Smith Machine Vs The Barbell

Hello fellow bloggers,

Today’s fun topic of discussion for all my fit crazed people is: smith machine vs barbell. Now for many of you; you have a preference and some of you choose to only one use or the other depending on your fitness level. 

If you are not aware of what a “smith machine” is, here is a link: Smith machine article , the particular article highlights why they enjoy using the smith machine. If you aren’t aware of what a barbell is, look at the image above. 

 

I’ll begin by expressing that I have used both the smith machine and the barbell and I have a  preference depending on the exercise I am doing at the time. I believe both can be useful for different reasons and depending on the person; so I am going to do a separate list of both with the pros and cons of each 🙂 

 

Smith Machine:

 
  • Good for de-conditioned persons
  • don’t have to use a spotter
  • light weight
  • typically found at commercial gyms
  • wide variety of exercises can be done
  • not recommended for deadlifts & Squats
  • plane of motion is fixed
  • not recommended for olympic lifts 
  • harder to develop stabilizer muscles
  • not functional – meaning because of the movement being “fixed” you aren’t using the same ROM you normally would have to during everyday activities
  • Good for safety
  • good for hypertrophy training
  • good for when someone has an injury
 

The Barbell:

  • Found in a lot of powerlifting, athletic and some commercial gyms
  • goes through full ROM
  • heavier bar
  • advanced athletes and intermediate athletes
  • need a spotter for the heavier weights
  • used for olympic weights, squats, deadlifts, etc
  • functional
  • non fixed plane of motion
  • strength,hyperstrophy and endurance training
  • allows you to use your stabilizer muscles
  • beginners should use with caution 
  • variety of exercises can be done using the barbell
  • can give you calluses on your hands 

Basically both list have their pros and cons. I find that the smith machine does well with my vertical leg presses — whereas I wouldn’t use the barbell for it because it wouldn’t be able to go through the plane of motion without hurting myself. The barbell is awesome for olympic lifts and deadlifts, whereas it is MUCH MUCH harder to perform these exercises on a smith machine because of the fixed motion. Now, there is another HUGE important factor to consider when utilizing the smith machine – Your strength from the smith machine does not transfer over to the barbell. This basically means those of you who are lifting 300 lb squats on the smith machine, most likely will end up lifting lighter on the barbell because the smith machine is lighter and offers less resistance than the barbell. Many times athletes will use the smith machine for a while and then when they decide to hop on the barbell, they realize they aren’t as strong as they originally thought. Keep this in mind while training. Otherwise, choose what works best for you, I think it is a good idea to implement both into a workout or to have a least one that is a preference but to know how to use the other as back up. 

 

Let me know which you prefer . 

 

Leave comments, share, likes and follow. 

 
 
 
Advertisements

Published by

fitnessgrad

Hello! College graduate in exercise science and ACSM Certified Personal Trainer. My blog has all kinds of fun topics, something for everyone who is anyone that involves themselves with fitness. I like to think of fitness as a confidence booster, something to make us feel good and look good & pushes us to do things that make us feel more productive, unstoppable and stronger mentally and physically. My blog focuses on building people, and helping people see their true potential, while also sharing my journey with workouts, competing with powerlifting, and sharing how to's on workouts, so you step inside the gym with more knowledge. I don't know everything but I am on a voyage to build my character, my strength and work on my weaknesses --- with awesome people in my corner who support me and my goals. I plan on being your cheerleader, friend, coach and trainer all-in-one and most of all, I want to be your listener, the person who can listen and gain more knowledge about you and learn what makes fitness important to you; what's your why! (Your why will carry you to the finish line). It's important to have purpose for something, because you will need that purpose when you start to give up on yourself or want to quit. "Don't let the fire that guides you, dim" - Shay-lon Besides the fitness stuff, I reside in Ohio, love dogs and love pizza. Typical 26 year old trying to build an empire that brings out the best in others and makes me the best person I can be in all aspects in my life. Before I die, I want a reason to live, and I was given that reason each day I am able to wake up --- I have learned to not take life for granted and to explore as much as possible because to live with zero regrets would be fantastic! "I've conquered many things, but I still have much to learn about life, because nobody can know everything. & every battle is different" - Shay-lon

9 thoughts on “Smith Machine Vs The Barbell”

  1. In my personal gym, I have an angled smith machine, not a straight up and down one. So I use it for certain exercises, like modified hack squats. I use a barbell for my back squats and deads, but for some things I use my smith. I also use the smith for Austrain pull ups and during Bulgarian split squats.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I have never seen an angled smith machine! wow that is interesting, I would love to give that go and see what I make of it. I agree, the bulgarian split squats and hack squats are good on the smith as well ..

      Like

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s