Can you put a squat rack in an apartment? The short answer is yes. Beginner and intermediate lifters will have no problem adding the best squat rack for apartments to their home gyms. However, advanced lifters who are doing barb-bending deadlifts and squats will likely run into issues. For instance, if you live on the 2nd floor or higher, then dropping weights is out of the question.
In reality, as a renter, you want to preserve your apartment to avoid having to pay for any damages. The good news is that modern apartments can support enough weight to accommodate beginner and intermediate lifters. As long as you’re squatting in the 300 to 400 lb range, you’re not going to fall through the floor.
Once you go beyond 400 lbs, you’re more likely to run into issues. The purpose of this article is to introduce you to the top power racks for apartments. Also, you’ll pick up some helpful tips to avoid disturbing your neighbors or damaging your apartment. Since you are paying to live in your space, adding a power rack within reason is A-OK.
Top 5 Power Racks for Apartments
How to Choose a Power Rack for an Apartment
The following points are the most important to consider when selecting your rack:
- Weight Capacity – The capacity of the rack gives you an accurate idea of how much weight the rack can hold during your lifts. For most people, an 800 lb capacity is more than enough. This goes back to the point that squat racks for apartments are better for beginner and intermediate lifters than advanced lifters. If you’re squatting over 800 lbs, then you’ll want to stick to a professional gym or a garage gym.
- Floor Space – For renters, floor space is the most important consideration. If you live in a studio or one-bedroom apartment, then you’re most likely putting this rack in your living room or bedroom. For this reason, half racks are the most suitable option for apartments. Half racks take up less floor space. Additionally, half racks are more likely to fit on apartment patios and balconies.
- Spotter Arm Length – One important dimension to consider is the spotter arm length. The longer the spotter arms the more comfortably you’re able to lift. On the other hand, you may prefer a more compact squat rack with short spotter arms for a small apartment.
- Plate Holders – Most half racks come with plate holders to keep your weights off the ground. Plate holders are especially important for renters who want to conserve floor space and evenly distribute their weights.
- Attachments – If you plan to buy aftermarket attachments, then you’ll want to pay attention to the tube size. For instance, 2″ x 2″ or 3″ x 3″ tubes are more common. Also, the hole size is important to consider. Generally, 1″ holes are standard size for aftermarket attachments.
- Sound Dampening – To avoid disturbing your neighbors and to protect your floors, you’ll want to put a mat beneath your rack. In most cases, a puzzle mat will get the job done. For enhanced sound dampening, consider adding crash pads.
- Warranty – As always, check the warranty terms offered by the manufacturer since a power rack is not a small investment. This way, you’re able to choose a company with warranty terms that you’re comfortable with.
Other than that, use common sense when choosing your rack.
Reviews: Best Squat Rack for Apartment
Below, I share reviews of each rack featured in the table above.
#1) Sunny Health & Fitness SF-XF9931 Power Zone Gym Rack Squat Stand
Sunny Health & Fitness offers a handful of good racks for home gyms, and model SF-XF9931 is best suited for apartment use. Overall, it offers all of the functionality that you’d expect from a squat rack in a compact package. In total, there are two heavy-duty 12″ spotter arms, heavy-duty J-hooks, plate holders, resistance band pegs, and an angled pull-up bar.
Two things I really like about this rack are the quality of the J-hooks and the number of height adjustments. You’ll have no trouble landing on the right height for bench press, squats, and overhead press. Also, the pull-up bar is height adjustable and allows for both narrow-grip and wide-grip pull-ups.
When using resistance bands, always make sure to load as much weight on the plate holders as possible to keep the rack in place. Lastly, with a max weight capacity of 805 lbs, the average weightlifter will stay well below that number for the lifetime of the product.
- Heavy-duty attachments
- Resistance band pegs
- Multi-grip, height-adjustable pull-up bar
- 18 height adjustments
- Powder-coated finish to prevent rust
- Won’t rock during use
- Easy assembly
- Compatible with some 6′ barbells
- .8″ holes are hard to find aftermarket attachments for
- The plate holders should have a steeper angle
- You might prefer longer spotter arms
#2) Fitness Reality 810XLT Super Max Power Rack
One of the most popular budget squat rack manufacturers is Fitness Reality. Consequently, a lot of copycat companies have popped up to duplicate Fitness Reality racks. Make no mistake, this equipment is shipped from China. Having said that, Fitness Reality racks provide great value for the money because they’re reliable. And what more do you need than a reliable rack as a renter?
Firstly, this rack features standard 2″ x 2″ tubes with 1″ holes. For this reason, this rack is easy to find aftermarket attachments for. Secondly, the spotter arms are longer than the Sunny Health model above. In total, they measure 19.5″, which gives you a full 7.5″ more to work with during your lifts. Depending on your available space, this could be a plus or minus.
Next, this model comes standard with a landmine attachment, and it’s only 81″ tall. Because of this, shorter renters and renters with low ceilings will find good value here. With all of that in mind, this is a heavy-duty half rack with plenty of adjustability and everything you need, minus a barbell & weights.
