5 of the Best Power Racks (Power Cages) for Your Home Gym

A good power rack is the best piece of home training equipment you can buy. We take a look at the top options you can pick up today
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Fitness fads come and go, but the fundamentals of strength training never change. If you want to make real and lasting gains in strength and muscle, the single most effective way is to utilize the main compound exercises.

Bench presses, deadlifts, pull-ups, dips, and squats (commonly called ‘the king of exercises’) are unrivalled in their effectiveness at building muscle and strengthening the body. A good Power Rack (a.k.a ‘power cage’) allows you to safely perform all of these exercises in the comfort and convenience of your home or garage gym (yep, even deadlifts…sort of).

Compound exercises are made even more effective with a great power rack

A good quality power cage improves the safety of heavy lifts beyond that of even the best Power racks are the most versatile pieces of support equipment for strength trainingsquat racks and stands. Their added stability also increases the functionality and effectiveness of those great bodyweight exercises in pull ups and dips – well beyond that of even the best power towers. If you have the space and money, then a power rack is without question the greatest addition you can make to your home / garage gym.

But, a good rack requires a certain outlay of money, and if you’re a normal, sane person, then you’re not going to drop a heap of hard-earned cash on something like that without doing a good amount of research first.

And this is where we come in.

This article will examine 5 of the best power racks and cages for your home or garage gym, and help you make the best possible choice. At the end of the article we’ll also discuss some key considerations you need to make when choosing a power rack.

Best Power Racks at a Glance

The Rogue R3 power rack is the best power rack currently available because it's top quality and has a huge number of variations

Best Power Rack Overall

Rogue R-3 Power Rack

This classic westside-style power rack is the perfect example of the top quality products Rogue produce. There’s also a huge number of variations on the standard rack, so you’ll be able to find an option that’s perfect for your unique home gym.

Read the review

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The Rep PR-4000 power rack is a great alternative to the R-3 in that it can be customized to the hilt

Best Customizable Power Rack

Rep PR-4000 Power Rack

If you’re looking for something a bit flashier that you can customize to your unique style and requirements, then the PR-4000 is a worthy option. The stock option is similar in nature to the R-3, but Rep Fitness have developed an extensive range of accessories that can be added to it, and are constantly developing more.

Read the review

Check current price

The Rogue R3 power rack is the best power rack currently available because it's top quality and has a huge number of variations

Best Power Rack Overall

Rogue R-3 Power Rack

This classic westside-style power rack is the perfect example of the top quality products Rogue produce. There’s also a huge number of variations on the standard rack, so you’ll be able to find an option that’s perfect for your unique home gym.

Read the review

Check current price

The Rep PR-4000 power rack is a great value alternative to the R-3

Best Value Power Rack

Rep PR-4000 Power Rack

If you’re looking for something a bit flashier that you can customize to your unique style and requirements, then the PR-4000 is a worthy option. The stock option is similar in nature to the R-3, but Rep Fitness have developed an extensive range of accessories that can be added to it, and are constantly developing more.

Read the review

Check current price

The Best Power Racks and Cages for Your Home Gym

Whether you’re just getting into barbell training, or you’re already a passionate and experienced lifter, buying a good power rack will probably be the best investment you can make. On the other hand, buying a crappy rack will likely be the worst.

All of the power racks and cages below are worth the money. Which is right for you will depend on how much you’re planning to lift, your budget, the size of your home gym, and any additional personal preferences you might have.

#1 Rogue R-3 Power Rack

The Rogue R-3 power rack is by far the best power rack for a home or garage gym

If you’re at all familiar with strength training equipment, then you’ll know that Rogue Fitness are the market leaders in terms of quality. The Rogue R-3 Power Rack is arguably the single best example of that superior quality.

It was designed and built in the mold of the classic power rack used by Louie Simmons in the strength training laboratory that is the gym at Westside Barbell. And like the athletes at Westside, the R-3 Power Rack should help take your powerlifting to the next level.

Louie Simmonds, a world renowned strength coach, knows a thing or two about great power racks
Louie banging out some banded deadlifts on an R-3 style westside rack

Being part of Rogue’s Infinity Series of products, it’s comprised of 11-gauge, 2×3″ steel uprights and base, and held together with 5/8″ hardware. Included with the this power rack is almost everything you need to get lifting straight out of the box (so to speak):

  • Excellent quality J-Cups with UHMW lining (ultra-high-molecular-weight or simply ‘hard plastic’).
  • Pin and pipe safeties that are far stronger than they look, and have undoubtedly saved more than a few lifters from injury (or death). Using the Westside hole spacing that comes standard with most of Rogue’s power racks and squat stands, these safeties can be adjusted to the perfect height for all users through the squat, bench and clean pull ranges.
  • 4 x band pegs, which often cost extra. On the DL, these can be used for storing your bumpers or steel / iron plates until you get a more permanent solution.
  • 43″ dual Fat/Skinny pull-up bar for lat and grip strength.

