T Nation

Squats: Smith 2 Free Bar

I started training again about six months ago after a horrendous 13 year self abusive layoff. I had a lot of experience from previous training and knew that I’d better break myself in sensibly before going heavy to avoid having to scoop various connective tissues off my basement floor. I started squats on the smith machine for safety reasons and subsequently got used to it and stuck with it. My lifting progress skyrocketed after the first few weeks of breaking myself in. However I started noticing a more “complete” burn in my left leg than my right and went out of my way to conciously compensate. Today I decided to put some plates on an olympic bar and go for free bar squats.

 I went with what I thought would be light weight and kept excellent form. WHAT A DIFfERENCE!! Holy Shit, I'd forgotten. Perfect resistance in both legs and 40% less weight kicked my ass thoroughly. The smith machine has it's place and I've made great gains in leg size and strength up til now, but it'll be the old fashioned bar from now on for the most part. I'm quite certain I'm not bringing any galactic revelation to most of you guys, but thought I'd mention it.

–Tiribulus->

[quote]Tiribulus wrote:
I started training again about six months ago after a horrendous 13 year self abusive layoff. I had a lot of experience from previous training and knew that I’d better break myself in sensibly before going heavy to avoid having to scoop various connective tissues off my basement floor. I started squats on the smith machine for safety reasons and subsequently got used to it and stuck with it.[/quote]

Not the best Idea should have went LOW weight and done real squats the pay back would have been better.

[quote]
My lifting progress skyrocketed after the first few weeks of breaking myself in. However I started noticing a more “complete” burn in my left leg than my right and went out of my way to conciously compensate. Today I decided to put some plates on an olympic bar and go for free bar squats.

 I went with what I thought would be light weight and kept excellent form. WHAT A DIFfERENCE!! Holy Shit, I'd forgotten. Perfect resistance in both legs and 40% less weight kicked my ass thoroughly. The smith machine has it's place and I've made great gains in leg size and strength up til now, but it'll be the old fashioned bar from now on for the most part. I'm quite certain I'm not bringing any galactic revelation to most of you guys, but thought I'd mention it.

–Tiribulus->[/quote]

Hopefully other will read and not make the same mistake. You buy em books send em to school and what do they do!!!

Fair play mate!

I suffered from meningitis about 4 year ago, and had the same problem Squats/Compounds on the spine being a worry (Lumber Puncture leaves that feeling)

But fair shout and keep going!

When I first started I was just trying to beat diabetes and generally get back into livable shape so, though I knew barbell squats were better I was just concerned with any kind of progress at all.

Once I started seeing results I caught the bug again and started going for some much heavier weight. By that time I was just used to the smith machine and thought “this is working so good enough”.

I do wish I would’ve started with the bar, but overall no tragedy. It only took six months and I did put at least a couple inches on each leg and got some glute developement too, but that was probably due at least as much to the deads I was doing.

Bottom line is the old rule definitely holds true, machines can play a part, but build your routine on a foundation of freeweights. I’ve never used em, but I doubt even Power-Tec/Hammer Strength type machines are nearly as good.

–Tiribulus->