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S&C UnderGround >> Smith machine question


3/11/13 7:24 PM
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Chocolate Shatner
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Based off of Taku's post, I am now going to write a bombastic, hyperbolic article laden with sexual innuendo, over the top amounts of cheesy similies, and lots of scientific sounding jargon making the claim that football players should train using only weights, and if you will only send me a mere $499 for my exclusive program, I will send you the full program!

Should be able to get published on T-nation very quickly, don't you think?
3/11/13 8:01 PM
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Taku
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Hey C.S.,

Are you messing with me? I'll buy your course...I am sure it will be great. May I pay it off in $1.00 installments for 499 weeks? I'll be all payed up in just under 10 years.

TAKU

3/12/13 12:10 AM
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Chocolate Shatner
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Taku - 

Hey C.S.,

Are you messing with me? I'll buy your course...I am sure it will be great. May I pay it off in $1.00 installments for 499 weeks? I'll be all payed up in just under 10 years.

TAKU


Tell ya what, I'll throw in some pictures of "fitness models" who I will claim to have done my program for free, if you double it to $2 and cut the payments to only 150.
3/12/13 1:48 AM
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andyman011
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Chocolate Shatner -
Taku - 

Hey C.S.,

Are you messing with me? I'll buy your course...I am sure it will be great. May I pay it off in $1.00 installments for 499 weeks? I'll be all payed up in just under 10 years.

TAKU


Tell ya what, I'll throw in some pictures of "fitness models" who I will claim to have done my program for free, if you double it to $2 and cut the payments to only 150.
I think taku would be a sucker if he doesn't take that deal. If he doesn't I'll take over payments. I don't want the pics though, they make me hate myself Phone Post
3/12/13 2:41 AM
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Taku
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C.S.

DONE!

TAKU

3/13/13 1:21 PM
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AdrianK
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Edited: 03/13/13 1:23 PM
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Charles Poliquin breaks down why you can't sub free-weight exercises (like the Squat) on a machine (like the smith machine). Food for thought...<br /><br />Myth: Smith machine squats are safer than regular squats. This is a downright lie, and as proof I know of several lawsuits that were filed from individuals who became quadriplegics from accidents that occurred using this equipment. My experience with the Smith machine squat is that it’s very hard on the patellar ligament and the anterior cruciate ligament, both of which act as stabilizers for the knees.<br /><br />Most bodybuilders who use a Smith machine perform squats while holding their trunks vertical, a technique that minimizes the involvement of the hamstrings. Also, leaning back against the bar increases the stability of the trunk, further reducing the involvement of the hamstrings. This is not desirable, as hamstring activation is a direct antagonist to quadriceps activation at the knee, and this “co-contraction” neutralizes the harmful forces of the upper and lower leg bones.<br /><br />With a Smith machine, the bar is on a track, and this increased stability decreases the requirement of the body’s neutralizer and stabilizer muscle functions. Therefore, the strength developed on such machines has minimal carryover to a three-dimensionally, unstable environment such as occurs during the freestanding squat. This is an especially important fact to those who use weight training to improve sports performance. The bottom line is that free-weight exercises should always precede machine exercises, and athletes should limit their machine training to no more than 25 percent of the total work performed.

To be frank, I don't think much of the Smith machine. In fact, when I design a weight room for a client, I never ever buy a Smith machine. In fact, if a dork asks me a question about chest training during one of my workouts, I quickly prescribe him ten sets of 20 on the Smith machine as my way of getting revenge. One of the reasons that the Smith machine has so much publicity in the magazines is because it makes a great visual picture but, as far as functional transfer, it scores a big zero. It was probably invented by a physical therapist who wanted more business for himself.

What you might perceive as positives with the device are in fact strong negatives. The perceived positives are only short-lived because, in a Smith machine, the weight is stabilized for you. However, the shoulder really operates in three planes. But if you do exercises in a Smith machine, none of the shoulder stabilizers need to be recruited maximally. For example, the rotator cuff muscles don't have to fire as much because the bar's pathway is fixed. That creates a problem when the trainee returns to free-weight training. When that happens, the trainee is exposed to the three-dimensional environment called real life. Since the Smith machine has allowed him to develop strength only in one dimension, it predisposes him or her to injury in the undeveloped planes of movement.

Exercise prescription specialist Paul Chek of San Diego has identified what he calls pattern overload syndrome. In his seminar and videos, he stresses that the Smith machine bench press is one of the most common sources of shoulder injuries:

"People get a pattern overload from using the Smith machine. The more fixed the object, the more likely you are to develop a pattern overload. This is due to the fact that training in a fixed pathway repetitively loads the same muscles, tendons, ligaments and joints in the same pattern, encouraging micro-trauma that eventually leads to injury. If Johnny Lunchpail always uses a Smith machine for his bench presses, he ends up working the same fibers of the prime movers in the bench press all of the time: triceps brachii, pectoralis major, long-head of the biceps, anterior deltoids, and serratus anterior. But he can't change the pathway?the bar will always be in the same position."

Because of the mechanics of the human shoulder joint, the body will alter the natural bar pathway during a free-weight bench press to accommodate efficient movement at the shoulder. A fixed bar pathway doesn't allow alteration of this pathway for efficient movement of the joint, thereby predisposing the shoulder to harmful overload via lack of accommodation.

All in all, the Smith machine is a training piece for dorks. If you're interested in training longevity, you're far better off sticking to the standard barbell and dumbbell exercises or try the newer chest machines from Magnum and Flex.
3/13/13 1:40 PM
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Taku
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I am not recommending that one choose the SMITH machine above other exercises. I am just letting people know that it can be used with perfectly good results. With respect to Charles P, and Paul C., the tool is not good or bad. It is all about how you use it. I am quite sure we could find cases of people who were severely injured using free-weights as well.

