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Power rack for small space

Posted by Pascal Landshoeft

Dec 1, 2019 9:00:00 AM

Power rack for garage gym

Power rack for small space

 
The best options for small spaces are half racks, squat stands and fold racks. Be careful with their overall footprint. Some squat stands still have a larger footprint to be secure. One of the best options will be a half rack which you bolt to the ground.
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Overview of racks 

 
Here are four articles I have written which go into the details of the different racks of two vendors. They both have a good reputation for home gyms.
 
Rogue fitness is the market leader in the area of CrossFit and home gyms in the USA.  They are based in Columbus Ohio and were founded by an ex-military man. They pride themselves for making their equipment in the States by American hands. While the price tags are about twice from their competitors you almost always have positive feedback about the finish of their products and their customer service when you research online. 
 
Titan Fitness has a very similar line up to Rogue fitness, but at a much lower price. They also market themselves as American made. While their price is lower you will have it easier to find reports have blemishes, transport damage or poor/inconsistent finish on the Titan products. This doesn’t take away from their functionality, but might be something to think about when you place your order. 
 

Sizes of racks

 
There are different types of racks that you can consider for your home. It will all depend on how much space you have and what your training goals are. Budget will of course also play a role. 
 

Full racks with plate storage 

 
These racks usually have a 50”x50” rack in the front and additional uprights in the back which you can use for additional plate storage. These are the biggest racks you can get which also have to be bolted down to the ground. The advantage is that you have lots of space for storage and upgrades. The entire family might be even able to train in parallel on these racks. The downsides are the cost and space requirements. This will probably take up your entire garage or basement unless you live like Oprah. Some models to consider in this section are:
 
 
 
These racks are a valid option when you want to store your plates directly on the rack and you do not want them interfering with the positions available on the rack. 
 

Full racks

 
A full rack is usually around 50” by 50”. It provides plenty of space inside the rack so that you can easily do a three-step walkout, even if you are big and move big weights. Most of a bench would also be inside such a rack once it is set up. Full racks still have four uprights and come in different colors and shapes. Some examples are: 
 
 
 
These racks provide plenty of space to move around, but you probably want to store your plates somewhere else. 
 

Half racks 

 
Half racks are one of the original designs from Westside gym owner Louie Simmons. Their footprint is usually somewhere around 50” x 50”. These racks have half the amount of space inside the rack compared to outside. This usually makes them a little cheaper and eat up less space. You will also be able to do exercises from the rack while not being obstructed by it. Some examples are: 
 
 
These are usually good for the right spaces or dorms. 
 

Squat stands 

 
Squat stands are usually the cheapest option for a home rack as they use the least material. They are generally less secure as the setup with spotter arms can be cumbersome and easier to miss than safety pins or straps. Squat stands are usually great when you have space and know-how to drop weights safely. They are not great in commercial settings or when you squat or bench press to failure often. Some of the examples for squat stands are: 
 
 
Squat stands are best for people who know what they are doing. Beginners might not want to start with them without guidance. 
 

Types of racks

 
The price of racks is often determined by how much material is being used to build them. Generally speaking the more footprint you get the more you pay. When this is not the case and you get the same footprint for seemingly a lower price look into the following factors: 
 
  • Color options 
  • Steel 
  • Warranty 
  • Country of origin 
  • Numbered holes 
  • West side spacing 
  • Included extras 
  • Brand 
 
If the price varies for seemingly the same thing there is usually a reason. 
 
Color options can impact the price. Whenever you shop and you go for color, make sure that you choose a color option. If you go with default color on a color line item, you pay a premium which you did not have to. So if you want black and the default color of the vendor is black buy the standard model and don't go near any color options. 
 
Many racks come in three different versions of steel tubes which are 2x2, 2x3 and 3x3. The thicker the steel the more you pay. Think about how big and heavy you are and whether you really need the 3x3 option. If no, you might save some money. 
 
When material and size are the same but prices are different look into the fine print. What are the actual policies for warranty and which kind of damage is covered and which isn’t. This becomes especially important when you buy commercially instead of for private use. 
 
Numbered holes are very helpful and are often laser cut which adds another step in the production process. Therefore models, where everything is the same except the numbering, differ in price. 
 
