Every once in a while you get hit up twice in a row.
Well, technically, I only got hit up once (when Tom asked me to take a look at the MAJOR FITNESS Raptor F22 All-in-One Home Gym Power Rack) after the company hit him up to review their product.
Not being familiar with the company, I was equal parts excited and, to be honest, skeptical. Given the fact that I’d also really have to like the rack to justify parking my (wife’s!) car outside to make space for it in the garage, there was suddenly a lot riding on my review of this beast.
Thankfully, I found the machine to be pretty awesome…even if one of my family’s cars will likely never experience the warmth and comfort of my garage again.
(The things we do for the gainz!)
A quick disclaimer: MAJOR FITNESS gave me the product under the assumption that I would put together a power rack review, but otherwise I have no connection or affiliation with the company. That fun note aside, let’s get down to business!
Table of Contents
Is the MAJOR FITNESS F22 Power Rack a Hidden Home Gym Gem?
The F22 has just about everything you could reasonably ask for in a home power rack…and even steps a little bit into “commercial ‘bro gym'” territory with its build quality and accessories. If you’re tired of the classic “complete home gym” which actually turns out to be a glorified pull-up bar with a semi-functioning pulley system, this should be in the running for your next buy.
Shipping and Packaging
The F22 arrived in three cardboard boxes of different sizes, tightly sealed in plastic, with the company logo and imprint of the power rack displayed on the exterior (just in case you might be concerned about neighbors knowing what’s in your packages).
Unlike your typical big-box-store delivery, the cardboard boxes are composed of two separate (top and bottom) pieces, so you can easily reuse the boxes in the future without necessarily having to re-tape everything. The packages were shipped via FedEx, and I was able to track them on their website prior to arrival.
Each box weighed around 80 pounds, so you may want to consider using a dolly/hand truck or the something similar for transport (or not…because….ya know, you did want to get a workout in, right?)
Within the boxes I found the following:
- unwrapped larger metal pieces
- individually wrapped smaller pieces/accessory items
- two flat boards encased in plastic containing all your nuts/bolts/washers and wrenches
- three packing slips containing item lists (one per box)
- instruction booklet.
Everything was carefully packaged in either cardboard or plastic (sometimes both) in order to ensure nothing was damaged prior to arrival. Aside from some minor scuff marks on one or two pieces, everything was in perfect condition – rather impressive given how many metal pieces were included and just how roughly packages like these are likely handled during transit.
Items enclosed within smaller cardboard boxes all had pictures or labels of their contents on the front, which was helpful and saved a bit of time once assembly time came. The instructions kindly reminded me to check for missing pieces and to contact them if anything was missing. Thankfully, the shipment was complete!
When fully assembled, the Raptor F22 doesn’t take up that much space; it measures almost 5 feet deep by nearly 6 feet in length (roughly a quarter of my standard American two-car garage), and almost 7 feet tall. However, I found it quite helpful to completely unbox everything before I started putting it together. This required me to essentially allocate double or triple the F22’s total area as “assembly space” (which, in my case, ended up basically being the entire empty garage).
The instruction manual contains no written instructions (just pictures of the equipment in their various stages of construction), which was a bit concerning at first (I had brief flashbacks of disastrous assembly projects at the hands of a certain Scandanavian furniture giant…if you know, you know!) However, my worries were almost instantly alleviated as it quickly became clear that the F22 is designed in such a way that it’s straightforward to put together.
There were a couple places where I needed to pay especially close attention (ex. the front red metal posts, only have numbering on one side, whereas many other pieces are symmetrical), but for the most part it was easy to move from one step to the next.
The instructions were printed in black-and-white, and there were a few times where I couldn’t quite tell where one part began and another ended (or exactly where something needed to be inserted, etc.). Fortunately, the cover of the booklet has a full-color photo of the assembled rack. Regular glances at it helped to clarify what the instructions were trying to tell me. At no point did I need to consult Google or YouTube for help, which is really saying something as I’m not a particularly “handy” guy.
MAJOR FITNESS included an Allen wrench and two double-ended metric wrenches (sizes 14 and 17) for tightening the bolts. While technically this is all you need to assemble everything, I would highly recommend using a socket wrench set instead, as about 90% of your assembly time is spent simply tightening everything.
The nyloc nuts provided are great for ensuring that the tightened bolts stay tight, but you do need to apply a decent amount of elbow grease to fully tighten them. There were a couple of tight spaces (like tightening the nuts under the base along the bottom of the structure) where again, it would certainly have been possible to use the two included wrenches, but was much easier to simply use one wrench to hold the nut steady and use a socket wrench to tighten from the bolt side.
There was only one part of the assembly where I thought I might need a second pair of hands (inserting the pull up bar between the front two columns). Naturally, just as my wife walked over to assist, I realized I could balance one end on the cable attachment, slide a few bolts through to hold it in place, and then switch sides to do the same for the other end. So, technically I completed the entire installation by myself without too much trouble, in roughly six hours.
While you won’t technically need additional help putting any other parts together, you could probably cut the assembly time in half if you had a friend with an extra socket wrench simply helping you tighten everything (it really does take up that much time). Finally, if you’re on the shorter side (like I am), you’ll appreciate a small step ladder for putting together everything along the top.
Raptor F22 Components
Now that we’re passed the boring stuff, it’s time to get to the fun stuff…actually using the F22!
