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Smith Machine vs. Free Weight Bench

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    Smith Machine vs. Free Weight Bench

    I workout alone and I don't have spotter for bench press, decline & incline press also. I use the smith machine for these exercises. Am I going to get good gains or am I wasting time?

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    You're not wasting your time.
    Just remember that the Smith doesn't allow for natural motion.
    What I mean by that is you're having to make movements based on what the machine allows rather than your natural movements based on your ROM.

    I only use the Smith when I am alone (no spotter) and am going to be lifting to failure or I use it to "test" myself when moving up in weight.
    Because I most often work out alone I end up using Hammer Strength a lot more than I should and the Smith when there's really no alternative.
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    Okay wasnt sure if the Hammer Strength was a better option or dumbells! Thanks for the help!

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    Why are you concerned with a spot ? If you can not control the weight and do strict reps you are lifting to heavy , IF and only IF you need a spot it should be on your last rep or 2 of your last set . If you need somebody to spot you during your whole workout then you do not know how to train . Just being honest with ya , Hope this helps . If you only need a spot on 1 or 2 reps ON YOUR LAST SET then just ask anybody in the gym . Smith machine is nice to throw in the mix but use the dumbbells until you learn how to fully control the weight on your own then move to the barbell . Then you can switch back and forth as need be btween DB and BB once you have some experience in training the correct way . YOU DO NOT NEED A SPOTTER TRUST ME



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    Quote Originally Posted by need2grow View Post
    I workout alone and I don't have spotter for bench press, decline & incline press also. I use the smith machine for these exercises. Am I going to get good gains or am I wasting time?
    Smith Machine

    It is another tool in your bodybuilding tool chest.

    Downside

    The Smith Machine eliminates the Stabilizer Muscles from the movement. Thus, the Stabilizer Muscles are not strengthened.

    Upside

    The work load is placed on the primary movers/muscles.

    A Smith Machine or any machine that provide greater stability allows you to overload the primary muscle to a great extent.

    Leg Press Example

    This machine allow you to overload the legs, primarily the Quads to a greater extent than a Squat.

    So, the Smith Machine (any machine) isn't a waste of time dependent what your objective is.

    Kenny Croxdale

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    Smith machines works wonders for me, with shoulder injuries free weights are not as effective, I worry more about controlling the weight more than working the muscle.

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    Smith machines are great for 3 things.

    1. Calf raises
    2. Hanging your gym towel up
    3. Keeping people out of the squat and power racks.


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    Quote Originally Posted by Warriorblaze View Post
    Smith machines are great for 3 things.

    1. Calf raises
    2. Hanging your gym towel up
    3. Keeping people out of the squat and power racks.


    Warrior
    They are legit for shrugs too! lol

    In all seriousness the smith machine is just another tool. Not an end all be all replacement of free weights, and not worthless. It is a tool.

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    Thank yall so much for the helpful info!!!

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    I like knowing how much weight I'm moving, and you never know with those counterweighted bitch machines.

    I use an oly bar or a trap/hex bar for shrugs.


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    Quote Originally Posted by Warriorblaze View Post
    I like knowing how much weight I'm moving, and you never know with those counterweighted bitch machines.

    I use an oly bar or a trap/hex bar for shrugs.


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    See I dont give two shits about the weight I move, I just care about the way I look lol

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    Quote Originally Posted by exerciseordie View Post
    See I dont give two shits about the weight I move, I just care about the way I look lol
    I log everything religiously so it drives me NUTS! Lol


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    I hate the range of motion on a smith machine. My gym doesnt have decline bench press and whenever I try that using the smith machine for it I get no chest workout from it. Imo dbells are the way to go, hammer strength, and regular bench. Also, the regular sweeping motiom of a bench press movement imo cant be replicated on the smith machine thus making it not as effective. I use the smith machine to burnt out on shoulder press, calf raises, etc.

    I almost never have a spotter, my workout partner is my wife. She spots me sometimes if I really need one but obviously I have to know what im doing. Like others mentioned you should not need a spot on a regular day and still be able to go heavy during your sets.

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    I use a smith press for certain lifts that I can manipulate the ROM to work for me. shoulder presses, incline presses, shrugs even bent over rows on occasion.





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    These days I rarely use any machines. I much prefer free weights and body weight exercises. I want my body to manage and overcome the instability of the big free movements. Much more beneficial to a total synergistic body than isolating body parts.


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    thumbs up on the bent over rows dieseljimmy, I can focus on keeping my back straight, with free weights I tend to throw some shoulder in there.

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    wanna work your ego and tear pecs, blow out shoulders then do all the free benches you want...want greater pec development smith is great...so are dbs and hammer strength... beware over use injuries in old school smith machines
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    Quote Originally Posted by KILLEROFSAINTS View Post
    wanna work your ego and tear pecs, blow out shoulders then do all the free benches you want...want greater pec development smith is great...so are dbs and hammer strength... beware over use injuries in old school smith machines

    Totally disagree , Smith will NOT give greater development ....... 1000 percent incorrect . Although you may have made improvements on the smith it is not the key or answer to greater development



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    I just think people are focusing too much on how much weight they move...instead of working the muscle... benches and deadlifts are by far the biggest ego lifts...and yes...I have seen studies summarized in md and flex magazine stating that the pecs are activated more on the smith than flat bench...but support muscles are not...as we would all assume
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    Quote Originally Posted by KILLEROFSAINTS View Post
    I just think people are focusing too much on how much weight they move...instead of working the muscle... benches and deadlifts are by far the biggest ego lifts...and yes...I have seen studies summarized in md and flex magazine stating that the pecs are activated more on the smith than flat bench...but support muscles are not...as we would all assume
    On that point you are correct . PPl concentrate on the weight instead of the movement ...As far as smith vs flat goes > Flat was never the best chest builder in fact flat is the biggest reason for shoulder injuries in our lifestyle . So the flat vs smith debate is not a good 1 . The above info you posted was real informative l . Thanks



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    ...PASSION IS MY FUCKING PASSION

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    there is a great article on emg test...notice the flat bench wasn't the greatest activator in the chest in any area of the pec
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    The WinnersBased on this experiment, here are the top three exercises in terms of mean and peak activity for each muscle part:
    Upper Pec
    Mean Mid Pulley Crossover, Band Push Up, JC Band Press
    Peak DB Incline Press, Guillotine Press, JC Band Press
    Mid Pec
    Mean DB Bench Press, Floor Press, Fly
    Peak Guillotine Press, DB Bench Press, Fly
    Lower Pec
    Mean Weighted Dip, Blast Strap Push Up, Guillotine Press
    Peak Guillotine Press, Fly, Weighted Dip
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    for those that don't want to read the whole article...^unfortunately no mention of smith bench
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    DB's over smith 99% of the time
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    If you're that worried about having a spotter then do your bench pressing in a power rack.

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    If you get a pump and can cause muscle stimulation it works. Some lifts i can get under it and have leverage. other lifts it feels very wanky and almost counter productive.
    I this kos brings up a good point. I don't think these things are serviced or tuned as much as they need to be... use common sense





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