This is a great commercial-level rack for the long-term, that will take pride of place in any home gym.
- Excellent Fundamentals
- Great Design
- Durable High-Gauge Steel
- Highly Versatile
- Extremely Sturdy
- Good Extra Features
- Poor Quality J-Cups
The Rogue Monster Lite 490 Power Rack might sound like an oxymoron, but it’s actually a great buy. It takes all the best features of the Rogue Monster Rack and distills them down.
The result is a power rack that lives up to the Rogue reputation and stands out as an outstanding balance of quality and value for home gyms.
Rogue RML-490 Power Rack Overview
The Rogue RML-490 Rack boasts excellent materials and good hardware, all the spacing you could need, and stability offered by the full power cage design with upper and lower braces.
Pin pipe safeties are good, albeit uneventful, while safety arms are also available. Pin pipes are objectively better since they’re both safer and more versatile for training pin presses and pin squats.
On the other hand, the band pegs are a great addition that takes up no space but expands training options.
As ever, the only drawback to the Rogue rack is a pair of underwhelming J-hooks, which are needlessly long. But, overall, it’s a great rack with only this one oversight.
Who Should Buy the Rogue RML-490 Power Rack
Anyone looking for commercial quality home gym power cages can’t go wrong with the Rogue RML-490.
It offers great durability and quality, which are key if you live in a long-term home.
This is even more true if you can bolt it down for the extra stability and don’t plan to move just yet.
It’s perfect for anyone looking to expand their home gym – maybe even with multiple users – and is familiar with CrossFit racks and rigs.
Why You Should Buy the Rogue RML-490 Power Rack
Excellent Fundamentals: materials, build and use
The Rogue Monster Rack is one we’ve worked with extensively.
It’s got a great overall design with an effective and well-built frame. It offers good stability and has good bracing, with reliable and well-made hardware.
It’s definitely leagues ahead of some products on the market for these crucial basics.
The stability of the frame is good, and you can feel the quality of the material. Not only can you feel it, but the reputation is excellent for not having rust spots and poor joinery.
Rogue’s high-gauge steel lives up to the standards we want and is perfect for the discerning home gym user.
This is a home gym power cage indistinguishable from many commercial gyms. It’s the streamlined version of the monster racks and rigs you’re likely to find at any good CrossFit box – just slimmed down for personal use.
When it comes to normal use, Rogue’s basics stack up well.
Multiple Training Options
The Rogue RML-490 doesn’t offer anything crazy. It’s not a multifunction mega-gym in one item. Instead, it’s a great fundamental power cage that has great fixtures and strong pin pipes.
With both internal and external pins, the monster lite also makes great use of space and can be used with a range of other equipment.
For weightlifters, you can walk off the external pins onto a platform for jerks, push presses, and snatch balances.
Powerlifters can (and should) pin squat and pin press inside the rack. The pin pipes are great for this, though beware that the finish will not be kind to the barbell.
Metal on metal contact always needs to be handled with care – and you can always throw a towel over the pins to keep your bar safe.
You can practice your pull-ups on the standard width top brace, which, while completely smooth, is good for pull-ups. It’s not competing with racks that offer knurled or rubberized handles, but you can get the work done.
The Rogue RML-490 Rack‘s combination of bracing and footprint offer great stability as standard.
As a result, there’s not much chance of bowling this product over unless you’re dumping heavy squats onto the safety arms outside of the cage.
The anchor kit for this product is sold separately for $20 but offers far more stability. If you can bolt it into the ground, you should. This adds a new dimension of stability – especially sideways – and is great peace of mind against dumping the bar or any other mishaps.
If you’re a handy type, you could also bracket-brace the uprights to a wall since the feet are relatively small.
The band pegs and pin pipes alone are great. These expand out the options for training, as mentioned above.
Band pegs especially are a simple addition that are great for almost anyone, helping overload the top of movements (with the right band setup).
Why You Shouldn’t Buy the Rogue RML-490 Power Rack
Poor Quality J-Cups
Rogue cannot seem to get the j-hooks or ‘j-cups’ right. The extra space on the hooks makes for a far less sturdy, secure experience.
Not only do the j-hooks allow for sliding around during the setup – as annoying for some as the space is useful for others – but they feel unstable.
The hooks are not bad; they’re just not up to the standard of the rest of the product.
Good squat stands use rollers, while simply having a barbell-sized, rubberized cup solves the whole problem. Nevertheless, Rogue’s products are better than their j-hooks, and this is a minor letdown.
The Rogue RML-490 Rack is good, but it inevitably comes in at a higher price than some of the solid lesser-known competitors on the market.
Despite the long-standing reputation as a middle-weight supplier, Rogue’s prices are definitely starting to include the name-brand premium.
