Have you ever worried about failing a bench press and being stuck by a barbell? You’re not alone; fitness forums and Reddit threads alike have expressed similar concerns.
So, can a squat rack be used for bench press? Yes. Most squat racks may be used to bench press. Simply make sure that your squat stand is properly set up and that you do not exceed your maximum weight capability. Also, make sure the safety bars catch the bar if you need to drop it. They should be situated about an inch above your chest.
When Do You Need a Squat Rack for Bench Press?
Can’t Find a Spotter at Your Gym
There’s no simple way out of a failed press while benching without a spotter. You have the option of not using clips and allowing the weight to slip off either end of the barbell, or you may employ the notorious “roll of shame,” which can be dangerous when lifting a bigger weight.
You can also opt not to push yourself to failure, but finding that point can be difficult for beginners.
If you can’t locate a spotter at your gym, I’ve always preferred benching in the squat or power rack when pressing to failure — and some would consider this the safest option to a spotter. Knowing you’re completely secure may also motivate you to put in one additional rep.
Your Bench Press Has Plateaued
If your bench press has reached a plateau and you’re no longer gaining strength, a squat rack can help you breakthrough.
However, you shouldn’t use a squat rack as an excuse to fail every time you bench press; if you’re failing that frequently, it might be time to rethink your program or the weight you’re using.
Final Words: Use a Squat Rack for Bench Press Safely
Bring a bench to the power rack and place the safety bars low enough so you can achieve the complete range of motion but high enough so you can gently drop the barbell down if you fail.
If you’re at a crowded gym and don’t want to take up a squat rack that might be used for actual squatting, simply do the regular bench press and ask for a spotter.
Using a squat rack to bench press during busy hours is typically terrible gym etiquette — unless your gym’s bench press is already used or your club doesn’t have a sufficient bench press at all.