Gym Design Inspiration: How to Build a Clear Coat Gym

A clear coat bench

An all red-hot gym. A sleek blue workout space. A totally murdered-out black gym with shiny chrome accents. It’s easy to see the appeal of color-coordinating your home or commercial gym space to level up the aesthetics.  

But what about no color at all?

There’s something satisfying, raw, and unique about clear-coat gym equipment.  

Now, if you’ve never seen a clear coat finish in person, you may wonder why it’s an option – and even more, why it’s a little more expensive.   

Here’s the full scoop on clear coat: why so many lifters love it, how to incorporate it into your gym space, and some other design deets that we think beautifully complement an uncolored gym.  

Benefits of Clear Coat  

A clear coat finish is not stronger than any other powder coat finish. It's applied to the same steel, and it provides the same type of protection as powder coating.   

Note: All colors of powder coat are abrasion resistant and tougher than just paint. Powder coat is thicker, more durable, and offers a more premium finish than paint.  

So just think of clear coat as transparent powder coat.   

Oh, But Look At It 

Up close of clear coat

The true allure of clear coat lies in its aesthetics. Its "cool factor." Lifters who have seen clear coat up close understand its immediate appeal. 

Every piece of clear-coated steel is unique, because they’re all 100 percent hand ground. This unique appearance cannot be replicated by a machine. 

During the manufacturing process when sheet and tube steel is made, it’s covered with a dark coating. To achieve a clear-coat finish, workers meticulously remove this coating by hand to reveal the shiny steel beneath. As they grind, various patterns emerge in the steel. A clear coating is then applied on top, allowing these handcrafted patterns to shine through. This results in a bespoke appearance that many lifters love. 

Up close with clear coat

However, due to the labor-intensive nature of crafting each piece by hand, along with the inherent uniqueness of each item, clear coat comes at a premium. While it doesn’t enhance performance, clear coat is a deluxe option that adds a touch of sophistication to any home or commercial gym. It not only elevates the aesthetics but also enhances the equipment's durability. 

What is Offered With a Clear Coat?   

REP offers a variety of gym staples with a clear coat finish. Here’s your selection:  

Power Rack 

The center of any gym is a versatile and durable power rack, and REP offers three different options with clear-coat finishes:  

PR-4000  

PR-4000 upright with clear coat

The PR-4000 is a power rack that is tough enough for whatever you throw at it and versatile enough to grow with you. The rack is tough, made with 3x3” 11-gauge steel with a 1,000lbs rackable capacity. It has 1” hole spacing through the bench with 5/8” pinholes. Laser-cut numbers every fifth hole makes it easy to line up attachments and set up for your lifts.  

PR-5000 

PR-5000 in clear coat

The PR-5000 is a heavy-duty, highly customizable power rack that you’ll never need to upgrade. The rack is tough, made with 3x3” 11-gauge steel with a 1,000lbs rackable capacity. It has 2” hole spacing throughout with 1” pinholes. Laser-cut numbers on every hole makes it easy to line up attachments and set up for your lifts. The PR-5000 is REP’s most configurable system, with a robust attachment ecosystem.  

Wall-Mount Fixed Rack  

Wall-Mount Fixed Rack in clear coat

The Wall-Mount Fixed Rack is a wall-mount power rack that creates a functional workout space at home. The rack is made with 3x3” 11-gauge steel with a 1,000lbs rackable capacity. It has 2” hole spacing throughout with 1” pinholes (5000) and 1” hole spacing through the bench zone with 5/8” pinholes (4000). Laser-cut numbering every hole (5000) and every fifth hole (4000), that makes it easy to arrange attachments.  

Cable Attachment 

Ares  

The Ares in clear coat

The Ares™ Cable Attachment is a fully integrated, functional trainer and lat pulldown/low row attachment that affixes to your existing PR-4000 or PR-5000 power rack. This saves major space, by bringing a ton more versatility and cable exercises inside the rack, while preserving nearly all the original functionality.  

The Ares™ features dual weight stacks of 260lbs each (with an option to  upgrade to 310lbs per stack) that you can use for unilateral exercises. Or connect both stacks together for bilateral movements that demand heavier weight, like lat pulldowns. The patent-pending Ares™ features trolleys that are designed with a smooth plastic liner that’s easy to adjust up and down with one hand.  

