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The Rep HR-5000 Half Rack is Rep Fitness' attempt to compete with Sorinex and Rogue Fitness at the top of the market, but through imported equipment instead of Made in the USA. This may seem like a slight, but in reality, their importing equipment allows them to sell a similar level of equipment at a slightly more affordable price, in some cases significantly more affordable. The HR-5000 features 3"x3" 11-gauge uprights, laser-cut hole numbers, 4-way hole posts, oversized 1" bolting, and a multi-grip pull-up bar as well as safety bars standard. When you compare the price of the HR-5000 to some of the competition like the Rogue Monster Collegiate Half Rack it doesn't seem like a much better value, until you consider that adding Safety Spotter Arms (which will definitely be needed if you plan to ever train alone), will add nearly $300 to the cost. The prices being close, however, do force a closer inspection on the differences between the racks as we do in this review.
In the world of garage gym lifting, the variety of upright based metal configurations has greatly increased. The most traditional option has always been the power rack (sometimes called the squat cage or full rack). Sometimes we see CrossFit-style rigs that have been cut down to fit inside a 2-car garage. Other lifters may even prefer a combo-rack or squat stands to somewhat mimic that powerlifting competition feel. What has become an even more popular option as of recent is the half rack, however.
In contrast to a full rack, a half rack is the condensed version. Whereas a full rack is based upon it having 4 upright posts giving you the ability to squat inside, the half rack may only have 2 uprights giving you the freedom to squat outside, and only outside the rack. Sometimes a half rack may have 2 additional uprights towards the back for weight storage.
More lifters nowadays have been choosing the half rack in their garage gym over the other options for both price and space considerations. Space is a good reason. Even though the footprint of a half rack is often larger than even a full rack, the open concept style of the half rack definitely makes you feel as if you are saving space. Another plus is that for many barbell trainees, a half rack often feels more convenient to transfer between exercises since you are always “outside” the rack (for many college weight rooms this has been a very popular reason). With that said, we would like to highlight what we believe is one of the best value, high-end half racks to date - the Rep Fitness HR-5000 Half Rack.
The Rep Fitness HR-5000 Half Rack is the swiss-army knife of half racks. Rep Fitness truly did their homework when it came to designing this rack. They likely looked at what various companies were offering and decided to add and upgrade the HR-5000 Half Rack with several premier features that come at additional costs, but still list the rack at a price that is competitive with those that come with less options.
The components of the HR-5000 Half Rack look and feel incredibly stout, which is one of the first things we noticed when we were taking it out of the box and organizing the pieces in the garage to build. Building it was very straight forward and we were easily able to build it just by looking at the overall picture displayed on the cardboard box (I’ve also put together quite a few racks over the years, so that may have helped.)
The largest and longest parts, the heavy-duty 3” x 3” 11-gauge steel uprights, were professionally powder coated and cleaned. It was nice seeing that the 1” diameter holes are uniform on all 4 sides of each upright. We say the more holes the better as it leads to a lot more customization and adjustability. Yes, it can lower the strength of the rack, but the first thing to break on a rack of this sort is going to be the j-cups, not the uprights. It’s the reason Rogue can put Westside Hole Spacing so close to one another.
The hardware mainly consisted of thick ⅞” nuts and bolts that fit into 1” holes. Large bolts like these may be stronger, but their main purpose on a rack of this sort is aesthetic. They simply look beefier and better than smaller hardware. It’s become somewhat of a trend in the past few years with the upper echelon of racks, and although they’re not necessary, I think they look great, but, they’re quite a bit more expensive than the smaller ⅝” bolt that is somewhat standard in the industry.
Once we had the 3” x 3” uprights in place and bolted down, we were able to better appreciate the sharp laser-cut numbering etched into each of the uprights. There are a few areas on the rack that are strategically done in order to lower the price, and the laser-cut numbers are one of them. Rather than having numbers laser-cut on all sides, it’s only on the face of each upright and is cut on every other hole instead of each and every hole. This lowers the cost of the rack for both Rep Fitness and the consumer and really doesn’t cause many issues for the user. Although I prefer having numbers on every hole all the way up the rack (the HR-5000 doesn’t have numbers past about head height) for most people, the price associated with more numbers isn’t worth it.
