Titan T-3 Power Rack

I’ve owned the Titan Fitness T-3 Power Rack for approximately months now and am very pleased with the product. This full power rack replaced my old squat rack by CAP Barbell, which was a much needed upgrade for safety’s sake. Take my review with a grain of salt, as I only have experience with the T-3 & a CAP Squat rack.

Value: 10/10

Quality: 8/10

Customer Service: 7/10

Overall: 8/10

Value

With the value rating I wanted to account for more than just price, since a free piece of crap, is still a free piece of crap. I took into account the price, the quality of equipment received, what comes included with the rack and finally how other options compare with the rest of the options on the market – what is its relative value.

MSRP = $429 (Free Shipping)

I was able to purchase mine on Black Friday, which meant 15% off, which had my price at $365 out the door, this included shipping and tax.

Considering my original CAP stand cost around $200, I was pretty stoked to see such a low price on this type of equipment. Until I stumbled across Titan Fitness, (Mainly from Coop at Garage Gym Reviews & Brandon Campbell Diamond on YouTube) I never thought having a full power rack in my garage was even a possibility. Believing power racks were only a thing proper gyms and rich people had in their garages.

So I quickly set about doing a lot more research about the power racks that Titan Fitness offered, as well as how to get the best pricing. I read a lot of reviews and watched a lot of videos with other people’s experiences and opinions of the rack quality and value offered. Based mainly on the opinions of only the people that owned the equipment I decided that the T-3 fit into my budget and I would be able to judge the quality for myself.

One huge surprise, is the fact that Titan Fitness offers free shipping. I work in a warehouse and I know how expensive it is to ship equipment and the fact that Titan offers free shipping on equipment totaling 230lb in weight is astonishing. Not only did this save me money, but it also saved my time by not having to pick anything up or rent a truck. I’ve read complaints about Titan’s shipping methods, but I would counter that a) it’s free, and b) any damage to the boxes would be due to the carrier. Could Titan use better boxes and pack the equipment a little better? Sure. But they are shipping thick pieces of metal that are heavy and not shipping using a pallet, so while I would say getting minor scratches on the rack posts aren’t ideal, they’re superficial and it’s still free at the end of the day and not totally attributable to Titan, some of the damage lies with the carrier services.

The extra pieces of equipment that are included with the T-3 also make this a great value purchase. Along with the rack itself (obviously), you’ll receive 2 pull up bars (1 1/4″ & 2″) that double as top cross members, a pair J-cup hooks and 4x olympic weight plate holders. This is a complete set for great value, for a basic setup you don’t have to buy much else.

Astute observers will notice that the T-3 is a copy clone of the Rogue R-3. It is an almost identical in measurements, design and aesthetics. This rack is fantastic value, all things considered.

Rogue Fitness R3 Power Rack – $869.77 (incl. shipping & tax) Black Friday special is free shipping, reducing this price by $125

For those that have to consider budget, it’s pretty clear which one to get. If we compare the Black Friday specials offered by both companies, the Rogue is almost double the price. Do you get what you pay for? Definitely. There are huge differences in quality and reputation between the two brands, but for price conscious garage gym owners, the Titan easily beats Rogue in this aspect alone.

When you start to expand out the comparison to other non-identical products, like squat stands, half & quarter racks, wall setups and DIY setups I still feel like this is a great value option.

Some other options would include:

Cap Barbell Deluxe Power Rack – $205.79 + tax (free Prime Shipping)

CAP Barbell Full Power Rack – $219  + tax (free Prime Shipping)

Fitness Reality 810XLT Super Max Power Cage – $239.99 + tax (free Prime Shipping)

PRx Performance Folding Profile Rack – $549.00 + $119 shipping

Vulcan Strength Power Rack – $649.99 (free shipping)

DIY Wood Power Rack – $200 (however, wood working skills are required)

Of all the options available to spend $430, I can definitely recommend the value in purchasing the T-3 rack, due to the inherent safety with a squat rack, rather than a stand and it’s versatility.

Quality

This is where it seems the internet lights up in flame wars. However, from my perspective it is a pretty high quality product. My main concern is safety, the aesthetics are another issue. The J-cups are rated for 1000lb capacity along with the spotter bars.

Watching this video from Coop over at Garage Gym Reviews, is just one example of how strong the included Titan J-cups are. There is an image of a J-cup snapping with 385lb, however the jury is still out as to whether this is an isolated incident or not. Keeping in mind, the incident happened January 22, 2018. As of writing this review, it is March 24, 2018 and there has been no other reports of failed J-cups by Titan Fitness – and with so many people out there who would want to see such a picture, I’m concluding that this might be an isolated incident. Other research would suggest that a J-cup would unfold under a heavy load, rather than a snap. In any case, I have currently had up to 345lb on the rack and wasn’t too gentle with the re-rack and haven’t experienced any movement in the J-cup.

