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Complete Guide to Selecting Your Ideal Squat Rack

A squat rack is not just a piece of equipment to get your barbells loaded onto. The primary purpose of this metal frame is to help you train more easily and safely regardless of your exercise. It comes with pins and straps that help you settle your barbell at your desired height.

What Do You Need To Get A Squat Rack?

It is usually a long list of items that you need to build a home or garage gym. For your convenience, you can do a little classification of those items to see which ones suit you well. This classification will help you identify the pieces of equipment you must have and the ones you want to have. Generally, a squat rack is the piece of equipment you must have in your garage gym.

The reason you need to have a squat rack is it helps you with compound movements when exercising. These compound movements are foundational for fitness training. And, without a squat rack, there is no way to perform those movements safely at home.


Safety is undoubtedly the most significant reason why you should have a squat rack. Movements like pressing or squatting require you to have a spotter, who is usually not available when you perform your workouts at home. In such scenarios, a squat rack is can squat you for your optimum safety.

A high-quality squat bar features arms, pins, and straps that catch a dropped bar and prevent it from causing an injury. On top of that, this bar can help you use the amount of weight you cannot normally use without support.

Ease of loading

If you look back into the history of fitness training, you will find that circus strongmen wouldn’t do any bench presses or squats. While these exercises are great and have been around for a long time, the only reason those strongmen didn’t perform them was the inconvenience of putting the weight back into its position. While those fitness trainers would have help sometimes, they chose to go with different exercises.

Thanks to the development of racks, bodybuilders and strongmen found a way to perform more effective lifts. It wouldn’t be wrong to say that squat racks helped formalize bench pressing and squatting in the fitness training circles.

Remember, a quality training program essentially involves using squat racks. If you want to perform fitness training at home, you are going to need a squat rack for sure.


One of the most appreciable benefits of a squat rack is its versatility. While a squat rack fundamentally helps with squatting and bench pressing, you can do so much more with it. for instance, you can set the bar of the rack a bit higher to make it a pull-up bar. This adjustment allows you to perform dips, the core training exercise, and an integral element of many fitness training regimens. Hence, you can use your squat bar to store your weights and bars. Your setup will be more compact, and you will be able to get the most out of your garage gym space.

Rack Construction

At least fundamental knowledge of the most essential components of a squat rack can help you understand what to look for when buying one. This know-how helps you understand the build and function of the rack. As a result, you will know which squat racks are worth buying and which are not.


The most common material used in the construction of a squat rack is steel. No matter what metal gauge is used in the rack construction, the material used will almost always be steel. Here are a few things you should know.

First, you have to be sure about the size of the uprights. This size is usually measurable in inches, and the parameters used are width and depth. A high-quality squat rack usually comes with 2” x 3” uprights. And, 3” x 3” steel makes an even better and bulkier squat rack.

You can choose from different size options depending on the amount of weight you are going to lift.

Steel gauge

The beefiest and most expensive squat rack usually comes with 7 gauge steel, which is usually indestructible. However, this squat rack is generally not quite suitable for a home garage. Such a rack is well-suited in a commercial gym setting.

Generally, a more suitable option for a home gym is a squat rack made of 11 gauge steel, which is 1/8 inches thick. While this squat rack may not be as durable as the one consisting of 7 gauge steel, it should still serve for a lifetime.

Having that said, many vendors or manufacturers do not list a gauge in their squat rack specs. They do it probably because they use even thinner steel. Remember, mentioning 11 gauge steel in the product specs add to the marketability of a squat rack.


Many vendors or people will present the quality of welds as a selling point. You may want to keep a few things in mind in this regard.

First off, the quality of weld refers to how good-looking that weld is, as many people think. In other words, the appearance of the weld is generally thought of as an indicator of quality. Sometimes, this indictor is true, and sometimes not.

Good quality welding shows that the manufacturer has paid good attention to the build quality of the rack. On the other hand, carelessly welded joints are usually a sign of poor build quality.

Even so, some popular brands produce squat racks with not-so-good-looking welds. While the build quality of those racks is unquestionably good, people reject those squat racks only because their welded look isn’t that great.

Hole Type And Spacing

The uprights of a squat rack come with several holes. When looking at those holes, make sure to evaluate three things: how the holes are made, their spacing, and their size.

Holes are created using two methods. The first method involves punching holes with a press, causing dents in the upright. Moreover, the holes are not even and clean.

The second option is laser cutting, which is undoubtedly the better option. This method ensures the safety of the upright. Moreover, the holes are also created clean this way.

Since hole sizes vary with different squat racks, it is crucial to check their size before purchase to make sure you get a high-quality product.

Weight capacity

Another reason you should avoid choosing a squat rack with no information about steel gauge is that such a rack can have a compromised weight capacity. Generally, it is recommended to choose a squat rack with a weight capacity of 1000lbs.

Where to Buy a Squat Rack?

Buying a high-quality squat rack can be a challenge if you are not well aware of where to start. Generally, it is good to begin searching for a squat rack online. You will get to see a lot of vendors selling their products. Contacting them will let you know well about the squat rack you wish to buy.

One of the best online vendors for gym equipment is ISF Fitness Equipment. We sell high-quality gym gear, including a squat rack for your garage gym. You can browse our squat rack collection, here.  

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