Bench 

FB-5000 

FB-5000 in clear coat

If you want a flat, competition-style bench in clear coat, pick the FB-5000. This bench was designed to meet the International Powerlifting Federation’s height standards, so lifters can properly prepare for a meet. With a stable tripod foot design, the bench’s legs are out of the way of the lifter’s foot placement, allowing for optimal leg drive. The high-density, 4” thick pad is made from heavy-duty, non-slip vinyl to hold you in place, and it can be swapped out for our wider pad (14”), if preferred.   

BlackWing   

The BlackWing in clear coat

REP offers two adjustable benches to pick between for a clear coat finish.

The BlackWing™, a flat-incline-decline bench, is the combo of the best features from our top benches. This heavy-duty bench includes our redesigned, patented ZeroGap™ technology that is easier than ever to use. Slide the seat forward and backward to eliminate the gap between the seat and back pad in all positions. A closed ladder system along the back pad allows for 12 easy and secure angle adjustments, ranging from -8 to 85 degrees.  

This bench is also compatible with the Leg Roller Attachment, so you can secure your legs for additional exercises. The adjustable seat pad, with six angles, uses a new, patent-pending design that combines the ease of a ladder design with the security of a pop-pin when moving the seat up. Pick between standard-width pads or 14” wide pads for more shoulder support. Both pads are made from our new, extra grippy, dense CleanGrip material. 

AB-5200 2.0 

AB-5200 2.0 with a clear coat

REP’s toughest, most customizable bench is now even more customizable, including the option to make it decline and mix different colors on the same bench. Select “fixed post” and the AB-5200 2.0 works as a flat-incline bench with 10 different back pad angles and four seat pad angles. Or select “adjustable post” and easily transform the AB-5200 2.0 into a flat-incline-decline bench, with three additional decline angles.  

Further personalize the bench by selecting a frame color, with the ability to choose a different accent color on the guide rails. Clear coat with metallic black accents, anyone? Or maybe clear coat with a pop of white? Pick your poison.  

Having Trouble Picking?  

Here are some guides to help you compare the BlackWing and AB-5200 2.0. 

What Goes With a Clear Coat Finish?

Because clear coat is colorless, it matches everything. But if you like the natural look of the steel, here are some more pieces of equipment up your alley: 

A Raw Pull-Up Bar

Raw pull-up bar

REP's Bare 1.25" Pull-Up Bar features bare steel that provides a more secure grip and the best feel over any coated finish due to the pitted texture. Bare steel requires less chalk than most powder-coated finishes, and less chalk means fewer torn calluses. The bare finish also provides a premium aesthetic for your home gym. 

A Stainless-Steel Barbell

 Stainless steel

If you like a clear-coat finish, you'll love a stainless-steel barbell. Stainless-steel bars are uncoated, but straight out of the box, they won’t rust. Stainless steel has the highest corrosion resistance of any material/finish. And because it’s untreated/uncoated, it doesn’t blunt the knurling at all. Plus, it looks stunning. It looks quite different than bright chrome or a clear silver coating.  

Stainless steel is perfect for premium power bars, like the Black Diamond and Double Black Diamond, where you want to have a good connection to the knurling. There’s also a stainless-steel variant of the Alpine Bar 

Black Diamond Power Bar in stainless steel

If you are new to lifting and like that bare look and feel, check out the Mesa Technique Bar, a training bar for lifters that comes with a bare aluminum shaft and steel sleeves coated with durable Duracoat.

Read more about barbell finishes here.

Specialty: Rackable Curl Bar

Rackable Curl Bar in stainless steel

REP’s Rackable Curl Bar (also known as an EZ curl bar) comes in a stainless-steel option -- with no coating. It features a longer shaft of 74” (6’2”), or 51” (4’3”) between sleeves. This makes it rackable in standard-width power racks. That means it’s easier to load the bar with plates, and it is more comfortable to get into position for lifts. The Rackable Curl Bar also has a bend in the shaft of the curl bar, allowing for a semi-supinated grip to limit the stress on the wrists and elbows, reducing common injury risk. 

REP's regular Curl Bar also comes in stainless steel.