'); Half Rack vs Full Power Rack- what’s best for home gym?

Half Rack vs Full Power Rack- what’s best for home gym?

Half Rack vs Full Power Rack


With the rise in awareness towards personal health & fitness many people are looking for a robust and time-efficient solution to maintain health. Having a garage gym is definitly one of the best ways to ensure training regularity. Although having a garage gym setup might look like a costly investment, it is definitly worthy in the long term. 

Weight rack is one of the most basic pieces of equipment at every home gym. The availability of a large variety of racks can make the decision making difficult.

 What’s the difference between half rack vs full power rack? Both the racks are a worthy investment, but they both have their own set of advantages and limitations. While the full power rack comes with a heavy price tag they also provide improved safety measures. On the other hand, half racks are not only cost-effective, but they also rectify the space problems.  

Let’s have a detailed discussion over the number of differences between full power rack and half power rack.

What is a Full power rack?

This is also known as a power cage. 

It’s the same rack that you see in commercial gyms, these are the heavy-duty racks that are constructed to facilitate a wide range of exercises without compromising with the lifter’s safety. 

In simple terms, a power rack is a piece of weight training equipment that works as a mechanical spotter for free weight barbell exercises. 

Power racks are widely popular within the advance lifters for their assistance with free weight compound movements like squats, bench presses, overhead press, etc. 

What makes these full power rack special is their spotter bar or safety pin. These spotter bars are present to hold the barbell if in case you fail to complete the repetition

Full power squat racks are quite bulky since it provides superior safety. 

What is a half-rack? 

Half racks were the staple equipment in old school gyms but they are mostly replaced by full power rack. 

Half racks are more preferred for home gyms since they consume half the amount of space and are reasonably cost-effective as well. 

Half racks include safety arms as well but they have their own limitations that we are going to discuss ahead. 

Benefits of Half Rack

  • Consumes less space
  • Cost less than a power cage
  • Allows more training space

Half rack vs full power rack

There are some technical and visual differences that you need to know about the half racks and full power racks.

Basic difference

The basic and most visible difference that you find is the size of both the racks. 

Full power rack consists of 4 vertical steel tubes to make a cage-like structure. Four upright columns help in providing a full spectrum of support to the lifter through its Safety Pins. The hight of safety pins are also adjustable depending on the exercise you are doing. 

The half-rack consists of only two vertical steel columns to rack the bar and attach safety handles. The sturdiness of half-rack also depends on the manufacturing company. 


Half racks are good enough for basic compound movements like squats, bench-press and overhead press. 

Full power rack, on the other hand, can be converted into a fully functional gym station. You can find a power cage that comes with attached pullup bars and dip handles. Some of the garage gym power cages also offering a wide variety of attachments for greater customization. 

Still not sure? Checkout the REP PR V2 Power Rack, they offer a standard rack with a wide variety of customization and attachments that you can add to your garage gym’s power rack. 


Safety should definitly be a concern when training without a spotter, most of the lifters at home gyms do not have a spotter to hold their back. 

The half-rack works well when you are lifting in moderation, these cost-effective equipment does their work well if you can stay in the range of their safety handles. 

A power rack or cage is created for people who take “progressive overload” too seriously. Its safety pins will give you confidence to push for higher rep ranges.

Look at the half-rack fail: 


Investing in the full power rack is the best decision you can make, it won’t just assist in additional safety but they are also highly customizable structures that will give you the opportunity to expand your garage gym in near future. 

Here is the list of best and cost-effective power rack you can get for the home gym. 

Lets see what Reddit users says.

Thanks for reading. Questions welcomed in the comments as always. 

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Harsh Chauhan

Hi there, I'm Harsh, personal trainer and chief editor at Alphamale.co. I started this blog with the intention to tap on every question that has been unanswered for many years. With an experience of more than a decade, my goal is to transform the lives of millions of our readers by offering authentic fitness knowledge.

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