How to Buy a Power Rack
I think you also need to answer the question of which power rack to buy. I've had, tested, or looked at both commercial and residential power racks from Hoist, Cybex, New York Barbell, Parabody, Body Solid, Body Craft, PowerTec, Spartan, TuffStuff, etc.
Power racks come in about three varieties: commercial quality, light commercial/residential, and residential. The commercial quality racks usually have 2x3, 2x4, or 3x3 inch steel and most sections are welded with only a few bolts and brackets. Since they’re meant to be used constantly, they’re very durable but also the most expensive, around $1,000. The light commercial/residential racks usually have 2x3 inch steel and are heavily bolted and bracketed with fewer welds. These are meant to be used by serious home trainers and personal trainers who don’t have constant clientele and cost between $400 and $600. The residential racks are almost always 2x2 inch steel with few welds and only single bolts connecting joints. These are meant to be used by the casual home trainer and cost between $300 and $500.
Unless you have the space and money for a commercial grade power rack, you’ll need one that you can assemble and disassemble so that you can get it in the house. In the light commercial and residential grade power racks here’s what you want to look for:
- as many fully welded pieces as possible
- joints that have more than one bolt
- joints that are bracketed if possible
- a quality power coating on the steel
- J hooks and safety bars/pins that are made of pure steel (no composites or plastics)
- chinning bar slightly inset so the power rack doesn’t rock when you do chins
- if you get a dip attachment, look for a power rack where you are on the inside of the power rack when dipping not the outside
I just helped a guy at my gym buy a power rack, so I’ve recently surveyed the market. I think Spartan, PowerTec, Hoist, Cybex, Parabody, and TuffStuff all make good racks but they’re a little expensive for the quality. I didn’t like the Body Solid basic power rack or the Pro power rack. The steel is 2x2, they wobble, and the joints are single bolts only. Even though they’re cheap the quality isn’t good enough. New York Barbell (no affiliation or endorsement to me) makes an excellent, quality power rack for between $450 and $499 depending on height of the rack. The best buy in the market in my opinion is the Body Craft power rack. It’s welded, double bolted, bracketed, sturdy, has an inset chinning bar, and dip bars that are inside the cage. For $350 bucks it’s a great deal. Here’s a link where you can see it:
Check and see if you can't find this one in the U.K. or if the shipping from the U.S. wouldn't be too much money.