We have started adding the ATX line of Power Racks and Cages to our range. They are relatively unknown in Australia, but a rapidly growing brand in Europe. So I thought I would give you a bit of background on how they came about.
Certain American brands have grown in popularity with the explosion of the CrossFit movement, plus a resurgence in powerlifting and strength training in general. Iron Edge was an Australian company producing similar gear but have seemed to closed down recently.
One of the reasons the US brands have been so popular in the USA is because they were good quality at a great price. They manufactured and sold direct, eliminating the supply chain, but to the rest of the world their equipment is expensive. This is because it must move through the hands of an importer. When the owner of IFS (ATX, Megatec, Barbarian Line) saw the price of the racks, he knew he could make a better product for the same price or less. So the German design and production philosophy was applied to a range of gym racks catering for those after quality.
Everything is manufactured using 80mm x 80mm tube steel with a 3mm wall thickness. Most of the competition use 75mm x 75mm, with the bases made from 75mm x 50mm. It is not until you see the ATX racks in the gym that you get an appreciation of just how chunky they look. It is not all about the looks though, that extra steel makes them so much more solid.
On the racks that don’t need bolting down, they have crazy 8mm thick steel backing plates. Combined with the 1/2″ thick high tensile steel bolts, they make the racks so solid. Just like they had been welded. We don’t have a power rack on display in our showroom, but we do have the ATX Squat Rack set up. The rationale being that this should be the runt of the litter – the weakest link. When you have a look at it, you will see that there is nothing weak about it. Unlike the other “Assault” style racks this doesn’t have any play. It is pretty amazing considering the design, and testament to the superior German design and engineering.
The racks come standard with the biggest, baddest J-Hooks around. They weigh 3.5kgs and have a unique protective that sleeve that not only protects your barbell but also reduces noise. All the racks come with spotters. So you don’t have to fork out extra, it comes with all the gear to get you up and running.
At the moment some of the line is made in Germany, the rest made in China. Once again this is where the German production philosophy comes into play. China can make some cheap garbage. But they can also make iPhone’s. If they can make an iPhone, they can make a high quality power rack. It is the management of the production process that is critical.
The jigs are all made in Germany, then shipped to China. This is the critical part. If the jig is dead on, the rest is easy. They put the steel in, and a robot does the rest. This way you get the best of both worlds – quality German engineering, combined with cheaper labour costs.
Now I know this range is not for everyone, especially if you are just starting out. But if you want something special in your gym or box to make a statement, and are already looking at high end imported gear, then the ATX racks and rigs will be well worth a look.
If there is something in their range that you are interested in, and we don’t currently stock, just let us know and we can bring it in for you.