How Much Does a Smith Machine Bar Weigh? (Complete Guide From RitFit)
If you're planning to have intense workouts using a smith machine, you must be wondering about the smith machine bar weight. Working out on a smith machine exerts immense pressure on your body, which is why you need a clear idea about how much does a smith machine bar weigh. It is more complicated because there is no standard smith machine bar weight, which can be highly confusing for many.
Smith machines are highly popular, with their market expected to grow by 5.5% by 2030. Therefore, in this article, we'll tell you everything you need to know about smith machine bar weight and make your workouts better.
What is a Smith Machine?
A smith machine is a workout apparatus designed for specific exercises in which the barbell travels up and down the steel railings. The rails control the weight through vertical movement, differentiating smith machine workouts from free-weight workouts. Both ends of the bar have hooks and multiple lock-out points where you can hook the weight.
The hooks on the smith machine make it safer because they make it a self-spotting device. There is also no need to stabilize the bar perfectly as the smith machine performs that function. As a result, you exert your primary muscles, which can be highly beneficial for mixing up different workout routines.
Different Types of Smith Machines
Before discussing the smith machine bar weight, it is crucial to know what types are available.
Let's first discuss the two types of commercial Smith Machines.
Counterbalanced Smith Machine
A counterbalanced smith machine uses a pulley system, making the bar look extremely light, sometimes as light as 6 lbs. Most gyms use this type because most people find it easier to work with. The pulley system is hidden inside the front uprights of the machine.
However, you can still see the pulley system poking out of the top frame of the machine. The bar weight in a counterbalanced smith machine is always very low, usually falling between 6-20 lbs.
Linear Bearing Smith Machine
Linear Bearing Smith Machine provides the feel of a free-weight barbell rather than a controlled one. There is no pulley here to balance the weight, so you feel the accurate weight of the bar when you exercise. It is mainly used in home gyms because it costs less and comes with added counterbalance hardware.
The bar on this machine is considerably heavier than on the counterbalanced smith machine. It is perfect for those who want intense workouts and want to exert as much as possible.
Let's move on to smith machines available for home gyms.
All-in-one Smith Machine
The all-in-one Smith Machine is an advanced home gym apparatus for those who have been working out for some time. It adds an element of free weights to the mix through numerous stations that add to its height and footprint. Sometimes, they're offered with selectorized and plated loaded resistance options too.
Selectorized Smith Machine
Selectorized Smith Machine is less common but can still be found. It has a central rod connected to a weight stack with dual guide rods on both sides. It has an adjustable bar height, and the resistance can be lowered or increased through a selectorized weight stack pin.
Differences Between Smith Machines
Now that we have discussed the most prominent types of Smith Machines, let us also understand the aspects that differentiate them and lend to these machines having different weights.
The smith machines tend to be lighter than 45 lbs, thanks to the support on either side of the bar. They aren't made of high-resistance steel because it is unnecessary. The usual weight in this regard lies between 30-40 lbs, but it can always increase due to the addition of hooks and bearings.
Usually, residential smith machines do not have a counterbalance, while commercial smith machines do. So, high-end smith machines can counterbalance the bar and make it easier to exercise. It happens due to a combination of counterweights, pulleys, and cables.
The counterbalance is usually hidden under a cover, taking the bar's weight to as low as 30 lb. However, the weight can be as low as 6 lb, too, depending upon the balancing techniques used in the machine. Thanks to the reduced weight, counterbalanced smith machines are perfect for those new to the gym and cannot exert much force.
Although you can take the bar weight to zero, too, using the counterbalance is unproductive and kills the purpose. If you do it, even the slightest touch will send the bar up in a second and cause damage to the machine.
Angle of the Rails
Many people think that the bar on a smith machine moves up and down in a straight line, but they're mistaken. The rails are fixed on a slight incline in many devices to emulate the natural workout path for squats and bench press exercises. However, reducing weight is not its main purpose. Its primary focus is on providing a natural exercise path for maximum gains.
Why is Knowing the Smith Machine Bar Weight Important?
You might be wondering why it is important to know the bar weight first. After all, you want to exercise, even if you do not know the weight. However, going down that path is a mistake, which will be explained here.
