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Bells of Steel Residential Power Rack Review: Just Get It

Bells of Steel Residential Power Rack Review: Just Get It

bells of steel residential power rack

Whether you landed on this Bells of Steel Residential Power Rack review as a mountain biker, or someone checking out Bells of Steel gear, I’ll share my experience with this soft-spoken product.

I recently built out a small home gym for myself, with the residential power rack as the core product. In fact, Bells of Steel offers a discount on it, and any other gear you buy at the same time, through their Gym Builder option. If you are looking for a cost-effective, high-quality home gym, I cannot recommend this gear enough.

I bought an entire gym setup (rack, bar, plates, dumbbells, flat bench, dip bar, interlocking floor mats) site unseen based on a friend’s recommendation. With the prices, I was expecting “OK” gear, but after unwrapping everything, the high level of quality and functionality was a welcome surprise.

I am not a pro weightlifter, but I’ve always worked out and been active. I’ve used pro, commercial grade gear from different companies in different gyms my entire life. This experience is what this review is based on.

Bells of Steel Residential Power Rack Review

First Impressions

bells of steel residential power rack assembly

Solid, great-looking quality.

I ordered the 72” Bells of Steel Residential Power Rack because of low ceilings in my basement.

This is my first recommendation: if you have any doubt, measure your ceiling height before ordering! Bells of Steel offers two sizes: 84.5” (“standard”) and 72.” Be aware, the shorter option is not compatible with the lat pulldown or cable cross attachments.

The rack came in a long, flat, heavy box and was the last thing I unpacked as it was on the bottom of my truck bed. By that point, I was already impressed by the gear I had unwrapped (especially the powerlifting bar) and was keen to check out the rack.

Each of the sturdy posts is powder-coated and looks great. The only exception is the pull-up bar, which is bare steel (and also looks great). It was easy to carry all the individual pieces into my basement.

The entire package weighs nearly 150 lbs. The full size residential rack box is nearly 7ft long. Something to be aware of if you go to pick it up in person and/ or transport it.

Everything is expertly packaged and came in mint shape.

Assembly

bells of steel residential power rack hardware

All the bolts are extremely secure.

Everything was relatively straightforward to assemble. If you have a tough time reaching the top of the rack with your arms stretched out, you may need someone to help you while you assemble those top pieces.

The hardware and components are of solid construction and went together smoothly with minimal effort. Everything lined up on the first try.

The nuts do have a rubber compound that helps them stick to the bolts, acting like loctite. Because of this, I expect all the fasteners to remain solid and torqued down with no need to check them over time for loosening.

 

bells of steel residential power rack anchor

Concrete floor anchor points.

The hardware kit does come with concrete anchors if you wish to attach it directly to a concrete floor. I chose not to use these anchors, and still find the whole residential rack neutral and stable.

The only reasonable exception is when I use the dip bar attachment. I weigh 220lbs and the opposite side of the rack does lift while doing dips. This is acceptable, as I wouldn’t expect the rack to support my weight hanging directly off one end! But, loading some bumper plates onto the opposite bumper plate mount easily counteracts this force and keeps the residential power rack stable.

For a preview of the assembly process, check out the Residential Power Rack assembly video produced by Bells of Steel:

Construction

For $449, the construction of this rack blew away my expectations.

I was expecting basic, jittery, thin construction, but everything about this rack is rock solid. It looks great, and I could not ask or expect more, especially at this price point.

After buying this rack, I took a closer look at the commercial racks I’ve worked out on, and found the only real differences are more welding on the cross members, as opposed to bolts. For your home, more welded sections would make the rack more difficult to assemble. I suspect the steel thickness for commercial racks is also greater (which means more expensive and heavier).

Which leads us to an important point for beefcakes: the static weight limit for the Bells of Steel residential power rack is 700lbs. If you’re lifting more than that, the light commercial rack (880lb capacity) might be the better option for you. Assuming you aren’t lifting over 800lbs !

But if you’re like the majority of the fitness community and work out to stay in shape, get stronger, or as part of your training routine (and you aren’t squatting more than 700lbs), the Bells of Steel Residential Power Rack is perfect.

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Performance

bells of steel residential power rack bumper plate mount

Plate mounts are included with the rack.

This rack performs exactly how you’d expect a rack to perform. After doing dips, pull ups, and several barbell exercises, I fully trust this solid platform. It more than meets my expectations.

Triple Padded J-Cups

bells of steel residential power rack j cups

A pair of these cups are included in the power rack, and they support and protect the barbell. The J-Cups are easy to move, depending on what height you want them at. There are several options for Cup placement up the entire height of the power rack. Wherever you need that barbell to be, you can make it happen.

The Padded J-Cups, like everything else, are of solid quality and I have full confidence loading the barbell into them.

Pin Pipe Spotter Arms

bells of steel residential power rack spotter arms

Adjustable spotter arm. Optional secondary steel pipe is leaning against it.

These are a great safety option, depending on the exercise you’re doing. Just place them at a strategic height, so that if you drop the barbell, it lands on the spotter arms instead of you.

These spotter arms are much like any other I’ve used, except for the extra length of steel tubing. I haven’t seen something like this before.

The Bells of Steel website calls them a “secondary steel pipe” which makes me think they are there for extra reinforcement if you’re lifting heavy weights and don’t think the bare spotter arms can handle a heavy, dropped barbell.

Bare Steel Pull Up Bar

bells of steel residential power rack pull up bar

The name says it all! Solid, great on the hands, and I have full confidence doing pull-ups on this. If you rack isn’t anchor, like mine, loading plates on one of the plate mounts keeps everything stable.

Residential Power Rack Recommendation

If you want a power rack to build your home gym around, you can’t go wrong with the Bells of Steel Residential Power Rack.

I’m just a normal guy, lifting weights to stay fit and for injury prevention with the different sports I do (biking, kayaking, running, and others).

When I saw the price tag was under $500, I was expecting something entry-level. I’ve been on shaky, cheap racks in some gyms and expected this to be the same.

Instead, the level of quality and performance has completely surprised me. It’s why I reached out to Bells of Steel, and why I’m proud to promote this authentic Canadian company.

And if you use their Gym Builder (their website feature I used to spec out my entire home gym) the rack is only $430! You simply can’t beat that.

If you need a power rack for your dream home gym, and lift less than 700lbs, do yourself a favour, save yourself time shopping around legacy, cookie cutter, expensive brands and just buy the Bells of Steel Residential Power Rack right now!

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