Hi Guys. My gym has no barbell, not even one, only a smith machine. Imagine that!? So why do I go to that gym?
1. It is in the building where I work - extremely convenient (I go during work)
2. It is $30 a month - very cheap for New York
3. I have made progress and I think I can continue to make progress in this gym
MAIN QUESTION: Cycle in exercises on smith machine occasionally or avoid it completely?
I have been weight training just under a year. I have come up with some workarounds and would like to hear some opinions and additional ideas.
Major exercises that I am missing out on due to absence of a barbell/squat rack:
There is an EZ curl bar that I can clean and perform front squats, overhead squats, hack squats (useful exercise?). I also use dumbbells to perform lunges, split-squats, and step-ups. Sometimes I just squat in the smith machine - should I continue this or am I better off with above replacements?
I use the EZ curl bar to deadlift.
BB Bench Press
I mostly bench with dumbbells. It's awkward to bench with the EZ Curl bar. I also perform dips and pushups. Cycle in smith bench sometimes?
I use the EZ curl bar here. I also perform various cable rows and bent-over dumbbell rows.
I guess I can try this exercise with the EZ bar and see how that works. I have mostly been performing the Straight-leg Deadlift and leg curls for hamstring work. (No glute-ham machine)
I cannot really find a replacement so I have been using smith calf raises. I have heard of ways to use the leg press machine for calf work. Also perhaps a buy a dip belt and do donkey raises?
Anything I am missing?
BTW my progress in the first year (almost) is 165lbs to 183 lbs (as of this morning) and only 1% increase in body fat.