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Within the past couple of years, space-saving squat racks have become quite popular. I suppose their popularity has followed the fact that there are now more people working out at home than ever before (and this will continue to increase.)
There have been many variations over the years, and I've tried to use a majority of them. Everything from the small squat stands that tuck away nicely in the corner to the initial hydraulic units to the now popular fold-away racks. In an effort to increase health and strength, the market has met the demands of people wanting a great gym in a small space.
Although the fold-away squat racks like the ones sold by Rogue Fitness are a good idea and take up a much smaller footprint than a full power rack, they still lack significantly in their ease of use.
In order to take a fold-away power rack from its position against the wall to full use, you will have to:
To fold it back, you'll have to do all of this in reverse. Although it won't take an insane amount of time, I would bet that the majority of swing-away racks sit in the erected position without ever being folded away, or the users simply don't work out as much due to the inconvenience.
To use the PRx Performance Racks, you simply take out two hitch pins and pull the rack down. It's that simple.
The PRx Performance Profile Squat Rack and Folding Bench showed up on my doorstep rather unscathed.
There were a few box corners that had been ripped, but I didn't notice any damage to the parts themselves. After having reviewed so much gym equipment, you realize that some companies put quite a bit of thought into protecting the equipment they send while others don't. PRx Performance is thankfully in the former category, and I was happy to find every piece in good order.
I quickly began unboxing the equipment and realized assembly would take a few minutes.
After finding the instruction manual and seeing that assembly was pretty straightforward, I had the rack up on the wall and ready to use in under 30 minutes.
PRx Performance is an innovative company creating space-saving solutions for home gyms and commercial facilities. The first time I heard about them was when they were on the popular show Shark Tank. I've watched the show quite a bit but was surprised to see a company producing squat racks make the lineup. That said, the Profile Racks from PRx Performance are unlike any other squat rack that is currently on the market.
Before I get into the construction and performance of the Profile Racks, I think it's important to state that the Profile Racks are not for everyone. If you don't need or desire a space-saving rack, then there are more economical and frankly, more versatile options out there. That said, if you're looking to save space, this, in my opinion, is by far your best option.
The PRx Performance Profile Rack I received to review is the upgraded PRO Rack. The main differences between the PRO and the standard Profile Rack are the upright size, laser-cut numbers, and hole sizing.
Although I prefer the 3x3 uprights that the PRO Rack comes with, the 2x3 uprights of the Profile Rack are more than enough for most people and are rated for the same 1,000 lbs the PRO rack is.
The 3x3 uprights feature all of the great features high-end squat racks have including 11 gauge steel, larger accessory holes as well as the aforementioned laser-cut numbers. If you've ever used a squat rack without identification numbers, you'll know how frustrating it is to go from squatting to benching. I've used the Rogue R-3 as my main squat rack for a while, and although I love the rack, I can't stand the fact that it doesn't have laser-cut identification numbers.
The color of the rack I received is Black Onyx because black is the best color for gym equipment and it's the color of everything else in my gym. If you disagree that black is the best color (you're wrong 😏) PRx Performance has just about every color you could think of from lime green to hot pink.
On the bottom of the uprights are plastic footplates that protect the floor. Although this is minor, I would have liked to see these rubberized to add some extra grip for the upright on the ground. However, I haven't experienced much swaying of the rack due to the plastic feet.
The j-cups that PRx Performance includes are some of the better J-Cups currently on the market. Not only are they rated for 1,000 lbs (I guarantee you they could take much more than that,) they also have UHMW plastic on the bottom back, and on the rear of the to protect the rack from getting scratched. This means not only will the knurling of your bar be protected, but so will the rack.
The model I received and the one I would suggest to most people, especially those that plan on doing pull-ups on their rack, is the Profile PRO Rack with Kipping Bar.
The Kipping Bar is essentially two pull-up bars at different heights with one that allows the user to be far enough from the wall for kipping movements often found in CrossFit workouts like pull-ups, toes to bar, and muscle-ups. The pull-up bar is coated in a familiar powder-coat finish and does a good job of providing grip when chalk is used.