Almost as precise as the laser-cut numbering is the robotic welding that Rep Fitness utilizes in the HR-5000 Half Rack. Each weld is clean, uniform, and repetitive. Robotic welding is done on most racks produced in the US, but in order to save money, many companies have humans in far off lands i.e. China, do the welding. This is the reason you see spotty welds throughout much of the cheaper equipment produced by companies like Titan Fitness. Robotic welds are more consistent and cleaner leading to a better fit and finish.
In addition to improving the welding on their racks, the powder coating that is on the HR-5000 and likely other forthcoming racks is outstanding. Featuring a glossy finish, the powder coat is most similar to the powder coat used on Rogue’s Monster and Monster Lite racks instead of their infinity line. Rep has begun adding color options to their line of gear which includes metallic black (the version we’re reviewing) silver metallic, red hammertone, and blue hammertone. These colors are available in other pieces of gear like their AB-5000 Zero-Gap Adjustable Bench and I expect to see them on a future GHD (just a guess, not a leak.) The black has quite a bit of depth when you get close and is a stunner, especially in comparison to textured black.
The only part of the HR-5000 Half Rack set-up that was strategically powder coated differently was the multi-grip pull-up bar, which was painted with a textured black powder coat. The multi-grip type of pull-up bar is one of my favorite pull-up bar options, and Reps is excellent. It’s definitely not as heavy-duty as Rogue’s (you can tell this immediately when picking it up due to how light it is) but a pull-up bar doesn’t need thick steel walls to provide lasting durability. This feature comes standard with the rack and features close and wide grip parallel handles, medium grip angled handles, and well as a hefty fat grip pull-up bar.
Measuring out the Rep Fitness HR-5000, we find that the total floor space taken up is 58” wide x 56” deep, with an overall rack height of 93” tall. Half racks, especially ones that don’t need to be bolted down, need a long base to increase stability, so, they can take up a bit more floor space than a power rack. The entire rack is slightly elevated off of the ground at each corner with metal feet to prevent sliding. We found this elevation to be a cool feature as it prevents the rack from being scratched up at the bottom, and also allowed us to easily get the bolts in from the bottom up. Also since the rack overall weighs about 400 LBS by itself, it would take a lot of force for this to ever tip over.
Another cool feature is the new style of j-cups that Rep Fitness has showcased with the HR-5000. Rep Fitness has designed a dual-lock style of sandwich j-cups. When you slide the J-Cup pin into the respective hole, all you do is twist the j-cup and it becomes secure to each side of the upright. Also, the actual j-cup is a sandwich-style that is made from 3 thick layers of UHMW fixed tightly and sandwiched together. This makes for a heavy-duty j-cup that will protect the knurling on your bar and can be replaced if need be. UHMW plastic is then fixed on the back side of each J-cup to protect the rack as well.
The dual-lock style is also passed on to the Rep Fitness Spotter Arms that are included with the HR-5000 Half Rack. The spotter arms are solid and easy to align and slide in. A big plus we see is that they are also long enough to actually do their job in case there ever was the need to catch the bar during a failed squat attempt. We would like to see the Spotter Arms feature a hitch pin system so they lock in as they can come undone if bumped hard enough.
On the back side of the rack is the upright plate storage. The HR-5000 Half Rack uses chrome weight pins with rounded off plastic caps to make it easier to slide the plates onto each post. These look good and will prevent chipping that can happen with powder-coat posts. On the front side of the rack above and below the platform space are multiple band pegs. It's good to see a rack have strategic band peg options as it gives you more options of barbell special exercises, although we would prefer that they be made removable.
In the very middle of the rack near the top is the REP archway log. This arch is made from 2 pieces welded together at the middle. I’m not sure why this was done as it looks like an imperfection and was even brought up on Instagram by a few commenters. The REP logo is a silver plate sandwiched between 2 black laser cut rectangles which contain the REP letters and are then bolted to the arch. Taking a step back and looking at the Rep Fitness HR-5000 Half Rack as a whole, we feel as if this is the type of rack you would find in a D-1 College Weight Room. It definitely gives off a professional feel and look that rivals some of the best racks available. If you do plan to use the rack in a commercial setting or even at a University, then we suggest looking at the HR-5100 add-on that basically turns the rack into two HR-5000 Half Racks back to back and connected together. Pretty slick.
