The Truth On How Much Does The Bar Weigh On A Smith Machine That Will Blow Your Mind
How much does the bar weigh on a smith machine? - This is a question commonly asked by gym junkies, as well as fitness trainers alike. If you train regularly using the smith machine, it may not have occurred to you that the bar weight contributes to the overall weight you’re lifting when plates are added on each side. In some cases, it may not make much of a difference when pumping out those presses, but for those of us who are serious about our weight training – we need answers!
We will be exploring this highly debated topic that has lit up Reddit and similar forums worldwide to help solve this problem; that way, you can do less Googling and more lifting.
Every Day is Upper Body Day
When you use free weights, you know exactly how much you’re pressing. The general rule of thumb, according to body building enthusiasts, is that the bar weighs 15lbs on a smith machine. However, when using the smith machine, it is not always so clear; this is because the bar can range anywhere from 15 – 75lbs.
The majority of machines tend to sit at the lower end of the scale, averaging around 20lbs. However, it is always worth finding out exactly how much so you can add the correct plates that are appropriate for your strength. An additional 20lbs or more is going to make a big difference to your training and results, so you need to be able to measure and track what you’re pressing.
Finding out how much the bar weighs on a smith machine takes a bit of detective work, so we’ve summarized some suggestions as follows:
- Check the Bar – Sometimes the manufacturer will either have a printed sticker on the bar, or the bar itself will be etched with the weight. It’s always worth checking in the first instance by doing a quick inspection.
- Ask Around – I know asking for directions can be a bit of a pride-kill when driving, however, you will probably save a lot of time (and frustration) if you ask the gym owner or PT on duty. If they can’t help, then ask around the floor as someone else may have done the work for you!
- Find the Manufacturer – If the above leads to a dead end, then its game on. Time to hunt down the manufacturer and get some answers! You can usually Google the brand, product, model and even serial number and find the smith machine specs online.
If, however, you still haven’t been able to find out, you can probably estimate how much it weighs just by holding it without the plates. Although this solution is a last resort, some mysteries just simply can’t be solved (but that doesn’t mean it can’t be estimated).
Bro, Do You Even Lift?
Now that we’ve got that out of the way and we’re all still friends, let’s also address the elephant in the room so we can avoid any potential punch-ups over the much-debated question that has plagued us for decades. Smith Machine vs. Free Weights: Which is better? Most bodybuilders will have a personal preference, depending on their level of expertise and confidence.
The general consensus among the pros is that the barbell gives you more freedom and flexibility. However, the smith machine will assist you in controlling your posture, and most importantly, provide that extra support if you’re down a spotter and can’t phone a friend. There are many who insist on using both, and therefore, it just comes down to what you’re most comfortable with.
The smith machine is perfect for beginners, as well as experts who want to refine their technique and form. Who doesn’t want to improve, especially as your weight capacity increases? It is the safest way to lift, helping you avoid injury and damage to your spine – something we all need to protect!
Lift Weights, Get Dates
Before we wrap up this article, it’s worth noting that all smith machines have similar features, but vary from each manufacturer and brand. If you’re looking to purchase a smith machine for at-home use, or you run a gym yourself, there are plenty of options to choose from. Some are basic run-of-the mill machines that assist in lifting technique, while others carry all the bells and whistles such as functional trainers. You can buy them from Amazon here.
Whichever way you go, just be sure to do your research and weigh up all the options (pun intended), including whether you think free weights would be a better solution. Often, it’s good to have both. For lifters who are serious about their game, and their goals, a machine will always be guaranteed to turn you into a machine.
Here is a list of common brands:
All in all, we are confident by now you’ll know how much the bar weighs on the smith machine you are using via the above methods. Once you have been able to establish the weight, the main thing for you to now focus on is your technique and form. When we train, continuous improvement is always the goal, which will no doubt have people lining up for your gun show in no time.
Also published on Medium.
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