The Weight of The Bars on a Smith Machine

The original intention that brought the Smith machine into gyms in this country was so that people could train with weights on a barbell even when there was nobody around to act as their spotter.

The original design by Jack LaLanne allowed people to get the benefits of doing weighted squats without the risk of back injuries. The machine did not turn out to be the wonderous invention that LaLanne had hoped it would be, but it is still used by some people today.

How Much Does The Bar Weigh on A Smith Machine?

Smith machine in modern gym

The actual weight of the Smith machine bar is between 25 and 40 pounds. 

The adjustment on the sides of the machine is there to allow you to lighten the load by allowing you to reduce the amount of bar weight you are lifting when you use the machine. These weight reduction amounts are 10, 15, and 20 pounds. 

When you get more confident about the amount that you can lift you can increase the weight distribution. Practice at that weight until it is no longer a challenge and then increase the weight again until you are lifting the full bar weight and the weights you have chosen for the end.

What is The Big Issue with The Smith Machine?

Shoulder Exercises On A Smith Machine

The biggest issue is the machine forces your body into an unnatural movement sequence and this unnatural movement can cause severe damage to you. 

People have learned that doing the same exercises they were doing with the Smith Machine with free weights instead increases the beneficial muscle workout. 

If you use a barbell bench press your deltoid muscles will work 50% harder than they do when using a Smith Machine. If you do weighted squats with free weights instead of a Smith Machine your muscles will work 43% harder.

The extra work you make your muscles do means you gain extra strength and stamina faster and improve your abilities more.

Are There Any Benefits to Using A Smith Machine?

Muscular Bodybuilder Bench Press Workout with Smith Machine

The Smith Machine is not a total waste of time or piece of trash or it would not still be sitting in so many gyms in the United States.


The limited range and safety pegs on this exercise equipment provide security and stability. If you are working out without a spotter the machine can stop you from having an accident if you stumble or fall while lifting the weight.

The workout is less beneficial but it is excellent when you are alone or when you are just starting.

It is a Calorie Burner

You are not wasting time when you use this machine if you are working out to lose weight and get fit. The machine does help you to use more of your muscles than you would if you were not lifting any weights.

When you use those muscles you burn fat to fuel your body.

You also strengthen your quads, and your hamstrings, strengthen your core, and tighten your buttocks while you are using this machine. It may not be the best apparatus for bodybuilders but it is still a good tool for people who simply want to start their journey to being more fit and having a leaner body.

When you work your muscles on this machine you will increase muscle mass you will just do it slower than you would if you were using free weights. When you increase muscle you may also increase the amount the scales say you weigh, but you will notice you wear smaller clothing and look thinner.

This is because you are shaping and defining your muscles. As you shape the muscles your waist becomes smaller, your butt is less flabby, your arms take on a shape, and your thighs lose the jiggle-wiggle.

Caution and Precaution

One of the worst things that people do is assume they can lift far more weight than they actually can lift. We get it, you like to think you are stronger, but your body cannot be fooled by your thoughts.

Most of the time when people are injured using a Smith machine the injury is the direct result of them loading more weight on the machine than they can actually handle.’

The machine does help you but it can only do so much and you have to do the rest.


Why do they call it a Smith machine?

Rudy Smith took a sliding apparatus designed by Jack LaLanne and commissioned Paul Martin to make changes according to his design. The altered machine was called a Smith Machine.

Are the Smith machine weights the same as free weights?

No, Free weights and Smith weights will not be the same. The counterweight on the Smith machine makes the weight you are lifting less.

What are Smith machines used for?

They are designed to help you focus on controlled barbell training.

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