One of the most asked questions I received when posting on Instagram that this was one of our upcoming reviews was, "is it very stable?"
Although it would appear the rack is less sturdy than one bolted to the ground, in use, I didn't notice much difference. The only instability felt was during side to side movement, which you won't experience any during movements you'd perform on the rack or pull-up bar. The Kipping Bar provides enough space from the wall to flail as much as I'd like on the bar, and the sturdiness supplied by the steel wall attachments keeps the rack grounded. I was pleasantly surprised to see just how sturdy the rack was during kipping movements.
In order to achieve the most critical part of the Profile Racks (folding up and out-of-the-way), PRx Performance has employed the use of four, 100 lb rated gas shocks to assist the user in putting up and taking down the rack. The rack is so easy to put away that I've watched my wife put the rack up with one arm while holding our baby boy in the other.
Everything about the PRx Performance Rack is high quality and well thought out, but the true differentiator and reason for our recommendation is the ease of storage and how small of footprint the rack takes up. When folded up, the rack takes up just 4" of space and thanks to the height of the rack, driving a car or truck under the kipping bar is easy.
I currently have the rack situated on top of my deadlift platform. When not in use, I can freely Olympic lift, deadlift, and do all sorts of things on the platform. When it's time for a workout involving a rack, I simply pull down the rack, put the bar the j-cups, and I'm ready to go.
We will be doing a full article comparing the PRx Performance Racks to other space-saving racks, but in our opinion, the Profile Racks are the best available from both a function and ease of use standpoint.
As illustrated in our review of the Profile Rack, PRx Performance is making innovative strength training equipment for the space conscious. In their entire line-up of products, nothing illustrates this quite as well as the Profile Folding Bench.
First off, the Profile Folding Bench is designed to be used with a Profile Rack. It can be used with other racks, but you're just going to need to make sure the uprights are around 24" from the wall.
The Profile Folding Bench accomplishes something I've yet to see on a bench: providing a sturdy platform without taking up an ungodly amount of space when no longer in use. Space is one of the most important features in a home gym, and having a piece of equipment that is used maybe one time a week taking up necessary real estate is pretty unfortunate.
Rather than having a bench take up so much space, the Profile Folding Bench folds up with the assistance of gas shocks and extends from the wall by only four inches (basically the thickness of the pad.) When you're ready to bench you simply fold it out, and you're ready to go.
Besides the space savings offered by the bench, I also like that no adjustment needs to take place each time you set up on the bench. Most portable benches will require alignment, and unless you get a ruler out, it will always be partially off (no, I don't do this.) Although this isn't a huge issue, it can be annoying when you're trying to get in the gym so you can get back out.
The frame of the bench is made of heavy-duty steel that is then powder coated using the same Black Onyx color as the rack. I would like to see them offer the bench in different colors to match the rack, but that would probably cost quite a bit extra due to the amount of parts.
The height of the bench from the floor is the standard 19" which was a surprisingly great thing to find out. Many companies will neglect the bench height which can greatly affect the power you're able to produce while benching.
The one thing I dislike about the PRx Folding Bench is its bench pad. As far as I can tell, the pad and vinyl covering are the exact same as the Rep Fitness Flat Bench that I've previously reviewed. For $100 it's okay, but I believe a bench costing $400 should have a much better pad and cover.
One last thing I'll say regarding benching with the PRx Performance Rack and Folding Bench is DO NOT BENCH WITHOUT SPOTTER ARMS. I've known people who have died benching by themselves, so it is imperative that you not bench without spotter arms. PRx Performance does make spotter arms for their racks (I haven't used them, so can't comment but will update this article if I receive a pair) so purchase them if you have any desire to bench.
Overall the Folding Bench from PRx Performance is an excellent idea for a bench that takes up hardly any space, yet provides even better stability than most flat benches.
Although the PRx Performance Profile Rack and Folding Bench are the best options available for those who are space-conscious, there are a couple of things that could be improved.
The first thing is very minor, but I would like to see some sort of rubber coated feet on the uprights to provide even more stability.
The second improvement is the bench pad. Although for a cheaper bench, the pad would be fine, but I believe it could stand to be firmer with a better, more grippy covering.
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