T Nation

Storing A Power Rack Outside

Hello Fellow T-nation dudes,

Me and my older brother are trying to invest in a home/backyard gym. This poses a problem. My dad won’t allow my brother to get a power rack because he said it wouldn’t last outside. Is there a way to take care of a power rack in rain or snow? I heard you can put a tarp on it. I don’t know much about metal tho.


Water does crazy things to metal. I’m assuming the rack isn’t going to be made of top grade stainless so no matter what you’re going to have some form of rust or corrosion of the metal. Initially it’ll be to exposed metal surfaces like nuts and bolts, but once the finish/paint starts chipping it’ll start happening to those surfaces as well. Covering with a tarp would possibly help a bit, but humidity in the air will do similar things.

That being said you could probably get a few years or more out of it being somewhat diligent in keeping up with any chips or scratches of the finish. I personally wouldn’t be terribly concerned about winter due to the humidity typically being so low.

Is there any way you could store it inside when it’s not in use? Or are you using this to get through the quarantine/gym lockdown and then back to a commercial/school gym?

Another thing to consider is metal plates and the bar. All of my equipment has been stored in an unconditioned space inside and you’ll see, the bar is still discolored. I didn’t wipe it down after every use though, but even being out of the elements water still finds a way to corrode everything. So keep in mind bringing the plates/bar inside as well if you want them to stay semi decent for a while.

Edit: or be like flap and make a rack out of pressure treated lumber. A lot cheaper too I’m sure.

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The bottom of it is where you have to pay special attention. It would need to be on something to keep it off the dirt. A woode platform or concrete pavers, something. The constant contact with moisture from the ground is what will eat the bottom up.

The rest of it you can keep it waxed and cover with a tarp and it will last for years.

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If you wanted to go too far you could use a sacrificial coating on the insides of the tubing, but keeping it sealed/painted should suffice.

Maybe make sure that there are drainage holes or openings in the base of each tube though. Water can enter and accumulate through the safety pins/attachment holes, and that can ruin things.

Freeze/thaw cycles can also blow up poorly designed cross members that allow water to accumulate but not drain (holes in tops of things but not bottoms).


I built my own squat stands and stored them in a shed, but if I had bought one, I’d have just bought this thing ^

365 bucks, you can also buy safeties for benching, it has a 1000lb capacity, and it only weighs 122 lbs so you can bring it in and outside easily.

If you’ve got squat stands with safeties you have everything you need to bench, squat, deadlift, and OHP.


I showed @flappinit this picture (or something similar) when he was looking for solutions:

squat stand

I had something very similar and it worked out just fine.

Actually, just noticed the big different between that picture and the ones we built - we put our stands in buckets of concrete, we didn’t use a wooden base.

I assume this is a short term solution - you and your brother will eventually go back to school, gyms will eventually reopen, you don’t want to spend too much money, and it’d be nice if you could store it in a shed or garage easily…with all of those factors I’d highly recommend just going the DIY route.


You can buy racks that are made to go outside. Then again, Bud Jeffries trains outside and it looks like just regular old racks that have held up well


…not sure if serious…

@ SkyzykS is correct. Painting and sealing works wonders.

I had a power rack for over 20 years in what passed for a “backyard” in NYC – it was on a concrete slab and I just painted it with Rustoleum and then undercoating for a car. It’d get scraped up and I’d touch up the spots every six months or so.

It’s still there, being used by Yeshiva boys, to my knowledge.