Fraudulent fitness goal?

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    Apr 17, 2015 11:13 PM GMT
    I managed to reach 575 lbs. on the Smith squat machine, but after doing some research, it appeared that the Smith is just overall an abysmal machine to use, given its support to the user. Thus far, I deemed my goal of squatting twice my body weight, and finally began to train on the free-weight. I'm a tad annoyed with myself with wasting my time with it (despite being the machine I started off with in college), so now I'm working towards my body weight. Considering the machine pretty much did the work in a sense, was my goal fraudulent? I've been told it's still impressive, but it doesn't feel rewarding. icon_confused.gif
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    Apr 18, 2015 3:46 PM GMT
    The only reason I would consider it a waste is if you're using it as a measure of your free squat, I also think it's a waste if you're using it to measure your curls, bench press, or any other exercise it is not ;)

    At some point or another I try to use every machine I can and try every variation I can, always best to shock your system. Smiths can be great to do a lot of stuff that's difficult to do without a spot, heavy barbell Military press for example, or hack squats without a hack machine, heavy shrugs and others, I don't personally like it for squats, but it has a place. You didn't waste your time, but it's time to diversify!

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    Apr 18, 2015 6:58 PM GMT
    I like the smith machine for squatting because the slightest mistake in form when I'm doing the free squat results in a knee injury that takes months to heal. If my knees are injured, I cannot do most leg exercises and this is a big loss.
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    Apr 18, 2015 9:33 PM GMT
    It beats reaching 575 lbs worth of fat by not working out. icon_wink.gif
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    Apr 18, 2015 9:46 PM GMT
    Anything that doesn't leave you injured is not a waste of time. I'm not a fan of the Smith machines because it locks you into a particular movement pattern that may not be optimal for your specific geometry. However, some serious, experienced lifters swear by it. Doing a good squat at heavy weights while minimizing the chance of an injury involves not only good form but good range of motion of the joints. As you start on that path, might be a good idea to have someone who is really qualified observe you, and that does not mean any personal trainer.
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    Apr 18, 2015 11:18 PM GMT
    Thank you all for your input.

    GymNewbie saidThe only reason I would consider it a waste is if you're using it as a measure of your free squat, I also think it's a waste if you're using it to measure your curls, bench press, or any other exercise it is not ;)

    At some point or another I try to use every machine I can and try every variation I can, always best to shock your system. Smiths can be great to do a lot of stuff that's difficult to do without a spot, heavy barbell Military press for example, or hack squats without a hack machine, heavy shrugs and others, I don't personally like it for squats, but it has a place. You didn't waste your time, but it's time to diversify!



    Thank you. Here's a list of what I've done on the 15th this month. It was a bad day for me.

    Seated Fly (max lbs. 200)
    150 15 reps

    Low row (max 20)
    20 12

    Barbell Squat
    115+15 10
    135+15 5
    175+15 5
    190+15 5

    Squat press (personal max. 710 lbs.)
    540 16

    Seated two arm curl (max 150)
    90 7-8 each arm
    100 2 each arm

    Treadmill
    9 mins jogging/running 7.0-8.0
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    Apr 19, 2015 1:00 AM GMT
    The smith machine has it's advantages as some others have pointed out. If you make a mistake with free-weights you could end up with an injury.

    Free-weight squats will take some adjustment to get use to once you've switched over but I believe you should progress fairly quickly since you are at least use to pushing the heavy weight.

    As far as a fraudulent goal...eye of the beholder I suppose. I still pat myself on the back if I could squat that weight on my own...smith machine or not.
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    Apr 19, 2015 7:39 PM GMT
    MuchMoreThanMuscle said
    bachian saidI like the smith machine for squatting because the slightest mistake in form when I'm doing the free squat results in a knee injury that takes months to heal. If my knees are injured, I cannot do most leg exercises and this is a big loss.


    I don't agree with this. I've been lifting weights for twenty-eight years and have squatted during that entire duration. I have had no problems with my knees. Squatting is a very safe exercise so long as minimal safety precautions are met.


    Yeah, but it doesn't take much off in your structure to make these problems. You just need a little hip-tilt and the standard squat advice harms you instead of helps you..

    But to the OP, a goal is a goal. Free-weight makes it easier to compare apples to apples. It's much harder to compare the physics of one machine to another..


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    Apr 19, 2015 8:15 PM GMT
    @Much

    You've been doing it with perfect form all along and maybe your knees are stronger than mine. When I'm going down doing the free squat, if my knees go forward more than they should -- and it only takes a distraction for that -- I get an injury. Or if I go down too fast (usually in the last rep when I lose strength), I also get an injury. Of course I don't get hurt every time I do the free squat but I feel it has zero room for error.
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    Apr 20, 2015 3:41 AM GMT
    bachian said@Much

    You've been doing it with perfect form all along and maybe your knees are stronger than mine. When I'm going down doing the free squat, if my knees go forward more than they should -- and it only takes a distraction for that -- I get an injury. Or if I go down too fast (usually in the last rep when I lose strength), I also get an injury. Of course I don't get hurt every time I do the free squat but I feel it has zero room for error.

    Your situation versus Much... indicates why no one size fits all works, especially when recommending a particular exercise. This reminds me of articles on different variations of the deadlift, and illustrates why one specific variation (in the case of the deadlift), or one specific exercise doesn't work best for everyone.

    The deadlift article:
    http://www.ericcressey.com/how-to-deadlift-which-variation-is-right-for-you-1

    By the way, this article might be of interest comparing the deadlift with the squat:
    https://www.t-nation.com/training/deadlift-or-squat-whats-the-diff