MAJOR FITNESS’ B52 vs F22 – Home Rack Aerial Combat

Reviewed by: Tom Eskey

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You’ve stumbled upon Garage Gym Revisited, watched and read our reviews of MAJOR FITNESS’ Raptor F22 and Spirit B52 all-in-one home gym power racks (and if you haven’t you need to ASAP!), but now you’re torn on which one to get. Long story short, the Spirit B52 is the “superior” rack. However, if you don’t ever foresee needing a Smith Machine for your lifting regimen, the F22 is the “winner”.

Spirit B52 vs. Raptor F22

In case, for some odd reason, you haven’t taken a look at our reviews and are coming in cold with MAJOR FITNESS’ rack offerings, here is a brief rundown:

In the words of the manufacturers themselves, the Raptor F22 is their “top-performing power rack, offering an all-in-one solution that ingeniously integrates a power rack, cable pulley system, multi-grip pull-up bar, and a 360° landmine. Providing over 80 diverse full-body exercises, it’s an ideal choice for fitness enthusiasts of all skill levels with varied workout preferences.”

Meanwhile, the brand-spanking-new Spirit B52 “Ingeniously combinin(es) five essential strength training stations – a Power Rack, Smith Machine, Cable Pulley System, Multi-Grip Pull-Up Bar, and a 360° Landmine – all within the compact footprint of a single power rack. The Spirit B52 allows for effortless switching between free weight and Smith machine exercises in a single machine, offering unparalleled diversity in exercise options for a comprehensive fitness regime.”

Those intros aside…

Spirit B52

Raptor F22

Exercise Functionality

90%

80%

Assembly Complexity

75%

80%

Space Requirements

78%

80%

Durability

80%

75%

Load Capacity

J-hooks – 1000 lbs Safety Bars – 800 lbs Smith Machine – 1000 lbs

J-hooks – 1000 lbs Safety Bars- 800 lbs

As someone who has been involved in fitness for over a decade (not to mention a CPT-in-training), I have had the pleasure of (and have been subjected to) lifting on a very wide variety of racks. Additionally, both of these bad boys are currently standing side-by-side in the garage, making it especially easy to assess the two.

I can assure you that if something is awesome, I’ll tell you. I can also assure you that if something sucks, I’ll tell you!

All of that being said, the Spirit B52 and Raptor F22 are two of MAJOR FITNESS’ flagship products. The F22 gets the (slight) nod here due to its slightly smaller space requirements and lower price tag, however, the merit attributed to this distinction is largely based on personal preference. Ultimately, both of these machines get the job done.

(the “job” being facilitating a legit home gym workout)

If you really like a good Smith Machine, the B52 is a no-brainer. However, the F22 is a bit cheaper and, other than the missing Smith Machine, it’s the same rack.

You’re probably gonna want to buy one of these; may as well read up on which one its gonna be.

Exercise Functionality

At their core, the racks are essentially the same (with the one major difference being the addition of a Smith Machine in the B52). They’re built from the same materials and have the exact same layout (weight pylons in the back, cable weight holders in the middle, pull-up bar across the top, footplate and landmine up front, etc.). Basically, you can think of the B52 as the Raptor F22 plus a Smith Machine.

The racks come with literally the exact same accessories. T-bar, short cable bar, longer lat pull-down bar, cable handles, safety bars, dip bars…all identical.

While both racks have a footplate and landmine, and both items are located on the front part of the racks, they are in opposite positions (left versus right) depending on the rack.

The footplate on the Raptor F22 is stationary, whereas the footplate on the B52 is adjustable between three distinct positions (forward/middle/back).

The load capacities on both machines are identical (and at weights that are sufficient for the vast majority of lifters). As such, both are excellent for performing standard powerlifting exercises on (squats, overhead presses, rack pulls, bench presses). The only glaring problem (with both racks) is the shorter-than-ideal safety bars, making it necessary to squat really close to the rack to ensure you’re covered.

The cable systems move seamlessly on both machines, making any number of cable exercises easy to perform.

The Smith Machine on the B52 also has a better-than-adequate load capacity and the bottom pylons/bumpers effortlessly catch the Smith bar if/when it is dropped. The only problem with the Smith Machine? It does not extend high enough to accommodate the pressing needs of extremely tall (~6’2″+) lifters.

(take that tall guys!)

Ultimately, the Smith Machine (as well as the footplate variability) boost the B52’s overall functionality.

Winner: Spirit B52

Assembly Time/Complexity

Both racks took the same time to ship and arrive in the same plastic shrink-wrapped cardboard boxes (the F22 comes in three boxes, while the B52 comes in four). Both include everything you need to assemble and can be put together by one person alone. The assembly process for both machines is very similar…except for the slightly longer assembly time required by the B52.

b52 vs f22

The Smith Machine adds about twenty minutes to the B52’s total assembly time, although, if you really think about it, that’s rather negligible given a total build time of ~4-5 hours.

