Last updated on March 10th, 2021 at 03:50 pm
If you’ve done any research at all into buying gear for your home gym, you’ve almost certainly come across Titan Fitness. You’ve also probably come across a variety of strongly held opinions about them. Very few other companies in the fitness industry are as polarizing as Titan is.
Some people hate them. Others love them. And that can leave you wondering if the gear they make is any good or should be avoided. The answer, as in all things in life, starts with “it depends”.
Titan Fitness is a budget-minded fitness brand with a broad array of products. Their impressively large assortment of gear is mostly made in China. The quality of that gear varies wildly from piece to piece. Some of it represents an amazing value. Other items are better sourced elsewhere.
Luckily for you, I own more Titan gear than I sometimes want to admit. Some of it I use to this day and love. Other stuff I couldn’t stand and had to sell. And there are an awful lot of their products that live between those two extremes.
To help you navigate the sometimes murky waters of Titan Fitness gear, here is a complete walkthrough of the company along with my recommendations of some of it’s better products.
Who is titan fitness?
Titan Fitness is a division of Titan Distributors. Titan Distributors owns and operates 4 different companies. Titan Attachments, aka Titan Palletforks, primarily makes forklift and tractor attachments. Titan Ramps make vehicle and wheelchair ramps. Titan Great Outdoors makes outdoor firepit, cooking, and hunting accessories. And, of course, there is Titan Fitness, maker of home and garage gym gear.
What do all of these companies have in common? Big, heavy, steel products. After looking at all 4, it’s clear that they have relationships with one or more steel manufacturing plants in China. Anything that can be made of steel that fits in one of these four categories they can make/import.
The primary company name, Titan Distributors, clues you in that they are simply middlemen. They contract for bulk orders of goods, advertise them on their websites, and ship them to their customers.
They are not set up for much of anything else. When you understand the structure of their company, you start to see why they do some of the things they do. You get why they have the weaknesses that they have.
Are Titan Fitness Products any good?
That, my friends, is a loaded question. There are some people out there (Alan Thrall on YouTube comes to mind as an example) who would tell you that Titan Fitness makes nothing but garbage equipment.
There are others that have a very different view. Coop over at Garage Gym Reviews on YouTube has done some glowing reviews of Titan gear. See his rebuttal of Alan’s views here.
In my opinion, the answer to this question comes down to two things. What are you expecting and what are you using the gear for.
I’ll use one of their more popular products as an example. The Titan X3 power rack (which I own, love, and recommend – check it out by clicking here) is one of a good-sized assortment of power racks made by Titan Fitness.
If you are buying this for a commercial gym whose members are beasts lifting 1000’s of lbs every day, you are going to be disappointed. If you are buying this to look pretty so you can show off high-end powder coating and pristine welds, you aren’t going to be happy. In these cases, you will say that the X3 power rack is not all that great.
If you are an average person building a home gym and lifting normal human amounts of weight, this rack works fantastically well. If you and several family members will use it daily, you’ll all be happy.
Most importantly, if you want your hard-earned dollars to go towards function and you are happy to sacrifice a little form to save some coin, Titan is a great choice in most cases! I’m perfectly comfortable with a lower-tier level of powder coating and welds that are strong, but not pretty.
With that example under our belt, let’s take a look at who should and shouldn’t buy gear from Titan Fitness. We’ll then dive into some of their better products as well as some cautions based on quite a few personal buying experiences.
Who should buy Titan Fitness equipment?
I’ll try to make this simple. If you are equipping a home or garage gym and you don’t have an unlimited budget, you should at least consider buying some of your gear from Titan.
I’m not, by any means, saying to buy everything from them. That would be a mistake. There are several categories of products that are better bought elsewhere. But there are several categories where Titan will, honestly, be your best choice.
If you are the type of person who just needs things that work and doesn’t like spending money on shiny, top-end options, you are a Titan customer. A good analogy here is looking at the type of car you buy.
At one point in my life, I bought expensive cars. High-end sports cars. Fully loaded 4×4 trucks. At the time, I loved them. I still kind of do. But now I drive a little hybrid hatchback that gets 49 miles to the gallon. It’s not going to turn any heads, but it gets the job done remarkably well.
Both types of cars get me to work reliably. Sure, one is shinier and more impressive. But my little hybrid is at 169,000 miles and going strong. It’s paid for and I only have to fill up once a week. It’s saved me a ton of money and I still get to work on time every day.
