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Old 08-14-2008, 09:02 PM   #1
Steve Ericson
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Default Spotting Stands While Squatting, Worth It?

Once upon a time I used to only squat in a cage with spotting bars. Well since leaving the YMCA and setting up my own home gym / working out at a crossfit affiliate I have been squatting on a platform without spotting stands. I have not squatted close to my 1rm since leaving the ymca but have dumped the bar while squatting less than my capabilities with no ill affects.

I have heard from some reputable sources that learning how to dump the bar correctly when squatting is actually safer than using spotting stands like ironmind's "pillars of power". However, there are a lot of people also touting that "they only squat in a cage" or that "you are foolish not to use spotting stands".

Squat stands are one of the last things I need to add to my home gym and I like the Sorinex High Low Squat Stand the best, but maybe I should go with the Ironmind Vulcans so I can get the matching Pillars of Power too if there is value in them.
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Old 08-15-2008, 05:12 AM   #2
Frank Needham
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Learning how to dump the weight is a valuable thing to know. I've seen some silly things happen when people don't even know enough to let go of the bar when they're about to crash. I don't really see any controversy regarding using stands vs not using them though. I use a cage 100% of the time but that is just coz I have one that I got for cheap. Seems like nothing but personal preference to me. Glen Pendlay recommended some stands once that I saw on xfit not long ago. I think the thread might still be alive over there and checking it out might be worth while for you.
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Old 08-15-2008, 07:28 PM   #3
Steve Ericson
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Thanks Frank, I'll see if I can find that thread.
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Old 08-15-2008, 09:24 PM   #4
Yuen Sohn
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Steve,
I think he was referring to the ProMaxima stands, which are the ones I ended up getting. They are pretty basic, but were about $200 something with shipping at the time (though they may have raised prices since then). I'm very happy with my purchase. Let me know if you need any further info on them.
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Old 08-15-2008, 11:58 PM   #5
Steve Ericson
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Yeah Yoon it looks like those are the ones he was talking about. Do you use spotting stands, saw horses or the like when squatting heavy with those? Or do you just back away from the stands and squat in the open?

Thanks
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Old 08-16-2008, 05:34 AM   #6
Yuen Sohn
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They're in my apartment (I'm on the 4th floor), but I haven't gotten around to getting any sort of spotting device. So I never squat close to failure with them. I just use them for light to somewhat challenging squat and press workouts. I save my heavier attempts for the Olympic lifting gym, where I've never used spotting stands and have never seen anyone else use them either -- we just walk the barbell out into the open. People just ditch the barbell if need be or get a spot from other lifters.

I concur with Frank: knowing how to safely dump the weight is critical.
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Old 08-16-2008, 05:47 AM   #7
Derek Simonds
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I also have the proxima squat stands. That was the first piece of real equipment I bought for my home gym years ago. At the time I bought them I paid 135.00 plus shipping.

They are fantastic and don't take up a ton of room. I have them at the front of my O/Lift platform and just pick up the weight and step back onto the platform. I have dumped many times. I also use bumper plates when squatting so I don't even think about it.

As has been said learning to dump is a great technique to have. I think Greg wrote about it in a PM coaching article. I will look later.
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Old 08-16-2008, 08:06 PM   #8
Steve Ericson
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Thanks for the feedback Yoon and Derek. Derek if you happen to dig up that article by Greg that would be great! I'll do some searching myself as well.

So it sounds like knowing how to dump the bar durring squats (with bumpers of course) is perfectly safe even under max loads. I wonder if thats how Greg and company squat?
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Old 09-04-2008, 10:11 AM   #9
Gregory L. Johnson
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I think in the video of Casey B. on the July 31 WOD shows him squatting heavy - no spotting stands.

I use squat stands but no spotting stands. I've only had to dump the weight once (obviously I am not trying hard enough) at the bottom of my squat. I wasn't aggressive enough in dumping the weight and the bar rolled right down my spine. It didn't cause an injury but it was not a pleasant feeling. I wanted to get spotting stands after that but decided not to. I think it's too much of mental crutch knowing you can just bail on the lift any time.
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Old 09-10-2008, 10:25 AM   #10
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Unless you don't have bumpers, there is no need for anything but a rack to pull the bar from before squatting. You need to learn how to bail out of a failing squat - front squats are easy; backs are a little scarier. The key is that the moment you realize it's not happening, you need to LIFT your chest, drop your ass, and jump forward - many people will duck under it to dump it forward, which can work, but runs the risk of back and noggin tweaking.
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