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Anthony Bainbridge 08-23-2006 11:27 AM

I've been leaning towards a full power rack VS squat stands (eg vulcan) because I like the flexibility in adjusting the safety pins for all sorts of work (bench lockouts, overhead lockouts, etc). Not to mention the option to use bands for increasing and decreasing lockout weight on squat/bench/deads.

Yes, I realize the squat stands are adjustable, and you can buy the spotter stands, but they aren't as adjustable as a good power rack.

Anyway, that brings me to three options of combining a rack and a platform.

1) Full rack with platform inside. This saves space, and I can't see any major problem with this, other than trying to save a clean-gone-bad and banging into the rack. Does anyone have experience with this?

2) Full rack with platform outside rack. Best of both worlds, but takes up more space when the platform is in use. Then again, it also creates two lifting areas VS one.

3) Half rack with platform. I'm not 100% positive if a half rack will be as sturdy for some things I want to do (mentioned above), but it would save space and leave the lifting platform free of obstacles.

So ... any advice or comments would much appreciated!

Aimee Anaya 08-23-2006 11:38 AM

I would recomend the platform being outside of whatever rack you choose. it gives you more variation in your training. I don't know if you do any o-lifting- but it is not convienent to do snatches and clean & jerks inside of a power rack. as you said, power racks are versitile in the sense that you can use them for a variation of exercises- pull-ups, squats, bench, etc. However, in our gym, we use our platform with regular squat racks WAY more than we use the power rack.

Jamie Clark 08-23-2006 11:38 AM


I have a cheap homemade version 2, and it works best for me. I think its definately the most versitile, i cant imagine doing O-lifts inside a rack. I have a cheap rack that you can rack the weight inside or outside the rack, I rarely use the inside. I would go with option 2 or a platform with squat stands. Gook Luck!!

David Paton 08-23-2006 01:40 PM


Do you like to do lifts (especially OLY lifts) in front of the mirror? I get totally messed up with a mirror in front of me.

Lincoln Brigham 08-23-2006 02:26 PM

As for option #1
The Olympic lifts inside a power rack - especially the snatch and the jerk - are quite dangerous. A missed lift can easily bounce off the rack right back into the lifter. A wide grip snatch inside a power rack is an invitation to crush some fingers.

My experience has been the same as Aimee and Jamie - the power rack is more versatile but I used it outside the rack much more than inside. Jamie's setup is great if you have the space and if it's tall enough you get a good place to do chinups.

Anthony Bainbridge 08-23-2006 03:13 PM

Excellent points, Lincoln ... never thought about the wide grip snatch. I'll go with the rack and platform outside. Thanks everyone!

Jamie Clark 08-23-2006 06:48 PM

The only things I really use the mirror for are squats (back, front, and OH form/depth) and the initial starting positions for the snatch and C&J to make sure Im set up right. The rest of the time Im just checking myself out....

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