Build Your Own Power Rack

DIY Power Rack  Build Your Own Power Rack

What You Need to KnowIMAG0403 150x150 Build Your Own Power Rack

Cost: Less Than $100
Time: 2-3 Hours
Difficulty: Medium 

Your equipment arsenal is not complete without a power rack.

Actually, there are a few other options out there in the crossfit equipment world…but this one is so cheap, so simple and so awesome.

I did a lot of research in buying/making a power rack. I found a lot of good designs for homemade, but I found a lot of them were overdone and too expensive. Same with buying a power rack…way overpriced. So I built my own.

STEP 1: Buy the following list

 Build Your Own Power Rack

Here is a list of everything you will need to buy if you are starting from scratch. Chances are you may have some of this stuff lying around already. As you can see from the first picture the design is very simple.

-SUBTRACT the gorilla glue. I didn’t use a drop of glue on this project.

STEP 2:  Make sure you bought all DIY Power Rack Materials

This option is still WAYYYYY cheaper than commercial alternatives.

 Build Your Own Power Rack            Build Your Own Power Rack

STEP 3: Get to work (Build your frames)

The rack can be scaled to the space you have available since the design is so simple. Just keep that in mind if you build one. I kept mine simple with minimal cutting so it was a little bit bigger than it had to be. I did not want to mess with cutting pipe and having to rethread it so my frames were built around the pipe. And of course like a majority of my crossfit equipment, it is rather study.

1st- Lay out your two 2×6’s then cut your two 2×4’s. What you are cutting is the upper support beam and the squat safety bar. Keep in mind your if you have a low ceiling you want to make sure your face won’t slam into it when doing pull-ups so keeping your 2×6’s at 8 ft. is up to you. Also, since I made my squat safety bar permanent, you want to make sure that it is low enough for you to go all the way down on your squat without any problems.

-I cut my top support beam and squat safety bar at 43″.
-My top support beam is secured by two bolts drilled through on each end at 45 degree angels.
-My squat beam is only secured by one bolt at each end.

2nd- Cut your bottom support beam. Mine extends well beyond each side of the rack. They were cut at 56″. The extra length adds support during normal and kipping pull-ups

-These too are secured by two bolts on each ends at 45 degree angles from one another.

At this point your frames should be built…and you’re almost done.

3rd Your basic frame should be built. You may want to stand them up and see EXACTLY where you want to place your flanges for the pull up bar. I determined I wanted them pretty close to the top with just enough space for my chest to be above the bar and still have about 5 inches before my head would hit the ceiling.

-After you determine this you can add your flanges. My suggestion is secure a flange to one side then screw in the pipe. Then screw the flange on the other side of the pipe THEN secure it to your second frame. If you do it in any other order you are adding unnecessary work.

So your frames are built….

 Build Your Own Power Rack      Build Your Own Power Rack    Build Your Own Power Rack

STEP 4: Put the frames together

-Put the structure together on the ground starting with the pipe as stated above. After you have done this you can add the back support beam as seen in the picture. It should be cut to whatever length measures between the two 56″ bottom support beams. Has your spectacular piece of crossfit equipment come to life!?!?! I know what you want to do….

 Build Your Own Power Rack     Build Your Own Power Rack

DO NOT do pull-ups on this structure yet. She’s not ready.

So at this point you should have your basic structure erected and all the basic framing done. All that is done from here is a few extra support and brace beams for added structure support.

STEP 5: Add Support

All the cutting from here on is at your discretion. Here is what I added for more support.

-Two 45ish degree braces running from the back support beam to the main vertical structure.
-Two top support beams. 1 mimics the bottom back support beam just at the top. The other was put in to connect the top of the structure from inside to inside.

-The next thing I did all depends on if you want to KIP in your pull-ups or not. Being a crossfitter, I do. So I secured my structure to my wall studs. This means I can kip, swing, and go crazy with out the structure moving. Some guys put weight on the structure to keep it from moving, but that gets annoying. Secure it to the wall and you’re done.

