The Ultimate 12-Point Checklist (Updated for 2018)
Are you looking to find the best power rack for your garage gym, home gym or personal training studio?
If so, this handy buyer guide will help navigate you through the most important details to help you choose the best power cage for your needs.
Having a power rack is arguably the most important piece of strength training equipment you can own. Whether you’re into CrossFit, Power Lifting, Olympic Lifting or just want to build muscle and burn fat, a power rack is a perfect vehicle to accomplish your fitness goals.
Whether or not you choose a power rack from Force USA, this buyers guide will help you to understand the critical things to consider before buying one.
But first, let’s consider why you should buy a power rack in the first place.
Why Buy a Power Rack?
Because they are Versatile
One rack can handle so many different exercises including deadlifts, bench presses, cable crossovers, squats, overhead presses, curls, chin-ups, lat pulldowns, rows, and more. It’s your one-stop shop for your ultimate power rack workouts!
They Can Be Cost Effective
Once you've made your purchase, you’ll never have to spend money on a reoccurring gym membership or gas going back and forth from the gym.
Having one at home helps keep close to your workouts and saves a lot of time waiting in line, driving back and forth from the gym, and more.
No Spotter Necessary
Because of safety spotters and other safety attachments, you can work out safely by yourself without a spotter.
When you’re close to your workouts, it’s easier to be consistent and build a routine habit and get better results.
Training in the comfort of your own garage without someone staring at you as they wait for you to finish your set is priceless.
Zero Wait Times
You’ll never have to wait in line again for someone else to finish their sets.
Tired of having someone tell you that you’re doing it wrong? You’ll never have to hear this ever again.
How Do I Choose the Best Power Rack?
Next, let’s dive into how to choose the best power rack so you make the best choice for you.
To help simplify things here is an actionable checklist of 12 of the most important considerations when selecting the best power rack for your home gym.
1. Choose the right type
There are two types of options available. The first type is modular system and allows you to buy a base rack then choose the attachments you want. This way, you don’t pay for attachments or stations you don’t want or need. The second type is a fixed package system where a certain number of attachments and stations are included that you may or may not use. For the budget conscious, we recommend a modular power racking system.
2. Choose the right attachments
Selecting the right attachments and stations for your power rack will give you all the possible combinations of workouts you will ever need in one simple system. Here are some common attachments that can help you reach your weight lifting goals:
- Chin up bars
- Monkey bars
- Cable crossover
- Lat pull down seat
- Knee holder for lats
- Lat pulldown and low row
- Monolift Systems
- Band pegs
- Core trainers
- Dip handle
- Plate holders
3. Verify the Weight Capacity
For safety reasons, you’ll want to find one that supports more weight than you will ever use. This is one area you don’t want to overlook. We recommend a power rack that offers at least 2,000lb (or more) static rating weight capacity.
4. Consider Your Safety
Because you’ll be working out by yourself without a spotter, you’re going to want to invest in a power rack that is structurally safe and secure. Not only that, but you’ll also want to buy attachments that help keep you safe.
The best power rack will offer safety features and options including:
- Ability to anchor the rack to the floor
- Strong welds and high-quality materials
- Thick gauge steel construction
- Strong and secure safties
- Safety spotter arm attachments
- Safety sling attachments
5. Verify Product Dimensions
Measure your floor space and consider your room’s dimensions to make sure it will fit. When buying a modular design, you’ll also want to verify that you will have enough space for any additional stations or attachments you may purchase in the future.
6. Check the Hole Spacing
Holes should be consistent in diameter and run from the top to the bottom. This is important so you can do low, medium, and high lifts. Smaller adjustment increments are best, roughly ½” to 1” apart, and are critical to adjusting things like safety spotters and j-hooks for precise customization to your body’s dimensions and workout goals.
7. Check there is Hole Numbering
This is a small but important feature. Having numbered holes on both sides of the power cage takes the guesswork out of pin placement so things are level on both sides. This also helps you to remember your numbers to quickly and easily find the right positions for your chosen workouts.
8. Check for Ease of Adjustment
The best power rack will allow compatible attachments to be easily adjusted from position to position. Pins should securely mount to the structure while being easy to attach or remove.
9. Check Your Budget
Establishing a budget is always a good idea. While you can find cheap base power racks for around $200, the materials, fit, finish and welds are generally low quality. Higher quality base power cages can cost upwards of $400 and offer better materials, welds, and construction. Remember with attachments, your final cost could be over $1,000. Depending on your budget, it may be best to buy the base rack and acquire attachments every month to spread out the expense and make it easier to afford. When buying a pre-configured power rack system, higher quality models can run $2,000 or higher.
10. Read the Warranty
Whether you buy in-store or online, it’s important to know the warranty of the product. Look for a lifetime structural warranty. In general, higher cost/quality units typically come with the best warranties. Cheap power racks typically don’t come with a structural warranty while the best power rack does.
11. Verify Shipping
When buying online, you need to determine if shipping is included in the price. Keep in mind that some sites lead with a low price and add shipping charges in the checkout process. Look for sites that offer free shipping.
12. Verify Packaging
Power racks aren’t small or light. They will either be shipped in one large box or several boxes. Find out how it will be shipped to make sure you know if you need help getting it into your house. Note that delivery companies will not bring it inside your home.
13. Read the Return Policy
This is important when purchasing a power rack sight unseen online. Look for at least a 30-day return policy so that you have a little time to use it and make sure it fits your needs.
There you have it. With these actionable steps, you can find the best power rack for your home gym. Use this guide to see if the Force USA MyRack Power Rack is right for you.
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