View Full Version : bench presses on the smith?
is this as effective as doing bench presses on a regular bench? ive been using the smith lately because im not benching that heavy yet, and i work out by myself, so i figure the smith is better because i can work till failure without having to drop the barbell :) that happened once, and damn was it embarrassing. but im asking because i seem to remember feeling better after a regular bench...thanks...
01-22-2001, 07:32 PM
I would say it's a smart choice if you don't feel comfortable using a regular bar, but work in some dbells also....
01-22-2001, 07:48 PM
If you have a choice I would suggest the barbell or the dumbell approach.
If you don't have the choice you have to do with what ya got:)
When I first started working out I never used freeweights because I didn't have anyone to train with. But then I started doing a lot of dumbell work and have enjoyed the results. It takes a little practice at first to get the dumbells into position (use your legs to help push them up, depending on the exercise). Plus if you fail in the middle of a rep they're a lot easier to put down then a bar!
01-22-2001, 10:23 PM
yea try the bumdbell aproach first and see if you like it. Me i do both DB and Bar. Or try the bench again but this time not as much weight, go slow. Thats what i do i train by myself and if i know i need a spot i call my bro to spot me hehe.
01-23-2001, 02:29 AM
I would train with the smith if you have no spotter... remember you need to push yourself to your limits and you canlt do this on freeweight with no spotter !
However I train alone but always ask people in the gym for spots.. So I do free weight bench as it feels much more natural.
01-23-2001, 07:34 AM
is this as effective as doing bench presses on a regular bench?
ive been using the smith lately because im not benching that heavy yet, and i work out by myself, so i figure the smith is better because i can work till failure without having to drop the barbell that happened once, and damn was it embarrassing. but im asking because i seem to remember feeling better after a regular bench...thanks...
** I would use DBs. I suggest only using the Smith machine when you want to move the weight in a straight line, which is rare... tends to only be very short movements, like shrugs, calf raises, etc.
The Canadian Oak
01-23-2001, 03:01 PM
i only have access to a smith bench where i workout thats why i use dumbells ,i will say i did get pretty thick from using the smith machine but i really dont like it
01-23-2001, 07:52 PM
I HATE the smith machine. i hate the movement i hate the look of it, i hate the name of it :mad: lol no its not that bad but i do hate it and i do recomend asking someone for a spot or using DB
01-25-2001, 10:11 PM
The Smith Machine impedes or all together negates the development of the accessory and "stabilizer" muscles that are developed when you bench press that are also very important for other movements and upper body development. The Smith Machine beats a caved in chest, but move on as soon as you're confident. In the meantime, knock out those dumbbell presses.
01-26-2001, 01:43 AM
Incline Smith machines presses ...... they can't be beat !!!
01-26-2001, 07:32 AM
They can't be beat for wrecking shouldrs and creating strength imbalances?
I like to mix them in once in a while. Every 3rd workout or so.
01-26-2001, 08:01 AM
I'm with yates. I do like to do incline smith presses. They don't feel to bad or unatural for me, quite comfortable infact. I would never do flat smith bench though.
I don't do smith machine presse to often though, but only cause i train with a partner...
01-26-2001, 08:24 AM
Originally posted by Paul Stagg
They can't be beat for wrecking shouldrs and creating strength imbalances?
didn't do Dorian Yates any harm now did they !!!
01-26-2001, 08:39 AM
Well, we don't know.
The injuries that result from the SM tend to be long term.
I'm not saying don't ever do them, I'm just saying you are going to be much better off if you don't use them as a core lift in your routine.
I don't want you guys to not be able to do any pressing in 5 years because you've destroyed your shoulders or injured yourself due to a strength imbalance.
01-26-2001, 11:57 AM
Doing Incline Smith is definitely preferred to doing Flat Smith as in Incline Pressing the correct plane of motion is much more accurately achieved doing Smith. HOWEVER, there's a big difference in Flat Presses. There are 2 schools of how to correctly Bench Press(for Strength and Injury Avoidance): (1) "Reverse C" or "J arc" which you move the weight from lower chest to closer to the head during the ascent---this clearly can not be dublicated on the Smith, and (2) Shoulder Blades together, elbows in, forearms vertical with a tight arc in your back. This teqhniue moves the the weight in a straight plane, but not necessarily perfectly perpindicular to the ground (using this method on the Smith will usually have you redirecting your ascent plane).