The Rogue R-3 is a specc'd out power rack

Why did we say almost everything you need to get started straight away, you ask? Well, this power rack must be bolted to the floor for safety. However, Rogue’s concrete anchors need to be purchased separately. They’re not expensive (~$15), but it’s extra cash nonetheless.

On that note, if you don’t want to / are unable to drill into your floors, another solid option is to make yourself a plywood platform. If you’re going to do this, then you’ll want to use 3 x ¾” sheets, glued and screwed.

Build a plywood platform for your R-3 power rack if you're uncomfortable with drilling into your floors

We’re going to side with Rogue, and recommend against using it as a freestanding rack. Not only is there risk of it toppling over if it’s not bolted down, but the legs can also splay outwards over time. If you want a freestanding variation of the R-3 Power Rack, check out the RML-390F Flat Foot Monster Lite Rack, discussed below.

Shop Now Rogue Fitness

Aside from having to bolt it to the floor, the R-3’s dimensions are its other most often discussed aspect. It has a footprint of 53″ wide x 34″ deep, with a 24″ working depth. This raises concerns for some that it isn’t deep enough to lift comfortably inside of. We’ve found that the 24″ working depth is plenty big enough, and that even the largest of humans are able to lift inside it without issue. Ultimately, it comes down to personal preference, and is just something you’ll have to experience for yourself.

While a 24" working space may seem narrow, the R-3 power rack has plenty of room to lift

The R-3 has a standard height of 90″, meaning it will fit comfortably under 8′ ceilings. If, however, you have lower ceilings, you can get a “shorty”, which has 84″ uprights. While the standard R-3 is great for anyone looking for a space-saving power rack, the ‘shorty’ is arguably the best compact option available.

Check current price of the R-3 Power rack at Rogue Fitness

Due to its incredible versatility, and overwhelming popularity, Rogue have made a number of R-3 variations to ensure that almost anyone, with any need, can enjoy the benefits of lifting inside this power rack.

Variations of the R-3 Power Rack:

  1. R-3BT Power Rack:
  2. The bolt-together R-3 power rack is a good option if you're going to need to go through tight spaces to get to your home gym

    This is the bolt together version of the R-3, which enables it to be more easily manoeuvred through and into tight spaces. It has slightly different dimensions to the standard R-3: It’s 53″ wide, and you get a choice of a 30″ or 24″ working depth. There’s no “shorty” option, and it costs about $30 more.

    Check current price at Rogue Fitness

  3. R-3W Fold Back Wall-Mount Rack:
  4. The R-3 fold-back rack is the ultimate space-saver, even though it's more of a squat rack

    An ultimate space saving option, The R-3W is a clever rack that mounts to the wall and folds flat when not in use. Realistically, it’s actually a squat rack, owing to the fact that there’s no inside working area. It has a few variations itself depending on your needs, and is a great option if you can’t have your rack permanently taking up floor space in your home gym. Note: The R-3W stringers are not included, and cost $50 extra.

    Check current price at Rogue Fitness

  5. RML-3 Monster Lite Rack:
  6. The RML-3 power rack is a beastier version of the standard R-3

    Being part of the Monster Lite range, the RML-3 has 3×3″ 11-gauge steel uprights and base, and is an amazingly good upgrade to the classic Westside power rack design. It also has a 30″ working depth, which makes it a bigger, meaner, and more expensive variation of the R-3 Power Rack for people who want zero
    concerns for safety and stability.

    Check current price at Rogue Fitness

  7. RML-390BT Monster Lite Rack:
  8. The RMl-390BT is the bolt-togther version of the RML-3 power rack

    This is the bolt-together version of the RML-3 above. It’s identical in every way, except the uprights come flat-packed rather than as single pieces. You can now also get the RML-390C, which is the same bolt-together rack, except it’s available in a range of funky colors.

