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Power racks are usually an expensive piece equipment.
And I'm not just talking about the commercial-grade racks you see in the gym.
No siree bob, I'm talking about the ones for home use.
With all the major brands and players on the market charging top dollars for their models, it seems hard to find a decent rack that won't make you break the bank.
It's like if you want to add a rack to your home gym, or at least a good one, you have to break your piggy safe or *sell the wife or something.
When you have a bit too much of a spare time and two good partners for the mission, finding the best budget power rack becomes a lot easier.
So, before we dive into this article, here's a quick rundown of 5 models that will allow you to bulk up at home, even if you're broke, like me.
* No wives were sold during the making of this review.
Best Power Racks On The Budget
Fitness Reality 810XLT
Best Fitness-Power Rack
TDS Power Rack
Rep Power Rack-PR1000
Merax - Lat Power Rack
# Of Safety Holes Positions
space between safety Holes
plate storage peg
yes-one fat/one skinny
50" L x 46" W x 83" H
45" L x 47" W x 83" H
48" L x 48" W x 82" H
48" L x 48" W x 84" H
56" L x 44" W x 85" H
before you buy a power rack
1. Weight Load
So this one is not that crucial, for one main reason.
Most of the power racks at this level can handle up to about 1,000 lbs of weight load.
And to tell you the truth, it should be enough for you.
Why is that?
Because if you need a rack that can take up more than 1,000 lbs, it most likely means you're a professional weight lifter.
And it's rare to find a professional weight lifter that is after a "cheap" power rack.
So as far weight capacity goes, even a cheap power rack will do the job.
That is, as long as you're fine with the 1,000 lbs limit of weight load.
2. Spacing between the height Adjustment holes
On the other hand, a crucial factor you should consider when you're looking for a power rack at any level, is the space between the safety holes.
We talked about this in detail in our power rack roundup, so I'm not going to repeat the same thing here.
But let's recap real quickly.
An ideal space between the height adjustment positions would be between ½” to 1”.
Unfortunately, It's not something you would normally find on an affordable power rack, if at all.
Since that at this price level, the standard increment is between 2" to 3".
How does that affect you?
Well, it might mean that it will be hard for you to accurately adjust the height of the safety bars and J-hooks to match your size and needs.
So if the safety bars are too low, they won't be offering any support in case you'll need to bail on a bench press for example.
And, if the safety bars are too high when you're doing bench presses, you might bang the bar on them when you bring it down.
Therefore, if you already decided to go for a rack that has a 2"/3" increment, go for one that has at least 25 height adjustment positions.
It could make the difference between a rack that will have you back to a one that won't.
The good thing about power racks at this price level is that you can add attachments as you go.
You might not feel the need to add dip bars or lat attachments right from the get-go, and that's totally fine.
However, you should have the option to turn your rack into the center of your home gym.
So, when we look for one to decorate our gym with, we would want to get one that we know we will be able to add attachments if we ever feel the need to.
It can add a lot of value and versatility aspect to your workouts.
Consider the attachments you can add to your power rack:
- lat pulldown
- low row station
- Cable crossover
- weight bench
- dip bars
- chin-up bar
- resistance bands
Play it smart and don't go crazy spilling hundreds of dollars on a rack when you're just starting out.
But, you would want to have the option to add versatility to your rack and workouts as you progress.
why use a power rack?
Despite looking intimidating at first sight, the power rack is actually pretty easy to use and benefit from.
You should think of the power rack as your friendly spotter.
A recent study found that 3% of gym injuries happened during squats/deadlifts, and 2.5% during bench presses.
And while 3 and 2.5% doesn't sound that much, an injury caused from doing squats can be quite awful.
And these stats are injuries that happened inside the gym.
So what do you do as a weight lifter that wants to push himself to failure, while working out at home?
Well, this is where the power rack enters.
A power rack utilizes the use of two safety bars, that will catch your weight bar in case you fail to complete the rep.
Thus allowing you to concentrate more on the exercise you're doing, and worry less about whether or not you're going to get hit by the weight bar.
Like this poor chap.
(BTW, this is just a poor example of an open power rack with lousy safety bars design)
So adding the safety aspect to your workouts is one major thing a power rack supposed to do.
I won't get into all the technicalities of the power rack since I already talked about it in our power racks roundup.
best budget power rack Drill-down
First of all, we went ahead and did some heavy filtering.
Power racks don't come cheap, and those that do, well, just don't worth the investment, or the risk if you'll ask me.
We took what we know about power racks and aimed for ones that offer all the things we want to see in our rack, but with reasonable price.
What we were looking to find? Well:
- Price (that is why we're here for, right?)
- Safety aspect
- Versatility aspect (does the rack come with any attachment?/can You Add any later on?)
- Weight load
- Number of height Adjustment positions
- The space between them
- Ease of use (are there any plate pegs?/is it easy to adjust the safety bars/J-hooks?)
To be honest, after a while of researching the results didn't seem that promising, which made us think that a good cheap power rack is like a unicorn.
It doesn't exists.
However, after a lot more digging we did somehow managed to put together the list (which we're very proud of) you're about to see.
The order is random.
1. Best Fitness - BFPR100 Power Rack
This power rack from Best Fitness is the cheapest one on our list.
And, it's also the one with the lowest weight capacity. Only 500 lbs.
On the other hand, it's made from 14 gauge steel and has a stabilizer, so it's more than stable when in use.
The good thing about this rack is that it's got 23 level adjustments, and they run from top to bottom.
So you're able to attack it with all kind of exercises.
The not so great thing about it is the 3" space between the holes.
Which might make it hard for you to height adjust the safety bars to your size and need.