With the country of origin, I won’t go into too much detail. If it is from the US or Europe it is more expensive and when it comes from China it is less expensive because of different Labour costs. If Chinese and EU/Us products have the same price, someone is having a laugh on your expense. 
 
Westside hole spacing is found in the bench press range of the rack. Not all racks come with this so check individually. This set up makes it easier to adjust your bench press setup in smaller increments. It also can be helpful when you do a lot of training with bands and pegs. 
 
Always check if something apparently cheaper or more expensive come with the same kind of extra material. Things to look out for are J Cups, pull up bars, plate pins, Landmine attachments and barbell racking options. 
 
The last thing is the brand. Rogue and TITAN are well established in the market for squat racks. You might find other vendors that do not as much marketing and therefore can sell at lower prices. 
 

Rogue 

 
Rogue fitness is the market leader in the CrossFit community, maybe even in sales for racks in the US, but I don’t have the statistics at hand to support that. Rogue takes care in quality and invests a lot on marketing. This reflects in the prices of their products and good reviews. Rogue generally might not be the best option for a small budget but is a good investment and Most of their clients seem to be happy. They are geared towards CrossFit boxes and home gym owners. 
 

Titan 

 
Some say that Titan is the low budget clone of Rogue Fitness, however, I find phrases like this terribly unfair as it is never easy to establish a production line and distribution. Just try to bake a cake and sell it in your local community on a regular basis and you might get a grasp of the task. This being said the main argument to buy from Titan is usually the price. With low prices usually come shortcuts. These are usually apparent in the finish of the Titan products. They are still functional, just not as neat as the Rogue products. But who cares when you get a bench, rack, and barbell for the price of one Rogue rack. 
 

Eleiko 

 
Eleiko has recently repositioned themselves to target the upper market commercial gym owner or professional training facility. There are no more prices on their websites and you get quotes only on request. This is because Eleiko wants you to speak to a rep as fast as possible which is a corporate approach to sales. They want to sell a solution to someone who buys an entire gym and doesn’t want to deal with a lot of small transactions. This makes them a great one-stop-shop for elite trainers with big plans but maybe not the best choice for home gym owners. Their products are high quality and have a long track record of being used by Olympians all over the globe. 
 

Elite FTS

 
Elite FTS is rough and ready. Everything is big, even monstrous. They are heavily geared towards heavy powerlifters and bodybuilders. If you like the pain, grind, and blood and occasionally grunt at people to get them out of your favorite rack, this is the place for you. 
 
Rogue monster lite fold rack 
 
The Rogue Monster lite fold rack is a best seller from Rogue. It stems from the Monster lite series of Rogue which uses 2x3 Gauge Steel to form the rack. With Rogue, you can be sure that you will get a high-quality rack with a great finish. Here are the full details: 
 

Overview of the RML3WC

 
The RML3WC is one of the best sellers of Rogue. It has some of the most Reviews of all racks on the entire website and with good reason. This rack is affordable and practical. It has been designed to be easily mounted to a standard wood stud wall. This is the quick solution for home warrior dads who want a quick solution that they do not have to negotiate a lot with their wives with. Plus this version of it comes in color. 
 
The 3WC comes with a length of 25'' or 44'' depending on which depth you choose. The width comes to 56'' on the wall, 49'' outside the uprights, and 43'' inside the uprights. It is 90'' high and weighs 190LB. You can choose between an inside depth of 21.5'' or 41.4''. In most scenarios, the rack space for 21.5'' will be sufficient according to Rogue. The Steel notes are made from 3x3'' 11 Gauge Steel. As the 3WC is part of the Monster lite series it is compatible with the accessories and beams from the Monster lite product line.
 
The delivery list includes:
 
  • J Cups
  • Mounting Brackets
  • Detent pins
  • Pull up bar
  • Hitchpins
  • Plastic caps to protect the floor
  • Stringer Pair
Rogue highly recommends using the included stringer pair to attach the rack to the wall. This is based on security and stability. If you want to mount the 3WC to a different wall as a standard wood stud wall, you are responsible to provide the necessary hardware. The colors you can choose from are:
 
  • Bright blue 
  • Bright Green
  • Burnt Orange
  • Dark BLue
  • Dark Red
  • Gun Metal
  • Desert Tan
  • Light Gray
  • Rogue Red
  • Satin Black
  • Satin Clear
 
This is a great rack that puts you at the heart of Rogue's innovative product lines. It also has a lot of positive reviews which is a good sign that you can not go wrong. If you are in the market for a home gym and do not want to alter your house much, this is the option to go for a reasonable budget. 
 

