Shopping for the best power rack for a home gym? You are doing the right thing – although power racks take up a lot of space, they are an essential piece of workout equipment to have if you are serious about home training.
A power rack is excellent in assisting you with performing a variety of core body exercises – most importantly, squats, deadlifts, and the bench press (if you have a bench). Apart from these key movements, a power rack can provide you with a starting point for military press, barbell rows, and even pull-ups.
Most of our readers probably have a limited budget and cannot afford high-end power racks, e.g. the ones offered by Rogue – these cost about $1,000-$2,000! If you have the money and are serious about home training, such racks are worth it, but most people don’t need their ruggedness and stability.
With that in mind, we’d like to introduce you to 5 relatively inexpensive power rack options for a home gym. We certainly can’t say that these racks are absolutely perfect, but they are great for the price and have received praise from buyers.
5 Best Barbell Power Racks
If your budget is limited and you aren’t going to lift heavy weights, then this power rack from CAP Barbell should work excellently for you. It’s inexpensive yet has the basics to help you perform squats, bench press (if you have a bench), and even pull-ups thanks to the integrated pull-up bar.
The build-in this power rack is pretty decent – made of 11- and 12-gauge powder-coated steel, the CAP rack is resistant to corrosion and can be placed outdoors or in the garage. Moisture and humidity shouldn’t be big problems for it.
CAP Barbell also claims a weight capacity of 500 pounds for the bar pegs and 750 pounds for the pull-up bar. These numbers are probably true, but this rack is a little shaky. This won’t be a problem with light weights or standard pull-ups, but once you start going really heavy, you’ll see the wobbliness of this rack when re-racking your weight.
By default, this power rack has no safety bar catchers as well, so either train with a spotter or don’t use heavy loads.
- Simple and easy to assemble.
- Integrated pull-up bar.
- Vertical posts for plate storage.
- Pretty rugged powder-coated steel tubing.
- Shaky and definitely not for heavy weights.
- Has no bar catchers.
Compared to the rack we’ve just reviewed, the CAP Barbell Deluxe power rack has a few added features for safer training.
First up, the Deluxe power rack has bar catchers, allowing for safer squats and bench presses.
Next, this power rack has 6 pegs at the base for band attachment. You could live without these, but the band pegs certainly make band exercise a little more convenient.
And finally, you get a pair of horizontal pegs for plates and vertical pegs for secure bar storage.
Build-wise, the Deluxe power rack is similar to the CAP Barbell rack we reviewed at the beginning. Deluxe is again made from powder-coated steel, although it’s a thinner 12- and 14-gauge steel.
The weight capacity in the Deluxe is also advertised lower than in the previous CAP Barbell power rack – 300 pounds for both the rack and the pull-up bar. These probably are more realistic numbers for which this power rack is going to be very practical.
And overall, we’d say that the Deluxe power rack again is a good choice for beginners, and it’s definitely not for heavyweights.
- Simple and easy to assemble.
- Has a pull-up bar.
- Pegs for plate & bar storage and band attachment.
- Tough powder-coated steel construction.
- Issues with shipping.
- Not for heavy weights.
With its full cage design, this power rack from CAP Barbell is a pretty stable option. We again wouldn’t recommend it for serious lifters, but beginners and intermediate users should be safe with this rack.
Convenience-wise, the CAP Barbell Full Cage power rack isn’t as good as the Deluxe rack we’ve just reviewed. That’s because the Full Cage doesn’t have band or plate pegs. However, the Full Cage still boasts a pull-up bar along with adjustable bar catchers.
This power rack is made from 12- and 14-gauge powder-coated steel with a weight capacity of 500 pounds. For the pull-up bar, the weight capacity is advertised at 750 pounds. Again, the Full Cage can probably hold such weight, but it gets wobbly with heavyweights (though not as wobbly as the very first CAP Barbell rack on the list).
