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  1. #1
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    smith machine bench press...






    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!

    Thoughts?
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  2. #2
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    Weight should be pushed straight up, I say go with a normal smith!

    http://www.ironmagazineforums.com/sh...threadid=11158

  3. #3
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    Really? I read somewhere, probably a powerlifting mag, that starting with the bar at the nipples and pressing slightly forward ending with the bar over the upper part of the chest activated more muscle fibers???
    My favorite supplement shop:
    https://www.fit-bodynutrition.com

    My favorite workout:
    CHEST!!!

    Least favorite workout:
    Legs!!! (bad knees)

    Challange:
    Having my chest development catch up w/ my shoulders.

  4. #4
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    There's nothing wrong with the smith IMAO but like with everything, you should use free weight DB and BB as well.

    I use the Smith for Incline and Declines as well as DB's
    Cool

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    I haven't seen anything supporting using that type of bar, if it works, go for it, I personally haven't tried it yet but generally use freeweights.

    I am using the smith now though because I do rest pauses and static holds.

  6. #6
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    I also use the Smith with free weights to go heavy w/out a spotter.
    I got stuck on decline once and didn't much like that. Luckily, some guy walked by within a minute of that and helped me get the bar back up. (I was on declines at the time)

    So, you had one bad occourane with a spotter? did you kow the guy? A new gym? I usually work out alone, and either know or am 'familiar' with which guys to ask for a spot on a heavy free weight.

    But, back toyour original question, smith is good, but you should use with free weights, instead of exclusively.
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  7. #7
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    Yep...I workout alone, that's why I rely on the smith. I knew the guy, but I haven't had a compatible workout partner since I moved from Austin, TX a number of years ago...Believe it or not, it was 4 of us! All VERY intense and motivated to pump iron. Always on time, always focused!

    BTW, I once lived in Colorado Springs...Rock Rimmond area...worked at MCI...worked out at Ballys...from about '92 til 96'.
    My favorite supplement shop:
    https://www.fit-bodynutrition.com

    My favorite workout:
    CHEST!!!

    Least favorite workout:
    Legs!!! (bad knees)

    Challange:
    Having my chest development catch up w/ my shoulders.

  8. #8
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    "BTW, I once lived in Colorado Springs...Rock Rimmond area...worked at MCI...worked out at Ballys...from about '92 til 96'"

    I also worked at MCI...when they used to hire people....
    Bally's? You didn't wear spandex, did you?
    Sorry, J/K!

    Test your memory. I am over by Doherty high school, and down the street from TNT's....sound familiar?
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  9. #9
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    :-) No spandex!!! Use to workout with a guy named Dex, 5'10" 280lbs!!!

    Yes, I'm familiar! I was a HS football ref and had a few games at Doherty! You couldn't miss me...I was th only ref that was in shape! ;-). 6'4", 265lbs (back then), usually the umpire, African American.
    My favorite supplement shop:
    https://www.fit-bodynutrition.com

    My favorite workout:
    CHEST!!!

    Least favorite workout:
    Legs!!! (bad knees)

    Challange:
    Having my chest development catch up w/ my shoulders.

  10. #10
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    the smith machine does not allow for the proper movement of the bench press which is definetly not a linear movement. you are robbing yourself of some chest gains be using that piece of equipment for a core exercise.

    Check out this article on Pattern Overload. It helps to explain some of the pitfalls of using machines on a regular basis...
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  11. #11
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    I tried the Smith last time I did regular flat bench and I dont like it, I could not do the same weight actually (lost about 3 reps), felt rather awkward which was supprising because I dont remember it being like this, but that is probably because I used to bench incorrectly.

    I still find it ok for reverse grip but could not get into a standard grip, yuck.

  12. #12
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    Here's an idea for an OCCASIONAL routine on your heavy day with a Smith Machine- got it off of Gunter Schlierkamp's web site a while back...

    Do a good warmup set, then load up your 1-rep max.
    Do your rep, then 30 sec ...
    Repeat x 10, increasing the rest period 30 sec between each set.
    By the end, you'll have done your 1-rep max x 10! If you're accostomed to the Smith Machine, you'll have the confidence, because it spots itself.
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  13. #13
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    Thats called a rest-pause, some people use them in every workout, starting at 8 reps, then 5, then 3 or thereabouts. I still can't get into the smith machine for flat bench, its great for incline though.

  14. #14
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    THAT's what it's called- couldn't remember. Thx, Mudge

    I heard about another method for increasing your bench- by setting the Smith Machine so you're doing 1/2 the motion, instead of bringing it all the way to the chest- so that your body gets used to the feel of the super heavy weight.

    Never tried it, sounds kinda fishy to me... what do you guys think?
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  15. #15
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    Hmm, might be more of a mental breaker than anything else, or just for the purpose of a heavy negative or positive, dunno.

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