Homemade Squat and Bench Press Stand


What You Need to Know
Cost: $31
Time: 2 hours
Difficulty: Medium

Equipment for Squatting, Benching, and Pressing


Material Needed:


  • 3, 5 gallon buckets
  • 3, 50lb. bags of Quikcrete (fast setting)
  • 2, 8ft. 4×4’s

Step 1:

Go to your local hardware store and pick up your items. At Home Depot they will make 2 cuts for free. I had them cut the 8ft. piece at 5ft., which gave me (2) 5ft. pieces and (2) 3ft. pieces. Take into account how high you want your stands. I originally had it at 60 in. (5ft.), but decided I wanted it a little shorter after I started the project so I had to make two more cuts. I ended up with  (2) 3ft. pieces and (2) 55in. pieces. I am 5′ 11″

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Step 2: 

Make your V-Cuts. If you have a skill saw, put it at 45 degrees and make the cut. This step was far more complicated than it needed to be, but if you mess it up you are screwed. If you are unsure how to make a V-Cut, Click on the Diagram picture to enlarge. If you are using a handsaw, just draw a V and cut accordingly. Any questions on this, let me know.


Step 3: Cement Work

Not as many pictures of these steps because it is a little messy and involved. 

There are directions on the back of Quikcrete for setting a fence post, DO NOT use those directions. Mix all of your cement in your 3rd bucket, that is why you bought it.

Cement Tips:

  • Mix small amounts of the bag of dry cement with water, until you eventually use the whole bag
  • Do not mix more than one bag at a time
Put your fence posts together. I duct taped them together and placed them in the bucket. Once you have it mixed according to the instructions on the back of the bag you can now pour it from the mixing bucket around your fence post. It helps if someone will hold the post while you pour. You do not want any cement under the post, that is why it goes in first.


  • Duct tape smaller and large post together
  • Put in one of the dry buckets
  • Mix cement
  • Pour mixed cement around post
  • Let Dry
Use a level to make sure it is straight. The cement should be thick enough to hold it upright with no assistance. Just make sure you make it straight before the cement sets.

That’s it! I had some old spray paint I wanted to get rid of so I added that in at the end.

Got the equipment. Have a program? Need MORE quick projects?

If you are making your own stands, you may want a simple, effective and minimal equipment required program: One Man One Barbell: Highly Effective Strength Training…For the Other Guy!! Click the link, you won’t regret it.

Either way, these stands are just the beginning! Let me show you how to build an entire garage gym, on a budget, in two weeks in my free eBook:

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Check out my other equipment posts in the DIY Corner.


  • Seth

    Can you comment on the stability of this setup with weight on the top position? It looks like it might be wobbly given the small footprint of the buckets.

    • Jerred

      Good question, be glad to. It is a little wobbly, not gonna lie. However it is definitely not TOO wobbly by any means. As long as you are not making a ditch effort to rack the weight, you will be fine. I control the weight when I rack it and it is pretty solid. Love them so far!!

  • Seth

    Thanks for the quick reply. When I get in position to start building (see below) I am going to put this together. Its just too easy/cheap to not give it a shot. If for some reason I don’t like it..then boom, I have a heavy “odd object” for carrying around.

    In response to your email, I am in the first stage of putting together a collection, so no immediate plans to build until a couple months after the holidays. Currently shopping for 2 good bars (men and women) and set of bumpers. Probably go with the rogue bar and the bella bar, still undecided on the plates.

    • Jerred

      Can’t go wrong with Rogue bars! Shop around on the plates. I have found it is best to go with some bumpers and some iron. Saves money and you really don’t need bumpers for everything. If you need any tips when you start building just contact me and I will help if I can. Also if you want me to point you to some good deals on weights I can do that as well.

  • http://twobargarage.com Trey

    I made something very similar for my home gym. I have picture on my site. Never considered a lower position for bench press though. Great idea!

