How we pick our products
Welcome to our big Power Rack Test 2022. Here we present all the Power Racks we have tested in detail. We have compiled detailed background information and added a summary of customer reviews on the web. We would like to make your purchase decision easier and help you find the best power rack for you. You will also find answers to frequently asked questions in our guide. If available, we also offer interesting test videos. Furthermore, you will also find some important information on this page that you should definitely pay attention to if you want to buy a Power Rack.
- 1 Summary
- 2 The Best power rack: Our Picks
- 3 Guide: Questions you should ask yourself before buying a power rack
- 3.1 What are the advantages of the Power Rack over other home fitness equipment?
- 3.2 What fitness exercises can I do on a squat rack?
- 3.3 What materials are used to make the power rack and what are their advantages and disadvantages?
- 3.4 What are alternatives to a power rack?
- 3.5 How much does a power rack cost?
- 4 Decision: What types of power racks are there and which is the right one for me?
- 5 Buying criteria: Use these factors to compare and evaluate power racks
- 6 Facts about the power rack
- A power rack is a strength station that allows you to perform many exercises on one piece of equipment. This saves an enormous amount of space and money.
- A basic distinction is made between four materials: Aluminium, steel, wood and carbon. Each of these materials has its own advantages and disadvantages.
- When making your final purchase decision, you should pay attention not only to the size and maximum load capacity, but also to the height positions, the equipment and a high-quality powder coating.
The Best power rack: Our Picks
Guide: Questions you should ask yourself before buying a power rack
What are the advantages of the Power Rack over other home fitness equipment?
If you want to build your own home gym, there is no way around the power rack. No other piece of equipment allows you to do so many exercises in one. You also save a lot of space, even if the equipment itself may seem big at first. In most cases, the construction of a home gym fails because of money and, above all, space. To build a gym that offers you all the basics, you will have to buy a pull-up bar, a squat rack, various dumbbells and a weight bench.
This would take up an enormous amount of space if you use each piece of equipment as a single station. The power rack is a strength station that combines all of these exercises because you can easily do your bench press set in the same place you do your squats and pull-ups.
The only problem is that most power racks come without a weight bench and only with a rack, but usually with weights.
A weight bench, for example, can easily be purchased at a reasonable price. Compared to what you would have to spend if you bought each piece of equipment separately, you save a lot of money here.
What fitness exercises can I do on a squat rack?
The “squat rack” or “power rack” not only allows you to do squats and pull-ups. It compensates for every essential exercise that the fitness heart desires. Here is a rough list:
- Bench press
- Shoulder press
- Rowing (lat pulldown)
- Lateral Raise
- Arm Curls
Of course, with such a device, one’s own creativity in the exercises should not be forgotten, which makes the fitness device a real all-purpose weapon.
What materials are used to make the power rack and what are their advantages and disadvantages?
Basically, there are four different types of fitness equipment among which you should distinguish:
These materials can be divided into indoor and outdoor use. As you can imagine, the wooden power rack, for example, is better used indoors than outdoors.
|Aluminium||Very high||High||Very high||Very often||High|
|Steel||Very high||Very high||Very high||Very often||High|
|Carbon||Very high||Light||High||Rare||Very high|
First of all, all racks can be used indoors, but when it comes to outdoor use, the wheat is separated from the chaff. As you can see from the table, each power rack offers you different conditions. The aluminium power rack stands out with its durability and physical and economic lightness. Bad weather or your body weight – however high it may be – will not affect it. Steel offers similar advantages and is therefore the second-best alternative, but is somewhat susceptible to heat in summer and outdoor use, so you can burn your hands. If you are a little sturdier, we would recommend a metal power rack, as its excellent stability can easily withstand this when you are in “beast mode” again. Carbon and wood are also very stable and can withstand you without any problems, but before buying you should make sure that carbon, for example, is extremely stable but does not give in like metal. Carbon remains in its solid state in any situation. This means that steel and aluminium bend in really extreme situations, but carbon and wood break.
Carbon and wood are more suitable for indoor use, as wood quickly loses its resilience in the rain and carbon excels with its lightness in domestic use.
But don’t worry – unless the temperature in your training room is around 90 degrees or your water pipes are broken, a little humidity or heat in the room won’t affect all materials, especially the sensitive wood. Nevertheless, we would advise you to choose these materials only if you are not too heavy. Even if the stability of the material is not affected at all, in the long run it is probably a better alternative for you to use metal. We think it would be mentally challenging if, after six years of use, you kept hanging on to the same wooden bar that you used pretty much every day and it kept squeaking louder and louder.
However, it must be mentioned that wood is more of a luxury item or do it yourself “Do It Yourself” style.
The market is not exactly full of wooden power racks and a wooden one from a high-end designer can cost you a few hundred euros more. However, you can also build a power rack yourself as a “DIY”. You will have to invest considerably less money than for a ready-made power rack. On the other hand, the effort is of course greater. If you are the type with an affinity for building, we have added a rough “DIY guide” for you. On the whole, all materials have one thing in common: they combine their advantages and disadvantages to create a strong and versatile piece of fitness equipment that can withstand high loads. Unfortunately, all materials share one point of criticism: the price. It will probably play a major role in whether you decide to buy a power rack. But you should never forget how many exercises it can bundle and how much space and money it can save you in your home gym.
