pegs, and four weight horns mounted on each side of the rack. Additionally, there’s a standard 2”pull-up bar at the top.
One area where this Titan series power rack has fallen short is the hole spacing on the uprights. Such a premium, recently released unit should have Westside hole spacing through the bench zone. Yet, it doesn’t. Instead it has 2” hole spacing along the whole length. One of the redeeming features are the individually numbered holes, so there’s that. Titan has also used the keyhole side spacing design on the sides of the uprights, which allows you to attach a wider variety of Titan rack accessories should you need to.
- Extremely robust power cage made entirely of 3″x3″, 11-gauge tubing
- Comes complete with four weight horns, four band pegs, pin & pipe safeties, j-hooks and standard pull up bar
- It’s a massive unit that measures 100″ in height
- Keyhole side spacing allows for more compatibility with rack accessories
The Not So Good
- One of the most expensive rigs out there
- Westside hole spacing is missing
Our last two picks bring something slightly different to the table. Where most of the models on this list belonged to the old school, traditional school of design, models such as X-Class Light Olympic Power Cage from Fitness Reality turn to innovation.
The rack itself is unusual in more ways than one. The core chassis is built from 2″x3″ tubing with uprights that reach some 86″ inches in height. Speaking of measurements, this rack has a very large footprint: 71.5” x 52”. This is due to the long stabilizing feet as well as the stability bar at the back of the rack. Both of these features mean that this rack doesn’t need to be bolted down, and will still remain stable and structurally sound (i.e., the legs won’t splay outwards over time due to the stability bar).
That said, the feet have holes pressed into them, so you can still bolt this bad boy to the floor if you want to.
The cross members that act as safeties are a bit more intricate than they usually are on traditional models. Namely, there are tightly grouped holes along a portion of the cross member, which allow for the attachment of the dip handles. This allows you to adjust the width of the dip handles, and thus hit different portions of your pecs and triceps.
The power cage is rated for 1500 lbs. of weight, although it’s highly recommended that you not push that estimate to its limits.
Overall, this is a robust and well-designed power rack. The lack of Westside hole spacing means your bench presses may not quite reach full range of motion, but that’s more than made up for by the other innovative features.
It can be purchased with or without a lat pull-down attachment. Even with this attachment, it’s one of the more affordable power cages you can get online.
- Innovative design that offers many useful features (e.g., adjustable width dip handles)
- Reasonably priced considering all that it offers
- Very stable setup thanks to long and wide base design
- 1500 lbs. rackable capacity rating
The Not So Good
- Lack of Westside hole spacing
- It has a massive footprint
Last but not least, we have a power cage designed and produced by HulkFit. As you can probably tell, this setup is pretty basic and falls well within the realm of affordable. That being said, it brings a decent bang-for-your-buck. This rings even more true if you’re just starting out. The rack is made of relatively sturdy steel and features 81″ high uprights. The rack comes complete with two safety bars (not pin & pipe), two pairs of J-hooks, a pair of dip handles, and a built-in pull-up bar at the top.
With a footprint of some 44″ x 47.25″, it’s neither massive nor compact. The factory claims that this rig is rated to withstand 700 lbs. of rackable weight. However, that’s definitely not something we would go and test out. The main thing that makes this rack and others like it so attractive is their low entry, high bang-for-buck value. Especially if you’re a beginner.
As expected, there’s no Westside spacing to be found, but you do get a few other goodies. Namely, you’ll be treated to a set of dip bars, foam handles on the pull-up station, rubber feet for better grip and more. At this price, HulkFit offers a bargain.
- A very affordable setup that’s perfect for beginners
- Comes with plenty of safety features for its price range
- Relatively sturdy design with a wide base
The Not So Good
- The quality of machined parts, holes and metal itself isn’t the best
- Not suitable for particularly heavy lifts (don’t even bother if you’re approaching 1000 lbs combined)
Should You Get a Power Rack?
Setting up a home gym can be frustrating. You’re attempting to substitute an entire gym worth of equipment with nothing more than your own budget. Needless to say, you’ll need to be smart with what you get and when you get it.
One of the postulates of building a good quality home or garage gym is having a strong free weights set up. Namely, you must have an option for safe barbell training. Thus, you need a rack of some sort.
You can go with a decent squat rack, but the gold standard is definitely a power rack.
What makes the power rack better than a squat rack? First and foremost, you’re getting extra stability and load-bearing ability. Even with safeties in place, a squat rack can potentially tip over. As rare as this is, it’s not unheard of.
Power racks have been known to tip over when they’re not bolted down and have particularly badly dumped weight, but this is much less likely. On the other hand, they are larger and more cumbersome, and potentially less suitable for smaller and more compact home or garage gyms.
Overall, the rule of thumb is this. If you plan on seriously engaging in weightlifting or powerlifting, you’ll need a power rack of some sort. Fortunately for everyone, there are racks out there for any budget and taste.
All of that being said, power racks are not all created equal. You’ve probably gathered that much just from our list alone. Before you set out to spend your hard-earned money, you need to know what ballpark you’re aiming for.
