3 Best Functional Trainers With Power Rack Combos

Functional trainers and barbell cages are both large pieces of equipment. Is it possible to combine the two and save some money and space? It is! There are some really nice ones that don’t only save money and space but are also amazing to use.

Combining a functional trainer and barbell cage is possible and will save money and space. Both training with barbells and cables has its own benefits and they complement each other well. It’s important to select the right piece of equipment that combines both types of training in the right way.

So let’s find out what the pros and cons of combining these pieces of equipment are and what the best options are.

How We Picked These Racks

Before we get into the best squat racks with pulley system, let’s quickly look at how we picked these combos:

  • Must have two adjustable pulleys and space for a free barbell: This is the essence of this combo. It must be a free barbell and not a Smith bar. Some of the ones below have both, that’s fine as long as you can also use a free bar.
  • Quality: The selected machines are sturdy, and long-lasting and are from reputable companies with good customer care.
  • Features: Extra features are a bonus if they’re well-designed and useful.
  • Value for money: These aren’t necessarily the most expensive options. These are the ones that provide good value for money.

Best functional trainers with power rack

1. Best Overall: BodyCraft RFT

This is actually a power cage first with the pulleys added on later. That means the layout is slightly different from a normal functional trainer but the functionality is the same. Actually, they took advantage of the slightly different setup and increased the functionality.

The cool part of the power cage part is that you can use the inside of the rack for lifting barbells instead of only being able to use one in front. This increases the safety for people lifting heavy. This is possible because the weight stacks are located in the back and so the barbell can go down low on the sides.

Also, while the pulleys on the front posts are slightly limited in movement, (they don’t go all the way up and down). There are separate high pulleys and low pulleys in the rear of the machine so you still have those options.

All in all, this is the best implementation of the combination of power rack and functional trainer you can get.

Suggested: Functional trainers with the highest resistance


  • Versatile: You can do a lot with this rack and the functionality of either the rack or functional trainer is not impeded.
  • Very solid: This rack is built like a tank and will handle everything you throw at it.
  • High-quality: All the catches, pins, and pulleys are high quality and will last.
  • Lots of accessories available: There are a lot of extra accessories like a leg extension, landmine attachment, etc. available
  • Lifetime warranty


  • No Smith Bar: Unlike some other combos, this rack doesn’t have a smith bar built in.
  • Pulleys can’t go all the way down: The way the safety catches are connected to the rack means the pulleys can’t go in the lowest position.
  • Price: It’s an expensive bit of equipment.

2. Value For Money: Mikolo M4

The Mikolo M4 is a very good deal for what you’re getting. You’ve got a lot of the same features as the Vortex but for a much lower price. You get a functional trainer, Smith machine, and a barbell rack in one.

Part of that price difference is that the pulleys are connected to a plate-loaded sled instead of a weight stack. That means you have to change the plates to change the resistance and not just put a pin in a different hole. It’s possible to get this machine with a package of weight plates but you can also buy them separately.

While not a very well-known brand, customer service is responsive and tries to fix any issues that arise. This is a great option if you’re on a budget.

There are a few downsides to saving a good chunk of money. The racks uprights have a weird size which means attachments from other racks won’t fit. The pulleys also don’t quite go high enough for lat pulldowns if you’re tall.

Suggested: Can you do a lat pulldown on a functional trainer?


  • Cable Weight Slider: The dual guide rails for the pulley weights are smooth.
  • Sturdy Build: The machine feels solid and stable during workouts, even when lifting heavy weights.
  • Versatility: The Mikolo M4 offers a wide range of exercise options. You’ve got the option to use the Smith bar, a free bar, and the pulleys for a ton of exercise options. Besides that, there are some nice features like a leg-lock, landmine attachment, etc.
  • Adjustable Height Settings: The machine’s adjustable height settings and safety catches make it suitable for users of different heights.
  • Smooth Smith Bar Operation: The Smith bar operates smoothly, allowing for controlled movements during exercises.
  • Compact Design: Despite its versatility, the machine has a relatively compact design that doesn’t take up too much space in their home gyms.


  • Plate loaded: The pulleys have to be plate loaded since there are no weight stacks. The lack of weight stacks means it’s cheaper but you’ll need to change plates manually.
  • Unlabeled Front Post Holes: The front post holes for J-hooks and pulley sliders are not numbered, making it a bit challenging to identify the correct positions.
  • Attachment Installation: The uprights measure 2.35″ x 2″ which means attachments for other racks don’t fit.
  • Pulley height: The pulleys don’t go high enough to do a lat pulldown if you’ve got long arms.