- Standard 2″ x 2″ posts with 1″ holes
- Longer 19.5″ spotter arms
- Height-adjustable pull-up bar
- 19 height adjustments (better for decline lifts)
- Landmine attachment included
- Better quality J-hooks than the Fitness Reality power cage
- Solid construction
- A good choice for renters with low ceilings
- The spotter arms roll the bar toward the posts
- The pull-up bar may feel thick to you depending on your hand size
#3) CAP Barbell FM-8000F Deluxe Power Rack
CAP is another well-known brand in the budget home gym equipment space, and the keyword here is “budget.” As long as you’re not expecting world-class gym equipment, this is a great power rack for an apartment. Firstly, this is a solid piece of home gym equipment that’s made of 12 and 14-gauge steel. Typically, racks have 14-gauge steel or higher, so 12-gauge is nice to see.
Secondly, the 3″ x 3″ steel tubing is solid, and it’s possible to find aftermarket attachments. Third, the spotter arms find a nice balance between being too short and too long at 15″. Plus, there’s always the option to upgrade the spotter arms and J-hooks later as you progress. Out of the box, this rack sports a 600 lb weight capacity, which is sufficient for most people, though not on par with other options in this guide.
Additionally, things get a little confusing because the rack itself has a 600 lb weight capacity, but the spotter arms have a 300 lb weight capacity. Keep that detail in mind if you squat over 300 lbs because you’ll likely need different spotter arms. Other than that, this rack features resistance band pegs, a pull-up bar, and plate storage at the sides of the rack.
- Available in a variety of colors if you’re into that sort of thing
- Heavy-duty 3″ x 3″ steel tubes
- Barbell storage
- A good choice for 8′ ceilings
- Taller users will enjoy this rack
- Sturdy build quality
- The configuration doesn’t allow for decline bench press
- Very basic pull-up bar
- The chance of missing parts and damage during shipping
- Shortest warranty period
#4) HulkFit HFSS-1 Multi-Function Adjustable Power Rack
Now for another squat rack that’s more than adequate for renters. Firstly, one feature this rack brings to the table that the others don’t is dip attachments. If you look closely, you’ll be able to see that the included dip attachments connect to the spotter arm. Comparatively, this rack is in direct competition with the Fitness Reality rack since you’ve probably already noticed the similarities.
Both racks offer 800 lb weight capacity and very similar structures, yet there are some differences to be aware of. Those differences are the tube size and the number of height adjustments. The holes are spaced further on the HulkFit rack and the tube size is 2.5″ x 2.5″. While you may prefer the larger tubes, it’s harder to find aftermarket attachments.
Because of this and fewer height adjustments, I prefer the rack by Fitness Reality first. All in all, if you want a rack with longer spotter arms (these are 20″) and dip attachments included, the HulkFit rack is a solid option. Also, it’s not a bad idea to compare the price to other models in this guide since the prices do seem to fluctuate.
- Easier on the wallet than other options
- Heavier gauge steel than competing models
- Includes dip attachments
- Two pull-up bars included with different diameters
- Long 20″ spotter arms
- The 2-year warranty is longer than competitors
- The rack needs to have weight on it when doing dips
- 2.5″ x 2.5″ constricts you to sticking with HulkFit attachments
- You may prefer larger J-hooks
- Fewer bar height positions
#5) Marcy SM-8117 Squat Rack
My final pick is the best squat rack for renters who are beginner lifters. With a 300 lb weight capacity, most beginners and casual lifters will have no problem staying below that limit. Additionally, this is one of the most compact squat racks you’ll find on the market. Outside of the support legs being a little longer than other models in this guide, the top of this rack is unlikely to interfere with any items in your apartment.
Having said that, the spotter arms are short on this model. For the bench press, this won’t be a problem, but when doing squats, you’ll want to be sure to keep yourself positioned above the arms. Next, you’ll more than likely enjoy the multi-grip pull-up bar on this rack more than other models. In total, you have the option to grip the bars both vertically and horizontally with wide-grip positioning.
Plus, there’s some grip on the bar, which is a touch other companies skipped. Finally, the J-hooks on this rack are a little roomier than other models. For this reason, there’s less of a need to worry when racking the bar. Ultimately, if you can live with a lower weight capacity, this is a great squat rack for an apartment.
- Multi-grip pull-up bar with a grip
- The easiest assembly
- An attractive finish should you set it up in your living room
- It holds up well
- A sturdy foundation
- Lowest weight capacity of the models in this guide
- Short spotter arms
- Irregular steel tube size
- The footprint is larger than other models
When choosing the best squat rack for an apartment, your best bet is to stick with a half rack. Generally, a half-rack allows you to do all the major lifts that a full-size power cage allows for while occupying less floor space. For your average lifter, the advantage of being able to do bench press, squats, and overhead presses at home can’t be understated.
Rather than having to run to the gym, you have the ability to improve your physique at your own pace without waiting in line. All things considered, the convenience of owning your own rack will help you to stay motivated. On top of that, you’re able to fuel your body at the end of your workout by taking just a few steps to your kitchen. What’s not to love about that?