Half racks are a great option for small homes where you cannot set up a full-size power cage. They occupy less space and yet, you can do most of the lifting and benching exercises. Most half racks such as the Titan T3 Series Squat Stand/Half Rack, Fitness Reality Multi-Function Half Rack, and the Hulkfit Half Rack are pretty basic. They are designed only for squats and benching. You can’t really accessorize them for adding LAT machines, pullup bars, etc. Plus, since they have a very basic frame, they often wobble enough to shake your confidence.
Nevertheless, half racks are still a better (and safer) option than working out without a spotter. We have tested and reviewed many of them and have come up with a list of the Best Half Racks for Your Home Gym.
Recently, we got a chance to use the Fitness Gear Pro half rack. It is a good entry-level rack but what we like the most about it is that it comes with adjustable pull-up handles, so you can do a wide variety of calisthenic exercises, a feature that not many half racks come with.
In this article, we will provide you with a detailed review of the Fitness Gear Pro half rack and how it compares with the other products in this price range. We hope this information will help you make a better buying decision.
Just in case you don’t know what a half rack is, do check out our article on ‘What is the difference between Squat Racks, Power Racks, Half Racks, and Squat Stands?’.
Quick Review Summary
Fitness Gear Pro half rack is meant for beginners and casual trainers. It has a compact footprint plus comes with 6 weight holders on the rear uprights that help provide extra stability. The pullup handles can be adjusted in width as well as in height, so you can use them as dip handles too. Overall a good buy provided it is available under $350.
- Taller than most budget-friendly half racks
- The rear stability bar is raised so you can slide your workout bench and perform various decline exercises
- Frame is wider so issues of wobbling are very minimal
- Comes with pullup handles that can be used as dip bars
- Currently too pricey than it should be
We are giving this a rating of 4 out of 5.0.
Now on to our full review.
Features and specifications of the Fitness Gear Pro half rack
- Dimensions: 51 .7 ” L x 65 .2 W x 85” H
- Weight: no information provided by the manufacturer
- Weight-bearing capacity: 600 lbs for j-cups, 300lbs for pullup bars, 180lbs for weight pegs (which is not true. Read below for details)
- Material: The 3” X3” frame is made of 14 gauge steel
- Accessories included: A pair of j-cups, a pair of spotter arms, and a set of pull up handles
- Has 6 weight storage posts on the rear uprights of the frame
- Provides 28 height adjustment options. The holes are numbered for your convenience. Look at the image below.
It is taller than many popular squat racks and power cages
Most affordable squat stands and power cages measure 82″ in height, which is often insufficient even for an average person. If you are above 5.5′ you will have to bend your legs to do the majority of the calisthenics exercises. For example; the Titan T2 series power rack is also a top-rated entry-level product. But it has a height of 81″. If you are taller than 5.8′, you may have to compromise with your form.
The Fitness Gear Pro half rack stands 85″ tall, which makes it better than the 82″ squat rack and power cages. Even if you are a really tall person like me, you will still be able to do the majority of the exercises without any discomfort or compromising with your form and position.
But, if you are looking for an even taller squat stand, you should go with the Titan T3 series products. They are one of the best products you can buy below $300. If you are already lifting a decent amount of weight, we recommend you go with the 91″ tall Rogue RML-3 power rack.
Fitness Gear Pro Half rack is suitable only for beginners and casual trainers
We had expected this when we bought it.
It is a half rack made of 14 gauge steel. So, obviously, it is not one of the most powerful, stable, and durable squat racks out there. The max it can hold is 250-300lbs even though the manufacturer states the weight limit to be 600lbs.
If you are a beginner or a casual trainer, this information shouldn’t be a dealbreaker because affordable power racks and squat cages, anyways, have a low weight-bearing capacity. The manufacturers always claim that their products are designed for 800-1000lbs or more but we wouldn’t really trust them for hardcore training.
You will love the pullup handles because they can be used as dip handles too
This is probably the most interesting feature of the Fitness Gear Pro Half Rack. You can simply unscrew the top multi-width pull up handles and screw them back towards the bottom to use them as dip handles. This adds to the versatility of this equipment.
However, please note that adjusting the position of the pullup/dip handles is not that easy. So, you might want to buy a dedicated dip bar.
The storage pegs are wobbly and cannot be trusted to hold 180lbs of weight
That's what surprised us the most.
If the manufacturer is to be trusted, each of the 6 weight posts should hold 180lbs of weight. But, if you look at the structure of the pegs plus if you look at the quality of the hooks used for attaching them, you will agree that they are definitely not meant for that kind of weight. The max weight we have confidently loaded on each of them is 40-50lbs. The weight pegs start to wobble when overloaded.
The rear stability bar brace is 3″ off the ground so you can flip your bench around for decline situps
See the image above. That’s exactly what we mean to say.
In almost all half racks, the stability bar is either not present or is in line with the feet, limiting the way you can move your weight bench inside.
Fitness Gear Pro half rack has increased the height of the stability bar, so the feet of your workout bench can pass through it, letting you do the decline bench exercises. This makes it an even more versatile product for compact home gyms.
J-cups aren’t that great and wear down quickly
Many buyers have stated that the plastic lining on the cups starts to tear off after a few weeks and you will have to end up replacing them within 6 to 12 months depending upon your usage.
We have been using it for some time now but the j-hooks are perfectly fine as of now. But, we do agree with other buyers who have stated that the accessories included with the Fitness Gear Pro half rack are not that great.
Here are some of the best replacement j-hooks that you may buy to replace the damaged ones. Remember that you need to buy the ones compatible with 3”X3” frames.
Buy only when it is available under $350
The current price on Dicks Sporting Goods is about $450, which is much more than what it used to cost before the pandemic began.
We understand that most sellers have increased their prices to cash on the opportunity when the home gym equipments are in high demand. But, this half rack isn’t really worth $450. You can buy Rogue racks at that price and they are much better in terms of quality, design, and durability.
We suggest that you keep a check on the price and buy it when it is about $350. If you have a $450 budget, go with the Rogue Fitness SML (Monster Light) Series Half Racks.
We are giving this a rating of 4 out of 5.0.
As we mentioned at the beginning of the article, the Fitness Gear Pro half rack is a decent piece of equipment for beginners and casual lifters. Despite being multi-functional, its current price, which is close to $450, is not justified. However, if you can find it for around $300-$350, go for it!
Fitness Gear Pro half rack doesn’t come with a workout bench. If you don’t have one already, do check out some of the best adjustable benches and best flat benches that we have selected for you. You might also want to check out our detailed review of the Fringe Sport Black Bumper Plates that we have been using for the past 5 years and they have lasted a lot of rough use. If you are new to weight lifting, you might also want to invest in one of the best fractional weight plates that we have selected for you.
If you have any query or if you want us to review a specific product that you might be interested in, do get in touch with us today.