3. Alternative: Marcy SM-4033

This machine is a little different. Instead of weight stacks, you use weight plates to load up the pulleys. This has some benefits and drawbacks. It’s more difficult to change weight on the pulleys because you have to change the plates instead of just putting the pin in a different hole.

The plates are changes on the back of the machine so you’ll have to keep some more space free behind the cage than for a functional trainer with weight stacks. Besides pulleys and barbell hooks, this machine also has a smith bar and all of them are loaded with the same weight plates. The weight plates are not included. The maximum load of all the parts of this machine are 300 lbs. For most people this is plenty but if you have plans to get really strong, this is not the one for you.

Recommended barbell and weight plates

The pulleys are on a separate rail from the upright posts. That means you can adjust the pulley height without taking the barbell hooks off. The barbell itself still has to be taken off though.

On the other hand, if you want to work out with a barbell, you need a set of weight plates anyways. So if you can use those plates for both the barbell and pulleys, this is more efficient. It’s also cheaper. Weights are surprisingly expensive and a big chunk of the cost of a functional trainer is in the weight stacks. So using the same set of plates for both is quite a bit cheaper.

Why Choose a Power Rack and Functional Trainer Combination?

If you’re considering the idea of combining a functional trainer with a power rack, you might be wondering why it’s a worthwhile choice and whether it’s even feasible. Let’s delve into the reasons behind this choice.

1. Diverse Training Opportunities: To begin with, the decision to combine these two pieces of gym equipment stems from the versatility they offer. Barbells are exceptional for heavy compound exercises like squats, deadlifts, and overhead presses, which are instrumental in building muscle and strength. However, they have limitations when it comes to certain exercises. Functional trainers, on the other hand, employ cable systems that enable a wide range of exercises, targeting muscles differently and enhancing the effectiveness of your workouts.

2. Space and Cost Efficiency: Having both a standalone functional trainer and a power cage can occupy a significant amount of space and come with higher costs. Combining these two pieces of equipment into a single unit is a practical solution, optimizing space utilization and potentially saving you money.

Is It Feasible?

Indeed, combining a power rack and a functional trainer is not only possible but also relatively straightforward. A typical power cage comprises four upright posts, with the front two featuring holes for attaching spotter arms and J-cups (used to hold the barbell).

Similarly, a functional trainer also incorporates four upright posts, albeit arranged slightly differently. In some models, the two front posts are designed to accommodate adjustments for both the pulley height and J-cups, offering a seamless integration of these two functions.

While this combination proves effective and space-efficient, it does have a few limitations to consider. Firstly, adjusting the pulley height may be restricted when the spotter arms and J-cups are in place, necessitating the removal of the barbell and accessories before making such adjustments. Nevertheless, you can still use the pulleys with the barbell in place.

Another notable drawback is the confinement of lifting exercises to the front of the machine, unlike a standalone power cage where you can perform lifts inside the cage for added safety. Additionally, these combined units tend to be larger than either a standalone functional trainer or power rack but still more space-saving than having both pieces of equipment separately.

In summary, the fusion of a functional trainer and power rack offers numerous benefits but comes with certain trade-offs, such as limited pulley height adjustments and spatial considerations. Nonetheless, it remains an attractive choice for those seeking an efficient and versatile home gym setup.


  • Space Saving: You get both a pulley machine and a power rack in the space of one.
  • Cheaper: While these machines are not cheap, it’s usually cheaper than buying both separately
  • More training modalities: You’ll gain a lot of exercise options compared to only having one.
  • Convenience: You can do all your exercises in one spot.


  • Limited pulley adjustability: With the J-cups and spotter arms in place on the front of the rack, the pulleys usually have limited adjustability
  • Large: These combos are quite large.
  • Limited Choice: There aren’t a ton of these machines out there.
  • Complex assembly: Because there is so much going on, assembly can be a bit of a pain.

How To Select a Power Rack Functional Trainer Combo?

When shopping for a combined power rack and functional trainer, it’s essential to consider various features and aspects to ensure you select the right equipment that aligns with your needs, preferences, and fitness goals.