Another thing to keep in mind is that the T-3 is designed to be bolted to the ground, something that I haven’t yet done. Because I’m not completely finished creating the garage gym space, I’m almost certain the rack will change location in the future and I do not want to drill into the floor until I’m certain where the rack will go. Until then, I’m using weight plates to keep it weighted to the ground. You’ll notice in the video above that I have all my 45lb plates on the bar and the rack is only weighed down with 2x 25lb plates on each side. I don’t hit the uprights very hard on the re-rack and the rack doesn’t move so much. I like the fact that this rack can still be used (relatively safely) without the need to bolt it to the floor.

I am aware that Titan does make the X-3, which is their flat footed version of this rack, meaning it can be used without the need to bolt to the floor. This rack was out of the budget and was not in stock when I was looking to purchase a new rack. I would advise against doing any aggressive kipping movements, as the rack does sway even with all the weight on the attached plate holders, but I wouldn’t place this as a negative, since the rack isn’t being used as intended.

Addressing the fit and finish is another issue, the packaging wasn’t ideal, which contributed to a few chips and scratches, mainly on the feet and the posts, however I have already banged up the posts myself, so this hasn’t been too much of a concern. None of the metal pieces were bent out of shape due to transit, so I was satisfied with the transit procedure.

A lot of people talk about quality control at the Titan manufacturing, and I can agree with that. I assembled the rack with no problems at all, no extra or missing pieces and I managed to assemble it by myself in around two hours.

The problem came a couple of days later when I wanted to place the spotter bars towards the top of the rack, for overhead press safety. However, as you can see with the images below, the rack holes didn’t line up. I was able to get some measurements and this was because the front and back holes on the front upright posts were a couple of millimeters off, resulting in the spotter arm not being able to fit between the uprights. This issue was only at the top of the posts, for squats and bench presses, the spotter bar lined up perfectly.

I double checked the squareness of the rack as well as making sure everything was level, just to be sure and got in contact with Titan Fitness customer service. I’ll detail my experience further below, TL;DR – Titan made it right and sent out a new upright so now the spotter bars line up along the length of the upright. Interestingly, the new upright they sent me was slightly different aesthetically to the other three uprights, not sure what this means, other than there is not a lot of homogeneity in their manufacturing process.

Other than that minor hiccup, the quality of the rack to date has been nothing short of impressive. I’m not a metallurgist or have any experience whatsoever with welding and some will say the welds aren’t pretty. I did some research, thinking maybe this meant they wouldn’t be functional, however this is not the case, and ugly looking weld will perform just like a nice looking weld and based on the testing I’ve seen online as well as my own experience, I can put up with some ‘ugly welds’ for the savings of $400.

The included accessories are also all up to par, I’ve tested the band pegs which held up fine. As noted above, I used the plate holders to keep the rack stable, so impressed with those. The pull-up bars are great, although I am thinking of sticking some grip tape on parts of them to help with slipperiness on longer pullup sets. The fat bar is a killer grip workout.

Customer Service

This is probably my only complaint with the Titan experience. The Titan website is not the place to get in touch with their customer service. I filled out the online contact form just before a long weekend, so gave them the benefit of the doubt and waited two weeks for a reply, my issue wasn’t urgent, so I wanted to see if they would reply. They only replied when I sent them a direct email, this happened with a couple of days. However, the ball was dropped again when they didn’t reply for another week. So I sent another email to get their attention and once it was in the right customer service agent, they sent out a new spotter bar as well as a new upright to alleviate the problem.

Once you get in touch with the right customer service rep at Titan, you’ll have a good experience with their company in fixing any issues. If I got a hold of the right person the first time I got in touch with them, they would have a 9/10 rating.

Overall

I can’t recommend the T-3 enough, the price point can’t be beat, the quality is great for the price point and there are minimal safety concerns. Customer service, will eventually, correct any problems with the product.

Is the T-3 the nicest power rack you can buy? Not by a longshot

Will the T-3 work for people that can squat 800+ pounds? Highly unlikely

Will the T-3 last a lifetime? Maybe

What Titan Fitness and the T-3 do exceedingly well is provide a product at an affordable price point for garage gym enthusiasts who have a limited budget and still want a safe and sturdy line of products.

4 comments

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