The smith machine is one of the most commonly used devices in a gym. It provides support where the users can drop the bar and perform exercises such as squats, overhead presses, and even bench presses.
But have you ever wondered how much does a smith machine bar weigh?
This question comes into play when you want to progress, but you have no idea how much the bar itself weighs. How are you going to keep track of your progressions when you don’t know the weight of the bar?
In this article, we’ll take a look at the standard Smith machine bar weight, and everything that you need to know about it.
The Standard Smith Machine Bar Weight
Let’s get this first out of the way: not every smith machine bar will weigh the same. There are several factors that we need to consider when estimating the weight of a bar.
Typically, the standard smith machine bar weight fluctuates between 15 and 45 lbs. Most commonly, the weigh is 15 or 20lbs, But then again, these weights will vary significantly from gym to gym, and from smith machine to another.
It depends on several factors as well, and usually every gym will have a different weight for the smith machine bar.
You can inspect the weight of the bar if it’s written on it. Or you can ask one of the instructors in the gym.
Factors That Determine The Smith Machine Bar Weight
Here are some factors that will determine the weight of the smith machine bar.
- Does the smith machine use free weights, or is there a counterweight to balance the bar?
- The provider of the weights
- Is it user-friendly, or is it for advanced lifters only?
- It will vary from gym to gym
The most significant discrepancy occurs between smith machine that uses free weights and the ones that have a counterweight.
A counterweighted smith machine bar will utilize weights to counter the bar and make it slightly easier to handle. This type of bar is especially useful for beginners, as they can use the machine easier.
The bar is balanced by the counterweight on a cable to make it significantly lighter even if the bar itself weighs more than it feels like.
The standard smith machine bar with counterweights is between 15 and 20lbs. The bar itself weighs much more (about 45lbs) but the counterweights reduce the weight significantly.
So the more substantial the counterweight is, the lighter the bar itself will be. The counterweight could effectively bring the weight of the bar down to zero, but that would be unproductive.
The bar would slam right back towards the top of the machine once you would let it go, and it would come crashing down and slam right into your head. Doesn’t sound very pleasant, does it?
That’s why manufacturers decided that it’s better to leave some weight on the bar. It can prevent injuries from happening.
Some users might not know the mechanism, and it could lead to severe injuries.
So they reduced the weight of the counterweight so that the weight of the bar stay at 15 or 20lbs. It’s the perfect weight for beginners, and it helps the bar stay in place once you let go of it.
So 15-20lbs is the weight that we see most commonly in gyms for smith machines with counterweights. It still caries from gym to gym, and some providers will enable higher loads.
We must not confuse the regular squat racks for Smith machine here. The regular frames don’t have the bar attached to the pole, and you can use the bar any way you want it.
With smith machine, the bar stays in the pole and has a set plane of movement.
Now we’ve got that out of the way, what is the difference between counterweighted smith machines and non-counterweighted ones?
The latter don’t use counterweights to balance the bar. In these cases, the bar will be significantly more substantial. In most cases, the bar here will weigh between 45 and 55lbs.
Again the weight of the bar will depend on the gym itself, and the provider of the equipment.
In most gyms, it will be 45 lbs. These types of machines are more appropriate for more advanced lifters, and the counterweighted Smith machine are better for beginners. The bar here is very much similar to an Olympic bar.
Who Should Use A Smith Machine?
That’s because the bar is lighter than when we use free weights, and because the bar has a set plane of motion, so we can’t drop it.
But it’s not limited to beginners only; non-counterweighted bars are perfectly viable for advanced gym-goers as well.
It’s great for those who want an excellent alternative to the usual free weights, and they want something safe, and the progression is easy.
Some think that a Smith machine is obsolete, but it’s not; it has many great uses, and it’s incredibly versatile, as you can perform various exercises with it.
A smith machine bar is a great machine to use in the gym. It gives you the same possibilities as free weight bars, just that it’s much safer to perform the exercises and avoid injuries.
There are two main types of smith machine that counterweight and non-counterweight. The first one uses a counterweight to balance the bar and make it lighter, which is excellent for beginners.
The second doesn’t use a counterweight and the bar is significantly heavier, making it great for advanced lifters.
The bar in counterweight Smith machines weighs 15lbs, and it can vary from gym to gym. It can weigh up to 20lbs. For non- counterweight Smith machines, bars will usually weigh 45lbs, and they can weigh up to 55lbs.
So now that you know the smith machine bar weight, you can make smooth progressions by tracking the numbers you lift easily.