If you speak to any gym-junkie, they’ll tell you that the smith machine is cheating and free-weights are the way to go. This may be true for long-term lean muscle gains in strength and size; however, there are a few advantages to using the smith machine.

1. Strength Techniques For Growth

There is no other machine in the gym that can offer you as many options to practice a myriad of exercises and training techniques. This versatile machine allows you to perform techniques such as angle-specific isometrics, partial reps and reverse movements.

  • Angle-specific Isometrics – pressing or pulling against an immovable load at as many angles as the machine will allow.
  • Partial Reps – working through a short range of motion
  • Reverse Movements – initiating the exercise at the bottom of the rep without the help of the negative energy built up during the eccentric component of the repetition.

It is also a lot safer to practice other training techniques like negative reps and rest-pause sets than with free-weights.

2. Ability to Overload

Because the smith machine balances the weight for you, you don’t need to expend energy through the use of stabilizer muscles to balance both the weight and your body. This gives you the ability to focus all your efforts on the pressing or pulling motion which allows you to stack the bar with more plates and push heavier weights.

3. Confidence Through Safety

Most people are scared do perform heavy lifts like bench presses and squats in fear that they can’t push the weight back up again. Because the smith machine has safety mechanisms which allow you to hook the weight at different heights and prevent you from dropping too low, this concern is eliminated allowing you to go heavier than you ever thought possible.

4. Ballistic Training

This is a technique that is not often incorporated into most people’s gym routine; but ballistic training can help you target your fast-twitch muscle fibers and increase power and strength. Ballistic repetitions are performed by accelerating the weight through the entire movement and letting go of the weight when you reach full extension.

By doing this, your fast-twitch muscle fibers will be engaged with every rep and those are the ones which are mostly responsible for strength and size.

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