    • Jerred

      Thanks! Yea I saw that today, looks awesome.

  • Corbin

    Great DIY project!!! I saw your site and went out and built it right away. How long did you let it dry before putting weight on it? Can’t wait to use it. :)

    • Jerred

      Thank you!! I waited 24 hours till I put weight on it for shoulder press, so not too heavy. Waited 48 hours till I put heavy weight on it for squatting. Let me know how it turns out!

      • Corbin

        I did some bench press work today and this stand worked great!! I got lazy and didn’t do the “V” cuts. Instead, I pre-drilled then screwed in some large bolts in a “V” shape that keep the bar from rolling forward/backward. Love this project!! Keep’em coming. :)

        • Jerred

          Great idea with the bolts! Glad you liked it, and no worries, plenty more to come!!

  • Bill

    I was thinking – as I sometimes accidentally do – that if you were building the power rack, you could easily incorporate this into that. I’d say the major changes would involve securing the power rack down very well (so it did not come forward on you) and maybe using 4×4’s in the front. If you have a normal ceiling with rafters you could tack into them.

    The trick would be how you would rack the bar on there… I was thinking maybe holes drilled through and massive bolts maybe? so you could raise and lower? But I have no idea on the sheer strength (when they break when pulled to the side) on stuff like that.

    The other thought was to mount additional 4×4 to front to hold the bar just like in this design.

    Since I have not built any of this yet, I’d love to hear your thoughts.

    • Jerred

      Do you mean setting your power rack in cement buckets? I have my power rack secured by a 2×4 on each side connected to the studs in the wall. This way I can kip with no problems at all.

      If you do the massive holes drilled through I would use pipe to set at each level as opposed to bolts. It would just be stronger.

      Let me know if I am on the right track with what you are talking about.

      • Bill

        The pipe comment is a good thought.

        I was not thinking of the buckets of cement for the 4×4… I was thinking that the boards themselves may not be able to support a 300lb weight securely, hence the upgrade to 4×4’s.


        • Jerred

          It is always a good idea to use wood that is going to be stronger than necessary. I like your idea. Are you thinking of doing it soon? I would love to see it.

  • Bill

    I am still building out the basement room that will become my little “box”. My wife has been promised that it gets finished this winter so…

    That being said, I’ve been working on it for two years now (off and on).

    When I do, i will be happy to show it to you. I got the idea for using the power rack for this from going to crossfit… they use it for racking and also for doing bench presses.

    I will have to work out some details on the pipes… I’d want them angled a bit so that the bar would not roll off. Inclining the holes means the pipe would slide down so something will need to be done there. Hmmmm.

    • Jerred

      Wow that sounds awesome. Perhaps you could use a T-joint, or something similar. That way the pipe can go all the way through for stability, but it stops at the joint where it doesn’t slide out.

  • cody

    If I just wanted to build bench press stands, do you think it would be stable/okay to build it with only one post in each bucket (around 3ft. each)? Or does having two posts in each bucket make it more stable? Thanks!

    • Jerred

      I don’t think it would make it less stable. It would actually require more concrete so it would probably be more stable. However, you would have to be very precise with racking, as you would have no backing to guide the weight down.

      • cody

        Got it, thanks for the quick reply!

  • Drew Griffith

    Hello again, I posted on the power rack too…but quick question on this: when coming back to rack (let’s say) a heavy back squat, how do the buckets fare when you walk into them with the bar to set them on/in the grooves? Would you improve upon the setup by running a 2×4 along the back to use as a stopper? (I have a TON of 2x4s….finishing our basement). 

    • http://endofthreefitness.com/ Jerred

      I would add the 2×4’s as a guide to getting to the grooves. However due to the weight and nature of the cement buckets, too much force will knock them over. So they can be used as a guide but never slammed into. 

