T Nation

Power Rack Or Smith Machine?


#1

Which one...power rack or smith machine?...im lookin to buy either for my garage so i can do squats at home when i cant get to the gym. With squats im a big time pussy and i always get this feeling that im gonna fall back when i squat..especially with alot of weight...is there anything i can do about this. This was one of the reasons i sorta liked the smith machine...because its connected so i feel like i cant fall back lol...but then again people tell me it restricts motion way too much.

So power rack or smith machine and also is there anything i can do about that feeling that im gonna fall back?


#2

power rack. You can strengthen your abs and adjust your squat form (ie: arch the lower back, wider stance, push abs against belt, head up, better grip on bar, etc etc. Read anything by Dave Tate or the EFS boys).

The Smith Machine is just junk. Using that got me nowhere in terms of strength gains. I used it when i was doing HIT and bodybuilding. Complete effin waste of time.

The rack still has safety pins, so you're not going at it alone. Just train properly, bring a partner or three to spot you.

I think it's a complete mistake to go with the Smith. It's much heavier, and will be harder to move (in the event you do move). The power rack allows for so many options- just look at what you can customize over at EFS. Smith machines basically come in three kinds

A) lightened bar
B) 'heavy' bar (where you can feel the 45lbs of the bar)
C) P.O.S. Coathanger (either of the above).

Sorry man, but I trained Smith for so long, switched to dbell shoulder press for a change during one workout. I had no shoulder stability and blew my shoulder out (tore 3 of the four muscles around the rotator). I will never use that machine again.

Think about it in terms of breasts- would you rather check out a Rack, or a Smith? The name says it all... (i gots nothin')

CSR


#3

Power rack. The smith machine will blow the hell out of your joints due to the fixed path.

Only one I've seen that won't do that is called "The Joker" - and it's many thousand dollars for some reason.

-Dan


#4

Definetly the power rack, you set the safety pins at crotch level when standing, this way if you happen to lose the weight or fall back whatever the case may be, the pins will stop the weight from falling on you, I've done it, went down with the weight and couldn't get up, so i just let the pins take it, no problem.

Smith Machine is great for a boat anchor. and witht he power rack you can put a bench in there for bench pressing, pin pulls, pin presses, even floor presses and you don't need a spotter for any of these. It's what i do on a daily basis.


#5

Also if you get the feeling you are gonna fall back, there is something wrong with your set up, your form. You may have to lean forward a tad more, I used to have this feeling also until i went to an elitefts. seminar and was showed the proper technique for powerlifting.


#6

Go for the power rack. Definitely.

As far as your squating goes, try box squatting. Learn to sit back into the squat which will also strengthen your hips and your posterior chain. You might also try using a wider stance.


#7

Definately power rack. But I'm glad my gym has a smith machine as everyone uses that which keeps the power rack free.


#8

Its funny shit watching people do smith machine stability ball box squats.


#9

What if your gym only has a Smith machine? Should you stop squats and front squats all together? will they do more harm than good? And no..find another gym is not an option,,txs


#10

I would seriously consider a new gym (I know you said it's no option, but still). A gym without some sort of rack for squats isn't a proper gym. Smith machine squats can screw up your joints, which is definitely not good. If you're serious try to find a way to do proper squats.

Alex.


#11

I would continue to do squats, front squats or any other compound free-weight exersize as long as there is something to rest the bar on.

They don't have a power rack, but do they have any kind of squat rack?

You can also try hack-squats and deadlifts. You only need a bar, weights and the floor.

You might even be able to get your gym to buy a power-rack if you can convince them of how many great, safe uses there are for them.


#12

Power rack - All the way.

My gym has two coat.. I mean Smith machines and no power rack. I use the smith once a week of so to do close grip bench with bands but that's about it. I actually pull a bench into the squat rack and use the adjustable pins there to do heavy benching. My gym is a Golds and the manager said power racks were too intimidating. I feel it would look nice next to the big screen TV and leather couches. Uh Oh, I feel a rant coming on... I'll spare you. Bye.


#13

power rack. the smith will just screw up a proper form. as to falling forward or backward... too much weight. put weight on the bar and feel the center - arch the back and sit back, blah, blah, blah... - when you have control, then add weight little by little. this'll also develop the support muscles, giving you a more complete leg development. small legs suck, but we all gotta start somewhere.


#14

Just chiming in to echo what everyone else already said. The only thing the smith machine is good for is hanging up your coat.


#15

Do front squats. All you have to do is clean the weight first (that's not a bad thing!). As someone else mentioned you can also do hack squats, or find some benches to set the bar on an do Zercher squats.

If you can find something high enough and you have a spotter you may be able to do back squats.

Be creative...


#16

POWER RACKKKKK

and dude, if you feel like that..work on your damn form!
dont have a machine do all the work. focus, get in touch with your body. perfect the form homie.


#17

Both. http://store.yahoo.net/net2fitness/caribouiiirack.html

I have one in my home gym and I love it.


#18

Smith machine will make you even more of a pussy.