A Smith machine bar usually weighs between 20 to 30 lbs (9-13 kg). But the weights vary by brand and can weigh as low as 13 lbs (6 kg) or up to 45 lbs (20 kg).
Don’t miss the table below with the most popular Smith machine bar model weights. I also share the weights of Smith machines at the most popular gyms.
For example, the weight of Smith machine bars at Planet Fitness is 25 or 30 lbs (11-13 kg). They use two Smith machine brands: Precor, whose bar weighs 25 lbs, and Hammer Strength, which weighs 30 lbs (13 kg).
The starting weight of my local Planet Fitness Smith machine bar is 25 lbs (11 kg).
Read on to learn more about:
- The weights of the top Smith machine bars
- The weights of Smith Machine bars at popular gyms
- How to determine the weight of your Smith machine bar
- Factors to help you estimate a Smith machine bar weight
- The importance of using the correct weight in weightlifting
Weight of 13 Popular Smith Machine Bars
Here is a table of the most used Smith machines and the weight of each bar in pounds and kilograms. 99% of people will be using a Smith machine on this list.
|Anything Sports||13 lbs / 6 kgs|
|Valor Fitness||18 lbs / 8 kgs|
|Life Fitness||20 lbs / 9 kgs|
|Precor||25 lbs / 11 kgs|
|Body-Solid||25 lbs / 11 kgs|
|Hammer Strength||30 lbs / 13 kgs|
|Mikolo||35 lbs / 16 kgs|
|Marcy||36 lbs / 16 kgs|
|Titan Fitness||45 lbs / 20 kgs|
|Force USA||45 lbs / 20 kgs|
|Nautilus||45 lbs / 20 kgs|
Most popular gyms use one of these bars, and these are the most popular Smith machines used in home gyms.
However, I will go over the weight of the Smith machine bar at the most popular commercial gyms.
Curious how to squat properly on a Smith machine? Check out our article, Smith Machine Squat: How To, Pros, Cons, & Mistakes To Avoid
Smith Machine Bar Weights at Popular Gyms
|Planet Fitness||15-20 lbs||Commercial|
|LA Fitness||15-25 lbs||Commercial|
|Gold’s Gym||20 lbs||Commercial|
|Anytime Fitness||45 lbs||Commercial|
|Crunch Fitness||12 lbs||Commercial|
|Hammer Strength||20 lbs||Commercial|
Planet Fitness Smith Machine
The Smith machine bar weight at each Planet Fitness location ranges from 25-30 lbs because they use Precor (25 lbs) and Hammer Strength (30 lbs) machines.
My local Planet Fitness uses a Precor Smith machine, so the bar weighs 25 lbs.
LA Fitness Smith Machine
Most LA Fitness locations use Life Fitness equipment. The bar on their Smith machines weighs 20 lbs.
I know LA Fitness also has Hammer Strength equipment, so I believe some locations use that. The Hammer Strength Smith machine bar weight is 30 lbs.
Gold’s Gyms use Life Fitness equipment for their Smith machines. Their bars weigh 20 lbs.
Can you deadlift on a Smith machine? Yes, read our article, Smith Machine Deadlift, to learn more.
Most Anytime Fitness locations use Life Fitness Smith machines, so that bar weighs 20 lbs. Some locations use Hammer Strength, so that bar weighs 30 lbs.
I spoke to staff members at a few Anytime Fitness locations. Smith machines are not available at every location. At the locations that do have Smith machines, they only use a few models.
Many Smith machines that I have seen at Crunch Fitness are Nautilus brand, with the bar weighing 45 lbs.
Home Gym Smith Machine
It is safe to say your bar will be between 13-45 lbs for an at-home Smith machine.
My recommendation for a home gym is the Nautilus Smith machine. The counterbalanced bar weighs 45 lbs, which is the same weight as an Olympic barbell but has a 12 lb take-off weight. Beginners and veteran lifters can both see benefits from this bar. The 7-degree angle of the rails enhances squats and bench presses.
How to Determine the Weight of Your Smith Machine Bar
Weighing the Bar Using a Scale
Place a tall, hard box underneath the bar path. Place your scale on the box and release the bar clamps off the supports. Carefully rest the bar on the scale; that reading will be the bar weight.
You can also stand on a scale with the unloaded bar on your back. Subtract your body weight from that reading, which will be the bar weight.
Checking the Manufacturer’s Specifications
The brand of Smith machine you are using will be somewhere on the machine. A lot of times, the brand will be on the crossbar of the machine across the top. The manufacturer will have details online about the machine's dimensions, specifically the bar's weight.
Most commercial gyms will also have the weight listed on the machine. For example, the Planet Fitness Smith machine bar weight is on a sticker on the side of the machine.
Asking a Gym Staff Member
This is the quickest and easiest way to find out the weight of a Smith machine bar. A gym staff member should know how much their equipment weighs. If they don’t know the weight, you have the previous two options to know how heavy the Smith machine bar is.
