April 10


How To Easily Know the Smith Machine Bar Weight?

If you’re new to the gym, you probably wonder what’s the smith machine bar weight. After all, knowing the bar weight is very important for tracking your progress and ensuring you’re selecting the right weight for exercise.

In this article, we will discuss the weight of the barbell on a Smith machine and all the related information. So, let’s dive in to help you make the most of your Smith machine workouts.

What Is A Smith Machine

Smith machines are a no-nonsense piece of bodybuilding equipment. They’re built with a barbell secured to a set of steel rails, allowing for vertical movement. The barbell is outfitted with two hooks on each side that rotate so you can lock the bar at various heights. 

This design allows for a wide range of exercises while also providing a measure of safety. The point of a Smith machine is to eliminate the need for bar stability, making it great for beginners who are still working on their balance and experienced lifters looking to focus on specific muscle groups. 

Remember, though, that not all Smith machines are created equal – some come with a counterbalance mechanism and different rail and bar materials. 

Types of Smith Machines

There are two main types of Smith machines – commercial and home gym. Below are their main differences: 

Characteristics / TypeHome-GymCommercial
LinearPerfectly Linear7-12 degrees Angle
Gliding SystemBushBearing
Sleeves1-2 inches sleeves2-inches sleeves
Bar Weightnearly 30lbs6 to 25lbs

Common Smith Machine Bar weights

Hammer Strength Smith Machine Bar Weight30 pounds
Matrix Smith Machine Bar Weight25-44 pounds
Body-Solid Residential Smith Machine Bar Weight6 pounds
Hoist Smith Machine Bar Weight30 pounds
Legend Smith Machine Bar Weight25 pounds
precor smith machine bar weight15 Pounds
Nautilus Smith Machine Bar Weight15 pounds
Tuff Stuff Smith Machine Bar Weight10 pounds
Life Fitness Smith Machine Bar Weight (kg)9 KG or 20 Pounds
Body-Solid Commercial Smith Machine Bar Weight32 pounds
Smith Machine Bar Weight LA Fitness15-25 pounds
Smith Machine Bar Weight Planet Fitness 15-35 pounds
LA Fitness Smith Machine Bar Weight15-25 pounds
Marcy Smith Machine Bar Weight16-36 pounds
Technogym Smith Machine Bar Weight41.88 pounds
Smith Machine Bar Weight Anytime Fitness45 pounds
Body Solid Smith Machine Bar Weight6-32 pounds
Smith Machine Bar Weight Hoist 25-52 pounds
Force USA Smith Machine Bar Weight45 pounds
Cybex Smith Machine Bar Weight15 pounds

Why Is It Important To Know The Smith Machine’s Weight? 

A Topless Man in a Gym

Knowing the weight of a Smith machine barbel is  just as important as knowing the weight of dumbbells or regular barbells.

When gradually increasing the weight you’re lifting each session or week, it’s vital to know precisely how much weight you’re lifting, including the bar weight. Knowing the actual weight of the Smith machine bar allows you to make informed decisions about your starting weight for different exercises. 

For example, if you can shoulder press with a 40lb dumbbell, knowing the weight of the Smith machine bar will help you determine how much extra weight to load on the barbell.

In other words, if you want precision in your lifts, which is crucial for progression, you need to know how heavy you’re lifting. And that includes the weight of the Smith machine barbell.

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    What Is Smith Machine’s starting weight? 

    There is no standardized weight, as you’ll find with Olympic barbells when it comes to a Smith machine barbell. So, the weight of your barbell will come down to the specific machine you’re using. But here’s the good news, most Smith machines are built with a lower starting weight than most Olympic barbells. 

    For example, an Olympic barbell typically weighs around 45 pounds, but a Smith machine usually weighs anywhere between 6-45+ pounds. You’ll have more flexibility regarding weight selection. But if you need to figure out what the weight of your barbell is, don’t sweat it. 

    Check the side of your machine or the manufacturer’s website. They usually have that information listed. And if all else fails, I’ll show you how to calculate the weight easily.

