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As of this writing, the REP Fitness Athena—which comes in plate-loaded and selectorized options—is on pre-order on repfitness.com. We can already tell you that this customizable attachment is an excellent, affordable addition to those looking to convert an existing REP power rack into an all-in-one home gym

While we haven’t gotten our hands on the Athena to take it for a test run, there are a number of things we already know from just assessing product specs and using our own knowledge of functional trainers. In our REP Fitness Athena review, we break down our initial impressions so you know what to expect if you are considering this purchase.

Years of Testing Functional Trainers

Our team of certified personal trainers and weightlifting coaches has personally used functional trainers for years. Beyond that, we are expert product testers who have put items like the Force USA G20 and the Titan Fitness Functional Trainer through our multi-point methodology to evaluate things like pulley ratio, ease of operation, and value. We are fully equipped to give you an honest opinion of these large (and often pricey) attachments and machines.

REP Fitness Athena Functional Trainer
REP Athena Plate Loaded Side-Mount Functional Trainer
REP Athena Plate Loaded Side-Mount Functional Trainer

The REP Fitness Athena Plate Loaded Side-Mount Functional Trainer is an attachment to turn your REP power rack into a functional trainer without a significant increase in footprint. Before you buy, make sure you double check that the Athena will function in your home gym. Unfortunately, the Athena is only compatible with the REP PR-4000 and the REP PR-5000 V2 power racks. It is not compatible with the PR-5000 V1, which was discontinued in 2020. If you have an older REP PR-4000 with 16” crossmembers that do not have vertical access holes, you will need to upgrade to the newer crossmembers. These can be purchased from REP. The vertical access holes are necessary for cable movement.Additionally, the Athena cannot clear weight horns with plates of any size loaded. If you currently store your weights with weight horns mounted on your rack you will have to change your plate storage system to use this attachment.The Athena attachment has a 2:1 pulley ratio, which makes 20 pounds feel like 10 pounds. The cable system has a maximum weight capacity of 540 pounds. This can be achieved with a combination of plates and resistance bands using the integrated band pegs.The Athena cables are made from high-quality galvanized wire with a raw steel core. The pulleys are aluminum and on a trolley system so the height can be easily adjusted with one hand. The front pulleys also swivel 180 degrees so you can perform exercises outside the footprint of the rack.In the future, REP will make a conversion kit available for purchase if you decide you’d like to upgrade from a plate-loaded system to the selectorized version with magnetic pin weight adjustments.At the time of publication, there are no customer reviews because the Athena has not yet been released. It is available for pre-order on the REP website and will ship in December of 2022.

A Quick Look at the REP Fitness Athena Functional Trainer

Having a functional trainer in your garage gym is fantastic, but it’s also a piece of equipment that typically eats up a lot of space. Look at the REP-FT 5000, one of our favorite functional trainers: It takes up roughly a 6-foot-by-4-foot area. 

“For people who don’t have that kind of room, transforming their existing power rack for functional training is the way to go,” says Coop Mitchell, founder of Garage Gym Reviews and resident product expert.

That’s why we were stoked when REP Fitness launched the Ares Cable Attachment in summer 2022. As we note in our REP Ares review, it is overbuilt with dual weight stacks, lat pulldown and low row stations, and six terminal points. 

Then, REP announced the more basic Athena, which, just like the Ares attachment, attaches to the REP PR-4000 and REP PR-5000. However, you have more optionality with the Athena, such as choosing between the more affordable plate-loaded version or the selectorized plate-stack unit. Even more, you can opt to put a pulley on just one side of your rack.

Essentially, the Athena is more accessible to more people thanks to a lower price point than the Ares and FT-5000, though it does make some sacrifices.

Pros: 

  • Affordable
  • Left, right, or dual setup
  • Multiple depth options
  • Knurled handle
  • Available for the PR -4000 and PR-5000 series
  • Plate-loaded version has max weight capacity at 540 lbs (feels like 270 lbs with 2:1 ratio)
  • Free shipping
  • 30-day money-back guarantee

Cons: 

  • Currently does not ship until December 2022
  • Plate-stack version has just 170 lbs per side
  • Must have your own Olympic-sized weight plates to use plate-loaded version

Video Review

Is the REP Fitness Athena Worth It?

The Athena turns your power rack into an all-in-one cable machine. There are two versions: the plate-loaded trainer and the selectorized trainer. 

The plate-loaded version is under $1,000 for a dual-sided system and under $500 for just one unit. Each unit holds up to 540 pounds. 

The selectorized version is almost double the price per unit or for the dual system, at around $950 and $1,800, respectively. Of note: The Athena Selectorized comes with just 170 pounds per side, though you can upgrade to 220-pound plate stacks for about $160 more. 

