HyGYM Squat Rack Review: UK’s best BUDGET rack

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If you’re looking for a BUDGET home gym set up in the UK then this could be the centrepiece – a competitively priced squat rack! HyGYM sell their rack complete with various attachments at a well-below-£500 price point making it a compelling offering for those of us looking to maximise the bang for our buck in a garage gym. BUT is it any good?

HyGYM Squat Rack review: UK's best BUDGET rack

At a glance…

  • HyGYM squat rack is the best budget rack in the UK offering a rack + all attachments for a competitive price
  • Spec includes a high/low pulley, ladder pull up bar, 2x pairs of J hooks AND a set of dip bars
  • Weight capacity is around 300kg – more than enough for almost all of us!
  • Due to these points I think it is far better value than the BodyMax CF375, the main competitor
  • The downside to the rack is the use of the typical 14 gauge steel almost always found at this price point
  • The thinner steel necessitates wider hole spacing which may be awkward for some users

Best bits:

  • UK’s best budget squat rack
  • Comes with spotter bars, 2x pairs of J hooks, dip bars AND high / low pulley
  • Ladder style pull up bar is excellent
  • Pulley system takes standard 1″ or 2″ hole diameter weight plates
  • 300kg+ weight capacity enough for most
  • Less than half the price of prosumer / 11 gauge alternatives

Considerations:

  • 14 gauge construction makes frame lighter than 11 gauge alternatives
  • Thinner steel necessitates wider hole spacing

Is the HyGYM Multi-Gym squat rack worth it?

In short – YES. The HyGYM squat rack is entry level in terms of build materials BUT it is a great design and represents good value for money as it comes with all the accessories available – 2x pairs of J-hooks, spotter arms, dip attachment AND a high low pulley (complete with handles!)

If you have 3x the budget? Sure – go for something a bit more hardcore. But if you’re looking to kit out your home gym with the best BUDGET squat rack in the UK? Then the HyGYM is the best solution.

HyGYM Squat Rack specification

  • 112cm width x 140cm deep x 220cm height
  • 50cm square uprights made with 14 gauge steel
  • ‘Shorty’ option to mount pullup bar in low profile reducing height to 205cm with additional hardware
  • Weight capacity of up to 300kg (J-cups AND safeties)
  • High / low pulley included
  • Pulley is plate loaded with capacity to 100kg (Olympic and standard adapters included)
  • Multi-grip pull up bar included as standard
  • Dip bars included
  • 2x colour ways available (black and blue, or black and red)
Picture of the rack in use with attachments on show

What is the buying experience like?

HyGYM is a relatively young company (founded in 2020) so the number of reviews and experiences online are limited. Similar to other small UK brands while reviews and experiences are rare to find online my experience with them has been excellent.

Email communication was a breeze with quick responses and the checkout process was as you would expect. Delivery exceeded my expectations as my orders have generally arrived within a few days with plenty of notice to ensure I’m home.

In terms of improvements I personally feel the website content could be improved a little, for example the spec sheets for the HyGYM branded squat rack misses some bits of useful information such as the gauge of the steel, but overall they are in a great place for such a young business.

Price & Competition

At sub-£500 there is limited premium-branded equipment out there with the likes of a Rogue R3 or ATX equivalent coming in at over £1,000.

The closest competitor would be the BodyMax CF375. While the base design is similar the CF375 doesn’t have a high / low pulley option and the pull-up bar is inferior to the ladder HyGYM offer in my opinion.

The CF375 is not BAD, but having used one regularly I wouldn’t be in a rush to own one personally and would class the BodyMax brand as a peer of HyGYM in terms of design, quality etc.

Design and construction

There are a few key areas to look at when considering the HyGYM squat rack. Here is a rundown of a few of the interesting aspects:

Pull up bar design

HyGYM ship this with a ladder style pull up bar. This has straight, neutral and angled bars and is awesome! I use an ATX straight bar regularly and love it, but a ladder would be a cool upgrade for me to enable multiple grips.

The downside to the ladder is that it adds to the height of the rack in standard position, however it can be mounted upside down to improve headroom (reducing height of the rack from 220cm to 205cm).

