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View Full Version : Smith Machine....Pros & Cons....???


Werloc
01-31-2008, 11:53 AM
I may have a deal on a Smith machine for my home gym that I'm putting together. I would like to hear some Pros & Cons on using a smith machine. I'm getting back into lifting after a 12 year layoff, and just want to tone up. I'm 45, and will be lifting by myself, so I'm concerned about the safety of a smith. I also don't have much room, so I'm asking here before I invest.

BTW, This board is great. Yeah, I'm new, first post...:D
Thanks

RickB
01-31-2008, 01:18 PM
Welcome aboard...good to have you here!

First thoughts on this would be:

Pros: The safety factor

Cons: It doesn't allow for stabilizer muscles to strengthen as well.

RoaringMad Mac
01-31-2008, 03:19 PM
Well,

Smith machines are nice but The definately limit what you can do.

If you are okay with only doing the things in a smith machine that is fine. Search out my thread on the Power Tec and see what it can do.

Also The factor of working out by yourself with a smith is okay until you can't turn that bar and hook the bar back up.

A power Rack is much better IMO because if you fail you have the catches that will catch the bar. Even with bench press you can set the stops where it is still safe for you to press. Inclines might be a little limited however.

This is where the powerTec or any leverage equipment is so good. It allows you a good range of motion with the safety of a machine but it is still free weight.

Hope this helps a little.

Werloc
02-01-2008, 08:55 AM
Thanks for the input guys. I figured the same about the Smith unit. Maybe something like this is what I should be looking for.

http://www.werloc.com/images/BodySolidMulti-Press.jpg

Like I said, room "is" an issue. A unit like this (whatever brand) could allow me to slip my bench in there, and pull it out for bumbbells. Also, it's not bad for squats...etc.

madman
02-01-2008, 09:08 AM
I applaud your being able to get an "at home" gym setup. I would see if you could get one or two of your buddies to workout with you - first, they can help get you motivated when you are "less than motivated", and second - you will always push harder when you have someone behind you screaming at you.

just my $0.02 worth,

RickB
02-01-2008, 09:09 AM
I like those safety catches! Pretty cool looking piece really!

Werloc
02-01-2008, 10:25 AM
I applaud your being able to get an "at home" gym setup. I would see if you could get one or two of your buddies to workout with you - first, they can help get you motivated when you are "less than motivated", and second - you will always push harder when you have someone behind you screaming at you.

just my $0.02 worth,

Yeah, I know what you mean. But one of the reasons I'm doing this at home, is because none of the gyms open at 4:00 AM, nor will any of my friends be here....lol I'm on my treadmill or bike at 4:00 AM, lift from 4:30 till 5:30, and out the door for work at 6:10. Being motivated isn't an issue. I work legs on weekends or after work.

BenMcBen
02-01-2008, 05:51 PM
Just want to give Mac a high 5 for saying what I wanted to say about Smiths but didnt dare say!!!

Power rack ok, but same scene, nearly, no? 'Phew cant get another rep, wait complete lactic acid attack owch, uh-oh!' you have to place it on those pegs.

Powertec or leverage in general is the best way......damn the stabilizing muscles!!! Do some medium weight dumbbell presses chest+shoulder after each respective muscle workout then.

Just my 02 cents.

Ben

Werloc
02-01-2008, 06:32 PM
I picked up a used Lat/Row unit from a guy last week, and he also has a Smith unit for sale. Maybe I was just fired up on getting something new. Since then, I've been looking into the smith or the rack unit. I do also use dumbbells for chest and shoulders. I figured with a smith or the rack I posted in the PIC, I could use with a separate bench, and it would also be great for squats. Maybe I don't need a new setup. I do have limited space, and funds.

RickB
02-01-2008, 10:57 PM
I'd say if you have heavy enough dumbells for press movements then the smith should be okay.

The reason I stress this is because one of the guys I workout with has done smith bench only for a little over a year and when he finally moved to the free weights, he expends too much energy trying to stabilize it and he can't lift nearly as much weight with a free bar.

Werloc
02-02-2008, 08:42 AM
OK, 100% agree a smith is not the way to go. I do have a ton of dumbbells for presses and flies. IF, and I mean "IF", I was to get a Powertech, it would be the MULTI PRESS only. Since this board seams mostly Pro Powertech, then, someone please splain me why this is a better system than the rack unit I have pictured above. I see a few things that are fine, but more bad than good.

RickB
02-02-2008, 08:58 AM
Well, I think leverage type systems put you closer to the feeling of free weights, but if you are limited on space, I think I'd go with the rack unit you posted earlier.

BTW, I think PowerTec makes some very good stuff, but I favor free weights if you can still have the safety while being at home lifting alone.

I have a power rack that has safety catches and they are good and bad. It's hard to get the catches just right to where the bar is just beginning to touch your chest. The next notch is too far down. So, in some cases where I'd like to go all out without my son there to spot me, I wouldn't at all mind having the PowerTec!

