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  1. #1
    Registered User vizore's Avatar
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    What's a good bench/squat rack that doesn't take up too much space?

    I am having some trouble trying to find a decent bench/squat rack stand for my 5ft olympic barbell. I have looked at a number of different ones on Amazon and have read some of the reviews. I am looking for something that is fairly stable. I will be using the rack mainly for benchpress workouts, and some deadlifts/squats. It doesn't need to be super heavy duty, but also at the same time it would have to be stable enough to hold my barbell with weights. I am a beginner-intermediate lifter, so I only plan to perhaps have at most on the barbell about 150lbs.

    I've seen some where they come in a pair, but those seem kind of unstable. I prefer a 1 piece rack as it seems to to be a bit more secure. What are your thoughts on this?
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    Multi-Platinum User radrd's Avatar
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    The 5-foot bar is your problem. You aren't likely to find a rack or sturdy squat stand for a bar that isn't rackable. If you need a short bar due to space constraints, I'd go with the Fringe Sport Shorty Bar. It's rackable and shorter than a full-size Olympic bar. It's also expensive but it's a niche product and good quality. There may not be any other options that fit the bill, though I haven't shopped for short bars recently.

    If space isn't a concern and you're just trying to save money then there are affordable full-size olympic bars and the used market has also calmed down a bit in most areas.
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    Rogue just had the C70-S rackable 6ft bar in the boneyard the other day. Basically a shorty ohio bar for $245. I'd check that out, just like radrd said, your main issue is the 5 ft bar won't be rackable so you're stuck with less safe/stable individual squat stands if you wanted to rack that bar.
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    If you can help it, do NOT design your home gym around a 5' barbell as I did years back as a teenager. A barbell is much cheaper and easier to change out than a rack setup that is limited or solely dedicated to an unusually short barbell.

    A rack that would allow you to use your 5' bar could very easily limit you with grip and foot positioning options, and make training more difficult/limited. Also, I would not even mess with getting individual squat stands that aren't attached as a single unit. You could very easily exceed 150lbs on your lifts as you become more experienced and stronger. Don't short change yourself early on.

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    Originally Posted by GYM80JPS View Post
    Rogue just had the C70-S rackable 6ft bar in the boneyard the other day. Basically a shorty ohio bar for $245. I'd check that out, just like radrd said, your main issue is the 5 ft bar won't be rackable so you're stuck with less safe/stable individual squat stands if you wanted to rack that bar.
    Nice. Didn't realize they had this.
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    Registered User vizore's Avatar
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    The thing with the 7ft barbells, is I find then way too long and hard to balance. I have a very small frame and a 5ft bar is what works best for me. I'm not in this for competition or to become an olympic weight lifter. Just want a decent setup at home where I can build some muscle. Nothing more, nothing less. I don't plan on lifting anything over 200lbs at all.

    Plus like I mentioned, space is a limiting factor. I don't understand why they make those 7 ft barbells as a standard. We all come in different sizes, and I really wish they would offer barbells in smaller lengths than the 7ft. I've lifted on a 7ft bar at the gym before, and it is way too wide for me. I have no need for all the extra space on that bar. Which is why I prefer a 5 ft bar.
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    Multi-Platinum User radrd's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by vizore View Post
    The thing with the 7ft barbells, is I find then way too long and hard to balance. I have a very small frame and a 5ft bar is what works best for me. I'm not in this for competition or to become an olympic weight lifter. Just want a decent setup at home where I can build some muscle. Nothing more, nothing less. I don't plan on lifting anything over 200lbs at all.

    Plus like I mentioned, space is a limiting factor. I don't understand why they make those 7 ft barbells as a standard. We all come in different sizes, and I really wish they would offer barbells in smaller lengths than the 7ft. I've lifted on a 7ft bar at the gym before, and it is way too wide for me. I have no need for all the extra space on that bar. Which is why I prefer a 5 ft bar.
    You should send this question to Mark Rippetoe. I'd like to hear him answer it on his podcast. That said, it's like any other professional or Olympic sport with rules and regulations. The bar length is a standard so most equipment adheres to the standard.
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    I'm 5'6" and I can't bench on a 5' bar without my elbows hitting the plates. You're pretty much limited to close grip.
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    Originally Posted by vizore View Post
    The thing with the 7ft barbells, is I find then way too long and hard to balance. I have a very small frame and a 5ft bar is what works best for me. I'm not in this for competition or to become an olympic weight lifter. Just want a decent setup at home where I can build some muscle. Nothing more, nothing less. I don't plan on lifting anything over 200lbs at all.

