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Hate My New Gym watch

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    Hey

    Fiscal constraints meant I had decided not to permanently join the gym I've been using since the end of Uni term, and I decided to join my local Leisure Centre. Oh dear God I want to D.i.e.

    There is no power rack! I have searched on google for a pic of what I am dealing with - it's a Hammer Strength machine and the bar is on this pulley thing (which can't be removed) and it slides up and down at an angle. It is mostly used (ineptly) by men to do bench presses. So the pulley thing theoretically helps because it allows the bar to travel up and slightly backwards as the bar ascends for a bench press, BUT I can't squat with it. I lose my balance every time because the bar is just at the wrong place - at the bottom of a full back squat I swear I am about to fall forwards - putting stress on my lower back and knees :no:. Never mind attempting an overhead press - I am too tall to reach the top position.
    AND there are no barbells. So deadlifts (stiff-legged and otherwise) seem to be out of the question.

    At my gym induction I was told it would be dangerous for a woman (I believe he used the word "girl", actually :rolleyes: ) to go near free weights, so not much help there. And from spying for the past 10 days, no one does anything with it besides bench pressing. Worst gym ever. Everyone is fat and just walks on the treadmill whilst watching little TVs (I was taught how to use *that* in detail :lolwut:).

    So is anyone familiar with this machine? It can be used for squats, it has a setting kind of like normal crash bars where the bar should start, but somehow I can't manage it. And anyone got any advice on how to do deadlifts and overhead presses some other way?

    I am cursing myself for not looking too carefully at this gym when signing up - it was this, give up plan of ever moving out, or quit gymming altogether .
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    Are you on about a smith machine?

    Also kudos, girl talking about how men ineptly try to squat and deadlift and they just watch tv and bench = you are awesome.
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    (Original post by Transatlanticdrawl_)
    Are you on about a smith machine?

    Also kudos, girl talking about how men ineptly try to squat and deadlift and they just watch tv and bench = you are awesome.
    it's like bizzaro world
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    Yeah, I went through the same ******** when finding a gym outside term time. All the council ones are crap and they have no barbells. I had to hunt around to find a suitable place.

    Sounds like an evil homo Smith Machine. Sorry.
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    (Original post by *Katie*)
    Hey

    I am cursing myself for not looking too carefully at this gym when signing up - it was this, give up plan of ever moving out, or quit gymming altogether .
    Sounds like a smith machine? Not sure about the equipment you are describing. But yes, always, always, ALWAYS ask for a look around the gym you are interested in before paying for membership. Without barbells, I would just opt for the dumbbell equivalent variants of any lift you want to do. Ignore what the PT said about free weights being dangerous for girls.

    You can OH Press at least with dumbbells.
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    YES! It's the Smith Machine - thanks for that!

    Anyone use it for squats and have any tips?

    Any ideas for deadlift alternatives?

    (Original post by expexx)
    You can OH Press at least with dumbbells
    Does anyone do this? I wouldn't be able to do a push press, but a conventional one would be ok? I shall try this - I'm guessing it requires you to drop a few kgs? Or maybe do it sitting?
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    (Original post by *Katie*)
    YES! It's the Smith Machine - thanks for that!

    Anyone use it for squats and have any tips?

    Any ideas for deadlift alternatives?


    Does anyone do this? I wouldn't be able to do a push press, but a conventional one would be ok? I shall try this - I'm guessing it requires you to drop a few kgs? Or maybe do it sitting?
    front squat

    deadlift is possible

    just do it very wide grip,
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    That sucks. I wouldn't call any fitness establishment a gym unless it has a squat rack/cage. If it doesn't have barbells, that's just absurd. I'm very fortunate in that the council leisure centre at home actually has a pretty decent gym, even if the guys in there are a bunch of bench'n'curling ****.

    Back squatting is absolutely awful in the smith machine, but although I haven't tried it I gather front squats work better. If I remember correctly, you're a rower aren't you? Is it not possible to spend the time before uni starts again focusing more on plyometric exercises for power?

    The "freeweights are dangerous for girls" comment from the instructor leads me to an even lower opinion (if such a thing is possible after a "the power is all in your arms" comment from one showing a woman how to erg) of them in general.
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    Why cant you OH press on a smith? Are you 7 foot tall?!
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    (Original post by red_alerts)
    Why cant you OH press on a smith? Are you 7 foot tall?!
    I'd go for DB press over smith OH press. The OP ideally wants to do push presses but I certainly wouldn't want to use a smith machine for them.
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    (Original post by *Katie*)
    Does anyone do this? I wouldn't be able to do a push press, but a conventional one would be ok? I shall try this - I'm guessing it requires you to drop a few kgs? Or maybe do it sitting?
    Yes you will have to use less combined weight with the dumbbells. You can do it sitting or standing, whichever you prefer. You can also OH Press using the smith, but you will most likely need to sit on a bench and do it sitting down.
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    With the smith you can do rack pulls instead of a deadlift, that's the only thing I can think of really. Same as a deadlift but you start with the bar at knee level, it won't work your hamstrings very well but you'll still get decent back involvement. You can set the lower limit thing to your knee height then grip the bar wide.
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    (Original post by Scipio)
    With the smith you can do rack pulls instead of a deadlift, that's the only thing I can think of really. Same as a deadlift but you start with the bar at knee level, it won't work your hamstrings very well but you'll still get decent back involvement. You can set the lower limit thing to your knee height then grip the bar wide.
    You could do it on one of those stepper things and do a full "deadlift" type movement.
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    You could use dumbbells for bulgarian split squats and overhead presses instead of using the smith machine.
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    Thanks for all the help, guys. Really appreciated.

