How a Competitive Powerlifter Picks a New Rack

By |2019-05-09T13:34:59-07:00May 9th, 2019|Categories: Equipment Guides|Tags: , , , |0 Comments

Who is Brandon?

A quick intro for those of you who don’t know about him. Brandon Campbell Diamond is a competitive powerlifter and well-known Youtuber with a following of 190,000.

Although he does make a portion of his income from Youtube, he works at a data storage company as his main job. All of his powerlifting accomplishments are on the side. His followers enjoy his videos because he doesn’t come across as a “meathead” at all but as very thoughtful, analytical, and of course very strong.

Requirements

Brandon went into full analytical OCD mode and made a series of six videos about his decision process. You can either spend eighty minutes watching those or you can take five minutes to skim this article!

I’ve included his last video, showing off his rack, at the bottom of this article.

Anyway, Brandon sold his house and moved into a rental while his new house is being built. He didn’t want to have to move everything so sold much of it, including his blue Rogue RML-690C power rack (in the pic further above) that has been there in so many of his videos, before the move.

The RML-690C is a 6-year old 3×3 rack design with rear storage. Nothing fancy about it, just a solid rack.

A couple of his requirements this time:

  1. Half rack instead of a power rack. The garage he’s moving into has limited overhead space, and he wants to take advantage of some of the overhead space by having a half rack with a pull up bar as high as possible.
  2. 1″ holes.
  3. Something high quality that will retain its value for resale.
  4. 90″ max height, if possible.

(He says 1″ hardware in his video, but he means 1″ holes on the uprights. I don’t think he actually cares about the size of the bolts in the top or bottom of the rack.)

Let’s go over the racks! The pros and cons I’m listing are entirely according to Brandon. I’m showing you his process to give you an idea of how an expert makes these decisions and not really injecting my own opinions into this much.

Rep Fitness HR-5000 Half Rack

This just came out in March 2019.

(Brandon’s pick under consideration is the basic version on the right)

Pros

  • Many features included:
    • Sandwich J-hooks
    • UHMW lined spotter arms
    • Band pegs that can be installed on top or bottom
    • Upgraded pull up bar
  • Color options
  • Ready to ship

Cons

  • Lack of extra attachments
  • 93″ height, or 98″ height depending on how you install the pull up bar
  • Lots of frame up top, which might not fit in his garage
  • Imported from China – Risk of bad welding or bad alignment
  • Doesn’t hold value for resale like Rogue or Sorinex

That’s the con he gave, but this is not actually an issue. The Rogue Monster attachments and certain other brands of attachments fit this rack just fine. See our power rack attachments compatibility list. Rep also will be coming out with more attachments for this rack soon.

Sorinex XL Half Rack

Pros

  • Sorinex has good resale value
  • They outfit large facilities and make very reliably high quality stuff
  • More color options than Rep (attachments only)
  • Lots of attachments
  • USA made
  • Smaller upper frame size to fit his space

Cons

  • 2 month lead time
  • You have to talk to a sales person to order
  • No color options on frame
  • Standard J cups (not sandwich)
  • High freight cost
  • 95″ height

Rogue Monster Collegiate Half Rack

Pros

  • Lots of attachments
  • Rogue has good resale value
  • He has experience with the quality of Rogue racks
  • Reasonable freight cost
  • 90″ height
  • USA made

Normally this rack has 90″ rear uprights and 100″ front uprights, but Rogue will swap the front out for 90″ if you like.

Cons

  • Safety arms are extra
  • Few color options
  • Everyone expects him to go with Rogue and is calling him a Rogue fanboy

Final Choice

Surprise! He went with none of the above options.

He did get a Rogue… But he changed his mind and went with a Rogue power rack instead of a half rack. He had gotten so used to training inside of a power rack, with the added safety, and there are certain attachment options that half racks don’t provide like safety straps instead of steel safety arms.

Here it is…

He went with the Rogue RM-3 Monster Power Rack with the white frame.

Feet added for stability

He added this pair of feet sticking out the front for extra stability. I don’t even know where he found them. I can’t find them on Rogue’s site. After assembly, he assessed that those feet are not necessary and the rack is plenty stable without them.

He added the Monster safety straps but also got the steel safeties in case he wanted to use them at some point.

He opted for the sandwich J cups, specifically the 1.5″ version and the best choice, in my opinion. They give you more space horizontally than standard J cups, to make it easier to rack your bar safely if you’re slightly off center.

He also added the slinger attachment, which sticks up pretty high and isn’t going to fit into the basement when he moves again.

Here’s the final video in his 6-part series, to give you a good look at the rack all assembled and ready to use. There was so much overlap that it isn’t necessary to watch the first 5 videos.

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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