OK so my gym just bought a Star Trac Max Rack.
When I first walked into the gym I was really excited because I thought they had bought a proper power rack but then I go look at it and it has me totally confused. It's like a power rack with a smith machine built into it but the smith machine not only slides the bar vertically but also in the horizontal plain. The Star Trac website has this to say
[italic]The Star Trac Max RackÂ® is the perfect fusion of free weight Power Rack training with the safety of a Smith Machine. A smooth, natural option for those who prefer an Olympic bar feel but don't want to sacrifice personal safety or perfect form.[/italic]
So my question is, what the hell is this for? I don't use a Smith Machine much because I like free weights. Whilst I think they are wrong, I kind of get the idea that someone might feel safer in a smith machine because they can rack the weight at any height and can fix one plane of motion (as per the article on this site a few days ago) So. what I want to know is how is this in any way giving safety? All it does is slightly restrics the movement that you would have with a bar making lifts feel less natural and smooth.
Given that my gym doesn't have enough clips for all the bars that we have it seems a really odd choice of how to spend money. It's ok for me on one level because I can just rack the smith bar at the back and use it as a power cage however I wish they had used the money to buy a normal power cage and a couple of new bars and some more clips.