Rogue HR-2 Squat Stand
Rogue Fitness has a great reputation for its power racks and other heavy-duty commercial gym equipment, a reputation we feel they deserve. Rogue products are all fabricated at Rogue’s facility in Columbus, Ohio. Racks, bars, benches, sleds, collars, and other products are made of formed, laser-cut, high capacity steel components. Rogue’s founding business model was to provide all the equipment a commercial gym owner would need to outfit their gym, all in one location. Prior to Rogue, equipping a gym was a long, laborious process, with products coming from a hodgepodge of suppliers and causing the gym owner to wait long periods of time before opening for business.
In this review, we will take a close look at the Rogue HR-2 half rack. The HR-2 works as a standalone half rack, or you can use it to convert any Monster Lite Series stand into a more compact rack. The rack’s footprint of 48 by 49 inches, and its additional uprights and back cross members, meaning you get more plate storage and a generous 18 inches of inside working depth for benches, pulls, squats and other barbell exercises.
Can stand alone or convert Monster series racks into half racks
Does not need to be floor or wall bolted
Uprights in the back for extra storage
Stored weight plates won’t hamper your movements even with a reduced working depth
Follows Monster Lite construction--3X3 steel instead of 2X3 you get with other budget Rogue racks
Westside hole spacing for safety, range of motion
Comes with a pull-up bar standard
Upgrade options cost more money
HR-2 is also the name of a kit that is just a kit-can get confusing
This half-rack will serve as a stable storage and starting point for all your Olympic lifts. Any bench will fit in between the side frames, and the built-in uprights will eliminate the need to buy a bench with its own uprights. The uprights and rear cross members are an added bonus over Rogue’s SML-2 rack. They provide extra plate storage and also free up more room for lifting.
You can even customize this rack for what you need the most. Plate storage pegs are optional, and you do not have to add them to every available slot. Pin and pipe upgrades make the unit safer and help you lift with more peace of mind. You can get the uprights in different heights since we don’t all have the same ceiling heights in our homes or gyms. Available upright heights are 90 or 108 inches (front of the rack) and 70 or 90 inches (back of the rack). A pull-up bar comes standard and is high enough off the ground that most lifters won’t need to cross their legs to get an unassisted range of motion.
Bar options include Rogue’s Ohio Bar in zinc or black oxide, The Bella 2.0 bar for women, or the Rogue B&R bar. Any brand of 2 inch Olympic bar will work. We suppose you could use a standard bar and plates, in a pinch, but why would you want to? The reduced bar diameter, too, may cause a standard bar to sit improperly in the J-Cups and compromise overall safety. You can also add a Rogue utility or adjustable bench, though the adjustable is quite costly. Plates come in a convenient 230 or 260-pound set if you want Rogue plates to match your rack.
As for a long-lasting product, one that delivers consistent service without much maintenance, it doesn’t get any better than Rogue. The steel is powder-coated, heat resistant, corrosion-resistant, and consistently strong even at weld points and in the rack holes. Those holes, too, feature the staggered Westside spacing that both makes them safer and increases your range of motion and start point options. You can add a Monster Lite Matador for less than a hundred dollars; the Matador bolts on to add an adjustable dip station to the rack. The dip station weighs just 27 pounds, and features comfort grip handles on a 3X3 inch 7 gauge steel frame.
Your other accessory option is the safety spotter arms, which are also compatible with any of the Monster Lite racks. The 3X3 inch steel arms bolt-on, but feature welded end plates for greater safety and durability. The spotter arms are adjustable, too, with hitch pins you can take out and install with no hassle. A plastic overlay on top of the spotter arm eliminates metal on metal friction that could damage the finish of your bar.
The safety spotter arms are designed to catch a runaway loaded bar in case it is dropped during a row, squat, clean and jerk, or, we suppose, a deadlift, although you’d need the arms as close to the floor as possible to get a full range of motion on the deadlift. Like any of their racks, the safety spotter arms and Matador dip attachment are uber durable and will never let you down over years of use.
Ease of Use
Lifting workouts can be hard and grueling. They don’t always need to be, despite what the “no pain, no gain” crowd says, but pushing yourself even a tiny bit harder each session is what leads to gains over time. While we can’t promise you an easy workout, we can assure you that this rack will make setup and transitions easy, fast, and fluid. You will not need a lot of downtime in between sets, and the design makes it easy for a buddy to rotate in even if they lift at weights far different from your usual. The pin and pipe safeties, plate storage units, extra cross members, and proprietary J-Cups, too, make the HR-2 rack or conversion kit a pleasure to use. You will want to lift again and again and won’t dread equipment failure or rough edges--Rogue specializes in thinking of literally everything, and it shows.
So for you beginners or you seasoned lifters who always have something to learn, here is a breakdown of what you can do with the Rogue HR-2 half-rack, as a standalone rack, modifier for other racks, or straight-up hardware conversion kit:
Barbell squats. There isn’t a single exercise that helps you build mass, strength, and all-around fitness faster than the humble squat. It’s best to have a trainer or experienced lifter help with the form at first, but there are plenty of YouTube tutorials from reputable sites. All you have to do is stand under the bar, place it on your shoulders with your hands wrapped around the grips, and then squat down. Going down, as well as standing back up, needs to be slow, deliberate, and done with a healthy respect for form. If you don’t have access to a squat rack, bodyweight or dumbbell squats are just as effective even with lowered resistance.
Bench Presses: with a bench placed in the center of the frame, the squat rack becomes an upright that allows you to start and finish a press at just the right height for your body size and available range of motion. You don’t need a squat rack for dumbbell flys, but a rack with the width of any Rogue offering will leave you plenty of room to swing those dumbbells and build your pec muscles.
Leg press, lunges, deadlifts, and squat variations like the box squat or goblet squat also get a lot easier when the rack is there to hold the weight in position for you to grab and go. Most Rogue racks also have a pull-up bar, and we talked about the Matador dip attachment for the HR-2.
Since the rack lends itself to different start positions, it opens you up to doing shoulder presses, military presses, inverted rows, upright rows, and elevated push-ups. You can also try bent-over rows, and the rack will prevent you from having to reach all the way down to the floor just to grab the barbell at both ends.