In both cases, assembly is definitely possible for a solo lifter/assembler (I mean, I did put both of them together myself!) However, a second pair of hands solely dedicated to tightening bolts throughout the process would speed the process up considerably.

I’m not the handiest man by any means and others can probably put these racks together in half the time, but overall, assembly isn’t overly difficult or time-consuming, especially given the quality of the products.

Winner: Raptor F22

Space Requirements

As you are probably starting to realize, these two racks are almost identical. This is nowhere more evident than in the space requirements showdown.

With both racks sporting almost the same measurements (the B52 runs 82.5″ high, 78.8″ wide, and 65.3″ deep while the F22 goes 82.5″ high, 68.9″ wide, and 55.5″ deep), there is literally less than a foot difference in each dimension (that ~10-inch difference in the width is due to the permanent Smith Bar, as well).

Neither rack is the smallest, but they are compact enough to easily fit with a parked car in a two-car garage.

Winner: Raptor F22 (barely)

Durability

Before all of the “7-guage steel or GTFO!” bros show up, consider that each of these racks clocks in at over 250 pounds. These aren’t your typical, ~100-pound, 14-guage steel home squat racks!

As it is, while both racks are constructed of thinner, 14-guage steel, if there is any word to describe the 405-pound B52 and 243-pound F22 it is “solid”. There is incredibly little wobble in these racks, even when performing chin-ups, dips, and other…wobbly exercises.

Due to the extra hardware, the B52 is heavier and, given the identical load capacities, the durability nod goes to it. You won’t lose sleep about either of these imploding on you, though!

Winner: Spirit B52

Price

At the time of this posting, the Raptor F22 is priced at $929 while the Spirit B52 goes for $1499. Obviously, this translates to the F22 being about 1/3 less expensive than the B52.

If we’re looking only at the sticker price, the F22 wins (good job, math nerds!)

However, while the F22 may be objectively less expensive, only you can put a subjective value on the Smith Machine inclusion.

If you’re going to regularly perform Smith exercises, that extra ~$600 may be a small price to pay. If that Smith Bar is likely to turn into a glorified clothing hanger…I think you know what it’s overall “value” to you will ultimately be.

We’re not in your head, though, so we have to be objective with our scoring.

Winner: Raptor F22

Overall Winner

According to our metrics, the Raptor F22 is the winner.

However, when you’re dealing with two almost identical racks, scoring them and differentiating between them can be a bit tricky. Ultimately, the decision between who really wins this showdown is predicated on how badly one prioritizes a Smith Machine.

To simplify things, if you don’t want/need (and never think you will want/need) a Smith Machine, the F22 is the winner. If you do want/need a Smith Machine, you’re better off with the B52.

Our Testing Process

It’s important to us that we replicate the purchasing, assembly, training, and “intangible” processes in a manner that closely resembles what you and other lifters will experience.

We personally tested each of these racks, keeping careful notes throughout our experiences with both. We’re confident that your experience will closely mirror our own (unless you’re Bob Villa or something…then your assembly process will be faster!)

Frequently Asked Questions

You have a few more questions.

We know this.

Thankfully, we’re good to field a few more.

If you're into traditional, "bro/globo" gym workouts and/or powerlifting, either of these could easily replace your current gym membership (assuming you have a barbell, plates, bench, etc.) If you need a Smith Machine for your routine, the B52 has you covered.

Into CrossFit or Olympic weightlifting? These are certainly nice racks to have, but you're gonna have to put in a bit more effort to get completely set up for these disciplines (especially CrossFit!)

A generous 35-day "no-reason return policy" on both racks. You'll likely be satisfied with your choice, but a nice "insurance policy" while you test things out.

Unfortunately, the racks really prefer to play with their own accessories and attachments. Thankfully, MAJOR FITNESS has an array to choose from (ex. lever arms, leg extension attachments).

Conclusion

Well, there you have it. Two great airplane/dinosaur/80’s pop band-themed racks you can’t really go wrong with – and essentially just one major difference to consider when picking between the two.

The Raptor F22 won this showdown, but…

…if you don’t want/need (and never think you will want/need) a Smith Machine, the F22 is (still) the winner. If you do want/need a Smith Machine, you’re better off with the B52.

And if you’re still not quite sure which machine is best for you, check out our full-length reviews of both the F22 and the B52.

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AUTHOR

Jonathan Kaplan began his fitness journey a decade ago shortly after graduating from the University of Texas. Horrified at the state of the modern agricultural system, he dedicated himself to rebuilding a healthy lifestyle from the ground up. An avid lifter, CPT in training and paleo cooking connoisseur, Jonathan is passionate about maximizing his healthspan and pushing his body to the next level.

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