On the hunt for the best squat stands? A good set of independent squat stands is a must for any gym or home gym owner. The number of exercises you can do on a single set of stands is almost limitless. This means that squat stands should be toward the top of your buying list when you’re piecing together your home gym or fitness facility.
But there is a big problem when it comes to buying quality squat racks: They’re bulky, and they’re usually expensive. Traditionally most people look to a Power Rack for their barbell training needs. Power Racks are great and will certainly get the job done for your squats, bench presses and other exercises, but they take up a lot of space, and they’re not cheap.
Squat stands, like the CFF 2nd Gen Squat Stands, offer a lot of the same versatility of a Power Rack, but take up much less space, and are a fraction of the price. With that in mind we’ll be reviewing the CFF Squat Stands to see how they compare to more traditional rack solutions.
Things to consider before buying the CFF Squat Stands 2nd Gen
If barbell training is a big part of your routine, a high quality rack or set of stands is important to have in your set-up. The exercises you can do on a good set of stands is almost limitless. From squats to bench presses and every variation in between, a good set of stands is a life saver.
If space is at a premium in your home gym or your fitness studio, you may also want to consider squat stands over a traditional Power Rack, particularly when it comes to ceiling height.
Lastly even a quality set of squat stands like the CFF Squat Stands can be much more budget friendly compared to traditional racks, so if price is a concern, these will certainly be a good option.
Overview of the CFF Squat Stands 2nd Gen
The CFF Squat Stands are a light weight, adjustable option for racking a barbell for exercises like back squats, bench press and barbell rows. Each set comes with two stands, two safety arms, and two safety pins for adjusting the rack height. They also come with simple tools for assembly.
The CFF Squat Stands are a great option for anyone with a home gym, particularly because of how cost effective and small they are. With only about a 2×2 footprint for each stand they will fit nicely in your home gym.
These are also a solid option for small boutique gym owners, because they are very portable weighing in at less than 25lbs per stand. This is great for bootcamp coaches who may need to move equipment around quickly to accommodate varying group fitness class sizes.
- Small Foot Print
- Spotter arms don’t do much
- Can be intimidating to newer exercisers
- Paint flakes easily
Features and Benefits of the CFF Squat Stands – What Makes These The Best Squat Stands:
Packaging and Assembly of the CFF Squat Stands
The CFF Squat stands do come unassembled. The packaging from Christian’s Fitness Factory was adequate and the stands seemed to be well protected from the rigors of being shipped. Once unpacked, assembly is fairly straightforward.
Our racks came with simple toolkit for assembly which featured some small wrenches. These are used for attached the feet to the stands themselves. This is really the only assembly necessary for the whole kit. Each stand has a total of four bolts, and assembly should take less than 10 minutes total.
Adjustability of the CFF Squat Stands
Any good rack or set of stands will accommodate exercisers of various heights and sizes. The CFF Squat Stands have a minimum height of 36” all the way up to 65”. We’ve had clients as tall as 6’4 use these stands!
We’ve found that the lowest setting is a good height for bench press even for those with very short arms. Maxing out at 65” does make the stands feel slightly unsturdy, but we’ve had no issues when fully extended.
The Best Squat Stands – Capacity and Uses of the CFF Squat Stands
The CFF Squat Stands are rated for up to a total of 750lbs (375lbs each stand), and will most commonly be used for exercises like back squats, front squats, bench press, military press, barbell rows, etc…
We’ve had athletes in our facility squatting well over 500lbs on these stands, and they feel sturdy even at heavier weights. One thing that is important to mention is that because these stands do not bolt down to the ground, some people may feel that they are not secure. The H pattern feet do provide plenty of stability. The only way you would knock these stands over would be if you were to throw a barbell into the rack from over head, or slam it into the rack with a lot of momentum…things that you shouldn’t be doing anyway!
Safety of the CFF Squat Stand
The CFF Squat Stands have a safety rail on each stand that is rated for a combined total of 400lbs. Although the arms are fully adjustable in terms of height, they are only about 6” in length. But they do add an extra layer of protection.
The back plate of the stands are 5”, which is plenty to catch a barbell from going past the j-cup where the barbell sits. I’ve found these very helpful when racking a bar to get a sense of where I am in relation to the rack.
The pin that holds the rack at your desired height is constructed of thick, heavy duty steel. Even after years of use in our facility, the pins are showing absolutely no signs of wear or damage. Each rack pin has a hole in the end where a grenade style clip slides through. This prevents the adjustment pins from accidentally sliding out. These are a welcome addition to the 2nd gen squat stands over the first generation. Just be careful that people don’t take them out and lose them, as they are small, and aren’t “necessary” for the operation of the stand.
Long Term Use of the CFF 2nd Gen Squat Stands
I first purchased a set of the CFF Squat Stands for my home gym back in 2013. Since then they’ve been moved into my fitness business where they are constantly used day in and day out by dozens of clients.
Despite the heavy wear and tear these stands get in the gym, they’ve held up tremendously well. My only real complaint is that sometimes the paint peels off the feet easily from people stepping on the stands, or bumping into the feet with other pieces of equipment.
The fact that the stands can easily be moved is a big help when we need to rearrange the gym for an event or move them to a different part of the gym for a particular exercise. The only down side to this is that occasionally people will place the stands too close together, which makes it easy for a barbell to tip off the side of the rack when being loaded or unloaded.
But we’ve had clients from as short as sub 5’ and over 6’4 use these stands for dozens of different exercises with absolutely no problem at all!
Alternatives to the CFF Squat Stand 2nd Gen
If you’re in need of a good stand or rack solution, other products you may want to check out are:
- Rogue S-4 Squat Stands
- These stands are very simillar in design to the CFF Squat stands. There are some small differences in that they are rated for slightly more weight (1,000lbs vs 750lbs) and adjust slightly lower and slightly higher. These added specs to come at a cost however, as the Rogue stands average about $150 more than the CFF Squat Stands.
- Rogue Echo Squat Stands 2.0
- Priced almost directly between the CFF Stands and the Rogue S-4 Stands, the Rogue Echo squat stand is another no frills option. ALthough priced below the S-4 squat stands, these do not have as much adjustability, and because the two stands are linked by a cross bar, this means they are slightly less maneuverable and a bit heavier.
- Rep Fitness PR-1100 Power Rack
- If you’ve decided that you want something a little more versatile than stands alone, a Power Rack would be the next solution. The Rep Fitness PR-1100 Power Rack is a budget friendly version, coming in slightly less expensive than the Rogue S-4 Stands, but more money than the CFF Squat Stands and the Rogue Echo 2.0 Stands. Also rated for 1,000lbs a power rack gives you added benefits of full length spotter arms for, as well as a cross bar for pull-ups.
Conclusion – Final Thoughts The Best Squat Stands (CFF 2nd Gen Squat Stands)
Barbell exercises are an important staple in any fitness routine, but traditional squat racks and power racks can be too big and too expensive for your home gym or your boutique fitness gym or studio. Squat stands are a great option for those looking for a versatile rack for their barbell training without sacrificing floor space.
With a light weight design, small footprint, wide adjustability, and balancing a price point that won’t break the bank, but also won’t scare you off by being too cheaply made, the CFF Squat Stands 2nd Gen are a great option for anyone looking for a solid squat.