That little hatchback is my Titan Fitness of cars. It ain’t the prettiest, but it works great and I love it. Just like I love my Titan X3 rack.
Who should not buy Titan Fitness equipment?
So, who shouldn’t buy Titan equipment? I think a lot of the people that end up complaining about Titan gear should not have been Titan customers in the first place.
They could have saved themselves some disappointment by being realistic with themselves in the first place.
Titan is not meant to equip a commercial gym. This isn’t their target market. This isn’t who they make gear for.
It kind of irks me when I see people online bagging on Titan because the gear didn’t work for their CrossFit box or commercial powerlifting gym. It’s not supposed to!!!!
It’s not for people looking for the best of the best. Sorinex and Elite FTS offer remarkable top of the line options. If money isn’t a concern for you and you must have the absolute best in your home gym, you probably won’t ever want to buy a Titan product.
It’s not for perfectionists. Their shipping is terrible. Their packaging is sub-par. Your gear is going to arrive with blemishes, scratches, and possibly missing parts.
There will be things that don’t fit or line up exactly. It’s part of the deal with Titan. It’s a big part of how they hit the price points they do.
None of those things will affect how your gear works, but it simply won’t be perfect. See the following images for examples from my own collection of Titan gear.
Other budget options besides Titan Fitness
I think another source of unreasonable complaints is that people tend to compare Titan against companies like Rogue or Elite FTS. And that’s just not a fair comparison.
It’s like comparing a KIA to a BMW. You are better off comparing that KIA to a Hyundai. It’s a much fairer comparison!
So who are the other budget options out there that Titan competes with? Amazon is the biggest, but I’d also include Walmart and Dick’s Sporting goods as well.
Having owned a few of the options from all three of those places, I can tell you with 100% certainty Titan is the better option in most cases. Barbells from Dick’s are just about worthless. Most of the inexpensive racks on Amazon are a waste of money.
Again, I don’t think you should buy everything from Titan. Sometimes Amazon will be the better option. Sometimes companies like Rep Fitness or Fringe Sport will be superior choices. To see all of my personal recommendations, check out my recommended gear page here.
Titan’s Best Products
While Titan offers a huge selection of gear, they make a few things that stand above the rest. Here are, in my opinion, the 5 best products that Titan makes.
Titan X3 Flat Foot Power Rack
Made from 3” x 3” steel beams and resting on a flat foot base (because let’s face it, most of you will never bolt your rack to the floor like it’s supposed to be), the Titan X3 provides all the stability and safety you want from a rack at a very reasonable price.
In fact, it’s a fraction of the cost of comparable 3” x 3” racks by other manufacturers. It won’t be the prettiest rack you can buy, but it will effectively do a great job. And it will leave you plenty of money for the other gear you’ll need for your home or garage gym (see my article on the essential gear all home gyms need here).
I own the X3 and would buy it again if starting from scratch. It’s one of only two racks I recommend to home gym owners looking for the perfect rack at a reasonable price (see the other one on my recommended racks page here).
Titan Safety Squat Bar V2
While the X3 rack is my favorite Titan product, the V2 Safety Squat bar is probably their best.
There are a few things you want in a safety squat bar and the Titan option has them all in spades.
- You want the right angles between the sleeves and the handles (check!).
- You want a pad that is all one piece and not 3 separate pads (check!).
- You want padding that is comfortable yet firm (check!).
- You want quality plating and sleeves with plenty of room for your weights (check and check!).
I would say that Titan’s Safety Squat Bar is on par with the offering from Elite FTS and that’s saying something! I’ve used both and I can’t see a single reason not to go with the Titan. And the price difference is astonishing!
Titan EZ Load Hex Bar V2
I use this bar weekly and love it. One of the biggest drawbacks of a traditional hex bar is that they are a total pain to load. Not so with this option.
Add to that the choice of three handle diameters and you have, in my opinion, the perfect hex bar. From hex bar deadlifts to heavy farmer’s carries, this is one of the most used bars in my garage gym.
I just can’t believe what some other companies want to charge for plate storage. Rogue, in particular, must have been out of their minds when they priced their storage options.
For me, the vertical wall mounted plate storage I got from Titan is a steal. It works great, the powder coating is very good, and it was very reasonably priced. This one is a no brainer in my opinion.
Whether it’s plyo boxes, slam balls, battle ropes, or any other number of accessories, Titan is a great place to look. I have a number of Titan accessories and they are all high quality and perfectly priced.