-Last thing is add your bar holders for squats. I cut mine about 10″ and secured them with 2 bolts at 45 degree angels. Make sure they are tightened down really well.

 Build Your Own Power Rack     Build Your Own Power Rack

This was certainly an easy project. If you want any specific directions or if I missed a step just let me know in comments. I can give you any measurements and directions you need. I just wanted to give the pictures and the basic layout.

DOES IT WORK???? 

Been using it for months now

-400 lbs on the squat rack…no problem
-100’s if not 1000’s of pull-ups….no problem
-ring dips and muscle-ups…no problem

If you build this design with no glue, like me, just secure your bolts once a month and make sure they are tight. It should be good. This thing should last a good while and be the center piece of all your crossfit equipment…and if something fails on it I would certainly take the Saturday to build a new one. Speaking of if you are not mechanically inclined to build your own CrossFit Equipment I highly discourage it. I have picked up a few skills in my day and I trust my crossfit equipment. If you would not trust yours…don’t bother

Got the equipment. Have a program? Need MORE quick projects?

If you are making your own rack, you may want a simple, effective and minimal equipment required program: One Man One Barbell: Highly Effective Strength Training…For the Other Guy!! Click the link, you won’t regret it.

Either way, the rack is just the beginning! Let me show you how to build an entire garage gym, on a budget, in two weeks in my free eBook:

eBook cover sidebar 2 Build Your Own Power Rack

  • Join the Revolution (it's free), and get "14 Days to Fitness Freedom: The Garage Gym". Learn how to build an entire Garage Gym in two weeks with a limited budget.

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Check out my other equipment posts in the DIY Corner.

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Hey, I'm Jerred Moon and I write about: proven methods to get stronger, faster and harder to kill; tips, tricks and DIY projects for bringing fitness to the home front; and ways that food can help you recover, cure disease and better fuel your brain.

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  • Trey

    Pretty slick. Wish I had my garage gym still cause I would so be building that this weekend. I made a squat stand out of 2x4s once and never felt uncomfortable stacking the weight on.

  • Al

    Looks like more wood than you ask for? I see brackets to, mounted to the wall? Do you have all the measurements?
    It look sweet tho, great job!!

    • Jerred

      No, that should be all the wood you need. I don’t keep much, if any, scrap wood so normally what I buy is all that I use. Yea I didn’t put the brackets in the original equipment list because I left mounting it to the wall optional. I used some 90 degree brackets with my extra 2×4’s for mounting it to the wall.

      8ft. tall
      48in wide
      43in deep

      Thanks!!

      • Al

        Thanks Jerred

        • Jerred

          No problem! Let me know if you have any more questions.

  • Chris

    I have some supply questions for you. Hopefully this will make my trip to the store easier.
    -Shopping list shows 3.5″ screws but box in picture shows 3″. Any issues w/ that length screw?
    -Shopping list shows 43″ pipe. I haven’t seen that length available. Did you buy a 48″ x 1″ pipe?
    -I was thinking about getting 3/8″ x 5″ hex screws. The list says 5-6″ screws. What did you use and would you change them? I don’t want to have them stick out too far (so I don’t cut myself or hit them).
    -What flat screws did you use? Length and diameter?

    Thanks in advance for your help, as well as posting these diy projects.

    • Jerred

      Hey! Let’s see.

      -No real issue I think I just didn’t realize how big 3.5 was until I saw them so I went with 3.
      -I did use a 48″ pipe, but it makes for a very wide power rack. To avoid cutting and threading pipe go with 48″.
      -I used the 5″ bolts, actually measures 4″ and change. When it goes through two boards you will have about 1 inch sticking out. Then once the nut goes on the bolt you have about an extra 1/2″ sticking out. It isn’t bad.
      -The flat screws were 4″ and about the same diameter as the wood screws, not very big.