What are alternatives to a power rack?
Of course, there are alternatives to a power rack, because not everyone is looking for the perfect one. We have listed equipment that is similar to the power rack but still different:
- Squat Rack
- Squat stands
- Multi Presses
A half rack is a half rack and takes up less space. There are still four struts, but the area inside the half rack is shorter. Half racks often have disc shelves directly, which makes it a bit more space-saving. Squat racks, as their name suggests, are only used for squats. Since many people are looking for a “squat station” for their home gym, people often ask for a squat rack. But it is often overpriced and compared to a power rack, it either has no or non-adjustable safety shelves. The same applies to squat stands as to squat racks. They are also very unstable and do not have safety rests. The multi-presses come closest to the power rack because, compared to the squat racks, they offer a wide range of exercises for almost all barbell exercises and not just for one isolated exercise. The barbells have guides and safety locks. The multi-press can do practically everything the power rack can do, but it is much more expensive and not as handy as the “simple” power rack.
How much does a power rack cost?
It’s true – if you want to buy a power rack, you will have to invest some money, but we are convinced that the price/performance ratio is worth the investment.
Nevertheless, you will find a variety of price categories. The cheapest racks start at around 350 euros. But be careful: You should invest one to two hundred euros more if, firstly, you trust your rack completely and, secondly, if you want to use it often. Nevertheless, you don’t have to buy a power rack for 2,000 euros.
Decision: What types of power racks are there and which is the right one for me?
Power racks or fitness racks are available in many different versions with a wide range of equipment. As a fitness novice, but also as an experienced athlete who wants to create his or her own home gym, it is easy to lose track of what is available. Basically, the many different products differ mainly in terms of equipment. Power racks can be divided into these three types:
- Basic Power Rack
- Professional Power Rack
All models meet the basic functional purpose of a power rack – performing squats, bench presses and deadlifts. However, the various devices differ greatly in terms of equipment and additional functions, which results in certain advantages and disadvantages. Therefore, depending on the requirement, not every power rack is equally suitable. In the following section, the differences between the various models and their features and functionality are explained in more detail. This will help you to decide which model suits you best. In addition, the advantages and disadvantages of the individual racks are listed.
How does a basic power rack work and what are its advantages and disadvantages?
Racks of the basic class have the least equipment. They are usually limited to the basics: the rack itself, shelves for the barbell, safety devices (also called safety spotters) and a pull-up bar. This is also the advantage of this model: it is very compact and takes up the least space. The most important full-body strength exercises in fitness, but also in powerlifting, can be performed with any power rack. With the three basic exercises, deadlifts, squats and bench press, you can train the whole body well even with little time for training. Power racks with basic equipment can also be used without problems as squat racks for deadlifts and with an additional weight bench also for bench presses. If you already have equipment in your home gym for the functions that a combination power rack or a professional power rack has, or if you simply do not need the additional equipment of a more expensive model for your training, then it is of course a good idea to buy your new rack with only basic equipment, as this is much cheaper.
The main difference between the basic models is therefore in their equipment and consequently also in their price. If you think that you don’t need the additional features of a more expensive model, you should also bear in mind that you might change your mind after one or two years of training.
How does a Combi Power Rack work and what are its advantages and disadvantages?
Combi power racks are characterised by the fact that they complement the usual functionality of a rack with the functions of other equipment, such as a lat pull-down machine. This makes it possible to perform a complete full-body workout with just one piece of equipment. This makes this model particularly suitable for small home gyms that need to achieve as much functionality as possible with very little equipment, as all basic or compound exercises, as well as isolation exercises on the cable pulley, can be performed with this machine.
So this is the one to choose if you are looking for an all-in-one solution for your home gym to save space on the one hand and get the most out of just one piece of equipment on the other.
How does a professional power rack work and what are its advantages and disadvantages?
Professional power racks are especially aimed at athletes who, for example, do powerlifting or powerlifting at a professional level. However, such a power rack can also be recommended to recreational athletes for whom a particularly robust and functional design is important. This power rack is particularly robust and can be loaded with up to 500 kg at the weight rack as well as at the safety spotters. It also offers intelligent and sophisticated additional functions that are essential for professional strength training.
The most important feature for progressive strength training are the integrated resistance band supports. These allow resistance bands to be attached either from above or below to either make the weight harder or easier by providing variable resistance.
Buying criteria: Use these factors to compare and evaluate power racks
In the following we would like to show you which criteria you can use to compare and evaluate power racks. This will make it much easier for you to find the rack that suits you best.
- Rack weight / load capacity
- Height positions
- Equipment of the rack
- Powder coating
In the next points, you can read about the purchasing criteria and how you can classify them.
