How to Select A Power Rack

In our best power rack for home guide I touched on our process for purchasing a power rack for home.  I was extremely limited with my options for a rack due to training in a basement with low ceilings.  I have been thinking for a while, “What if I could start over from the beginning and select a power rack again?”  “Would I go with the Rogue SML-1?”  The answer is no, I wouldn’t.  The Rogue SML-1 squat stands are simply the only product that fit my criteria AND would fit in a small space with low ceilings.  Here is how I would go about setting up a lifting rack again without restrictions of space.

Step 1:  How do you train?

This is probably the most important question that will determine what you need in a rack or cage.  For example, as of late I have been experimenting with the conjugate method of training.  What I am finding is that there are definitely exercises that cannot be performed SAFELY without a cage vs squat stands with support arms.  The few exercises that come to mind are anything reverse band, and concentric only exercises from straps.  I would love to add these into the rotation but there just is not a safe way to rig that up that I have come up with at the moment.

Step 2: Safety arms and other options

I really like the idea of Rogue having straps as a safety catch vs. your bar landing on another bar.  Less jarring and saves the bar, works for me.  This wouldn’t be a deal breaker if I couldn’t find something that offered this feature but it definitely is nice, especially if you are looking at Rogue.  The westside hole pattern is still something that I think is necessary.  I don’t care if you have your own bench, at some point you will probably be using your rack for accessory work and will need the adjustment.  If you have the choice (and you do) between purchasing a rack with or without a westside hole pattern then why wouldn’t you just save yourself the time and get the right hole pattern?

Step 3: Price

This is the one thing that can go either way.  It is the most important part of your home gym, but you also need other equipment.  There are a few racks that I really think are the best option for the price.  For a basic rack without the frills mentioned above,  the Power Rack from Atlas is pretty hard to beat at just under 300.

If you are looking at some better options with at least a westside hole pattern then I think the best place to start looking is Rogue.  The R-3 Rack is everything that you need and more, however at this price point (700.00) you also bring elitefts into play.  Here for almost the same price (700.00) you can get a 2×2 rack from elitefts that are essentially the same product.  It just depends on who you prefer to support.

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