Ultimate Squat/Power Rack Guide 2019 WIth Legendary Gary Stevens

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power rack exercise

Squats are key to building strength and power in your glutes, quads, and hamstrings. This added strength will improve your performance while on the playing field and in everyday life. Squats encourage your body to build more muscle building hormones. This affects your entire body. Squats challenge your body, they push you to the extreme, and they can lead to serious mental and physical benefits.

You cannot safely do heavy squats on your own. What options do you have if your partners do not show up for your training session? You could opt to go lighter on the weight, but you’re not going to get the same results. This is where a power rack is beneficial. It will be your spotter when no one else will. A power rack is a piece of equipment that can take your gym experience to the next level.

Here’s our review of our three favorite power racks. We are going to start with the best overall machine. Then, we will discuss a premium machine for those who have a little bit more to invest. And, finally, we will look at a budget machine that gets the job done without all of the bells and whistles.

The Best Option: Fitness Reality 810XLT Power Rack


After looking at a number of the power racks of the market, we concluded that this is the best overall option when it comes to price, stability, and performance. This power cage is designed for people looking to do some heavy lifting and they want to feel safe while they are doing it. Before we talk more about this power rack, let’s take a look at some of its pros and cons.

Fitness Reality 810XLT Super Max Power Cage with Optional Lat Pull-down Attachment and Adjustable Leg Hold-down

 

Pros:

  • Holds a Lot Of Weight: The 810XLT can hold up to 800 pounds. This is more than enough weight for serious workouts.
  • Affordable Price Range: This is definitely not a budget product, but it is also not one of the most expensive power racks you are going to find. It has a nice mid-range price that most people who are serious about building their home gym can afford.
  • Sturdy: The powerful cage can hold a person’s weight up to 350 pounds. This means that even the largest among us can feel safe and secure using this machine.
  • Easy to Assemble: While some assembly is required, the work is not so cumbersome as to become its own workout. To the contrary, the assembly is easy to understand and intuitive.
  • Warranty: It comes with a one-year limited warranty.

Cons:

  • Needs A Lot Of Space: As you will see below, the dimensions of this product are quite large. And because of its plate storage, it needs to be stored away from the wall.
  • Extra Attachments: There are a number of extra attachments that can enhance your workout. Some of these must be purchased separately.

Product Review

The Fitness Reality 810XLT power rack boasts a 2” x 2” tubular frame. Couple this with its chrome plating and you can easily see why it is a heavy-duty beast that will last. There is a lot of space in the middle of this cage. You can maneuver while exercising and perform a variety of exercises without feeling cramped.

The walk-in area is 50.5 inches long, 83.5 inches high, and has a 46.5 inch width. When the machine is all put together, it weighs 133 pounds. So you are going to need a little bit of extra space to store the machine. This machine is not ideal if you have a home with a low ceiling.

Assembling this product is a snap. It does not come with any instructions because it’s so simple that you don’t need them. There’s a diagram that shows you what the product should look like when you put it together. You should be able to get the product together in less than an hour.

Safety was our top priority when determining which product we would feature. When you’re using a power rack, chances are that you’re going to be working out alone. So no one can help you if things go awry.

The Fitness Reality 810XLT comes equipped with two 23 inch catches. Additionally, there are two 3.25 inch safety pins. You will feel safe moving the bars around to the different holes that are available. There is no end to the number of exercises you can complete with this product.

There are grip parts for pull-ups that make it easier for you to work your back and shoulder muscles. The machine is stable because of the two stability bars. All of the tools that you need for assembly are included.

Fitness Reality 810XLT Super Max Power Cage with Optional Lat Pull-down Attachment and Adjustable Leg Hold-down

Conclusion

After reviewing this product, we have come to the conclusion that this is the best machine that meets the needs and the budgets of the majority of our clients. The safety features are what won us over. We feel confident recommending this machine for individuals working out alone or with a partner.

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Premium Option: Fitness Reality X-Class Light Commercial High Capacity Olympic Power Cage


We are recommending this item for individuals who have a little bit more to spend and may want a few more features. There are more than 24 exercises that you can do using this machine. It allows you to completely redefine the way your body looks and feels. Here are some of the pros and cons.

Fitness Reality X-Class Light Commercial High Capacity Olympic Power Cage

 

Pros:

  • Strong: This is one of the strongest power cages available. It has the capacity to handle 1,500 pounds of weight.
  • Safe: This product is designed for safety and ease-of-use. It has two 11.5 inch safety bars covered in a rubber strip to prevent denting, slipping, and excessively loud noises.
  • Sturdy: This is a sturdy piece of equipment, especially when it is bolted to the ground. The high quality gauge steel increases its strength and stability.
  • Warranty: The manufacturers of this product are so confident in its durability that they offer a lifetime warranty.

