The Best Power Rack Under $300? A Comprehensive Look at the Titan T-2

By | 2018-08-17T14:02:14+00:00 August 17th, 2018|Categories: Equipment Guides|Tags: , , |0 Comments

Titan’s T-2 power rack first came out in 2013. At the time it was the only 11-gauge power rack you could find under $300, and I think it still is?

Right to the point. If you doubt whether a 2″x2″ tubing rack is suitable for you, check this out. Here’s competitive powerlifter BJ Whitehead squatting 720lb on the Titan T-2. 

Before seeing this, I never would have expected the rack could take that much weight, or more so that an experienced lifter like him would trust it to do so, until I also noticed that the rack is made of 11-gauge steel. That makes a difference.

Most notably, you can see that he has the storage pegs on the back bottom of the rack heavily loaded with plates to keep it from sliding or tipping, which is what they’re designed to be used for.

On that note, any otherwise lightweight racks like this redeem themselves by having weight storage pegs in back that you can use to load the unit down. When you do that, it’s a little like having a super heavy duty rack with 3″x3″ tubing. So it’s all a matter of whether you have the extra plates to spare to make this a good option for you. I like the positioning of the storage pegs. The plates will not interfere with your range of motion, unlike some bad designs where the plates are stored on the same upright as the J-hooks. Those type of designs are at best annoying, and at worst dangerous if you aren’t conscientious about it.

I like the extended feet on the base too, shown below compared to another brand.

Titan T-2 on the left. The feet are extended out to not only the front and back, but to the sides, which increases the space you need but also gives extra stability and the option to load the rear with plates to keep it down.

I don’t think the ones going out to the sides in the back do much, because a rack doesn’t hardly ever tip sideways (unless you use their dip attachment I guess), but the ones sticking way out in the front, plus the extra frame in the back for the aforementioned weight pegs, helps keep it stable even if you don’t weight it down. It does make for a big footprint though, which could be bad if you’re as short on room space as you are on height.

The T-2 is made of 11-gauge steel and weighs 132 lbs. The product page does not say it’s 11-gauge, but I confirmed that with Steven at Titan Fitness. The 11-gauge steel is really what makes this rack stand out among other racks with 2″x2″ tubing. It’s why you can load up so much weight on it. If you aren’t familiar with steel gauge measurements, the lower the number, the thicker the steel. 11-gauge is about a 1/8″ wall thickness. It’s hard to find a rack with tubing that’s lower (thicker) than 11-gauge, even those with super heavy duty 3″x3″ tubing.

The tubing and steel gauge both affect how much the rack can wobble as you do pull ups. Therefore, be aware that this rack is not rock-solid feeling like 3″x3″ 11-gauge steel racks. Sorry folks, you can only get so much at this price.

Mike Seiber shared a video review of the T-2 that someone else had in his home gym a few years ago. It wasn’t his, but another person’s video that he wanted to share on his (now-defunct) blog.

This was a 2013 model. That brings us to the changes they’ve made since then…

Improvements Since 2013

I’m writing this in 2018. Titan listened to customer feedback about the early models in 2013-2015 such as Mike’s above and incorporated the upgrades and fixes into the latest models. So a current model T-2 has no model name change, but it is not the same rack as an early one.

The uprights’ holes were cut in a way that bent the tubing in a little from the force of the tool against the tubing. Titan since moved to a different method that does not cause this.

The alignment on welded parts was sometimes off, and there were burrs (sharp spots) on some welded areas. Titan resolved this so the parts are welded together straight and there aren’t burrs left over.

I think the J-hooks might be upgraded too. I used to have some notes on this stuff, but I’ve lost them.

Attachments – The Good and Bad

One thing about Titan is they have a big assortment of attachments for all models of their racks. Not just a few basic things like dip bars or a lat attachment, things that you’ve already seen for years in older racks. 

They keep adding to the pile of available attachments, adapting them as necessary for their other larger or more heavy duty racks that have different tubing sizes like the T-3, X-2, X-3, etc.

The coolest thing is they have a monolift! 

This Youtuber gave no info on what rack this is. I can tell you it isn’t the T-2, but anyway you can see how a monolift works. It allows you to unrack the weight and start squatting without “walking back” the bar away from the rack. The walk-back saps valuable energy and causes you to not get your feet just right. Similar with benching: you don’t have to do that awkward un-racking of the bar above your forehead and move it over your chest, which isn’t even possible when you’re near your max without a partner to help.

In either situation, if you have a person on each side to flip the monolift hooks out again, you can re-rack the weight without walking/pushing it forward as well. All the benefits of a Smith machine and none of the friction or restriction in your natural range of motion.

Another necessary add-on you may need right away is a second set of J-hooks:

If you’re doing some exercises outside the rack, or you want an extra pair so you don’t have to keep moving them back and forth between squat and bench press height, get another pair of J-hooks. These J-hooks are an upgraded design. The ones included with the T-2 are all steel, with no UHMW padding to protect the bar. You can get another pair of all-steel J-hooks like the ones included if you feel you don’t need the UHMW padding.

The 20″ outside spotter arms will save your butt if you need it while doing things outside the rack like overhead presses (there’s not enough height inside for that). It’s a bad leverage point though for heavy rack pulls, which would otherwise be best done on these outside spotters because of the UHMW padding that the inside spotter bars don’t have. Maybe load up the storage pegs in back first and give it a careful test.

Those are the top few attachments I personally would consider. The rest are not strictly necessary. They have a double dip attachments, but then I’m not a fan of dips. If you really want to do dips, you can do them on a budget by laying two olympic bars across the safety bars.

Skip These Attachments

Some attachments are questionable. The extension kit for the rear of the rack, with 8 storage pegs, gives you room to store all your plates, away from the main uprights of the rack so they won’t get in the way. That’s fine and dandy, but at that point you’re venturing into the territory of what some more pricey racks already have built-in. If you already had the rack, it wouldn’t be a bad addition, but think twice about what you really want if you’re planning on adding this to it straight away.

Related to that, the plate storage pegs add-ons are useless. They would have to be mounted on the main uprights, getting in the way of your lifts, unless you get the extension kit above that already includes them.

That being said, one youtuber shows off this T-2 rack with the dip bars.

The Shortie Model

Titan makes a shorter model of this rack that is only 71.5″ high (just under 6ft).

Don’t be confused by differing measurements Titan gives on its product pages. Last I checked, some of the info was not accurate if you compare the specs between the two. Trust me, the Short rack is the exact same as the regular one, only shorter. The dimensions, steel and parts are all the same, with the only difference being the height the uprights are cut to and correspondingly the number of holes cut into them.

This pic (screenshot from a video further above) shows the height difference and hole heights in the T-2 and T-2 Short. He is 6’2″, and the Short would not work for him.

Anything else you want to know about the rack? Leave a question below!

About the Author:

David Kiesling
David founded Adamant Barbell in 2007 and Two Rep Cave in 2018. Lately he spends his free time practicing archery and hang gliding.

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