Anyone looking for an all in one home workout solution will have most likely taken a look at power racks. The Powertec Power Rack is one of the most respected when it comes to affordable home power racks and as such we thought it was worthy of our attention – so we ordered one and gave it the full review treatment.
The first point to make is about Powertec themselves. They are a pretty well trusted strength equipment manufacturer based in the United States and have been in business for over 20 years. Their fierce reputation is matched by their impressive product lines and as such we already had a sense that we would be impressed by their power rack.
You might be forgiven for thinking that all power racks or cages are the same – but that simply isn’t the case and we have seen our fair share of poorly made power racks that you can just tell will not stand the test of time – in fact, we have seen one that wouldn’t stand for any time. What we were looking for in the Powertec was a rack that could be the centrepiece of a home gym setup that would last for years to come – so an investment if you like.
Powertec Power Rack Out Of The Box(es)
The Powertec Workbench Power Rack was the model we opted for and it weighs in at just under 95kg – this gives you an idea of the strength and build quality of the rack. There are two colours available – black and yellow, and we opted for the former – although both are exactly the same other than the colour. As standard, you get two dip station bars, a multi-grip pull up bar, two J-hooks and olympic bar safety catches. There are a number of additional accessories you can add to the Powertec rack to add even more functionality to it too – which we love!
The Workbench Power Rack can withstand up to 450kg of weight which means it is perfectly suitable for all levels of lifters, from beginners right through to professional powerlifters. The chin up and dip bars can withstand 180kg of weight and so again this capacity will be more than sufficient for anyone who adds weight to their chin ups, pull ups and dips.
Upon building the cage (which was relatively straightforward thanks to the easy to follow instructions) the first thing that strikes you is the high quality of materials used. The frame is built from 2.5 inch tubing to the base and the main frame features a new Westside hole spacing system that gives even more versatility and options when it comes to your training thanks to the close nature of the holes. The rack is solid and whether you are performing swinging ab exercises or going for lat pull ups – this thing will not budge. It really is well built and we can’t stress that enough.
Powertec Workbench Power Rack Key Features
Everything about the Powertec Rack is adjustable with the exception of the chin up/pull up bars which are fixed. Even the dip station handles are movable which means this power rack is suitable for users of all heights. The rack itself stands at just over 213cm which means it will fit in most standard sized rooms – however if you are planning on putting this in your garage do check the head space first. You can use the dip bars on either the inner or outer side of the rack, but if using on the inner the floor space required for the frame is 129cm by 130cm. If using on the outside then you need a little more space.
With the standard out of the box setup you will be able to perform a pretty extensive upper and lower body workout with chin-ups, pull-ups, hanging leg raises, dips, squats, presses and horizontal pull ups all at your disposal. The moveable J hooks are very high quality and are easy to adjust in to different positions. The safety catches are also moveable and easy to change – and of course allow you to lift heavier weights easier without the need for a spotter (we do recommend that you use a spotter though when working out with heavy weights).
To get the most out of the Powertec rack you will of course need a bench but you needn’t stop there. Powertec offer a full range of accessories for the Workbench Power Rack so that you can add even more functionality to it. Optional add-ons include a lat tower, barbell landmine attachment, rope anchor attachment (this is relatively cheap and well worth the investment), resistance band pegs (also a great low price add-on) and a 5 inch extension for those who need additional height. There are also some attachments such as a pec fly, curl machine and leg curl attachments although we don’t think these are as worthwhile the investment.
Investing in the spotter arms is definitely worthwhile if you are planning on working out alone and are lifting big.
For our testing purposes we just used the standard rack and found it incredibly robust and versatile in its own right. The height of the rack was perfect for our 6ft tall testers and we were off the ground completely when performing hanging leg raises. For anyone over 6ft 1inch you may want to invest in the 5 inch extension which will make this a great rack for taller users too.
It’s fair to say that the Powertec Power Rack is a fairly pricey bit of kit, and although it is most definitely worth the investment, there are other more affordable models that will do just as good a job for a home gym setup. Take the Mirafit M200 Power Rack for example, and you have something that is a little over half the price of the Powertec model, but with all the same functionality – they even do a small and standard version, so anyone using their rack in a garage space with a lower ceiling will be in luck.
We love both models. The Powertec model is great and if you have your heart set on it then by all means you won’t be disappointed. However, if you think you could reinvest the spare change from the more affordable M200 in to a decent bench or some weights then the smart choice in our eyes is to go with the Mirafit. They also offer upgrades to the rack in the form of spotter arms, landmine attachments and also a multi-grip pull up bar (if the standard pull up bar doesn’t give you enough variety) and for us – it is a better all round purchase.
Having worked with the Powertec Workbench for over a month it has quickly become a favourite of ours. It certainly wouldn’t look out of place in a commercial setup and for the home setup it is as good as it gets but you will pay a premium for such high quality. If you are looking for a power rack that has oodles of versatility, is well made, has excellent safety features and will last for years to come then this model from Powertec is well worth the investment – but if you want all that and to save a bit of cash then we highly recommend considering the Mirafit M200 or even the M100.
When you consider the level of investment in this, with a good quality bench, barbell, weight plates and dumbbells vs a multigym that will be more prone to issues with cables etc. in the long term then a power rack is an excellent option. If you already own the weights and bench then it becomes an even more compelling case to purchase – and whichever model you opt for you won’t be disappointed.