If you’re thinking about building a home gym, do it the right way and build your setup around a good power rack. A power rack is the one thing you really don’t want to skimp on, since this is the core piece of equipment that will support and enable your entire training regimen.
We took a look at some of the power racks for sale from Rogue Fitness, a company with a great reputation for solidly-built racks that suit all kinds of needs and budgets.
Rogue racks are built in the good old USA, and they are tough as nails. Once you see these racks in person you’ll truly understand why everyone uses the word “quality” to describe them. This is the kind of equipment you’ll be able to pass on to your grandkids.
Rogue racks range from entry level stuff all the way to $2,000+ professional cages. We were especially impressed with their R-series, which includes versatile models for small, medium, and baller budgets. Here’s a closer look at some of the most popular power racks in this series:
Low End Power Rack Review: Rogue R-3 Power Rack
Hands down the perfect entry level power rack. If you’re on a tight budget, you can’t go wrong with the R-3. Made with 11 gauge steel and designed to be bolted into the ground, the R-3 can take whatever punishment you want to throw at it. It’s got a 1” hole pattern at the bench press zone, which spaces out to 2” above and below for squats, deadlifts, etc. This rack also comes with 2 built-in pull-up bars. Overall a good practical setup for your standard home gym at an amazing price.
Mid-Range Power Rack Review: Rogue R-4 Power Rack
Moving up the spectrum we have the R-4. Like it’s little brother, the R-4 is USA-made from 11 gauge steel and stays bolted to the floor – this thing is practically bomb-proof. It’s deeper than the R-3 (43” vs. the smaller 30”), so there’s plenty of room to squat and do your thing without worrying about bumping up against anything. If you’re looking for a more spacious rack, the R-4 is the way to go. Overall this rack gives you a versatile setup for a home gym, and its expandable with a long list of great accessories.
High-End Power Rack Review: Rogue R-6 Power Rack
The R-6 is the “strongest training rack that Rogue Fitness manufactures. Features on this beastly model include tons of plate storage, fat & skinny pull-up bars, a “monkey”-style chin-up bar, and the same “West-side” hole spacing as the R-3 and R-4 models. At 300 lbs you don’t need to bolt this one to the floor, but believe us, it’s not going anywhere. This rack is deeper and wider than the previous models and basically the cream of the crop in the Rogue line. Serious lifters only – this thing will instantly transform any home gym from amateur to professional.
Should I buy a used power rack?
Due to the premium price of most power racks, lots of people are interested in buying a used rack. The logic makes sense, but buying used is actually harder than you’d think – and sometimes can even lead to serious buyer’s remorse thanks to poorly maintained or poorly assembled equipment.
First of all, there really aren’t that many people out with good used power racks for sale. You can sit and stare at Craigslist for a month and you’ll be lucky to see 1 rusted-out rack from the 80s float by. You definitely won’t see many premium racks like the Rogue stuff. The occasional still-functioning rack that does pop up is usually some lame bare-bones set up that barely gets the job done.
If you find a good deal, by all means go for it. But don’t hold your breath.
If you ask us, if you’re going to drop hundreds of dollars on a rack, you gotta go new. Why?
- You’ll get the exact model you want with all of the features you need. Right now – no waiting.
- You can trust the assembly, since you’re doing it yourself and not leaving it up to a stranger.
- You can trust that it’s going to last, since you’re maintaining it yourself.
- It’s 10 times easier to have someone ship a rack to you than it is to make 10 trips to the ghetto in your Toyota Camry.
- A bigger investment means more motivation and pride (it’s easy to ignore a rack you bought used for $50).
Best power rack exercises
- Squats. Did you really think we would start this list with anything else? Squats are the undisputed king of compound exercises, and you’d be wise to spend your time in the power rack doing a lot of them. Racks make it easier to squat safely, and they beat Smith machine squats (terrible idea) by a mile.
- Bench press. Yet another large muscle-mass exercise that should be included in every strength training and bodybuilding regimen, no excuses! The nice thing about benching in the power rack is you don’t need a spot – most racks have built-in safety catch pegs that will help you avoid the embarrassment of dying.
- Shoulder press. Are you sensing the compound exercise trend yet? A standard military press can target your shoulders, traps, chest, triceps, and biceps, all in one motion. A power rack makes it insanely easy to rack and unrack weight, whether you’re standing or sitting in a chair.
- Curls. Just kidding.
In a Nutshell
Overall, we recommend buying a new power rack to get your home gym started (or upgraded) – unless you are one of the rare lucky few who can actually find a decent deal on a used rack. The rack you pick should be based on size and budget limits, but try not to skimp – you’re going to have this equipment for a long time, and it’s easier to grow into a larger rack than it is to upgrade from something that’s too small or doesn’t have the features you need. In our experience a high-quality power rack is always worth the initial investment. Happy training.