As mentioned in a previous post, the Middle Catch of the squat stand is useful for exercises like Bench Presses and Barbell Curls. The Bottom Catch, on the other hand, is useful for exercises like the Upright Rows and Lying Tricep Extensions (French Presses and Skullcrushers).
The Middle Catch of the Squat Stand
The height of the Middle Catch allows you to perform exercises where you pick up the barbell from the hip area. So this catch level is ideal for Standing Barbell Curls and other curling exercises.
Another advantage of using these squat stands is that you are not limited to the type of bar for weight training. Aside from the regular straight bar, you could also use these squat stands for the shorter EZ curl bar.
The EZ curl bar is a variant of the barbell that is often used for bicep curls, upright rows, and lying triceps extensions.
The curved profile of the bar in the grip region allows the user's wrists and forearms to take a more neutral, less supinated position. For the EZ curl bar exercises, you just need to position the squat stands closer together to accommodate the bar's length.
To construct the Middle Catch in this DIY project, you need a block of wood and several thinner pieces of wood as shown below.
Unlike the Top Catch, you won't need a rear restraint for this level because the main post of the squat stand already serves that purpose. But you still need a front restraint and the catch, which in this case, is a block of wood.
Notice that the block of wood, although attached to post, also rests on wood supports. These supports are crucial for indirectly carrying the heavily weighted barbell. No amount of fasteners, like screws securing the block to the post, will be able to hold up the weight.
Here are the parts of the Middle Catch Assembly:
- Front Restraint - Wood piece 3 3/4" long, 3/4" thick and 1 3/4" wide. Height of the actual restraint is 3/4" (from the top of the Middle Catch).
- Middle Catch - Wood block is 5 1/2" long, 1 3/4" thick and 1 3/4" wide. This block attaches to the post and rests on 2 supports.
- Supports - There are 2 wood pieces. The longer, primary support is attached directly to the post and rests on the top of the Bottom Catch. It is 9 1/2" long, 3/4" thick and 1 3/4" wide. The secondary support is 4" long. It attaches to the primary support.
The Bottom Catch of the Squat Stand
The Bottom Catch is actually part of a smaller, secondary post that is attached to the primary post. The Bottom Catch will be useful for weightlifting exercises where you pick up the barbell from a standing position.
Standing Upright Rows immediately come to mind. The Bottom Catch's height allows you to pick up heavy weights on a barbell without squatting or bending too deeply, thereby minimizing back strain.
Here are the parts of the Bottom Catch Assembly:
- Front Restraint - Wood piece that is 3 3/4" long, 3/4" thick and 1 3/4" wide. The actual restraint is 3/4" high from the top of the Bottom Catch.
- Rear Restraint - This is actually the wood piece mentioned in the Middle Catch as the longer primary support.
- Bottom Catch - Wood piece that is 2 1/4" long, 3/4" thick and 1 3/4" wide. This piece rests on the top of the secondary post which is 20" high, 2 1/4" thick and 1 3/4" wide.
The smaller secondary post is joined to the bigger main post with metal fasteners on both sides. Use wood screws to secure the metal fasteners.
The Base of the Squat Stand
The base needs to be wide enough so the stand does not topple over. The attachment of the main and secondary posts to the base should be as rigid as possible.
This is possible with the use of thick heavy duty metal fasteners that secure the sides of the posts to the sturdy wooden base. See the picture below.
The base of the squat stand is a wooden board that's 16" long, 3/4" thick and 12" wide. It is prudent to get the thickest and heaviest solid board to use as base.
When in use for the exercises, you can further secure the squat stands by pinning them down with the weight of a heavy weight bench or a weight rack.
(See Part 4 for the continuation of this article)