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  1. #1
    Registered User boooey's Avatar
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    What do you guys think of this Gym/Smith Machine?

    Looking for something myself and the wife can both use. I want some of the freedom and advantages of free weights, yet still have it be easy enough for the wife to use, who is not used to real gym/free weight equipment..

    I saw this Gold's Pro unit at Sports Authority for $799.. its looks and feels pretty solid.
    http://www.sportsauthority.com/produ...entPage=family

    they also had a very similar Iron Grip unit, whit is all white, and diamond plated.. which had the lat pulldown down bar instead.. I couldn't find any pics online of this unit.

    For $799 you guys think its a good solution for my situation?
    I'm not doing any serious working out or training for any competetions, just want some good mid level equipment that will last, and that isn't junk.

    EDIT: I know you guys generally frown upon Smith machines for serious bodybuilding, which i won't be doing.. I'm 35, just had a new baby, and would just like a decent home gym for the wife and myself to use to get back into decent shape.


    thanks!!!

    b
    Last edited by boooey; 11-11-2007 at 01:37 PM.
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  2. #2
    Registered User Shaman+Monk's Avatar
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    Looks not bad. I also own a smith machine(which i know are frowned upon here) and i am very pleased with it. One of the most important parts of a smith machine are the linear bearings, which this one has. It seems like a fairly good price, but you also have to take in to account the weights that you have to buy. I think that this machine, paired up with a few free weights is all you would ever need.

    P.S. I personally love my smith machine, although after awhile you will see it does have its drawbacks. But these can mostly be overcome with a few free weight exercises.
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  3. #3
    Registered User boooey's Avatar
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    thanks Shaman..

    ok, this is the other unit that i saw at Sports Authority

    http://www.impex-fitness.com/proddet...linenumber=222



    so both of these are $799.. the iron grip has the lat bar instead of the 2 pullies of the golds unit.
    I happen to like the lat bar myself

    golds
    http://www.sportsauthority.com/produ...entPage=family
    Iron Grip
    http://www.impex-fitness.com/proddet...linenumber=222

    now...which is better??
    Last edited by boooey; 11-12-2007 at 06:22 AM.
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  4. #4
    Help me need2eat's Avatar
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    If I had to pick, Id probably go with the one in your first post. Chinup and pullups are better than cable pulldowns, in my opinion.

    If you notice, it appears they have bar catches to perform traditional barbell squats, benches, etc. on the front of those contraptions. Its cheaper to buy a 300lbs weight set with the barbell, than without and your gonna need weight anyway...might as well perform regular squats.



    Now if you really wanna know what I think. I think you should buy an FID bench, traditional enclosed rack and some weight. Then you can perform a traditional bench or squat movement with assurance the rack catches it, not the floor and you hit the stabilizer muscles in the process. If your wife starts slow like everyone else, she will learn freeweight just fine.
    Last edited by need2eat; 11-11-2007 at 03:27 PM.
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  5. #5
    Registered User boooey's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by need2eat View Post
    If I had to pick, Id probably go with the one in your first post. Chinup and pullups are better than cable pulldowns, in my opinion.

    If you notice, it appears they have bar catches to perform traditional barbell squats, benches, etc. on the front of those contraptions. Its cheaper to buy a 300lbs weight set with the barbell, than without and your gonna need weight anyway...might as well perform regular squats.



    Now if you really wanna know what I think. I think you should buy an FID bench, traditional enclosed rack and some weight. Then you can perform a traditional bench or squat movement with assurance the rack catches it, not the floor and you hit the stabilizer muscles in the process. If your wife starts slow like everyone else, she will learn freeweight just fine.
    thanks for your input need2eat.. i'm still tying to decide
    Last edited by boooey; 11-12-2007 at 10:02 AM.
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  6. #6
    Registered User boooey's Avatar
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    I was just in the store for over an hour inspecting each one, and each one seemed to have pro's and cons.
    The Gold's unit seemed to be built with bigger bulkier metals, but yet it didn't feel quite as sturdy as the Iron Grip unit, which was strange.. maybe it was due to the "off the floor" design of the Iron Grip unit.

    Also, the pullies on the Iron Grip seemed to be a nice metal or chrome even, while they are plastic on the Gold's.. (Does this matter?)