    The RML-390BT is the bolt-together version of the RML-3 power rack

    Check current price at Rogue Fitness

  9. RML-390F Flat Foot Monster Lite Rack:
  10. The RML-390F has self-stabilizing flat feet; it's not compact but it is freestanding

    Can’t or won’t drill into your home gym’s floors? The RML-390F is a good solution. It’s self-stabilizing feet allow it to stand on its own, while its size and weight ensure it’s as stable as ever. It has a 30″ working depth like the RML-3, however, the stabilizing feet create a 48″ overall depth. This removes it from the ‘space-saving’ category, but it’s a great rack that’s perfect for people looking to keep their home gym’s floors in tact.

    Check current price at Rogue Fitness

  11. RML-3W Wall Mount Rack:
  12. The RML-3W is a serious wall mount power rack

    This is the absolute king of wall-mount racks. 3×3″ 11-gauge steel uprights, quick attach pull-up bar, and locking pin & hinge system make it one of Rogue’s most popular piece of equipment of any type.

    Check current price at Rogue Fitness

So, that’s the Rogue R-3 Power Rack in all is versatile, variable glory.

We’re guessing that many of you reading this will have been looking at the Rogue R-3 already, but aren’t yet convinced if it’s worth the money…If you’re one of those people, and still wondering if you should press the trigger on this rack: Do it. It’s made in the US to the highest standards of quality and has a lifetime warranty.

If you train alone, it’s a great investment that could genuinely save your life.

Check current price of the R-3 Power rack at Rogue Fitness

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Are you thinking a power rack might be a bit much for your home gym? A good squat rack could be a better option. Take a look at the best squat racks and stands currently on the market.

#2 Rep Fitness PR-4000 Power Rack

The Rep Fitness PR-4000 power rack is an excellent quality, highly customizable power cage

For those who don’t want to pay Rogue’s often exorbitant prices, Rep Fitness is rapidly becoming the best option for home fitness equipment. Their racks are a great demonstration of this, especially the PR-4000 Power Rack.

Using the same basic Westside design as the Rogue R-3 (and most other racks), the PR-4000 is a good quality, heavy duty power rack that comes at a very reasonable price. Now, the stock option is only about $30 less than the R-3, but that’s for a 3″ x 3″ versus the R-3’s 2″ x 3″. Both racks use 11 steel gauge tubing, have Westside hole spacing, and come with both UHMW-lined J cups and pin & pipe safeties. The stock R-3 has a fat / skinny pull up bar, whereas the PR-4000 has a single standard 1.25″ bar. The PR-4000 is made overseas, whereas the R-3 is, of course, manufactured by Rogue in their Ohio facility. Both racks have a 1000 lbs.+ weight capacity and are covered by limited lifetime warranties (this covers defects, not usual wear and tear).

At this point you’re probably wondering what actually sets them apart.

While the stock PR-4000 looks and feels quite similar to the R-3, the value you will get from this rack lies in your ability to customize it. And customize it you can.

Consider the rep fitness pr-4000 power cage if you're looking for something you can create to be uniquely yours

Starting with the look and size, you can get both the uprights and crossmembers in a range of colors as well as heights and depths. From Rep blue to a fantastic stainless steel clear coat, you can make this rack look uniquely yours. And while the R-3 has two different height options but only one depth option, the PR-4000 comes in two different heights (80″ and 93″) and three different depths (24″, 30″ and 41″). This means you can get your rack closer to the perfect size for your home or garage gym than really any other power rack on this list.

Check current price at Rep Fitness

And, the customization options continue. Rep’s PR-4000 Power Rack accepts a phenomenal range of accessories. From strap safeties and multi-grip or globe pull up bars to landmines, dip bars and a lat pulldown / low row attachment.

Two of the most useful accessories are the rear stabilization bar (only for the 41″ crossmembers) and front foot stabilizers. Both attachments allow you to use the rack safely without bolting it down. The rear bar allows you to use the inside of the rack unbolted, while the front feet allow you to attach safety spotter arms and lift in front of the rack unbolted.

Without these attachments, however, this rack must be bolted down to be used safely. Not doing so would be to risk the rack toppling over, or the legs splaying outwards over time. Unfortunately, Rep don’t include or stock the cement screws needed to fasten the rack to the floor, so you’ll have to purchase your own. We recommend these Titen HD screws, which are available from most hardware stores.

In addition to the sheer number of available accessories, the PR-4000 series attachments are extremely well-priced. Especially when compared to the Rogue power rack attachments, which can really cause your costs to balloon. For this reason, the PR-4000 is a great tribute to Rep’s ever-improving product development.

