Smith Machine Bar Weight – Planet Fitness + others

A Smith machine is a piece of equipment used for weight training that has a barbell fixed inside a set of steel rails, allowing it to only move vertically or nearly vertically up and down.


A Smith machine’s barbell has two rotating hooks, one on each side, that allow you to lock the bar in place along a number of lockout points. This gives you the option to start with the bar at various heights and gives the lifter some measure of safety because they can quickly lock the bar to stop an exercise.

A Smith machine’s main goal is to remove the need for bar stabilization from the situation. This not only helps beginners who might struggle with stability with free weight barbell exercises, but it also enables you to focus in on the key muscles that each exercise targets.

smith machine woman

For instance, you can concentrate on your quads and glutes while performing back squats without worrying about your balance, leaning too far forward, or falling back.

The fact that most Smith machines have lower starting weights than an Olympic barbell is another intriguing aspect of the machine. The weight of an Olympic barbell is always 45 pounds, with the exception of women’s Olympic barbells.

The weight of the bar with a Smith machine can range from 6 to 45 pounds (although 15 to 25 pounds is the typical Smith machine at a for-profit gym).

The Smith machine’s construction determines the weight difference.

All Smith machines will have a fixed barbell and safety hooks, but some also use a counterbalance mechanism, which varies in how much it is counterbalanced, as well as the angle of the rail and bar material.

It is clear that you are reading this article to learn more about Smith machine bar weights, so let’s dive in and examine how they vary among sellers and discuss how to determine how heavy the Smith machine bar you are currently using is.

Read our post on the Best Smith Machines available today in case you’re in the market for one.


Let’s be very clear about this. A Smith machine barbell should NOT be standardized in terms of weight. It differs from an Olympic barbell, which is universally standardized at 45 pounds (20kg).

As a result, depending on the specific Smith machine you are using, the starting weight of a bar (defined as the bar only, without plates) will vary.

Fortunately, we are here to assist you in learning the bar weight of the most common types of Smith machines as well as how you can quickly measure the weight if the Smith machine you are using is different from the ones we cover here.

Check around the machine first because the bar weight is frequently labeled on the side of Smith machines. If not, check the manufacturer’s website for the Smith machine you are using to see if the barbell weight is listed; many do.


Just as crucial as knowing the weight of a regular barbell (which most of us know by heart) or dumbbells is knowing the weight of the Smith machine you are using.

You must be aware of your weight, including the bar, if you want to progressive overload (increase your weight by a certain percentage or increments each week/session).

Additionally, choosing your starting weight for any exercise requires knowing the actual weight of the bar.

For instance, knowing the weight of the Smith machine barbell will help you decide how much extra weight to load on the bar if you can perform shoulder presses with a 40-pound dumbbell. 

It really is that easy. Knowing how much you are lifting is important if you enjoy lifting accurately, which is necessary for progress.

You need to know the weight of the Smith machine bars to know exactly how much weight you are lifting because they can weigh anywhere from 6 to 40 lbs.


The bar material, counterbalances, and angle of rails—although the angle of the rail doesn’t significantly affect the weight off the bar—are the causes of the significant variations in bar weight.

Smith machine bars can weigh anywhere between 6 and 45 pounds, but the typical range at most commercial gyms is between 15 and 25 pounds.

Many Smith machine bars are made of a different type of steel than an Olympic bar.

Olympic bars are constructed from high-strength steel because they must be able to withstand significant pressure without bending (or with flex).

An Olympic bar has a higher tensile strength, which also increases the weight of the bar.

Smith machine bars don’t require the same tensile strength to carry the same amount of weight because they have additional support from the clamps, bearings, and slides.

So while a Smith machine bar is typically a little lighter than a barbell, it’s not as if a smith machine can’t support the same weight.

Smith Machine Bar Weight

The majority of industrial Smith machines have a 600-1000lb max capacity, which is right on par with Olympic barbells.With the exception of a few less expensive residential style Smith machines that have 1 inch sleeves, the barbell size is the same as an Olympic bar.

Like an Olympic barbell, any commercial Smith machine will have 2 inch sleeves. In some cases, smith machines even employ an Olympic barbell.

In conclusion, because they don’t require the same tensile strength as an Olympic barbell, most Smith machine bars are typically a little lighter.

The weight of the bar, if removed from the Smith machine, would be between 25 and 40 lbs. for the majority. After that, you can add in the bearings, clamps, and hooks, which could add a few more pounds.

However, some Smith machines use counterbalances, and if they have this feature, they can make the machine work as though the bar weighs less even if it does.


The Smith machines at Planet Fitness will have the bar weight written on the side of the machine. So, you can just have a look, but they should range from 15-20lbs.

Note: Some PF gyms may have heavier bars, as we’ve seen members claim their Planet Fitness gym’s Smith machine weighs 35lbs.


A commercial Smith machine with a counterbalanced barbell will be available at LA Fitness. The majority of LA Fitness gyms have a Smith machine with a 15–25 lb. bar weight.


There is a Smith machine model made by Hammer Strength that is sold commercially and can be found in gyms all over the world.

Their Smith machine has a counterbalance system that sets the bar’s starting weight at 20 pounds (9 kilograms), with a maximum capacity of 650 pounds, and a 7 degree bar path angle.

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James Baller
James Baller
James is owner of He currently works as a personal trainer and senior coach at Baller Circuit. His main mission is to inspire people to relentlessly pursue their sport goals. He believes staying in shape has an overall positive effect on body, mind, and spirit.

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