Choosing The Best Power Rack for Your Home
Choosing the best power rack for your needs should be your number one focus when you start to price out a home gym. This will be your bread and butter, where most of your training takes place. Because of this you will need to find exactly what you need and more importantly what you don’t need. Here is a general overview of some terms you will need to know before getting started.
Squat stand– free standing supports to hold a bar. Some adjustability here. Safety is limited
Half rack- two upright supports
Power rack– 4 upright supports, think of a box
Jcups– hold the bar
Safety arms– designed to catch the bar in the event of a missed lift
Westside hole pattern– 1” through bench and clean pull zone then 2” spacing above and below
Footprint– amount of space the power rack takes up
Immediate considerations to determine the ideal fit for you
Height- This will be your biggest issue. When in doubt MEASURE. A power rack that doesn’t fit will do you absolutely no good
Type- Do you need a full rack, half rack etc
Jcups- what type? Do you care about your bar?
Safety arm considerations
Use our interactive table to find the right piece of equipment for you!
We have listed some of the higher rated racks available on Amazon as well as other retailers. To read reviews or more information just click the image to be taken to that page.
EDIT: Although I still own the Rogue SML-1 (due to height restrictions) I have found what I feel is the best power rack online that is not included in this guide.
If you are looking for a rack that has ALL of the features listed above (westside hole pattern, safety arms, great price) then I HIGHLY suggest you check out the Titan HD Power Rack.
Here is a picture of our squat stand
The Right Rack For Us
The Rogue SML 1 fit our needs perfectly. This was the first rack that I would trust, was under 70”, featured a westside hole pattern, and fit into our budget and gave us room to work with on other products.
Why the Rogue SML 1
I was a proud supporter of Elitefts for the longest time. Recently they went through a site change and in my opinion it makes the site extremely frustrating to use and shop around. This was basically strike one for me. The other thing that you will notice when you shop around with elitefts is the shipping times tend to be very long for the racks. 4-6 weeks just wasn’t going to cut it, I wanted the best home gym and I wanted it NOW. The equipment is expensive, even for a basic no frills rack….I am all for paying for quality but this just didn’t make sense. None of the racks in my price range even fit my criteria (no westside hole pattern, no low ceiling options). I kind of gave up on the idea of a home gym for a while.
We got home one weekend from a powerlifting meet and I was on the internet looking around for options. Low and behold, Rogue must have been running a PPC campaign because one of their ads popped up when I was googling “how to thaw frozen pipes” (yes this is true) and I went on the site.
I didn’t know too much about Rogue other than “cross fit” stuff but I gave them a chance. Guess what? I am GLAD THAT I DID. They had plenty of options that fit my needs and were economical. Maybe this is a possibility.
Squat stands vs half rack vs power rack
I wouldn’t consider the rogue squat stand to be a true squat stand, it is more of a half rack with a ton of options to expand. This is by far the best option for anyone considering a rack with ceiling limitations. I haven’t found too many options for low height racks and cages. Ideally, you would want a full rack but if that isn’t feasible then this is your best option.
I started to look primarily at their squat stands because these were the only options for low ceilings. I was super surprised to see that the S-1 and the SML-1 both had westside hole pattern options. For $20 more dollars the SML-1 looked a bit beefier and had some options that I knew we would want later (mini-lift hooks and band pegs to name a few).
There are options on many of the Rogue squat stands to convert to either a higher rack or into a half rack. I don’t believe that the SML-1 has those options but I wasn’t concerned with that. I can’t see the need to convert it into a pull-up bar as we have already solved that problem.
I order the SML-1 from Rogue along with the spotter arms, band pegs, and flat utility bench (it came as a bundle) on monday and it was at my house on either wednesday or thursday (shipping from Ohio to NY). You can’t ask for a quicker turn around compared to the options that you will find elsewhere online. They offer a same day shipping service that is top notch.
While this isn’t a “true” rack or cage, it definitely serves its purpose as the corner stone of our home gym. If you have low ceiling issues or are just trying to determine the best power rack for your home then I would highly suggest looking into Rogue’s equipment. They have multiple options available for tight space concerns and offer an immense level of quality when compared to other similar priced options on amazon.