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Fact checked by Kirsten Yovino, CPT Brookbush InstituteFACT CHECKED
May 09, 2023
The squat rack is a quintessential piece of gym equipment beloved by all serious lifters. And if you frequently work out at home, it's one that's worth investing in, considering multiple compound exercises center around a squat rack.
In addition, you're going to be banging around a bunch of weight on it, meaning you can't get away with a subpar squat rack. You need one that's going to enable you to lift heavy and do it safely.
We know, we know. That's great and all, but the pressing question on your mind is: How much will a squat rack cost?
The good news is that there is now a range of quality squat racks for different purposes and situations. This article will go over what to look for in a squat rack and how much it's going to cost.
Now, before purchasing one, if you're unfamiliar with gym equipment, you probably first want to answer the question: What is a squat rack?
A squat rack is a vital piece of gym equipment that allows you to rack a barbell, which means you can securely place the barbell at various heights. By racking the barbell at different heights, you can place the barbell in various positions for different exercises.
This drastically increases the amount of weight you can use when lifting. Think about it like this: You can get a barbell up to your shoulders, but can you get a barbell with 4 plates raised up to your shoulders?
Most likely not, and thanks to a squat rack, you don't have to try.
Many squat racks also have safety bars in place to offer protection when you're using heavy weights. Other simple additions may include:
A squat rack can be used for an assortment of exercises. Some of the most common examples are:
You can add several different attachments, such as dip bars and pull-up bars, enabling it to be a central piece of gym equipment for your workout split.
Like almost all other major purchases, a squat rack's cost can vary largely. If you are on a very tight budget, you could find something for around $300 that's "good enough" to do the job.
On the upper end, you could easily dish out $3,000-$4,000 for the best of the best. That said, most home gyms can add a quality rack for $500-$800.
You can find some for as low as $300, which would be adequate for new lifters who aren't lifting as much weight.
If all squat racks do the same thing, you may be wondering why their cost can vary so significantly. One of the major factors is the squat rack's weight, which implies more material is used.
Thinner steel is obviously going to be cheaper than thicker steel. This is why buying a cheap rack isn't always a great idea, as they can break or significantly lose stability.
Craftsmanship is another major proponent. A squat stand can't just be randomly put together as it must withstand a lot of weight being pushed around. Welds can easily deteriorate, drastically decreasing a squat stand's safety and durability.
Name brand will also play a role to some degree. Buying a squat stand from Rogue will likely cost more than an Amazon brand, even if it is of the same quality. This is similar to buying shoes or clothes and is just the way it is.
When buying a known brand, people are willing to pay more as they know they are getting a top-quality product, which goes a long way when you're spending a decent amount of money.
When looking at what squat rack to buy, you'll find that there's more than just one style to buy. We're going to go over the different style of squat racks as well as their advantages and disadvantages.
Here's a look at what the different types of squat racks cost.
Here's a look at squat rack price ranges for low, medium, and high price points.
Power racks are the largest and most sturdy of the different squat racks. They will come with 4, or even 6, thick upright bars. What makes a power rack different from a half rack is the fact that 4 bars are placed in a large square, allowing the lifter to stand inside it.
Because the support beams are spaced out, they are significantly more sturdy than other types of squat racks. So much so that unless you're lifting 400 pounds, you could probably even get away with not securing it. However, you should still secure it (safety first), and always check it before using it.
One power rack that stands out to us is the Force USA MyRack. Its base price is just under $500, making it very affordable. And despite its reasonable price point, it still comes with large 4" uprights.
Further, it's designed so you can easily add over 20 attachments, such as a lat pull-down. This is ideal, as you can truly turn your squat rack into a piece of equipment that enables you to get in a complete workout.
Half racks are similar to power racks, except the spacing between the front and back bars is much closer, about half the distance, if not more.
That said, the bottom legs still come out far, so you don't save that much room. The price for half racks and power racks are similar, so it's hard to say what advantages they have.
Wall mounted racks are an awesome choice for those with limited space. A wall mounted squat rack has two upright beams attached to a mounting system drilled into the wall.
The space between the wall and upright beams is generally minimal to save as much space as possible. One drawback of a wall mounted rack is you must have good construction skills or hire someone to install the majority of wall mounted racks.
As these are drilled into the wall, they must be able to remain sturdy, as they'll get banged around a lot. PRx Fold-In ONE Rack is a great wall mounted squat rack that comes in just under $500.
Squat stands are basic squat racks, and these will be your cheapest option. And, as you have likely guessed, this will be your least sturdy choice. In addition, these are generally the least versatile as well.
These are composed of two upright beams, which have supports going out. You rack your barbell on these two upright beams. While these may be a bit unsteady, we know some serious lifters who use a lot of weight with a squat stand.
In addition, because these are so light, they can be used easily. The weight is in the center, negating the need to secure them to the ground. The Body-Solid Pro Clubline Squat Stand is a great squat stand option, as it has a 1000-pound weight capacity and is perfect for smaller spaces.
Want to learn more about squat stands and how they compare to half racks and full racks? You can find out more in our article comparing squat stands vs. half racks vs. full power racks.
Similar to wall-mounted squat racks, a foldable squat rack is also secured to your wall. However, folding racks are typically on hinges that allow the front uprights to fold back against the wall. In total, these may only protrude 6 inches off the wall when not in use.
Interested in folding racks? Our article featuring the 8 Best Folding Racks For Home Gyms can help you find the best one for your lifting needs.
Combo racks combine a bench press stand with a squat rack. In reality, you can use most squat racks to bench press anyways, so this is only important for those with massive benches that need more stability.
Now that you have a good understanding of the different types of squat racks, check out these 10 Best Squat Rack Options to find the perfect one for you.
When buying a squat rack, here is what you want to have:
While a squat rack is your central piece of equipment, it's not the only piece of equipment you need. To fully utilize a squat rack, you'll need two other pieces of equipment that are mandatory:
Check out these 15 Best Barbells to pick the best barbell for your home gym. In addition, there are other pieces of equipment that you may want to consider adding to your squat rack to expand your exercise options.
These include a landmine attachment, pull up bar, dip bar, and various other barbells, like a safety squat bar. These aren't necessary additions, but if you can get to a place where you can also do pull ups and dips using your squat rack, it's only going to increase its usefulness.
Wondering why you even need to invest in a squat rack? For one, it allows you to complete a full range of exercises at your home, which is convenient and ensures you get in an awesome workout.
Two, you can buy one that fits all of your needs.
And three, having home gym equipment can make lifting significantly more consistent. Don't feel like driving 20 minutes to the gym and back home after? How about you walk downstairs to your squat rack instead?
Any remaining squat rack questions? Let's answer them here.
Expect to pay $500-800 for a mid-range rack.
Squat racks are absolutely worth it. They significantly increase the amount of exercise you can perform.
That all depends on the amount of weight you're lifting. The video below reviewed the cheapest squat rack that could be found at $109, and interestingly, the reviewer actually found it performed decently when lifting less than 200 pounds.
Building a home gym is an awesome experience for many people. It's convenient and private. Plus, you get to choose the music! At SET FOR SET, we take lifting seriously, and we believe you should invest in a decent set-up, especially if you're planning on doing legitimate lifting at home.
The good thing is that due to the popularity of home gyms, the quality of squat racks has increased while their costs have decreased. You shouldn't break the bank when buying a squat rack, but you also shouldn't be looking for the cheapest.
Find what works for you and fits within a modest budget, and go for it. Your lifts will thank you!
Ready to find the perfect squat rack for your home gym? Check out these 10 Best Squat Rack Options!
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