...The Debate That Never Ends.
Which of you posters utilizes one or the other exclusively and who mixes them both in a routine?
I am currently using a 5x5 program, I do a lot of my big lifts in a smith machine due to space and limited equipment constraints at my gym.
I do a barbell flat bench in the smith and squats too unless i can get the power rack for a few minutes where I'll do squats. I still bench in the smith though because i hate not being able to touch my chest with the bar due to pins on a power rack. It might only be an inch off and inconsequential, but it feels weird.
The only drawback I can find regarding a smith is that it neglects supporting muscles.
I compliment my bench with dumbell shoulder presses and dumbell incline presses though and feel those two excercises are good enough to develop my rotator cuff and other supporting systems so as not to cause injury.
I also do lunges and on cardio days often work on plyometrics.
The smith allows me to comfortably push myself with heavier weights knowing I can hook the bar if I need to. I definately make gains in size and strength with the smith and in a way like the way it forces me to move the bar in one plain, depending on how I situate my body, I can really concentrate on my pecs, shoulders or triceps.
Anyways, what does your freeweight/machine mix look like and how do you feel about machines in general?