Need Suggestions for a good Smith Bench [Archive] - Glock Talk

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CTSigLover
02-21-2005, 14:14
I need a Smith Bench for my home gym, as my workout partner and spotter recently moved away, leaving me flying solo. I want a good quality piece that I will not hurt myself on, but I don't know if there is a meaningful difference between a $600 Smith Bench and a $1500 Smith Bench.

I like the bearings better than the bushings I have tried, and am leaning at present toward either the Body Solid series 7 smith, or the Body Solid modular power center with linear bearings. Does anyone have experience with this company, or know of another model I should check out in the $1500 range?

The series 7 rods are 7 degrees out of vertical, what advantage does this give? All my experience has been with vertical rods.

Looking for any advice.
Thanks

mossy500camo
02-21-2005, 14:48
Body Solid.:)

California Jack
02-21-2005, 21:23
Forget the smith crap, just get a power rack.

ateamer
02-22-2005, 01:57
What Jack said. There is no such thing as a good Smith machine. It forces you to follow the machine's groove, rather than your natural motion. It can lead to weak supporting muscles, joint injuries and an inability to handle free weights because of the stability required.

http://www.bwproducts.com/fitness/equipment/powerline/p06.htm

This rack is what I have (with some slight customizing). It is about the best deal you can find, and is much better quality than similarly-priced racks. A power rack is far more versatile than a Smith.

California Jack
02-22-2005, 21:15
Hey ateamer,

Did you have extra holes added to yours? I always thought holes spaced at 3" was too far apart. Am I wrong here?

Jack

ateamer
02-22-2005, 22:27
The hole spacing actually works for me because my squat and bench rack heights are exactly where there are holes. I don't do much in the way of partials in the rack. I probably should have asked for two-inch spacing, though, to accomodate others who will use the rack.

The best rack I've ever used is this one from Elite Fitness Systems: http://www.flexcart.com/members/elitefts/frames.asp It's well over twice as expensive as the one I bought, but absolutely rock-solid.

testosterone
02-23-2005, 00:57
i can only bench and do military press using smith machines. since ive torn my pec i cant use traditional barbells....so they do have their place.
if you are not injured then a smith might not be the way to go..but then again if you have no idea on how to use proper form then a powerrack with a barbell is just as unsafe....

Animal Mother
03-05-2005, 05:49
Originally posted by testosterone
i can only bench and do military press using smith machines. since ive torn my pec i cant use traditional barbells....so they do have their place.
if you are not injured then a smith might not be the way to go..but then again if you have no idea on how to use proper form then a powerrack with a barbell is just as unsafe.... How would a power rack be unsafe? And if you're benching heavy on your own with no idea on how to use proper form, it doesn't really matter what you use, it's unsafe.

testosterone
03-05-2005, 23:46
Originally posted by Animal Mother
How would a power rack be unsafe? And if you're benching heavy on your own with no idea on how to use proper form, it doesn't really matter what you use, it's unsafe.

I think that you just repeated what I said....
I said if you have no idea what you are doing a powerrack can be just as unsafe

and injuries dont just happen from improper form..sometimes tendons snap because the muscle is stronger then the tendon itself....its not a cause of improper form...
anwyas

python1340
03-09-2005, 15:06
To say Smith machines are useless is hogwash. Yes, they don't lend to a normal/natural movement, but if you're using slow non-jerky compressions, you will still see a benefit.

California Jack
03-09-2005, 21:36
but if you're using slow non-jerky compressions, you will still see a benefit.


I guess one more reason to avoid a Smith for me. Because regardless of whether or not Smith Machines are useless, I hate lifting weights slowly.

Animal Mother
03-10-2005, 21:27
Originally posted by python1340
To say Smith machines are useless is hogwash. Yes, they don't lend to a normal/natural movement, but if you're using slow non-jerky compressions, you will still see a benefit. I have to disagree, anything that can be done with a Smith Machine can be done better and more effectively with some other piece of equipment, usually a regular barbell, possibly a power rack.

python1340
03-12-2005, 08:20
Originally posted by Animal Mother
I have to disagree, anything that can be done with a Smith Machine can be done better and more effectively with some other piece of equipment, usually a regular barbell, possibly a power rack.
Not "anything" requiring training to failure. :)

Animal Mother
03-12-2005, 09:37
Originally posted by python1340
Not "anything" requiring training to failure. :) That raises the question of whether or not training to failure is a good idea. Regardless of that however, my original point still holds. Even taking failure into consideration, a power rack provides the same safety a smith machine can, without the inherent limitations of being limited to a single plane of motion.

python1340
03-12-2005, 09:49
Originally posted by Animal Mother
That raises the question of whether or not training to failure is a good idea. Regardless of that however, my original point still holds. Even taking failure into consideration, a power rack provides the same safety a smith machine can, without the inherent limitations of being limited to a single plane of motion.
No way does a power rack give you the safety that a smith machine can. Physically impossible.

You personally might not like training to failure. I do. :)

California Jack
03-12-2005, 12:53
I'm with Animal's entire post, both his thoughts on failure and on the Smith. In fact, I think the power rack provises more sfety if training to failure.