    How To Weigh Smith Machine Bar

    How To Weigh Smith Machine Bar

    Here’s a rundown on some common and easiest ways to weigh the bar:

    Method 1: Hanging Scale

    Some call it a hanging scale. Others call it a fish scale or a luggage scale. But, it is a scale designed to weigh objects in odd positions that can’t be placed on a regular scale. It’s perfect for weighing your Smith machine bar.

    Simply place the bar at your knees and hang the scale on it. You can use any cheap scale with a strap. Then, carefully turn the bar to let it go from the machine lock. And just like that, you’ll have the weight of your bar right there in front of you. 

    Method 2: Bathroom Scale

    This one’s even easier. You need a plyo box and a scale. Use the box to bring the scale in the range of motion of the Smith bar, as it usually has some free space from the floor to the bar’s lowest position.

    Here’s what you should do:

    1. Put the box under the Smith bar.
    2. Put the scale on the box, and then bring the bar down to the scale.
    3. Let it rest.
    4. The scale’s reading is the weight of the Smith bar.

    Method 3 – Rope & Plates

    Here’s how it’s done with just a rope and some weight plates:

    1. First, tie a thin rope around the middle of the Smith machine barbell, and toss the other end over the crossbar at the top. 
    2. Set the bar at chest level, hook it in place, and let the loose end of the rope touch the floor. 
    3. Next, tie some weight plates to the loose end of the rope, and unhook the bar to see if it balances with the weighted end of the rope. 
    4. Keep adjusting the weight on the loose end of the rope until you find the weight that balances the bar and the weight.

    3 Factors That Affect Smith Machine’s weight

    1. Material

    Unlike Olympic barbells made with high-strength steel to handle heavy weights, Smith machine bars are designed with a different type of steel. The steel rails, bearings, clamps, and slides help reduce the stress on the bar, making it lighter than Olympic barbells.

    Even though Smith bars don’t have the same tensile strength as Olympic barbells, they can generally handle the same weights. Most commercial Smith machines have a maximum capacity of 600-1000 pounds, which is par with Olympic barbells.

    Furthermore, most Smith bars have the same seven feet length as Olympic barbells. However, the diameter of the bars can vary, depending on the machine. While most Olympic and Smith bars have two-inch sleeves, some less-expensive residential-style Smith machines have one-inch sleeves. And some Smith machines use an Olympic barbell.

    1. Counterbalance

    Some fancy gym chains use counterbalance, while others don’t. But what exactly is a counterbalance, and how does it work?

    Think of it like a balancing scale. The bar is on one side of the machine, and the weights are on the other (usually hidden). The Smith bar always weighs more than the counterweight. For example, if the bar weighs 40 pounds, the set of weights on the other end will weigh 20. This makes the bar feel lighter, especially during the upward movement of exercises like squats.

    Try squatting or bench pressing with an empty Smith bar to see the difference for yourself. You’ll feel the bar fly up the top of the machine with the slightest touch. So, each manufacturer has its own way of counterbalancing the Smith machine.

    1. Rail Angle

    Some Smith machines have vertical steel rails for near-vertical movement patterns, while others come with a slight incline. The angled rails mimic the natural movement path for compound exercises like the squat, bench press, and shoulder press.

    Commercial Smith machines generally have a seven to 12-degree incline, while most residential Smith machines move straight up and down. Sure, the slight incline offers a more natural movement pattern, but it also affects the bar’s weight. The vertical Smith machines will put the highest resistance on your target muscles.

    Now, the impact of the incline on the bar’s weight is minimal. For example, a 12-degree incline may only make the Smith machine bar feel one to two pounds lighter.


    Should I Consider the Bar Weight While Using the Smith Machine?

    Yes, it is important to consider the bar weight while using a Smith machine to ensure proper form and progression in your exercises.

    Is Knowing the Bar Weight While Using a Smith Machine Necessary?

    Yes, knowing the bar weight is necessary for tracking progress and ensuring proper form and weight selection for exercises.

    Is the Smith Machine Weight the Same as an Olympic Barbell?

    No, Smith machine bars do not have a globally standardized weight like Olympic barbells which are 45 lbs. The weight of a Smith machine bar can vary depending on the particular machine and manufacturer.