Pros of the RML3WC

 
The two big pros of this rack are that it is foldable and still a sturdy rack. More often than that convertible options are poorly executed either in the folding mechanism or the steel itself. With this rack, you buy the highest quality build that has been adapted to make it fit snug against a wall.
 

Cons of the RML3WC

 
As this unit does not weigh a lot and cannot be bolted to the floor you will experience more movement than with other rack options from Rogue. Especially if you want to kip a lot or when you are a huge lifter moving a lot of weight, you might want to look for something more rigid. Apart from this, you will also have to think about where to store your barbell and plates as you can not store them on the rack in this setup.
 

Alternatives to the RML3WC

 
Here some alternatives to the 3WC rack:
 
 
The RML 3W rack is the same rack as the 3WC without a color option. If you like black and want to save some money this is the one to go for. Apart from this, all other options are the same as described above.
 
The W4 Garage Gym is a lower cost option compared to the 3WC and does the same thing. You will get a rack that is bolted to the wall and stays there. If your garage is mostly not used because you or your wife do not like to drive the car in, you might as well go for this option to save money and hassle.
 
The R3 W is an option from the Echo series from Rogue. It has the same mechanics and logic as the RML 3The W. Biggest difference is that it is made from 2x3'' 11 Gauge steel instead of 3x3'' 11 Gauge steel.
 
 

Titan T3 fold rack 

 
The Titan T3 fold rack would be the same idea as the Monster lite fold rack, just at a lower budget. With the T3 you can squeeze a bench or a barbell into the same budget as with Rogue just for the rack. The downside is that Titan is known for cutting corners on the finish of their product. Here are the details: 
 
 

Overview of the T3 folding rack 

 
The T3 folding rack is an option from TITAN which uses the 2x3 steel tubes from the T3 series to form a foldable rack. Foldable racks are very popular with garage gym owners as they give you the option to either still park your car in the garage or provide more space if you want to to do conditioning in your limited space. The features and specifics of the T3 are:
 
Rack details 
  • 2" x 3" 11 Gauge steel. 
  • Rackable Capacity: 1,100 LB
  • Height: 91"
  • Width: 50"
  • Depth: 41.5"
  • Weight: 175 LB
 
This is the optimal option for dads who have to compromise with their wife to get a man cave in the garage. 
 

Pros of the T3 folding rack 

 
The T3 folding rack comes at an excellent price compared to the competition of TITAN. You will get a functional rack which folds to the wall in case you need to get it out of the way. This saves space and money on your purchase. 
 

Cons of the T3 folding rack 

 
A folding rack will not be as stable as a full rack which you bolt to the ground. Depending on how much abuse you throw at the rack you might want to reconsider a moveable installation. If you want to use an accessory with your rack, you will also have to deinstall it every time you would the rack. Apart from this TITAN has been reported to struggle more with mi or quality issues and inconsistencies. This doesn’t impact the functionality of the equipment, but it’s appearance and longevity. 
 

Alternatives to the T3 folding rack 

 
 
The 41 folding rack is a folding rack with 3x3 Instead of 2x3 steel tubes. If you want more metal for roughly the same price this is the one for you.
 
The X2 is one of the cheapest series in the TITAN line up. With its 2x2 steel tubes, it uses the least material to build a rack. If you want to downsize on all ends to fit a bench and rack into $500 budget comfortably, this is for you. 
 

Summary for the T3 fold rack 

 
A good option for Dads who have to compromise with Mom for garage space on a budget.
 
 

Flat foot 

 
There are flat foot variations of the rack from Rogue and Titan. Some examples are:
 
 
These racks have the advantage that they do not have to be drilled into the floor or into a floor. This is helpful when you want to place the rack against a glass front or can not do anything with the structure of your home as it is a rental. 
 

Power rack for small spaces

Your best bet is a fold rack as they are cost and space efficient. If you are interested in a more permanent solution look into bigger racks which need to be bolted down.
 

Topics: Rogue, TITAN