Rep Fitness used to have the PR-3000 power rack, which they’ve now discontinued. The PR-4000 is what replaced it. Ultimately, they’ve done a fantastic job of addressing the PR-3000’s shortcomings (e.g., it was tall and wide, with no other depth / width options).

All-in-all, the Rep Fitness PR-4000 Power Rack is an awesome rack that you can customize to the hilt, and make to be uniquely yours. Even the stock model (which includes pin & pipe safeties and J-cups only) offers enough customization in terms of color and size to make it a great alternative to the Rogue R-3.

Yes, it’s made overseas, so it simply can’t meet the same standards of manufacturing quality that the Rogue power racks can, but if you want to kit out your rack with a bunch of useful accessories and can’t afford to pay the high costs demanded by Rogue, then the PR-4000 is your best bet.

Check current price at Rep Fitness

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#3 Titan T-3 Series Power Rack

The Titan T-3 Series is a budget priced clone of the Rogue R-3 power rack

Titan Fitness make no secret of the fact that the T-3 Series Power Rack is a near-identical clone of the Rogue R-3. Indeed, one of the biggest differences between the two racks is the cost: The T-3 is less than half the price of the R-3! Although it’s a blatant copy, it’s also a very solid option if you like the look and features of the R-3, but can’t or won’t shell out the extra cash for it.

Although it's ow-priced, the Titan T-3 Power Rack is still good quality

Like Rep Fitness, Titan target the budget-conscious segment of the home fitness equipment market, and are currently the major player in this segment. Therefore, while its certainly necessary to compare the T-3 to the R-3, it’s also worth comparing it to the Rep Fitness PR-4000, which is the next best power rack for a home gym on the list.

Power Racks
Titan vs Rogue vs Rep
Titan Fitness
T-3 Series
Rogue Fitness
Rep Fitness
Price ~$450 incl. shipping ~$700 + shipping ~$650 + shipping
Frame, Hardware 2″x3″ 11-gauge steel, 5/8″ hardware 3″x3″ 11-gauge steel, 5/8″ hardware
Footprint 53″ x 32″ deep 53″ x 34″ deep Varies depending on customization
Working Depth 24″ 24″ Varies
Height 91″ 90″ or 84″ 93″ or 83″
Weight 230 lbs. ~250 lbs. 265 lbs.+ depending on customization
Pull-up Bar Fat/Skinny Fat/Skinny 1.25″, 2″. Multi-grip, OR Globe
Hole Spacing Westside Westside Westside
J-Cups Rubber-lined UHMW-lined UHMW-lined
Pin & Pipe Safeties Included Included Included
Band Pegs Included x 4 Included x 4 Purchase separately
Plate Storage Included x 4 Purchase separately Purchase separately
Freestanding No No Can be with attachments

As you can see, there are a number of similarities and differences between the 3 power racks as far as features and functionality are concerned. There are, however, a couple of things worth noting:

First, the T-3’s rubber-lined J-Cups are pretty crappy, and nowhere near as good as the UHMW-lined J-Cups that come with the Rogue and Rep power racks. Second, the T-3’s paint job leaves quite a bit to be desired. The R-3 and PR-4000 are both powder-coated, however the T-3 appears to be spray-painted. If looks aren’t important to you, then no problems, but those who do like a nice finish to their expensive purchases will likely be disappointed with the T-3’s color.

The Titan T-3's construction is lower quality than the other power racks in the list

Additionally, something you can’t glean from a specs list comparison is differences in the quality of the manufacturing / construction.

Rogue’s power racks are US-made; they’re manufactured in Columbus, Ohio. Each component is inspected individually throughout the manufacturing process, and again before the rack actually ships. Manufacturing defects are extremely rare in all of Rogue’s products, and they guarantee their products for life.

The T-3 and PR-4000, on the other hand, are made in China, and generally don’t go through the same strict, quality-controlled manufacturing process. This means that the construction can sometimes leave a bit to be desired; defects are more common and more serious, and the warranties are limited (usually 1 year). Unfortunately, T-3 power racks seem to have more issues than the other low-cost options.

While these problems aren’t common and most T-3 racks work as expected straight out of the box, you may encounter things like bowed uprights, incomplete and messy welds, misaligned and badly pressed holes, and non-threaded bolts.

If you’re unlucky enough to experience them, issues like these are certainly annoying, however they’re part and parcel of low-cost fitness equipment. If you want the highest quality, you simply have to pay for it.

