December 01, 2019 | John Paul Catanzaro
I’ve had some issues trying to find a quality safety squat bar that’ll fit my power rack. During my last annual “fitness equipment” shopping spree, there was a nice one calling my name. My power rack is four feet wide, so I went up to the clerk and asked if it would fit?
“It’ll fit,” he said. “No problem!”
So I bought it. When I got home and threw it on my rack, it fit, but not quite the way I was expecting.
Another local outlet carried a decent safety squat bar that they claimed would fit any power rack not wider than 49.5 inches. My rack measures exactly 49 inches – that should give just enough wiggle room – so I bought the bar. Well, it did fit better than the first one, but not by much.
Now I was determined to find one that would fit properly. There’s a company in Canada that carries a safety squat bar that can handle a lot of weight, it’s 51.5 inches wide between each bend (more than enough to fit my rack), and they offer free shipping, you just have to pick it up from a local depot.
So I bought it, and sure enough it fit my rack with room to spare… but there’s a slight twist to the story, and I mean that in a literal sense! Take a look at this photo and see if you can spot it:
If you didn’t notice it, you will after you see these photos:
I mentioned it to the company and they told me it was the first they’ve heard of the issue, but they didn’t think it would affect the function of the bar and to give it a shot.
So that I did.
Once a week for a good month, I used the bar and something interesting happened each time: the middle pad kept sliding a bit to one side. At first, I didn’t pay much attention to it, but after a few times, it started to bug me. Something was off. Was it the slight twist? My traps? What was it?
I’m a perfectionist. I can spot little things that most people wouldn’t. After taking a closer look, here’s what I discovered:
I gave the bar an honest shot and wasn’t impressed. In addition to the twist, the handles were offset from the center – not much mind you, but enough to cause the middle pad to constantly shift to one side. Half an inch here and there over time will impose an asymmetrical load through the spine and can lead to a muscle imbalance and a potential injury. Quite frankly, the bar requires stricter quality control measures from the manufacturer.
Like anything, you get what you pay for!
“Safety” is not something you should screw around with, especially when it comes to squatting with heavy loads. I learned my lesson. Time to look south of the border for some options.
Buying strength training equipment from the States can cost you more in shipping than the actual item, but when it comes to a high-quality safety squat bar, its worth the cost. I went with the Transformer Bar from Kabuki Strength for its unique features.
The Transformer Bar is not just a safety squat bar – it’s like three bars in one! It can act like a regular bar, a cambered bar, or a safety squat bar with a simple adjustment.
And the quality is outstanding! The pad is comfortable and centered on the bar where it belongs, and I can store the bar upright in my vertical barbell holder. But the most important part, it fits in my power rack!