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Thread: Smith machine for squatting?

  1. #1
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    Smith machine for squatting?

    I workout at home. I have no spotters that lift with me. I'm starting to squat #250 and bench 200 right now. I know that isn't much to some in here but I feel I could do more but am afraid to get caught at the bottom or worse fall forward or backwards on the squats. I was thinking about a smith machine but I have heard bad things about squatting with them. What’s everyone’s take on this?

    Hawk

  2. #2
    Kitty Kung-Fu Shroud's Avatar
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    Well hawk, I'm in a similar situation as you are. There is a smith at my gym and I usually workout alone. It is far better to use the smith and continue to squat than to not use it and not squat or injure yourself needlessly. Imho it's a no-brainer. I use the smith machine and continue to squat. If and when I switch to a gym that has a power rack, I'll forego the smith and use the power rack.

    If you're thinking about a smith machine for your home, have you looked into getting a power rack instead?

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    No I haven't. The machine I'm looking at has a pec deck built on it and high and low pulley both of witch I would like.


    Imho it's a no-brainer
    No it’s not. If I have the same chances of getting hurt with the smith machine I will lift as I am now with a weight I feel comfortable with and increase the weight slower. I will get there eventually. Point being I don't want to get hurt bottom line.
    Have you done both? Is there a differences?

  4. #4
    Kitty Kung-Fu Shroud's Avatar
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    Maybe calling it a no-brainer is a bit too strong.

    If you're looking to employ amounts of weight that could push you close to your 1 rep maximum on squats, then some form of safety apparatus and some form of racking system are a good idea. It really depends on your lifting goals and workout style too. Are you looking to go for 1 RMs on squats or bench press or <insert exercise here> at times? Without a spotter, you need to invest in a rack or smith if you are lest you find yourself risking serious injury one day pushing your body to its limits. Failure is an inherent part of pushing the envelope.

    Having said that, everyone trains different.

    I know that isn't much to some in here but I feel I could do more but am afraid to get caught at the bottom or worse fall forward or backwards on the squats.
    Remember, the smart lifter covers their ass to protect their efforts. There are plenty of threads on WBB about the pros and cons of a smith vs a power rack. Smiths are a bit cheaper if I'm not mistaken and fairly versatile. Read some of the journals and you'll see more than a few people who've built serious muscle using only a smith too.

    If I have the same chances of getting hurt with the smith machine
    Do you mean the same chances over using neither a smith or a power rack without a spotter? How do you get the bar into position to squat? Do you clean it from the floor initially?

    As my own journal shows, I prefer to use a power rack but currently use a smith since my gym only has a smith.

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    Kitty Kung-Fu Shroud's Avatar
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    Re: Smith machine for squatting?

    Originally posted by hawk0388
    ....but I feel I could do more but am afraid to get caught at the bottom or worse fall forward or backwards on the squats.
    Hawk
    I fell forward 2 weeks ago in the squat cage. Didn't hurt. Bar only dropped about 6" to the safety bars. Little to no noise either (big noise = big embarrasment) . It wouldn't bother me to fall again.
    Last edited by Toe Tag; 10-12-2003 at 05:43 PM.

  7. #7
    Toughest Man in the World Bruise Brubaker's Avatar
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    Interesting post on an other forum:

    SMith MAchine pays 14 million in Lawsuit
    --------------------------------------------------------------------------------
    From Club Industry magazine, Flex Equipment maker of a Smith Machine, and Venice California GOlds gym lost a 14.4 million dollar lawsuit. A man is now a quadriplegic from sqautting on the "safe" Smith Machine. theyre saying that the stop position is "too low" at 21 inches, and "experts" testified it should never be lower than 28 inches. how sad. idiots that dont know how to lift weights in the first place, and blame the machine with a ridiculous design that doesnt do it right for them.

    A man is a quadriplegic because these people had to make money off this piece of garbage, and too that he beleived the sales pitch. and even worse, people will continue to use it. why lock youself into this contraption, as this man learned the hard way, and force yourself into the unnatrural bar path? And then call it safer??? ignorance to the point of stupidity - all in the name of profits. Melt them all down and make real weights from them, and workout in a club where you can drop them if you need to, not get pinned like this man - and where youre allowed to use chalk so they wont slip.
    The story is that the guy tore something in one of his quads, so he felt down and the weight falling with him has made serious damage to his spine.

    Buy a powerrack or a squat rack.
    Last edited by Bruise Brubaker; 10-12-2003 at 10:00 PM.

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    afraid to get caught at the bottom or worse fall forward or backwards on the squats

    i have the same problem hawk. its just the lack of being able to balance myself. i use a smith machine for squats, and ive seen many others do the same. it works for me, although with most things, im sure there are some bad points. i believe the weight you put on isnt the actual weight your lifting, because its assisted by the machine. also, my personal con on it is that when using it, i have to turn my wrist to unhook it, which throws off my grip somewhat. i say go for it though, its most likely a safer way for doing it by yourself instead of trying to balance the free weight

  9. #9
    HomeYield WillKuenzel's Avatar
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    Those of you who use smith machines to squat, do you not have a squat rack or power rack in your gym?
    What is elite?
    "Those who work the hardest often complain the least." -anonymous
    Pain is inevitable. Suffering is optional.

  10. #10
    Rollin Dubs HORNEDFROGS07's Avatar
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    I've done both, and I have to say that free weights work much better. I will never go back to the smith.
    Vincere aut mori

    "The best inspiration is not to outdo others, but to outdo ourselves."

    "From the inside looking out, you can't explain it; from the outside looking in, you can't understand it."

  11. #11
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    A power rack with pins set at the appropriate heigth, what can be safer? You get stuck at the bottom, bail out on the pins, what is the problem?
    Just one guy's opinion.

  12. #12
    Kitty Kung-Fu Shroud's Avatar
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    HY - I only have a smith thus why I use a smith. Otherwise there would be no question....power rack.

  13. #13
    HomeYield WillKuenzel's Avatar
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    I can understand then if its the only option. Its not that you can't grow using a smith machine but I just feel its not the best option if there are others available.

    The smith can bu utilized but I just wanted to make sure that all the other options had been exhausted before going that route.

    If a person is working out at home and believes that they will continue to workout at home then I would highly recommend investing in a good power rack. It could quite possibly be the best weightlifting purchase you'll ever make.
    What is elite?
    "Those who work the hardest often complain the least." -anonymous
    Pain is inevitable. Suffering is optional.

  14. #14
    Rollin Dubs HORNEDFROGS07's Avatar
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    Now, some really deep smith squats to really waste those hams/glutes/hip flexors doesn't hurt.
    Vincere aut mori

    "The best inspiration is not to outdo others, but to outdo ourselves."

    "From the inside looking out, you can't explain it; from the outside looking in, you can't understand it."

  15. #15
    Toughest Man in the World Bruise Brubaker's Avatar
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    Originally posted by HORNEDFROGS07
    Now, some really deep smith squats to really waste those hams/glutes/hip flexors doesn't hurt.
    Hip flexors? Are you attached to the ceiling when you squat?

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