With crazy things like global pandemics and worldwide riots shaking our reality recently, it makes sense that you might want to invest in a home gym. Not only will a good home gym help keep you in shape and save money over a gym membership, for many people it can also help with motivating to work out more, too.
In this guide, we’ll be looking at the Fitness Gear Pro Half Rack, a squat rack that’s affordable, sturdy, and small enough to fit in any home gym.
The Fitness Gear Pro Half Rack
Half racks like the Fitness Gear Pro are designed to take up much less room than a full weight lifting rack, and as such, they sometimes don’t have an attached bench. This is where the name “squat rack” comes from since many people use them to do squats. You can always add a bench later if you want to as well.
The Fitness Gear Pro has everything you need to do your squats or many other exercises, including pull-ups. You’ll notice that the top of the bar has removable handles to adjust your pull up exercises, making this setup multi-functional.
Features and Specifications
The Fitness Gear Pro Half Rack has many helpful features to help create your perfect home gym. We’ve already mentioned that it has a built-in pull-up bar, but it also has 28 positions for your hooks. This means that, despite its compact size, it should be appropriate for just about anyone, regardless of height.
This particular half rack has six separate bars to store your weights on. This is more than enough for someone who’s just entering the world of weight lifting or looking for a compact rack for their home gym. It will store all but the largest collections of weights.
Similarly, the Fitness Gear Pro Half Rack has a weight limit of up to 600 pounds, and it’s constructed from 14-gauge steel. While many half racks are rated to hold up to 1,000 pounds, this weight limit will be more than enough for anyone but the most hardcore of weight lifters.
The thinner construction and space-saving design of this half rack mean it’ll bring the total price down, too. Of course, you should know that Fitness Gear Pro sells a full-sized rack, as well, if you’re looking for something more substantial.
The quality of the Fitness Gear Pro Half Rack is surprisingly good for such an inexpensive setup. While it’s constructed from 14-gauge steel instead of the industry-standard 11-gauge, the bars and welds feel more than sturdy enough to pass any test.
The metal portions of the Fitness Gear Pro Half Rack feel strong, and the 28 holes allow for extra customizability. However, keep in mind that this rack is exactly 50 inches wide, so that doesn’t leave much room for Olympic-sized weights.
The feet on this rack, however, are sturdy and quite long. They’re not big enough to get in your way while you lift, but they’re large enough that the entire rack feels sturdy – it won’t fall over unless you put some real force into trying to do so.
Finally, this rack is just as easy on the eyes as it is on your wallet. The two-tone design is attractive and blends into any home gym. However, the nicest thing about this half rack is that it doesn’t scream “weight lifting” – instead, it looks like a weight rack, a pull-up bar, and a miscellaneous storage rack all in one.
Speaking of miscellaneous storage, while this rack is only designed to hold your weights, the 28 holes it comes with are great for adding extra exercise items that need a place to live in your home gym. Be careful not to attach anything that might compromise your safety or exceed the weight limits of the rack itself, however.
One of the main issues we did see with quality was the rubberized finish covering the J-hooks. While the finish is excellent initially, it does tend to wear down over time. Since this is a high-friction area of the rack, it makes sense that it would wear over time, but it would also be smart of the manufacturer to protect this high-impact area against excessive wear.
Assembly and Tear-Down
One of our very favorite features about this fitness rack is how simple it is to assemble and reassemble. Unlike other full racks (and even some half racks) on the market, you don’t need professional help to put this together. When it comes time to move it somewhere else, it’s incredibly easy to tear-down and put back together again, too.
The secret to this tear-down is the no-nonsense pieces this half rack breaks down into. Even without the assembly instructions (which we do recommend you keep, just so you assemble it safely every time), it’s easy to put this rack back together based on visual cues.
Pros and Cons
Overall, this Fitness Gear Pro Half Rack has more pros than cons, but you should be aware of all of them before making your purchase. The biggest pros in favor of this model are:
- Lots of storage space
- Easy to assemble and disassemble
- Easy on the eyes
- Built-in pull-up bar
- 28 settings
While none of the cons will be deal-breakers for most people, professional and hardcore lifters may take issue with some of them. They include:
- Weight limit tops out at 600 lbs instead of 1,000
- J-hooks wear down quickly
- Doesn’t come with a bench – if you want one, you’ll have to buy it separately
All in all, the Fitness Gear Pro Half Rack is an excellent option for anyone who’s looking to add a weight lifting apparatus to their home gym. It’s incredibly beginner-friendly, both via the wallet and through the rack’s function. However, its lower weight limit and compact size might seem inadequate for those really looking to pursue lifting.
The best way to look at this fitness rack is as a multi-functional exercise tool. It can help you do squats, bench press (if you decide to purchase a bench), pull-ups, and much more with its inbuilt functionality.