The reason is this piece only allows movement in a fixed plane of motion. Choosing to do a squat exercise in a power rack versus a Smith machine may seem inconsequential as they appear to be similar pieces of workout equipment. But in today’s world the squat can be handled in various different ways, most specifically the Smith Machine vs free form on the power rack. I don't use all of the gadgets on it, but I like the pullup bars and the cables. They both are large weightlifting racks that hold an Olympic barbell. A few years ago, I got a fantastic deal on an older Weider Tech 8.5 home gym. How does a Smith machine differ from a power rack? No weight lifted on any machine is the same as using free weights. How does a Smith machine differ from a power rack? A Smith machine holds a barbell in a fixed vertical path. The user may move the barbell up and down but cannot remove it from the machine. The most obvious benefit of the hack squat is that you can perform it when you don’t have a squat rack available to you. Turning a Smith machine into a squat rack? My biggest problem with the Smith Machine is that people are convinced they are still doing free weight movements when they perform exercises on the Smith Machine. In some cases, the Smith machine itself has a counterweight that reduces the weight of the bar, and often there is no way to know by how much. The user may move the barbell up and down but cannot remove it from the machine. A power rack, also known as a squat rack, contains a rack that the free bar is placed upon. Smith Machines, Power Racks, and Squat Racks help you to perform powerful exercises using heavy weights in a controlled and safe manner. This is because the average weight of the bar on the smith machine is around 15pounds; whereas the average weight of the bar used for free weights is around 45 pounds. If you are performing Squats with squat racks, be assured you are picking up more weight than the smith machine. The squat is an exercise that makes up the bedrock of any serious lifter in the fitness world – especially bodybuilders. Because an Olympic bar is attatched to the machine does not make this a free weight piece. A power rack, also known as a squat rack, contains a rack that the free bar is placed upon. Reeplex have combined a functional trainer with a counter-balanced commercial smith barbell added a squat rack with spotter arms and designed a clever pulley system all in one compact amazing machine. Unlike the barbell squat, the Smith machine squat should not be trained with very heavy loads relative to overall strength. Reeplex Alpha CBT-PL Functional Trainer / Smith Machine & Squat Rack is the ultimate all in one trainer. In all cases, less effort is required to stabilize the weight, making the lift easier. 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