    Plus like I mentioned, space is a limiting factor. I don't understand why they make those 7 ft barbells as a standard. We all come in different sizes, and I really wish they would offer barbells in smaller lengths than the 7ft. I've lifted on a 7ft bar at the gym before, and it is way too wide for me. I have no need for all the extra space on that bar. Which is why I prefer a 5 ft bar.
    Yes, they should make all barbells and racks standard in all diff sizes like shoes to suit what each individual wants - since that would make the most useful and cost effective sense.
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  10. #10
    Registered User vizore's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by radrd View Post
    You should send this question to Mark Rippetoe. I'd like to hear him answer it on his podcast. That said, it's like any other professional or Olympic sport with rules and regulations. The bar length is a standard so most equipment adheres to the standard.
    Yeah I know it's a standard, but not all of us are into competing and professional weightlifting. Why not market a shorter bar for the home gym or average person who just wants to weight lift for other reasons other than competition, powerlifting, weightlifting, etc.
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    Originally Posted by air2fakie View Post
    Yes, they should make all barbells and racks standard in all diff sizes like shoes to suit what each individual wants - since that would make the most useful and cost effective sense.
    You're missing the point here. I'm not saying they need to make a barbell in 4ft, 4.5ft, 5ft, 5.5ft, 6ft, 6.5ft 7ft, etc. You have your standard 7ft, and then a 5ft. 2 Choices in barbell sizes is nothing like having shoes sizes in every single fractional increments.
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    Originally Posted by vizore View Post
    Yeah I know it's a standard, but not all of us are into competing and professional weightlifting. Why not market a shorter bar for the home gym or average person who just wants to weight lift for other reasons other than competition, powerlifting, weightlifting, etc.
    Home gyms aren't the target market for most manufacturers. They want to outfit commercial gyms, crossfit boxes, college athletic facilities, etc. Those places will buy 7 ft bars in bulk but may only want limited or no specialty bars. As a result, there are a lot more choices on the market in the bars that have higher demand.

    Covid has increased the demand greatly for home gym equipment but this is a new phenomenon and the market is catching up. Maybe you will see more odd-sized bars and other gear. The new Rogue C-70S bar noted above is a perfect example.
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    Originally Posted by vizore View Post
    You're missing the point here. I'm not saying they need to make a barbell in 4ft, 4.5ft, 5ft, 5.5ft, 6ft, 6.5ft 7ft, etc. You have your standard 7ft, and then a 5ft. 2 Choices in barbell sizes is nothing like having shoes sizes in every single fractional increments.
    So what are you saying? They should only have whatever sizes you feel you specifically want? What if someone feels the 5 footer is way too roomy for them or they’ll never want to lift more than 90 lbs?

    I’ve never heard anyone else complain that there’s too much hand room on a bar or that it can hold way more weight than they’ll ever want to lift.

    Seriously, just get a pair of adjustable dbs. You don’t even need a bb or rack.
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    Originally Posted by vizore View Post
    The thing with the 7ft barbells, is I find then way too long and hard to balance. I have a very small frame and a 5ft bar is what works best for me. I'm not in this for competition or to become an olympic weight lifter. Just want a decent setup at home where I can build some muscle. Nothing more, nothing less. I don't plan on lifting anything over 200lbs at all.

    Plus like I mentioned, space is a limiting factor. I don't understand why they make those 7 ft barbells as a standard. We all come in different sizes, and I really wish they would offer barbells in smaller lengths than the 7ft. I've lifted on a 7ft bar at the gym before, and it is way too wide for me. I have no need for all the extra space on that bar. Which is why I prefer a 5 ft bar.
    I can see the space constraints favoring a 5ft bar over a 7ft. But can't wrap my head around how a 7ft bar is hard to balance. Can you shine some light into that aspect? Isn't the weight centered on your body on any of the major lifts(squat/bench/press/deadlift/rows) ? Why exactly is a 5ft bar easier to balance if you lift correctly with a 7ft bar?
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  15. #15
    Registered User vizore's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by radrd View Post
    Home gyms aren't the target market for most manufacturers. They want to outfit commercial gyms, crossfit boxes, college athletic facilities, etc. Those places will buy 7 ft bars in bulk but may only want limited or no specialty bars. As a result, there are a lot more choices on the market in the bars that have higher demand.

    Covid has increased the demand greatly for home gym equipment but this is a new phenomenon and the market is catching up. Maybe you will see more odd-sized bars and other gear. The new Rogue C-70S bar noted above is a perfect example.
    Appreciate your answer, unlike some other close-minded individuals here.
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  16. #16
    Registered User air2fakie's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by vizore View Post
    Appreciate your answer, unlike some other close-minded individuals here.
    I think Fisher Price might make one.
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    Originally Posted by air2fakie View Post
    I think Fisher Price might make one.
    Really? That seems like a brand that suits your personality.
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    Originally Posted by vizore View Post
    Really? That seems like a brand that suits your personality.
    I’m not the one who doesn’t understand that only an idiot would waste money buying a quality rack for a 5 foot barbell, or why manufacturers might not want to invest money into making such a line of equipment.

