This is my updated review of the Titan T3 power rack after approximately three years of use.
To read about my thoughts on the T3 rack after one year of use, click here. Where I also go into more depth about my experience with their customer service.
Here is my review of the Titan Fitness T-3 Power Rack after three years of use.
Titan Fitness is known for their affordable pieces of equipment for the home & garage gym settings. I purchased mine in 2018, during the November sales, I paid $365 out the door. As of July 2020, retail price for the T3 varies from $410 – $575 depending on the sizing options.
You can’t mention the T3 without mentioning the Rogue R3, which has a base price of $695 and includes J-cups and pin/pipe safeties. With the free shipping, the lowest you can pay for the R-3 power rack is $748.87
When you buy the T3, you get a pair of J cups, pin/pipe safeties, 4 band pegs and 4 rack mounted weight plate holders. This represents amazing value, and is pretty much everything you’d need for a basic-intermediate rack setup.
The J-cups that come with the rack are pretty simple, I’ve had up to 525lbs on them without any issues. I’ve been using the Rogue Ohio Power Bar for over a year now and some of the J-Cup plastic lining is wearing , but should last many more years. The exposed metal on the edges isn’t great, but that’s not a Titan specific problem. It would be nice if the plastic liner covered the entire J-cup to avoid scratching the barbells on the occasional mis-rack.
The other downside, is that when I purchased the rack, the J-cups both swing the same way. It looks like their new iteration of the rack does have left and right swinging J-cups which is a nice improvement. This is more of a minor annoyance, that I have since grown used to.
Took under 2 hours. Would recommend enlisting the help of a friend, but is doable solo.
I did receive one defective upright post, which took around a month to clear up with Titan’s customer service. Not the fastest response, but it was free and I did end up with one free upright post that I now use for storage.
I recommend anchoring into the concrete, as recommended by Titan. I did use the rack for a year without any concrete anchors and didn’t have any issues. But with the rack bolted to the ground, the entire structure felt more stable and secure and doesn’t wobble as much nor walk around like it used to.
The bigger reason to bolt it down is to help reduce sway and flexing within the frame that may loosen the bolts over time – since nothing on the frame is welded together. This is important because there is no support at the bottom of the legs, which means all the force applied during use will be absorbed at the the top of the rack and the bolts holding everything together.
The posts themselves are 11 gauge steel, with 2 inch hole spacing and Westside hole spacing for the bench press range, which just means the hole are now 1 inch apart, to get that perfect bar height. Because there are no numbers etched or marked on the uprights an oil pen or ideally a label maker is great for marking your pin heights for various movements.
The posts are 2×3, which is a nice size, as it minimizes the banging during a squat walk out, when you pair with the KG version of the OPB, which has narrower collars. I still knock the weights on the walkout on occasion.
The unit comes with both fat 2″ diameter pullup bar and a regular 1.25″ diameter bar. both of which are structural. The uprights and cross bars are all bolted together, there are no welds that stabilize the structure. This is probably why the unit isn’t perfectly square, since the pieces aren’t matched up or paired for fit, they are rather all made in a big assembly line and bundled up to ship.
After the years of use, none of the bolts have come loose, which I don’t expect them to. They do include some lock washers to use with the bolts, which helps prevent any walking out of the bolts.
Even with the concrete bolting and all the bolts tightened down, there will still be some play in all directions, especially with re-racking heavy squats, or even sideways shifting the barbell for bench press.
I’ve squatted 515lbs without issue and have also dropped 505lbs on the safeties without any issues.
The updated T3 j-cups have a rating of 2,000lbs each, for a 4,000lb weight rating total. My older version of the J-cups have an 800lb per unit weight rating.
If you’re close to an 800lb squat, you deserve a better rack.
The safeties that come with the rack are pipe and pin, which so far have had 505lbs dropped on them. No damage to either the safeties or the barbell, which was surprising. I’m not the biggest fan of the pin and pipe safeties, just because they’re slightly annoying to shift around, but a very minor annoyance. Both parts are crucial to the integrity of the safety and preventing you from dying, the pin obviously holds it in place, but the pipe distributes the force along the pin. Don’t use this without a pipe.
I’ve wrapped thin rubber matting around each of my safety pipes, to simply protect the metal on my barbell, the OHP costs about as much as this rack, so I $20 worth of cheap rubber is worth it. Another option is to use a pool noodle.
