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  1. #1
    Registered User twinmill's Avatar
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    Benching in Squat Safety Rack

    I have searched the boards unfortunately i dont know exactly what to type of wording to put in the search bar for these questions.

    I read somewhere on the boards that when benching by yourself to use the squat rack as a safety precaution.

    Well i tried it for the rest time

    im not shure exactly what this exercise is called

    but i put 25s on each side than put the bar at waist height and pulled the bar up to shoulder level i did this as a 5 x 5 structure

    I than moved the bench into it since it was 1:00 at night and did

    5 x 95 x 5
    5 x 105 x 5

    My question is this: How much easier is it to bench using the squat machine? Does the fact that the bar is on cables reduce its effectiveness and make it easiar?

    I would really like to know because its the first time ive hit the 100 bp press. SO im wondering how much that effects whether i did 105 on a free bar and how much stronger im also getting. Im really excited for tonight's work out tho i went hard and was really happy.
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  2. #2
    Registered User grumble1's Avatar
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    The exercise you don't have a name for sounds like upright rows.

    The machine you are using sounds like a smith machine, which you should never really use. Freeweights are better, and usually harder.

    I really think you should look into Starting Strength or something instead of doing this plan of yours. you'll learn a lot and will be able to get better results that way.
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  3. #3
    Registered User twinmill's Avatar
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    See i worry about free weights at that time of night :/ Im usually the only one in their and im worried about trying to max out. From the research i did i think ur right and it is a smith machine.

    What would u think the conversion is like if i did 100lbs on a smith bench what would that be in free weights ??? 75lbs. i still felt the difficulty and i felt my form better on the smith but if yall all suggest free weights ill move back to those. i just worry about maxing and dropping the bar going for prs.
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  4. #4
    Registered User grumble1's Avatar
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    No one wants you to hurt yourself, but the smith machine is not the most effective way to bench. If you think you can do so safely, then use the free weights.

    As for the conversion, god knows. It doesn't matter anyway, just do free weights and eat big.
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  5. #5
    Registered User twinmill's Avatar
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    Ya i thought the same thing at first to about not using it. But than i saw that a bench was already in it and so i thought hey other ppl are doing it so it might be a good idea. But ill limit it and try and use freeweight. Ill try and incorporate it tho with free weights if it wont hurt because putting numbers on it makes me feel good and want to push harder.

    I wish i knew the conversion tho :/
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  6. #6
    Semper Fidelis Uncle Ben's Avatar
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    There is no direct conversion from smith machine to free weight. Smiths are often counter-balanced. And we couldn't possibly know the extent to which your stabilizers work.

    I've always lifted at home, alone. The key is to take it slow until you learn your body.
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  7. #7
    Chubby Chasing Bait! MDPower75's Avatar
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    Is there a squat rack....like a cage without cables and a fixed bar? If so then use that. Set the bench inside of that with the safety rails set so that the bar will only come down to your chest before the rails catch it. I workout alone 80% of the time. Thats what I do. If the smith machine is all that you have......look for a new gym! Until then you're probably better off to do pushup variations (elevated, one arm, etc.).
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  8. #8
    Ad Majorem Dei Gloriam greyhair's Avatar
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    You could always go with dumb bells for the bench instead.
    No worries about pinning yourself, just dump them on the floor.
    Although I almost always use collars on my barbell if your going heavy and lifting alone, there is something to be said for not using them.
    You can always dump the weights. Most gym management hate this since it makes a ruckus.
    But those who fight for right must remember St. Augustine's sage words,
    "right is right even if no one is doing it...and wrong is wrong even if every one is doing it!"
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  9. #9
    Registered User bdonalds's Avatar
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    I'm a solo lifter too. I used to use the method like the guy in the video. I think I only had to dump that way once...it's quite a ruckus and can damage your floor, but it's sure nice to have the option rather than injuring or even killing yourself.

    Recently I finally bought a regular bench that I can up inside my power rack. I set the safety bars up so that the bar doesn't hit them if the bar is touching my chest, but will catch before it hits my neck. That way if I fail I can wriggle out from under it. Not a perfect solution in the event of a catastrophic failure (pec tear, dropping the bar, etc) because I could still drop the weight and injure my chest or face, but I never try 1RMs on my own so if I fail it's is going to be in a way where I can still hopefully guide the bar down to a safe spot..
    Go Blackhawks!
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  10. #10
    Chubby Chasing Bait! MDPower75's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by greyhair View Post
    You could always go with dumb bells for the bench instead.
    No worries about pinning yourself, just dump them on the floor.
    Although I almost always use collars on my barbell if your going heavy and lifting alone, there is something to be said for not using them.
    You can always dump the weights. Most gym management hate this since it makes a ruckus.
    Generally, most gyms that have smith machines and no legit rack also don't have dumbbells above 45lbs. So, that may work for a little while, but it's not going to help him get his bench numbers to go up very much. It's not a bad short term thing, but he'll need a long term solution.

    I totally agree about the collars. If I'm benching by myself and (for some reason) I don't have a cage, or rails of some kind, then I'm definitely not putting the collars on. I've had to dump a bench that way one time. It's not great, but it's a whole lot better than dying.
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