The RML-490 is roughly $1,100. That also includes $20 for the anchor kit and $225 for spotter arms if you want them.
This is a lot of money for a market that is increasingly offering great products for three digits, rather than 4.
Smooth Pull-up Bars
There’s a positive here – Rogue offers a skinny and normal pull-up bar on their rack.
The downside is that these are both completely smooth, lack any knurling or rubberized outer, and they are straight bars with no angling.
These are nit-picking complaints, but all 3 of these are drawbacks that other products on the market solve. So it wouldn’t even be difficult to address these, and it would make pull-ups easier and less of a grip issue so you could just get a big, strong back.
Rogue RML-490 Power Rack Options & Accessories
There are no great accessories with this product. The safety arms are worse than pin-pipe safeties for their utility.
The anchor kit is great, but we are hesitant to call that an “accessory” – it’s a basic piece of equipment being sold as an extra.
The strap safety system might be a nice addition but – once again – doesn’t feel necessary for most people. The pin safeties are strong and effective, and straps aren’t a problem unless you’re really overloading.
The optional extras included in the Rogue Monster Lite accessory kit apply here. In our article on the Best Power Racks with Lat Pulldown, we recommended adding the Monster Lite Slinger.
These offer an enormous range and versatility, from the Monolift attachment to lever arms for plate-loading. These are absolutely insane in their scope and versatility but are expensive and far from standard.
For more ideas, check out our guide to the best power rack attachments and accessories.
Rogue RML-490 Power Rack Specifications
|Made In USA||Yes|
|Foot Print||53″ x 53″|
|Steel Notes||3×3″ 11-gauge steel.|
Westside hole spacing through bench/squat area, 2″ elsewhere.
|Other Product Specs||1 x Pair of Monster Lite J-Cups|
1 x Set of Pin/Pipe Safeties
4 x Band Pegs
1 x 43” Fat/Skinny Pull-Up Bar
1 x 43” Single Skinny Pull-Up Bar
Rogue Monster Lite Racks FAQ
What is the Rogue Monster Lite Rack range?
The Rogue Monster Lite Power Racks are a hybrid of their R Series Racks and Monster Series.
Basically, the Monster Lite Racks include 3×3″ 11-gauge steel uprights with 5/8″ hardware and Westside hole spacing.
The Monster Lite range is super popular in the home gym community due to their versatility. Rogue offer dozens of compatible add-ons and attachments, such as the Monolift or Landmine attachments.
The Monster Lite series is also super customizable, with a wide range of configurations to choose from. The range includes stand-alone units of varying depth and height, fold back wall-mount racks, and different color options.
Is Rogue Fitness Worth the Money?
When choosing quality fitness equipment, you will never get it wrong if you opt for Rogue Fitness.
Our motto at Home Gym Boss is “Buy Once, Cry Once”. Rogue are certainly not the cheapest, but anything Rogue produces is top of the line and will last you a long time.
Rogue Fitness prides itself to be a local, Columbus, Ohio, run business. They always look to source locally, and quality is their #1 priority.
If you decide to choose any Rogue rack (or any other piece of fitness equipment they make), be sure you have made the right choice; there’s no mistake about it.
What is the Difference Between Half-Rack and Power Racks?
A power rack, also known as a full rack, has two pairs of vertical bars, with two safety catches between each pair. Safety catches are secured to the vertical bars on both sides. The two pairs of vertical bars are connected at the base but also at the top with two horizontal bars. One of the horizontal bars is usually a pull-up bar, which is very convenient.
A half rack, also known as a squat rack, on the other hand, has only one pair of vertical bars, with some models having safety catches connected to each bar only on one side. The two vertical bars are connected at the top with a single horizontal bar, which usually serves as a pull-up bar.
If you are deciding between a half or a full-rack, make sure to check out our Half Rack Vs. Full Rack article.
Other Rack Reviews & Guides
- Rogue RML-3W Fold Back Wall Mount Rack Review
- Rogue RML-90 Slim Rack Review
- Rogue SML-2 Squat Stand Review
- Best Wall-Mounted Folding Squat Racks
- Best Half Racks
- Best Budget Power Racks
- Best Squat Stands
- Best Power Rack Accessories
- Best Power Racks with Lat Pulldown
The Rogue RML-490 Rack is a great commercial-level rack for the long-term, heavy-investment home gym. While it does lack some optimal features in the j-hook and the pull-up bar, it covers the most important functions of a power cage very well.
The durability, reliability, and sturdiness of this rack are great. Unfortunately, it’s a little pricey compared to some other options. Still, it definitely provides peace of mind and great customer service to back it up.
This is a great commercial-level rack for the long-term, that will take pride of place in any home gym.