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  1. #1
    Registered User ArnoldHAMnEGGer's Avatar
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    Why don't more Smith Machines have a docking system?

    Not a huge fan of the Smith but it's grown on me as i've gotten older and my joints more beaten up. i don't know about you guys but i'm kind of anal about the bench being as close to perfectly centered and level as possible when and if i have to use the Smith for presses. it's damn near impossible to do it with just an eye test. Even if you use plates or dumbbells as guides it's still kind of hard and probably not perfect. This alone makes me not totally enthused about using the Smith for pressing. A docking system would solve this once and for all. I know Panatta utilizes a docking system for some of their Smiths and rack. Legend definitely does for their racks, not sure about their Smiths. Point is, other than cost, why hasn't this idea caught on?
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  2. #2
    Registered User snailsrus's Avatar
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    If your using proper forum, you can use a barbell, I have my mother on the barbell she is 60, weight baring exercises with soy isoflavones after menopause reversed osteopenia, I have arthritis in my knee post two knee surgeries in 2012 and arthritic bunions and I deadlift quite a bit of weight, squat, bench etc, also the hack squat > smith machine
    Last edited by snailsrus; 02-03-2020 at 01:09 PM.
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  3. #3
    Registered User gym62richard's Avatar
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    I believe there are several reasons for the lack of a docking system on the Smith machine and the same holds true on a power rack.

    Compatibility, all the bench docking systems I've seen require compatibility between rack and bench, this requires that the rack and bench come from the same manufacturer and in most cases the same product line.

    Compromise , due to the docking system, depending on the design there is a necessity to adapt the rack and bench to some degree to accomodate the docking mechanism. In some poorly designed products, such as the York STS line, whilst the rack is very good, the design of the bench is awful. Legend have a decent design , but the saw tooth racking on the foot of the rack extends about 2" into the rack on each side, so for wide stance sumo squats it could be an issue.

    Cost, facilities don't generally want to spend out on an additional bench that's only really suitable for use in a Smith or rack, for them it's cheaper to invest in more versatile benches that are suitable for use in several areas.

    Having said all this, I loved the docking system on my Legend Pro half rack and bench
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  4. #4
    Registered User ArnoldHAMnEGGer's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by snailsrus View Post
    If your using proper forum, you can use a barbell, I have my mother on the barbell she is 60, weight baring exercises with soy isoflavones after menopause reversed osteopenia, I have arthritis in my knee post two knee surgeries in 2012 and arthritic bunions and I deadlift quite a bit of weight, squat, bench etc, also the hack squat > smith machine
    i guess i should have clarified. i rarely use the Smith. However, i like them for inclines and if i had a Smith w/docking i'd probably use it more for inclines. I've tried to get into Front Squats on a Smith and it just wasn't happening. If i had a healthy back, i'd still be doing OLY squats and front squats and also still be DLing but it is what it is. I love Hacks but most Hack Squat machines kind of suck. Flex Hack is the best IMO. Love it.
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  5. #5
    The Gougefather Stasher1's Avatar
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    Docking benches are large, heavy, complicated to do correctly, and expensive. My Nebula rack has a really nice three position docking station and a telescoping bench with spotter platforms. It allows you to get in just about any position you'd want to be in, under the bar. It also weighs about 150lbs and is pretty damn awkward to move out of the way. No way I'd put one in a commercial gym.


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  6. #6
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    Because as soon as designers start to think of ergonomic designs to improve a Swiss Machine, the first thing they do is make it into a power rack.
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    Registered User gym62richard's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by Stasher1 View Post
    Docking benches are large, heavy, complicated to do correctly, and expensive. My Nebula rack has a really nice three position docking station and a telescoping bench with spotter platforms. It allows you to get in just about any position you'd want to be in, under the bar. It also weighs about 150lbs and is pretty damn awkward to move out of the way. No way I'd put one in a commercial gym.


    If it really bothers you, tape measures are cheap.
    Yes, my Legend Pro bench was big and heavy. With the docking rods fitted the bench pretty much extended the full internal rack width. Very easy to adjust when it was located in the rack, but transporting the bench around the gym was a nightmare
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    Registered User ripper238's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by Stasher1 View Post
    Docking benches are large, heavy, complicated to do correctly, and expensive. My Nebula rack has a really nice three position docking station and a telescoping bench with spotter platforms. It allows you to get in just about any position you'd want to be in, under the bar. It also weighs about 150lbs and is pretty damn awkward to move out of the way. No way I'd put one in a commercial gym.


    If it really bothers you, tape measures are cheap.
    100%, the simple plumb-bob method works every time.
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  9. #9
    Registered User ampire's Avatar
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    I'd probably paint a thin strip on the floor dead center.
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    Registered User Mech6's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by ArnoldHAMnEGGer View Post
    ... i'm kind of anal about the bench being as close to perfectly centered and level as possible...
    This is your problem.
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