Another add-on option is the PR-5000 Dip attachment. It too is made from 11-gauge steel and utilizes UHMW plastic liners to protect both the rack and attachment. Currently, the dip attachment is the only rack attachment available for the HR-5000 Half Rack, but according to the Rep Fitness website, we should be seeing more attachment options released sometime in mid-2019.
Overall, the Rep HR-5000 Half Rack is a great rack for the home gym owner that wants premium features, however, at the price point, there are many other racks that should be considered before a purchase is made.
Although we rate the Rep HR-5000 Half Rack highly, there are a few minor things we see that could be improved
As previously mentioned, for safety reasons, we would like to see a hitch pin on the spotter arms. The dual-lock style that Rep Fitness utilizes with the HR-5000 Half Rack spotter arms will help prevent the spotter arms from popping out-of-place if hit, but are not fail-safe. This is unlikely to happen, but this is a potential safety hazard in our opinion.
During the install of the upright plate storage weight pins, we found that the backer pins don’t go all the way through both sides of the uprights. Even though it then gets bolted and secured at the other side, this can create extra stress on the weight pin over time and can cause the weight pin to lean down slightly. Additionally on the weight pins, the chrome that’s used, while being a step above basic black powder coat, is not the best option out there. It would be nice seeing urethane weight pins, as they will not scratch up in appearance as bad and if they were removable they could be used as dip and pull-up handles on the spotter arms.
On a functional standpoint, the band pegs are secured using bolts instead of a pin. If you want to deadlift, you have to completely move out of the half-rack floor space. This probably isn’t too big of a deal for most people, but the same problem happens with overhead work. Since the horizontal piece that holds to top band peg attachments shoots out, you would need to step back a couple of feet from the J-Cups to properly perform and overhead press. The overhead band peg extension, while still a cool idea, would be better if it was made to be removable via hitch pin or something similar to the spotter arms. This piece can be completely removed, but we’d still like it for reverse band work, and this could be done with removable band pegs.
The arch logo, as previously mentioned is welded in the middle and we prefer the way other companies run the logo overlay to the edges. Again, minor, but is worth mentioning in an in-depth review of this nature.
Compared to its competition, the Rep Fitness HR-5000 Half Rack is a high value buy, considering that it comes standard with spotter arms as well as a multi-grip pull-up bar. Before freight shipping cost, the HR-5000 will run you $1,149. That’s a great price for a well-built 400 LBS rack with included bells and whistles.
The HR-5000 Half Rack’s closest competition would be the Rogue Monster Collegiate Half Rack. Since it doesn’t come standard with a multi-grip pull-up bar or safety spotter arms, we selected those and added them in to come up with something comparable. The Rogue Monster Collegiate Half Rack with the Crown Pull-Up Bar ($250 add-on) and the Monster Safety Spotter Arms 2.0 ($270 add-on) sells for $1,680 pre-shipping. Note, no band pegs are included with this package either.
Another competitor would be the Sorinex XL Series Half Rack. Spotter arms are included as standard, but you would have to call in to get a quote for adding a multi-grip pull-up bar. Even though the Sorinex XL Series Half Rack is listed on its website as only $1,199 gross cost, the net total cost will be much more expensive as shipping is higher and that price doesn’t include laser-cut hole numbers.
We can also consider the Rogue HR-2 Half Rack. It is definitely not as decked out or stylish as the Rep Fitness HR-5000, but the metal used is basically the same being 3” x 3” 11-Gauge Steel. Again, spotter arms and specialty pull-up bar do not come standard, as well as plate storage. Adding to our cart the SAML-24 Monster Lite Safety Spotter Arms ($162.75), the X-43M Multi Grip Crossmember ($145), and Vertical Plate Storage ($49.75), the Rogue HR-2 Half Rack ($655) is priced at $1012.50 pre-shipping cost.
Seeing as the Rep Fitness HR-5000 comes standard with such great features, we can confidently say that it is one of the best value racks at this quality level on the market. You don’t have to add-on any features as you would with the competition, plus the HR-5000 looks sharper and more detailed the more we examine it.
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