A power rack is an essential part of any home gym, and should probably be your first purchase if you are ready to build one.
Most strength training routines are built around the big five compound barbell exercises: bench press, deadlift, squat, military press, and barbell row. In fact, many lifters argue that these exercises are all you will ever need.
You will probably want to expand the range of your workouts eventually, but if you only have the budget or space for one piece of equipment to start out, you would do well to invest in a power rack.
Many home gyms settle for a half rack, but if you are set on getting the absolute most “power” out of your rack you may be more interested in a full one.
The Fitness Gear Pro Full Rack is a strong contender in this market, deserving of a 4-star rating out of 5.
It is not the perfect rack for everyone, but depending on what you are looking for, it might be perfect for you.
- 28 levels of adjustability for a range of exercises
- Monkey bar and fat bar for expanded workout options
- Adjustable posts for convenient plate storage
- Very stable and does not wobble when using bars
- Supports up to 600 lbs, less than most competitors
- Possibly too big for some home gyms
- Safety bars not as sturdy as the rest of the rack
- Built with inferior 14-gauge steel
The most contentious feature of this power rack is its weight capacity. The Fitness Gear Pro Full Rack can only withstand 600 lbs of weight, while most competitors boast 1000 lbs.
This alone might be a deal-breaker for you. Then again, there is some evidence that other racks are not actually reliable at weights above 600 lbs.
In any case, you need to be honest with yourself about how much weight you are realistically going to push. It is tempting to see the lower number and say that 600 is obviously worse than 1000, but if you are only benching 400, there is no practical difference.
Where the Fitness Gear Pro Full Rack excels is in stability. It does not need to be bolted down or otherwise supported and still does not budge under any amount of force.
Many power racks are sturdy enough for barbell exercises but start to wobble and shake when you attempt bodyweight exercises on the bars, which is an annoyance at best and a safety hazard at worst.
This rack, conversely, stands solid as a mountain.
Speaking of bars, this rack has not only a fat bar for chin-ups but also a set of monkey bars. You probably are not buying a power rack for bodyweight exercises, but it is still a nice bonus.
The Fitness Gear Pro Full Rack can be an excellent addition to a home gym, as long as you know what you are looking for.
Capacity and Versatility
Technically, this rack is on the weaker side.
It is built with 14-gauge steel instead of the industry standard 11-gauge and supports only 600 lbs of weight.
That said, this is more power than any but the strongest lifters are ever going to need.
What this rack lacks in capacity and durability, it more than makes up for in versatility. 28 levels of adjustability, plus a fat bar and monkey bars, allow you to get a satisfying full-body workout even if this is the only piece of equipment you own.
This rack is fairly easy to set up so you can probably get away without paying for assembly, though you will likely need a second set of hands to help you put it together.
It is fairly compact for a full rack and should fit in most garages or home gym spaces, though it may be too big for some. The adjustable storage posts are a nice touch and allow you to save extra space on storage.
Durability and Safety
The excellent stability of this rack makes it safer than most competitors when it comes to bodyweight exercises on the bars.
It is constructed of 14-gauge steel and therefore may not hold up as well as other racks, but it should still withstand several years of regular use.
The safety bars, unfortunately, are not as stable as the rest of the rack and should not be relied upon.
How Does It Compare?
If you feel that this is the right rack for you but it is just too big, the obvious alternative is the Fitness Gear Pro Half Rack.
For the serious bodybuilder, the Rogue R-6 may be the better choice, offering far more power although it is less versatile.
If you do not care about features and just want the bare-bones minimum, the Atlas Power Rack is a no-frills rack that supports up to 800 lbs.
That said, if you feel you would miss the extra perks like monkey bars and the wide range of adjustability, you might be happiest sticking with the Fitness Gear Pro Full Rack.