    (Original post by Adonis)
    front squat

    deadlift is possible

    just do it very wide grip,
    Thanks! I know how to front squat - IIRC I can lift about 20% less on a front squat but it would be good for improving my balance - really helpful, thanks.
    In terms of doing it with the Smith machine - can I check - do I still want to face outwards so that the bar comes forward as I descend? I'm worried about balance at the bottom of the squat.

    (Original post by red_alerts)
    Why cant you OH press on a smith? Are you 7 foot tall?!
    Haha.
    Maybe I just got confused but the barbell didn't seem to allow itself to reach the floor, or go up much higher than my holding it with my elbows bent - the pulley thing was there but there was something in the way. Maybe it's a safety thing :dontknow:. Maybe it was me; will check this evening.

    (Original post by Chumbaniya)
    Back squatting is absolutely awful in the smith machine, but although I haven't tried it I gather front squats work better. If I remember correctly, you're a rower aren't you? Is it not possible to spend the time before uni starts again focusing more on plyometric exercises for power?

    The "freeweights are dangerous for girls" comment from the instructor leads me to an even lower opinion (if such a thing is possible after a "the power is all in your arms" comment from one showing a woman how to erg) of them in general.
    Nicely remembered - just graduated but am rowing casually with a club atm. Have done plyometric exercises before with my athletics club - interesting idea of incorporating them into my regime :yes:.
    And I think you're opinion would get even lower if you saw some of the exercises the instructors give some people to do at my gym. I couldn't believe it when I saw a girl doing bicep curls and shoulder shrugs with 2 kg weights under one guy's instruction.

    (Original post by SMed)
    Yeah, I went through the same ******** when finding a gym outside term time. All the council ones are crap and they have no barbells. I had to hunt around to find a suitable place.

    Sounds like an evil homo Smith Machine. Sorry.
    Glad you feel my pain. The worst thing is the fact that everyone stares at you if you actually exercise which is offputting. Actually no, the homo machine is worse. Or maybe the fact that they have every machine TWICE - once with weights, and the other with these 'resistance bands' - seriously, you can afford two lat pull down machines but not a single barbell? OK rant over. :p:
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    DW Sports fitnessss clubs are the best
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    I really do feel your pain OP:console: Since leaving uni I haven't been able to find a gym with a squat rack and it's been driving me crazy:banghead:
    None of the gyms I've found have a barbell either(apart from the ones attached to the smith machine :sigh:)

    It's so bad that I'm using my dad's weights which are limited to say the least.
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    I saw one of the instructors at the gym i've ended up at over the summer (the only one with a squat rack) talking with one of their friends. They said, deadly seriously, to the other "I think it's drugs". Then the instructor came over and said
    'what is that?'.
    Me - "Err it's chalk".
    Instructor - "What?"
    Me - "Chalk powder, for grip"
    Instructor - *still confused* ... oh sorry you're not allowed that kind of stuff here
    Me - *sigh* can I check with the manager please...

    :s:
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    Problem with deadlifts on a Smith machine, in my experience, is this (I'll try to explain it properly):

    Usually using a barbell, the knee is bent over the top of the bar and then when you lift the bar the knee straightens to allow the bar to travel up.

    Because the bar on a Smith machine is fixed, the bar (in its lowest position) is higher than it would be if it were a barbell sitting on the ground, so you can't get close enough to it to put your knee over it. When you then try to lift it you have to lift it not only vertically but slightly closer to you, putting pressure on your lower back which, of course, isn't good.
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    (Original post by Gazcobain)
    Problem with deadlifts on a Smith machine, in my experience, is this (I'll try to explain it properly):

    Usually using a barbell, the knee is bent over the top of the bar and then when you lift the bar the knee straightens to allow the bar to travel up.

    Because the bar on a Smith machine is fixed, the bar (in its lowest position) is higher than it would be if it were a barbell sitting on the ground, so you can't get close enough to it to put your knee over it. When you then try to lift it you have to lift it not only vertically but slightly closer to you, putting pressure on your lower back which, of course, isn't good.
    Yeah, I agree. Pulling with a Smith would be ****. But about the height issue; if you were elevated, this could help get the bar into the right position.

    Also, I think the Smith at my gym has a thick bar, which would make it even more ****. I can't remember, I've never used it.
 
 
 
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