T Nation

Wooden Squat Rack


Well, my standard barbell was starting to look more like a horse shoe, so I bought a 300 pound olypmic set at Sports Authority for $120. I also needed a squat rack, but being a cheap bastard I decided to make one myself.

Not bad for a $13 piece of wood (I already had the cement blocks and gorilla glue). An unintended benefit of the blocks in front is that if I fail a bench press without a spotter, I can set it down on the blocks and it comes just short of crushing my neck. I can then roll off either side of the bench. I’m sure it would look pathetic but it’s better than dying.


Nice work new guy. With all that space looks like you can fit a chin-up/dip station and keep expanding. I’m gonna be due for a new bar here sometime soon because mine has the bend when loaded with some real weight.

thats pretty cool, half squatting the bar out has gotta suck though. just my two cents, you might want to invest in some saw horses to use as spotting pins.
That thing is so freakin cool

It does not look very stable to me. It will be strong enough vertically but if it topples, that could be bad. Glue is not particularly good at taking shock, and the repeated shock of dropping/putting the weight on it could break the bonds or shear off the wood. It could theoretically fall so that the weights drive the wood down upon you.

Make no mistake wood can be easily strong enough to use for workouts especially how you are using the compression strength - but I would be setting up some backup supports.

One good failsafe could be a pair of sawhorses, put them out at the sides, at least if the first thing falls, they can catch it.

[quote]The New Guy wrote:
, I can set it down on the blocks and it comes just short of crushing my neck. I can then roll off either side of the bench. I’m sure it would look pathetic but it’s better than dying.[/quote]

Let me start off by sayingn so true.
Let me finish by saying that when I read this it made me laugh my ass off.

I made my power rack from wood and used bolts to put the pieces together.

http://images.t-nation.com/forum_images/c/1/c16e6-pullup.jpg

So for the first time I was able to max out of my deadlift. I got up to 270 pounds. I thought it was 280 but it turns out this cheap bar isn’t 45 pounds, it’s actually just under 35 pounds. I know 270 isn’t much, but 6 months ago I’m not sure I could have even pulled 135. I guess when I have to buy more plates I should buy a new barbell too.

[quote]mtd25 wrote:
With all that space looks like you can fit a chin-up/dip station and keep expanding.[/quote]

For chin-ups/pull-ups I either throw a towel over a horizontal tree branch in my backyard or put pipe on top of an overhanging 2x4 (see picture). I don’t do dips too often but I can do them off my treadmill’s handles (not like anyone else in my family uses it). In addition to the barbell set I also have two standard dumbbell handles and 190 pounds of standard plates.

I usually do full front squats, but back squatting it out of the rack isn’t too bad using sub-maximal loads. Also with fronts squats I find it a lot easier to drop the weight, both on the rack or on the floor if it’s too heavy. To put it on the rack I switch from a clean grip to a crossed-arms grip and sort of lunge down to the rack.

I would stabilize it with some cross bracing and v-notch the top…the screws can break if the bar rolls.

You can make a cheep squat rack with 2 old wheel rims and some hevy duty fence post. Simply get someone to weld the pipes to the rims and weld a “U” bracket on top. BAM! and squat rack.

You can even make an adjustable rack by getting a smaller diameter pipe to go into the bigger pipe, drill holes for pins. If this is not detailed enough or you are confused PM me and I will try and help.

I don’t know gentlemen…I’m paranoid of building myself any kind of equipment. I realize not all of us have access to a nice brand new Gold’s Gym, but unless I had a welding machine and the training to do so, I personally wouldn’t make my own equipment. Scratch that, the pull up bar invention was a great idea!

I put some pictures of my squatrack that I made of wood on my page. Bad pictures, I don’t own a real camera. But if you are interested, you can figure it out. Feel free to ask.

http://my.tmagnum.com/kaaleppi

[quote]kaaleppi wrote:
I put some pictures of my squatrack that I made of wood on my page. Bad pictures, I don’t own a real camera. But if you are interested, you can figure it out. Feel free to ask.

http://my.tmagnum.com/kaaleppi[/quote]

Nice job. Looks very sturdy. Use what ya got. Did you make a platform so that you can do “rack” pulls?

[quote]The New Guy wrote:
Well, my standard barbell was starting to look more like a horse shoe, so I bought a 300 pound olypmic set at Sports Authority for $120. I also needed a squat rack, but being a cheap bastard I decided to make one myself.

Not bad for a $13 piece of wood (I already had the cement blocks and gorilla glue). An unintended benefit of the blocks in front is that if I fail a bench press without a spotter, I can set it down on the blocks and it comes just short of crushing my neck. I can then roll off either side of the bench. I’m sure it would look pathetic but it’s better than dying.[/quote]

You should scrap this and build what kaaleppi built. Your contraption scares me.

[quote]TheDudeAbides wrote:
Nice job. Looks very sturdy. Use what ya got. Did you make a platform so that you can do “rack” pulls?[/quote]

Thank you. It is sturdy. I have 140 kg’s = 308 lb of iron. Alas, that’s not enough for rack pulls. I should buy more, I could double it without other problems than me unable to use that amount, I think.

One consequence of the construction is that I have to start movements from bottom position. I planned to make hooks also, but I scrapped the idea because I found it unnecessary after I had used the rack for a while. Two 2x4’s vertically attached with two bolts each. It can easily be done, but as I said, I found it unnecessary.