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Review: Powertec Power Rack PR11 and Utility Bench UB11
The Power Rack and Bench, with Olympic Bar and Weights are the foundation of a dynamic home gym. Compound exercises like the Squat and Bench Press are the foundation of bodybuilding. The power rack allows you to perform these exercises safely and is the tool of choice for maximum gains. For most, investing in a rack and bench is a substantial purchase, so it pays to do your research.
I researched all the home-grade and commercial-grade power racks and benches on the market. Although there are many to choose from, for my current needs, available space, and budget, Powertec is what I chose. Purchasing equipment without trying it in real life can be challenging.
For the differences between a Power Rack, Squat Stands, and Squat Rack, see the Power Rack Definition. For a comparison chart of power racks and benches, see the Power Rack Comparison and Bench Comparison.
All measurements below came from my tape measure. Measurements on the Powertec website may differ. I've attempted to provide a complete review including specifications not on the Powertec website. I hope this information is of value to your research. If I can help answer any questions, feel free to ask.
In addition to the right equipment, training with proper form is essential. See the works of professional trainer Stuart McRobert of HardGainer.com for proper form, intensity cycling with fractional plates, and how to structure your individual drug-free training program.
Power Rack Features & Benefits
Squat and Bench Press Safely
Full Range of Motion with Free-Weights
Workout at Home with No Gym Lines
Gravity Lock Spotter Bars and J-Hooks
Pull-Up and Dips
Partial Dead Lift
Standing Calf Raise
Lat Tower Option for Pull-Downs, Seated Rows, etc.
Bench Features & Benefits
Flat, Incline, Decline Positions
6 Incline Positions
2 Decline Positions
Wheels for Easy Moving
Dumbbell and Abdominal Exercises
5 Different Optional Accessory Attachments
Model Numbers Reviewed
Powertec Work Bench Power Rack: WB-PR11
Powertec Work Bench Utility Bench: WB-UB11
Powertec Official Website
Rack: $549.00 Includes Pull-Up Bar and Dip Bars
Bench: $299.00 Includes Hand Grip Bar
Shipping: Free In The Continental US
Rack: Black or Construction Yellow
Bench: Black Only
Spotter Bars and J-Hooks: Chrome Only
Rack Demo Video
Bench Demo video
Lifetime on frames (excluding paint finish)
2 years on component parts (bearings, spring pins)
1 year on pads, grips, and unspecified parts
Rack Optional Attachment
Bench Optional Attachments
Curl Machine, Leg Press, Pec Fly, Leg Lift, Dip Machine
Besides direct from Powertec, there are a number of retail suppliers. I chose IronCompany.com My sales rep Jayson Operio was very helpful.
Maximum Weight Capacity
Racking section: 1000 pounds
Pull-Up and Dip Bars: 400 pounds bodyweight
Bench Bodyweight/Resistance Combination: 600 pounds
Rack: Mig welded 2 and 1/2 inch tubular 12 gauge (2.5mm) steel with baked powder coat glossy paint finish. 1/2 inch steel bolts, nuts, and washers. Hard rubber on Spotter Bars. Hard rubber pull-up grips. Plastic end caps.
Bench: Mig welded 2 inch by 3 inch tubular 12 gauge (2.5mm) steel with baked powder coat glossy paint finish. 1/2 inch steel bolts, nuts, and washers. 2 and 1/2 inch thick high-density foam seat and back pads. Faux leather upholstery. Yellow stitching. Embossed logo. Plastic end caps.
Rack: Length 50 and 1/2 inches, Width 49 inches, Height 83 inches
Bench Back and Seat: Length 49 inches, Width Wide 12 and 1/2 inches, Width Narrow 10 inches
Bench Frame Base: Length 38 inches, Width 26 and 3/4 inches
Bench Height Flat Position: 18 inches
Rack Internal Footprint Between Vertical Columns Dimensions
Length 25 and 1/2 inches
Width 45 inches
Spotter Bar Hole Dimensions
Total 22 numbered holes. Each hole is 1 and 1/8 inch in diameter. Each hole is spaced 2 and 1/2 inches from hole center to hole center. Hole 1 is 16 inches high. Hole 22 is 68 and 1/2 inches high.
Dip Bar Dimensions
14 and 1/2 inches long. 5 and 3/4 inch circumference The bars can be positioned inside or outside the rack. They point inward at a 70 degree angle. Knurled handles. The width of the bars varies between 20 and 27 inches. The bars are very stable.
Pull-Up Bar Dimensions
Grip Width: 20 inches, Grip Width Wide: 32 inches, Bar Circumference: 4 inches. The bars are very stable.
Since the equipment is too heavy for UPS or FedEx, an independent transportation company is used. The driver arrived with a flatbed truck and forklift. The boxes covered with plastic on a pallet was forklifted onto the driveway. The driver helped me lift the boxes from the driveway to the patio. I un-boxed the equipment on the patio and carried the pieces into the house.
The boxes came securely wrapped with plastic ties. The parts were individually wrapped in plastic to prevent scratches.
Rack: 209.4 pounds
Bench: 81.9 pounds
Rack requires two people for safe assembly.
Rack assembly time about 2 hours. Bench assembly time about 1 hour.
Manual: Part List and Exploded Diagram
Assembly difficulty: Rack easy. Bench moderate due to diagram.
Tighten all bolts before using equipment.
Rack: 1- 8 inch adjustable wrench. 1 ratchet wrench with 7/8 inch socket.
Bench: 2 - 8 inch adjustable wrench. 1 allen wrench included with bench.
Build Quality and Finish
All welds excellent. The rack stability is solid due to bolted support plates that reinforce the joints. Paint finish excellent. Bench has moderate wobble.
Re-design bench like the Legend Fitness 4-Way bench. Eliminate bench wobble. Add rubber to the J-Hooks like the Spotter Bars have. Monkey Bar option. Closer Spotter Bar Holes. Rack Plate Holder option. Better assembly instructions. Manufacture in USA instead of China.
Although I stand 5 feet 10 inches, I found the flat position of the bench too high for my feet to touch the floor flat. The bench in the flat position is 18 inches high. Originally I planned to purchase the Legend Fitness 4-Way Bench, but changed my decision due to wanting a Leg Lift attachment and uncertain if the bench would fit the rack with the Lat Tower installed. Some report that the Lat Tower does not give full range of motion for those who stand over 5 feet 10 inches.
Powertec is a progressive leader in the fitness industry. They produce high quality products. There is still room for improvement as indicated in the suggestions above. Some enthusiasts advise starting with a high-end rack and bench from manufacturers like Legend Fitness, Hammer Strength, Cybex, Hoist, Rogue Fitness, Texas Strength Systems, Sorinex, EliteFTS over Powertec. I agree with this view, however, for my current needs, available space, and budget, Powertec gets the job done. I see myself using this equipment for a long time.
Photo Notes: Some of the the photos below have imperfections due to pixelation
Manual & Assembly Tools
Rack Squat Position
Rack Bench Press Position
Bench Flat Position
Bench Incline Position
Bench Decline Position
Can you actually do an overhead press in that rack without hitting the top side bars? All the ones I've looked at are too short.
chrisjs wrote:Can you actually do an overhead press in that rack without hitting the top side bars? All the ones I've looked at are too short.
That should read Seated Overhead Press.
If you stand 5 feet 9 inches or under, then a Standing Overhead Press should work.
You can also set the J-Hooks on the outside of the rack at shoulder height allowing for a Standing Overhead Press.
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