Looking for opinions (negative) on using the smith machine for flat and incline benching.
I exclusively use the smith for a couple of reasons. (BTW, I use the smith that angles forward allowing me to bring the bar down to my lower chest and press up and slightly forward.)
1) I don't trust spotters...especially when I go heavy. I have relatively long arms...using a spotter that was distracted (looking at a babe) I went to rack the weight. My reach was longer than the bench I was using, so one end of the bar went over. My "spotter" wasn't strong enough to help, so gravity took its course!!! Wasn't using any clips, so when the bar descended behind the bench, plates started flying off the end. AND, of course, when that end unloaded, so went the other end!
2) And probably most important, the smith machine allows me to go really heavy without those worries. I can concentrate on pushing weight! Using heavy weight, I can still keep my shoulder blades pressed flat against the bench, chest up, and a slightly arched back. I can get right under the bar and mock gravity!!! Can’t maintain that form going really heavy on a regular bench…
The only negative, that I know of, is I loose either a sense of balance or under utilize stabilization muscles using the smith for an extended period of time. When I go back to the regular bench I notice right away that I have to put emphasis on balancing the bar, which has a definite impact!