Power Racks Home Page

What is a Power Rack?

Basic construction

A power rack is a piece of weight training equipment and can also be known as a power cage, squat cage, or squat rack. A basic rack is simply constructed, with square metal bars serving as the base and the framework. Often they include chin up bars at the top of the structure. Most are about seven feet high, around four feet wide and five feet deep. Attached to the frame of all power cages are safety catch bars that adjust depending on the size of the user and the exercise. The many drilled holes in the vertical bars also adjust for maximum versatility.

Development of modern Power Racks

The first modern power rack was constructed in the late 1940s by a lifter from Tennessee, named Bob Peoples. His cage was built from extremely thick timbers that stretched from the floor to the ceiling. The York Barbell Company produced a solid steel version shortly after. Throughout the 1970s and ‘80s, the equipment’s popularity soared and became an integral part of the common workout routine, for everyone from professional weightlifters to high school sports teams. The late 2000s saw the advent of the newest and best power cage, one that provided even more safety features and many options for added-on accessories.

The value of the Power Rack

The value of the power cage is in its safety and versatility. It allows users to safely perform free weight exercises with barbells alone because of the safety bars installed on the rack. The bars will catch barbells should the user miss a rep, greatly reducing the risk of being crushed or pinned. It makes a great addition to a home gym and gives flexibility to workouts, permitting weightlifters to exercise even when lacking a training partner. Of course, there is no replacement for a solid spotter, but power racks do offer a wonderful element of safety that no other heavy weight equipment can match.

Power cages are also conductive to a wide range of workouts. They allow for a wide range of motion, making it easier to target and then isolate certain areas. By setting the bar at different heights, users can begin exercises like squats in the traditional position, or begin at the bottom of the squat to strengthen a weak back. Conversely, the cage can also be used for exercises with limited range of motion. By doing so, users can safely lift a much larger load that they would normally be able to when utilizing a wide range of motion in order to overload a certain muscle group.

Now lets take a further look at how power racks are commonly used.