    The other 2 feature differences in the 2 units I noticed are...

    Gold's
    1. Vertical Smith machine as opposed to angled.
    2. Dual high pullies for lats

    Iron Grip
    1. Angled Smith machine
    2. Lat Pulldown station as opposed to dual high pullies.

    Is vertical vs angled smith a big difference in actual workouts?

    So, i really need some advice form the "Experts" on which of these 2 units seems to be the better choice.
    thanks!!
    Last edited by boooey; 11-12-2007 at 11:17 AM.
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  7. #7
    Unknown User, Ph.D. FNULNU's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by boooey View Post
    I was just in the store for over an hour inspecting each one, and each one seemed to have pro's and cons.
    The Gold's unit seemed to be built with bigger bulkier metals, but yet it didn't feel quite as sturdy as the Iron Grip unit, which was strange.. maybe it was due to the "off the floor" design of the Iron Grip unit.

    The other 2 feature differences in the 2 units I noticed are...

    Gold's
    1. Vertical Smith machine as opposed to angled.
    2. Dual high pullies for lats

    Iron Grip
    1. Angled Smith machine
    2. Lat Pulldown station as opposed to dual high pullies.

    Is vertical vs angled smith a big difference in actual workouts?

    So, i really need some advice form the "Experts" on which of these 2 units seems to be the better choice.
    thanks!!
    Angled is supposed to be a more natural range of motion.
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  8. #8
    Getting Bigger Each Day. FaceThePain's Avatar
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    I'd choose the Golds Gym, mainly because I've used they're equipment, and it's time tested ****.
    Less than 11% bodyfat, and STILL no overly shown abs.
    **** genetics lol.
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  9. #9
    Registered User boooey's Avatar
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    Thanks for the input guys.. i will most likely go with the golds unit.

    but
    Its weird because the Gold's unit does appear to be bulkier and more stable when looking at the two side by side , and the individual parts do not seem to be flimsy at all, yet it uses plastic pulleys, while the Iron Grip uses chrome pulleys.. and doesn't quite wobble as much when i shake it.
    i guess this Gold's unit is kind of new, cuz i haven't seen any reviews out there for it.

    i guess there is no perfect unit out there for this price range.

    the other concern is the vertical smith vs angled on the Iron Grip.
    Does it really matter either way?
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  10. #10
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    Its garbage. And regardless if ur a pro bodybuilder or not a SMith is useless. My wife does all the same "hardcore" basic excercises I do on our power rack, thats all u need.
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  11. #11
    Registered User smokeater's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by BusyDizzyIzzy View Post
    And regardless if ur a pro bodybuilder or not a SMith is useless
    jay@jaycutler.com

    You might want to email this guy and let him know the Smith machine is useless. Tell him that he was wrong to use it in preparation for the 2004 Arnold Classic. It's not like he did well in that contest anyways.
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  12. #12
    Home Gym Freak darkfact's Avatar
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    I actually agree with busydizzyizzy AND smokeater. I think a smith machine has it's place, which is a good way to really isolate certain exercises to the target muscle. IMHO it definitely benefits a bodybuilder alot more than an average joe just trying to get into a decent healthy fitness state.

    And that's where I agree with busydizzyizzy, I believe the average joe or beginner lifter will benefit much more from free range of motion rather than true isolation. If he expels the same amount of energy in a free bench press and a smith bench press he will get more out of the free motion. With this in mind as a beginner you could save money just getting a rack + bench + weight set and actually get more out of your time spent lifting. Just my humble opinion
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  13. #13
    Registered User boooey's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by BusyDizzyIzzy View Post
    Its garbage. And regardless if ur a pro bodybuilder or not a SMith is useless. My wife does all the same "hardcore" basic excercises I do on our power rack, thats all u need.
    wow, garbage and useless are pretty strong words..
    so basicallly you are telling me that anything other than a power rack is pretty much junk?