  • Barbg

    I found that cement wasn’t heavy enough to offset the weights on the bar. You had to be careful not to bump into them otherwise they come crashing down. 2 methods I used to stabilize the bottoms along with the concrete. One was to make a cross (+) out of leftover pieces of 2×4, notch them to make them fit flush. Then cut holes to size of the 2×4 in the bottom of the bucket. Make careful cuts to fit, otherwise you’ll have concrete spill everywhere. Slide the pieces into the bottom of the bucket, place your posts on top, then pour concrete. Another method to stabilize. Go to a local tire shop and ask for old lead balance weights (for tires), they should have buckets of them! Pour these in the bottom of your bucket before you pour the concrete and you have a very heavy bottom to counterbalance your barbell.

  • Matt

    Spent weeks searching Craigslist for a something cost and space effective with no luck. Found this with a Google search. Built these in about an hour for a whopping $37 and they are great. Thanks for posting!

  • Ross

    Awesome tutorial mate going to have a look at some parts tonight. Live in middle of nowhere so gym is difficult getting to…I’m thinking of using metal brackets to rest the weights on rather than cutting into the wood. Does your version support Olympic bars or is it a regular barbell? Thanks!

    • http://endofthreefitness.com/ Jerred

      Should support any barbell.

  • http://www.facebook.com/NoelnNat Natalia AlwaysBlessed Carnegie

    made mine yesterday. ..thanks for the inspiration!

    • http://endofthreefitness.com/ Jerred


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  • Eric

    Just finished making the posts this morning. Now for the dumb question I should have asked myself beforehand: how do you lift/move the things? The buckets have such a low center of gravity and no obvious places to grab on, I can’t seem to get them off the floor…

    • http://endofthreefitness.com/ Jerred

      Tilt and roll my friend!

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  • Andrew

    Would you recomend using this or the Power Rack in another artcle

    • http://endofthreefitness.com/ Jerred

      All depends on if you need a pull up bar really. Both are great.

      • Andrew

        Would you recommend a Power Rack or a Squat Stand with a separate pull up bar?

        Is it an issue with no pins?

        • http://endofthreefitness.com/ Jerred

          Power rack is great. Depending on your overhead reach you may have a problem with press, if you are tall. Stands are great for moving outside or if you have the tall person issue mentioned above. There is no advantage or disadvantage to a separate pull up bar or combined.

          ​You just need to see how much space you have and what your plans are for the equipment. Can’t really give further recommendations because I have it all.

          • Andrew

            Is there a way to make a DIY Pull up bar unlike the one you made in the attic ceiling, i.e. a more permanent option in a typical 10 ft high area

          • http://endofthreefitness.com/ Jerred

            There is, but I haven’t posted that project yet. It involves pipes and flanges.

          • Andrew

            Is there a release date for that?

          • http://endofthreefitness.com/ Jerred

            Not yet. Jerk boxes are next on the list.

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  • Daniel J Kepfer Jr

    Just finished building my plyo box and squat/bench rack. Turned out great! Very sturdy and I like the fact that I can put them up in the corner to conserve space if need be.

    • sicorax

      What kind of bench do you use. Should be really a sturdy one as it must hold your weight as well as the weight of the barbell plates?

      • http://endofthreefitness.com/ Jerred

        Old bench I found at a thrift store.

        • Billy Doss

          How does this not fall back if say your benching 315 and putting it back fast? or squatting 405 and put the bar down fast?

          • http://endofthreefitness.com/ Jerred

            That is a legitimate concern, no doubt. Personally, I never put the weight back fast. I am very careful, and it is something I have just gotten used to I guess. And yes, I have used it for a 315+ bench and 405+ squat.

    • Dale Fischer

      How is it holding up? Any adjustments you would recommend?

      • http://endofthreefitness.com/ Jerred

        Mine are still holding up great!

  • Juan

    How much weight can this hold?

    • http://endofthreefitness.com/ Jerred

      455 lb is the most I’ve had on it.

  • Alan Izar

    Stupid question: do you know if at Home Depot they would make the V-cuts? I literally have no experience with tools and I don’t want to screw those up.


