T Nation

F***ing Smith Machine


So I've been informed by email that my collage weight room gym is replacing the one power rack we have with a smith machine due to "safety" reasons.

This is complete and utter bullshit as I refuse to try and squat in a bloody smith machine.

Anyway I need some help here, since the squat rack is gone I need some advice on how I can still squat as there is no way I'm giving them up.

My only idea was to take one of the free bars and clean it and then from squat it, obviously the weight won't be nearly as much but at least I'd still be squatting.

Any ideas or advice?

And before you ask no I can't move gym as I can't afford it.


How many aerobic steps does your gym have? Horde them all man, that is shitty

A set up similar to this


Dam that's a pretty good setup alright.

Problem is my gym only has about 3 Airobic steps in the weight room, the rest are confined to the step class and I wouldn't cross those suckupuses if my life depended on it!


Invest in one of these:


Best of luck!


Thanks man I really appreciate the help.


Find a way to hurt yourself on the smith machine, because it forced you to use an unnatural range of motion, then sue them for all they're worth and buy your own home gym with it.


i was under the impression that those "feet way out in front of you, no depth" smith machine squats were the safest on the knees and lower back. have all the really "toned" guys at my gym bee lying to me?


Get as many people as you can to email them the smith machine guillotine http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1m6vcyQqx_Q

Have you talked to the people making that decision? Fight for it man


I have to deal with the same problem as the OP, so i feel your pain. My college gym doesnt have a single squat rack, and only 2 benchs. What Ive had to do is just put the bar on the highest rack on the bench, and then pull the bench out, take the barbell out and squat behind the bench, it greatly sucks ass, but its better then not squatting at all.


It's a joke,

I've sent 6 emails about it and have even got a petition going but no one wants to sign it as " a smith machine is way more advanced" and therefore better then the squat rack that "is unsafe to use".

I even went and talked to management about it, telling them th only reason I chose their gym was for the weigh lifting facillitys and that a power rack was a manor piece of equipment in reguards to my training. All she did was roll her eyes at me and tell me that "as a child I was unaware of the safey issues in regards to free squating and that I can still squat with this new piece of equipment but in a safe fashion".

I was gob smacked, I mean WTF am I supposed to say when she calls me a child and uninformed, I tried telling her of the benefits or free squating etc but it's not like I can pull the "if your not squating don't talk to me" card with a gum bunny who only gives a shit about the new treadmill with built in tvs.

Bloody joke it is.


If your goal isn't to powerlift and is more BB related, this might not be as bad as you think. You can still hammer your posterior chain really hard, and still do front squats via cleaning it up, granted you won't be able to go really heavy on the front squat this way. You can use hack squats and leg presses for your quads as well. You don't have to back squat to build a good set of wheels.

Hell, If I weren't doing PL and was physique oriented I wouldn't back squat, I would be doing snatch grip deadlifts, front squats, and elevated heel duck stance deadlifts for my primary leg exercises. The funny sounding deadlift is where you point your toes way out to the side with your heels on a 45 and deadlift like that. Good for quad and lower back development, not so much glute and ham though.

Don't forget Zercher squats. You can do those from the ground if your flexible enough and that'll work the tar out of your core (front and back and side). That belt squat thingermajig that one poster posted looked pretty cool. I think I'll look into that one myself.

Just remember that you still have options for good lower body development. You're just going to have to be creative.


Thanks so much man.

Ive been looking at my options for replacing the back squat and from what I can see, cleaning and front squatting seems to be a good solution to the problem as it will force me to front squat as well as working on my clean.

Im also looking into stiff leg dead lifts as opposed to a snatch grip dead lift since I have quite weak wrists( or maybe im just plain weak lol)

Im just pretty miffed to lose the safety of the squat rack but I suppose it might be a good thing, it will force me to bring the weight down and really perfect my technique.

