Keiser Rack Review
Everything you need to know about the Keiser Squat Rack.
The Keiser rack is a piece of high-quality exercise equipment produced by the company Keiser. It is a type of squat rack that is designed to be versatile and adjustable, making it suitable for a variety of strength training exercises and especially useful for athletes such as sprinters.
I have used the Keiser Rack in my training as a track & field athlete, and I can confidently say that this rack has been a game changer for my training.
Being able to utilize air resistance, mass-based resistance, and a combination of both air & mass has allowed me to get very precise with the type of loading I need to drive further improvements in speed, strength, power, and rate of force development.
Where Can You Buy The Keiser Rack?
Here are links where you can buy various pieces of Keiser strength training equipment:
- Keiser Half Rack
- Keiser A300 Squat
- Keiser A300 Squat Pro
- Keiser A300 Runner
- Keiser A300 Seated Calf
- Keiser A300 Belt Squat
- Keiser Air Compressors
What Is The Keiser Rack?
The Keiser Rack is a Squat Rack that utilizes both mass and pneumatic resistance. The design consists of a sturdy vertical framework with adjustable hooks or J-cups that can hold a barbell at various heights.
It has the option to add additional features, such as pull-up bars, dip bars, safety bars, and plate storage. Some models of the Keiser rack are designed to be compact and space-saving, while others are larger and more heavy-duty.
Keiser is a well-known brand in the fitness industry, and their equipment is often used in commercial gyms and elite professional training facilities. The Keiser rack is a popular choice for strength training enthusiasts and athletes who want a high-quality, versatile piece of equipment for their home gym or professional training space.
How Does The Keiser Rack Work?
The Keiser Rack is connected to the Keiser Air Compressor, which allows users to increase or decrease air resistance on the fly.
The air resistance is applied via cables that come up from the base of the rack, connecting to an adapter that attaches to the end of the barbell. The cable is attached to pulleys, which allow you to maintain air resistance while moving forward, backward, or staying in the same place.
To adjust the resistance, simply place your foot on the air adjustment levers at the base of the squat rack to increase or decrease the load by one pound at a time. Additionally, plates can be added or removed from the bar to increase or decrease the mass-based loading used in the exercise.
What Data Does The Keiser Rack Show?
The Keiser Rack comes with a display that will give you useful data and instant feedback with every repetition.
With the Keiser Rack, you are able to see Peak Power output in watts, the number of repetitions performed, the percentage of peak power per repetition, as well as the load.
The instant feedback via power output ensures that athletes can see how they are performing each rep, and this can be used as a teaching tool or a motivational tool so that athletes push themselves every repetition.
Having used Keiser equipment, I can say that having this instant feedback has helped me push myself, as well as make it easier to track my performance. Over time I have seen my power output increase in various exercises, and this was easily tracked thanks to the data provided by the Keiser Rack.
How I Use The Keiser Rack In Training Athletes.
The Keiser Rack is a staple of my strength and conditioning training for athletes, as it allows me to target the qualities that I want in a precise manner.
Air & Mass Ratios Using The Keiser Rack
Because it allows you to utilize both mass and air-based resistance, you can dial in the loading to fit the goals of the workout.
For example, you can utilize different ratios of mass and air resistance, such as:
25% Air, 75% Mass
I use ratios such as this when I am looking to develop maximal strength. The smaller amount of air resistance helps to keep loading consistent through the range of motion and minimize issues related to momentum, while still ensuring the athletes are more loaded at the bottom and have to work hard to reverse the load. This works best for deep squats, high box step-ups, RDLs, and split squat variations.
50% Air, 50% Mass
Once I am transitioning from maximal strength into a more power or rate of force development-oriented phase of training, I will bump the ratio up to be closer to 50/50 air & mass. This allows for snappier, higher RFD movements with very rapid reversals, while still giving athletes a feel similar to traditional loading. This loading scheme works best for low box step-ups, heavy quarter squats, and early in the transition toward drop squats.
75% Air, 25% Mass
When it comes time to peak an athlete, such as before sprinting in a track & field competition, I bring the ratio up to predominantly using air resistance. This allows for an extremely rapid early phase rate of force development numbers, very short times to peak velocity, and allows me to emphasize force production in the first 100 to 200 milliseconds of the movement. This loading scheme feels most similar to sprinting and is great for step-ups, drop squats, and other explosive movements.