Factors That Affect the Weight of a Smith Machine Bar
Material Used in Manufacturing
Smith machine bars are made of steel. However, the type of steel used with a Smith machine is much lighter than a traditional free-weight Olympic barbell, which weighs 45 lbs. Smith machines have a hook on either side of the bar to latch onto the steel beams. Because the bar has support from the outer steel beams, there is less bending stress on the bar than an Olympic barbell.
The bar cannot withstand as much force with less bending stress and holds less tensile strength. Therefore, the steel of a Smith machine bar will weigh less than a traditional barbell.
Length and Diameter of the Bar
Most Smith machine bars are 1” in diameter, while an Olympic barbell is 2” in diameter. Smith machines cannot fit full-size Olympic weight plates on the bar unless you have an adapter like this one from Amazon because of the smaller diameter.
Want to know how much barbells weigh? Check out our article How Much Does a Barbell Weigh? To learn about the weight of 14 different types of bars.
Angle of the Rails
The angle of the steel rails changes how much the bar will weigh. Most residential Smith machine rails are vertical, while most commercial machines at gyms have a slight incline of 7-12 degrees. The more vertical the bar path is on the rails, the more you will feel the full weight of the bar.
That is one reason why many residential Smith machine bars at home gyms feel heavier than commercial ones. You will find most Smith machine bars at gyms are typically between 20-30 lbs, but home gym bars can weigh up to 45 lbs like a free-weight barbell.
A counterbalanced Smith machine bar acts as a balancing scale. There is a set of weights on one side of the Smith machine, and the bar is on the other side of the machine. This is intended to make the bar weigh less. If the bar weighs 20 lbs and the weights on the other side of the machine are 10 lbs, the bar will feel like it weighs 10 lbs.
Brand and Model
Commercial Smith machines are made from cheaper materials and typically have a smaller fixed barbell than residential machines. Most residential Smith machines will typically have a pulley system and cable attachments to allow for many different workouts.
One of the key differences between residential and commercial Smith machines is that most commercial-grade Smith machines, like those at gyms like Planet Fitness or LA Fitness, have a counterbalance.
Importance of Using the Correct Weight in Weightlifting
Safety concerns exist for you and the equipment if you are not training properly. For example, the Hammer Strength Smith Machine has a maximum weight of 650 lbs. If you exceed that weight doing a Smith machine squat variation, you could put yourself at risk of injury and damage to the machine.
Achieving Desired Results in Training
Knowing the bar's weight you are using will help you pick a more accurate weight for your workouts. If you do a seated overhead press with 95 lbs with an Olympic bar and want to do it on a Smith Machine bar, you would have to add more weight to the bar since Smith Machine bars are lighter.
Check out some Arnold press alternatives you can use on a Smith Machine.
Avoiding Injury and Promoting Longevity in Weightlifting
Weight training can lead to injury if done incorrectly. Lifting too heavy weight with poor form can lead to strains, sprains, or tears. Using weight that is inappropriate for you could also be holding you back from achieving muscular development.
Your body will thank you if you use the correct weight in weightlifting. Knowing the weight of gym equipment will promote long-term muscle growth because you can correctly and safely progressively overload your lifts.
Learn more about how to do a split squat on a Smith machine.
Frequently Asked Questions
Can You Do Hip Thrusts On A Smith Machine?
You can do hip thrusts on a Smith machine. Smith Machine hip thrusts are a great alternative to barbell or dumbbell hip thrusts. Perform the exercise just as you would with the bar across your lap.
If you want to learn about the best variations of a barbell hip thrust, check out this article 9 Best Barbell Hip Thrust Alternatives (With Pictures).
What Is The Best Smith Machine To Use?
The best Smith machine is the Nautilus Leverage Smith Machine. The counterbalanced bar weighs 45 lbs, so it will be the most accurate bar to an Olympic bar. The rails are at a 7-degree angle for more optimal biomechanics during lifts. There are adjustable safety catches to make sure you will always be safe using this machine.
Why Does a Smith Machine Bar Feel Lighter?
Many Smith machine bars use a counterbalance system, making the bar lighter. A set of weights on the machine acts against the weight of the bar, balancing it out. That counterbalance will make the bar feel much lighter, usually around 20 lbs.
Should I Count The Weight Of A Smith Machine Bar?
Yes, count the weight of a Smith machine bar in your total. A Smith machine is just like a free-weight barbell where you count the weight of the bar. It's important to note which brand you are using so you stay consistent with the weight that you are counting.
Final Thoughts: How Heavy is a Smith Machine Bar?
So, to wrap up, how much does a Smith machine bar weigh?
Smith machine bar weights will vary, but you should expect the average weight of your Smith machine bar to be 20 lbs to 30 lbs. Asking a gym staff member or checking the manufacturing details will be the easiest way to find out the bar's weight. It's important to know the weight of your Smith machine bar to achieve your goals while remaining safe.
About the Author
Jake Woodruff has an MS in Sports Medicine from the University of Pittsburgh. He is currently a strength and conditioning sports performance coach at a private Pittsburgh facility. He is a former college athlete and currently plays semi-pro soccer. You can connect with him on Instagram.