Thinking about adding a power rack to your home gym?
(Or building your own?)
It might help to know how big power racks are, and whether you can even fit one in your house or garage.
Simply put, there's no easy answer to this question, since power racks come in many shapes, sizes, and varieties. There are full cages, half racks, thin racks, tall racks, and so on.
They're all built just a little bit differently!
But if you're just looking for some really rough guidelines, here you go:
- Full power cages are roughly 40-50" deep, 46-52" wide, and usually just over 80" tall.
- Half power racks are about the same size in footprint but don't have posts in the front.
This is just a really broad estimate, so let's take a little bit of a deeper look into how much space power racks really take up.
Power rack functions and construction
The size of a power rack really all depends on what it's designed to do.
Typically, if you buy or build a rack for your home gym, you're going to want to use it for at least a few of the following:
- Bench press
- Overhead press
- Deadlifts or rack pulls
- Pull ups
Power rack width
One of the key factors involved here is the rack's ability to handle full-size Olympic barbells, which are about 7' long (at least, that's the most common and standardized length.)
The sleeves on a 7' barbell leave about 52" of grip length in the middle, so most power racks are going to be wide enough to accommodate this. Too short and the bar won't rack properly. Too wide and you'll run into the same problem.
That means a lot of racks are going to be somewhere between 48-52" wide.
(There may be some extra material jutting out on the sides, like safety bars or plate holders, that attribute to more overall width. But the actual frame will usually be built to these specs.)
Power rack height
Rack height may not seem like a huge deal when doing squats and bench presses, but it plays a major role if you want to do overhead pressing or pull ups (especially if you're tall.)
Think about it... If you're about 6' tall doing a full range of motion overhead press, you need a significant amount of free space above you to lock out the lift.
Now the tricky thing is that power racks can't be TOO tall, because if you want to use the pull up bar up top for full range of motion pulls, you'll need some clearance between the top of the rack and the ceiling to avoid smacking your head at the top of each rep!
Most power racks clock in at a little over 80", or somewhere around 7 feet, tall.
If you've got a cramped basement or garage and want to find a power rack that's good for low ceilings, there are some good shorter options available, though.
Power rack depth
Depth really depends on the style of rack and your personal comfort.
It's great to have a lot of room inside the cage or rack to move around comfortably, and perhaps do dynamic movements like cleans.
A little extra depth can also come in handy when squatting, giving you lots of room to unrack the bar and back away from the j-clips.
Half racks generally take up the same floor space as full racks, but don't have front posts, which gives you a ton of freedom to move around and perform lifts that take up more space.
(The downside to half racks is that you may have to compromise on having full safety bars.)
In any case, it's common to see power racks with a depth of anywhere from 40-50", or about 4 feet.
Keep in mind that all of these dimensions can vary greatly depending on style, brand, and design, as you'll soon see.
But they're pretty good averages and starting points.
Examples: Dimensions of popular power racks
Alright, time for some real life examples.
Here are the exact dimensions, as given by the manufacturer, of some of the most popular racks on the market. The dimensions here are referring to total space taken up, and may include anything that juts out of the main frame like plate holders, etc.
So keep that in mind.
- Fitness Reality 810XLT Super Max Power Cage: 50.5L x 46.5W x 83.5H (inches)
- CAP Barbell Full Cage Power Rack: 43.31L x 47.24W x 84.02H
- Titan T-2 Series Short Power Rack: 48L x 58W x 71.5H
- Titan T-3 Series HD Power Rack: 34L x 42W x 90H
- Rep Power Rack PR-1000: 65L x 58W x 86H
- Body-Solid Pro Power Rack: 49L x 46W x 82H
- Deltech Fitness Power Rack: 55L x 49W x 81H
- Best Fitness Power Rack: 45.5L x 46.5W x 82H
- PowerLine PPR200X Power Rack: 46L x 44W x 82H
- Popsport Deep Squat Rack: 55L x 49W x 86H
- F2C Adjustable Height Power Rack: 44L x 48W x 83H
- Goplus Power Rack: 44L x 46W x 84H
- Valor Fitness BD-7 Power Rack: 47L x 63.5W x 82H
Again, there's a lot of variation in some of the sizing, but this should give you an idea of what to expect.
Some racks of adjustable, either width wise or height wise. Some mount to the wall and take up very little depth.
Some are absolutely massive.
I'd advise you to take a look around, and there's a pretty good chance you can find one that fits your space well.
Power rack hole size
Outside of the main dimensions of the power rack frame and attachments, you might want to pay close attention to the hole spacing and hole size for the safety bars.
(This is especially pertinent if you're building your own rack, or if you want a lot of customization for your own lifts at home.)
The pin holes in the rack allow you to adjust the level of the safety bars depending on what lift you're doing, and your own size. There are a few common power rack hole sizes and layouts:
- 5/8 inch holes with 1 inch spacing between
- 1 inch holes with 2 inch spacing
- 1 inch holes with 3 inch spacing
In general, smaller holes with tighter spacing is a sign of a higher quality rack, and gives you more options for setting the safety bars exactly where you need them.
That's not a hard and fast rule, but most super high quality racks have a higher number of overall safety holes with less empty space between them.
What to do if you're short on space
Power racks, as you can see, are pretty dang big.
In general, they take up around 16 square feet of floor space and can be over 7 feet tall.
Not exactly something you can just pop in the corner of your living room!
To really have a solid power rack set up, you're going to need some dedicated space. But there are options if space is tight or your ceilings are low.
While half power rack often take up about the same floor space as full cages, they take up less room overall due to their open design. Wall-mounted half racks in particular can be big space savers, and some of the free standing models are adjustable or collapsible.
Short power racks
There aren't too many of these on the market, but if you look hard you can find power racks that come in under the usual 7' mark.
You'll often have to sacrifice some level of features to squeeze a rack into a very low ceiling room, but I recommend a few great options in my guide to short power racks.
To sum up, you'll most often see power racks on the market that are around 40-50" deep, 46-52" wide, and usually just over 80" tall.
If you're building your own rack, this is a pretty good starting point. If you're buying one, you'll be able to find a lot of variation in these numbers to suit the space you have available.
Hope this guide has helped!
(If space isn't an issue and you just want the best power rack, here are my top affordable power rack picks.)