Rogue HR-2 Half Rack

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Rogue HR-2 Half RackReview Facts

The Rogue HR-2 Half Rack is a relatively low-priced alternative to Rogue’s larger racks like the Monster Lite and the RML-390 and RML-690. Although any Rogue rack can form the center of a home gym, the ones with larger footprints are better suited to a commercial gym that has more space and higher ceilings.

Rogue’s unique naming conventions are a source of confusion, especially if you are not used to them. We are reviewing the HR-2 Half Rack as a standalone rack that meets all your lifting needs. But you can also purchase an HR-2 conversion kit, consisting of framing and hardware, that will convert a Monster series rack into a half rack. When you consider that Rogue racks are always a letter or series of letters followed by a number and that many rack names share letters, the array of racks and options becomes even more overwhelming.

We want you to research, purchase, and lift with confidence, no matter what your rack and stand needs are. So let’s take a deep dive into the compact but sturdy Rogue HR-2 half-rack, to see what it can do for you on its own or as a conversion kit.

Editor's Pros & Cons
Pros

Westside hole spacing lets you dial in your start position for barbell lifts

49” by 48” inch footprint leaves ample working space

Features of a power rack in a compact, stand-like package

92” uprights won’t scrape most ceilings

Compatible with both Monster Lite and Infinity series Rogue racks

Height options for both front and back uprights

Does not need to be floor bolted

Cons

Space for only one pullup bar

Pin/pipe safeties cost more

A Word on Conversion Kits

A Word on Conversion Kits

We are writing up the Half Rack, which is a standalone unit. But the HR-2 conversion kit, which retails for under $300 USD, includes everything you’d need to turn certain Rogue squat stands into a functional half rack. That means you are paying for extra uprights, cross members, and nuts and bolts if you buy the conversion kit.

Upgrading from a stand to a half-rack is beneficial because you can lift heavier weight, add more accessories, and do unassisted heavy squats with safety spotter arms. Also, with a converted half-rack, you can get Rogue’s Matador dip attachment which lets you do bodyweight or belted plate dips from any height. But you’ll notice we said “certain” Rogue racks. The HR-2 kit is only compatible with Monster Lite squat stands, which are one of several lines that Rogue offers. It’s up to you to decide if you want to start with a stand and later upgrade, or if you’d rather just make the upfront investment and get the HR-2 half rack to start.
Application

Application

Now let’s talk about the half-rack as a standalone unit. With it, you can do bench presses, squats, lunges, deadlifts, snatch, clean, and jerk lifts, and pull-ups with the upper bar. Any rack or half rack will expand your lifting repertoire, letting you lift heavier weight, make faster progress, and have peace of mind knowing that the safety features will stop a dropped barbell and prevent injury or equipment damage.

Those safety features include both safety spotter arms and pin and pipe safeties.

The arms are a large pair of contoured steel platforms, similar to jack stands in a commercial garage, that mount to the uprights at floor level. If you unrack a loaded barbell and find you can’t finish the squat, all you have to do is let the bar fall. The spotter arms will stop it from rolling or damaging your concrete floor, and if there’s drywall nearby, it won’t be getting extra holes from the bar and plates hitting it.

Pin and pipe safeties are a precaution you should take during heavy bench presses. We always recommend using a human spotter, but the pin and pipes are the next best thing, enabling you to bench press alone. They are steel rods that mount between the uprights using solid quick-release levers. If you can’t finish a bench press, the pin and pipe assemblies catch the bar and prevent damage to you or your rack. Rogue racks are coated to resist corrosion and denting, but we still wouldn’t put one up against a loaded barbell with gravity on its side.
Durability

Durability

Rogue products are known and trusted for their solid construction, stability, and imperviousness to extra wear and tear. Rogue makes all the steel for their racks at their own facility in Ohio. The HR-2 gives you 2 by 3 inch 11 gauge steel foundation feet to start. The framing in the uprights and cross members is 3 by 3-inch steel. Holes for J-Cups are laser drilled for precision. The entire rack is coated with a finish that resists rust, corrosion, moisture, and nicking.

