For those who are new to gym equipment, it can be confusing to know the difference between a squat stand and a power rack. Both are useful equipment, but they have major differences. To help you decide which is best for you, I discussed squat stand vs power rack in this post.
What is a squat stand?
Squat stands are basic equipment used solely for holding and supporting your barbell. This lets you get into the squatting position to lift the barbell. After that, you can put the barbell back. With that, a squat stand allows you to lift easily.
Like power racks, squat stands have adjustable heights and it’s made of durable steel poles. However, squat stands are smaller, lighter, and less complicated than full-sized power racks.
Take note that power racks have a squat stand station but squat stands aren’t power racks. If you’re starting a small home gym, a squat stand is a less intimidating choice both on its purpose and price.
Squat racks have a major disadvantage over power racks. When you happen to get stuck, you’re forced to dump the barbell into the floor. There are no horizontal bars that function as a safety net. This means you need a spotter to watch over you to prevent accidents.
Aside from that, squat stands offer limited exercises. You can do bench presses and squats on it, but there’s not much a fitness buff can do on this piece of equipment. Still, beginners will surely thrive on a squat stand.
The biggest advantage of getting a squat stand is its price. Compared to power racks, squat stands are way cheaper and easier to assemble.
When do you need a squat stand?
Those who are lifting heavy weights need a squat stand as basic equipment. It’s also the top choice for those with small home gyms that don’t have enough space for full-sized power racks. Squat racks are also ideal if you’re planning to put up a gym on an elevated floor of your home.
Also, if you don’t have the budget for large equipment, a squat stand is a good start. It strengthens a person’s stabilizer muscle and core even better. This will also improve your balance without too much guesswork about how to use it.
What is a power rack?
A power rack is a much bigger piece of equipment that offers multiple exercise options. Also called a squat cage, this comes with four vertical metal bars with multiple horizontal supports.
Like a squat stand, a power rack allows you to lift barbells and adjust the height of the holder. However, power racks are safer and you no longer need a spotter.
The horizontal bars that support the rack acts as a safety feature that will catch the barbell in case it falls accidentally. You can also adjust the height of the bars to suit your preference.
Power racks are versatile equipment that can integrate other workout gears like ropes. You can also perform squat rack routines here and a lot more. For example, a power rack has a horizontal bar at the top that you can use for pull-ups. Some power racks are also equipped with chin up and dip stations for a whole-body workout.
Aside from that, power racks have a higher weight limit as compared to squat stands. If you’re scaling up your routines, a power rack might be an excellent investment.
However, power racks require a large room if you’re planning to get one. Also, it may not be safe to put up on elevated floors due to the heavy weight.
Aside from that, many power racks are tall so you always have to consider the overhead limit, especially if you have a home gym in the basement.
Lastly, power racks are more expensive than squat stands. Still, this is reasonable for its stability and added safety.
When do you need a power rack?
If you’re a serious weightlifter, a power rack is an excellent investment. It’s sustainable and a good way to level up your weight training.
Also, power racks are versatile, which means you can expand your routine with more exercises. If your squat stand feels too easy already, you can level up with a power rack.
Squat stand vs power rack: Which should you get?
The choice between a squat stand and a power rack all boils down to your needs. Ask yourself, do I need a massive piece of equipment for my routines? To answer this, you need to factor in how heavy you’re lifting and what other exercises you’re doing.
Most beginners will be fine with a squat stand as a start. Once they’ve grown stronger, they upgrade to a power rack. But if money and space aren’t an issue, I think there’s no problem if you wish to get a power rack. The only thing you have to do is make the most out of it.
Frequently Asked Questions
Q: How deep should a power rack be?
A: A power rack should have a depth of at least 36 inches. This is to guarantee the stability of the equipment, especially if you’re getting a tall one. Take note that other power racks can be bigger than this so you should measure properly.
Q: Is it okay to use a squat stand without a spotter?
A: It’s not safe to lift weights on a squat stand without a spotter. This is risky and you may end up with injuries if you slip or made a mistake. If you don’t have anyone to spot for you, I suggest that you purchase a power rack instead.
Q: Can I put up a power rack in an apartment?
A: It depends on your landlord’s rules and the structural integrity of the property. It’s quite rare for apartment dwellers to purchase such a big workout equipment. If you’re keen to lift weights, you’re better off with a squat stand and a spotter inside an apartment.
I hope this squat stand vs power rack comparison helped you choose the right equipment for your home gym. Both are useful, but each one has unique purposes and limitations.