    • Morgan

      I don’t know if you’ve already made this or not, but all you need for this is a coping saw. Make the cuts before you pour the concrete, that way if you make a mistake, only you will ever know.

  • Brian

    Any plans to expand on this and perhaps make a bench yourself? I saw you said you picked one up at the thrift store, but I might have a harder time considering my location.

    • http://endofthreefitness.com/ Jerred

      I may buy a bench. That is the only thing, that if it breaks, would be pretty serious.

      Sent from Mailbox for iPad

  • Julio Guevara

    How much did you spend?

  • Larry

    This set up may be fine for a cross fitter
    Not sturdy or stable enough if you are going heavy

    • McRask

      4×4’s can support over 7000lbs vertically

  • Adel Madkour

    Hi Jerred , very inispirtional idea .. but the V cut as I see is at 90 degrees, so wouldn’t that make load on the post and tend to split it apart at higher loads ? I suggest it to be around 120 degrees , what do you think Jarred ?

    Thanks in dvance

    • http://endofthreefitness.com/ Jerred

      I don’t think it is perfect 90, but I see your concern.

      I have used them for a long time with weights in the 400’s.

  • Tim Gabrhel

    I just built these this weekend, and I thought I’d share my tips:
    – To give yourself a better surface area to freehand the skillsaw over, I clamped the the equal size posts together (5+5 & 3+3). By doing so, the surface area for the saw to run over was bigger and allowed for a better cut than my blind freehand
    – I screwed the posts together. The duct tape was too loose.
    – Depending on how water your cement is, you might want to use a small shovel. I didn’t realize how wet Jerred’s cement was, so that’s why it poured nicely. I was try to pour too dry of cement and I think I got a little under one of the posts. Now I have a small bump under a stand (still stands, just a little wobbly)

    Good luck!

    • http://endofthreefitness.com/ Jerred

      Thanks for sharing, Tim!

  • ryan

    i just made a bench rack, thank to your guide ,thanks

  • SW

    Thank you. I built this today and it’s perfect for what I need. I like that they can be pushed off to the side to make room.

  • David Benjamin

    I finally finished mine! The only advice I would give is to use a dust mask and gloves while mixing the cement. Will post any pain points as they come up! Someone mentioned a metal bracket to prevent splitting – could you give more information? https://plus.google.com/photos/109900141876907583375/albums/6067842642286892513

  • coby

    How long did it take for your quikrete to set?

  • Don Ross

    Great Saturday morning project. Start to finish less than 2 hrs including going to Home Depot. Cost slightly more in Canada. Total cost was $68. Thank you Jerred. Can squat and bench in garage now.

    • http://endofthreefitness.com/ Jerred

      Thanks for sharing your update!

  • John Doe

    I built mine Wednesday. I do the 5×5 so this is my second time squatting with my new rack. Mine are a little wobbly (it was just me doing it all) but I think this will do nicely for a year or so. But the wobble does concern me slightly.

  • John Doe

    I have to redo. I made my v cuts too deep my beams are cracking down the middle.

    • Paul Stewart

      Just joined the discussion, maybe somebody has already made the suggestion , if you make metal bands to go around the split wood, and put a couple of screws to hold them in position , should do the trick and stop the wood splitting, maybe put some wood glue in the split before hand

  • Jalamb

    Thank you, Jerred, for this inexpensive solution. I was just searching for “build your own squat rack”, but your plan includes a bench stand for just a few extra dollars. The money saved can go towards all the additional food my muscles will need.

    What I like about this as well is that I can move it around easily. In the winter, I can use this indoors, in our basement. During the summer, I can bring this out to our lawn, or in our barn.

    If any fellow reader has implemented Jerred’s plan, with or without some variation, I’d love to hear (and see pics) of it. :)

  • Jalamb

    Jerred (or fellow readers),
    Any ideas for a build-your-own barbell? :)