Rogue SML-2C Squat Stand

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Rogue SML-2C Squat StandReview Facts

The Rogue SML-2C squat stand gives you the strength and versatility of a power rack in a pared-down, compact design. It comes in your choice of eleven custom colors and sports Rogue’s trademark 3 x 3 inch, 11-gauge square steel uprights. The bolt-together triangle base is durable and stable. All hardware is finished in a stylish satin black and made of hard-wearing zinc alloy. With the added benefit of the Westside hole pattern, this squat stand is an affordable and customizable middle ground between the Rogue S-2 and the Monster SM-2.

At the top of the SML-2C, you get an adjustable fat-skinny pull-up bar. The walk-in space on this rack is 48 inches, which provides you plenty of room to perform everything from squats to deadlifts and rack pulls. 

The package comes with a pair of high-quality J-Cups, protected with a UHMW plastic covering that won’t damage the finish on your barbells. The max weight capacity on this unit is 1000 pounds. The stand is 92 inches high, but the pull up bars don’t use all that available space. With the combination fat/skinny bar, the bar sits at 80.5 inches. A single skinny bar gets you an 88-inch high bar. The footprint is 49 by 48 inches. The stand weighs 157 pounds fully assembled. Mounting hardware is black zinc, bolts that won’t shear once you tighten them in place.

Editor's Pros & Cons
Pros

Easy to configure for different lifts

Option of both a fat and skinny bar

No floor or wall bolting needed

Option to add safety spotter arms, casters, and mounting feet with bolt holes

3 by 3-inch steel--some of Rogue’s economy racks has 2 by 3 inch

Compatible with Monster Lite series to make a whole rack

Cons

No options for plate storage

Quality of Life Impact

Quality of Life Impact

What does success in your fitness and healthy eating plan look like to you? Maybe you are an aspiring powerlifter, wanting to push heavyweight, build an impressive physique, and even compete in meets. Or perhaps you just want to stabilize your joints, improve your balance, and increase your energy level throughout the day. Some of us are also runners, soccer players, CrossFitters, or other types of athletes. Whatever your physical goals, you need at least a few pieces of equipment that will facilitate your different workouts and help you make gains safely over time. The most full-featured piece of gear won’t do you any good if the features outweigh the results pay off, or if the equipment is so hard to use that you don’t want to.

More than almost any other tool, then, a well-built squat stand or rack can tie your entire gym together and give you something that will grow with you and provide a reliable way for you to start and end your lifts every time you train.

Rogue racks are exceptionally well-built. The company goes the extra mile by making all its own steel and hardware at its Columbus, Ohio facility. The SML-2C will last for years without excess wear, will not need much maintenance, and will fight stains, corrosion, and rust, thanks to the finish. The 157-pound weight makes the stand portable, especially if you add the caster upgrade that Rogue offers. With a capacity of 1,000 pounds, you can push yourself to your max without ever coming close to equipment failure.

We are confident that the Rogue SML-2C will take you where you need to go with both your lifting practice and your life outside the gym. The fact that it’s not a rack means no plate storage, and you won’t be able to do certain lifts, but for most of us who live on bench presses and squats, the unit will not let us down.
Safety and Accessibility

Safety and Accessibility

The simplicity of the squat stand means anyone who wants to can learn to use. Those who have never lifted before will need a primer on bar placement and form. There are no pin or pipe safeties, but Rogue’s J-Cups, which hold the loaded bar in place, are some of the best in the industry. Staggered Westside hole spacing, too, lets you start your bench press at the optimal height for your range of motion. The spacing of the uprights is wide enough not to restrict movement. The triangle base is exceptionally stable, an upgrade from bases on previous models. With the addition of the safety spotter arms, which stop a dropped barbell dead in its tracks, the SML-2C becomes one of the safest squat stands money can buy.
Extras

Extras

We’ve learned that Rogue’s squat stands, meant to be affordable, do not come with a lot of extras. There are certainly more possibilities if you go the full power rack route. Plate storage is not available, though you can use the bar and keep extra plates on it between sessions. If you have a weight stand, you will want to set it up near the stand so you are not having to lug plates across your gym floor.

The color options, including red, blue, grey and others, are an extra. Other Rogue squat stands come in black only. The addition of a combined fat/skinny bar is a nice touch, one we haven’t seen elsewhere. It is a tradeoff, though, since that configuration gives you 8 fewer inches of height.

Other add-ons, each with a separate price, include safety spotter arms, casters and brackets, and S-Base mounting feet that let you bolt the stand to your floor.
Reliability

Reliability

The SML-2C is a solid steel bolt together frame with movable J-Cups for bar holding and staggered precision-cut holes for J-Cup installation. It will provide an unshakeable platform for your heaviest lifts, with a revamped triangle plate style base and elective floor bolting if you wish. The fat/skinny or lone skinny bar lets you easily and safely work your arms, chest, shoulders, and trunk muscles, with the fat bar specializing in grip enhancement for a variety of sports.

Rogue is a leader and innovator in the fitness equipment industry, with one of the best reputations and a track record going back more than a decade. If you have any questions or issues, or if you just need help with installation, you can call Rogue or chat with an agent on their website. The company will tackle your problem with enthusiasm.

There are limitations to any squat stand if you compare them to a massive and full-featured power rack. You won’t have access to certain lifts, including belt squats and cable pulls. If you understand and accept these limitations, and can use the stand consistently as part of your overall training regimen, the SML-2C will repay you with a lifetime of convenient and hassle-free service. Make your workouts as grueling as you want them to be--your lifting frame should be easy and make you want to keep coming back.
Value

Value

We didn’t compare the SML-2C to other competing squat stands, as we have elsewhere. But we’d put it toe to toe with any other Rogue squat stand, and even some half racks, knowing the sleek frame can hold its own in terms of upfront cost and upgrade potential. For less than $500 USD, you get a tough and stable frame that you can configure for squats, bench press, pull-ups, and other moves like barbell lunges. There is room for any bench and for lifters with any body type. If you decide to go with the dual pull up bar, too, you get even more bang for your buck.
Stick With It Factor

Stick With It Factor

Yes, this squat stand has some upgrades available, and yes, you can have both a skinny and a fat bar if you wish. But for our money, what will keep you coming back is the simplicity and ease of use. Any fitness company can make a strong steel frame that holds your barbells in position. But only Rogue uses their proprietary J-Cups with bar protection, the Westside hole spacing, and the Rogue warranty that comes with every product.
The Final Word

The Final Word

The SML-3 is not a compromise, because you get all the durability and strength components you would get with the S-2 or the Monster series stands. You even get some of the power rack options, like the safety spotter stands which will spare you a lot of trouble if you drop a barbell or can’t finish a squat. Though you still need a human spotter for heavy lifts, this stand gives you the confidence to go a bit heavier, alone, with confidence and peace of mind. If you have a small space, can afford the upfront investment, and don’t have a need for the advanced features or cage enclosure of a power rack, the SML-3 is for you.