I know we are all used to having a good, reliable and strong squat rack at our gym, but let’s look at some of the alternatives, like squat stands. Maybe you would ask why searching for alternatives when you can just use a squat rack? OK, fair enough, but most of the gyms are not commercial and don’t have expensive leg workout equipment or any other related fitness equipment, for that matter. Some people have modest gym environment in their home or garage and having such big rack or cage construction simply won’t fit.
The reason why I’m considering such alternatives is because I was forced to find a temp gym since my old gym’s building was being reconstructed. Since new gym had no rack, but just a squat stand, I was presented with two options. Suck it up and neglect my heavy squat workout or actually be creative and do something to bridge this “rackless” period.
I thought of using squat stands that were already available in the gym but there was a problem. Since I almost always max on my squats they were not a good choice because they don’t have safety side catchers or holders or grabbers, if you will. So I was reluctant to try squatting with 500lbs without such security. So I browsed the web hoping for some ideas and reliable solutions. And behold the miracle, I found one and I wanted to share it with you guys. It’s nice, clean, cheap, and damn good solution!
C-93015W New York Barbells Safety Squat Stands ($99)
Height of the stands is adjustable, which can be useful not just for squats but also for bench press and deadlift. You can put them on either sides of bench to increase safety and prevent any possible disasters. Partial deadlifts can be done at any height since the stands are adjustable.
Top catch surface is 16″ (40.5cm) wide. Dimensions of the squat stands are 17″ x 20″ x 23.5″ to 35″ H. Weight is 39 pounds.
I haven’t used these stands myself, but I did order them. I have very good experience with New York Barbells and their products, so I have no doubt that this one will be just what the doctor ordered.
Valor Fitness BD-3 Squat Stands ($147)
I also found this product to be very interesting for this purpose and also pretty cheap when compared to other similar solutions.
Main characteristic is a solid base with each base covering 400 square inches of surface, which is great if you have a limited workout space. Height of the posts as well as safety spotters on each of the posts is adjustable.
Both stands weigh just 48 pounds. Dimensions are 43 x 18 x 8 inches and 2.5 inches mouth opening for bar support. Upright posts are 36 inches and chrome back plates that catch the bar as lifter maneuvers back to stand are 5 inches.