For 4 years now I’ve had the Titan Fitness X-3 Squat Stand in my home gym. Time to share my thoughts on it! Titan’s current 2022 model has a number of improvements over my 2018 model that I’ll be going over.
The model I bought is X-3 Short. Most specs and features here apply to the Tall model too, the only difference being another 22″ of height and a pull up bar, which I didn’t need, having opted to use ceiling-mounted rings for pull ups.
Tools are not included. These are big M16 bolts requiring 24mm or 15/16″ wrenches. I have a socket wrench (highly recommended) and a large crescent wrench. The 15/16″ socket is the biggest I have. It’s worth considering that no standard socket sets include a socket anywhere near big enough for the huge 1.5″ bolt heads of Titan’s flagship “Titan Series” squat stands or the Rogue Monster squat stands, making this smaller sized hardware of the Titan X-3 or Rogue Monster Lite series more appealing.
One improvement Titan made was the way the uprights attach to the base.
My rack required my bubble level for me to set the rack uprights perfectly vertical before I cranked down the nuts, because of the way the bolt holes through the uprights and gusset plates have some play. Then I found that if I didn’t ratchet the nuts down tight enough, the uprights could get tilted forward a little when I slammed weight down on the spotter arms.
The current model’s C-channel gusset plates that enclose the uprights on 3 sides are a major improvement. Slip the uprights in and bolt them into place. It eliminates the need for a level when assembling, and there’s no chance that the uprights could tilt out of place when you slam weight down on the J-cups or safety arms. A ratchet wrench for extra tightness is now only helpful for assembly instead of almost mandatory.
My 2018 model had only one flat washer and spring washer for each nut. They now include double the number of flat washers so that you can put a washer on the bolt head side too, to better protect the rack frame as you crank things down. But again, it’s no longer necessary to crank those nuts down as tight as you can, because of the better design where the uprights attach.
My 2018 J-cups were not fully protected with UHMW plastic on the front inside lip, requiring an aftermarket pair of protectors (that I reviewed here). The current J-cups included with the rack have full protection on the inside lip. Plus, they now have UHMW plates in the bracket to protect your rack from scratches. The UHMW liners now have rounded corners and are cut more precisely and cleanly, whereas with mine everything looked slightly off and misshapen, not enough to matter functionally but enough that I noticed right away. Basically the whole design is better and looks closer to Rogue quality.
My 2018 rack is 74″ tall. The current version of the same Short model is 72″ tall. For a short style rack with no pull up bar, 72″ is still plenty tall. I’m 6ft tall, and the highest I ever insert my J-cup pegs is 61″.
The rack width is 48″, measured from the outside edge of the uprights. This is in contrast to the comparable Rogue Monster Lite racks that are 49″. I like the way 48″ gives the bar shaft more room for slop, making this a rare point where Titan beats Rogue for me.
The 75mm / 2.95″ square upright tubing, along with holes fitting 5/8″ diameter pegs, make it generally compatible with the Rogue Monster Lite series attachments that fit 3″ square tubing and 5/8″ pegs. The snag is Titan’s metric hole spacing, which will cause any larger Rogue attachments that use a safety pin several holes down to not fit. Titan does have a pretty good array of attachments to choose from.
I’d of course prefer SAE (inches) measurements on the tubing to make Rogue attachments fully compatible. A few other companies have that same metric issue, which is caused by sourcing from China but is not strictly necessary if they were to instruct the factories do things in SAE from the get-go. These companies mostly started making racks before users started trying to mix attachments from other brands.
My spotter arms only extend out 20″ from the upright. Their current spotter arms extend out 24″. They also have a taller front lip and more reinforcement by the bracket to support weight. Like the J cups, great improvements.
Titan’s welding and finish quality have always been a little messy but passable. As far as I know, it has stayed about the same. Don’t get Titan if you’re picky about these details. It’s the brand for saving some money while getting the same level of safety and functionality as more expensive brands.
As far as actual use of the rack, it has worked fine for me. Walking a bar loaded to 300+ lbs into the upper portion of the uprights can certainly cause it to tip some, and you have to be more careful with that than a full power rack, the same as you have to careful about not falling backwards in your squats without the added safety of a full power rack. It has always felt safe to me as far as its construction integrity.
One thing Titan has been good at is listening to customer feedback and introducing incremental improvements to their various racks like I’ve gone over here. As in this case, they are not usually denoted by a “version 2” or anything, and you wouldn’t know there have been changes unless you’ve seen older ones like mine. At this point in time, having fixed so many little design flaws over the years, they have really well-designed racks at some of the best price points in the niche.