T Nation

How to Bail Out of a Squat?


I am squatting with a really old school power rack. Its probably 12 to 18 inches deep. I dont have a spotter. I dont think Ill be able to find a new spotter (no I dont like asking random people), finding a new gym is not an option, neither is stopping squatting. The saftey bars dont stick out that far. I have thought about squatting with my back facing the squat rack so that if I have to bail out then Ill just fall backwards into the very small pins. Is there any other options/creative way to "self spot" ?



Don't go to failure, just do an extra set if you don't think you can get that last rep.

If you were supposed to do 6 reps, and you got 5..you should be good for 4-5 on the second set with that weight.


It's really simple. You let the bar roll off your back and hop forward.


I dont have rubber weights, and Id prefer to not let the bar drop like that as I wont be on a platform or anything. I do realize that it is much better than getting smashed, but I would like to be able to avoid this at all costs.


If you're in the hole and don't feel like you can make it, clap your hands together as fast as you can to get them out of the way of the bar from snapping your wrists backwards while standing up and hopping forward like what was said http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5dZYcDKnXVk

But yea, don't go to failure if you don't have a good setup that allows you to be safe, it's your call if you decide otherwise


I still don't see the problem here to be honest, your legs will still get bigger and stronger if you rack it a rep short if your unsure.


Ditto. Plus, you probably won't be going near failure since you're doing SS. You may struggle on some reps, but you just force yourself up.

A good pointer - if you're struggling and start to pitch forward, pull the bar down. Helps force your chest up, which is the intended direction!


Damn...He just about took his boy out...



You never felt like you were going to miss a rep on SS?



True, but its nice to know whats the plan when you get to the bottom and you didnt expect to get stuck.



wow, that could realllly screw you up. I second what k-man said.


A. Dont fail
B. Drop the bar
C. Drop the bar


Do you have to walk out that far?


Hmmm, I don't know if there is a "best" way to bail. I don't like the idea of throwing the weight off backwards -- you could kill someone doing that. The heaviest I will go is I target 4 reps (sometimes that may only be 2 or 3 reps). I set the bars high enough that if I roll forward they will catch the weight -- just like this guy did:


Pro tip: Don't do this.


Oh, I should add that I have practiced the "bail out" going forward with an unweighted bar.


I don't remember, but it probably happened. What to do? Stop a rep short if you're not interested in dumping the weight.


Knock on wood, but I have never been pinned or failed a squat rep. I know how to push myself and when enough is enough.


My rack is like that one geometrically, however it is about 1000 years older, the supports for the weight are bolted into the rack (which is lucky considering they are just the right height for me), and there are not saftey bars like this guy has.



Im going to go later to avoid the meathead parade around noon and again around 5. Ill see if I can get a pic for ya.