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  1. #1
    M&S Veteran Shanedoolie1's Avatar
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    Smith machine.. What is the diff??

    I have always heard and read that using the Smith machine is much less beneficial than free weights because it takes your stabilizer muscles out of the equation. Have also heard that there is no such thing as stabilizer muscles.

    What's your guys' take on this? Do you think it's much of a difference? Who all uses the Smith on a regular basis?
    What about compared to machines?

    Is there an actual known weight difference between the Smith and free weights? Like when using the Smith should you deduct ,, say,, 20lbs from what's loaded on the bar to calculate what you could push on free weights?

    I want to know as much as I can about it because I have to workout by myself a lot so I use the Smith when I want to go heavy. Thanks for reading guys.


  2. #2
    M&S Veteran Shanedoolie1's Avatar
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    Also,,, I know there are a million posts about it when googled. I have read thru a lot of it, but I want to see what you guys ha e to say about it. I trust and look up to a lot of people on here.


  3. #3
    M&S Veteran 'SizeMatters''s Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Shanedoolie1 View Post
    Also,,, I know there are a million posts about it when googled. I have read thru a lot of it, but I want to see what you guys ha e to say about it. I trust and look up to a lot of people on here.
    I would call the muscles your referring to, (Stabilizer) as
    "ancillarie" muscles, in my opinion & that of what I've learned about it thru the years, is that with the Smith, ( true, they don't come into play, or get engaged as much)

    With a free bar, standard Oly bar, they come in to play to control the "load" for & aft. , if you will ..! With the Smith, not as much, and the load is linear, and "fixed " groove, so you could say do incline smith, & nail the clavicles way
    Up high near your Adams apple. If that makes sense, "not" that the other way doesn't, I think you just "isolate " an area more, and also depends on the angle, I like to do those, and sometimes "only" incline.., followed by incline DB fly's, then maybe Machine presses to burn em' out.

    Depends on what your trying to achieve, you could switch
    things up, and do fly's first to "pre~exhaust" then bombard, with the Smith.

    But, I do think you would benefit more with a free bar.

    A very "good " book with lots ( probably every exercise imaginable) is Bill Pearls "Keys to the Inner Universe"..!

    That one will give you so much to choose from, it will keep you busy darn near your entire lifting career.

    And provide plenty of variety.

    Most Smith's have a counter balance, which does alleviate about 15 lbs of a 45 lb Oly bar, but some have big beefy bearing & slide mechanisms, and might be the same, or close.

    'Size'
    Don't ask the Question, If your 'NOT ' prepared to
    Hear the answer.......!,

    I "Don't" sugar coat shit....!
    I'm 'not' Willy Wonka....!

  4. #4
    M&S Veteran Shanedoolie1's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by 'SizeMatters' View Post
    I would call the muscles your referring to, (Stabilizer) as
    "ancillarie" muscles, in my opinion & that of what I've learned about it thru the years, is that with the Smith, ( true, they don't come into play, or get engaged as much)

    With a free bar, standard Oly bar, they come in to play to control the "load" for & aft. , if you will ..! With the Smith, not as much, and the load is linear, and "fixed " groove, so you could say do incline smith, & nail the clavicles way
    Up high near your Adams apple. If that makes sense, "not" that the other way doesn't, I think you just "isolate " an area more, and also depends on the angle, I like to do those, and sometimes "only" incline.., followed by incline DB fly's, then maybe Machine presses to burn em' out.

    Depends on what your trying to achieve, you could switch
    things up, and do fly's first to "pre~exhaust" then bombard, with the Smith.

    But, I do think you would benefit more with a free bar.

    A very "good " book with lots ( probably every exercise imaginable) is Bill Pearls "Keys to the Inner Universe"..!

    That one will give you so much to choose from, it will keep you busy darn near your entire lifting career.

    And provide plenty of variety.

    Most Smith's have a counter balance, which does alleviate about 15 lbs of a 45 lb Oly bar, but some have big beefy bearing & slide mechanisms, and might be the same, or close.

    'Size'
    Sweet. Good info size . Thanks bro. I will also check into that book. I love research.


  5. #5
    M&S Veteran 'SizeMatters''s Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Shanedoolie1 View Post
    Sweet. Good info size . Thanks bro. I will also check into that book. I love research.
    Your welcome my friend, Stay inspired..! Your quite yiungvyet, you'llske some good headway, got slot of good years left in y'a, me, gonna be 52 soon, and have a limited Amt of time to get this shit right, Lol...! No, I'm pleased with my progress. This winter bulking season, is gonna be my "GameChanger" ..Beast Mode..!