As for the bodybuilding/ power lifting part I suppose its not a major hammer as Im not a competing power lifter and am more BB orientated, in saying that though I do compete with Olympic lifts and really want to be strong. AN example would be Dave tate being a hero to me, or if you were even to look at some of Dave drappers squats back in the day.

Lol im such a n00b it still shocks me, I wanna be big and powerful but I also like the idea of a tapered waist line and abs. FFS im pretty much like every other beginner on this site:P Though in my defense I am focusing on strength:)


tell that woman to go fuck herself, SHE DOESNT KNOW SHIT! im getting pissed off by this, if it was my gym i would have had a blazing row


She is a major cunt.

She gave ne this massive lecture about how heavy lifting like that is "bad for kids my age" as were not fully developed yet.
Then she told me that free squating was simply unsafe unless someone was super vising you(which was an ok point) but that a smith machine fixs that issue as it has safety pegs to catch the bar if you fall? I mean WTF.

So I tried asking her about the natural movement of your spine when free squatting as opposed to a fixed position when using the smith machine to which she responded " your too young to know about the bio mechanics of the body, trust me this machine is better for you".

I wanted to fucking stab her.


Maybe you should compile a large 3-ring binder of all the articles showing how much superior the squat is and how much a Smith machine really blows. Seriously, and just go in there with a smile and give it to her. I know you can find a fair amount on this site, maybe some other members know some direct links...



To start you off, email Cressey, i'm sure he'd be glad to rip the heads off of someone trying to hold back a fellow brother of iron, he's pretty responsive to his emails


Shit that is completely ridiculous. If you don't mind my asking, which college is it?


You made it sound like they haven't replaced it yet. If they haven't removed it yet, and if you have the room for it, you need to do some research, figure out who is in charge of the gym's equipment, figure out what they are going to do with it (throw it away, sell it, put it in storage, etc.), and make them a better offer. That would be pretty sweet if you could pick up a squat rack for free, but if you don't have room, ignore this post, and you have my condolences.

Oh, and avoid that lady. She might try to squat block your attempts at procuring the equipment.


Thats great man, but I wont bug him with my problems. Im sure hes got enough to deal with as it is.


There taking it out on Friday, which is tomorrow.

I already asked if I could have/or buy it from the collage if it was being discontinued earlier today. I didnt email the woman I was talking to, instead i emailed the gym owner but lone behold its the same cunt that replied.

Heres the email for your viewing pleasure:

Hi there,

My name is David and I am a post grad student at this collage and a paying member of your gym.

I was told yesterday that the only power rack in the weight room was being removed on Friday to be replaced by a smith machine for "safety" reasons.

Ive already spoken to management about how unfair this is too people like me, whose training effort hinges on being able to preform free squats in a safe manor.

After being informed that there was no way for the collage gym to etain the power rack I wanted to email you and ask if it was possible for me to take it off your hands?

I have reviewed the going price online and would be more than willing to buy it from you as it will no longer be in use.

I look forward to your reply


And here is the reply:

Hi David,

This is Yvonne, we spoke in length about this subject earlier today.

After seeing your request I felt that I should email you personally to inform you that we cannot allow you to take ownership over the power rack.

As free squatting is extremely dangerous, especially for someone of your age we cannot in good concise honer your request.

The reason we are replacing the power rack is to ensure those squatting without supervision are completely safe, if we were to allow you to procure the power rack you would undoubtedly hurt yourself and we cannot allow that.

A smith machine is a perfectly equal piece of equipment and I am confident that if you use it for a week or so you will come to love it for squatting.

If you have any more quires, please direct them to me and not the owner as I am the gym manager and supervise the floor.

I would also like your parents to email me so I could discuss this with them as you have pointed out that we are at fault in recommending a smith machine for safe squatting and I wish to rectify this.

Thank you for the email and I look forward to see you training.


Fuck guys, I dont even know what to say. She literally has me by the balls as A) Im a paying customer and B) if I do involve my parents you can be dam sure they will agree with the professional and not the 19 year old "know it all".

Seriously, fuck this shit.