So how do you know if the Athena is right for you? Here’s our initial impression:

Great For:

  • People who own a REP PR-4000 or REP PR-5000 or are looking to buy one and upgrade
  • Those who already have Olympic weight plates 
  • People who need space-saving ideas for a functional trainer

Not Recommended For:

  • People who do not own a compatible power rack
  • People who want more versatility and would prefer the Ares

REP Fitness Athena Plate-Loaded Specs

Weight87 lbs per unit
Weight Capacity540 lbs per unit
Pulley Ratio2:1
Loadable Length10.6” per side
Added Footprint1.8” H x 12.3” W x 6” to the front of the rack
AttachmentIncludes one D handle per set, compatible with many others
Pulley Swivel 180 degrees

REP Fitness Athena Selectorized Specs

Weight258 lbs per unit
Weight Capacity540 lbs per unit
Pulley Ratio2:1
Weight Stack170 lbs with option to upgrade to 220 lbs
Added Footprint1.8” H x 3.7” (PR-4000) or 5” (PR-5000) W x 6” D
AttachmentIncludes one D handle per set, compatible with many others
Pulley Swivel 180 degrees

Compatibility

The REP Fitness Athena works with the following racks: 

  • REP PR-4000 6-Post 24” + 16” 
  • REP PR-4000 6-Post 30” + 16” 
  • REP PR-4000 6-Post 41” + 16”
  • REP PR-4000 6-Post 16” + 16” 
  • REP PR-4000 4-Post 16” 
  • REP PR-5000 6-Post 30” + 16” 
  • REP PR-5000 6-Post 41” + 16” 
  • REP PR-5000 6-Post 16” + 16” 
  • REP PR-5000 4-Post 16”

If you purchase the plate-loaded Athena, you’ll need Olympic-sized weight plates. (Odds are that if you’re already using a barbell, then you’ll have bumper plates.)

First Impressions: Using the REP Fitness Athena Functional Trainer

Coop is expertly familiar with home gym equipment just like the Athena. He has reviewed countless products from REP, and he has some great insight into the functionality of the Athena. 

“My assumption is that based on what we can see and how the Athena bolts onto the outside of the rack, you might be able to use this with racks that aren’t REP,” Coop says. Buyer beware: If you have racks taller or shorter than the sizes outlined on the REP website, the cables may be too short or too long. 

Construction

You’ll find the durability you expect from REP fitness equipment on the Athena, like raw steel core on the cables and plastic lining on the trolleys for maximum protection. 

One of the biggest benefits of the Athena is that you can choose to mount it on the left or right side of your existing power rack, or you can choose the dual-sided system to have two pulleys. Unlike the Ares, which has six terminal points, the Athena offers a single sliding trolley per unit that glides up and down the upright. 

The REP Fitness trolley on the Athena

Trolley and Cables

Each Athena unit comes with a trolley lined in plastic to protect it as it moves. Our favorite feature on the trolley: the knurled handle (which you’ll also see on the Ares). If you know us, you know we love high-quality knurling. The trolley also features a safety pop-pin to keep the unit locked in place during exercise.

The aluminum pulleys on the front of the rack have a 180-degree swivel that is ideal for accommodating a range of exercises. There is a 2:1 weight ratio on each pulley. That means that you’ll only feel half the resistance of the weight you load onto the unit. So if you put 200 pounds on the Athena, it will feel like 100 pounds. While this is pretty standard across most functional trainers, there are some that offer more options.

“I would have loved to have seen the ability for the Athena to go between a 2:1 ratio and a 1:1 ratio like the Prime Fitness Prodigy does,” Coop says.

One last note about the cable construction:

“I love that the cables run under the crossmember on the bottom and over the crossmember on the top because they won’t interfere with other rack attachments,” Coop says.

Weight

On the plate-loaded option of the Athena, you can use almost as much weight as the handles will hold. There is a max weight capacity of 540 pounds per unit (which, with a 2:1 ratio, feels like 270 pounds). The downside, however, is that when the plates are loaded on the Athena, they may get in the way of any plate storage system you are using. 

The Rep Fitness Athena plate stack

On the selectorized version, each plate stack squeezes between the uprights and out of the way of other rack attachments. Each stack comes with 170 pounds, though there is an option to upgrade to 220-pound plate stacks. Keep in mind that on a 2:1 system, 170 pounds feels like 85 pounds, and 220 pounds feels like 110 pounds. 

Attachments

When you purchase the Athena, you receive a D handle attachment. However, thanks to the carabiner terminal, you can use just about any squat rack attachment with the Athena.

Ordering the Athena

As of this writing, the Athena is available for pre-order and ships in December 2022. REP Fitness is offering free shipping as well as a 30-day money-back guarantee on the unit.

Final Verdict of Our REP Fitness Athena Review

We are excited to use the Athena to see how it withstands the test of time. For now, this is a highly customizable and affordable way to turn your power rack into a home gym—and we’re here for that.

REP Fitness Athena FAQs

Is the REP Fitness Athena worth it?

Depending on which option you choose, the Athena can transform your existing power rack into a functional trainer for as little as $500. We think the Athena plate-loaded unit is priced well and is a great option if you already have Olympic plates to load the unit. If you do not, you can take a look at the Athena Selectorized Side-Mount Functional Trainer, which is about twice the cost but comes with plate stacks.

How much weight can the REP Athena hold?

The REP Fitness Athena Plate-Loaded Side-Mount Functional Trainer can support 540 pounds of weight. With a 2:1 ratio, that will feel like 270 pounds. The selectorized Athena comes with 170-pound weight stacks with an option to upgrade to 220-pound stacks.

What is the pulley ratio on the REP Athena?

The REP Fitness Athena uses a 2:1 pulley ratio. That means that you only feel half the resistance of the plates you load onto the unit. So if you put 100 pounds on the unit, it will feel like 50 pounds when you are exercising.

Further reading

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