Mister Joshua
03-12-2005, 13:19
Here is how you get a good workout on a smith machine.

1. Get a chain

2. Attach one end to your belt

3. Attach the other end to the smith machine

4. Drag the smith machine around a large parking lot

5. Repeat as needed.


BTW - I train to absolute failure, always have, always will. I have never used a smith machine, never have, never will.

python1340
03-12-2005, 13:55
Originally posted by Mister Joshua
BTW - I train to absolute failure, always have, always will. I have never used a smith machine, never have, never will.
And you're giving comments on a Smith machine? ;Q

python1340
03-12-2005, 14:02
Originally posted by California Jack
I'm with Animal's entire post, both his thoughts on failure and on the Smith. In fact, I think the power rack provises more sfety if training to failure.
If you train to failure on a power rack, you then limit how low you can go for every single rep.

With a power rack, there's only 1 safety catch:

http://www.newyorkbarbells.tv/92563n-sm.gif

With a Smith machine, you stop where you want to.

Power racks are cheaper than Smith machines. If they were all a Smith machine is (and a bag of chips too), then there wouldn't even be such thing as a Smith machine.

Mister Joshua
03-12-2005, 14:42
Originally posted by python1340
And you're giving comments on a Smith machine? ;Q
Spare me the "how can you be qualified?" speech. If you hear about a dozen people having a bad experience with a product, and you knew there was a better product out there, would you still use that product? "How can you be sure that eating glass is dangerous? Have you ever eaten glass?" - sure, hyperbole, but the same idea... how can you, even in a gun forum, of all places, use this arguement (how many Sigma's and Taurus' have you owned?)

I know some people (bodybuilders mostly) that use them... for the reasons that you have stated.

The reasons you have stated have nothing to do with the reasons why the above poster was interested in a smith machine.

Originally posted by python1340
Power racks are cheaper than Smith machines. If they were all a Smith machine is (and a bag of chips too), then there wouldn't even be such thing as a Smith machine.

Yeah, same for the Aboard, Thighmaster, the BowFlex, the Weider multi-station, the chest expander, the pec-dec... oh wait! All those products are as useful as breasts on a bull, yet they still sell like hotcakes!

The "power rack" has been around since the Original York Gym, circa 1940's... it has been used by world class athletes, bodybuilders, strongmen, and the men that "paved" the way for all aspects of physical culture, including strognman and bodybuilding - if you think something better has came along, why hasn't it? It is all that and a bag of chips... and while many people have decent results with a smith machine, I am certian they would have much better results with a set of 20-rep bodyweight squats 4 times a month. That is failure, the Ken Liestner, Randall Strossen, Mike Mentzer way... the way that has worked since the 1930's.

python1340
03-12-2005, 14:47
Originally posted by Mister Joshua
Yeah, same for the AbWheel, the BowFlex, the Weider multi-station, the chest expander, the pec-dec... oh wait! All those products are as useful as breasts on a bull, yet they still sell like hotcakes!
I wasn't talking about SALES to stupid consumers. I was talking about gyms (Gold's, World, Powerhouse, etc). All of them have Smith machines. None of them have that crap you mentioned.

Edited to add: I have nothing against power racks (they're great), just anti-Smith machine preachers.

Mister Joshua
03-12-2005, 14:53
Hey! You posted my exact power rack - the New York BArbell cheapie! I have had over 800lbs on the thing without a bulge...


Haha... I have been in two Gold's gyms in my entire life. The last one I went to, I was passing out flyers for a strongman competition... the lady at the front desk said "well... I don't think we have any strong guys here..." I almost peed my pants to keep from bellowing laughter.

World Gym normally has a better following of powerlifter/hardcore types, unfortunately, the WG closest to me just closed it's doors on the "power room" - so no more scary powerlifters can train there and scare the cell-phone clientele.

Anyway - I respect why you train with the Smith. I have a great relationship with my powerrack, it is happy in my garage, and gets abused by me several times a week.

This is a case of seperate goals among two people that take their weights seriously.

*BTW - Nothing personal against machines, I am a big fan of most the old Nautilus and HAMMER STRENGTH stuff, but usually the upperbody equipment (Nautilus pullover, HAMMER CHEST PRESS, HAMMER Shrug, HAMMER chest-supported row), anything else I personally feel a barbell can do better (even in the case of the Shrug, but stripping the weights off the shrug machine is easier after a hard workout).

California Jack
03-12-2005, 14:54
I wasn't talking about SALES to stupid consumers. I was talking about gyms (Gold's, World, Powerhouse, etc).

But aren't those gyms buying them for the use of stupid consumers that would workout at places like those?

I've never been there, but I'd guess there isn't a smith at the Westside Barbell Club.

python1340
03-12-2005, 15:00
Originally posted by California Jack
But aren't those gyms buying them for the use of stupid consumers that would workout at places like those?

I've never been there, but I'd guess there isn't a smith at the Westside Barbell Club.
I've seen them in "hardcore" gyms as well. You know, those gyms that don't have Universal all-in-one fitness machines.

python1340
03-12-2005, 15:07
Originally posted by Mister Joshua
Haha... I have been in two Gold's gyms in my entire life.
I've been at the Gold's by my house for 2 years, Powerhouse the year before that, and Gold's for a year before that.