100% Air, 0% Mass
Sometimes I will use purely pneumatic resistance, whether that be to maximize movement speed, reduce wear and tear on the joints, or for doing high-velocity strength endurance. For example, I will use 100% air on hip thrust variations, bench press, overhead press, and pogo hops throughout the training year.
As you can see, the ability to manipulate air resistance and mass ratios gives you many more options with how you load your athletes. Looking for rapid reversals and high RFD? Go for more air. Looking for raw strength? Emphasize more mass.
Whatever your goals, the versatility of the Keiser Rack puts the power in your hands to precisely load athletes based on their needs.
What Is Keiser's Pneumatic Resistance?
Keiser's pneumatic resistance system is a type of resistance training that uses compressed air to create resistance. This system is used in all of Keiser's strength training machines, including their weight machines, functional trainers, and cardio equipment.
Most Keiser equipment uses pneumatic resistance only, whereas the Keiser Rack allows you to combine both pneumatic and mass-based resistance at the same time.
The pneumatic resistance system works by using compressed air to create resistance as the user performs an exercise. As the user applies force to the machine, the air pressure inside the machine increases, creating greater resistance. This resistance can be adjusted by changing the air pressure within the machine, allowing for precise and customized resistance levels for each user.
What Makes Pneumatic Resistance Different?
The main difference between Keiser's pneumatic resistance and mass-based resistance (such as traditional weight plates or dumbbells) is the physics involved.
Mass-based resistance relies on the force of gravity to create resistance, while pneumatic resistance uses the pressure of compressed air.
In mass-based resistance, the resistance is created by the weight of the object being pulled down by the acceleration of gravity. This is why when lifting normal weights, the weight is much heavier at the bottom than it is at the top.
As you drop in a squat, the mass is accelerated downward and gains momentum, which makes it hard to stop and reverse quickly at the bottom. Once reaccelerated upward, the weight will begin to feel lighter and sometimes even fly off of your back at the top of a squat.
In contrast, Keiser's pneumatic resistance is not reliant on gravity, and its isotonic nature means that no matter how fast you move, the load will be the same. This allows for athletes to attack movements in the gym much more aggressively, and through a full range of motion, because of the fact that the load is not crushing them at the bottom and getting very light at the top.
Pneumatic resistance is also very convenient, in that it can be adjusted one pound at a time, instantaneously, allowing for more precise resistance adjustments and a greater range of resistance levels.
Overall, Keiser's pneumatic resistance system offers a unique and versatile approach to strength training, with several advantages over traditional mass-based resistance training.
It allows for precise and customizable resistance levels and is often preferred by athletes and trainers who want a more dynamic and functional form of resistance training. Pneumatic resistance is optimal for use during aggressive, explosive types of movements that athletes need to perform in order to get better.
What Are The Benefits Of Keiser's Air Resistance?
Keiser's air resistance system offers several benefits when compared to mass-based loading systems. Here are some of the key advantages of Keiser's air resistance system:
Air resistance provides Increased safety.
Air resistance systems like Keiser's are generally safer than mass-based loading systems, particularly when it comes to reducing the risk of injury from dropping weights. This is because the resistance is generated by air pressure, rather than a solid mass that can cause injury if dropped.
Pneumatic resistance is not affected by momentum or inertia.
Inertia and momentum can be an issue with mass-based loading, particularly during exercises that involve explosive movements or changes in direction. Keiser's air resistance system allows for smoother resistance throughout the range of motion, minimizing the potential for injury due to inertia or momentum.
Air resistance can be adjusted more precisely.
With mass-based loading, the resistance can only be adjusted by adding or removing weight plates. In contrast, Keiser's air resistance system allows for precise adjustments to the resistance level, making it easier to target specific muscles and adjust the intensity of a workout. The resistance can be adjusted quickly and easily, without having to stop and adjust the weight plates on the bar.
Pneumatic resistance offers more versatility than mass-based resistance.
Keiser's air resistance system allows for a wide range of exercises, from strength training to cardio, all in one machine. This makes it easier to target multiple muscle groups and incorporate a variety of exercises into a single workout.
Air resistance has a lower impact on joints and tissues.
Air resistance can be easier on joints than mass-based loading, particularly for individuals with joint issues or injuries. The resistance is smoother and more controlled, minimizing the impact on joints during exercises while maximizing muscle activation.
Overall, Keiser's air resistance system offers a number of benefits when compared to mass-based loading, making it a popular choice for athletes, trainers, and fitness enthusiasts alike.
