Rogue SM-2 Squat Stand

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Rogue SM-2 Squat StandReview Facts

Always an innovator, Rogue designed and released the SM-2 Monster Squat Stand 2.0 to fill a niche for commercial gyms and recreational lifters alike. The stand is a hybrid squat stand and power rack. 

A squat stand is basically a set of steel uprights. It lets you do bench presses and squats easily, though often without the ability to use safety spotter arms. This means you cannot always pursue powerlifting with a squat stand. A stand’s main purpose is to facilitate bench presses and barbell squats. 

It’s pretty obvious that the advantages of a squat stand are a smaller footprint, lower price, and easier transport if you ever decide to move the stand. The disadvantages are the limited range of weightlifting moves, as well as (usually) not plate storage, no cable pull attachments, not squat belt platform, and reduced safety when doing low rep/high weight lifts. If you are going to attempt a bench press beyond your typical working weight, and all you have is a squat stand, you definitely need a human spotter.

Let’s do a deep dive into the Rogue SM-2 and see what you gain by this two-cornered, tall, compact compromise between a squat stand and a fully enclosed rack or power rack unit.

Editor's Pros & Cons
Pros

Super stable with 3X3 inch steel tube framing and one inch mounting hardware

Rogue’s enhanced triangle base plates mean no floor or wall bolting

93 inch uprights will fit in most home gyms

Features holes down the side, as well as on bench facing surface, to enable different attachments

Sleek black powdercoat finish throughout

Comes standard with J-Cups, bolts, and either a fat pull up bar, skinny bar, or combo

Cons

No plate storage options

More expensive than even Rogue squat stands

Quality of Life Impact

Quality of Life Impact

The SM-2 squat stand has enough advanced features and is expensive enough, that it may be more than many recreational lifters need.

Not that everyone who is able can’t benefit from lifting some heavy weight. Even occasionally doing a set of bench presses with an extra 5% of your working weight, over time, will lead to strength gains. But those of us who lift to protect our joints, stave off illness, and generally have more energy throughout the day will probably look for something more economical, like Rogue’s excellent S-2 squat stand which has comparable features at a lower price.

However, if you are looking for a weightlifting frame that will not take up a lot of space, will assemble fairly easily, and will give you more stability and peace of mind than most competing models, we think the SM-2 will take you where you need to go. That’s because of the rock-solid construction, but also because the side holes allow for more flexibility, with potential approaching that of an actual squat rack.

Safety and Accessibility

Safety and Accessibility

The uprights feature Westside hole spacing, standard on most Rogue racks and stands. Westside spacing means the distance between the upright holes is staggered. In standard spacing, the holes are usually 50 mm apart, all up and down the length of the upright. But with Westside spacing, the holes get closer together as you look down the upright. To be exact, the lowest holes are 25 mm apart, half the space of the higher holes.

These holes are what hold the J-Cups in place. The J-Cups, in turn, hold your barbell until you are ready to use it. Though the difference may seem minor, and won’t even be visible to an untrained eye, Westside spacing is the mark of a high-end rack or stand. That is because you can position your bar exactly where you need it, for your body type, height, arm length, etc. Neither the bar, the J-Cups, or the optional safety spotter arms will be too high or low, so safety is never compromised.

By taking the J-Cups out of the holes, you can quickly place the bar where you want it, dialing in your start position and range of motion for squats, bench presses, overhead presses, lunges, and deadlifts, with the lowest holes making it easier to load plates as you would with a deadlift jack.

Other safety features include rubber feet for the foundation, the large one-inch bolts, plastic bar protectors on top of the J-Cups, and a protective powder coat finish on both the J-Cups and all framing. This protects the rack from dropped equipment, scratches, rust, and corrosion. The sleek black finish, too, will last the life of the unit provided you give your stand a light wipe down periodically. You’ll want to refer to the owner’s manual for any rack or stand, but typically equipment like the SM-2 comes clean with a wet soapy rag. Water should be warm, not hot, and you can use two or three drops of dish soap. Check the owner’s manual, or call Rogue customer service, before using any spray cleaner solution on this product.
Versatility

Versatility

One of our favorite things about Rogue Fitness is that they always offer more attachments than other manufacturers. Every rack and stand is not compatible with every accessory, but it is impossible to buy a Rogue stand that won’t have some attachments available. Adding the attachments will open up new possibilities and help energize your lifting practice with both weighted resistance and bodyweight exercises.

The rack comes with a skinny or 1.25 inch pull up bar at no additional cost. For about $25 USD, you can get the combo fat/skinny bar instead. That lets you use the 1.25-inch grip or the “fat” 2-inch grip without changing the bar. Rogue offers several utility benches you can pair with the SM-2, as well as the adjustable bench which lets you do incline presses to target different muscle groups.

Rogue also offers their HG 2.0 plate sets, in sets of up to 1000 pounds, to go with the stand. Rogue plates are durable and low bounce, meaning they will come to a dead stop of you drop one on the floor. Rogue plates are used in the CrossFit games, and they come with generous warranties. However, any Olympic bar and plate combination will work with the SM-2; you are not limited to Rogue equipment.

The other two extras offered on the product page are the Matador dip attachment and the safety spotter arms for squats. The Matador is a snap-on metal frame that lets you do chest dips from any height on the stand. These are the most popular options, but any accessory that works with a Rogue Monster series stand/rack will also work with the SM-2. That includes bar hangers, chain hangers, and Landmine attachments for upper body functional fitness. More than any other Rogue squat stand, the possibilities here are endless.
Reliability

Reliability

Rogue manufactures most of their own equipment at their factory facility in Columbus, Ohio. Their reputation for service and durability is one of the best in the industry. This 3X3 inch steel tubing frame on this unit bolts together with one-inch black zinc hardware, which Rogue also fabricates. It is hard to find a more resilient and dependable rack or stand than one bearing the Rogue nameplate. Powder coating ensures the rack won’t rust or corrode, and also won’t damage any of the knurling or grips on your specialty bars. All Rogue racks, even their budget ones for smaller gyms, are built to last and backed by both a warranty and an on-the-ball customer service department.
Value

Value

Equipping your gym with an SML-2 squat stand, Olympic bar, and basic bench will run you $1000 USD or more, and that is not including bumper plates. It may be worth it to you to have the compact footprint of a squat stand coupled with some of the versatility a full-size rack offers. However, if you plan to keep your lifting on a smaller scale, you may consider some of Rogue’s less expensive stands, including the S-3. Or, for a few dollars more, go ahead and get an introductory Rogue rack. Choices there include the HR-2 half rack, the RM-4 Fortis rack, or even the full-fledged RML-490C power rack. All come with the Rogue guarantee of quality, and all will stand up to your harshest workouts over time.
Stick With It Factor

Stick With It Factor

The SM-2 squat stand is one piece of gear that will keep you coming back for more and gaining strength over time as you explore your own capabilities along with the different exercises the stand has to offer. Whether you upgrade with dip bars or not, the ease and comfort of using this stand will make you want to come back to it several times a week for a consistent boundary-pushing experience, one that is also mindful of your safety.
The Final Word

The Final Word

The SM-2 squat stand represents the highest limits of a stand before it becomes a full-on squat or power rack. You will notice the lack of four corners, but that does not make the platform any less stable. You will be able to add to your repertoire of lifts, with or without the array of accessories and add ons Rogue offers. Though it is costly, the SM-2 is versatile, stable, and durable enough to be the centerpiece of any garage or basement lifting gym.