Why? Because your requirements likely won’t be the same if you’re looking for a power rack under $1000 vs if you’re looking for a more affordable power rack (where $500 is likely to be your budget limit). Here are the two most common subcategories of power racks:
Budget Power Racks (Under $500)
Models found in this category aren’t going to be the most robust pieces of equipment nor the most precision manufactured. However, they can certainly get you started on your journey to being the strongest version of yourself. Power racks in the budget segment are great for beginners who are unlikely to be lifting heavy anytime soon. If you’re strapped for cash, or if you’re just not willing to commit to a more expensive rig, these will do just fine. Be aware that if your lifts get up into 250 lbs.+ range, you may need to upgrade to something more heavy duty in order to stay safe.
Power Racks for a Home Gym
This is the category where you should be seeking to balance cost, quality, and footprint. Great power racks for home use should be affordable, heavy duty enough to accommodate even heavy lifters, and have dimensions that allow them to fit in home and garage gyms of different sizes. Rep Fitness and Rogue Fitness are dominating this segment with their impeccable build quality and strong customer support in place. They make some of the best power racks under $1000.
Choosing the Right Power Rack
Assuming that you’ve already set out a budget you’re comfortable spending on a rack, it’s time to dig deeper into various aspects of these devices. Knowing what to look for in order to find the right rack will help you avoid a lot of headaches down the road. Here’s a quick rundown!
Since homes aren’t always spacious, the size of your fitness equipment definitely matters. After all, that rack you’re looking to get will be a permanent addition to your house’s furniture. Being tactful when it comes to size, footprint and height of the rack will help you set up shop much smoother and with fewer issues down the road. It’s much better to have a compact rack you can live with, then own a massive unit that you’ll grow to despise over time.
Build Quality – Uprights
A power rack is a load-bearing piece of equipment. As it just so happens, most of the weight you’ll ever load on a rack will sit on the upright components. What you’re looking for here is a proper tubing diameter as well as the gauge of steel used. The optimal combo is to have a 3″x3″ upright that’s made of 11-Gauge steel. At that point, you can do whatever you want with that rack and not even put a dent in it.
The problem is that not all racks are built like this. Instead, there are plenty of 2″x3″ or even 2″x2″ racks out there made of 14-gauge steel. These are not suitable for heavy lifting. However, they’re perfectly fine for beginners.
Stability is a big factor that often gets overlooked. The truth is that you can have the most robust rack out there, but it won’t do you much good if the whole thing is unstable. You’ll find that the type of base and method of stabilization often plays a major role here. Some racks come with wide feet that add that extra stability, while others require the use of concrete anchors. Choose the option that best works for your environment.
Lastly, we have the features. Long gone are the days when power cages were these simple, one-trick-pony pieces of equipment. These days you can have your rack tricked out in all kinds of ways. Figuring out which features you’ll need and which you can live without can greatly impact the price tag of your new rig.
Frequently Asked Questions About Power Racks
Do you really need a power rack?
Here’s an analogy: Do you need seat belts in your car? After all, they’re just a safety feature and your car can still function without them. Are they necessary? Of course.
What do seat belts have to do with power racks? They’re both safety devices that’ll reduce the chances of injuring yourself.
Working out in a gym often gives you access to spotters. Unless you train with others, that’s not a luxury we generally have at home. Doing squats alone and reaching the point of failure can be a dangerous ordeal. The best way to ensure that a failed lift doesn’t result in you getting crushed beneath your barbell is to have a robust power rack that you can dump the bar onto.
Do you really need a power rack? Well, you need a rack of some sort (i.e., a power rack, squat rack, or half rack) because you can’t lift safely without them! Power are simply the premium option.
Can you bench press in a power rack?
Yes, you sure can! You’ll need:
- A weight bench to lay on
- To adjust the safeties to the appropriate height for you to have full range of motion but still be able to dump the bar if you fail a lift without it crushing you.
What’s the difference between a power rack, squat rack, and half rack?
Essentially, the difference is in the design and structure of each rack. The functions of each are essentially the same. That is, they all facilitate safe barbell training.
A power rack has four uprights, which create a working space within the rack. Safeties run between the front and back uprights, creating a more secure platform on which to dump failed lifts.
Squat racks only have two uprights. The working space is any / all of the space in front of the rack. Owing to the fact that there are only two uprights, squat racks use safety spotter arms as the safety mechanism for failed lifts. Because they only have one point of attachment, spotter arms are inherently less stable / weaker than the safeties in a power rack.
Half racks have four uprights but they don’t create a working space. The working space is, like a squat rack, the area in front of the rack. The additional uprights are used to store weight plates or bumpers via attached storage posts.
Well, there you have it: The Best Power Racks and Power Rcages.
We’ve tried our best to search the market for models that offer the best bang for your buck, regardless of the price range you’re comfortable with. On top of that, we’ve tried to find racks with a proven track record. No matter which one of these you go for, you’ll end up with a solid power rack for sure!