    'Size'
    Don't ask the Question, If your 'NOT ' prepared to
    Hear the answer.......!,

    I "Don't" sugar coat shit....!
    I'm 'not' Willy Wonka....!

  6. #6
    M&S Veteran Shanedoolie1's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by 'SizeMatters' View Post
    Your welcome my friend, Stay inspired..! Your quite yiungvyet, you'llske some good headway, got slot of good years left in y'a, me, gonna be 52 soon, and have a limited Amt of time to get this shit right, Lol...! No, I'm pleased with my progress. This winter bulking season, is gonna be my "GameChanger" ..Beast Mode..!

    'Size'
    You will get to where you wanna be. I'm sure. Your a good dude and seem very dedicated. That's all ya need. A little knowledge, a little motivation, and dedication..... gear is always nice too. Lol.


  7. #7
    M&S Veteran 'SizeMatters''s Avatar
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    BTW, that book I have by him, it's Autographed to me inside, pretty Kool, (not from him in Person) but the Store that I bought all my home gym equipment from, the Lady (owner) new him, and she got on the phone with him right in front of me, and set it up to have sent autographed. Pretty sweet..!
    Don't ask the Question, If your 'NOT ' prepared to
    Hear the answer.......!,

    I "Don't" sugar coat shit....!
    I'm 'not' Willy Wonka....!

  8. #8
    Member Damageinc's Avatar
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    I love the Smith machines.
    I workout alone and do not like having to ask for a spot.
    The Smith machine enables me to concentrate on the muscle and I can push my limits further without a spotter.

  9. #9
    M&S Veteran Shanedoolie1's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Damageinc View Post
    I love the Smith machines.
    I workout alone and do not like having to ask for a spot.
    The Smith machine enables me to concentrate on the muscle and I can push my limits further without a spotter.
    Great!! That's very nice to hear. Your in amazing shape so I would assume any difference there may be is going to be extremely marginal. Thanks for sharing brother.


  10. #10
    Administrator Achilles87's Avatar
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    I 95% of the time use a smith, I have actually noticed better development in my chest from it.


  11. #11
    M&S Veteran Shanedoolie1's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Achilles87 View Post
    I 95% of the time use a smith, I have actually noticed better development in my chest from it.
    Hell yes!
    Thank for posting buddy! This is all very encouraging for my solo workouts.


  12. #12
    M&S Veteran 'SizeMatters''s Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Achilles87 View Post
    I 95% of the time use a smith, I have actually noticed better development in my chest from it.
    Me too, to some extent..., as I like to situate my hand placement in a manner where I'm pushing more with the "heel" of my palm (so as to "not" ha e to grip hard &squeeze, just press) and allowing the bar to hit me "high" on the clavicles & elbows flare back a lil' bit & lats stretch back for the re~coil (incline mind you) I feel it better when I want to, and experincing new growth this way, but may be due to the fact that I am "focusing " on upper with incline moves. Also. This is "regained " tissue. !
    .it also alleviate's some of the nagging in my left shoulder, where "flat" seems to bother more.

    'Size'
    Don't ask the Question, If your 'NOT ' prepared to
    Hear the answer.......!,

    I "Don't" sugar coat shit....!
    I'm 'not' Willy Wonka....!

  13. #13
    Member CompoundLifts31's Avatar
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    Good info here except...

    Smith machine bars are 15 or 20 lbs., depending on which brand it is. Vs. your usual 45 pd. BB.


  14. #14
    Super Moderator twisted's Avatar
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    I use smith machine ...shoulder shrugs , incline bench and bent over rows/pull backs ....does me good ..also its great to watch girls do squats on

  15. #15
    M&S Veteran Shanedoolie1's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by twisted View Post
    I use smith machine ...shoulder shrugs , incline bench and bent over rows/pull backs ....does me good ..also its great to watch girls do squats on
    You got that right!
    Or any squats at all.


  16. #16
    Member CompoundLifts31's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Shanedoolie1 View Post
    You got that right!
    Or any squats at all.
    That's how I fell in love. Not jokin'...

    Now I workout with her... (In bed and in the gym) lmao

    She's a beast at 23. I'm not a small guy by any means and she can still do more damn pull ups than me.

    On a side note, I believe what 'size' said about using dumbbells before or after (I prefer after) to make sure your hitting those ancillary muscles is the best way to do it. You're also going to isolate those muscles and your left arm won't be helping your right arm and vica versa.

    It's good to do as many different workouts as possible and keep those muscles guessing with muscle confusion. I even mix up the weight I use vs. reps from time to time. I mostly go heavy, but sometimes I'll just have a "light" day, hitting high reps, burning out, and getting that blood to rush into those muscles. I mean, we all want to be big AND ripped, right?!?!?


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