The last one I went to, I was passing out flyers for a strongman competition... the lady at the front desk said "well... I don't think we have any strong guys here..." I almost peed my pants to keep from bellowing laughter.
They wouldn't do that at the Gold's here. I know what you're saying though. More and more old school names are becoming like 24 Hour Fitness. More money there, you can hardly blame them.

*BTW - Nothing personal against machines, I am a big fan of most the old Nautilus and HAMMER STRENGTH stuff, but usually the upperbody equipment (Nautilus pullover, HAMMER CHEST PRESS, HAMMER Shrug, HAMMER chest-supported row), anything else I personally feel a barbell can do better (even in the case of the Shrug, but stripping the weights off the shrug machine is easier after a hard workout).
Since you went there (machines), I like a couple of Hammer Strength machines. One particular machine isolates my lats more than any barbell exercise. I can't figure out why, but it works.

California Jack
03-12-2005, 20:05
I've seen them in "hardcore" gyms as well.

Which hardcore gyms?

I bet you've never seen them in a gym that had a glute-ham machine, chains, not only allowed the use of chalk but provided it, had a lifting platform and bumper plates. Have you seen one in a gym like that?

Ya think Jim Schmitz' Sports Palace is loaded with smiths? How about Louie Simmons gym? Do you think Pyros Dimas trains regularily on a smith?

I like the old addage, train slow play slow.

Jack

California Jack
03-12-2005, 20:35
One particular machine isolates my lats more than any barbell exercise

Out of curiousity, why do you want to isolate your lats? I'm not the brightest bulb here, but for the l;ife of me, I can't figure out a single sport or event that requires the use of only lats.

Jack

testosterone
03-12-2005, 21:18
Originally posted by California Jack
Out of curiousity, why do you want to isolate your lats? I'm not the brightest bulb here, but for the l;ife of me, I can't figure out a single sport or event that requires the use of only lats.

Jack

everyone has different goals..if you are a bodybuilder type you have to worry about isolating your lats...a big powerlifter could care less....its not all about sports or what you think is right. This is a personal sport...you do it on your own for yourself.
Smith machines have their place in the sport, as do squat and power racks, dumbbells, NY barbell club, 24hr Fitness, Golds and Powerhouse.....Ronnie Coleman trains at MetroFlex, Dorian trained in his 'dungeon' in England....
I train down the street at the 24hr....they aren't hard core by any means..matter of fact its mostly the skinny metro-sexual guys and a bunch of hot stripper chicks... im the biggest guy there, their db's only go up to 115lbs but it serves its purpose.....

Glock13
03-13-2005, 08:27
Originally posted by testosterone
I train down the street at the 24hr....they aren't hard core by any means..matter of fact its mostly the skinny metro-sexual guys and a bunch of hot stripper chicks... im the biggest guy there, their db's only go up to 115lbs but it serves its purpose.....

I'm at the 24 Hour Fitness here in Omaha. It's kind of the same way, but I was actually surprised at the amount of people who actually do "work out" there. Our dumbells go up to 125 lbs which isn't too bad.

ateamer
03-13-2005, 10:24
The 24 I train at on heavy days lets us use chalk, leave our gym bags on the floor (no one else does) and the manager told us we can bring in our own bar. The gym only has crap-quality bars that start bending at 315 or so and only one has even barely-adequate knurling. The manager is also considering buying a competition bench and a real Texas Power Bar. The dumbbells go to 140 pounds. The employees leave us alone and let us lift heavy.

Glock13
03-13-2005, 11:26
Not to turn this into a thread about 24 Hour Fitness, but do the benches at anyone else's 24 Hour suck? The benches at the one here in Omaha are really low to the floor and really narrow. Ever since I came here, it has taken about 10-15 lbs off my bench.

python1340
03-15-2005, 12:31
Originally posted by California Jack
Out of curiousity, why do you want to isolate your lats? I'm not the brightest bulb here, but for the l;ife of me, I can't figure out a single sport or event that requires the use of only lats.

Jack
LOL. Is that a powerlifter I detect? ;)

California Jack
03-16-2005, 12:36
Python,

No, I've thought about trying PL, but I don't like bench press. Makes power lifting tough. I just train for functional strength (whatever that is).

BTW, powerlifters train there lats for their bench.

I just don't get bodybuilding. I understand that people train for bodybuilding, but for the life of me, I don't understand why. Since I train for functional strength, isolating lats just doesn't make sense to me. If fact, most isolation work doesn't make much sense to me.

I guess to each their own,
Jack;c

Mister Joshua
03-16-2005, 19:12
Originally posted by California Jack
Since I train for functional strength, isolating lats just doesn't make sense to me. If fact, most isolation work doesn't make much sense to me.

During a competition about a year ago, I sprained a bicep tendon during the tireflip. Ever since then, I have been doing the mack daddy of isolation excercises, bicep curls with a ezcurl bar (can't do straightbar because of a metacarpal impingement)... and my tireflip got better within a month. Some isolation has it's place.