Saturday, March 26, 2011

The Rack Workout Review

The Rack is a home exercise device that's been getting a lot of attention lately. So I figured I'd write up a quick review and also ask our readers for their own helpful reviews! The Rack workout device is marketed as an "all-in-one" workout station and it's designed for bodyweight-based high-intensity circuit training. It's light but strong, relatively compact, and currently costs about $160, although the company also offers a 30-day trial for $14.99.

UPDATE: The Rack has become hard to find/buy. The good news is that we've discovered 2 similar products that are both MUCH better overall, both in terms of functionality and value. The first is the TRX Suspension Training Pro Pack, a great portable "suspension" training system. Click here to learn more. The second is the Ultimate Body Press, which is very similar to The Rack but, overall, is much more versatile. Click here to learn more. Both of these popular products allow you to perform all of the same exercises that The Rack does as well as many more that can't be done on The Rack!

This unique product looks a little strange but it's definitely intriguing, especially since it's designed to enable the user to do some of the most effective bodyweight exercises (like dips and plyometric push-ups) without a bunch of heavy and/or expensive equipment. I love dips and have spent many hours over the years trying to figure out different ways to do them at home without a true "dip station". I have found very few good options but with this product we may have a new one to add to the list.

The Rack workout device definitely appears to be targeted towards men. It's a chest and triceps machine more than anything so it's a great option to work those "t-shirt" muscles at home. That being said, there's no reason a woman with some decent upper-body strength couldn't use the thing.

The Rack only weighs 30 lbs, which is good and bad. It's great in terms of being very portable and easily storable. The light weight and attached wheels also allows it to move easily on the floor, turning it into an effective abdominal exercise machine. But being so nimble isn't such a good thing when it comes to the non-chest-building movements they show in the infomercial. 30 lbs of resistance isn't very much when it comes to doing lifts like squats, lunges, shrugs, rows, bicep curls, etc. A typical person will quickly outgrow that small amount of resistance, strength-wise. You can buy special weight plates to attach to it but personally I think your money would be better spent by investing in some simple dumbbells or even a set of kettlebells.

The biggest problem I see with The Rack workout device is that it really doesn't offer much in terms of back exercise options. You can do a type of inverted row with it but with a very limited range of motion, which isn't good. But, paired with a pull-up bar, you'd be able to do nearly all the most-effective upper-body exercises out there: mainly dips, depth push-ups, pull-ups, and all of their many variations.

The Bottom Line: If you're looking for a versatile, light, and highly portable home workout option you may want to give The Rack a try. Just realize that it does have some limitations. Consider matching it with a simple pull-up bar and possibly even some adjustable dumbbells to give yourself everything you need to do the best exercises in the comfort of your home!

Here's a quick review submitted by a reader:
I ordered my "Rack" machine in early February and just recently got it after several weeks of waiting. I don't know if it was a supply problem or a delivery issue but I'm glad I waited. The first thing I did was watch the workout DVDs that came with it. Then I assembled it, did a quick warmup on my treadmill, and got to work. What I noticed right off that bat is that the product is surprisingly strong and sturdy yet very lightweight. I was a little nervous at first but it had no problem holding my weight (currently an overweight 230 lbs) as I performed dips (3 sets of 6 reps).

So far I've done all the DVD workouts and I can honestly say that I'm happy with my purchase. I like the circuit training style because it actually makes it fun to exercise at home. The Rack allows you to do lots of unique movements that you wouldn't really be able to do at home without it, or something very similar. The DVD's are great, with good instruction, music, production, and energy. They remind me a lot of the P90X and Insanity DVD's. They are definitely challenging but they are very do-able and enjoyable even for a flabby out-of-shape guy like me!

One thing I will say is that the Rack isn't made for back and biceps workouts. Don't get me wrong, you can do curls with it but it's so light that you have to do a lot of reps and sets to really feel anything. It's great for chest, pecs, triceps, and abs. If you want to really build back, biceps, and leg muscles you're gonna have to get more equipment.

Overall I'm very happy with the Rack workout system. Compared to other options like a regular dip station it's cheaper, lighter, and much more portable. It can even be folded completely flat and stored under a bed. It also gives you some nice variety and will make any home workout more challenging and more fun. I recommend it to people looking for a way to really increase the intensity and effectiveness of their at-home exercise!

- Jason T, Bellevue, WA

Have you used TheRack Workout station yourself? Want to share your own reviews, questions, or comments? Please leave your feedback below. Thanks!


DailyRant92 said...

You sir mus be really buff to consider 30 extra pounds when doing the squats nothing. lol :)
great review thank you

Anonymous said...


geeda said...

I brought the rack from models for $100 bucks and it's awesome I the bartendaz really change the perception of the rack. I know a few of them personally and the use the rack in ways that will have you sore. If you incorpate different moves it's great. YouTube the "Bartendaz" the use "The Rack"

Anonymous said...

I got the Rack for Christmas and so far I love it! Best home workout machine I've ever used. What I want to know is if there are other products made by the same company?

Anonymous said...

I see you have listed The Rack as hard to find... They are currently sold in most Target stores with the dvds for $100. This week they are on sale, you get a $20 gift card with purchase!

Anonymous said...

I purchased the rack at target for $99.00 and received a $20.00 target gift card. I haven't been to the gym since 2005, but did at home workouts and when I moved in 2009 began cutting down trees the builder didn't remove. Day 1 of the rack kicked my butt, and I went back for more. I am a woman with poor upper body strength. I as well as my husband have already noticed a difference in my body.I highly endorse the rack and cannot wait for my kids to get on the bus so I can get to work.