Have I confused you yet? ;) Really though, again I'd lean towards the other unit you posted. More exercises could be utilized with a pull-out bench.

edit: BTW, I checked out your homepage. My son's and I were once very heavy in nitro RC's, but smaller scales than what you have. We still have quite a few + a couple electrics. I'll post a picture soon.

RoaringMad Mac
02-02-2008, 10:42 AM
I'd say if you have heavy enough dumbells for press movements then the smith should be okay.

The reason I stress this is because one of the guys I workout with has done smith bench only for a little over a year and when he finally moved to the free weights, he expends too much energy trying to stabilize it and he can't lift nearly as much weight with a free bar.


exactly Rick,

This is why I stress using the leverage system. For some reason leverage system still allows you to use stabilizer muscles in the movement.

Werloc
02-05-2008, 05:11 PM
Well, I think leverage type systems put you closer to the feeling of free weights, but if you are limited on space, I think I'd go with the rack unit you posted earlier.

BTW, I think PowerTec makes some very good stuff, but I favor free weights if you can still have the safety while being at home lifting alone.

I have a power rack that has safety catches and they are good and bad. It's hard to get the catches just right to where the bar is just beginning to touch your chest. The next notch is too far down. So, in some cases where I'd like to go all out without my son there to spot me, I wouldn't at all mind having the PowerTec!

Have I confused you yet? ;) Really though, again I'd lean towards the other unit you posted. More exercises could be utilized with a pull-out bench.

edit: BTW, I checked out your homepage. My son's and I were once very heavy in nitro RC's, but smaller scales than what you have. We still have quite a few + a couple electrics. I'll post a picture soon.

Yeah Rick, The big scales are modded, weed wacker engines. About 14 of us run a dirt oval on Sundays. LOt's-a fun. Did I post my website in my profile?

Anyway, I looked at the rack I pictured above, and savin my coins. I plan to pick one up in a few weeks. A place near me has them in stock. I'll post my thoughts after a few weeks of use....;)

RickB
02-05-2008, 05:17 PM
The way I found your site is I looked at the properties of your picture. It's a geek thing ;)

I'll bet racing the ovals is fun! We used to travel to different tracks with ours. I raced 2 classes and my oldest raced one (the buggy). The one painted black with lightning is WIIIICKED!!! I got it from pro who wanted a website built...so that was my payment. It is extremely hard to drive vs. my Dad's stock version.

Thehomegymguru
06-11-2009, 04:32 PM
The smith machine has a self spotting mechanism so that will help with the safety issue. But on the other hand the smith machine will limit the motion of the squat lift and other lifs such as the shoulder press. The result is that you dont work your stabalizer muscles, and this can be a negative. I think a good way to sum it up is that if you have lifting experience and your goals are strength driven then you should get a power rack instead of a SM. BUt if you just want to bulk up and dont feel comfortable without a safety mechanism then get a SM.

onetiredkris
06-12-2009, 12:06 AM
i cant stand smith machines. definitely something you will never see me using.

M.T. Neal
03-24-2010, 02:08 AM
Power rack is so much better, you could have a decent one made by a local welder. You could get an adjustable height bench. I am one of those who hate smith machines though. I do think they are great for hanging coats in the winter.

kickboy
03-24-2010, 04:46 AM
They could toss the smith machine at Body Fittness, The 25 year old abs machines, you know the one you sit in and lean foward aginst a weighted bar, they need to go to.
It's amazing how some stuff that was state of the art in the 70's is considered crap now but squats deads and bench are still here.

Maybe I should get a bowflex and see if 15 minutes 3 times per week will get me a magizine cover body????

Na, I'll just keep at my program. It takes time and never ends:D

The Loaf
07-03-2010, 10:45 AM
Maybe I should get a bowflex and see if 15 minutes 3 times per week will get me a magizine cover body????

Don't forget the Shake Weight! ;)

RickB
07-03-2010, 02:21 PM
Don't forget the Shake Weight! ;)

LOL! :hysterical:

bb12
07-03-2010, 02:29 PM
Pro for me...

When I go for max on bench (workout alone)

M.T. Neal
07-03-2010, 07:22 PM
Still, a power rack is better for benching alone than a smith machine, but if it's all you have.....


Is it wrong that when I see the shake weight commercial I watch it a little while?

RickB
07-04-2010, 12:24 PM
Is it wrong that when I see the shake weight commercial I watch it a little while?

Very wrong....but I do it too! LOL!

j1r!!!
07-10-2010, 11:25 AM
The shake weight just makes me laugh. I feel bad for the people they're fooling who actually buy the thing.

RickB
07-10-2010, 11:34 AM
The shake weight just makes me laugh. I feel bad for the people they're fooling who actually buy the thing.

No kidding! I swear if anyone had the money for superior marketing, you could produce something for pennies on the dollar for the exercise realm and get rich. That is if you can sleep like a baby knowing you screwed that many people.

stardik
09-14-2010, 02:06 PM
Power rack is so much better, you could have a decent one made by a local welder. You could get an adjustable height bench. I am one of those who hate smith machines though. I do think they are great for hanging coats in the winter.

i use to use them they work pretty good.

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