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  1. #1
    Under Construction... sharkattack's Avatar
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    Full Cage vs. Open/Half Cage - What to Buy?

    I was all set to get the Powertec cage for $500 when I saw an open or half cage from Body Solid at the store today. I really like the open design of this model. It has a slightly lower overall weight rating that the full cage, 1000# vs. 750#, but it should still be plenty heavy enough for me. Here are my thoughts. Tell me what I may have missed and give me your thoughts/recommendations. I've attached pics of the open/half cage as well as the full cage.

    Thanks in advance for any suggestions you guys can offer.

    Half cage: ~$450
    + open design, more room for squats
    + wider base, more stable
    + weight tree built in
    + can be used for squats, bench press, seated/standing military press, curls, shrugs, stiff leg deadlift

    - no chinning bar (but I can either chin from a bar in the top rack or bolt a chinning bar to my joists)
    - safety bars are not likely as strong as solid rods on cage
    - although wider, it weighs a little less than the full cage, so there might be more 'wiggle room.'

    Full cage: ~$500
    + can do all exercise that I can do on th ehalf cage, plus chins and possibly dios if I add dipping bars to the cage
    + more likely a little more solid due to the weight and the design, i.e. 'enclosed/reinforced box.'

    - spacing in between uprights can be a little tight on some cages. My present cage (cheap model) has 30" inbetween the uprights. Powertec and some others are only 25" between the posts.
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  2. #2
    In search of V-Taper ectoBgone's Avatar
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    I have this exact Body Solid half rack model and it's a very good piece of equipment. Due to my workout area, I needed something with less depth than a full cage, otherwise I would have bought one. If space is not a limiting factor then a full cage is typically the way you want to go because they're not as confining with respect to body positioning for lifts, and like you mentioned, they support more add-on options such as chin-up bars, dips stations, and High/Low cable attachments. At the same time, I have used both a full cage and half rack and found that I quickly adjust to either as far as lifting mechanics go for the exercises. One other minor advantage for me with the Body Solid half rack was the fact that it has weight storage on it. A lot of the popular full racks do not, but there are other nice ones that do.

    Either one will be a great investment, but generally speaking people go with the full rack if they have the room for it.
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  3. #3
    Registered User kziwarrior's Avatar
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    For $50 get the Full cage. I know that the weight tree seems like a nice feature on the half-cage but if you look at it, with only 2 pegs on each side you'll have to constantly shuffle plates around. The full cage will be much sturdier and give you far more options for lifts (e.g. particularly the adjustability of safety bar). Also the hooks on that half cage are a PIA, it's WAY to easy to rack to bar incorrectly (i.e. not level) because they get in the way. Also the added width of the cage leaves you a lot less room on either side for racking after a heavy squat set (you have to go in perfectly square and straight or you can get in trouble). Also the hooks are rather shallow on that half-rack, leaving little to no room for error).

    Also the full rack leaves you more options for the future (i.e. making a platform).

    Just my two-cents.
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  4. #4
    MIDWEST MUSCLE RHINO240's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by sharkattack View Post
    I was all set to get the Powertec cage for $500 when I saw an open or half cage from Body Solid at the store today. I really like the open design of this model. It has a slightly lower overall weight rating that the full cage, 1000# vs. 750#, but it should still be plenty heavy enough for me. Here are my thoughts. Tell me what I may have missed and give me your thoughts/recommendations. I've attached pics of the open/half cage as well as the full cage.

    Thanks in advance for any suggestions you guys can offer.

    Half cage: ~$450
    + open design, more room for squats
    + wider base, more stable
    + weight tree built in
    + can be used for squats, bench press, seated/standing military press, curls, shrugs, stiff leg deadlift

    - no chinning bar (but I can either chin from a bar in the top rack or bolt a chinning bar to my joists)
    - safety bars are not likely as strong as solid rods on cage
    - although wider, it weighs a little less than the full cage, so there might be more 'wiggle room.'

    Full cage: ~$500
    + can do all exercise that I can do on th ehalf cage, plus chins and possibly dios if I add dipping bars to the cage
    + more likely a little more solid due to the weight and the design, i.e. 'enclosed/reinforced box.'