Their accessories are scattered across their site, so I don’t have a specific link for you. But keep them in mind if you are looking for any odds and ends like that.
Titan’s worst products
While there are some definite winners in the Titan Fitness stable, there are certainly some losers as well. Here is a quick guide (all based on personal experience) to what I would stay away from if buying from Titan.
I’ve also included a couple of overall cautions as well. There are some standard pitfalls with Titan that you have to be aware of and willing to deal with.
My first set of bumpers was the Titan Fitness competition bumpers. They were so pretty! And they were cheap, too! And holy crap did they stink!!!
That smell never went away. It filled my garage. It rubbed off on my hands. It gave me a headache every time I trained. It made me sell those bumpers at a loss and be happy that I did.
I’ve tried other Titan bumpers and rubber products too and honestly I’d stay away from all of them. The low quality recycled rubber they are made from just isn’t what you want in your basement or garage.
I’ve since gone to the Fringe Sport virgin rubber bumper plates and am absolutely thrilled with them! I highly recommend them and they come in a bunch of different options that you can see here.
Cheap coating, pitted steel, and sharp bits poking out on the handles all left me more than disappointed in the Titan kettlebells. And they weren’t actually that much of a cost savings over better options.
If you are looking for great kettlebells at a reasonable price, check out the bells over at Rep Fitness. Great finish, awesome design, solid pricing.
When my buddy called and said he ordered the Titan incline bench, I couldn’t wait to try it out. It looked to be a great deal on a very nice bench. It certainly didn’t turn out that way.
It wasn’t stable or well made. The material was cheap and the padding wasn’t comfortable. My friend used it for a while and then replaced it.
In fairness to Titan, they have since revised that bench and come out with a V2 and I don’t have a review of that for you since I haven’t tried it. V1 was certainly a stinker, though!
For my money, no one makes a better adjustable bench option than Rep Fitness. The AB-3000 is the only bench I recommend to anyone that asks and you can see one by clicking here. *Article update – I’ve upgraded to the Rep AB-5200 and LOVE it! If you need a bench that declines, go with the AB-3000, if you only need flat and incline, the 5200 is clearly the way to go. Check out the AB-5200 here on the Rep website.
Anything that’s a “V1”
Speaking of that V1 bench, Titan has a reputation for rushing products to market and correcting their mistakes based on poor customer experiences. Personally, I’d recommend staying away from anything newly released and wait for the V2 version.
You’ll see this V2 moniker on several Titan products. That’s usually a good indicator that V1 wasn’t the best.
Shipping & Packaging
While not a product, it deserves mention that anything you get from Titan will not be packaged well. The boxes will be torn and ripped and shipping damage is a real thing with them.
The damage is almost always cosmetic, but it does happen more often than it doesn’t. If you go into a Titan purchase expecting this, it’s a much better experience.
One thing to note here is that you are ordering big hunks of steel. They really can’t be “damaged” in shipping. Scratched or scuffed? Yes. But not “damaged” to where they won’t do what you bought them to do. See the image of my rack upright above for an example.
Having things in stock
And now, in my opinion, the thing Titan is the absolute worst at. Keeping things in stock. They don’t. I waited two months for my rack to be in stock. I waited more than two months for my safety squat bar.
It seems like every time I want to order something from them, they are out of stock. At the time I’m writing this article, they are out of literally every version of the X3 rack.
That cloud has a silver lining, though. It’s how I became a Rep Fitness customer. Rep is an amazing company out of Colorado that also sells lower-priced, yet high-quality home gym gear. Their customer service is absolutely amazing and the gear I’ve bought from them has been fantastic.
In fact, if you don’t want to wait on that X3 power rack, check out this alternative from Rep, it’s a perfect alternative.
So is Titan Fitness legit? It sure is.
Does Titan Fitness make good equipment? I think they do.
Should you buy things from Titan Fitness? In a lot of cases, yes.
I understand that there are a lot of strongly held opinions out there about Titan that are both good and bad. I’m a Titan customer and I will continue to be one going forward. But I’m also a happy customer of quite a few other companies.
I’m not a fanboy of any one manufacturer. Each of them has their strengths and weaknesses. The important thing is to understand each of those, do your research, and buy accordingly.
If you want to see what my countless hours or research has led me to (along with thousands of dollars spent on both good AND bad gear), check out my recommended gear page here.