*Help* No Squat Rack (I know, I know, please read entire post before responding) *Help* No Squat Rack (I know, I know, please read entire post before responding)

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Thread: *Help* No Squat Rack (I know, I know, please read entire post before responding)

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Feb 2017
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    5

    Question *Help* No Squat Rack (I know, I know, please read entire post before responding)

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    I've been out of the gym for a bit and want to get back into lifting heavy. Problem is that I work on a cruise ship and have VERY limited resources in terms of equipment.

    I have:

    An olympic barbell (my own personal barbell so no need to share) and plenty of plates
    Dumbbells up to 90lbs
    A Smith Machine
    Benches

    As you may notice there is a lack of a power rack, squat rack, or squat stands... this makes doing almost any serious/established routine impossible. Everything I read says that there aren't really proper substitutes for the low bar back squat in a fundamentals routine (especially Starting Strength), but I really have no other option. I physically am unable to go to another gym, and I cannot purchase stands/rack.

    Ok due diligence out of the way, I could really use some advice on a good program to follow. I'm a fan of Starting Strength, 5/3/1 etc. and want to keep lifting heavy, but could use a program that doesn't involve back squatting, or a solid "alternative" programming to work around my lack of equipment.

    Thank you very much for any and all suggestions!

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Aug 2010
    Location
    South Korea
    Posts
    2,295

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    Quote Originally Posted by papaslides02 View Post
    I've been out of the gym for a bit and want to get back into lifting heavy. Problem is that I work on a cruise ship and have VERY limited resources in terms of equipment.

    I have:

    An olympic barbell (my own personal barbell so no need to share) and plenty of plates
    Dumbbells up to 90lbs
    A Smith Machine
    Benches

    As you may notice there is a lack of a power rack, squat rack, or squat stands... this makes doing almost any serious/established routine impossible. Everything I read says that there aren't really proper substitutes for the low bar back squat in a fundamentals routine (especially Starting Strength), but I really have no other option. I physically am unable to go to another gym, and I cannot purchase stands/rack.

    Ok due diligence out of the way, I could really use some advice on a good program to follow. I'm a fan of Starting Strength, 5/3/1 etc. and want to keep lifting heavy, but could use a program that doesn't involve back squatting, or a solid "alternative" programming to work around my lack of equipment.

    Thank you very much for any and all suggestions!
    Clean, Overhead Snatch, Split Snatch, Shrug, Clean and Press, Clean and Front Squat, Clean and Jerk, Prison Rows, Barbell Rows, DB Bench.......people in prison get strong all the time without squat racks. No amount of advice can circumvent your shitty situation, but, less than ideal conditions doesn't mean you can't train.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Apr 2012
    Location
    Garage Gym
    Posts
    8,291

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    Get yourself a Trap Bar. Trap Bar Deadlifts (especially from a deficit) are an excellent quad builder.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jul 2014
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    Land of Shadows...
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    5,015

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    Quote Originally Posted by Meshuggah View Post
    Get yourself a Trap Bar. Trap Bar Deadlifts (especially from a deficit) are an excellent quad builder.
    I would say this also ^.
    ...and at least the weight is close to the floor, on a ship and all.

    I don't know how safe overhead shit it if the boat sways back-n-forth.
    If it steady, then what Will said.

    Nothing wrong with squatting in the smith machine in this scenario.
    Sure, its not "optimal", but it will work. Just do a bunch of high rep shit.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Mar 2017
    Posts
    11

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    You can also use two chairs as squat rack!

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Jul 2015
    Location
    the Island of Misfit Toys
    Posts
    1,036

    Default

    Hack squat, Steinborn Squat.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Feb 2017
    Posts
    5

    Default

    Hi All,

    I'm back to training after a much too long hiatus (health stuff). I'm also back on the ship with the less than ideal setup.

    I've been trying several different squat variations, and I think I've narrowed it down to 3 that I can do with my situation, and was looking for opinions/pros/cons on all three.

    1. Clean to Front Squats
    2. Barbell Hack Squats
    3. Deadlift setup to Zercher Squats

    Thoughts/opinions (please read the first post if your advice involves changing gyms, getting new equipment, or anything else that involves using more than a single barbell and being clever...)

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Apr 2015
    Location
    Texas
    Posts
    633

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    Why don't you sell the smith machine and maybe some of your dumbells and get yourself a squat rack. A beginner, decent quality squat rack isn't going to cost a fortune.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Feb 2017
    Posts
    5

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by heavyiron8 View Post
    Why don't you sell the smith machine and maybe some of your dumbells and get yourself a squat rack. A beginner, decent quality squat rack isn't going to cost a fortune.
    Thanks for the response, but I work on a cruise ship, the smith machine is not mine to sell, nor is buying new equipment for them. My circumstances are somewhat unique, which is why I've been very specific in the OP.

    Unfortunately because of my job and life I CANNOT

    1. Change gyms
    2. Aquire new equipment
    3. Attempt complicated methods of getting the bar on my back (ship movement makes this 100x more dangerous than they already were)

    Please, I know there is no ideal answer, I'm just looking for the least of all evils between front squats, lighter goblet squats, smith machine, leg press + auxiliary movements, or something else like barbell hack squats.

    All I have at my disposal is an olympic barbell, plates, a smith machine, dumbbells, and a bunch of isolation machines... that's it... and the situation cannot be improved, I'm just looking for advice on my best option.

    Because of mobility issues I've been doing leg press with leg curl/leg extensions for hypertrophy/strength, and goblet squats or barbell front squats (clean from ground) for form. Is there a better answer?

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Jul 2017
    Posts
    282

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    starting strength coach development program
    Getting creative here (for better or worse) since all the good suggestions have been mentioned. Considering the motion of the ship is a safety concern how about landmine squats? Stick the heel of a shoe in a corner, put one end of the barbell in the shoe and load up the other end. You may need to get the first plate on then set it on a chair before loading the bar up heavy. It's definitely not optimal but would be an option that is fairly stable. Another idea is belt squats though they don't load the upper body.

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