One thing to note with this power rack is that its safety pegs tend to slide out. When re-racking the bar, try to center it on the safeties. If you jiggle an offset bar to center it before picking it up, the pegs are likely to come out.
- Pretty stable.
- Full cage design.
- Integrated pull-up bar.
- Has adjustable bar catchers.
- Powder-coated steel frame.
- Although pretty stable, this rack again isn’t for very heavy weights.
- The safeties tend to spin and slide out.
Fuel Pureformance’s Deluxe power cage is a pretty stable and convenient rack at the price. It’s again a little bit wobbly, but it should be stable enough for beginners and even intermediate users.
We’ve seen many of the features of this rack in previous power racks, such as band attachment points, plate/bar storage pegs, and a pull-up bar. What’s new for us are the lower metal guards that can be used as an elevated starting position for barbell rows and other similar exercises.
With that said, note that the metal guards won’t allow you to do a deadlift from the floor. This will be a problem if you don’t have enough space to deadlift out of the rack.
- Pretty decent stability.
- Integrated pull-up bar.
- Pegs for bands and plate & bar storage.
- Powder-coated steel.
- Has bar safety catchers.
- The lower metal guards may be used as an elevated starting position for some lifts.
- The bottom metal guards won’t allow you to deadlift in the rack.
Finally, we have this power rack from HulkFit. This is the priciest and most durable power rack on our list. We’d confidently recommend it to beginners and intermediate users, but probably not for pros. This power rack is pretty stable and sturdy, but it’s far from being the strongest on the market.
Feature-wise, the HulkFit power rack has many familiar things. Like previous power racks on our list, this rack comes with safety catchers, plate & band pegs, and pull-up bars.
But notably, you are getting not one but two pull-up bars – each with varying thickness. The safety catchers also have integrated dip bars with adjustable grip width. These dip bars won’t work for big and heavy users, but for others, they should be pretty nice.
The weight capacity of this power rack is advertised at 800 pounds as well – the highest on our list. Judging by buyer reviews, the HulkFit rack is pretty stable and is a good fit for heavy weights. 330-350 pounds seem not to be an issue for this power rack, according to buyers.
- Excellent stability.
- Comes with two pull-up bars with different diameters.
- Bar catchers with dip bars.
- Integrated plate and band pegs.
- Powder-coated steel construction.
A Few More Pieces Of Safety Equipment To Consider
Ensuring safety is an important aspect of power racks. With that, we think that we should briefly cover 3 additional pieces of equipment that will allow you to train more safely and confidently.
Knee sleeves are designed to reduce the risk of injury in the knees. Apart from that, they increase blood flow to the knee joint, which appears to have positive effects on knee pain or swelling (especially post-workout pain).
Knee wraps, on the other hand, are often worn because they can assist with squats. As you go down, the wraps will gather elastic energy that is released as you ascend. Apart from that, knee wraps also protect from injury.
Lifting belts help you maintain pressure in your core while performing demanding exercises. Pressure in the core is important so that your spine position stays fixed while you are performing squats, deadlifts, snatches, or clean & jerks.
Wearing a lifting belt comes down to personal preference, and not everybody needs one. But it might still be a good thing to have or at least to try out.
Regular sneakers do not provide adequate support to allow you to safely and effectively perform strength movements such as the squat, deadlift, strict press, and pretty much any other exercise where you need a stable surface under your feet.
Weightlifting shoes have flat and rigid outsoles that do not compress under weight and provide you with stable support. Besides, weightlifting shoes have elevated heels, which greatly helps with achieving depth in squats or Olympic weightlifting movements. This is because the elevated heel can compensate for lacking ankle mobility.
The barbell rack is one of the most necessary pieces of sports equipment for strength training. With a power rack, a bar, and a few plates, you will be able to do all the basic movements for muscle building – most importantly, the squat, deadlift, and bench press. If you are looking to build a home gym, strongly consider starting with a power rack.