Smith Machine vs. Barbell

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What is the actual difference in weight you are actually lifting between a smith machine and a free weight barbell?

Smith Machine vs. Barbell

Most Smith machines are counterbalanced, which means the bar is not weighted and you are lifting only the weight of the plates. A standard Olympic free weight barbell weighs 20 kg (44 lb). In this case the free weight exercise would be 44 lb heavier. With Smith machines that are not counterbalanced in this way, it would depend on the weight of the bar. Try the Smith machine bar without weight plates to see how it feels.

   

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