T Nation

Buying a Squat Rack

Hey all,

I’m the first to admit that I love the stuff from Elitefts.com I’ve gotten sleds, farmers handles, bands, blast straps, etc etc. I’m about to purchase a squat rack. I know they offer great quality and excellent service, but a bare bones rack from elitefts runs 800+ bucks with shipping. Meanwhile other companies offer similar racks for $299.
Before I go spending my money at elite I wanted to see some other opinions from the guys on this forum. It looks like I could get a lot more with my money



299 + free shipping is a hell of a deal. To my knowledge EliteFTS has some racks with extra little attatchments and handles and whatnot… But for 500 bucks I would go with the other one.

If it was 50 bucks I’d say head over the Elite to support Dave and boys…but 500 is a huge difference. Maybe Dave or other can chime in to tell us about the price difference.

I guess my question for you would be will that rack and bench support 500+ pounds? Do you have any personal experience with that supplier?

The hole spacing on that thing is crappy as well.

i’ve never described a piece of equipment as crappy and then bought it so you’ve answered your own question.

Where did all of you guys buy your racks and are ya happy with it?

Ive had this one in the middle with the plate loaded attach love it,


Sure would love an elite rack as well but tI dont see this failing me ive had well over 800lbs on the pins etc.


Wow, that is actually great Phil because that is the rack I had in the link above and have been looking at.

I think what it boils down to is what you need in a rack both now and in the future.

For example, if you plan to squat wide stance, use bands, or have lifting partners of different heights then it’s hard to put a price on Elite’s rack features. Especially the sumo base.

On the other hand, I have a Parabody rack that has served me very well and I’ve had 500 lbs. on the uprights. Still, it would be nice to be able to get my feet out wider and although the hole spacing has been ok, it would be nice to fine tune my squat lift off point, rack pull points and where I set the safeties for benching.

What I’ve noticed is that there are plenty of decent mid range racks but after having the Parabody for 5 years, I would like a little more versatility in my rack.

As a side note, there has been a bunch of equipment such as bars and some accessories that I’ve upgraded as I get better and stronger because sometimes the cheaper stuff gets scary and or inadequate.

If I knew then what I know now!!!

We could go in half on a good rack from Elite and I’ll be happy to keep it at my house. Deal?

I strongly suggest buying the very best equipment you can afford even if you have to budget and save for it.



This is my rack and I am very pleased with it. I did shop at Elitefts, but I would have had to spend over $1000 to get what I want. I’m sure Mr Tate’s products are better, but I could not justify the price difference, and my rack is good enough.

And no I would not trust my rack with more than 500lbs, but I only front squat so that won’t be a problem any time soon.

You live in NJ? Just watch Craigslist for 2 weeks and you should find some really great racks for no more than $100. I got a great rack for $50 which was in pristine condition.

I brought it to a welder and had band holders put on, I have built several attachments, plate holders, pins, etc. Spent less than $150. Also, when it’s used you don’t feel so bad when you dump a big squat on it or lean plates up against it and scratch and ding it up.
I like to get all “Branch Warren” on my rack. Very manly.

Seven years ago I bought a Tuff Stuff power rack (www.tuffstuff.net). I’ve put this rack through some serious abuse and do just about everything in this rack including bench press work. It’s held up very well, it’s dependable and can handle very heavy weight. (Tuff Stuff TPR-265 Power Rack Cage).

how hard is it to make your own rack? I mean you could buy the steel and just take it to some friend or anyone who has some decent equipment to drill the holes and weld some connections together. make it all connect with bolts and add some crossbeams to make it hell of a lot more stabile.

it’s not that hard to think of a way to construct something that basic, tho it does take more time but you can save a bunch of cash and have some fun…

how much can 8-10 peaces of 2 meter long steel square tube and a few pieces of steel sheets cost…

Here’s mine.

Make your own. I made one and sold it for $150. I got:

  1. 4 4x4x8s

  2. a bunch of 2x4s for cross bracing

  3. I don’t know what they’re called but a bunch of metal plates that you use to attach joists and studs together. I used screws instead of nails.

  4. a good drill and long 1 inch diameter drill bit to put holes in 4x4s for pins and bar hooks.

  5. Bar hooks and pins from NYBarbell

  6. The ability to cut 45 degree angles.

  7. I even drilled a dowel onto the top for pullups and added grip tape, the type for skate board decks. Got some of that metal spraypaint and it looked badass.

Just keep saying to yourself, “overbuild,overbuild, overbuild…”

[quote]holmdog wrote:
I think what it boils down to is what you need in a rack both now and in the future.

I strongly suggest buying the very best equipment you can afford even if you have to budget and save for it.



I think you’re right

I think I found a good place anyway that specializes in powerlifting equipment and not just a general fitness store.

I’m willing to dish out a bit more and save some.

i’d search craigslist. i bought my squat rack plus weights and bar for $150. Also got a GHR for $170.

I have outfitted my training studio, and sold fitness equipment for a living… my 2 cents… don’t go cheap. Get something solid, with heavy gague steel. Also, get all the options you want, then you wont have to worry about wishing you had a rack with more stuff.

York, Elite, Hammer and Yukon make some nice racks that can handle the beating you are going to put it through with partials, rack pulls, shrugs, chains and bands. I went with york racks for my training studio. Anyway, just my 2 cents for what its worth.

I’d like to bump this thread for some suggestions. Think “affordable”.