In any case, manufacturing defects can usually be remedied by reaching out to the Titan Fitness customer service department. By all reports they’re very helpful and they quick to send out replacement parts.

Let’s not focus too much on uncommon problems. As we said, the vast majority of the time the T-3 Series Power Rack will arrive defect-free, and when it does it’s a good piece of equipment.

With a 1000 lb. capacity on the spotters, even serious lifters should feel comfortable performing most power lifts inside a T-3. This is especially true for bench presses, as it’s one of the only common power racks other than the Rogues that has Westside hole spacing through the bench range.

The T-3 series power rack is almost identical in size and shape to the Rogue R-3

Like the R-3, the T-3 has a compact footprint, making it very suitable for home / garage gyms in which space is at a premium. Also, the included storage horns are a nice touch and when loaded up with bumpers or weight plates, make it even more sturdy than normal.

Overall, it’s not perfect but it’ll do its job without burning a hole in your pocket. If you’re a lifter who wants to train at home on a budget, then the T-3 Series Power Rack is definitely worth considering.

Check current price at Titan Fitness

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#4 OneFitWonder “Kip Cage” Power Rack

The Kip Cage from Fringe Sport is anoth lower cost freestanding power rack

Fringe Sport’s OneFitWonder “Kip Cage” is another lower cost, Chinese-manufactured alternative to both the Rogue R-3 (and its variants), and the PR-4000 from Rep Fitness. It doesn’t differ too much from these comparable racks, and certainly has more similarities than differences. Some of the main similarities include:

  • Black powder coated 2×3″ 11-gauge steel uprights and base
  • 5/8″ holes and hardware
  • Pin and pipe safeties included
  • 2 x pull up bars (both 1.5″ in diameter, located at front and back of the rack)

Like the R-3 it has a working depth of 24″. As we mentioned before, this may not seem like much, but once you give it a try you ‘ll see that it’s actually plenty.

The Kip Cage has a medium sized footprint relative to the other racks in the list

Unlike the other racks, it has flat feet, which allow it to be freestanding if you want to protect your home gym’s floors. It’s feet have pre-drilled holes that allow you to bolt it to the ground if you so desire.

Somewhat uniquely, the Kip Cage’s feet extend well beyond the upright joins (it has a total footprint of 45″ deep x 47″ wide). As Fringe Sport have done in the video below, as well as a number of other buyers, this allows you to place sandbags on the feet to give it extra weight and stability. Considering 50 lb. sandbags are usually only about $5 a pop from hardware stores, this is an effective low cost alternative to bolting it to the floor. A solid option for anyone concerned about both the sturdiness of their power rack and the irreparable damage done to floors by drilling into them.

Add some 50 lb sandbags to the feet of the kip cage, and you'll have a very sturdy freestanding power rack

The trade-off for the extended feet, however, is that this power rack is going to take up a bit of extra floor space in your home gym. Certainly not as much as a fully customized Rep PR-4000, but more than the R-3 and other bolt-down racks. On the plus side, it’s 91″ tall, so even under 8′ ceilings it should have plenty of clearance above the pull-up bars.

The OneFitWonder power cage has few unique features that the others don'tThe Kip Cage has a final couple of little unique features worth mentioning. First, it comes with two pairs of UHMW-lined J-hooks so you can have two squat positions simultaneously (i.e., no need to make adjustments). Second, the holes on the uprights are numbered, which allows for quick and easy adjustment of your J-cups and safeties.

Unfortunately, Fringe Sport is another one of those Rogue competitors that is yet to adopt the Westside hole spacing. Like most other power racks, they have 2″ spacing the entire length of the uprights, so again, you might not be able to find that sweet spot for the safeties through your bench range.

Fringe Sport offers free shipping on all of their products, however the reality is that neither UPS, nor any other freight company, ship stuff for free. Therefore, “free shipping” really just means shipping is included in the price.

Nevertheless, the Kip Cage is a good quality, functional, and sturdy power cage. It’s usually more expensive than the T-3 power racks, however Fringe often do sales on their equipment, so if you can get one of these power cages for less than about $650, then you will have done pretty well.

Check current price at Fringe Sport

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#5 American Barbell Mammoth Racks

American barbell make quality power racks to standards that few other manufacturers can match

American Barbell’s mission is to provide premium products that give the greatest opportunity for success to all of their customers, and the Mammoth Power Racks are proof that they’re doing a damn good job in achieving that mission.