The Smith leaves you with the option of completely perpindicular movement, elbows out (awkwardly exposing your front delts & minimizing the role your lats/back should play), which over time leads to, as Paul put it, "wrecking shoulders and creating strength imbalances".
Learn to bench correctly (when you do, you will never feel comfortable flat pressing on the Smith heavy), and save the Smith for incline only.
01-28-2001, 03:23 PM
Don't forget that variety is the key...would be the best to work with the smith the dumbells and BB...
01-31-2001, 04:23 PM
Taken from "Muscle Moxie" by Kerri Fanelli:
[With the array of equipment available, it can be difficult to choose the right one. Bob Fanelli, clinical director of the Cardiac Rehab at St. Johns Riverside Hospital, suggests getting off the machines entirely. According to Fanelli, machines balance the weight for you. By doing that, the key stabilizer muscles often aren't worked and your body does not burn as many calories since it doesn't have to do the extra work necessary to balance the weight.
Emphasize compound, multijoint exercises such as the squat, lunge, bench press, overhead press and bent-over row. These exercises activate almost every muscle in your body at different stages of the movement; thus they're big-time calorie burners]
01-31-2001, 05:17 PM
Something the good Doctor fails to mention is that if the machines do not use as many stabilizer muscles then they must allow you to focus more on the muscles you intend to work. This greater intensity of focus can allow for more fiber recruitment in the target muscles.
02-01-2001, 07:24 AM
The drawback to hitting the target muscle and leaving out the stabilizers:
Strength imbalance between the target and stabilizers.
If you RELY on a machine to do a movement, then switch to a BB or DB version of the movement, the strength imbalnace can lead to injury. The lack of strength in the stabilizers can also lead to injury on the field (if you are an athelete), or in regular life.
I'm not saying you should never use machines, I'm just indicating there can be a negative where there is a postitive.
Just keep that in mind.
02-01-2001, 10:20 AM
I agree with Paul, I posted it that article primarily as it applies to the Smith Machine. DB's are a much better & safer way of isolating the chest than the Smith. In fact the Smith BP probably does as much or more to isolate your front delts as it does your chest---which is not a good thing with the weight it takes to overload your chest.
I use machines for leg curls/extension, lat pulls, and tricep presses, but there is no way I would substitute machines for my core movements: BP, Squats, DL's, Military...because in part of what the article states, and also because I am concerned with safely pursuing my absolute strength limits.
02-01-2001, 11:22 AM
Paul, I must disagree with your point. There are, and have been many college and professional level sports teams (football, basketball etc.) whose training rooms have primarily only machines or solely machines. Training for an athletic event is very sport specific. The movements you perform in a gym will make you stronger, but they do not mimic sports movements (unless of course your sport involves weightlifting). So, to say that you will experience injuries on the field due to less stress being placed on stabilizer muscles is unfounded. There is also the indirect effect, when you train a large muscle the smaller muscles nearest to it, and the whole body to a lesser degree, will grow from the exercise. This is why a squat only program will build the entire body (obviously not as well as if you trained the entire body). To say that the stabilizer muscles are not involved is also incorrect, there are still stabilizer muscles involved in a machine exercise, just not to the same degree as a free weight exercise. One last note to clarify previous statements. The kind of injury that you are referring to would not result from the use of exercise machines. Muscle imbalances that lead to serious injury are normally due to major imbalances between opposing muscle groups such as the quads and hamstrings.
02-01-2001, 11:35 AM
We are allowed to disagree.
Yes, most serious injuries are due to major imbalances, but it is my opinion that a lack of stabilizer work can lead to injuries on the field.
Many of those same training facilities/programs that rely on machines ALSO focus on training of stabilizers in other ways (Jamie LaBelle is an excellent example of a strength coach who does this).
Your average dude in the gym relying on machines for the core of his work is not also doing work on his stabilizers... and if you compare him to someone relying on free weight movements, which is more likely to get hurt during the company softball game. My money will go on the machine trainee.
I don't think there is any substantive study that goes into this subject, so all we really have are opinions.
02-01-2001, 12:59 PM
Fair enough, I still disagree with you, but I respect your thoughts on the subject and don't have any substantive evidence.
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