    - spacing in between uprights can be a little tight on some cages. My present cage (cheap model) has 30" inbetween the uprights. Powertec and some others are only 25" between the posts.
    More room for squats with that half rack? Where do you want to go with a bar full of weight on your back? All you need to do is take one or two steps back after picking up the weight, do your set and then two steps forward to put the bar on the rests. A full rack gives you total saftey. You can't miss the safety's like you can on that squat rack.
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  5. #5
    Registered User Keetman's Avatar
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    Hmmmmm......get the power cage, not the half rack. For real, do it.



    Issues I have with the "pros" you've listed with the half rack:

    - "more room for squats"

    What on earth does this mean? I've never squatted in a power cage and thought "man, if I only had a bit more room I'd be more comfortable". Yea, sometimes some manufacturers have went a little narrow between front & rear uprights, but I don't see any benefit with this half rack. For safety you still have to stay within the 14" spotters and if you fail away from the gun rack, you're going to get hurt. The safety you gain from being inside that cage is worth any room you wish you had.



    - "wider base, more stable"

    I've had one of those bodysolid half racks. Not to use, I bought it and flipped it, but I had it set up in my garage for a week and it was nice. It was heavy and well designed...very stable. That said said.....who cares. The rack I have is more stable (Bodycraft), but that comes at a premium. I also work occasionally on a Powerline (at work) and it isn't as "stable" as the BS half rack. I'd still rather work in the powerline cage. Again, any stability you gain is only for your "comfort" and is obtained through sacrificing your safety.



    - "weight tree"

    Really? Not much to say here. Its a crappy tree at best (see above poster) and I think I'd put my plates on the floor before I chose this half rack over the cage.



    - "can be used for squats, bench press, seated/standing military press, curls, shrugs, stiff leg deadlift"

    I'll address your point with your own comment: "[I] can do all exercise that I can do on the half cage, plus chins and possibly dips if I add dipping bars to the cage".



    This is a good half rack, but I see absolutely zero benefit to it over a Powertec Full Cage. None, nadda, zip......get the power cage. Plus, I'm pretty sure the Ptec Cage comes standard with the dip attachment if I'm not mistaken.

    Also, ectobegone, you said this takes up less room than the cage. I'm guessing that space savings is mostly negligible. Like I said, I've had one of those and while it is a relatively compact design, its still almost as big of a footprint as my rack. Remember, the footprint is going to be from the foot of the FID bench to the back of the rack. Anything between the foot of the bench and the back of the rack is still unuseable, even if the equipment doesn't have any parts in that area. The only space saving is vertically, and as I remember this half rack is fairly tall, so not even much there anyway. Besides, that vertical savings is only a benefit if you have short ceilings.

    Good luck OP.
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  6. #6
    Under Construction... sharkattack's Avatar
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    Cage it is. Thanks you guys. I just I just needed that last little bit of confirmation that I was spending my hard earned money wisely.

    Enjoy the weekend everyone!
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  7. #7
    Registered User Keetman's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by sharkattack View Post
    Cage it is. Thanks you guys. I just I just needed that last little bit of confirmation that I was spending my hard earned money wisely.

    Enjoy the weekend everyone!



    10 years ago I spent $1200 on a Bodysolid Smith with a lat pd, weight stack, pec dec, dip station, and a tree. It had no free weight capability so I traded it last year for a smith machine with a pec dec, half rack for free weights, pull up bar, cable crossover, and low row station. I liked this machine a lot, but still didn't feel 100% safe squatting on the half rack with a free bar and didn't want to squat with the smith. In January I found a deal on a Bodycraft rack and got it, then I got the crossovers. Through all of this I've basically traded even up (which isn't too bad considering the cost of the Bodycraft stuff I have) and I no longer have most of the options I once had. I have a rack, dip attachment, pullup bar, and the crossover attachment.

    After six months I can say my only regret is that I didn't do this about 10 years ago. You won't regret going with the cage one bit.
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  8. #8
    Workin' Stabilizers Skidmarx's Avatar
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    I had a Body Solid half cage too. I'll never regret selling it and buying a full cage.
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    I just did a write-up on the Powertec Power Rack, in case that will help your decision.

    http://forum.bodybuilding.com/showth...hp?t=117942081
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