The 6 Best Gyms with Power Racks & Squat Racks Explained

Woman doing lunges in squat rack

Pretty much every gym has a decent set of dumbbells.

But if you want to really move some serious weight, you’ll need access to barbells and power racks (or power cages) and squat racks.

The power rack essentially functions as a mechanical spotter for any free weight barbell exercises. You also have a greater range of movement within a power rack.

And the best part is that you can typically find this equipment at most gyms no matter where you live.

So what are the best gyms with power racks near me?

The truth is most gyms offer power racks and squat racks. It’s mostly just a question of how many you’ll find at your local gym.

You’ll also want to factor in cost when picking a gym with the right free weight setup for you. Crunch Fitness and LA Fitness are some of the more affordable gyms out of the big box names, and you can get access to power racks and other equipment with a basic membership there.

Elite gyms like Equinox or Life Time have power racks too, and more of them, but you’ll pay a lot more to join.

If you’re into lifting heavy inside a rack, definitely avoid Planet Fitness — you won’t find any there.

Below I’ll look at some of the major chains around the United States that tend to have power racks. Of course, specific equipment may vary by location, so make sure you do sufficient research on your own before signing up expecting something specific.

And make sure to take a gander at my gym comparison guide if you want additional breakdowns about which gyms are worth becoming a member at.

Benefits of working out at a gym with power racks

When your goal is to pack on muscle and strength, then a power rack should definitely be part of your regimen.

There are just some exercises you flat-out can’t do without them.

Bodybulders and powerlifters know this. But even if you’re new to lifting weights, a power rack (or several of them) should be something you look for when you join a gym.

Here’s why:

The safe way to lift weights

If you plan on ever attempting to lift “heavy” — meaning, lifting loads you can only manage for a few reps at a time before failure — you’ll need to do it safely.

A spotter is one way to do it, but doing some lifts inside a rack is a must for safety.

If you’re learning how to squat, for example, having safety bars in place on a power cage or squat rack is a MUST.

That way, if you fail the lift, you don’t get crushed underneath the barbell.

Even bench pressing inside a power rack with the safety arms set at the right height can protect you when you’re learning or maxing out.

Numerous different exercises available

The exact exercises you can do on a power rack ultimately depend on the specific brand your gym has.

However, you’ll find you can do a wide range of exercises on a single device, meaning you can pretty much stay in one place during your time at the gym.

Some of the most popular power rack exercises include:

  • Back squats
  • Front squats
  • Overhead press
  • Rack pulls
  • Deadlifts
  • Pin squats
  • Bicep curls

And many many more.

The ability to adjust the safety bars (which you can do on most racks) gives you an endless number of variations of popular lifts you can do.

Work out with heavier weights

You can do almost any barbell exercises with dumbbells or kettlebells, including squats, bench presses, deadlifts, and more.

But the truth is that you’ll eventually either max out your gym’s dumbbell stack, or you’ll simply have too much trouble getting heavy dumbbells into position.

(Getting extremely heavy dumbbells up to your chest safely for a dumbbell bench press, for example, is really challenging and awkward!)

Power racks make this set up easy and safe so you can lift to your maximum capability.

Which big box gyms usually have power racks?

Man doing lunges in power rack

Alright, so we’re agreed… power racks are awesome!

Now where are you supposed to go?

The good news is that it’s much easier to find power racks at your local gym compared to a basketball or racquetball court.

You typically don’t even need a special membership as power racks are simply part of the standard gym equipment available.

Here’s a list of gyms you’ll generally find power racks at.

However, each gym varies by location, so make sure you contact the one nearest you (and, ideally, take a tour) to make sure it has everything you want in a workout.

1. Crunch Fitness

A lot of Crunch Fitness locations have power racks in addition to a wide variety of other weight lifting equipment.

Crunch Fitness is incredibly affordable with a base price between $9.95 and $19.95 a month. It has all the gear you expect, including plenty of weights.

There are also classes available, such as bodyweight circuits. It’s a great idea to supplement your free time on the power racks with these classes so that you can target more muscles.

Depending on your location, you may also be able to take advantage of childcare services. You can work up a sweat with the knowledge your kids are being looked after by the best.

