Author Topic: Smith Machine VS Free weights  (Read 8357 times)

Offline badboy9311

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Smith Machine VS Free weights
« on: April 24, 2011, 09:07:20 AM »
My gym kinda sucks and hv a bunch of treadmills and steps but not free weights..booo
my gym only hv the smith machine, and the only other free weight: bench press
i'm thinking, should i go with the smith machine, or should i ignore awkard stares from the ppl around me, and pick up the bench press dumbbell and use it as my free weight?

or should i start with dumbbells as they prob do the same thing lol?


Offline Mark

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Re: Smith Machine VS Free weights
« Reply #1 on: April 24, 2011, 12:13:55 PM »
i dont follow what equipment you have?
Smyth machines are useful piece of equipment i have a very equiped gym and i use it frequently for starters it provides safety for somebody training solo to push them selves to failure.
from what i can tell you dumbells and a smyth. im not sure what kind of training works best for you with regards high/ low volume and the types of exercises ect.
it dosent matter what equipment you use its finding out which exercises work best for you and ensuring you do enough to stimulate growth. weather that be one all out set on a smyth to absolute failure dropping weight and doing that till failure, or maybe, using the dumbells to do high volume workouts. use the equipment you have got as best you can.

a little hint try to keep exercises natural or functional. i personally believe these are the best exercises to focus on. eg Dips, Chins, Squats, Deads, over head press. the body has become adapted to performing tasks not lifting weights so if you cant think of a practical application that involves that movement id drop it.
saying that i cannot bring my self to drop Bench press yet. and once you reach a higher level of body composition i think its crucial to work muscles on different ranges and planes however that a whole different discussion


Offline Bearso

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Re: Smith Machine VS Free weights
« Reply #2 on: April 24, 2011, 02:33:54 PM »
If it was me I would, dump the Smith machine it will make you weak.  Then I would find a new gym.

Offline Wlfdg

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Re: Smith Machine VS Free weights
« Reply #3 on: April 24, 2011, 06:15:17 PM »
Smith machine is only useful for inverted rows or as clothes rack.
For anything else it locks you into a fixed plane of motion. This is unsafe do to the fact that are bodies do not move in a fixed plane.
All machines are unfit for training as they engage the prime movers and leave out the necessary stabilizers. This creates strength imbalances that lead to structural disfuntion, injury and usually surgery. 

Offline Bearso

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Re: Smith Machine VS Free weights
« Reply #4 on: April 24, 2011, 06:44:05 PM »
What Wlfdg said!!!! 8) 


Offline badboy9311

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Re: Smith Machine VS Free weights
« Reply #5 on: April 24, 2011, 08:13:19 PM »
LOL OKAY so dumbbell for now i guess?
I'm gonna have exams real soon that's why i'm not joining a gym yet
I'll probably do that in summer

Offline Mark

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Re: Smith Machine VS Free weights
« Reply #6 on: April 25, 2011, 12:01:50 AM »
utilise both. they both dumbbells and smyth have a place in training. as for wlfdg saying they are unsafe i cant work out why he would think that. they are not optimal however they are certainly not unsafe.

i use a smyth for behind the neck press as it allows me to use greater weight without having to worry about falling over or getting stuck with all that weight behind my head. now yes i would recruit more stabiliser muscles if i used a BB but id be using much less weight. so its a toss up between using more weight or stabilisers. now after i finish BNP i do lat raises and boom free weight requiring the need to stabilise the weight and now we have best of both worlds. BNP also allows much greater control for the range of motion you want. when doing BNP i want to involve the triceps as little as possible smyth is great for this.

dont be put off one piece of equipment they all have there uses and whilst free weights are nearly always better you can achieve results with all.


quick note one more exercise i love to do on a Smyth is guillotine press. on a barbell  this is incredibly hard as the body keeps wanting to move the weight down over the nipple line rather than to the neck.

Offline Rollin

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Re: Smith Machine VS Free weights
« Reply #7 on: April 25, 2011, 12:42:32 AM »
IMO a Smith machine is okay for the short term but try to find another gym as soon as possible.
Is the gym equipt with one barbell for the bench press or with the dumbbells you mention? I don't understand?

Offline badboy9311

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Re: Smith Machine VS Free weights
« Reply #8 on: April 25, 2011, 04:47:21 AM »
i use a smyth for behind the neck press as it allows me to use greater weight without having to worry about falling over or getting stuck with all that weight behind my head. now yes i would recruit more stabiliser muscles if i used a BB but id be using much less weight. so its a toss up between using more weight or stabilisers. now after i finish BNP i do lat raises and boom free weight requiring the need to stabilise the weight and now we have best of both worlds. BNP also allows much greater control for the range of motion you want. when doing BNP i want to involve the triceps as little as possible smyth is great for this.

May I ask what a BNP is ?
IMO a Smith machine is okay for the short term but try to find another gym as soon as possible.
Is the gym equipt with one barbell for the bench press or with the dumbbells you mention? I don't understand?

it has one barbell for bench press, while hving a whole set of dumbbells


Offline Mark

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Re: Smith Machine VS Free weights
« Reply #9 on: April 25, 2011, 05:38:13 AM »
apologies behind the neck press.

Offline Rollin

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Re: Smith Machine VS Free weights
« Reply #10 on: April 25, 2011, 06:44:14 AM »
i use a smyth for behind the neck press as it allows me to use greater weight without having to worry about falling over or getting stuck with all that weight behind my head. now yes i would recruit more stabiliser muscles if i used a BB but id be using much less weight. so its a toss up between using more weight or stabilisers. now after i finish BNP i do lat raises and boom free weight requiring the need to stabilise the weight and now we have best of both worlds. BNP also allows much greater control for the range of motion you want. when doing BNP i want to involve the triceps as little as possible smyth is great for this.

May I ask what a BNP is ?
IMO a Smith machine is okay for the short term but try to find another gym as soon as possible.
Is the gym equipt with one barbell for the bench press or with the dumbbells you mention? I don't understand?

it has one barbell for bench press, while hving a whole set of dumbbells
Ah OK! I would suggest but not recommend the Smith machine for Squats, barbell for deadlifts & dumbbells for the rest.

Offline Bearso

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Re: Smith Machine VS Free weights
« Reply #11 on: April 25, 2011, 08:04:44 AM »
Smiths, like all machines are far inferrior to free weights.  While lifting mostly anything under any circumstances will cause muscle growth, they are a general waste of time and effort.  If that is all you have and you have tons of free time to blow in the gym, go for it.  For my money, I need only a power rack, a bench and a loaded bar.   

Offline Wlfdg

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Re: Smith Machine VS Free weights
« Reply #12 on: April 25, 2011, 08:20:44 AM »
as for wlfdg saying they are unsafe i cant work out why he would think that. they are not optimal however they are certainly not unsafe.
It is absolutely unsafe to train on a Smith machine.
Under no circumstances should anyone who is not infirmed train on machines.

Machines lock you into a fixed plane and our bodies do not move in fixed planes.

Free weights are best. Odd objects are even better.

Oodar

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Re: Smith Machine VS Free weights
« Reply #13 on: April 25, 2011, 08:58:51 AM »
It is absolutely unsafe to train on a Smith machine.
Under no circumstances should anyone who is not infirmed train on machines.

Machines lock you into a fixed plane and our bodies do not move in fixed planes.

Free weights are best. Odd objects are even better.

Not sure if any machines are okay, or which ones are the least bad. Smith machines remind me of bowflex which is clearly not good.