Keiser Rack Variations
Keiser Power Rack
The Power Rack is the largest and most heavy-duty configuration of the Keiser rack. It features a full-height rack of 8 or 9 feet tall, and comes with options such as adjustable J-cups, spotter arms, and plate storage. It can also be configured with additional accessories like pull-up bars, dip bars, and landmine attachments.
Keiser Half Rack
The Half Rack is a more compact version of the Power Rack, featuring a more open design while still retaining the features and options of the Power Rack. The Half Rack is also the more affordable option, costing around one thousand dollars less than the Power Rack.
Both configurations offer unique advantages and can be customized with a variety of accessories to suit different user needs and preferences.
I personally train using the Keiser Half Rack, and find it the be the best option for most gyms. It is easy to fit within your training facility and allows for a wide range of options when it comes to exercise selection. The Keiser Half Rack has become a staple in my program.
Keiser Half Rack Product Details
- Model #: 3105
- Height: 92” / 2337 mm
- Width: 71” / 1804 mm
- Depth: 93” / 2362 mm
- Weight: 713 lbs / 324 kg
- Resistance Range: 0 - 200 lbs / 0 - 91 kg
- Price: Varies, but the Half Rack 3105 sells for $9290.
- Air Compressor Required: Yes
Keiser Rack - Frequently Asked Questions
What exercises can be performed on a Keiser Rack?
The Keiser Rack can be used for a variety of exercises for speed and strength.
These include back squats, front squats, split squats, step-ups, Romanian deadlifts, overhead presses, bench presses, bent-over rows, weighted pull-ups, hip thrusts, Hatfield squats, weighted pogo hops, weighted jumps, and many more.
How does the Keiser Rack compare to other strength training equipment?
Having used normal strength training equipment for many years, the Keiser Rack sits head and shoulders above all other strength training equipment as it relates to training athletes.
Athletes need to develop high rates of force development, power output, strength at specific ranges of motion, and the ability to rapidly decelerate and reaccelerate loads.
Through the use of air resistance and a mixture of air and mass-based resistance, coaches can specifically target physical qualities that are harder to develop through purely mass-based resistance.
Because of this, the Keiser Rack is the ultimate piece of strength training equipment for athletes. If building the absolute best athletes is your goal, then the Keiser Rack needs to be in your gym.
What is the cost of a Keiser Rack?
Depending on the specific setup you go for, the price for the Keiser Rack varies.
I use the Keiser Long Base Half Rack, which retails for $9290. The air compressor costs an additional $1700, which can provide air for multiple machines.
Once you have gotten the Keiser Rack and the Keiser Air Compressor, you can add additional pieces of Keiser equipment to your gym without having to purchase another Air Compressor. Of course, if you have many pieces of Keiser strength training equipment, you may need more air compressors.
Where can I purchase a Keiser Rack?
You can purchase the Keiser Rack from SimpliFaster. I have purchased many different pieces of training technology through SimpliFaster, as they have amazing customer service, fast shipping times, and they will help you out if you need assistance with using any products you purchase from them.
Is the Keiser Rack suitable for home use?
The Keiser Rack is definitely suitable for home use, as long as you have the space needed for it.
It is my goal to save up and buy a Keiser Rack to have in my house, as being able to train from home using the highest quality squat rack on the market would be a dream come true!
What is the weight capacity of the Keiser Rack?
The Keiser Rack is very strong. I have loaded well over 500lb on the rack with zero issues at all.
The specific weight capacity will depend on which variation you choose, but you can be sure that the Keiser Rack is sturdy enough to handle nearly anything you can throw at it.
What are some sample workouts for the Keiser Rack?
Below are some example workouts that I have performed on the Keiser Rack:
- Box Squat - 4x3
- Step Up - 5x3
- Hip Thrust - 3x12
- Overhead Press - 4x8
- Bench Press - 4x12
- Hatfield Squat - 6x3
If you are looking for a squat rack that gives you the ability to load more precisely, target athletic qualities more directly, and enhance the quality of the training you provide, the Keiser Rack is for you.
About The Author
My name is Cody Bidlow. I have been sprinting and coaching in Track & Field for the majority of my life. One of my life purposes is to share what I have learned, so that other people can benefit.
If you enjoy content like this, consider visiting my YouTube channel, Instagram account. If you need help with your sprinting, check out my training programs, online training group, or my coaching consultation services.