Like most of AB’s range of power racks and squat stands, each of the Mammoth Racks are designed and manufactured to specifications that are not typically met in the exercise equipment industry (except by Rogue), and they’re meant to stand the test of time. While they are even pricier than Rogue’s equipment, they are almost unrivalled in their strength and sturdiness.

There are 3 variations:

  1. The Mammoth Power Rack 36
  2. The Mammoth Power Rack 48
  3. The Mammoth Single Rack

All 3 racks are very similar to the bolt-together Rogue RML-390BT Monster Lite Power Rack.

The American barbell Mammoth Power Racks are obviously modelled after the Rogue Monster Lite power racks
Like the RML-390BT, they use black powder-coated, 3×3″ 11-gauge steel uprights and base, which makes them very heavy (~300 lbs.), and very sturdy. American Barbell use thicker ¾” bolts to keep the things together, as opposed to Rogue’s 5/8″ hardware.

Like many good quality power racks, the Mammoth Racks must be bolted to the floor to ensure safety and comply with AB’s lifetime warranty conditions. Unfortunately, there’s no freestanding variation.

The 3 Mammoth racks are more similar than they are different with their size and footprint primarily being what sets them apart. Deciding which rack is right for you will depend on how much working depth and height you want.

The Mammoth Rack 36 has a 36″ deep x 48″ wide footprint, while the Mammoth Rack 48 has a 48″ deep x 48″ wide footprint. Both are 89″ tall, meaning they’ll fit under 8′ ceilings, but probably not sub-8′ ceilings.

The Mammoth Racks are impressive pieces of strength training equipment

The Mammoth Single Rack is the premium variation. It has a 48″ deep x 48″ wide footprint, and stands a lofty 96″ tall. It also includes wooden gymnastic rings for all you calisthenics buffs, and the lower cross braces accept band pegs for banded lifts.

The Mammoth Single Rack is the premium variation and includes wooden rings, and stands considerably taller

As you can see, none of the Mammoth racks can be considered particularly compact. Then again, if you’re really short on space, you may want to consider a good squat rack or stand, rather than a full power rack.

All racks include sandwich style, UHMW lined J-hooks and a single 1.25″ pull-up bar. Unfortunately, American Barbell don’t provide concrete screws for bolting their racks to the ground. We recommend these Titen HD 3/8 x 3.5″ screws.

As mentioned earlier, the Mammoth Power Racks, like almost all American Barbell equipment, are expensive. And, what makes them even more expensive is the fact that the pin and pipe safeties are not included. The images on the website suggest they are included, but don’t be fooled; they must be purchased separately, and cost about $100. That takes the total for the cheapest Mammoth Rack 36 to almost $1000 plus shipping. With spotters, the premium Mammoth Single Rack is over $1200 plus shipping.

For many people these prices are deal-breakers, and we can absolutely understand that.

So, why would you purchase one over a Rogue?

Well, we think it comes down to size. The Mammoth Rack 48 and Mammoth Single Rack both have roughly 42″ working depths. The R-3 and most of its variations only have 24″ working depths. If you’re concerned about how much room you have inside your power rack, and want to make sure you have plenty, then the Mammoth Rack 48 or Single Rack are your best bets.

**If you’re thinking about the Mammoth Rack 36, then stop. You’re much better off going with the Rogue RML-390BT with 30″ depth. It’s as good or better than the Mammoth Rack 36 for $100+ less.

So, in the end, the Mammoth Racks will really hit your hip pocket, which is why they’re not higher up on the list. But, they’re also extremely strong and reliable, and have larger working depths than most of the alternatives, making them very appropriate for those who need the extra room while pushing their lifting limits.

If we were going to be dumping (not placing) 300+ lb. lifts onto a rack, the Rogue R-3s and these American Barbell Mammoth Racks are the only ones we’re truly confident would be able to withstand it time and time again.

Check current prices at American Barbell

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Should You Get a Power Rack?

If you’re looking to get into Powerlifting in a serious way and you want to train at home, then you’re going to need a rack of some sort. Whether that’s a power rack or something different will depend on what you’re aiming to achieve, and your personal circumstances.

It may be more useful to explore why you shouldn’t get a power rack in order to understand if you should get one. Despite the fact that they’re very useful pieces of equipment, they’re not suitable or necessary for all home exercisers.

If you’re not planning on doing any kind of barbell training, then you shouldn’t get a power rack.