(More on the pros and cons of Crunch Fitness)

2. LA Fitness

For between $25 and $30 a month, you can typically join your local LA Fitness.

It’s one of the more affordable big box gyms out there, and the great part is that most of them will have a power rack — or several

Additionally, LA Fitness pretty much has every other weight lifting machine under the sun. And you can pretty much expect the same equipment at every location.

One annoying feature of a lot of national chains is that they can vary significantly from one location to the next.

In terms of equipment, you can more or less expect the same thing from every LA Fitness. And from what I’ve seen, every LA Fitness has a minimum of two squat racks and one power rack for you to work out on.

Again, this may cause some issues if your gym only has one power rack and you go during peak hours, but it shouldn’t be a deterrent.

(Read my full review of LA Fitness)

3. Gold’s Gym

Power racks are common features at Gold’s Gyms, known as a bodybuilding haven.

But Gold’s does a lot more than simply give you access to equipment.

At Gold’s, you get a complimentary fitness profile. Not only do you get a body scan, but you can also talk with a fitness professional about your ultimate goals.

If your plan is to bulk up, then a power rack will likely be part of your regimen, and you’ll get advice as to what kind of exercises are best for your goals.

You can even take part in the Gold’s Gym Fitness Challenge.

Cash prizes are available, but even if you don’t win, you’re bound to notice an improvement in your health when you devote yourself to fitness for 12 weeks straight.

(More on Gold’s Gym: Is it worth it?)

4. Equinox

Equinox is a luxury gym option that could cost you over $180 a month.

It may cost you a pretty penny. But with that money comes pretty much anything you can imagine.

Equinox gyms tend to have every piece of exercise equipment under the sun, including:

  • Power racks and squat racks
  • Cardio machines
  • Barbells
  • Kettlebells
  • Resistance machines

Equinox can be worth it if you plan on using some of the most luxurious items found at many locations, such as pools and basketball courts.

However, if you just want to lift some weights, you can do that at more affordable gyms with the same basic gear.

5. 24 Hour Fitness

24 Hour Fitness has a fairly wonky payment structure.

Your monthly fees all depend on how many locations you want access to and what kind of equipment you want to use.

That means if you’re just interested in the power rack and other weights, then you can save a lot of money.

Some 24 Hour Fitness locations come with pools and other fancy amenities. But if you can go without that, then you can save a bit of money.

A good deal of 24 Hour Fitness locations have power racks. However, the main question comes down to how many your location will have.

I’ve seen some that only have one power rack with others having quite a few. If you happen to be there when a lot of other people want to use it, then you might find yourself out of luck.

6. Life Time

Life Time is another elite gym, though it’s a little less expensive and exclusive than Equinox.

You’ll find these clubs all over the country, and you can expect the very best equipment, trainers, and amenities pretty much anywhere.

You’ll find at least a handful of full power cages and some squat racks at most Life Time locations.

If you can afford the close-to $100 per month membership, this is a fantastic place to work out.

(Not to mention, they have the best pools and childcare of any big box gym in the country.)

Gyms that usually DON’T have power racks

Many gyms near you should have a power rack or two for you to use.

However, you may be out of luck if you want to sign up for a membership at Planet Fitness.

Sure, Planet Fitness is really cheap, but the company got into some hot water a few years ago when one of its locations removed a squat rack for “being intimidating.”

PF has some pretty bizarre rules like “No Deadlifting” and “No Overhead Presses” (yes, really), so if you want to lift weights, this isn’t the place to go.

They may have some Smith Machines, but most experts agree most people should avoid the Smith Machine.

Wrapping Up

Power racks are pretty common at most gyms.

However, they do take up a lot of space, so many gyms may only have one or two available.

Take a tour of any gym near you before you join and take a note of not only if they have power racks, but how many.

You’ll do just fine at most mid-range gyms like Crunch, 24 Hour Fitness, and LA Fitness. If you can afford a luxury gym like Life Time and Equinox, the selection and quantity of equipment will be even better.

Hope this helps!

And before you go, check out my guide to what to do when you’re bulking but not getting stronger.