What is a Power Cage?
A power cage is a cube made of steel designed mainly to do weight lifting exercises. A standard power cage is designed primarily to perform the squat movement. Squats are one of the most well-recognized signs of strength as they engage all major muscle groups and involve a mix of strength, balance, form and conditioning in order to pull off. Many weightlifters look on the squat as the ultimate lift. And a power cage enables squatter to perform squats without needing any kind of spotter.
This is due to the fact the power cage comes with safety latches which the bar will fall in if there are any mishaps. Because serious lifters will be lifting heavy weights it stands to reason that the main sign of a good power cage is its strength and durability. A power cage should always feel stable, like is it grounded in cement. The last thing that is needed is a rickety unstable power cage that feels like it is going to topple over. This should not be a concern with good quality power cages.
Aside from the squat, power cages can help with a number of different exercises. These include the barbell bent over rows, the rack lockout, the inverted row, the overhead press, barbell curls, upright rows, bench press, rack pulls and barbell shrug. The list is not definitive but is limited to what kind of exercise one can imagine. However, these are the most commonly used movements.
The power rack really caters to people who are into weight lifting. For those who perform Olympic and powerlifting the power rack caters to these lifts, aside from the deadlift. Olympic lifting is a sport which involves two movements, the snatch and the clean and jerk. The athlete is allowed to have three attempts at each and the best effort is counted. Powerlifting is also a sport which involves three movements, the squat, the bench press, and the deadlift. Three max effort attempts are allowed in each and the best is counted towards the score. The power case can assist lifters interested in these movements and their associated training movements. The bottom line is that if you do not lift weights a power cage may not be for you, as they can be quite expensive.
A power cage is not at all the same as a home gym. However, as the models of power cages get better they often incorporate many features of an all in one home gym machine. A home gym is a machine that allows for a wide variety of exercises with an adjustable seat. The difference is really that power cages are rectangular cubes that cater to weightlifting movements that are associated with a barbell.
A home gym usually caters to a variety of different isolation exercises. Both will often have pull up bars and on more advanced models of power cages, there will be an overlap in terms of the isolation exercises that they employ. Power cages are often bigger and sturdier, and take up more space. With a power cage, you will often need to purchase a barbell and weights separately, which can add to the expense. All in one home gyms will use resistance rods and the weights often come with the machine itself.
There are a number of factors to take into account when deciding whether or not to buy a home gym. The first is what type of exercises you usually complete in a gym if you focus mainly on machine weights, cardio or calisthenics, then a power cage is not for you. A power cage is for weight lifters, and most often serious weight lifters who go to the gym regularly. They go so often that for them it is worth buying their own power cage.
If you only go to the gym a couple of times a week then a power cage, and many other weight lifting devices, will often be a waste of money. So, if your focus is on bar weight lifting and you go to the gym regularly then a power cage is most definitely a good investment. It will save you on time, convenience and privacy. You will not have to pay for gym memberships, the power cage is always open, you will not lose money or time traveling to the gym and you will have a fridge, bed, shower and television handy should you need them. You will never need to wait for a machine and you can wear what you like and decorate your room how you want it. If you like to lift then yes, you should get a home power cage.
When purchasing a power cage there are a few things to look out for. Obviously, first identify, as outlined above, whether or not a power cage is for you. When you are certain you need a power cage then you need to establish a budget and whether you have the necessary space. Power cages can be costly and heavy, and it would be a mistake paying a lot of money for a device that won’t fit. Remember that power cages are tall, in the region of around 80 inches, so you have to ensure that you have a high enough ceiling.
You also need to take into account the fact that a considerable amount of space is needed outside of the power cage itself to maneuver around it. A low budget power cage is more than suitable for beginner weightlifters. It is insane to buy a premium power cage as a first-time weight lifter.
Some power cages are more orientated towards beginners, other towards heavy lifters. A power cage with a capacity of taking over 1000 pounds is overkill for someone who lifts 400 pounds. These cages are for professional lifters and are a waste of money for beginner and intermediate lifters. That said, all power cages should have a reasonable level of safety, durability, and solidity. The cage needs to feel solid as you are lifting.
After a budget and space parameters have been established you can then look at additional features as a luxury. This can refer to the bar type, band pegs, chain storage, color options, spotter arms, dip bar handles, cable pulley system, landmine attachment, plate storage, bar storage, home spacing, weight cups, safety catches, numbered posts and frame gauge. Below is an example of an upper-end power cage with multiple features, the Rogue R-6 Power Rack.
The Rogue R6 is a heavy duty, top of the range power cage designed for serious weight lifters. It has enough plate storage for those who wish to break world records and train for the Olympics. In other words, this is power rack for serious weight lifters or those who intend to be serious weight lifters. The rogue power cage is manufactured in the US and the product dimensions are 76 x 47 x 90 (Width x Length x Height).
The r6 stands taller than most power cages, so again space is essential for this machine. The length and width are exclusive of uprights so take this into account when considering how much space you have available. This is a surprisingly light power cage, weighing 300 pounds. It is constructed from the power rack standard 2 x 3 “11-gauge steel. In other words, it is not designed to break. It includes a multi-grip bar, a fat and a skinny pull up bar, 6 band pegs including 2 for chain storage, 2 double plate storage slots and 4 single plate storage slots. Included parts with the Rogue R6 Power rack:
Rogue Fitness have a reputation for quality machines and the Rogue R6 does not disappoint in any way. It is a solid machine built for serious athletes. It is not for the faint of heart. The rogue rm-6 monster rack needs two people to assemble. Many have tried to assemble alone. It is just too big and needs two people to handle it. However, once you have recruited a second individual then it takes less than an hour to assemble. The instruction manual is quite clear and easy to read. The rogue weight rack is easy to use with lots of space for serious lifting.
The rogue fitness rack is a brilliant power rack for heavy lifters. There are no real complaints about this state of the art power rack. It is well designed and solidly built. It is recommended to purchase the pin and pipe safety system as well as the infinity strap safety system, as these do make a difference.
The Rogue R6 is a serious device for serious lifters. On the plus side, it is a long-term investment, as the Rogue R6 will last for years if not decades, and is not going anywhere due to its weight and size.Click here to read about Atlas Power Rack Squat Deadlift Cage Reviews.