Size is a major factor you need to plan for and consider before buying a power rack. Just imagine finding the perfect rack for you to put in your basement with a two-metre high ceiling. Your rack, however, exceeds that height. You also need to consider that you will need to hit at least about 30 cm above rack height or pull-up height, as you will be sticking your head and upper body above your rack height during your pull-up exercises. Also, the width of the rack plays a big role – not just for space or the feel-good factor, but especially if you want to use barbells on your rack. The racks do not come in standard sizes and therefore have different widths, so not every barbell is suitable for your rack. In the worst case, they will not fit into the safety spotter. Just as important is the depth of the equipment, because your rack may fit into your training room, but this value increases when adding a weight bench or weights, for example, and must be taken into account.
Dead weight of the rack / load capacity
If you use your rack on a balcony or on the fifth floor, if you are heavier or train with very heavy weights, the following information is important for you. Most racks are not as heavy as you might imagine. For example, the range of dead weight is from 50 to 150 kg. But be careful: You have to keep in mind that you are adding weights and your own body weight to your rack. Therefore, you should always check the maximum load capacity to avoid injuries or accidents. Furthermore, it would not only make sense to pay attention to the weight of the rack in terms of load capacity. You should also consider the load capacity of your balcony or similar training surface.
The height positions or safety spotters will be an important criterion if it is important to you to have the possibility to perform a high variance of exercises. The safety spotters are your support in the workout, because you will still be able to get your barbell safely into the jig even in dicey situations. Compared to a free weight bench, this will give you very good training support. This means you can also dare to lift heavy weights without any problems. Nevertheless, as already mentioned, you should stick to the weight limit and pay attention to the maximum load. Nevertheless, your training experience will be greatly enhanced by the safety spotters. They will enable you to perform as many exercises as possible, especially in the area of chest/shoulder training and squats.
Therefore you will have to pay attention to how many safety spotters your power rack offers you.
Equipment of the rack
Not every power rack will have the same features. As you may have noticed, there is no single standard rack. Each rack has certain features of its own. Not every model has a “normal” pull-up bar. Many racks offer you numerous other variations on the bar. From the basic pull-up to the monkey-chin – you can do many things with the so-called multi-grip pull-up bars. You also need to check whether your rack already comes with barbell bars or even weights, because many training devices are supplied without these. To avoid mistakes there as well, we advise you to read through the “Size” section again. Athletes who do not want to miss out on anything in their training should pay attention to whether their rack comes with a lat pull-down station or whether it is possible to add one.
In outdoor use, powder coating is almost a must. In indoor use it will also give you various advantages. Powder coating is the all-purpose weapon against unwanted negative effects. Even though we have already explained to you which materials have advantages and disadvantages, powder coating will reduce the negative aspects and promote the many positive attributes. Steel, for example, will heat up strongly in outdoor use when exposed to high levels of UV radiation. The powder coating will greatly limit this overheating, making your workout much more comfortable and also more weather resistant. If you want to use the same rack indoors, you will have to deal with the odd electric shock. Because naked steel offers you the best surface to discharge yourself.
The solution here is again powder coating. The fine particles provide the best buffer between you and the steel. So make sure to buy a rack with powder coating.
Facts about the power rack
Can I build a power rack myself?
As mentioned above, you can build your own rack. All you need is wood, screws and above all a lot of time and patience. If the inventor and builder in you is awakened, you can build a power rack yourself quite easily. But be careful! You should have experience if you want to build a power rack yourself and not just go for it. You will want to safely place barbells with heavy weights on your rack and you will have to rely one hundred percent on your equipment.
Is the Power Rack suitable for Crossfit exercises?
The power rack is the perfect tool for Crossfit exercises – nothing offers you more variety for Crossfit. It goes without saying that the power rack is almost made for this. On what other piece of equipment can you move from a pull-up set directly to an abdominal exercise and then to tricep dips without leaving your fitness station? From simple exercises with resistance bands to artistic free moves on the pull-up bar – it’s all here and we’re sure you’ll be able to complete almost any Crossfit workout satisfactorily. Here we have an overview of which exercises you can generally perform on a power rack:
|Squats||Thigh and glute muscles, core muscles||3-4 sets. 6-8 repetitions|
|Bench press||chest, shoulder muscles, arm muscles (triceps)||3-4 sets. 6-12 reps|
|Shoulder press||shoulder muscles||3 sets. 8-12 repetitions|
|Rowing||back muscles, arm muscles (biceps)||3 sets. 8-12 repetitions|
|Deadlift||back muscles, thigh and gluteal muscles, core muscles||3-4 sets. 6-8 repetitions|
|Biceps curls||arm muscles (biceps)||3 sets. 8-12 repetitions|
|Lunges||thigh and gluteal muscles, core muscles||3 sets. 10 repetitions per leg|
|Pull-ups||back muscles, arm muscles (biceps)||3-4 sets. As many repetitions as possible|
Why should I train at home?
There are many reasons to train at home and everyone could name at least one reason for wanting to have the gym next door to themselves for once. For once, you can train without having to worry about your upper body. All the equipment and exercises you want to do are possible. No one to bother you and no unpleasant encounters with people you don’t really want to see. Just be able to switch off. Just you and the weights. Or you and your buddy. In addition, you have the option of going to train “just quickly” and not having to run to the gym around the corner or even drive several kilometres.
Picture credits: resultzgym / pixabay.com