Why Don’t Gyms Have More Squat Racks? (Honest Truth)

Why Don’t Gyms Have More Squat Racks

Here’s Why Gyms Don’t Have More Squat Racks:

1. Limited Floor Space Is an Issue in Gyms

2. Squat Racks Are Not Profitable For Gyms

3. Using a Squat Rack Is Not Common Practice

In my experience, this is a common occurrence. You sign up for a new gym membership (possibly your first), the equipment is brand new, the facilities are beautiful, and it’s conveniently located, so you’re ready to get started on your new training program.

Many new members are surprised to learn, however, that most commercial and even specialized gyms lack adequate squat racks. A squat rack is going to be used for many exercises in any strength- or muscle-building program.

In a gym with only two squat racks available and a long line of people waiting to use them, you’ll wonder why gyms don’t have more.

Because squat racks take up a lot of floor space, they are expensive to buy, and most gym members don’t have a high demand for a squat rack, commercial gyms don’t have many of them.

Instead, gyms focus on a wide range of cardio equipment, as well as a moderate number of free weights.

The reality is that for most commercial gyms, squat racks aren’t in the owner’s best interest financially. This is already provided by powerlifting and weightlifting gyms. I’ll explain why there aren’t more squat racks in gyms and what you can do about it in this article.

Why do gyms have so few squat racks?

The benefits of squatting are virtually endless; they include improved strength, power, balance, and posture, to name just a few.

Squat racks at commercial gyms can be a pain to get into, so if you’ve ever had to wait in line for one, you’ll know what I’m talking about. It’s a fair question, but one that’s being asked more and more as gyms move away from squats. If squatting is so beneficial, why aren’t there more squat racks in gyms?

As a starting point, consider that commercial gyms are a for-profit enterprise, and the vast majority of their members aren’t there to squat or perform powerlifting or weightlifting techniques.

A lot of gymgoers aren’t willing to put in the effort to learn how to squat properly, even if they know it’s a great exercise for their health, they won’t because it’s difficult. Your outlook on fitness will be vastly different from the majority of people who read this.

Equipment such as treadmills, ellipticals, weight machines that are “easy to use,” and light dumbbells… When people go to a commercial gym, these are the kinds of things they want to use. It’s not a top priority to load up a barbell and go to work in the squat rack.

It is not uncommon for gyms to have fewer squat bars for the following reasons:

1. Limited Floor Space Is an Issue in Gyms

Most commercial gyms are unwilling to spend the money and take up floor space for equipment that only a small percentage of their members will use, which is why squat racks aren’t widely available.

Although more people are recognizing the benefits of strength training, the squat rack and free weight section still have a stigma attached to them that makes them intimidating to those who are new to the gym.

Most gyms will see people use the cardio and fixed weight machines more than a squat rack or plate loaded machine, so floor space becomes a premium and most gyms are unwilling to use this on adding a lot of squat racks to their facility.

2. Squat Racks Are Not Profitable For Gyms

A squat rack is not a profitable piece of gym equipment from a business perspective, even if you’re in a commercial or leisure gym.

Squat racks can be intimidating for gym newbies, which is why you’ll usually find one tucked away in the corner of a gym.

It all adds up, so if your gym’s priority is making money, they’ll focus on cardio equipment, fixed weight machines and free weights, and then at the bottom of the list will be strength training equipment like a squat rack.

3. Using a Squat Rack Is Not Common Practice

This isn’t the place to make such a claim on a home gym website dedicated to squat racks and power racks.

Having a squat rack at your disposal means that you have almost limitless potential for strength and muscle development. While a squat rack has its limitations, when used correctly, it can yield impressive results.

The majority of people don’t agree with this. Why powerlifting gyms aren’t overflowing with new members, why the front and centre of any gym doesn’t have a squatting rack is because squatting isn’t as popular as it should be.

Most gym-goers don’t use squat racks, so those with a laser-like focus on strength training or physique improvement must wait in line or share a squat rack.

Is Squatting Safe?

Even though some for-profit gym chains claim that squat racks are dangerous or even intimidating to their members, squats are perfectly safe for anyone to perform them.

However, figuring out what they are is a challenge. Regardless of how long you’ve been lifting, you should already know that squats are gruelling, they hurt during and after your workout, and mastering your form takes practice.

Squat injuries are more common among beginners in a gym, especially without a spotter, so gyms would prefer to avoid them at all costs.

If you’re serious about your training and understand that squatting requires proper form and technique, you won’t have any issues.

If My Gym Lacks a Squat Rack, What Should I Do?

In the event that you’re one of those unfortunate souls whose gym has either removed or never had a squat rack, what are you going to do now that you don’t have a squat rack? There are three routes you can take:

  • Continue going to the gym, but swap out squats and presses for other exercises in your routine.
  • You need to find a new gym (this should be a priority)
  • Consider purchasing a squat rack for your home gym.

Installing a squat rack in your home should be doable

This is a much simpler option than you might expect. An excellent home gym investment is a squat machine if you can afford it and have the room for it.

The number of exercises you can do with a barbell, weight plates, flooring, and the rack itself may be limited by the cost of the equipment, but the benefits far outweigh that. As a bonus, if you have a bench in your home, you can do the following and more:

  • Squats include front, back, box, and sumo squats.
  • The Overhead Press
  • Incline Bench Press, Bench Presses
  • Bent Over Row

When putting in a squat rack at home, make sure you follow all of the safety precautions that come with it. If you’re working out alone and haven’t reserved a spot, be careful not to overexert yourself.

Combined with the downward force of gravity, a heavy bar can be a powerful downward force. Rubber matting can save you a lot of money and time in the long run by protecting your floors.

Is it Worth It to Set Up a Squat Rack at Home?

There are more expensive pieces of equipment, but squat racks aren’t among them. Adding a squat rack to your home gym can really take it to the next level if you have some savings set aside.

However, if you’re still dissatisfied with the options available, you could always add a power rack.

With the added weight capacity of a power rack, you’ll get more use out of it if you’re looking to progress in your lifts over the long term.

Make sure your rack is securely fastened to the floor, preferably by bolting it into a concrete floor, in order to avoid a serious accident while lifting heavy weights.

To get the most out of your home gym, power racks typically come equipped with a slew of extras. With safety bars, you can squat much heavier weights without fear of hurting yourself or damage to your property, as well as perform dips and pull-ups.

Squats aren’t the only way to get in shape.

Don’t worry if you can’t find a gym with a squat rack and you can’t install one at home. Leg day will remain, as will the muscle soreness. In the gym, try some of the following exercises instead of squats:

  • Squats using your own weight, kettlebells, dumbbells, and goblets are all examples of squats.
  • Lunges, Dumbbell Lunges, and Barbell Lunges are all examples of this exercise.
  • Leg Press
  • Squats using a Smith Machine


Why Don’t Gyms Have More Squat Racks? Squat racks are not priority in commercial gyms because they take up too much floor space, are an expensive addition to the inventory, and, perhaps most importantly, there is no demand for more squat racks.

Your goals and training style are not in line with the general public, which means they are not in line with general gyms, which is why you may have difficulty getting rack time and are constrained by equipment in your current gym.

If you frequently use a squat rack in your workouts, you should either look for a new gym that specializes in strength training or bodybuilding, or get a squat rack for your own home gym.