I have the 24” depth rack, If you have the space & budget I highly recommend getting the 36” depth. I’ve found the 24″ depth to be enough room to perform the squat, bench & overhead press, however, the problem with the 24″ is that when it comes to benching pressing & Z pressing, if you store 45lb diameter plates on the posts and bench press with 45lb diameter plates, they’ll bump each other.
The nice thing with the T3 series, is that Titan has a bunch of accessories that are available that can expand the functionality of the rack. I’ve added very minor things, like the landmine attachment and the extra storage arm. But there are a lot of extras I would recommend checking out the Titan T3 rack accessory page.
FINISH & DURABILITY
The finish has held up well over the years, I am obviously indoors, so it doesn’t really get exposed to the elements, being in Southern California means the weather is pretty great all year round, so no real adverse conditions for the finish to get worn out from.
I’ll occasionally hit the uprights with the barbell, the barbell definitely wins. The biggest wear will come from moving the j-cups and safety pins. I doubt this affects it’s function and safety.
The weight plate holders get the most abuse, since I’m constantly taking weight plates on and off and they do have a lot of surface level wear & tear, which is to be expected. But again, nothing structural.
After almost four years of use, anywhere from 3-6 times/week, and apart from the scuffs and scratches, there has been no functional/structural wear and tear or damage to the rack. I can’t imagine the rack getting damaged, unless there was some sort of catastrophic failure in manufacturing, which should have become apparent by this time.
I think the quality definitely matches the price being paid for the rack.
The quality is great, but that comes from my limited perspective, since I haven’t used a Rogue rack or anything more expensive to compare it to. My only point of comparison was a CAP barbell squat stand, which had a weight capacity of 400lbs. So this is a significant improvement.
Given that it’s held up to frequent use over the last 4 years I think that attests to it’s quality and durability. It’s analogous to Toyota vs Mercedes debate, both are well produced vehicles that will get you around and both are well made, but you can’t fault a Toyota for not having the ‘quality’ and features of a Mercedes.
I don’t have any complaints with the T3, the welds aren’t pretty, but are functional and haven’t failed.
You should get the deepest and tallest rack, your space and budget will allow. If you plan on doing pullups keep your head space in mind. I’ve bumped my head a handful of times when I first got the rack. My ceiling height is 8ft (96 inches) and this rack measures 91 inches in height.
I’m 5’8″ and am able to overhead press inside the rack, without any clearance issues. I do have to stand on my tip toes to reach the pullup bar and my head will hit the ceiling if I don’t arch my head out of the way at the top of the pullup. An option would be to mount one of the pullup bars slightly lower down on the arms so that you’re head won’t hit the ceilng.
Overall, I think the T3 represents a great value rack for the budget minded consumer. Looking over Titan’s website shows a bunch of accessories available that add to the funcionality and flexibilty to the rack which makes it a great starter for any home gym. I’ve also read that some R3 accessories are compatible. I think you should buy a rack if the space and money allows, since it’s both a safe way to lift and opens up a lot of exercise options with add ons.
Recently it looks like Titan has made a lot of improvements with regards to equipment, there are a lot more size and color options available for the rack and it seems they’re constantly releasing new accessories. Based on the website, it looks like the latest version of the T3 will be 10% better than this one.
Is it the nicest rack available? No.
But you’re also not spending that much money on it. For the price point, you have to accept that it won’t be the prettiest rack available, but it will stand tall and keep you alive when you bail on that squat…
I would say if you’re squatting over 800lbs look at nicer equipment. Just because at that point, you not only deserve it, but really need a higher tier kit.
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About this video:
In this video, Selwynn from WynnStrength.com provides an in-depth review of the budget minded and affordable Titan Fitness T-3 Power Squat Rack, for use in your home & garage gym space. Great for powerlifting, bodybuilding, strongman & crossfit workouts and any strength training workouts. Use it with barbells, dumbbells and bodyweight. Very similar to the Rogue Fitness Infinity R-3 Power Rack. The Titan T-3 uses four 2″x3″ posts that use 11 gauge steel. Featuring Westside hole spacing. It is one of the best sub $400 power cages built with most consumers in mind. Perform squats, overhead presses, bench press, pull ups, deadlifts inside the rack. Includes band pegs, for use with power bands for accommodating resistance and dynamic effort strength work.