Jake Purdy

What is the difference between an ATR and Alpha Rack?

ATR systems allow you to have a cable machine that you can add attachments as they are made with our modular rack parts. ATR systems are designed to be cable machines first that you can also lift from. That is why they do not come with bar cups & plate storage but they can be added if you want them. 


On a Rack, your main focus is lifting but you can also add Cable Attachments to the racks for auxiliary exercises. If the only place you have cables is inside racks it can create workflow issues when you have a large group training. The larger groups will all be trying to use the racks and the cables that is why we often install ATR units and racks in facilities.  Our racks ability to add machine attachments without increasing the footprint of the rack saves space and cost as the frame of the rack is also the frame of the cable machine attachment.  

ATR Units often tie multiple ATR sides together creating a long unit that goes against a wall or can be used to create a “wall” to break up a large open space. Pre-Configured ATR #4 is a good example of this. 

ATR Unit

Pictured above is a custom ATR Unit. It has two ATR Cable Columns connected in the front with a 43″ crossmember and in the back with two 43″ DB Trays and one 43″ Flat Tray. 

  • This unit also has bar cups, 1 flat Tray, 2 DB Trays and a Multi-Grip Chin Up Bar added to it. 
  • ATR Units have ticked uprights as opposed to Numbered uprights that come with all Alpha Rack variations. 
  • 43″ Functional Trainer Parts list: 4 Ticked Uprights, 4 30″ Crossmembers, 1 43″ Crossmember, weight stack, guide rods, cable, low pulley, cable column trolley and Pulley Housing. The Customer added Bar Cups, 1 43″ Crossmember for the back, 1 43″ Flat tray and 2 43″ DB Trays. 

Pictured above is an MG Alpha Half Rack that also has two 250 LBS Cable Column Attachments, two flat trays and Front Feet added. The MG Rack comes with 2 Numbered Uprights for the front, 2 ticked uprights for the back, 4 30″ Crossembers, 1 Hanging Bar Storage, 4 Weight Pegs, 2 Change Plate storages, 1 pair of Bar Cups and Spotter Arms. 

Parts list Alpha MG Half Rack: 2 Numbered Uprights, 2 Ticked Uprights, 4 30″ Crossmembers, 1 43″ Crossmember, 1 Logo Beam Connector, 1 Multi Grip Chin Up, 1 Pair of Bar Cups, 2 Spotter Arms, 1 Hanging Bar Storage, 4 weight pegs, and two Change Plates. The customer also added two Cable Column Attachments, two Flat Trays, and a Half Rack Band Attachment. 

Click here for the Alpha Rack Page

Difference between ATR 43" Functional trainer and alpha half rack with two cable columns

The ATR unit pictured first in Clear Coat, Custom Baby Blue and White is an example of a 43″ Functional Trainer, it is comprised out of the same basic parts as the Alpha Half rack but there are some slight differences. 

The Alpha Half Rack MG Package comes with everything you need to lift off of, Bar cups, spotter arms, bar storage, weight storage, and a Stray Dog Logo Crossmember. The Alpha Rack also has numbered uprights on the front two uprights. 

The ATR Functional Trainer comes with ticked posts instead of numbered posts and does not have the bar cups, spotter arms, Logo Crossmember, and storage pieces. All of those can be added on but do not come standard. 

ATR units can be turned into “Racks” by adding bar cups and or spotter arms as ATR units are comprised out of 3×3 uprights with 1″ holes all over just like our racks. 

ATR Unit that looks like a rack

The unit pictured above looks like an Alpha Half rack at first glance but you will notice that it is actually a custom ATR unit. This unit was created by attaching an ATR Belt Squat to an ATR Cable Column, it is connected in the back with a Logo Beam Connector and in the front with a Straight Chin Up bar. They added bar cups, spotter arms, and weight pegs just like a rack.

The only difference between this ATR unit and an Alpha STR Half Rack are the Ticked Uprights instead of Numbered Uprights. 

ATR FUnctional trainer vs alpha half rack with two cable column attachments

Pictured above is an example of a Functional Trainer created by adding two Cable Column Attachments to an Alpha Half Rack in a home gym.  This rack doubles as a Functional Trainer when it is not being used for lifting. 

Pictured below is an example of a 72″ ATR Functional Trainer in a home gym. If you have the space it is best to have a separate Functional Trainer and rack but to save space and money you can combine them together. 


ATR units are unique to Stray Dog Strength, we are the only company that sells machines built using rack parts. This lets our customers create a unit usable for barbell lifting and cable movements. You can connect as many ATR sides to each other as you want to create a long unit or you can connect a single side to a rack or to another single side. 

ATR Units are a great way to maximize space in a facility as they allow you to add attachments or storage units to the unit. 

ATR Units can grow with you as your space and budget increases as they are made out of a modular parts system. 

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