Fitness Reality 810XLT Power Rack Reviewed
Fitness Reality is a subsidiary or division of a parent company called Paradigm Health And Wellness, with headquarters in the United States. PH&W began in 2007. Their bread and butter is home fitness equipment designed with both seasoned athletes and fitness newbies in mind. Fitness Reality offers free shipping on every order and a generous one year warranty on every product. The Fitness Reality website is remarkably well organized and easy to navigate. Offering includes a range of bikes, rowers, elliptical machines and even a couple of outdoor swing sets for kids (or free-spirited adults).
Also, and the subject of this review: Fitness Reality sells their own strength training equipment. There are adjustable weight benches, utility benches, preacher curl and other attachments, and of course the power racks and cages. The focus of today’s review is the Fitness Reality 810XLT power cage. It pairs with the freestanding Super Max 1000 weight bench. Although you can purchase either the bench or rack separately, Fitness Reality prioritizes selling them as a unit. The price is far less than nearly any power rack from a competing maker–should you be suspicious? We broke down the features, pros, and cons, and deeper specs to help you decide.
The rack is made from 2 X 2 steel tubing for stability and durability
Rear stability bars and chrome plating add more stability, especially during pull-ups
Big footprint means you can perform all your lifts with the full range of motion
Assembly is easy, with a socket set and wrench
Safety catches, with thick steel pins, keep you safe during heavy squats and presses
Uprights have 28 holes each, so you can start with the bar as low or high as you want
Several choices of hand spacing on the pull up overhead rack
Uprights do not have Westside spacing, even though they could
Holes in uprights not numbered, making placement of bars/safety catches harder
As low-cost units go, you could do a lot worse than the 810XLT. Weight capacity is 800 pounds, and if you go with the bench Fitness Reality provides, its capacity is also 800 pounds. That is more than enough for most hobbyist lifters or those of us who do not want to see how heavy we can go. If you are a powerlifter, Fitness Reality does have higher capacity racks. Although the rated capacity is 800 pounds, we would feel a little uneasy with anything over 500 on a regular basis. Look at it this way--if you have a car with a 4 cylinder engine, topping out at 150 MPH, that doesn't mean it's wise to use it as a race car.
The 810XLT is also not as deep as more expensive racks. Total footprint is 50.5” long, 46.5” wide, and 83.5” high. There are a few exercises you won't be able to do with the decreased depth, but most users will not notice. We have seen squat stands, which are little more than beefed-up uprights for a bench, selling at a similar price point or even for more. So the 810XLT is an economical way to expand your lifting practice while staying safe and injury-free.
But Why A Rack?
But what a lot of these write-ups lack is an explanation, for beginners, of what a rack is for and why you would want one for your home gym in the first place. Here is our brief explanation. If you already know all you need to know about racks, feel free to skip ahead to the next section.
A squat rack is any four-cornered steel frame that you can use to place a loaded Olympic barbell, safely, at the desired start height. You can use a squat rack for squats, rows, deadlifts, and bench presses since the rack is almost always paired with a bench. Some multigym units will have a permanently installed bench, though typically you can drop in any bench of your choice. Having a squat rack opens up possibilities for lifts you cannot safely do without a platform.
There are also units called power racks. They are bigger, with a wider footprint, and also more expensive. A power rack or power cage will be rated to more weight than a squat rack will. Often, power racks will have attachments like cable and pulley machines. And some companies, like Rogue Fitness, offer dozens of snap-on or bolt-on attachments to customize your power rack even further.
The Fitness Reality 810XLT may be inexpensive, but we would not call it a low-end rack. If you are just getting into lifting, or have progressed past the point where just a bench and uprights are enough, the Fitness Reality unit could be exactly what you need.
Also worth noting--even with the reduced depth, there is nothing compact or space-saving about the 810XLT. It is a beast and will take up a lot of room, most likely forming the centerpiece of your home gym. If you need something more compact, but with some rack capabilities, you may want to look at a squat stand or wall mount rig. Squat stands take up slightly more space than bench uprights and add the ability to store your bar and perhaps a few plates. Wall mount rigs, as the name says, bolt on to the studs in your wall to provide a stable, expandable lifting platform that will take up less space than a full power rack. Many wall mount rigs have to be bolted to the floor, which can be difficult if you have never had to drill holes in concrete.
If you are in the market for anything with "squat," "power," or "rack" in the name, research and comparison shopping are your orders of the day. The frames are usually expensive but are also meant to last a lifetime.
Who It Is For
Will the 810XLT (or any rack) give you a performance boost or help you lift heavier? Well, without resorting to magical thinking, we say yes it can. Using the rack, knowing you are safe during heavier lifts, will give you peace of mind and confidence that can inspire you to push yourself and work out more often. Just having a steel rack in your home gym is a good motivator to keep going. And since you do not have to worry about wrestling the loaded bar into position before a lift--the rack does that for you--you will get an improvement in form. That improvement, even if it is slight, will make you more efficient and help you get strong just a little faster.
This is not to say the Fitness Reality 810XLT will make you better overnight, or make the work of strength training easier. It still involves a lot of sweat, sacrifice, and discipline. But this reasonably priced rack can be your reliable fitness companion and give you the mental edge you need to lift consistently and see measurable progress over time.