Cons:

  • Heavy and takes up a lot of space
  • More expensive than other similar products on the market

Product Review

This is an awesome power rack. Its strength comes from its 2” x 3” tubular steel frame construction. It is able to hold up to 1,500 pounds of weight. This product is designed for individuals who are looking to get the most out of their workout at home. The multi-grip pull-up bar and dip handles are both adjustable, adding range and intensity to your workout.

If you choose to expand the power cage, there is a utility bench that you can add. The machine weighs 256 pounds. It is 71.5 inches long, 52 inches wide, and 86 inches high. It comes equipped with a 20 inch low rollbar and a 44 inch lat bar. Each of these have high density forms and hand grips, allowing you to get the most out of your workout experience.

Safety is of paramount importance to us when reviewing these products. We like the dual mount safety bars. These measured 35.5 inches and have the ability to support up to 1,500 pounds.

Fitness Reality X-Class Light Commercial High Capacity Olympic Power Cage

Conclusion

When you look at the number of essential strength training exercises you can do and the overall stability and strength of this machine, its higher than average price tag is worth it. If you want to work with a spotter, there is enough room for you to do that too.

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Budget Option: CAP Barbell Power Rack Exercise Stand


The CAP Barbell Power Rack Exercise Stand is a versatile machine. It offers strength and flexibility. Since it is a budget product, it’s not going to have a lot of the bells and whistles that you would expect from a more expensive power rack.

But if you’re looking to improve your home workout and need to stick to a budget, this may be the right product for you. Let’s look at some of its pros and cons.

CAP Barbell Power Rack Exercise Stand, Multiple Colors Pros:

  • Versatile: This is a versatile stand that can be used when working out using your own body weight, as a resistance training tool, or with weights. Even those who have experienced the amazing benefits of Kamagon Balls appreciate the versatility of this machine.
  • Tough: This power rack is designed using 12gauge and 14gauge steel. It can support up to 300 pounds of weight, including the weight of the user and the weights being used. Each facet of the power rack was designed with flexibility and safety in mind.

Cons:

  • Cannot Support Heavyweights: If you’re looking to engage in intensive weight training that requires you to lift more than 300 pounds, this is not the right tool for you.
  • Assembly May Be Cumbersome: Although this is a relatively simple rack, it can be difficult to get it assembled. Failure to assemble it properly can lead to some safety issues.

Product Review

The CAP Barbell Power Rack Exercise Stand is a great tool if you’re looking to start a training program. This power rack comes with a pull-up bar. You will also able to work your lats. The unit allows you to do a variety of heavier lifts, including bench presses, military presses, and, of course, squats. You can also do resistance training with pull-ups and chin ups.

The pull-up bar is constructed of a high-grade steel. The bar is welded to the mounting plates, giving additional support. The product has a nice finish, and you can tell that the manufacturers were concerned about safety as they went through the design process. All of the ends of the frames are capped. You can mount the uprights to the floor if you want increased stability.

CAP Barbell Power Rack Exercise Stand, Multiple Colors

Conclusion

This is by no means a fancy product. But it gets the job done and does it well. It is an affordable rack that allows you to do bench presses, squats, shoulder presses, and weighted pull-ups. This is a great entry-level rack for someone looking to get into weight training.

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Frequently Asked Questions


Q: How much does the bar on a power rack weigh?

A: The answer varies depending on the size of the bar that you use. A bar can range in size from four feet to eight feet. And they can vary in diameter from .98 inches to 2 inches. If you’re talking about the standard training bar that’s used by the men in the Olympics, then you’re looking at a bar that is 7.2 feet long and weighs 45 pounds.

Q: What are power racks/squat racks used for?

A: This is a weight training piece of equipment that is designed to be a mechanical spotter if you’re doing free weight exercises with a barbell. The benefit of using a power rack/squat rack as opposed to a Smith machine is that a Smith machine limits your movement. With a power rack, you are free to move as you wish and perform more exercises.

Q: Are power racks and a squat stands the same thing?

A: No. A squat stand is usually less expensive than a power rack. Squat stands require less floor space and can be used in a room that has a lower ceiling. A power rack is considered safer because it includes lateral safety pins. Power racks are more sturdy than squat stands. This is important if you are looking to do some heavy lifting.

Q: What exercises can you do with a power rack?

A: A power rack, depending on the accessories that it has, can allow you to do a number of exercises including:

  • Bench Press
  • Close Grip Bench Press
  • Overhead Press
  • Rack Lockout
  • Rack Pull
  • Barbell Shrug
  • Inverted Row
  • Barbell Bent Over Rows

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