Some websites recommend power racks as good options for doing pull ups and other bodyweight exercises, but this is ludicrous. If you want something on which to train calisthenics, there are much more effective and cheaper options than a power rack. For example, wall or ceiling-mounted pull up bars, doorway pull up bars, power towers, and gymnastics rings are far better and (usually) cheaper options for calisthenics. Power racks are only necessary / suitable for those who will be building size and strength by getting beneath a bar.

If you have very limited space in your home gym, then perhaps consider a squat rack or independent squat stands as an alternative to a power rack. Having four uprights means that even the most compact power racks require a fairly extensive amount of space to be used properly. And, it’s obviously not just the footprint you need to consider. The functional footprint includes at least a couple of feet on either side to allow you to add weight plates / bumpers to the barbell and allow the bar to move freely while you’re lifting.

Similarly, if you’re strapped for cash, then squat racks and stands are less expensive options that perform the same function as a power rack.

So, should you get a power rack? If you’re going to start Powerlifting (either recreational or competitively), have plenty of space in your home gym, and have the budget for it, then yes you should get a power rack. Keep reading to understand more about choosing the right rack for you.

Choosing the Right Power Rack

More often than not, your power rack will be the centrepiece of your home or garage gym. They’re the most versatile and effective support equipment ever created for strength training. But they aren’t cheap. Even the lower cost racks can be a hit to the bank account.

Odds are that if you’re reading this article with serious intentions of buying a rack, you’ve already done a lot of agonizing over which is the right one for you. Hell, you may have spent the last 12 months researching everything you need to know to make the best decision!

Nevertheless, we’ll quickly run through some of the primary considerations to make before pulling the trigger on a rack for your home or garage gym.

How much are you planning to lift?

If you're planning to lift heavy, you need a heavy duty power rack

When shopping for a power rack, this is the first question you should be asking yourself. Your answer can and should influence the decisions you make around the considerations that follow.

If you’re planning to lift heavy and really push your limits, whether in the short- or long-term, then you’re going to need a different piece of equipment than if you’re planning to lift well within your 1 rep max (1RM).

If your back squat is getting up into the 300+ lb. range, and you have a tendency to get stuck in the hole, then you’re definitely going to want to go with something more heavy duty and higher quality. Why? Because bailing on a lift, and dropping a 300+ lb. bar onto your rack generates a helluva lot more force than lowering it in a controlled fashion.

Pretty much any power rack can handle static weight, that’s not the issue. It’s the applied force behind failed weights that necessitate a rack with a better design and higher quality construction that won’t shear or bend.

The Rogue R-3 and it’s Monster Lite variant, the Rep Fitness PR-4000, as well as the American Barbell Mammoth Racks are perfect for safely pushing your lifting limits at home. They’ll fit your needs now, and provide plenty of room for you to grow into.

The T-3 Series and Kip Cage are all more than adequate if you’re going to be lifting well within your 1RM, now and into the future (assuming that’s considerably less than 300 lbs.).

What’s your budget?

Money is, unfortunately always a factor in deciding the best fitness equipment for you

This is a bit of a no-brainer, but price must be one of the first and most important factors in deciding which power rack to go with. If you’ve got the cash spare, then going with higher quality equipment is almost always the right decision, even if you’ll be lifting well within your 1RM.

As we say in nearly every review we do, you get what you pay for when it comes to fitness equipment. The Rogue and American Barbell racks are pricey, but they’re also the best quality overall. That said, Rogue do make the RE-3 Echo Rack, which is easily one of the top budget power racks.

The PR-4000 strikes a very nice balance between affordability and quality, as does the OneFitWonder Kip Cage. The T-3 Power Rack from Titan is very very affordable, but it comes with a higher risk of defects.

How much space do you have in your home / garage gym?

How much space you have in your home gym is another serious factor to consider when choosing the best power rack for your home gym

As far as the 5 power racks above are concerned, this consideration will very quickly determine whether they’re suitable for you or not.

If you don’t have an abundance of space for your rack, then the fully kitted out PR-4000, with it’s whopping 50″ wide x 50.5″ deep footprint, is probably not going to be the one for you. The R-3 and T-3 racks, on the other hand, are much more compact, especially in terms of depth (34″ and 32″ respectively). They’re your best bets if you’re looking for space-savers. The other racks fall somewhere in the middle.

