Fitness Reality 810XLT Power Rack Reviewed

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Fitness Reality 810XLT Power Rack ReviewedReview Facts

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.

Editor's Pros & Cons
Pros

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

Cons

Uprights do not have Westside spacing, even though they could

Holes in uprights not numbered, making placement of bars/safety catches harder

The Rundown

The Rundown

We will just come out and say it--the Fitness Reality 810XLT power rack is a budget option if you want a rack or rack/bench combo and do not have the funds for a high-end power rack with specialized J-Cups and expansion potential. It will get you where you need to go, with or without a bench, and could serve as a starter rack that will pay for itself over time if you are only paying for the gym so you can use their power rack.

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 Why A Rack?

We have reviewed quite a few squat and power racks on this site, and the internet is filled with others. If you want to purchase a rack, almost any rack, you can probably find and skim a dozen professionally written opinions, complete with pictures and/or videos of models using the rack, in just a few minutes.

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

Who It Is For

For our money, the Fitness Reality 810XLT is best for beginner and intermediate lifters who do not plan on working with more than 400 pounds at a time. The lack of Westside or staggered hole spacing though it sounds nitpicky, precludes you from performing certain exercises safely or from hitting certain muscle groups. The holes in the 810XLT uprights are all the same distance apart; Westside holes are closer together near the bottom and spread apart as you go up. Performance lifters and athletes prefer Westside spacing because they can dial in their start positions and assure a full range of motion each time. But most of us who lift for general fitness or as cross training for another sport will not need Westside spacing or even notice the difference.

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.
The Final Word

The Final Word

If you have the space for it and want to add to your lifting arsenal safely, we can recommend the 810XLT squat rack, by Fitness Reality. The company is not as well known as others, but still provides excellent customer service and stands behind their products. The rack is adequate and will support your Olympic bars, putting you into a position to lift with or without the Fitness Reality bench. There are some limitations, like the lack of Westside hole spacing and the inability to upgrade or add things like dip attachments. But if your main pursuits are bench presses, rows, squats, and pull-ups or chin-ups, we say look no further than this stable and long-lasting chrome-plated steel unit.