Smith machines are versatile pieces of equipment that come in handy for people who have just started hitting the gym, or even for people who have home-gym setups. However, Smith machines do not possess a standardized weight, traditional Olympic barbells universally weigh 45 lbs or 20 kg. This leads us to think about how much is Smith machine bar.
Since the bar weight isn’t standardized for the Smith machine. Therefore, it can range anywhere between 6 to 45 lbs or even above, unlike a traditional Olympic Barbell. The varying weight of a Smith machine exists since we have to look at a few factors, such as counterbalance, the material used, and more.
Typically, a Smith machine bar weighs between 15 to 21 lbs, however, due to adjustments and changes throughout the years, the weight has never managed to be static. Also, the weight depends upon the manufacturers as well.
The initial versions of the Smith machine generally weighed 15 lbs. These initial versions weren’t as shiny as the other equipment, but they surely were durable and got the job done.
Before diving into the details that’ll help you gain an insight into the topic, it is vital that you know the types of Smith machines there are and the differences among them.
Types of Smith Machines
Currently, there are two types of Smith machines which are as follows:
- Residential Smith Machine
- Commercial Smith Machine
Both two machines differ from each other by their characteristics.
Residential Smith Machine
The residential Smith machine is perfectly linear, having no counterbalance and having a varying bar weight but averaging 30 lbs. The machine also possesses a bushing glide system. Generally, the maximum weight limit on a residential Smith machine is about 400 lbs.
Commercial Smith Machine
The commercial Smith machines possess inclined rails that are angled from 7 to 12 degrees. The machine also possesses a counterbalance to aid new and intermediate gym-goers. It also has a bearing glide system and the bar weight averages from 6 to 25 lbs.
The maximum weight limit on a commercial Smith machine ranges from 600 to 1000 lbs, making it stronger than a residential Smith machine.
Commercial Smith machines are more widely used in gyms, while residential Smith machines are recommended for home-gym setups.
When it comes to Commercial Smith machines, you might want to know Does planet fitness has Smith machines?
Factors that Determine the Weight of a Smith Machine Bar
Every gym-goer eventually learns the difference between a free weight and a Smith machine, but the difference doesn’t only exist in the workout and look. The type of steel varies between both machines as well.
Since the free weights are designed in such a way that they don’t provide any assistance to the user, therefore, they use steel that is “hard”. This enables them to withstand heavy weight and pressure exertions.
Smith machines, on the other hand, provide ample assistance to the user, therefore, the bar is made up of a different type of steel that comes along with additional pulleys, safety, and slides. These parts altogether assist the bar so that it doesn’t experience the bending phenomena seen in an Olympic Barbell.
Some models of the Smith machine also come with a counter-balance mechanism. This mechanism mainly makes the weight of the machine feel lighter than it is, depending on the degree of counterbalance used.
With the help of a pulley system, the counterbalanced bars use a counterweight to make the bar feel lighter. These counter-balancing weights aren’t visible exteriorly but are present inside the framework of the Smith machine, typically in the front uprights.
Some Smith machine models, such as Body-Solid ProClub or Line Commercial Smith Machine, contain such an effective counter-balance mechanism, that it can make the bar feel as light as 6 lbs!
These types of Smith machines are present in gyms that typically have high traffic, and they are the perfect way to start your workout routine, especially if you’re a beginner looking to build up your form.
The main purpose of this mechanism is to lower the initial weights for the user, since trainers usually start new gym-comers with a lower-than-average weight, to build up their form.
A question would be floating in your mind right now: “why not start with 0 kgs?” Well, that’s mainly because if the bar and counterbalance are equal, the smallest touch would make the bar skyrocket into the sky!
The angle of Rails – Inclined and Vertical
While many Smith machines have vertical rails, some have rails that are inclined.
This inclining of the rails of a Smith machine can make the weight go up. However, it also depends on the angle of the inclined rails, the steeper it is, the more force you would need to push the bar up and vice versa.
Typically, the angle of the inclined rails is 7 to 12 degrees. The angle also comes in handy as it supports the natural motion of a barbell.
However, a Smith machine that contains vertical rails will make you feel the “actual” or “entire” weight of the bar. These type of rails typically come along with a residential Smith machine and is best suitable for home-gym setups.
For a comprehensive guide Read How to do squats on an Angled Smith machine?
Weights of Famous Smith Machines
LA Fitness Smith Machine
LA Fitness uses commercial Smith machines in their gyms, having a bar weight of about 15 to 25 lbs and a counterbalanced barbell.
Nautilus Smith Machine
Nautilus is one of the most famous brands in terms of producing strong, durable, and efficient Smith machines that make your workout routine rewarding. They sell a highly competent commercial Smith machine, which is available online and can be seen in some gyms. The bar weight on their Smith machines is generally 15 lbs.
Planet Fitness Smith Machine
Planet Fitness is the go-to gym for new gym-goers. Most of their customers are either intermediate or beginners, therefore having a Smith machine is a must. Most Planet Fitness gyms are equipped with a Smith machine having a bar weight of 15 to 20 lbs, which is also written on the side of the Smith machine.
