Bulking up muscle has been a popular sport since the 1970s, with people all across the globe investing in a set of heavy-duty weights and a crossbar or power rack to bench some serious muscle.
If you are into your weight lifting and have space for a lot of weightlifting equipment, then we recommend that you invest in a powerlifting rack.
There are a lot of misapprehensions about powerlifting racks - that they’re heavy and take up a lot of space, they aren’t safe and that, most inaccurately, they cost a lot of money to purchase.
However, you can get power racks that are exactly the opposite, built with a lighter material, they are very easy to assemble and will save you space in the long run, as you can stack your weights vertically, rather than having them cluttered around the floor.
Power racks also make your workout a lot safer, essentially replacing the need for a powerlifting partner, allowing you to quickly dismount the weight once you’re done with it. They are also very cheap, you can pick up a power rack for less than a few hundred dollars.
A power rack is a much safer method of lifting weights, giving you the extra security you need when lifting, ensuring that if you drop the bar then the solid steel rack is ready to catch it.
But where can you find the cheapest power rack unit? What features and materials make up a power rack to give you the most out of your next weight lifting session? How much can you be expected to pay for a power rack?
Well, if you want to start bulking up in the comfort of your own home without spending too much money, then we’ve certainly got the answer for you, with our in-depth list of the best cheap power racks currently available on the market.
We’ve also got a buyer’s guide that will help you when purchasing your next powerlifting unit, as well as some frequently asked questions.
OUR TOP PICK
Our first squat rack has an 800-pound weight capacity, with a durable steel construction, it is available at a competitive price.
It has a lat pulldown, J hooks, weighted plate holders, a dip bar and many more accessories. When it comes to getting that defined muscular look, then the Fitness Reality 810XLT Super Max Power Cage is your one-stop shop.
This cage comes with a multitude of different weight and body lifting capabilities, it’s like a condensed gymnasium in just a few square feet.
There are over 19 adjustable height levels on this cage, meaning that you can significantly increase or decrease your level of exercise as you desire.
You can perform chin-ups, bench presses, squats, bent-over rows or shoulder presses. In short, this is a very versatile cage that allows you to perform a total body workout.
It is made from industrial strength materials, so you can count on it to hold your weights and your body month to month, year on year.
- This cage has a weight capacity of 800-pounds, the super sturdy construction making it the perfect area to pile on lots of gear.
- This cage is very versatile, offering the user a three-dimensional, vertical and horizontal, style of lifting. You can use it to pull yourself up or hold your weights, basically acting as both a workstation and an exercise partner.
- This is a cage that is optimized for safety, with especially-designed bars that will prevent your weights from hitting the floor or your toes and causing you significant injury.
- The price - this is one of the more affordable units on this list, perfect for entry-level bodybuilders who are hesitant to spend too much cash on their first unit.
- Some users have complained that the assembly of this unit is much harder than their previous power rack.
Next up we have a power rack that comes with an even higher weight threshold, supporting upwards of 1000-pounds.
This one is for those strong men and women who want to operate on the top tier of weight lifting.
It has a very alluring back and yellow paint design, so you can be sure that you’ll look as good as you feel after a session on this bad boy - introducing the HulkFit 1000-Pound Power Cage.
There are multi-grip components of this power cage, coming with a host of J hooks and steel safety bars that will store your heavier weights.
There is also plenty of space inside the cage, which gives you the freedom to transition from one work area to another. It also has rubber feet on the base to keep the whole unit steady.
This unit comes with lat pulldowns as well as a cable crossover.
This unit is flexible and very versatile, making it a must-have for anyone who wants to integrate a wide variety of workouts into their session.
- This machine looks like an industrial dump truck and has the power and durability to match. The weight of this unit is 165-pounds, which is unbelievable considering its 800 maximum capacity weight.
- This is one of the more affordable units on this list which, considering the capabilities of this unit, will make it an essential part of any serious weightlifter’s home studio.
- The dipping handles will allow you to sharpen the muscles in your back as well as your shoulders and upper body. When developing your stamina, it will be important to work the muscles contra to the ones you’ve been working on previously.
- The space on the inside of the cage is very wide, which will help you when transitioning from one work area to another. It will also give you the freedom to flex and stretch without injury.
- The safety holes in the frame of this model might be slightly misaligned, which will certainly lead to safety issues when installing your bars.
This next unit has a very sturdy model frame that is specifically designed for home-based heavy lifting, coming with a minimal frame that allows a lot of movement on the inside area.
It can hold up to 500-pounds, which might be slightly less than some of the other units on our list, but with a smaller and simpler design, it is ideal for beginner weightlifters - introducing the Body-Solid Best Fitness Power Rack.
This power rack has an integrated chin-up bar, which means as well as weight lifting you can tone your back and biceps by simply lifting yourself up with your own muscle strength.
This is perfect if you want to reduce the amount of clutter in your home work station.
The stylish red frame comes in a 14-gauge steel frame which will easily support you and your weights.
You can adjust the weight and chin-up bar across 23 levels, giving you plenty of scope to improve your technique and increase your stamina.
- The red design is very eye-catching, which will at least go some way to integrating with the color scheme of your house, unlike a lot of the uglier unpainted steel frames that you can get elsewhere.
- Like a lot of our other power racks, this one is very affordable, possibly even more so. This is a cheap unit on a list of cheap units! It is a good choice for anyone who wants to keep their weightlifting to a casual once or twice a week.
- The steel frame is very solid and won’t cause you to shift across the room, even during the most intensive of exercises.