Progressive overload is arguably the most fundamental aspect of resistance training, without which you cannot see any positive results. When you know the smith machine bar weight accurately, you can make precise adjustments to it on a weekly or bi-weekly basis.
Moreover, knowing the smith machine bar weight also helps you as a beginner. You know where and how to begin once you know the measurement and can make a workable plan accordingly. For instance, those who bench press 120 lbs can easily add 10 lbs plates on each side of the bar when using a smith machine.
Common Smith Machine Bar Weight
Why does a smith machine bar feel lighter?
The Smith machine bar weight feels lighter because it does not need much tensile strength to carry weight. Thanks to the support from the clamps, bearings, and slides, the bar feels lighter, providing a perfect platform for beginner weightlifters. Usually, the bar itself weighs only 25-40 lbs, and smith machines with counterbalance reduce this weight even further.
What is the starting weight of a smith machine?
Smith machine bars weigh as low as 6 lbs and as high as 45 lbs. However, the average range is 15-25 lbs. The net weight of a smith machine is usually around 50 kg.
Smith Machine Bar Weight Key Takeaways
Here are some of the most important takeaways from this discussion:
- The average smith machine bar weight is 15-25 lbs.
- The counterbalanced smith machine bar weighs even less than 15 lbs.
- Smith machines differ but wear and tear affect all of them.
- The angle of the smith machine has almost no effect on its weight.
- Use a scale to weigh a smith machine accurately.
How to Measure a Smith Machine Bar Weight Yourself?
If there is no mention of the smith machine bar weight on the label or the manufacturer's website, you can do it yourself using the following ways.
The Floor scale gives you two options to measure the smith machine bar weight.
- Weigh yourself by placing the scale on an even surface.
- Put the scale under the smith machine without any plates on the bar.
- Position the barbell on your shoulders and then step on the scale.
- Record the total weight.
- Now subtract the number noted in step 3 from the number noted in step 4, and the difference will be your result.
You'll need a PLYO box and a scale to use this option. Plyo Box is required to bring the scale in the smith bar's range of motion.
- Place the box under the Smith bar.
- Put the scale on the box and bring the bar down to rest it on the scale.
- The weight you seek is indicated by the reading on the scale.
You need a hanging scale or a fish scale for this method, which is probably the easiest.
- Wrap the scale's strap around the bar.
- Hook the strap to the hanging scale.
- Now hang the bar from the scale, and you'll get an accurate weight reading.
Rope & Weight
- Tie one end of the rope (preferably thin) around the middle of the barbell and throw the other end over the crossbar.
- Hook the bar in place after setting it at your chest level.
- The loose end of the bar should almost touch the floor.
- Make the whole apparatus a balancing scale by tying weight plates to the loose end of the rope. Unhook the bar and notice if it balances the weighted end of the rope.
- Keep changing the weight on the rope's loose end until you balance the rope and the bar.
Smith Machine Bar vs. Free Weight Olympic Bar
Olympic bars are made of high-strength steel because they bear a lot of weight without additional support. Moreover, manufacturers ensure that Olympic bars do not bend when weight piles on them during workouts. Therefore, the tensile strength of an Olympic Bar is much higher, increasing its weight too.
On the other hand, smith machine bars have a lower tensile strength, thanks to the support they get from the clamps, bearings, and slides. So, a smith machine bar is considerably lighter but can still handle the same weight as an Olympic bar. They're on par with Olympic bars with 600-1000 lbs capacity.
If you have reached this point, it means you have all the necessary information regarding the smith machine bar weight and how to measure it correctly. Knowing all the details will help you understand what you need in a smith machine and improve your workouts significantly.
If you're looking for a high-quality smith machine that provides amazing functionality, look no further than the RitFit Multifunctional Smith Machine with Lat Pulldown and Row. With a load capacity of 300kg, left & right column hook design for added safety, thick steel pipe for durability, and a combination of the double pulley and wire rope, it can be your perfect workout companion.
We at Ritfit are providing it at unbeatable prices, so do not wait and book your order today. If you’ve any queries, please contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org.