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Old 09-10-2004, 09:12 AM   #1
Albert Clayton
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I was wondering what everyone's thoughts are on squat stands vs. squat racks. I am trying to determine which one is safer. I do not have spotter and usually when I get in trouble I am below parallel and dump the bar. I have only trained with a power rack at my local gym. I have never used squat stands. But I have been thinking I could move squat stands outside in my backyard. I have been leaning toward a power rack because it makes me feel safe. However, that is just mental. When I train the O lifts, and get into trouble, I do not have any problems dumping the bar. Any comments would be appreciated. Anyway writing this post has helped me to clarify my thought process.
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Old 09-10-2004, 09:54 AM   #2
Brad Hirakawa
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Along those lines... does anyone know the correct method for dumping the weight off your back when experiencing a failed attempt at a back squat? Or, is that an exercise where you really need a spotter?

Brad
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Old 09-10-2004, 10:15 AM   #3
Scott Shafer
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Brad,

DO NOT try to dump the weight forward (over your head). You'll feel scalped if not be scalped. Dump it back and try to get out from under it as fast as possible. A power rack or safety racks are ideal, but if you are free-standing, just get out of the way of the bar!
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Old 09-10-2004, 12:33 PM   #4
Albert Clayton
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When I am dumping the bar, I just drop it off of my shoulders and step forward in the same motion. I am usually below parallel when this happens. ( Well I hope it is below parallel)
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Old 09-10-2004, 05:29 PM   #5
Rick Worthington
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We have both squat stands and a few racks. Our racks our about 10 feet high so we can use them for rings as well which is nice - although at 6-2 I hit my head when i TRY to do muscle ups. They also are wide enough to set the bars for 2 pull up stations - so you can get 2 rings and 2 pull up station at the same time - probably not a big concern for you though if it's a home gym set up.
The squat stands are nice because they are portable and cheaper - we put sand bags on the bases to be extra safe. We also don't squat heavy without a partner so the stands are pretty ideal. And, most times we do front squats which are easy to get out of.
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Old 09-15-2004, 11:16 AM   #6
Brian Hand
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Brad, this question was discussed at some length on here, I was very skeptical but a convincing argument was made in favor of dumping squats. The most convincing part of the argument, to me, was that the Bulgarian weightlifters do it. I did try it. It is not as bad as it sounds, but if you lose a squat forward, you are going to have to go over your head; dropping it backwards, you have to get your *** out of the way (literally). My personal conclusion: if you miss a big squat, you are going to be much safer and happier if there are spotter bars.

The Pillars of Poverty that were posted on here are a good idea - you can build real strong spotter bars for under $50.

By the way, I don't have much use for human spotters in the squat - only mechanical.
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Old 09-15-2004, 11:40 PM   #7
David Werner
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Albert

My vote is for stands, they are smaller and easy to move if you need the room for something else. However if you bench a lot the rack might justify its existance. For the thread Brian referenced see
www.crossfit.com/discus/messages/22/3635.html#POST11851

Brian
Thanks for trying my recomendation, I don't think there is a "right" way here, only what works for you, although I did chafe a bit at being associated with *******. And I still insist that dropping the weight is perfectly safe.

Dave Werner
CrossFit North
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Old 09-16-2004, 04:12 AM   #8
Brian Hand
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Dave, I hope you know I was just being funny (trying) with the *******-show comment, a belated apology if that was over the top!

It isn't at the top of my to-do list, but I do plan to fool around with your method more if I get access to a good bumper set. Bar position might be a factor in the over-the head part, sometimes I carry the bar pretty low.

One other thing about the dropping the bar method: if you ever want your gym to offer you a refund and release you from your contract, go in and practice this during rush hour. PRICELESS.
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Old 09-17-2004, 05:42 PM   #9
James R. Climer
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I used to use a sort of squat stand arrangement, and used some cheap metal folding saw horses from Home Depot for safety catches, $15.00 each, they were perfect for me to go a.t.g. on squats and even spotted me for bench. The only problem was I had to set them at the exact width to catch the bar outside the weights, vice inside. As I progressed to heavier loads, the amount of excess bar on the end got smaller, requiring more exact placement of the horses.

On another note, with the higher progression loads, say a PR on a 20-rep set, the lower back will tend to tire out and when you fail even slightly forward with a big load, dropping backward is not an option. The safety pins in the squat rack are like a good workout partner; you know they will definitely catch you if you fail. Consequently, I feel I can push my limits with more confidence in the squat rack. I got a really inexpensive squat rack delivered to my house from Wal-Mart online.
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Old 09-21-2004, 08:57 AM   #10
Albert Clayton
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Thanks

I think I am going to go with squat stands. I will eventually invest in some type of vulcan racks.
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