Fully assembled, the Raptor F22 looks and feels like a solid, professional piece of equipment, akin to something you would expect to use at a big commercial gym. Aside from some of the accessory handles and pieces like the pull-up or dip bars everything is solid steel, giving the rack an imposing look and a very satisfying heft when used.
Given it’s marketed as an “all-in-one home gym,” I wondered if I really could perform the array of exercises I knock out at my local commercial gym. Assuming you have a bench, barbell. and plates (whether from one of MAJOR FITNESS’ upgraded packages or elsewhere), there’s little can’t do with the F22: squats, deadlifts, bench presses, overhead presses, chin-ups/pull-ups, rows, dips (i.e. all of the lifts and movements you should be doing) are all in the cards.
The J-hooks claim to have a 1,000-pound capacity. and each cable can be loaded with up to 300 lbs worth of plates. Even experienced lifters will find the rack accommodating for their most intense workouts.
Accessory pieces like the landmine and footplate provide additional movement options (ex. standing or seated rows) as well as single-arm or isolation exercises. MAJOR FITNESS generously includes two handles, a shorter straight bar, and a longer lat-pulldown bar for use with the cables (which are easily adjusted along their columns and can be used separately or together) as well as a T-bar attachment for use with the landmine.
While a truly complete home gym setup would likely include a set of dumbbells and/or kettlebells, the Raptor F22 really does have the hardware to help you hit all of your muscle groups and, therefore, does enable you to cancel your monthly gym membership without forgoing any significant workout optionality.
Raptor F22 Functionality
Those who have messed with broken or semi-functioning racks in the past will understand the significance of the fact that every piece in the F22 works precisely as it should:
- The cables pull through without catching or slipping off their wheels
- The dip handles stay firmly in place when in use
- The footplate is solidly welded in place and provides no “give” when pressed against during cable rows
- The landmine swivels effortlessly in every direction
- The J-cups smoothly traverse the metal poles; and the rack barely makes any noise when I perform a set of pull-ups.
I should emphasize how handy the last point will be for most people, especially if your rack will be located in a spot at home close to (ignorant!) family member who can’t appreciate the beautiful sound of metal crashing or squeaking.
There are a handful of minor touches which I appreciated, including:
- Plastic “brakes” below the cable’s weight stacks (to prevent damaging the rack if you were to suddenly drop the cables and send the weight crashing down)
- Grease was pre-applied to the insides of the cable’s weight stacks to ensure a smooth ride up and down the metal poles (just take note during installation not to grab the poles once they’ve been greased up!)
- Cylindrical weight holders on the back of rack allow weights to be stored on the rack itself, eliminating the need for additional weight storage equipment (or plates piling up all over the floor!)
- Simple, single-piece metal butterfly clamps are included for all four weight-bearing cylinders
- J-cups, dip bars, and safety bars are all solid, single metal pieces inserted into the front columns and secured simply by twisting 90 degrees – there are no moving parts, pins, or springs in them (this makes adding or removing them a breeze and reduces the chance of additional parts breaking over time)
- The top connector includes two sets of bars for (somewhat) neutral grip chin-ups as well as wide-grip pull-ups, and the dip bar attachments contain two evenly-spaced handles, allowing you to perform a more narrow set of dips (to target the triceps) or a broader set (focusing more on the pecs/shoulders).
I only have two complaints. Both are fairly minor:
- The pull-up handles and dip handles are both coated in some sort of plastic (the former being a squishy foam and the latter a more rugged, textured polymer). While they both seem to be of a high-quality build, I have a feeling that after a couple of years and hundreds of workouts’ worth of sweaty palms there’s a chance the material could start to peel or wear away (based off of my experience with similar pieces of equipment).
- The safety bars are a good 6-12” shorter than they should be, which could make safely squatting more difficult. Due to their shorter length, you have a very narrow range of space to squat once you’ve moved back far enough to avoid hitting the J-cups on your way up. If you were to fall forward or straight down they would catch the barbell just fine, but they don’t extend far enough to catch it if you were to fall backwards.
You certainly can safely squat with these; you just need to be cognizant of exactly where you are before starting your set, and you’ll need to pay closer attention on your way up on each rep to ensure you don’t hit the J-cups. This shouldn’t be an issue for any other exercise aside from squats; the bars work just fine for deadlifts, rows, standing press, etc.)
While slightly annoying, neither of these issues are by any means deal-breakers.
If you’re looking for an all-in-one home gym solution, MAJOR FITNESS’ Raptor F22 is an excellent choice. It’s solidly built, simple to assemble, and provides a range of optionality that covers just about every exercise you could want to perform. It has a sleek, dynamic design, an attractive color scheme, and should fit comfortably into most garages or basements without compromising on the space one needs to easily perform any exercise.
Is it worth the ~$900 price tag? I certainly think so, given the build quality and included attachments. A quick search shows similar racks priced for more than twice this one, and with your average gym membership in the U.S. ranging from $30 on the low end to $200+ in major metro areas, it wouldn’t take long for this product to pay for itself. Additionally, the company ships for free and includes a 35-day money-back return policy, as well as a one-year warranty.
Taking into account the entire experience of receiving, assembling and using the rack, as well as my minor critiques above, I would heartily recommend it to beginners and experienced lifters alike. I think both groups would be very happy with their purchase (even if they…or their wives…will have to start parking out on the street!)
Already placed your Raptor F22 order and are itchin’ to hit the weights? Check out our review of another one of MAJOR FITNESS’ offerings. A rack/Smith Machine combo known as the Spirit B52!