I'm currently doing a workout program involving squats, overhead press, deadlifts, and curls. All of this is done with a barbell and squat rack. However it means I'm now using the rack for 30-40 mins to myself. Is this bad etiquette? If so, what's the solution? (No, I will not clean/press up the barbell for the overhead)

  • 5
    If someone else is waiting, sure; common courtesy means sharing. Oct 3, 2021 at 12:51
  • 22
    Curling in the squat rack is a running joke among lifters. Idea being that you're using equipment you don't need because whatever you can curl, you can certainly pick up off the floor.
    – Alec
    Oct 3, 2021 at 18:45
  • 16
    Why are you doing curls and deadlifts in the squat rack?
    – Thomas Markov
    Oct 4, 2021 at 0:30
  • 5
    You should never hog the squat rack for Curls and Deadlifts. You don't need the rack at all for those. Specifically for the curl, you don't even need the olympic bar.
    – Jeremy
    Oct 4, 2021 at 6:39
  • 2
    curls in the squat rack is a meme....
    – Z4-tier
    Oct 4, 2021 at 13:40

2 Answers 2


Forty minutes is an absolutely acceptable amount of time to occupy a squat rack. (In the interest of changing your baseline: I know powerlifters who take a station for two hours because that's just how long it takes to get the work done.)

However, gym capacity and rules must be taken into account. If there aren't many stations and people are waiting, it's polite to let someone "work in" so they do their sets during your rest periods and vice versa.

Another point to consider, especially if other athletes are bugging you to use the rack, is whether you rrrrrreally need the squat rack for a given set or exercise. I don't say this to encourage being a doormat -- I am ruthless with maintaining one's workout "flow". But curls have zero place in the squat rack. Go do those somewhere else. And deadlifts require a bar, but not the rack. Overhead press, depending on your skills, can be done without a rack by power cleaning the bar to the shoulders. It sounds like you won't do that, which is fine. But for the curls? C'mon.

  • Comments are not for extended discussion; this conversation has been moved to chat.
    – C. Lange
    Oct 4, 2021 at 17:07
  • Not worth an answer, but I'd add that you probably shouldn't be doing an overhead press with more weight than you can easily clean to your shoulders, rest on back of shoulders, etc. Not sure of your reasons not to clean to shoulders, but thought worth mentioning. If that's why, you may want to reevaluate the weight you're using/building other muscles before continuing these. Also, as with most lifts, if you're only doing one or the other, better to do it with dumbbells than a barbell anyway.
    – TCooper
    Oct 5, 2021 at 21:57

I mostly concur with the answers above.

Squats and OHP are absolutely fine in a squat rack. Deadlifts in the squat rack are a gray area. I used to not be flexible enough to deadlift from the floor, so then you do stiff legged deadlifts where you usually pick it up from the rack. BUT, while you use the rack you train your flexibility to be able to pick it up from the floor. Both for your own sake because full range of motion is better and everyone else's because you won't hog the squat rack.

However, as Dave has already pointed out... curls are absolutely unacceptable in a squat rack. It makes your question sound almost trollish. Even bicep freaks like Lee Priest (who could curl the bar with a plate on each side mind you) will get annoyed at someone who's curling in a squat rack.

To close off, if your workout takes an hour to complete and you need a squat rack for the full duration: "Just do it!". But don't use it unnecessarily and maybe let other people alternate sets with you when you're resting.

PS: Happy training bro. And remember: RERACK YOUR WEIGHTS!

  • I agree, to me this read like "Hai guyz, im doing this widely used power lifting split, but no power cleans and curlz in the squat rack.... lol u mad bro?"
    – Z4-tier
    Oct 4, 2021 at 15:35
  • @Z4-tier You must be long overdue a visit to your local ophthalmologist.
    – user33409
    Oct 4, 2021 at 21:36

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