TAKU

3/13/13 2:36 PM
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LiftStrong
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Not sure why but Smith machine conversations always get people fired up! I dont like Smith's because they lock you into a fixed plane of motion. But I think it is overly dramatic to act like you are headed straight into surgery if you use one on a somewhat regular basis.

I would rather overtrain my primary movers with a Smith than overtrain small muscle groups and stabalizers like many bodybuilders do. All of this is just me playing devils advocate as I havent used one in years and dont plan on it any time soon.
3/13/13 3:41 PM
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Taku
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Hey L.S.,

Absolutely. As I said...I am not saying it a something everyone should go out a build a plan around, I am just saying it's a tool, and it may be used successfully with intelligent application. I agree it is silly to act like everyone is going to fall apart because they use any machine.

As an asside...Someone recently posted WSM champ Jouko Ahola's training vids in which he likes to use a SMITH machine for Front Squats. Not saying this means anything...But he certainly had some success.

At my gym we have one of these: MAX RACK

It's an interesting version of a SMITH machine.

TAKU

 

3/13/13 4:13 PM
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LiftStrong
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RIP Jouko Ahola!

I have never seen one of those Max Racks before. Do they glide as smooth horizontally as it appears in the video?
3/13/13 4:24 PM
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jeremy hamilton
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Ahola isn't dead.
3/13/13 5:53 PM
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Taku
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L.S.,

Yes, very smooth. They are cool. Obviously they still balance the lateral plane. But they are a great step. If one was opening a small Personal Training studio, or wanting to train alone, I feel the Max Rack is a pretty good tool.

TAKU

P.S. To my knowledge, Jouko Ahola is not dead.

3/14/13 9:13 AM
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LiftStrong
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Lol, yes I was joking about Ahola... Front squats on the smith machine... joking that it is going to kill him... my failed attempt at humor.
3/14/13 9:45 AM
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jeremy hamilton
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LOL Now I see the joke, smith machine brings death. I'm a little slow...

Jesse Kellum, one of the worlds best squatters (735@220, 690@198) has used the smith machine in some of his training to overload the top of the movement.

I'm not a fan of them, I would rather go outside and lift a log or a rock, but they aren't going to kill you. You probably shouldn't plan your training around one though.
3/14/13 11:40 AM
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HULC
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andyman011 - 
HULC -
RobinHood - 
HULC -
RobinHood -  The 'smith' used on a long term basis will be a recipe to damaging your body. There is a reason why we have stabiliser muscles. The 'smith' will make your big primary muscles super strong but your secondary muscles weak. You will suffer significant imbalances together with posture issues.

At the end of the day, it's about your goals and whether you want to train for x-years or your in this for the long game. Phone Post

Have you any evidence to support this?
Muscle imbalance, poor mobility and impingement. This paper does not compare the difference between Smith v free-weight.

The idea is that primary muscle driver that eliminates auxiliary muscle support.

http://www.udel.edu/PT/clinic/journalclub/old/sojournalclub/03_04/oct03/wang.pdf Phone Post

As you say, this paper doesn't mention Smith machines at all. As such it's irrelevant to the question i asked you.

To the best of my knowledge there are no studies that show use of the Smith machines being correlated to higher levels of injury than use of free weights.
Its not about a paper saying it. Common sense would say if you work main muscles isolated, your support muscles will get worked less and so when you go for free weights or go to pick something up you're either gonna fall over or pull a support muscle that wasn't worked. Phone Post

Have you ever seen the exercises used to directly target stabiliser muscles? They bare no resemblance to the typical free weight compound movements used. In fact the entire point of learning correct lifting technique is to take the stress OFF of the smaller stabilising muscles to enable you to lift more weight.
3/14/13 7:42 PM
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Chocolate Shatner
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Anyone trying to model their training after Jouko Ahola is gonna be in for a disappointment. Jouko Ahola is the Chuck Norris of strongman. His balls are so big, they are used as Atlas Stones in regional competitions.
3/14/13 8:59 PM
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andyman011
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HULC -
andyman011 - 
HULC -
RobinHood - 
HULC -
RobinHood -  The 'smith' used on a long term basis will be a recipe to damaging your body. There is a reason why we have stabiliser muscles. The 'smith' will make your big primary muscles super strong but your secondary muscles weak. You will suffer significant imbalances together with posture issues.

At the end of the day, it's about your goals and whether you want to train for x-years or your in this for the long game. Phone Post

Have you any evidence to support this?
Muscle imbalance, poor mobility and impingement. This paper does not compare the difference between Smith v free-weight.

The idea is that primary muscle driver that eliminates auxiliary muscle support.

http://www.udel.edu/PT/clinic/journalclub/old/sojournalclub/03_04/oct03/wang.pdf Phone Post

As you say, this paper doesn't mention Smith machines at all. As such it's irrelevant to the question i asked you.

To the best of my knowledge there are no studies that show use of the Smith machines being correlated to higher levels of injury than use of free weights.
Its not about a paper saying it. Common sense would say if you work main muscles isolated, your support muscles will get worked less and so when you go for free weights or go to pick something up you're either gonna fall over or pull a support muscle that wasn't worked. Phone Post

Have you ever seen the exercises used to directly target stabiliser muscles? They bare no resemblance to the typical free weight compound movements used. In fact the entire point of learning correct lifting technique is to take the stress OFF of the smaller stabilising muscles to enable you to lift more weight.
That's retarded. Phone Post
3/15/13 1:53 PM
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HULC
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Don't be stupid.

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