guy doing squats in power rack

The Best Power Rack with Lat Pulldown

When you join a gym, you will usually join one with a lot of machines and equipment. Cable machines target specific areas of your body while preventing injuries by allowing you to move within a safe range. 

When you want to establish a home gym, having a power rack with lat pulldown can be an important addition to your set of tools. Even for a beginner, the power rack is a station that will adapt to your growing needs. 

Power rack or cage is a tall metal frame structure with four upright posts that can be up to 90 inches in height. The rack will have horizontal rails that are adjustable to allow for a variety of exercises. 

With most, you can add an attachment or accessory such as catchers and pegs, chin-up bar, or lat pulldown cable. If you want to add weight plates, most require you to purchase them.  

The 5 Best Power Rack with Lat Pulldown

Price: $400

Retailing at $400, the Merax Athletics has an 800 pounds max weight capacity. The cage has 17 variable height positions, each two inches apart. There are no other attachments included. The frame is chrome-plated solid steel. [5]

Special Features: The padded knee stopper is adjustable using safety bars. 

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Pros 

  • At 140 pound, it’s pretty is sturdy. 
  • There are four weight plate storage pegs, so you can easily organize them according to weight. 
  • The chin-up bar has a knurled grip for comfort.

Cons

  • The unit has no pull-up bar. 
  • The bar supports are at an angle and can be noisy during racking. 
  • There are complaints that the cable system is rough and requires greasing before use.

Price: $440

The HulkFit 1000 retails at $440 with the lat pulldown, dip bars, and low row attachment. It has a 1000 pound weight capacity, with four J- hooks included in the set. 

The unit has rubber feet at the ends for better stability but does not have any place to bolt down. The HulkFit weighs 165 pounds, which is heaviest.

Special Features: With an H- frame, the Hulkfit 1000 is stable without the need for stabilizers. There are other attachments you can add for more exercise. 

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Pros 

  • The multi-grip pull-up bars have foam handles for comfort. 
  • There are security knobs at the lat pull down and low row bar for safety. 
  • You can lat pulldown a maximum of 500 pounds on the machine. 

Cons

  • You have to set up the unit correctly or the holes will not line up. 
  • It has the lowest max weight capacity of 600 pounds. 
  • There is a three-inch space between height positions, resulting in only 17 height positions. 
  • Hulkfit does not have weight plate storage pegs. 

Price: $499

At $499, the Rep PR1000 sits in the middle range in terms of frame weight. The cage weighs 130 pounds, but it is a 14 gauge steel frame that can handle a maximum of 700 pounds. Their weight storage pegs are at the bottom, to help with stability.

Special Features: The distance between dip bars is adjustable for different difficulties. While lightweight, the location of weight plate storage makes it stable. 

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Pros 

  • The cost includes dual pull up bars. 
  • There are numbers on every 5th hole to help avoid confusion. 
  • The J hooks have plastic liners to prevent bar knurling. 
  • There are extra attachments you can buy to add value to the unit. 

Cons

  • It does not have a knee stopper bar for lat pull downs. 
  • The weights store flat, which can be a problem when you need the ones at the bottom. 
  • There are no other stabilizing options. 
  • Their weight carriage for the lat pull down is small. 

Price: $599

With the Lat pulldown attachment, the Fitness Reality’s X- Class retails from $599. The X- class has safety bars for safety and J- hooks for squats.

The unit is compatible with a seven-inch Olympic bar, which is not included in the set. There is room in the cage for you and your spotter. [2][3][4]

Special Features: You can purchase the utility bench separately. The chin up and pull up bars have two height positions and can carry up to 600 pounds. 

Pros 

  • It has a multi-grip chin-up and pull-up bar. 
  • The X- Class can handle up to 1500 pounds.
  • The depth of X- Class is more than the Valor, it can fit a bench easily. 
  • You can fit the dip bars inwards to save space. 

Cons

  • Only 2 plate storage pegs for weights. 
  • It requires more space than the Valor. 
  • It does not come with other accessories, and other brands do not fit because of size differences. 
  • The safety bars are difficult to adjust. 

Price: $279 

The Valor Fitness BD-7 comes with lat pulldown attachment and other accessories with a price of $417. The Valor uses 12-gauge steel, with a 350 pounds capacity. It also has a pulley system that you can put weights for lat pulldown.

Special features: The pulley system is great for lat pulldown, curl, and low row. It comes with a knee stopper bar for lat pull down exercise, so you can perform heavy strength training without it lifting you up.  

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Pros 

  • It has a high and low pulley station for different exercises. 
  • The Valor has small interior dimensions that may be more comfortable for girls.

Cons

  • Some benches may not fit well in the Valor. The Valor does not have stabilizers. 
  • The pulley mechanism can hinder some exercises because of its size and limits the space available in the cage. 
  • Despite the low pulley, it does not have an ankle strap attachment. 

In Conclusion...

If you are after a power rack that can last for a long time, then the Merax Athletics should be your top pick. The sturdy construction of the Merax allows you to up your game safely, so you can make big gains without much worry. 

For the price that you pay for, the Merax offers good stability, a wide range of exercises and the longevity of a steel frame. It is a great investment for your home gym, as you will use it often in your training. 

What Muscles Do You Workout

The most popular exercise people do with a power rack is the squats, mainly because it is a useful support tool when you are performing it alone. You could also get a dedicated squat rack, but power racks generally do the job. 

You can adjust the height of the barbell to a comfortable position before loading the weights, and then you can lift the barbell off the hooks for a squat. Without a power rack, you will need a person to help you with all that. 

Aside from your legs, you can do a lot of upper body exercises with the power rack. You can safely perform bench presses without a spotter as the power rack can catch the bar when you fatigue. 

For your upper back and some bicep work, the inverted row is an exercise you can do with the power rack in varying difficulties. And if you have the lat pulldown attachment, it also trains your latissimus dorsi (where the word “lat” comes from), rhomboids and shoulder blades. 

The power rack with lat pull will allow you to strengthen your whole body. You can start using the cage even if you are a beginner because you can slowly add more weights to your routine as you get stronger. 

The cage is one of the most important tools to have in your home gym if you are serious about bodybuilding.  

What To Look For When Buying

woman with barbells in power rack

Once you have decided on which muscle areas to focus on, the next challenge would be in choosing the right power rack.

For example, some more expensive frames will come with a multitude of accessories for a full-body exercise. 

Others have a pull-up bar for that upper body strength exercise. If you are a serious bodybuilder, then a cage with all the frills may be more suitable.

Weight Capacity 

Most power racks are made from steel, but the difference will lie in the thickness. The frame’s construction will influence the weight capacity of your power rack. 

When considering which one to buy, be aware of how much you weigh when factoring in how strong your power rack has to be. 

If you perform pull-ups with weight plates and your frame construction only supports around 150kg, you may risk injury if it breaks.

Size

As power racks come in various sizes, you may have to find one that fits the room. Some cages come with bars that attach outwards from the cage, such as dips. 

In addition, the weight plate storage will mean that you may require extra space. Since they are not foldable, you cannot use the space for other activities. 

Stability

When you have a cage with a lighter frame, you may need to stabilize it. You can bolt the frame to the floor or the wall for extra stability. 

Most companies recommend bolting the cages down to prevent injury if the rack tips over. If you do not want to damage the original floor, consider using a lifting platform. 

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Article by:

Daniel DeMoss

I’m a personal trainer based in Denver (Matrix Gym) and a true fitness nerd. If I’m not training clients or working out at my home gym, I’m probably skiing, cycling or hiking with my dog Rufus.  

Get in touch: [email protected]

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