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Thread: Home Squat Rack Suggestions

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    Default Home Squat Rack Suggestions

    I've decided that, in September or so, rather than paying for a year at the gym I'm just going to put a squat rack, bar, and a few plates (2 x 45, 2 x 25, 2 x 5, 2 x 10) in the garage.

    Suggestions for durable, sturdy, and affordable? Would like to keep the whole thing under $400 (a year at the gym is about $350).

    No machines. Squat rack -- for squats, deadlifts, romanian deadlifts.

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    Default Re: Home Squat Rack Suggestions

    I have a Yukon rack that I got for a steal. People give up on home gyms just about as fast as they give up on gym memberships, so Craigslist and a truck are your best friends.

    https://greenville.craigslist.org/spo/5001954540.html


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    Default Re: Home Squat Rack Suggestions

    I pointed Too Tall to one of these (or a taller version of it) and I think he liked it. Though, I wouldn't mind a check in as I'm getting closer to converting my garage to a pain cave.

    SML-2 Rogue 90" Monster Lite Squat Stand

    They have a bunch of other options and packages that include the weights/bars/etc. May be at the high end of your range, but I didn't find anything else new worth spending money on. Nierman's suggestion is a good one, too.
     

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    Default Re: Home Squat Rack Suggestions

    Something to consider is that an Olympic bar and weights alone can be fairly expensive, but a number of lifts can be performed without a rack, including deadlifts and front squats, as long as you can clean the weight.
     

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    Default Re: Home Squat Rack Suggestions

    Blame Matthew. The Monster lite is perfect. It is very easy to do everything you need in one place AND the eff'r is tall enough that I have to jump for pullups. Strong buy.

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    Default Re: Home Squat Rack Suggestions

    First of all, as mentioned above, Craigslist is your friend. There are always racks available and slightly used racks get discounted more than slightly used frames. Plan on spending about 25 cents on the dollar.

    Second, it depends on just how you want to lift. A simple squat stand with no safety features is fine if you aren't lifting that much, if you are able to drop your bar if you have problems, and if you are doing basic stuff. A clean and a dead lift don't require a rack. Squatting does, and you'll always squat more than you can clean so trying to clean the bar first doesn't really count. It also has to do with how experienced you are, i.e., how safe you are. If while lifting you tend to get back issues, hip twinges, hamstring cramps, or whatever, you really want a decent protective rack.

    The rack starts by holding your bar at the right level and giving you a place to return it to. That's a basic squat stand, such as a Rogue SML-2 without options. For a basic squat stand you can add safeties that more or less give you some protection, but it's about a 24-inch deep target and if you are falling backwards or stumbling sideways, your safety is disappearing fast. However, being in a full rack (vertical standards front and rear and safeties between them in case you drop your bar) doesn't keep you safe -- if you lose your bar inside the cage it can bounce off the cage and hit you if you aren't fast enough to get out of the way. Personally, in the end, I usually prefer a half rack. It provides functionality for lifting, and it provides some safety. If you have to throw the bar backwards, you just make sure you can walk forwards away from it. If you have to throw the bar forwards, it can ricochet so you let it hit the half rack and keep backing up until you know you're safe. Some of the most horrific lifting accidents have come from a bar that bounces off bumper plates stacked nearby, or off a rack, and does you serious damage.

    Rogue has decent examples of both half and full racks. I don't like two things about Rogue. First, they are ridiculously expensive. Second, they are completely bolted together with no big welded fitments. The latter issue can be an advantage if you need to carry it down the stairs to your basement or through a narrow door. Otherwise, it's just a hassle. Rogues go used for ridiculously high percentages of replacement value, which is good if you're selling but not fun if you're buying and trying to save some money.

    The alternative is to buy something that has two side panels partially or completely welded together. You just bolt them together using some crossmembers. It can sometimes be cheaper, too. For the price of a Rogue you can buy a lot more rack.

    If you really just want to do squats (and deadlifts and cleans, together the trimvirate of cycling weightlifting), watch for an actual squat rack (side frames with plate storage, horizontal fixed safeties, a rear standard with different bar heights that you can walk up to and away from. The bodybuilding crowd doesn't like them so they are available cheap and tend to be very solid. I recently picked up a HammerStrength squat rack for $275. After $250 of sandblasting and powder coating, it looked like new.

    To learn a lot more about racks (and bear in mind, everyone in weightlifting is opinionated as hell), check out

    Workout Equipment - Bodybuilding.com Forums

    Being informed is important because there are good and bad racks and many characteristics that aren't obvious at first glance. Spend an evening reading rack threads here just to understand the issues. Then you can make a much better decision about what you want. Hope that helps.
    Lane DeCamp

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    Default Re: Home Squat Rack Suggestions

    If I were outfitting a home gym, I'd consider a Zane Leg Blaster instead of a traditional squat rack. I used one at a gym years ago, and really liked it because I could self-spot using my arms even with reasonably heavy weight.

    Frank Zane's Leg Blaster
     

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    Default Re: Home Squat Rack Suggestions

    You guys are so lucky to have the space for a mini-gym in house!
    Andrea "Gattonero" Cattolico, head mechanic @Condor Cycles London


    "Caron, non ti crucciare:
    vuolsi coś colà dove si puote
    cị che si vuole, e più non dimandare"

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    Default Re: Home Squat Rack Suggestions

    Quote Originally Posted by Gattonero View Post
    You guys are so lucky to have the space for a mini-gym in house!
    Ah yes, one of the benefits of English colonial expansion.
    Lane DeCamp

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