    I myself like some free weights, and some "assisted" lifting if i can call it that.
    My wife likes the universal cable stuff, and the butterfly machine, and the seated row features.

    so, I thought this was a good combination of the two. besides couldn't i still bench/squat with a free bar on this unit? It does have the adjustable safety spotters also.

    i do thank you for your input
    Last edited by boooey; 11-12-2007 at 05:31 PM.
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  14. #14
    Registered User philapino18's Avatar
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    It all boils down to what you want, and what you are comfortable with. Personally, like others, I believe a power rack with lat pulldown and low row pulley, is the way to go.
    But after looking at the link for the Golds unit, I wonder if you can get a good stretch and natural movement from the butterfly, upper pulleys/ lat pulldown exercises? Some people have to use a shorter bench in order to achieve a full range of motion. Also what are the max poundages on the bench, if its 550 or less on the flat bench watch out.
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  15. #15
    Registered User boooey's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by philapino18 View Post
    It all boils down to what you want, and what you are comfortable with. Personally, like others, I believe a power rack with lat pulldown and low row pulley, is the way to go.
    But after looking at the link for the Golds unit, I wonder if you can get a good stretch and natural movement from the butterfly, upper pulleys/ lat pulldown exercises? Some people have to use a shorter bench in order to achieve a full range of motion. Also what are the max poundages on the bench, if its 550 or less on the flat bench watch out.
    It is a little cramped in there, but I was able to get a good stretch with the upper pulleys.

    As far as the smith machine part goes.. I think its just an added bonus.
    People are slamming this unit because of the smith machine, acting like its the only way to workout using this unit. There are a ton of other features, and ways to workout using this gym, and I can still use a free bar to do squats, benching, or whatever with it, as it has adjustable stoppers

    Seems like some people around here see the word smith, and prematurely dismiss any equipment as garbage.

    And that is my main concern... is this unit built well or not?

    A few things that concern me about unit are..

    1. The bench seems a little awkward when layed flat for benching, or doing preacher curls the seat cushion seems just a little too far away.

    2. The pegs that hold the extra weight are only bolted to the inside part of the frame, they aren't bolted thru the entire post, and there is some give if you push down hard on it.

    3. The unit didn't seem really sturdy when i shook it, but maybe that was because there was no weight on it. I am not sure.

    I appreciate the feedback from everyone regarding how any smith machine sux, but i am more concerned with the quality of the unit.

    thanks to everyone again who took the time to respond
    Last edited by boooey; 11-14-2007 at 07:21 AM.
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  16. #16
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    I looked at MANY of the same types of machines. In the end, I went with the Powertec Power Rack w/ lat PullDown - best choice I could have made. Good Luck.
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  17. #17
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    Thumbs up

    Just bought the Gold's Gym unit in Canada for $999 which also included and olympic bar of a 210 pound set. It is a great investment a really cool design and carries a legendary name to be sure. The option of the 'Smith' and the outside rack and safety spotters are appreciated. I really like the unit alot!!
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    Originally Posted by HardCat View Post
    Just bought the Gold's Gym unit in Canada for $999 which also included and olympic bar of a 210 pound set. It is a great investment a really cool design and carries a legendary name to be sure. The option of the 'Smith' and the outside rack and safety spotters are appreciated. I really like the unit alot!!
    Good luck!!! I hope you get a lot use out of it!!!
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    2009 Amateur NABBA 'U' HardCat's Avatar
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    Smile

    Hey, thanks Tank. I am assembling my Gold's Gym unit in my living room due to the high ceilings required for height clearance. I figure that i can very adequately train chest/shoulders/traps/arms at home with this unit while training heavy back lumbar and leg work at the gym. This approach will aid in time management and convienence.
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  20. #20
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    i went to sports authority a month ago with the sole intention of buying one of these 2 machines.
    impex was on sale for 600
    played with both for 1 hour

    pros and cons of each for me i am tall 6'2"

    impex
    leg curl too short for me
    preacher worked pretty well
    pec deck did not stretch chest
    great price and longer warranty 2 years

    golds
    no lat pulldown
    dual cable did not really well well for standing cable crossover exercises
    pec deck was adjustable so rear delts were acceptable
    90 day warranty scared me with the plastic pulleys
    leg curl too short

