Everyone has that buddy or friend that tends to slightly fabricate stories, achievements or at worse case just about anything. I have a friend that was going on and on about benching obnoxious amounts of weight. Now I know he’s strong but I didnt think that strong. So I go to the gym with him to do the holy grail of exercises, chest. He walkes right past the free weight area and right on over to the smith rack. Me being me I had to say something snive. I looked at him and said “I thought we were here to get some exercise today”? Meaning now I know why hes putting (or attempting to put up) obnoxious amounts of weight. Now dont get me wrong the smith rack has its place and I will touch on it later, but for brute strength mass lifting free weights is the best of the best.
There is nothing better for mass training than free weights. Whether its a barbell or dumbbells the results are the same. Power, strength and stability.
Free weights challenge your body in ways smith racks can’t. Like the way if forces your body to tighten up and stabilize. Unlike a SR you are using many more muscles in your body to perform the designated lift. Another is the weight in your hands is the weight your doing. There is no adding or subtracting weight from machine to machine. When you have 4- 45lb plates on a bar it should be 225lbs. On a SR 4-45lb plates could be 200lbs, 195lbs or even 185lbs. Giving the inexperienced lifter the fasad of lifting heavier than he/she really is. Anyone who knows lifting knows free weights are a necessity to any workout routine.
Now I am in no way bashing the SR I use them regularly. But every tool has its purpose. SR are a great addition to free weight and this is why. Its a great way to use heavier weight by yourself. In case you dont have a partner or no one around to help. SR are also a great way to isolate a muscles movements without incorporating surrounding muscles. Being on a track all you need to do is push the weight, nothing else. Using a SR property will def help your over all workouts, but it will always take a back seat to free weight. So the next time someone tells you they just got done lifting half the gym, ask them free weight or Smith Rack tough guy….