T Nation

Smith Machine or Power Rack?

me and my wife are putting a home gym in the basment and I cant decide if I should get a smith machine or a power rack. the reason I’m wondering about the smith machine is because I’ll be lifting by myself all the time.

is there a big difference between the two as far a results? I would like the smith machine since I wont have a spotter but at the same time I dont want to loose out on the work and not get the best results. can anyone give me some info that would help - thanks

How many successful bodybuilders, powerlifters, and strongmen do you see that stick to using a smith machine and not a power rack? – the answer is none. If you get a good rack (such as the ones of elitefts.com), you can set the pins just below where you want the bar to be caught. I think a very good majority of people would agree with me when I say smith machines are for girls.

Man if you ask any experienced lifter they’ll answer POWER RACK every time

I have a power rack at home and lift by myself and safety wise you have the pins just in case you lose control or fail on a lift. I definately wouldnt choose a smith if I could get a power rack

Yeah get a power rack. They are just better for squats and deadlifts and just about everything. Squating in a power rack with the stoppers set is as safe as having a spotter
However if you want to do alot of max benching then the smith machine might be the way to go. unless you can find a power rack that you can set the stoppers at just the right height

[quote]Doyle wrote:
Yeah get a power rack. They are just better for squats and deadlifts and just about everything. Squating in a power rack with the stoppers set is as safe as having a spotter
However if you want to do alot of max benching then the smith machine might be the way to go. unless you can find a power rack that you can set the stoppers at just the right height[/quote]

I find that benching in a power rack all alone is pretty safe, safer even than a smith machine i’d reackon. What happens if you cant get the bar off your chest in one of those and youre all alone?

from what i’ve noticed from benching in a rack is that if the same thing happens, you just drop your arch and the bar sits on the pins instead of crushing you to death, so you can slide right out

The smith machines i have used have a hook so you just turn your wrists and it stops it at pretty much any point. if you can set the pins to the right height power rack is just as good

[quote]Johnyjohnjohn wrote:
I think a very good majority of people would agree with me when I say smith machines are for people who don’t really want to lift and are pretty much wussies.[/quote]

Fixed. :stuck_out_tongue:

[quote]Johnyjohnjohn wrote:
How many successful bodybuilders, powerlifters, and strongmen do you see that stick to using a smith machine and not a power rack? – the answer is none. If you get a good rack (such as the ones of elitefts.com), you can set the pins just below where you want the bar to be caught. I think a very good majority of people would agree with me when I say smith machines are for girls.[/quote]

You had me right up until the smith machines are good for girls.

If you can afford it, I’d go with the rack and set pins. You can adjust them to almost any height you want and use them for benching, squatting and pin pulls as well as a million other things that I can think of.

[quote]pushmepullme wrote:
Johnyjohnjohn wrote:
I think a very good majority of people would agree with me when I say smith machines are for people who don’t really want to lift and are pretty much wussies.

Fixed. :stuck_out_tongue:

[/quote]

hehe, maybe I did go a little too far when I said they were for girls? I lift in a powerlifting gym, so I guess that is where I got my reasoning.

[quote]Johnyjohnjohn wrote:
pushmepullme wrote:
Johnyjohnjohn wrote:
I think a very good majority of people would agree with me when I say smith machines are for people who don’t really want to lift and are pretty much wussies.

Fixed. :stuck_out_tongue:

hehe, maybe I did go a little too far when I said they were for girls? I lift in a powerlifting gym, so I guess that is where I got my reasoning.
[/quote]

Pushmepullme is an equipped lifter and I am attempting to qualify for a meet this January. The women here are full of surprises. Neither of us use a smith machine. It’s personal preference.

give me a “P”
give me a “O”
give me a “W”…

screw it, i’m bored. the punchline is get a power rack.

I have the PowerTec power rack. Use it for squats and bench. You don’t want to squat in a Smith machine. It was like $450 off the Internet. Very sturdy. I got the matching bench off of Amazon but lots of folks on here love the Ironmaster bench.

I use the front of the rack for shoulder press, front squats plus it had dip bars and pull up bars.

The Power Rack is probably gonna be cheaper than a good quality Smith Machine.

And “Free Weights” done with traditional barbells are much better.

You’ll also be able to do many more exercises with a power rack than you could with a smith machine.

If you’re really hurting for space, and you’re thinking about getting a smith machine just because it doesn’t stick out as much, then consider getting Squat Uprights over the Smith Machine.

POWER RACK!

Thanks everyone, I figured I was going to hear everyone tell me “POWER RACK” just wanted to here everyone’s comments still. If possible can those who have a RACK at home post some pictures here so I can get and idea of how your set ups are? - Thanks again to everyone who commented :slight_smile:

Go for the power rack, and make sure that you can set the 2 bars on the side below your knee(my gym’s power rack won’t let me do rack deads below the knee and I’m almost 5’11" for god’s sake!). Try and see if they have any that will allow you to do pull-ups, and chins as well.

thanks man