T Nation

Buying a Power Rack


I'm looking to buy a power rack and am getting alittle confused. After searching through here I discovered I really don't want a smith machine. So is the main difference that the power rack allows you to move the bar somewhat normally except it will stop the weight? I know I want a dip attachment, the lat pullies, and to be able to do pullups/chinups.

I think I want the one from power tec, but am not sure. I was wondering if anyone has any input about it. Also is the bench they sell for it worth while.
Thank you all,


This is the MOST important peice of equip you will buy. Buy quality, buy ONCE.

I suggest looking here TOP quality, build your own with additions etc. Your getting what you pay for.

Another worth giving a look is Newyork barbell.com


I got a Powertec rack at a garage sale that was virtually unused for a hundred bucks (I believe they retail at $340 or so). It is pretty solid. It came with dip handles and a chinning bar. As far as I know this is what the base rack comes with. You can get a hi/low pulley that mounts onto the back of it for rows and pulldowns and stuff. I personally did not want to add the pulley system cause it would close off the end of the rack for spotting purposes.

If you lift alone with the safety pins as a spotter this might not bother you. I was able to get a stand alone Powertec lat machine with hi/low pulleys that was a close out special so my wife and I did that instead.

The safety pins that come with this rack are really solid. I routinely use it for rack pulls with over 600 lbs. and the pins do not flinch. The j-hooks that hold the bar that come with this rack are a little deeper than I would like. However they are probably better than 99% of racks on the market (Elite's are probably the best). They are very solidly built like the pins.

To accomadate this I have wrapped them with tape to make it smoother to unrack the bar. This is primarily just a fetish of mine, so that when I bench I can stay tight and not have to do a mini-press when unracking the bar. For squats they're just fine.

As far as the bench is concerned, I believe that the Powertec multi-purpose bench is only rated for 600 or 650 pounds. I believe this is probably a pretty conservative estimate, but when you factor in my fat butt and and 450 lbs. for bench press I decided to get a upgrade on the bench.

I will second the motion about Elite Fitness equipment. It is top of line and if you are a serious powerlifter it would be well worth the money. I was really looking to get a setup from them when we were planning the move from a commercial gym. But when this stuff all literally fell in our lap I couldn't refuse the offer.

I am saving some change now for some Elite Fitness stuff like a glute ham raise and a reverse hyper. If you have any more questions about the rack feel free to ask!