Jake Purdy

What is an ATR unit and how did it come into conception?


ATR stands for Auxiliary Training Rack which was an idea that was born after speaking to hundreds of coaches about how to more efficiently use their floor space.  The theme that always came up was – “How do we make the most of our space”.  Originally we called these space saving set-ups “Fire-Out” stations as they were mainly used with bands for assisted and resisted sprint work and a whole host of other band exercises.  But when not doing bands, these would serve as lifting stations. 

After spending time in facilities, the one thing that was obvious everyone had cable machines, the problem was that they only used certain cables on certain days. Sometimes going a few workouts that didn’t use any cables, we did the math and cables typically represent about 1 out of 10 exercises. The other 90% of the time that floor space served no purpose so by integrating machines into lifting stations coaches can get the best of both worlds out of their facility. 

Image below is our old school “Fire-Out” set ups that were attached to a wall, shown below at Athens High School is two Fire-Out units connected with a fat grip chin up with Bar cups. 

Modular System

Many people ask what is the difference between an ATR unit and a rack as they use the same parts, the answer lies in how those parts are configured. ATR units often are backed up against a wall, our early ATR units were mounted to the wall. Our goal is to use as few unique parts as possible to create a Erector-Set like modular system that can take the shape of whatever it needs to depending on the space and the functionality needed for that particular sports performance center at this point in time as athletic programs are always evolving. 

In the same way racks are modular allowing us to take a half rack add a few parts to it and turn it into a full rack ATR units are too. If you are on a tight budget you can purchase only part of your dream ATR unit and continue to add to it by purchasing parts and adding them on. 

Integrating machines

We realized that ATR units were the answer to many facilities problems. It made the same floor space programmable the entire work-out as ATR units incorporate machines into a lifting station or just one useable post for attachments.   One exercise with the cable, then set-it for Dips, Landmines or bodyweight work.  When teams get a big turn-out in the weight room ATR units can be turned into a extra lifting station. All this using only 36” inches from the wall saving space compared to traditional Functional Trainers, stand alone Lat Pulldowns, etc. 


Every weight room needs storage for dumbbells, kettlebells, balls, ropes, foam rollers and other items so why not make that storage space functional by adding Lat pull down machines, belt squats or cable columns. With ATR units you can use the same space a dumbbell rack would fit in and instead put an ATR functional trainer at 72” with trays between the two ATR machines making a dumbbell rack that can now be used for auxiliary cable exercises. 


All the attachments on our racks can be used on ATR units as they use 1” holes. This allows athletes to be able to train auxiliary lifts such as dips, neck movements and landmine work on an ATR while their partner finishes up their compound lift on the rack or add bar cups to the ATR to create an extra lifting station. 

what width atr is right for your facility?

ATR units can be connected with 20″, 30″, 43″ and 72″ crossmembers, if you want to lift off the unit you will need to get a 43″ connector which would make the outsides of the posts 49″ apart as the posts are 3″ wide. 

If you want to create a functional trainer you should connect the ATR cable column sides at 72″ as connecting it at 43″ or shorter will limit functionality of using both cables together. 

The unit below on the left in black powder coat is two ATR cable columns connected with a 43″ crossmember in the front and 43″ flat trays in the back. 

The unit below to the right in red powder coat is two ATR Lat pull down low row units connected with a 72″ crossmember with a multi grip chin up bar added to it. 


ATR units are the missing tool you need to get the most out of every square foot of your facility, have those extra lifting stations you need to get big groups through your facility.  Store those rollers and house those cable units. The possibilities are almost endless, reach out to get started on designing your custom unit our solution specialists will work with you and provide you with a rendering. 

If you would like a rendering of the custom ATR unit you have dreamed up you can reach out to us for a rendering of the unit that will allow you to view the unit before purchasing and will also help to visualize the unit for aesthetic and space purposes. If you need help creating a custom ATR unit reach out to us our sales reps would be more than happy to help you.

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