Hi! I'm female, 42, and new to this whole thing. I did some research and am looking at buying a Powertec Smith Machine (I can't post a link, sorry). I have an elliptical, jump rope and exercise trampoline for cardio (I hate cardio!). My goals are to lose fat (stomach is pretty flat but legs and arms are flabby) and actually see muscle in arms and legs. Also, want to make my back and core stronger.
My question - if I buy the smith machine, is there anything else I should have? I picked the smith because it appeared I would have less chance of injuring myself as I'll be working out alone. I did pick up some books to read about technique.
Thanks for any advice!
10-27-2011, 01:12 PM #91
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10-27-2011, 01:39 PM #92
It would really be beneficial to you to visit the Female Bodybuilding section of bodybuilding.com in order to determine what exercise regime would best fit your needs (and by extension, this would determine what equipment you would need to get).
For a smith machine, you'll need Olympic plates to load the smith bar with. Some people ignore getting 2.5 pound plates: I think having a couple is really useful so you can do 5 pound increments (just a tip if you're ordering plates).
I'm a strong advocate of having dumbbells for training as well, so if you don't have adjustable dumbbells, it's something that would be great to look into (I would think without a barbell & squat rack, dumbbells may become even more important).
Anyway, those are some ideas and tips, but ultimately I'd say the deciding factor should be based on what sort of exercise routines you'd be doing and what you'd need to accomplish that: the workout equipment section is great for recommending particular machines or basics, but I'd go to the women's bodybuilding section to get some further advice.
11-26-2011, 08:05 AM #93
It's great that you are taking the leap into strength equipment, and a smith machine will certainly get you towards your goals. I would like to suggest (eg. put in my two cents) that if you are still shopping, you may consider adding a Power Cage. This will let you do freeweights safely (and also if price is an issue it can replace the smith machine for nearly every application at a lower cost). Despite the imposing name, it can actually be safer than a smith machine because you can set the safety bars to different heights, unlike most smith machines which rely on your ability to rotate the bar during the exercise to engage the safety stop before you exceed your failure point (and hopefully rotate it without the bar moving up against your cervical spine). Aside from the events at muscle failure, experts have recommended freeweight motions over the tightly prescribed motions of machines and have suggested that it leads to fewer 'repetitive motion' type injuries.
It takes slightly longer to learn to do a freestanding squat, but that can be done using very low amounts of weight to begin (eg. with only bodyweight, then dumbells, then just the bar). In the end, this will lead to well-rounded muscle development because this exercise engages your core much more than a machine.
All this being said, a smith machine (and similar machines) is good for focusing on specific muscle groups. This means if you want to hit your legs and back harder without working the rest of your body, it better allows you to do that. Another good thing about a smith is that it can help you learn the squat motion by removing some intimidation factor associated with freeweights (aside from the potential safety caveat I mentioned above). Good luck building your gym!
11-26-2011, 09:09 AM #94
1. Its a 'beginner bench' made for teenagers. The bar length and support spacing is too narrow for many adults, and some question the strength of construction.
2. The manufacturer specifies a very low weight capacity. This may not be due to the bar bending as a solid steel bar bending a bit is not necessarily dangerous, though the bar could bend easier if it is hollow and gets damaged in the middle (eg. during shipping or if you drop something on it). Overall I doubt the bar bending is the main reason for the weight restriction. It may be that the short bar and the type of clamp used to hold the plates on the bar may make it bad to stack on too many of the weights as that may increase the chances of the plates sliding off.
3. Some mention the bolts as being thin. This is definitely a part that could break during longterm use due to metal fatigue and wear. The parts to look at are the pins supporting the backrest which will support most of your bodyweight + the weights. If the back support were to fall while you are lifting it would be very dangerous, so I would inspect the pin mechanism and make sure its secure when you use it.
Last edited by 100Reps; 11-26-2011 at 10:11 AM.
01-02-2012, 12:42 PM #95
01-14-2012, 09:00 AM #96
03-18-2012, 10:50 PM #97
Workout gym is important for bodybuilding like us. Many small time gym has a limited number of equipment but many clients. This is too bad for the client because we can't use or maximize our time in the gym.
I see good article on things to be consider in looking for good gym. It really help me in finding a good gym.
or just see the link on my signature below. I hope it will help you.Bulking up isn't complicated as one thinks. However, the massive amount of information on weight training and body building tend to confuse rather that help those who are just starting out. The truth is muscle building requires some basic knowledge on diet and nutrition:
03-19-2012, 05:51 AM #98
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OP, if you get a smith machine, get one that uses linear bearings , not bushings, such as a bodysolid ser.7, parabody,tuffstuff or hoist smith machine. or a commercial smith machine.these operate smoothly and won't bind on you.most sm. machines have adj.safety stops as well as turning the bar to lock out. i have a power rack,but when my wife started working out, she prefered the idea behind sm. machines. we now have both. she uses mostly the machines & dbs., but does some work in the power rack.
04-13-2012, 02:28 PM #99
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06-14-2013, 07:54 PM #111
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06-26-2013, 05:35 PM #112
I'm a newb, and I have a large bedroom, with a high ceiling, that could accommodate a power rack. I was thinking of something like the Powertec Power Rack
The problem is my apartment is on the second floor.
Have any guys on this forum installed a power rack in an apartment not on the ground floor? Most of the pics I see are of power racks in garages or basements.
I'm worried that the weight might be a problem for the structure of the building.
07-07-2013, 10:02 AM #113
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02-20-2014, 01:04 PM #116
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10-21-2014, 06:23 AM #117
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12-05-2014, 09:02 PM #119
I have kind of a novice question, but since selling my old sports authority cheap stuff and upgrading to the commerical equipment and the power rack in the garage and bought Starting Strength and want to do that routine these days and I have a 300lbs set of Troy plates and will obviously need to get me some more 45s in the near future aside from the two in that set, but am wondering besides the micro plates for small adjustments, if I need anymore 5lbs, or 10 lbs for jumps in that routine aside from the ones included in the basic 300lbs set? Or just continue by getting more 45s and I'm set? Thanks.
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