    bought the impex

    found used body by jake (don't laugh)smith press/w/dip station/lat station on ebay for $150 same day
    not heavy duty but neither was impex machine,went to menards and bought two 80 lb sandbags to make it more secure,use the smith for mediem weight lifts/ works great.
    i use use the lat pulldown for tricep pushdowns and abs,low row for bicep curls and triceps
    found new power cage on ebay for $250 next day / use for all heavy lifting
    parabody lat pulldown,leg press both for $150 on craigs list
    found seated leg curl/extension on craigs list for $100

    took impex back without opening for full refund
    no regrets

    look around and get on the machine before you buy
    may fit great
    if it does not you will hate it and 2nd guess your purchase forever
    keep checking ebay and craigs list great deals out there
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  21. #21
    gold member C. Griswald's Avatar
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    http://www.impex-fitness.com/proddet...linenumber=222


    theres one of those on craigslist near me but its 2 years old. so the 04 maybe 05 model. they want 250 for it. its "75% put together". i think im going to pass. they want another 75 for 300lbs of weight
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  22. #22
    Registered User boooey's Avatar
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    The Gold's Pro Series Unit while looks very solid, didn't feel very solid when i shook it.

    I am now leaning toward this unit that Costco sells.. and looks like a newer version of the impex cage, with linear bearings and the dual overhead pullies.

    I just wish i could try it out first!

    http://www.costco.com/Browse/Product...p=C&ec=&topnav
    Last edited by boooey; 11-30-2007 at 07:03 AM.
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  23. #23
    Unknown User, Ph.D. FNULNU's Avatar
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    Check out the forums at John Stone fitness

    http://forums.johnstonefitness.com/f...splay.php?f=14

    Several members there have discussed this particular machine
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  24. #24
    Registered User boooey's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by FNULNU View Post
    Check out the forums at John Stone fitness

    http://forums.johnstonefitness.com/f...splay.php?f=14

    Several members there have discussed this particular machine
    thanks, I pretty much post the same questions i have over there also to get more peoples opinions on things.

    I saw the post over there about the costco Marcy Diamond Elite Cage but still cannot seem to get any feedback from actual people who bought the unit and have actually been using it, which is extremely frustrating.
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    Last edited by boooey; 11-30-2007 at 07:32 AM.
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    Registered User boooey's Avatar
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    man, i cant believe how difficult it has been for me to find the right home gym setup for my needs and price range.

    i have been looking for over a month, and just cannot find a unit that works good enough. I always find something i just don't like about it, and I can't justify buying something like this online without testing it out first in person.

    I do not want to go with just all free weights and a simple cage like most here.
    I want a combination of both in an all in one unit for under $800 that isn't total junk.

    am i asking for too much? starting to think i might be
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    gold member C. Griswald's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by boooey View Post
    man, i cant believe how difficult it has been for me to find the right home gym setup for my needs and price range.

    i have been looking for over a month, and just cannot find a unit that works good enough. I always find something i just don't like about it, and I can't justify buying something like this online without testing it out first in person.

    I do not want to go with just all free weights and a simple cage like most here.
    I want a combination of both in an all in one unit for under $800 that isn't total junk.

    am i asking for too much? starting to think i might be
    yes i think you are honestly. 800 isnt enough to get into something you wont grow out of quickly that will suit all of your needs. im in the same boat friend
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    Registered User boooey's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by tech2 View Post
    yes i think you are honestly. 800 isnt enough to get into something you wont grow out of quickly that will suit all of your needs. im in the same boat friend
    I honestly don't see how a casual lifter can really grow out of one of the all in one smith machine units unless i start entering contests or something, and thats not going to happen.

    I really wanna pull the trigger on this Marcy Diamond Elite unit, but the chest fly arms are not adjustable, and i like a good stretch when doing butterflys.

    the rest of the machine seems very solid, as sports authority has a similar (but older) Iron grip strength unit on display.

    looks like i might just wait it out, and see if something new comes along
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    Last edited by boooey; 11-30-2007 at 02:41 PM.
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  28. #28
    gold member C. Griswald's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by boooey View Post
    the chest fly arms are not adjustable,
    that would irk me also
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  29. #29
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  30. #30
    Registered User boooey's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by juneyah View Post
    that looks great, if i had the space and the money, i would get it for sure.
    but its just too big, and too expensive for my needs
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