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Rack vs Yoke For Home Gym

So looks like my house purchase might go through as soon as two or three weeks, I’ll have a garage and I’ve already called dibs on turning it into a gym.

I’ve been browsing a lot for power racks, and have come across a few yokes that have J hooks on the upright for squats / bench.

I like the idea of having a functional half rack that also doubles as a yoke, so my question is have any of you guys used a yoke as a full time replacement for a rack, and would you recommend it?

If its a viable solution there seem to be a lot of advantages:

  • firstly, you have a yoke
  • apparently stock issues aren’t as big a deal for yokes
  • fewer cowboy companies selling shitty knockoffs, the market has been flooded with some pretty flimsy looking racks and, more worryingly, good looking racks from companies I’ve never heard of but just enough good reviews tempt me. Yokes, being more niche, seem not to have suffered.
  • Like for like (load rating) yokes seems cheaper.

Does it work or, if I buy a Yoke only, will I wish I’d gone for a rack instead / as well?

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I have a Titan short yoke that I use as a rack along with a Titan T3 rack.

The things you miss out on with a yoke are the ability to suspend weights from overhead with chains and limited band application. Partials can get tricky too.

A yoke is a fun toy to have. In truth, I haven’t used mine as a yoke since I moved to my current place in Jul of '19, just because getting it in and out of the garage is a pain and I haven’t had a comp that required a yoke. Given that the yoke is what I ruptured my ACL on, it’s probably for the best.

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I used a yoke as a rack for nearly a year. I used it VERY rarely as a yoke since my gym was in my basement. I did buy a set of safety spotters for it as well.
I also found it to be sturdy enough, more than squat stands, less than a power rack.

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I suspect, were I to go for the yoke, that it would get very little use as a yoke as well to be fair.

With the limitations noted, does it hold up well enough as a rack for the kind of weight you squat?

That’s very usefully put, thanks.

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The only kind of squats I’ve done with it are front squats, which isn’t really taxing in weight, but I know it’d hold up well enough if I were to push it. I just wouldn’t slam into the j-hooks at the end of the set unless I had some weight on the feet.

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Here is a 495lb squat out of the yoke without weight on the base, just so you can get an idea of stability.

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Haha kidding sleepy! Nice squat!

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Haha, shameless plug!
Just waiting for the “red lights - not depth” comments to show up.

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Impressive squat indeed but the yoke looks solid, I can’t squat much more than that at my best. Very tall looking yoke though! Thanks for the Input.

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I have a Rogue Y1 and it’s very sturdy. One added benefit of a yoke is the built-in plate storage. Safety arms can be used for partials and band anchors. But if you don’t think you’ll ever use it as a yoke, I would suggest a power rack. I use mine as a yoke and I wish I had room for a power rack too, but I have too many other toys which I am unwilling to part with.

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Looks like good depth though!

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Sorry to “one up” you, but here is my buddy Nick Ramey squatting 900 out of a Rogue yoke we rigged up to work as a monolift…

https://www.instagram.com/p/B6MeGFMA2kc/

So yeah my opinion is that a yoke will work just fine as a rack… then again this is also coming from the guy who lifts out of a homemade wooden power rack.

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That looks bad ass… dangerous, but hey, still bad ass. Lol

It was hands down the scariest powerlifting-related thing I’ve ever been a part of lol

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I have strength shop yoke that spends 90% of the time as a squat rack. Its fine. I have even dumpped a fair amount of weight on to the J hooks after I miscalculated where they were. 180kg /400lb about 2 inches. No drama. Didn’t even rock.
It’s also a great to for shits and giggles. You can reduce the weight increase the distance and its almost cardio.

That would have gotten a flat “no” from me. I

Thanks for the great responses guys. Appreciate the feedback.

I have all three, half rack, squat stand, and a yoke.

I will say this unless you are training for an event yoke walk is incredibly hard on your long term health. Also unless you have about 100’ feet to travel it’s kind of a mute point.

So you definitely want a yoke that doubles as a squat stand. It’s great for dual usage, clearing all this stuff from around your rack because you want to go for a stroll is a pain in the butt. At your gym someone makes sure the mess is cleaned up and the yoke is ready to go. In your garage you end with a squat stand covered in j hooks chains from benching last Wednesday and 100lb plates holding it in place.

If I was you and your gonna train yoke walk on the reg I would get a squat stand and a yoke under 6’ feet tall.

This all comes from pure experience not theory, at one point I had 2 stands, a half rack, 2 yokes, and 1 yoke that doubled as a stand. We used the yoke 1 a week and made my yoke/stand into a bar holder