Your ceiling height is an important factor to consider in choosing the best power rack for your home gymAnother thing to consider is obviously ceiling height. 8′ ceilings are about the lowest you’ll be able to work comfortably with, and even then you might be pushing it with some of these racks. Bear in mind that you’re going to need at least 6″ – 12″ clearance above your pull-up bar if you’re going to be using it a lot. You can go with the shorter racks, or move your pull-up bar(s) down a notch, but if you’re on the taller side this will force you to bend your legs considerably when doing pulls.
If you do find that your home gym just doesn’t have the necessary space for a full power rack, then a good quality squat rack or stand is a legit alternative.

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Frequently Asked Questions About Power Racks

What are power racks used for?

They’re used for safe and effective barbell training.

Power racks provide the means to unrack and rack loaded barbells at the height needed to perform Powerlifting exercises like squats, bench presses, and overhead presses. The bars or straps that run between the uprights (known as safeties) also create a safe means of pushing your weight limits for those same exercises. For example, if you try squatting a weight that’s a little too heavy for you, you’re able to dump the bar onto the safeties, thus preventing it from crushing you.

Many power racks can be bolted to the ground, which allows you to use resistance bands. These bands go around bands pegs attached to the power rack, and then around the barbell you’re lifting. This creates maximum resistance for lifts like squats and deadlifts without the need for lots of weight plates.

Can you bench press in a power rack?

You sure can! You’ll need:

  1. A weight bench to lay on
  2. 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 structure of each rack. The functions of each are pretty much the same.

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.

Power racks have four uprights that create an internal working space

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.

Squat racks only have 2 uproghts, making the working space everything in front of the rack

A half rack has four uprights but these do not 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.

Half racks have four uprights, but two of them are for plate storage

Well, there it is: 5 of the best power racks for your home or garage gym. No matter your lifting goals, budget or space-restrictions, you should be able to find the equipment you need to take your strength training to the next level. And take it to the next level you will.

A good power rack is, without question, the most valuable addition you can make to your home gym. It is the furnace in which the strongest version of you can be forged.

If you found this article useful, why not share with your friends and family on social media?

As always, best of luck with your home workouts. Remember: When it comes to working out, we can make the effort or make excuses, but we can’t make both.

THFF (The Home Fit Freak)

4 Responses

  1. I purchased a Rogue RML-390C rack (30 in interior). I upgraded the pipe pins for the safety straps. I also purchased the 24 in spotter arms that I mount outside the rack for benching and use the safety straps inside for squats, dead lifts, rack pulls, etc. I upgraded the fat/skinny pull up bar for multi-grip pull up bar. I prefer the hammer grip over the standard pullup/chin up grip. I have this bolted to my basement floor and it is rock solid. I don’t have the matador for dips but I use my Ironman power tower for leg lifts and dips and it too is very stable and versatile for functional body weight exercises. I don’t think you can go wrong with a Rogue rack and the RML may be more than needed for a home gym but I wanted something that my son and his buddies could also use and some of them are capable of 400+ lb squats. This rack doesn’t bat an eye no matter what you lift. One last point. Invest in a quality flat bench to use with your rack. I have the Rogue flat bench and it is extremely stable. Vulcan makes an even heavier duty flat bench made of 3X3 frames and with free shipping is probably a better bench than the Rogue. I chose the Rogue because it is lighter and easier to move around. I have the Fitness Reality 1000 lb light commercial adjustable bench with leg lift attachment for leg curls/extensions and for incline/decline dumbbell flies, etc.

    1. Hi Alan,

      Thanks for commenting – sounds like you have one hell of a setup. For some people the RML series of racks may be more than what’s needed, but as you’ve pointed out, for others it’s necessary. If you’re squatting 400+ like some of your son’s friends, then you’re going to want something very high quality. If you have to bail on a 400+ lift, the quality of the power rack could literally mean the difference between life and death! The RML fits the bill perfectly here.

      Thanks again for the info – If you have pics of your home gym you want to share, feel free to add them, I know we’d live to see them.

  2. Hi,

    Any recommendations on wooden platforms to use as a base for a power rack in a home gym?

    1. Hi Bob, I’ve yet to see a good one being sold commercially. Most commercial platforms are weightlifting or deadlifting platforms – designed to be lifted on, not have your rack sitting on or bolted into.

      If you want a platform to act as the base for your rack, you’re going to need to build it yourself. It’s not too difficult. 3/4″ plywood is cheap and readily available from hardware stores or timber suppliers. You’ll want to use 3 layers of ply, with the first two layer glued and screwed, and the final top layer just glued down.

      There are a few good guides on the net – one from Coop at GarageGymReviews is particularly good.

      Eamonn from THFF

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