Half Rack Vs. Full Rack – Differences Between These Lifting Racks

There’s absolutely nothing wrong with preferring to do your bodybuilding in your home gym. The only problem is that of half rack vs full rack. What does this mean? Well, there are two different types of lifting racks that you can set up in your home gym.

Some people prefer a half rack, while others refuse to work out without a full rack. What are the differences? Which one is better? In a competition between half rack vs power rack, which one wins? Read on to discover the answers to these questions.

Half Rack Vs Full Rack

What’s A Half Rack?

Rugged Commercial Half Rack

In order to determine which is better, half rack vs full rack, it’s necessary to describe what a half rack is.

To put it simply a half rack is a piece of workout equipment that’s less wide than a full rack.

They consist of a solid base with two metal bars that extend up to the top. In most cases, those bars connect at the top with a fourth bar, which provides plenty of stability.

When someone lifts weights in their home gym, they more than likely don’t have a spotter present.

This spotter would catch the weights should something go wrong and the person ends up being unable to lift them.

A half rack has small bars on the front of it that can catch the barbell and other weights. Basically, it prevents injuries from occurring.

Half Rack Exercises

What types of exercises can you do with a half rack? Since a half rack is smaller than a full rack, it isn’t designed to handle as many exercises. This is one of the main differences in the half rack vs full rack debate.

A half rack can provide enough support to do things like lunges and squats with weights, as well as bench presses. Some half racks have barbell supports, although not all of them do. In some cases, they are an option that you’ll have to pay extra for.

Half Rack Pros and Cons

There are some pros and cons to half racks. They include:


  • A half rack takes up less space in your home gym
  • They are less expensive
  • You have more flexibility when it comes to barbell exercises
  • You can exercise outside of your half rack


  • Sometimes they are made of a less sturdy metal
  • There are a limited amount of exercises that you can do with one
  • There are no security bars

Half Rack Product Examples

In order to further emphasize the differences in the half rack vs full rack comparisons, here are some examples of half racks:

1. Rugged Commercial Half Rack Y120

Rugged Commercial Half Rack Y120, 1000 lb...
7 Reviews
Rugged Commercial Half Rack Y120, 1000 lb...
  • Commercial Lifetime Warranty: frames and...
  • In-Home Lifetime Warranty: Everything
  • 1,000 lb. weight capacity
  • Heavy-duty 2×3, 11-gauge steel

This half rack is made of heavy 11-gauge steel that measures two inches by three inches wide. It can support up to 1,000 pounds of weight and comes with an in-home lifetime warranty.

The Rugged Commercial Half Rack comes with a set of safety arms and a set of j-cups, and its finish is powder coated black. This isn’t the cheapest half rack out there, but as the name suggests, the quality is commercial-grade.

2. Cap Barbell FM-8000F

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Cap Barbell Deluxe Power Rack (FM-CB8000F)
1,467 Reviews
Cap Barbell Deluxe Power Rack (FM-CB8000F)
  • Heavy-Duty Construction – Steel...
  • Durable & Reliable – 3-Step Powder Coat...
  • Features – two plate posts, three band...
  • Versatile – Use this power rack to perform...

Despite its name, the Cap Barbell Deluxe Power Rack is actually a half rack. Its base is 47 inches deep by 61 inches wide, while its arms extend up 85 inches high. The upper bar serves as a pull-up bar and can support up to 300 pounds.

The same is true for the bar catches on the front (they can support 300 pounds as well. This half rack is made of powder coated steel and comes in a combination of silver with black accents.

What’s a Full Rack?

Merax Athletics Fitness Power Rack

On the other hand, there are full racks. In order to better explain the differences in this half rack vs full rack comparison, it’s necessary to explain them in detail as well.

A full rack, sometimes also known as a power rack (making this a half rack vs power rack comparison as well) is a large cage that fits inside of a home gym.

It consists of a solid metal base that is usually square or rectangular in shape, four bars rising up from the base, and connecting bars across the top for added stability.

These racks are also known as cages, because they look like a cage that you might see wild animals in, without the restricting bars across all sides.

If a half rack is a good substitute for an in-gym spotter, then many bodybuilders believe that a full rack is even better. (Don’t rush to congratulate the winner in the half rack vs power rack contest yet, though, because there are plenty of pros and cons to both.)

Full Rack Exercises

A weight bench can be placed inside of a full rack, making it much more diverse in terms of the exercises that you can do in your home gym. However, this doesn’t mean that this piece of workout equipment automatically wins the half rack vs full rack contest.

A full rack can handle a wide range of exercises, and some even function as pull up bars. You’ll find that you can do any number of weight training exercises in one, from deadlifts to barbell lifts, squats, lunges, and more. If you can do in a gym with a spotter, then you can do it in your home gym with a full rack.

Full Rack Pros and Cons

A full rack (or power rack, depending on your point of view) has some pros and cons. They include:


  • You can do far more exercises in a power rack
  • A power rack functions like a human spotter
  • It’s very safe to lift weights while inside one
  • These pieces of workout equipment are very sturdy


  • A full rack takes up plenty of space in a home gym
  • There is a chance that the top bars of your full rack can damage your walls
  • Your workout space can be restricted

Full Rack Product Examples

Now, here are some examples of full racks, in order to paint a better picture of them in this half rack vs power rack comparison:

1. HulkFit 1000-Pound Power Cage

HulkFit 1000-Pound Capacity Multi-Function...
4,832 Reviews
HulkFit 1000-Pound Capacity Multi-Function...
  • Constructed with 11 gauge steel, this power...
  • Power Cage also includes two steel safety...
  • Free standing unit with a large walk-in space...
  • Front of rack includes a multigrip pull-up...

This power rack is designed to support 1,000 pounds of weight. It has a square steel frame that encloses the person exercising inside of it. The base is shaped like an “H” in order to provide additional support.

It comes with two dip bars on the sides, the upper bars double as pull up bars, and there are solid steel safety bars with J-hooks. Overall, this power cage measures 44 inches by 47 inches by 81 inches and comes in yellow with black accents.

2. Merax Athletics Fitness Power Rack

Merax Athletics Fitness Power Rack Olympic...
116 Reviews
Merax Athletics Fitness Power Rack Olympic...
  • 🏋️‍ 2"x 2" sturdy steel gauge and 4...
  • 🏋️‍ Built in pull up bar, safety...
  • 🏋️‍ 21 variable positions for bar...
  • 🏋️‍ Solid Steel Chrome pull up bar...

This power rack comes with all of the bells and whistles. It even has a foam covered utility bar that can be used for arm curls and other exercises. You can adjust the bar supports in 21 different ways, and it has attachments for low rows, lat pull downs, pull ups, and even safety spotters (the metal kind that can catch weights, not the human variety.)

This power rack is 45 inches deep, 85 inches tall, and can support a maximum weight of 800 pounds.

Final Thoughts

Now that you know the differences between a half rack vs full rack, you’re probably ready to choose one for your home gym. You have your choice, of course, now that you know the differences between them. The pros and cons have been analyzed, and even some examples of each have been described. Which one is the winner: half rack vs power rack, for you?