So today I did something I am not sure I ever tried doing before, deadlifting on a smith machine. There is a reason this is not done on a regular basis, it’s far less effective than doing a freestanding barbell deadlift on the floor. With a smith machine the up and down geometry of the bar travel path is fixed in place, disallowing the slight curve the bar will follow when doing deadlifts normally. The smith machine also has safety catches which even when put to their lowest position suspend the bar a good 6-8 inches higher than it would be on the floor. Finally, these same safety catches have big rubber bumpers on the top of them so if you do not make an effort to really control the descent of the bar you wind up bouncing the reps which is a waste.
So despite these many shortcomings I did three sets on the Smith, topping out at a less than impressive 345 pounds for two reps. I have to say even working within the constraints of the machine I could feel my muscles getting worked in a way they haven’t been touched since the last time I deadlifted at Retro sometime in 2016. I think I will try to keep awkward deadlifts in my lower body routine as long as I can get access to an open smith. When a gym has literally no barbells like Planet Fitness you gotta do what you gotta do.
5 minutes cardio/stretching
15 chin ups
Smith squat – 135lbs x 10, 185lbs x 8, 295lbs x 5
Smith deadlift – 205lbs x 10, 295lbs x 5, 345lbs x 2
Seated leg extension – 130lbs x 12
Seated leg curl 120lbs x 12
Leg press calf raise – 250lbs x 12