This ladder pull up bar differentiates the HyGYM squat rack from the BodyMax CF375 in particular as it has two bars running the FULL WIDTH opening up all grip options, compared to the more limited BodyMax handles.

Example of ladder bar in use – note it can be mounted upside down

Plate loaded high / Low pulley included

For the money getting a pulley system included is great value. While the movement in this plate-loaded pulley is not as buttery smooth as a stack based system it opens up a range of movements (such as face pulls, lat pull downs, tricep extensions etc.) that you simply can’t do with a standard 4 post rack or free weights.

The resistance curve of a cable is excellent for bicep work compared to barbells and I genuinely miss having access to a cable machine since having this one around!

14 gauge steel construction

In line with most entry level pieces the HyGYM is 14 gauge steel. While 11 gauge steel is the standard recommendation for premium gym equipment 14 gauge will be enough for many.

Personally I am prepared to budget more for 11 gauge – but this does cost more than DOUBLE what this rack does, so understandably a lot of people done’t see the same value for money here.

The main downside I experienced was that the bolts can contort the rack – if you over-tighten it may bend the steel in the uprights as the nut digs in. You can avoid this by keeping an eye on it while constructing the rack – but I am an idiot and didn’t do that.

The other notable difference 14 gauge steel makes to gym equipment is it is LIGHTER as a result. While the likes of the CF375 can move around as a result of this lightness (e.g. when re-racking weights) this is less of a big deal on the HyGYM as you can store plates on the pulley system to act as a handy bit of ballast and keep it in place.

Overtightened bolt on 14 gauge rack
That time when I overtightened a bolt on a 14 gauge rack…

Wide hole spacing

Hole spacing needs to be wider on 14 gauge racks to maintain their structural integrity. If you prefer closer hole spacing you may need to double your budget to go for 11 gauge steel which can be drilled at closer intervals.

In practice you can work with most hole spacing set ups. The main issue is typically setting the safeties for benching. The ‘right height’ can be quite a wide range depending on your bench height, body shape and how significant your arch is. It’s likely you will be able to make this workable.

J cups: 2 pairs included with a unique design

The J-cups are squared off with quite a long loading area. In practice this is quite useful as it allows you to roll the bar the front of the J hook for lift off when benching – this is ideal for a compact flat footed rack as your bench will often rest agains the rear upright and this will make racking / unracking a little easier.

HyGYM also include 2 pairs of J hooks as standard so you can lift in an outside the rack.

One minor improvement would be to add some protective rubber of plastic to the J hooks to prevent the paint getting scratched up. This is easy to add yourself when it arrives.

Dip attachment included

A pair of handles for dipping are included. I’d prefer these to taper onwards so we could dip at different grip widths if we wanted to and to suit users with different shoulder widths, but for the price having handles AT ALL is simply a bonus.

Other customer reviews

At the time of writing there are 46 reviews rating the HyGYM squat rack as a 4.6 / 5 star product.

Here are a couple of recent reviews for context:

Reviews – a couple of customer comments from HyGYM’s website

Having read through these the recurring themes are great customer service, rapid delivery and the rack is sturdy in use. On the downside a few customers have had to go back to customer service for the upside-down pull up bar mounting kit – so if you want this be sure to make it extra clear when ordering!

Conclusion

Let’s get one thing clear – the HyGYM squat rack is the best budget 4-post squat rack in the UK. Check it our right here! For sub-£500 we get a four post rack complete with a usable high/low pulley, dip bars, two pairs of J hooks and spotter bars! That’s a GREAT start to a home gym for not a huge outlay. Of course if you have around double the budget the options open up a bit to commercial and prosumer gear, BUT whether the higher outlay is worth it is up for debate.

Best bits:

  • UK’s best budget squat rack
  • Comes with spotter bars, 2x pairs of J hooks, dip bars AND high / low pulley
  • Ladder style pull up bar is excellent
  • Pulley system takes standard 1″ or 2″ hole diameter weight plates
  • 300kg+ weight capacity enough for most
  • Less than half the price of prosumer / 11 gauge alternatives

Considerations:

  • 14 gauge construction makes frame lighter than 11 gauge alternatives
  • Thinner steel necessitates wider hole spacing

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