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The smith machine ruined my life


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Not really. But starting over after thinking I was making such good gains was frustrating. I used it alot cause i would always work alone and would want to push myself without fearing for my life. Until a friend told me a while ago that i should stop it asap. And so I did and then I went down 50 pounds on bench. 235 to 185. and now going up in weight is way harder.

 

I am have accepted it now. and I deserve it for not knowing better.

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Always glad to see another ex-Smith convert!

 

One thing to consider is, if you weren't factoring in that most Smith machines have a counter-balanced bar that averages only about 15 lbs. in actual weight to lift by itself, you may only need to consider that you may not be as low on free-weight lifts like benching as previously thought. For example, 2 plates on each side of a barbell will make for 225 lbs., but on a Smith, it's only about 195 lbs. for the same setup. Just something I wanted to pass along, just in case you hadn't known about that.

 

But of course, free weight stuff will incorporate all those stabilizers that the Smith does not, and will put your lifts in a natural plane of motion vs. something that's not (such as squats, which cannot be copied closely from free weight to Smith). So, you're going to have to bring all those pesky little muscles up to par if they haven't developed as well due to Smith use. But, never fear, they will come up, and if you get your barbell bench to 235 in the near future, hit that Smith up one day for fun and watch as your numbers will almost certainly be much higher than they were before you stopped using it.

 

I will say, I think that the Smith machine can be used for REALLY short ROM movements (like 1-arm shrugs, short-range overhead press lockouts or supports, etc.), but for anything where the bar is moving more than 6" or so, I wouldn't encourage anyone to make it a primary focus. Nevertheless, it's good to hear that you've found the path to lifting enlightenment - now all you need is more time under the bar and you'll get where you want to go in due time!

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Hmmm..never really thought about it. I only use the smith machine for Squats just out of pure convenience. So am I really doing myself a great injustice and not working out my legs adequately? The only other thing I have ever used a smith for is behind the head presses.

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I don't like the smith machine because it makes you conform to its movement. There just is not as much allowance with those machines to account for how you naturally move. Or I guess just like VeganEssentials was speaking of, you don't get to use your stabilizer muscles.

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The Smith machine will fuck you up. It puts you in an unnatural position for squats so you're more likely to injure yourself.. And many people have.

 

Even if you're embarrassed by how little you can squat (like me) you still get a better workout doing it with a barbell and doing the move properly. Eventually you'll see the strength gains you crave.

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I'm a believer!!!

 

Ditched the Smith today for my Squats only dropped 50 lbs from the Smith but got one hell of a workout. Best my legs have felt since I started doing squats. The Smith machine is now something to look at and will probably never be touched again except maybe for the occasional shrug.

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Try having two messed up shoulders and no spot and see how bad you f yourself up without the use of being able to spot yourself. Without the smith machine I would have no chest gains at all. And honestly I have no clue how much I can lift with or without it, I am just wanting to be back in shape you know. The machine has its uses is all. I defend it till the death.

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Try having two messed up shoulders and no spot and see how bad you f yourself up without the use of being able to spot yourself. Without the smith machine I would have no chest gains at all. And honestly I have no clue how much I can lift with or without it, I am just wanting to be back in shape you know. The machine has its uses is all. I defend it till the death.

 

Have you ever tried benching in a power rack? If you are afraid that you will tweak your shoulder and have to drop the weight, you can try that if you haven't. If you set it right, you will lose such a small portion of your ROM that it is irrelevant. I don't know the details of your shoulder issue or what you have tried, so sorry if this is insulting.

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Sorry to hear about the shoulder issues, Tom. Though, I do second what Cubby said - if you can get to a good power rack, it's the better way to go, because in the long run, your shoulders may end up with more problems due to the solitary plane that the Smith runs on vs. having the ability to move the bar in a natural course.

 

If you have a power rack but can't get the height proper for the ideal ROM and find that it cuts short, grab some stretching mats or anything else you can find to increase the bench height a bit on top (sometimes the extra padding is nice ), or, put some small plates under the corners of a bench to raise it slightly. I've even turned a flat bench into a 25 degree decline bench by putting a few plates under the foot end of it, so you can definitely manipulate bench height and angle of a flat one by rigging it up just right.

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