    Btw, if you can’t balance a 7 foot bb and need a rack to DL you might want to re-examine your form on exercises.
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    Originally Posted by air2fakie View Post
    I’m not the one who doesn’t understand that only an idiot would waste money buying a quality rack for a 5 foot barbell, or why manufacturers might not want to invest money into making such a line of equipment.
    Nice, job with the name calling. It's pointless and a waste of time trying to have a decent and civil conversation with someone like you. Surprises me that a 51 year old would act this way. Are you sure it's not 15?
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    Originally Posted by vizore View Post
    Nice, job with the name calling. It's pointless and a waste of time trying to have a decent and civil conversation with someone like you. Surprises me that a 51 year old would act this way.
    Yes, you are quite civilized. Lot of 51 year olds on this forum oddly.

    Good luck with the saw horses!
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    Originally Posted by air2fakie View Post
    Yes, you are quite civilized. Lot of 51 year olds on this forum oddly.

    Good luck with the saw horses!
    Yeah but thank God they act their age.
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    Originally Posted by vizore View Post
    Yeah but thank God they act their age.
    I’m not the one designing a home gym around a 5 foot barbell as the centerpiece.
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    Originally Posted by air2fakie View Post
    I’m not the one designing a home gym around a 5 foot barbell as the centerpiece.
    And what's wrong with that? Not everyone has the same needs or wants. For some people, space is a limiting factor, and for others it could be other reasons such as budget, etc.
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    Buy a regular size rack, then just get used to racking the bar on the Olympic sleeve area or off center. Then in the future when you upgrade to a longer bar, you don't need to upgrade your rack. Problem solved.

    Measure the deminsions first, see where things would land.
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    Originally Posted by vizore View Post
    And what's wrong with that? Not everyone has the same needs or wants. For some people, space is a limiting factor, and for others it could be other reasons such as budget, etc.
    Nothing except that you're whining repeatedly that the industry should adjust the sport/equipment to your unique wants and shortcomings. I already gave you solid advice to get a pair of adjustable dbs if you can't lift a real bar, want to save space and never want to progress beyond 200 lbs for any lift (with the added tip that you don't need a rack to DL).

    If you insist on the 5 ft bar and can't find anything suitable online, make a rack yourself or buy one and cut/weld it to your needs. Good luck!
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    Originally Posted by urbanlifter View Post
    Buy a regular size rack, then just get used to racking the bar on the Olympic sleeve area or off center. Then in the future when you upgrade to a longer bar, you don't need to upgrade your rack. Problem solved.

    Measure the deminsions first, see where things would land.
    This is one possibility but it sounds extremely annoying. I would buy a regular size rack and the Fringe or Rogue rackable shorty bar. Buy a new bar when you outgrow the shorty bar.

    OP, if you seriously don't think you're ever going to lift more than 200 lbs then I hope you are female. Otherwise, don't bother because you aren't putting in enough effort. Virtually all males will deadlift more than 200 lbs with minimal effort. Squatting more than 200 lbs is easy for most as well. Benching over 200 lbs is also more than achievable, though some get stuck around 1x bodyweight or so.
    Last edited by radrd; 05-18-2021 at 03:34 PM.
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    Originally Posted by radrd View Post
    This is one possibility but it sounds extremely annoying. I would buy a regular size rack and the Fringe or Rogue rackable shorty bar. Buy a new bar when you outgrow the shorty bar. If you think you're ever going to lift more than 200 lbs then I hope you are female. Otherwise, you don't bother because you aren't putting in enough effort.
    Or better yet, get some offset J-hooks.....

    But I agree, just buy a 7' bar and regular rack. Best price I've seen this bar since the pandemic began, far cry from its $99 sale price but not shabby. Then on top of that Coop just released that video showing a 700lb drop on the Fitness Reality 810XLT rack. From there starting to look like a decent setup.

    https://www.amazon.com/dp/B001K4OPY2...A80W994WT9ABG9
    Last edited by urbanlifter; 05-18-2021 at 03:37 PM.
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    Originally Posted by vizore View Post
    And what's wrong with that? Not everyone has the same needs or wants. For some people, space is a limiting factor, and for others it could be other reasons such as budget, etc.
    Originally Posted by TolerantLactose View Post
    I'm 5'6" and I can't bench on a 5' bar without my elbows hitting the plates. You're pretty much limited to close grip.
    If you're 5'2", have at it.

    I wonder if OP will acknowledge a single point brought up in this thread.
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    Originally Posted by TolerantLactose View Post
    If you're 5'2", have at it.

    I wonder if OP will acknowledge a single point brought up in this thread.
    Or that the below is simple to master with minimal effort and would solve the rest of his home gym issues.

    Originally Posted by vizore View Post
    The thing with the 7ft barbells, is I find then way too long and hard to balance.
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