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Old 02-21-2005, 14:14   #1
CTSigLover
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Need Suggestions for a good Smith Bench

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
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Old 02-21-2005, 14:48   #2
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Body Solid.
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Old 02-21-2005, 21:23   #3
California Jack
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Forget the smith crap, just get a power rack.
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Old 02-22-2005, 01:57   #4
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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/eq...erline/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.
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Old 02-22-2005, 21:15   #5
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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
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Old 02-22-2005, 22:27   #6
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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.
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Old 02-23-2005, 00:57   #7
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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....
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Old 03-05-2005, 05:49   #8
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Quote:
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.
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Old 03-05-2005, 23:46   #9
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Quote:
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...
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Old 03-09-2005, 15:06   #10
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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.
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Old 03-09-2005, 21:36   #11
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Quote:
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.
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Old 03-10-2005, 21:27   #12
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Quote:
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.
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Old 03-12-2005, 08:20   #13
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Quote:
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.
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Old 03-12-2005, 09:37   #14
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Quote:
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.
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Old 03-12-2005, 09:49   #15
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Quote:
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.
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Old 03-12-2005, 12:53   #16
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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.
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Old 03-12-2005, 13:19   #17
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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.
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Old 03-12-2005, 13:55   #18
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Quote:
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
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Old 03-12-2005, 14:02   #19
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Quote:
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:

Strength & Conditioning

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.
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Old 03-12-2005, 14:42   #20
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Quote:
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.

Quote:
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.
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