T Nation

No Rack For Squats?

Right im starting my 5x5 program in a week but i have a question about squats. My gym doesnt have a squat rack so iv always done squats on the smith machine, but the other day i saw someone moving the pins up to the highest holes on the bench rack, sitting on the bench under the bar, standing up walking forward away from the bench and doing the swuats with the free bar. Would this be more beneficial than using a smith?

Its certainly a bit more dangerous as you have to walk backwards with the bar, sit down on the bench and shuffle back to rack the bar, and if you fail a rep ur kind of fucked. Stick with the smith or use the other method? Any input of opinions would be great.

The smith machine isn’t going to help you as much as the free weight squat. I would start doing front squats from the bench rack, simply because its easier to bail with if you can’t get back up and its a good way to learn how to squat properly. It sucks though not having the equipment you need to train the way you want. But thats just my suggestion, and I can see it being a little dangerous if you’re trying to push it with heavy back squats. If you have access to bumper plates, I would also suggest loading up with those and practice bailing a couple of times from the back and front.

Have you tried one legged squats yet? Thats a viable option for sure using your own bodyweight, or if you’re feeling sassy you can hold a dumbbell.

try another gym?

Front squats sound like the perfect solution to your problem

i think il try front squats then, il just have to learn to powerclean/hangclean efficiently. The other option i thought of was using the free bar for the first 3 sets and then use the smith machine for the 4th and 5th sets. Thanks for your input guys!

You can load the bar up on the bench press and then just squat it off that. I reccomend not using the “bodybuilder” front squat grip. I find clean finish position to be much more comfortable for my shoulders

[quote]eigieinhamr wrote:
You can load the bar up on the bench press and then just squat it off that. I reccomend not using the “bodybuilder” front squat grip. I find clean finish position to be much more comfortable for my shoulders[/quote]

The highest holes you can put thew pins in on the bench press rack are only waist high though, thats why i was trying to explain how id have to unrack the bar onto my shoulders whilst actually sitting down on the bench.

Or you could start the squat movement from the bottom of the movement. Squat down low, load on to shoulders, and now squat the weight up

[quote]eigieinhamr wrote:
Or you could start the squat movement from the bottom of the movement. Squat down low, load on to shoulders, and now squat the weight up[/quote]

The bench is fixed to the rack so you cant pull it out

I have exactly the same problem as you, and i can’t change gyms for a couple of weeks.

So i do front squats like mentioned where i load off the fixed bench then move away. I don’t dare try backsquats like this.

But I also do hack squats www.exrx.net/WeightExercises/Quadriceps/BBHackSquat.html
I don’t know what you guys think about these and how effective they are.

You could powerclean the weight up, then push press it over your head, then squat as many reps as you can, then push press it off or dump it. Not ideal but it would be a rugged workout.

Zercher squats off the bench.

Or you could use the Smith machine until you find a new gym.

I love hack squats because you can really go heavy. I’ve also done Zerchers (deadlifting the bar, laying it across my knees, putting the elbows under it and squatting), front squats, overhead squats, jump squats and pistols. But I mostly do hack squats. They seem to work well - my lower body looks better than my upper.

You could also do more quad-intensive deadlift variations, such as snatch-grip. So many options…

I don’t know if I’d even technically call it a gym if it doesn’t have a squat rack. What do they have, a couple benches, some pink dumbbells, and a treadmill?

hijacks the thread
sayjin, who are those guys in your avatar? thats some fucking epic dodging

[quote]BigAlSwede wrote:
I don’t know if I’d even technically call it a gym if it doesn’t have a squat rack. What do they have, a couple benches, some pink dumbbells, and a treadmill? [/quote]

its the university owned gym, its has pretty much everything except a squat rack, the anoying thing is they have an olympic platform in a back room which no one is alowed to use!! they are scared of people getting injured and sueing them. Stupid i know…