      Hope I helped. You made me realize I should probably update some things lol. Thank you! Enjoy the project and let me know if you have any more questions.

  • Rob

    Working on this myself next weekend. What do you use the flat screws for? Did you bolt your back support beam to the frames or did you screw it in?

    • Jerred

      That is really cool, glad to see another go the DIY power rack route.

      The flat screws are what secures the pull-up bar to the rack. The back support beams that are at 45 degree angles are bolted on bottom and screwed in on top. The horizontal back support beam at the top is screwed in.

      If you have any more questions let me know. There are also some better photos on my facebook page https://www.facebook.com/EndofThreeFitness/photos

    • Rob

      Built it today and it looks great. I put a 305# bar across the supports and it held fine (I admit I got a little nervous when it made a small creak). Also did several pullups to test it out- anchoring it to the studs worked great.

      I bought 5″ bolts but those ended up being too long so I ended up sending my friend to the hardware store to get 4″ bolts instead. Those worked much better. (I used 5/16″ diameter bolts).

      Also the 48″ spacing between the 2×6 uprights is pretty wide; the collars on my barbell just barely clear the edges of them when I rack the bar. I ended up using a jigsaw to shave a small notch in the outside corner of each one so that the bar rests evenly across the supports.

      • Jerred

        Yea 48″ is really wide. I only did that because I didn’t want to cut/thread pipe. Good idea with the jigsaw though.

    • Rob

      For that matter, I also copied your idea for the basketball/wall ball and the 3-way plyo box (I made mine at 18x24x30), as well as using a pallet for bumper plates. Thanks for putting all this on the web! You saved me a lot of money putting my gym together. If I ever design something that works I’ll return the favor.

      • Jerred

        Thanks Rob! Glad I could help. Yea if you have anything to share please hit me up!

  • jon

    The rack looks great. However, you should have caps on all the bolts in case you fell against or hit them, or turn them around so the heads are facing inside the rack.

    • Jerred

      Yea that is a good idea, always better safe than sorry.

  • brent

    How could I modify these plans to be freestanding outside? Kipping and muscleups included.

  • Shaun Baskerville

    Just finished mine. Not sure how to upload a pic. Incorporated a pull up bar and another brace for my rings. Thanks for everything!!! Finished my wall ball and took your advice on the weight rack for my bumpers

    • Jerred

      Wow that is awesome! Think you could email me a pic? Or post it in the forums?

  • Drew Griffith

    I’m looking into buying or building a squat rack but I think maybe a power rack may be a better bet? I already have a home made pull up system that I hand rings off of…So I may not NEED the power rack but I think, “if I’m going to build something…might as well built the WHOLE thing and not just the rack part…” If I am to go power rack, I’ll build…if squat rack only: To buy or build, that is the question!

    • http://endofthreefitness.com/ Jerred

      If you already have a pull-up rig it would be easier and cheaper just to build or buy some squat stands. However, it is nice to have a power rack for added safety when you are squatting alone. 

  • Goose Goss Man

    You mentioned in the Crossfit message boards that you had initially thought to use 4×4’s for the corners, but that 2×6’s worked fine.  What made you decide to only use 2×6’s? What kind of loads do you feel this rack can handle?  Did you do any calculations to determine what it could handle?  In particular I would be concerned about setting (or possibly dropping) high loads on those safety bars, have you learned anything that would reassure me?

    • http://endofthreefitness.com/ Jerred

      I think I went with 2×6’s to save money. I have had 400+ lbs. on the rack for squatting, but not something I do everyday. 

      Unfortunately, I have not learned anything to reassure you. If you feel unsafe I would go with 4x4s or maybe even purchase a power rack. 

      While I am a CrossFitter, I rarely bail on a squat how some CrossFitters do… It is terrible for a barbell to bail that way. I will take it down to the safety bars, never drop it to the safety bars and if I am going really heavy – I get a spotter and they make sure I get back up every time. More like a power lifter I guess. 
      It has worked great for me and I train more than most CrossFitters. 

