T Nation

Smith Machine vs Barbells


#1

I have to do my next couple of workouts in a gym that doesn't have a bench press or squat rack. They also don't have any free bars......it's a 24 hour key-entry facility so because of liability concerns all they have is a smith machine.

I'll need to use the smith for both bench and military presses and my questions is, is there a commonly accepted calculation floating around about how much more weight to add to the smith to make it comparable??


#2

[quote]irish20cb wrote:
I have to do my next couple of workouts in a gym that doesn’t have a bench press or squat rack. They also don’t have any free bars…it’s a 24 hour key-entry facility so because of liability concerns all they have is a smith machine.

I’ll need to use the smith for both bench and military presses and my questions is, is there a commonly accepted calculation floating around about how much more weight to add to the smith to make it comparable??

[/quote]

A smith machine bar that is counter weighed usually weighs around 15lbs. 45lbs free bar - 15lbs = 30lbs therefore, you need to add 30lbs to the bar to equal a free bar.

Is this what your asking and looking for?


#3

Exactly what I needed. Thank you


#4

[quote]irish20cb wrote:
Exactly what I needed. Thank you[/quote]

Your welcome.


#5

The smith machine at the gym i am at at the moment is heavier than the standard oly barbell.

Significantly so.


#6

If it’s only a couple workouts just play with the plates until you get some challenging poundages. You may be surprised how effective the Smith machine can actually be.


#7

THere are a few variations of the Smith out there, so definitely play around until you get the feel of this one. After a bit, you won’t even worry about the groove and feel, and you can just start piling on the plates.

S


#8

There are ways to disengage the counterweights on many smiths as far as I know, but perhaps not in all instances. Just be on the lookout for suspicious-looking cables etc and follow those, or ask the staff…


#9

[quote]The Mighty Stu wrote:
THere are a few variations of the Smith out there, so definitely play around until you get the feel of this one. After a bit, you won’t even worry about the groove and feel, and you can just start piling on the plates.

S
[/quote]

Yea, some smith machines require you to balance from left to right, which is pretty nice cause it gives you that barbell type of balance feel