And don't expect any attachments to be included with the price of this thing.
But, it's noteworthy to mention you can add a lat or dip attachment, which will help you further diversify your workouts.
And in anyway, it's got a pull-up bar, so you can work your lats.
Though I wish it would've been a bit wider, because doing pull-ups on a skinny bar can hurt your palms after a couple of reps.
Bottom line, If you haven't guessed it till now, its main advantage is its price.
And for the price, I would say that it can get the job done.
That is If you're not a professional weight lifter and you're just looking for a rack that can support you up to 500 lbs.
2. TDS Power Rack
The TDS power rack is just slightly more expensive than the Best Fitness power rack, but it offers much more.
First of all, it can support a max weight of 1,000 lbs.
Which means there's a lot of room for you to progress with this rack.
The upright bars feature 31 height levels for the J-hooks and the safety bars.
And despite the increment between holes being 2", because there are 31 of them, you'll likely find an accurate height setting that will fit your size.
Another thing I liked about this power rack is that the holes are numbered.
So you don't have to guess where you've previously set the safety bars for example, and you're saving yourself a lot of what could be wasted time.
Only one pull-up bar, and though it would've been nice to have one skinny and one fat, I don't think it's a deal breaker.
As for attachments, unfortunately non are included.
But let's be honest, at this price tag, it's forgivable.
However, I feel that TDS could've at least included plate storage option.
Finally, the TDS power rack is also the shortest rack on our list.
Which might help sweeten the pill a bit, since its short height helps it fit in low ceiling rooms, like your basement/garage gym.
3. Fitness Reality 810XLT Super Max Power Cage
The Fitness Reality 810XLT is yet another affordable power cage.
And finally one that has two pull up bars.
But the real benefit of it is the close grip handles that it offers. Which is great because it will allow you to diversify your pull-ups.
As for weight capacity, well this one can handle up to 800 lbs.
For it's price, 800 lbs is actually pretty decent and should be enough for you if you're an average Joe.
Unfortunately, the 810XLT also doesn't come with any attachments. Even the J-hooks are optional.
However, there are more than enough attachments that you can add to this rack later on.
My major problem with this rack is that it only has 19 height adjustments and the 3" space between them.
If it had at least 25, and 2" space, then I might've stopped this rundown post here and declare it the winner.
On a good note, the 810XLT comes with two stabilizing bars, that help keep this rack from rockin'.
It also means you don't need to bolt this power rack to the floor.
Again, for a rack at this price, which is what we're looking for, the 810XLT is more than a strong contender to the title.
4. Rep Power Rack - PR-1000 - with dips attachment
The PR-1000 from Rep Fitness is what I would normally categorize on great price to value ratio.
Surprisingly, even with its low price tag, the PR-1000 has some cool features we want our power rack to have.
First of all, the space between the height positions is 2".
And at this price range, it's actually a good thing.
But, it wouldn't be one if it didn't had 28 height positions.
Because it would make finding the perfect height setting for yourself a lot harder.
Though I would have to say that if it had a bit more height adjustment positions it would've been better.
It's also noteworthy that the holes run from top to bottom, so it's safe to assume this rack targets a wide range of users heights.
Another thing you don't usually see on racks at this price range is that it has two pull up bars.
One skinny (1.2") and one fat (2"), which is great because it won't kill your hands when you're doing pull-ups.
And another thing we're not used to seeing at this price range is the 26" inside depth this rack provides.
To compare, the Rouge R-3 offers 24" inside depth, and it costs more than double.
Finally, the PR-1000 has more than enough attachments for you to choose from.
But, its main advantage is that it comes with dips station.
Which is great because a dip attachment can add that much-needed versatility aspect to your workouts.
5. Merax Athletics - Power Rack with LAT Pull Attachment
Alright, so this power rack from Merax Athletics is the highest priced one on our list.
But, that's mostly because it comes with a lat attachment that also has a lower pulley station.
If at any point you'd want to add a lat attachment to any of the power racks above, the bottom line would be higher than price of this rack.
So that's one good point to Merax Athletics.
Having a lat attachment can help take your workout sessions to the next level, by allowing you to work your lats, triceps, biceps, shoulders and forearms.
As for weight capacity, this rack can support up to 800 lbs on the safety bars.
But the bar catchers can only support up to 500 lbs and 650 lbs respectively.
No J-Hooks here, just plain ol' bar catchers, but you get 4 of them, which means you can set and forget two for squats, and the other two for whatever you want.
It can actually save you time, and maybe even help you with your supersets.
There are also 4 plates pegs that will allow you to store and switch plates quickly and easily when working out.
What I didn't like that much is that this power rack has only 21 height positions.
But, the space between each hole is 2", so that's kinda make up for it, but not completely.
so who's the winner?
If we had to crown one particular rack over the others then it would have to be the PR-1000 from Rep Fitness.
Despite its low price, the PR-1000 can take on more expensive racks.
First of all, its 1,000 lbs weight limit should be more than enough for you if you're looking for a power rack at this price level.
Next, it adds the versatility aspect we're looking for in a power rack by offering the dips station, and at a very competitive price.
Furthermore, after realizing that 2" increment is the standard in racks at its price level, the PR-1000 goes the extra mile by offering 28 height adjustment positions
And they actually go from top to bottom.
The fact that it's got two pull-up bars is not even its number one feature.
Because it's got 26" inside depth which is more than what the Rogue R-3 offers, and it basically means you won't have any trouble doing inside exercises.
If that's not enough, it also has two weight plate pegs that will allow you to quickly adjust the weight you're lifting.
All and all, in our opinion, it's the best power rack for the money, at least at this price level.
Check its price here.