- The integrated chin-up bar will allow you to vary your exercises and reduce the amount of weight clutter in your home.
- Some dedicated weight lifters might find the 500-pound weight limit a little bit flimsy.
Our final power rack unit is probably the most sturdy, supporting you through upper and lower body workouts, making it the ideal heavy lifting aide!
It is built from a heavy-duty 2 x 2 tubular steel that will not shake and shudder during your pull-ups, push-ups or deadlifts - introducing the Fitness Reality Power Rack.
This power rack has a maximum weight capacity of around 800-pounds, which will certainly appeal to weightlifters of higher intensity. The grips are padded, so you won’t experience any blisters or chafing on the hands.
The spotter arms are also lined with rubber pads to avoid excessive clanking, keeping your weights in place after use.
There is a landmine attachment and J hooks on the side that let you stc=ack your weights, making it a great unit for weight management.
You can perform a lot of exercises on this unit - single-arm dumbbell curls, squat presses or chin-ups. You can burn calories and tone muscle quickly and efficiently with this workstation.
- The maximum weight capacity of this 800-pounds, which is on the upper end of the weight spectrum, making it a good unit for advanced bodybuilders.
- The rubber pads and J hooks will reduce the amount of noise, which is great for a home gym system where you might have to keep the noise down from the neighbors.
- This power rack won’t shake or move around during your sessions, keeping you sturdy and preventing serious injury that might occur during strenuous chin-ups or deadlifts.
- The grips are very easy on the hands, avoiding blisters and chafing that might occur due to excessive pressure and sweating.
- If you plan on loading this unit up with weights, you might experience some wobbling and general unsteadiness.
Our final power rack is one that looks very unassuming and is ideal for someone who might consider themselves a casual or intermediate weightlifter.
However, this unit’s simplicity betrays its holding power, as it’s able to support up to 1000-pounds of weight - introducing TDS Mega 1000-Pound Power Squat Rack.
With plenty of accessories, including J hooks, safety bars and a professionally knurled chinning bar, you can expect a versatile exercise station with a premium level of hold and support.
When it comes to shaping your weight routine, you’ll want something that you can alter to your specifications as closely as possible.
Well, you’re in luck! As this unit is also very customizable, you can add a lat pulldown and a chin-up bar, molding it to your unique exercise regime.
- You can transform this power rack from one that carries a lot of weight, one that you can simply pull yourself up from or somewhere between the two.
- The 1000-pound maximum weight capacity gives you plenty of room to play around, with a generous middle space at the center, you can design one area for weights and one area for pull-ups and push-ups.
- This is one of our most durable power racks, the solid steel composition will not wobble even during the most intensive exercises.
- Some users have complained of rusting on the inside of the frame after only a few months of use. You might want to keep this unit out of damp conditions such as a garage.
Best Cheap Power Racks Buying Guide
When it comes to buying your next power rack, you’ll want to seriously consider what kind of exercises you’re going to want to be doing on it.
Will you be using it for weightlifting or will you use it to lift and stretch your muscles?
These units are fairly hefty, so you’ll also want to be thinking about how much space you have, as well as the limits of your budget.
However, there are a few essentials that your power rack unit will have to possess to give you the best from your workout. Here are a few of them:
What Is The Weight Capacity?
You should always have the weight capacity at the front of your mind before buying a power rack.
No matter how solid the construction of your rack, if it cannot adequately support your weight, then you will experience instability that could compromise the safety of your workout.
It might be worth adding up the total weight of every piece of equipment that you’re planning on using in your power rack and then finding a model that can support this weight.
What Is The Size Of Your Rack?
Budget racks are often used in a home or garage gym and simply won’t be able to accommodate more than one, possibly two people at a time during a single workout session.
One of the downsides of a personal power rack is the limited space.
Remember: to save space on the outside of your rack, you might have to compromise the space inside the cage.
When measuring up the dimensions of the rack, remember that you need to include any additional space taken up by your weights.
You should ideally have around 2 feet of space around every side of your rack to allow mounting and dismounting.
What Is The Gauge Of The Steel?
The gauge of the steel describes its thickness, with the thicker steel being the strongest, sturdiest and less prone to shaking during use.
However, it is worth remembering that the higher the gauge number, the thinner the steel is.
So, 10 gauge steel is stronger than 14 gauge steel and so on.
Where Are The Adjustment Holes?
These will determine how high or low you’ll want your power rack accessories such as deadweights, pull-up bars or lat pulldowns to be.
The closer the adjustment holes are, then the more flexible the unit will be, allowing you to gradually increase or decrease the level of your workout.
Frequently Asked Questions
Will You Need Accessories For Your Power Rack?
This will all depend on what level of exercise that you’ll be wanting to do.
If you want a power rack to store your bench press or squat, then you won’t need one that is that adaptable.
However, you might want to augment your power rack in the future. Here is a list of some of the things that you can upgrade your power rack with:
- Chin-up bar
- Dipping bars
- Lat pulldown pulley
- Landmine dipping bar
These additions might also take up additional space, so be aware of that before purchasing them for your power rack.
What Exercises Can you Do On A Power Rack?
Here is a short list of some of the many exercises you can perform on your power rack:
- Rack pulls - these are like deadlifts, although you lift the weight off the rack’s safety bar rather than the floor.
- Bench press - you can lift this off your chest at different levels using the safety bar.
- Squats - squatting with a safety bar underneath your weight bar will allow you to drop it without hurting yourself or damaging the floor.
- Chin-ups - this is a single steel bar that you can use to pull yourself up. Set it to different heights for a semi- or full-body extension.