If something does go wrong with your rack, or if you have further questions, Rogue has a top-notch customer service department that is only a phone call or website chat window away. And all Rogue’s racks come with a full warranty for parts. You can build your strength in comfort and privacy, knowing that the HR-2 will give you consistent reliability over time. Rogue’s hard work on the design end means less downtime for you, helping you use the rack consistently.
Ease of Use

Ease of Use

The Rogue HR-2, like any Rogue Rack, is a steel frame that represents difficult engineering feats and total attention to detail. Even the holes in the uprights are precision instruments. The Westside hole spacing means the distance between holes is staggered. It is 25 mm towards the bottom of the upright, and 50 mm as you move towards the top. It sounds like a minor detail, but it increases ease of use by letting you dial in your start position for bench presses and other exercises that start low.

With the purchase of a few upgrades, the HR-2 becomes even easier and more convenient to use. The 17” horizontal cross members, on back of the unit, means you can add plate storage to keep all your plates handy and accessible. Having height options lets you customize the rack and uprights to your body type, range of motion, and gym space. The pull-up bar is the standard skinny 1.25-inch bar, not the specialty 2” fat bar that enhances grip. The bar will be easier for most athletes to use, including those of us with smaller hands, and the bar is made of smooth rolled steel so it will not tear up your skin.

The HR-2’s ease of use means you can put all your sweat and labor into getting the most intense lifting sessions you want to, without worrying about equipment failure or making multiple on-the-fly adjustments.

Versatility

Versatility

Any power rack is going to be versatile, but we are a bit disappointed at the dearth of Rogue attachments that add more possibilities to the frame. All upgrades and accessories cost extra. Besides the safety spotter arms, you can add the Monster Lite Matador dip unit. This is a strong metal frame that snaps on to the uprights to let you do dips from your preferred height. When you are done, you can snap the Matador off and put it to the side until you want to use it again. The Matador features 3 by 3 inch 7 gauge steel construction, Rogue’s proprietary anchoring equipment, and angled handles with comfort grips with options for grip width to target different muscle groups in your back and trunk during dips.
Extras

Extras

Extras include safety spotter arms and the Matador attachment. You can also order bars, benches, and plates right from the product page. Rogue offers several options for each, or you can use any 2” Olympic bar with a utility, incline/decline, or adjustable bench from any fitness manufacturer. You do have plenty of room for a leg station on a bench. Though they cost extra, we don’t consider bars, plates, or benches to be add-ons because you need them to unlock the useful possibilities of any squat or power rack.

You get a pair of Rogue’s proprietary J-Cup bar holders, at no extra cost, as part of the base package. They plug into the upright holes to hold barbells in place. Rogue J-Cups feature a thick plastic top piece to protect the finish or grip texture of a barbell. Using J-Cups made by competitors is not recommended and could affect your warranty.
Stick With It Factor

Stick With It Factor

Once you learn your way around the HR-2, and figure out which features and kinds of lifts appeal to you, you will want to use it on all your active days and make it the centerpiece of your lifting practice. That is because of its durability, ease of use, and sleek finish which makes it look like the powerful unit that it is. The HR-2 is pricey, but that initial investment will pay off with years of activity and results for many years.
The Final Word

The Final Word

The Rogue HR-2 half-rack occupies a middle ground for Rogue. It is more expensive than some of the fold back racks we looked at, but still more economical than something like the Monster wall mount rig. The customizable upright heights are a nice touch because we don’t all have the same ceiling heights in our home gyms. Because the unit does not have to be bolted to the floor, installation is quicker and not as labor-intensive. If we have a gripe about the HR-2, it is the extra cost for safety spotter arms and pin/pipe safeties. These come standard with some Rogue racks, without much difference in price. The pull-up bar, too, is limited because there is only space for one and it has to be a skinny bar, not the fat one. If you can live with the limitations we have pointed out, and you are in search of a compact rack that saves you space while giving you a full Olympic weightlifting experience, the Rogue HR-2 half rack is for you.