Here are some key features and considerations to look for:

  • Build Quality and Durability: Good gym equipment can last for decades if it’s high-quality and taken care of properly. Spending a bit more on a high-quality piece can pay of many times down the road.
  • Weight Capacity: Do the maximum capacity of the rack and the functional trainer support your muscle-building and strength goals?
  • Adjustability: Are the safety pins and pulleys adjustable enough for your needs?
  • Exercise Variety: Can you do all the lifts you want to do with the machine you have selected?
  • Footprint and Space Efficiency: Does the machine fit in your space? Do you still have plenty of space around it to use it?
  • Ease of Assembly and Installation: These things are complicated and judging how hard it is to assemble everything is hard before actually doing it. Reading reviews helps you understand how hard that model is to put together. Alternatively, you can opt for professional assembly.
  • Brand Reputation and Reviews: Buying from a reputable brand is going to be much better than from an unknown one. The known brands have been around for a long time and will be for quite a while longer while the unknown ones pop up and disappear quickly. That means you might get a cheap machine but there is no support after you buy it. And any warranty you get might be completely useless.
  • Price and Value for Money: Great equipment is expensive but is it worth it compared to other equipment? This really depends on your wallet.

Other Factors to Consider

When considering the integration of a combined power rack and functional trainer into your home gym, several crucial factors should guide your decision. These factors help ensure that the equipment aligns with your space, budget, and fitness goals.

1. Space Availability

Of course, you need a machine that fits your space. It’s a basic requirement but people still forget to measure sometimes.

Don’t forget you need space next to and in front of the squat rack combo to properly use it as well. You want about 3′ of free space on either side of the machine and at least 4′ in front.

Begin by measuring the dimensions of the designated space, taking into account available floor space, ceiling height, and wall clearance. Consider the layout and accessibility of your gym area to ensure the chosen equipment fits comfortably and allows for safe and efficient workouts.

2. Budget

While often cheaper than buying a separate power rack and functional trainer, these machines are not cheap. And the ones that are relatively cheap don’t always feel nice to use. However, don’t pay more than you can afford.

Also, take into account and other bits and pieces you need for your home gym. For example; flooring, fans a barbell and weight plates, etc.

3. Fitness Goals

When investing in gym equipment, it’s essential to strike a balance between exercise variety and cost-effectiveness. Carefully assess your fitness needs and preferences to identify the most suitable machine for your requirements.

Start by clearly defining your fitness goals, whether they revolve around strength training, muscle building, functional fitness, or a combination of these objectives.

Consider your preferred training methods, such as resistance training, bodyweight exercises, or cable-based workouts.

To align your choice with your fitness goals, opt for a combined unit that offers relevant features and attachments. Ensure the equipment provides the versatility and exercise options needed for your workout routines. Look for customization options, including adjustable pulleys, J-cups, safety pins, and various cable attachments, to tailor your workouts to your specific needs.

Additional Considerations

When investing in a combined power rack and functional trainer for your home gym, there are some essential additional considerations to keep in mind. These factors go beyond the initial purchase and are crucial for ensuring the longevity, safety, and functionality of your equipment.

1. Maintenance and Durability

Tips for maintaining combo units for long-term use:

  • Establish a regular maintenance routine that includes cleaning, lubricating moving parts, and inspecting cables and pulleys for wear.
  • Tighten bolts, screws, and attachments periodically to prevent loosening during workouts.
  • Follow the manufacturer’s maintenance guidelines and recommendations.

Checking for warranties and customer reviews:

  • Research the warranty coverage provided by the manufacturer, paying attention to the duration and specific terms.
  • Read customer reviews and testimonials to gain insights into the long-term durability and reliability of the equipment.
  • Consider the availability of replacement parts and customer support.

2. Assembly and Installation

Guidelines for proper assembly and installation of power racks and functional trainers:

  • Follow the manufacturer’s assembly instructions meticulously, ensuring that all components are securely fastened.
  • Use the appropriate tools and equipment as specified in the assembly manual.
  • Consider seeking professional installation services to guarantee safety and stability.

Safety precautions:

  • Ensure that the equipment is installed on a level and stable surface, free from any obstructions.
  • Verify that the unit is securely anchored to the floor or wall, especially if it requires bolting down.
  • Check the weight capacity and load limits of the equipment to avoid overloading.
  • Educate yourself on safe workout practices and exercise techniques when using the combined unit.
  • Use safety features such as safety pins, spotter arms, and J-cups as necessary to prevent accidents.

Best Cable Machine Accessories

Make your cable trainer experience even better with these accessories.

  • PlateMate: One or two platemates (Amazon link) can help you increase the weight more gradually on your weight stack. Just stick them onto your weight stack.

Find the most complete functional trainer that includes most of these accessories by clicking here.


Hey, I'm Matt. Welcome to HomeGymResource.com. After working out in many different gyms for almost 20 years and helping people build their own home gyms, i've learned a few things i'd like to share with you.

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