  • Chris

    Hey Jerred, love the blog. I am planning on making this power rack this weeked but had a quick question regarding the height. Is the rack tall enough to do military press inside or should I go with 10′ 2x6s? I’m about 5’10” tall and just want to make sure i wont be hitting the top supports when then bar is over my head.
    Thanks
    Chris

    • http://endofthreefitness.com/ Jerred

      Thanks man! I can do military press inside but I need to postion myself really well to make sure my plates don’t hit. The higher the better, I wish mine was higher, but that is the highest I could go before I start to smash my face in the ceiling for pull-ups.

      • Chris

        OK great thanks, I’ll probably make mine using 9′ 2x6s. One more quck question, what size pipe did you use for the pullup bar? I was looking at 3/4″ or 1″.

        • http://endofthreefitness.com/ Jerred

          Yea I think it was 3/4″. Either will work just fine. Feel the bar before you use.

  • George.M

    Hi Jerred! Your blog is amazing and has inspired me as a fellow crossfit addict and DIY-er of all. I have one question about your garage gym. Did you ever install any type of special flooring for lifting/ dropping bars?

    • http://endofthreefitness.com/ Jerred

      Hey George and thank you!

      In my garage, no. I have helped build Oly platforms and lay mat though. I am moving in a few weeks and my next garage will have a lifting platform and that project will go on the blog.

  • Bruce

    What is the box 3 1/2 screws for?

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  • Chris

    Any idea if this rack is strong enough to support bar holders in the front as well as the back?

    • http://endofthreefitness.com/ Jerred

      I almost did that, but decided to make the bucket rack instead. Not sure, but I think it would be fine.

  • Matt O.

    Hi Jerred! I just came across your website and it is simply AWESOME! I am planning/hoping on getting a house within the next year and I am getting ideas for a garage gym. This DIY squat rack is sweet! I was wondering if you think would be possible to build the squat rack so you could remove the pull up bar, and then SWING the frames outward so they rest flat against the walls. This would allow for the squat rack to take up less room when not in use. Obviously, some sort of swivel/hinge would need to be used between the frames and back support so I am not sure how that would effect the strength of the rack. Let me know your suggestions and I look forward to checking out your website more often! Thanks!

    • http://endofthreefitness.com/ Jerred

      Hey man! It is possible, but it would be a complicated project. You would have to find out how to get the bar to fit into a bracket than can slide in and out. Overall, the stability may not be that great. Tough call.

  • Aaron

    You list the bar as being 43″ where do you find that dimension?

  • Eric

    I just got back from Afghanistan and convinced my wife that we need a garage gym. I now have everything I need to build a power rack, 2 plyo boxes, and a medicine ball; wish me luck.

    • http://endofthreefitness.com/ Jerred

      Good luck!

  • Eric

    Day two and I am almost done. Besides the garage gym I was also given permission to buy a Ducati 749, so I have to split my attention accordingly LOL. The power rack will be done tomorrow.

  • Will Tilton

    I have always wondered if it would hold the weight, but this is freaking awesome. I’m building this this weekend. Thanks, for the proof.

  • Matt

    Can you put in the dimensions of your build. I bought all the materials and you mention cutting, but didn’t give the cut down dimensions. Can’t wait to get this going in the garage!

  • Jeremy

    Why did you choose to put angled supports on the bottom back connecting to the 2×6 verticals instead of a simple horizontal support between the the 2 back 2×6 and nothing connecting the bottom boards? Great power rack btw. I will def. be building one of theses. Thanks

    • http://endofthreefitness.com/ Jerred

      Haha I am not sure. I think either would work. If you have any modifications please post it to the comments where others can view and decide what they want to do.

  • nada

    when it says 8′ 2×4′ does it mean height of 8 i
    nches , two 4 inch thick wood pieces?

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