Marcy Smith Machine
Marcy Smith is the go-to brand for people who are looking for durable home gym equipment. Their products are available online on sites like Amazon. The brand mostly deals with all-in-one Smith machines, however, some of their Smith machines possess the counterbalance mechanism, along with an angled bar path.
The bar weight on the Smith machine is generally 16 lbs. However, specific models such as the SM-4033 have a bar weight of 36 lbs while another model that is titled Diamond Elite MD-9010G has a bar weight of 25 lbs.
Hammer Strength Smith Machine
Hammer Strength is a brand that manufactures high-quality Smith machines that are used in gyms across the globe. The machine has a bar with a starting weight of about 20 lbs, a counterbalance mechanism, and a bar path with a 7-degree angle.
Smith Machine Bar Weight Planet Fitness
Planet Fitness is considered one of the best go-to gyms for experienced and newbies gym-goers alike. Typically, the bar weighs about 15 to 20 lbs in Planet Fitness gyms.
However, some gym-goers of Planet Fitness have claimed that their gym has bar weights that are around 35 lbs.
For future reference, you may check the Smith machines at Planet Fitness, since they have the bar weights mentioned on the sides.
Below are some of the frequently asked questions that gym-goers had related to the Smith machine bar weights.
How many Pounds is the Smith Machine Bar?
Unlike Olympic barbells, the Smith machines don’t have a standard weight. The range of the bar varies due to a few factors, however, the previous versions of the Smith machine had a bar weight of about 15 lbs, while the existing ones have bar weights that range from anywhere between 6 to 45 lbs.
Are Smith Machine Bar 45 Lbs (20 Kgs)?
The Smith machine bars have varying weights, unlike a traditional Olympic Barbell that weighs 45 lbs. However, to answer this question, the weight MAY or MAY NOT be 45 lbs, since the weights range from anywhere between 6 to 45 lbs.
The average weight of a Smith machine at most commercial gyms ranges from anywhere between 15 to 25 lbs.
How much does a Smith Machine Bar Weigh in Pounds?
The Smith machine bar isn’t allocated a standard weight, so the weights of the bar vary depending on different factors. The weight of a Smith machine bar is also different for different manufacturers.
However, to give you a rough idea, the bar on a Smith machine can generally range from 6 pounds to 45 pounds, or even higher.
The older models of the Smith machines had a bar weight of about 15 pounds (lbs), however, due to changes made in the machine throughout the years, the weight now generally ranges from 15 to 25 pounds (lbs), for most commercial gyms.
What is the Starting Weight of a Smith Machine?
The Smith machines aren’t allocated a fixed bar weight such as Olympic Barbells, which have a standardized bar weight of 45 lbs or 20 kg. Unlike the traditional Olympic Barbell, the bar weights on a Smith Machine are varying, and the bar weights range from 6 to 45 lbs, or even more.
However, the starting weight on a Smith machine, that is, only the bar excluding the plates, varies according to the specific Smith machine you’re currently using.
NOTE: Most Smith machines have their specific bar weights written on the side, however, if that’s not the case with your Smith machine, you can search for it online and check if the manufacturers have jotted down the bar weights there.
Why does a Smith Machine Bar feel lighter?
Smith Machines bars tend to feel lighter due to a counterbalance mechanism. This mechanism is available in commercial Smith machines, which can be seen in most gyms.
The counterbalance mechanism includes a pulley system, with which a counterweight is attached. Some commercial Smith machines come with a counterbalance mechanism that can make the bar feel as light as 6 lbs!
A pre-installed spotter is present in the machine which makes it easy for beginners. Especially who are looking to build their form for heavier exercise
Is Smith Machine Weight considered as “true” Weight?
The weight on the machine is true, however, due to the machine’s design and mechanisms, the weight feels lighter.
Smith machine improves your workout routine, targeting specific muscle groups along a fixed or restricted path. However, for some, this may not be useful.
The reason lies in the fact that the controlled path. The machine’s assistance doesn’t activate the secondary stabilizer muscles, only the targeted muscles are activated.
In the end, it comes down to your preferences. If you’re looking to build your form and target specific areas of muscles only, then the Smith machine is a great place to start. However, if you’re looking to promote muscle growth, then the Smith machine wouldn’t help you as much.
However, it’s still a great machine to kick off your pre-workout routine and get your muscles warmed up.
Also Read: Is Smith machine bench press effective?
Smith machines are reliable pieces of equipment that are built to strengthen your form and get you started. However, a common question among gym-goers is how much is a smith machine bar.
Well, there is no specific answer to this question. Smith machine bar weight is not standardized like an Olympic bar. It ranges from 6 lbs-45 lbs. While Smith machine bar weight at planet fitness is around 35 lbs.
I have extended the details in the article for all the queries pertaining to the Smith bar weight.
This is Safeer Ahmad founder of FitnessGearsHub. I’m an aspirant fitness freak, I commenced my career as a blogger and I opted for “gym and fitness” as my primary domain. As all fitness gears fancy me, I spend considerable time on research before buying one, I believe a health fanatic should be mindful of the product before making buying decision so I’ll try my level best to provide you ample information to buy one or maintain your gym equipment.