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Body Power Smith Half Rack review and comparison with their 3 other Smith machines

By James Jackson
Last Updated on 17th August 2020
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Body Power Multi-Function
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free weight rack and workout machine
Body Power Smith Half Rack
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Body Power SHR + Weights
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Did you know that there are four different Body Power Smith machines on the market?

You probably knew about the Body Power Smith Half Rack already. But there are actually three other Smith machine systems from the same company. And let me tell you, they're quite different.

Since there's no one-size-fits-all approach to fitness, I decided to create individual home Smith machine reviews for each of their products so that you can uncover the differences between each model.

By the end of this roundup, you'll know the pros and cons of each Body Power Smith machine. You'll find out where to get the best price. And you'll learn how to pick the right one for your goals.

So let's get started.

1. Body Power Multi-Function Smith Machine with Half Rack & Dual Adjustable Pulley (most variety)

The Body Power Multi-Function Machine might well be a Smith machine by name, but take one look at its design, and you'll quickly realise that it's far from just a Smith machine in terms of features. For about the price of one and a half iPhones, you get a squat rack, Smith machine, cable crossover system, lat pulldown machine, low row station, chin-up station and dip handles.

And unlike a smartphone, you won't need to replace it every other year.

Design

big workout machine with a variety of training stations

The Smith machine station provides smooth, linear resistance and a hefty 250kg weight capacity, which ironically, is more than most so-called "commercial Smith machines" offer. Naturally, the fluid lifting motion enables you to develop a stronger mind-muscle connection and a more powerful pump, which in turn results in more muscle growth itself.

Similarly, having such a high weight capacity affords the Multi-Function Smith Machine an incredibly sturdy frame (much like the Maxxus Smith machine). This built-in sturdiness is great for increasing your strength because you don't need to worry about the machine wobbling under the strain of your one-rep max attempts.

The free weight rack offers all the same benefits as the Smith station—easy barbell re-racking, safe workouts thanks to the spotter catches and full-body training curtesy of the height-adjustable J-Hooks—but with a slightly lower 200kg weight rating.

However, the cable stations are where things really start to heat up. And if you enjoy bodybuilding as much as me, they'll make you salivate like a dog waiting for his bone. The plate-loaded pulley at the back of the machine provides resistance to the three cable stations and supports a whopping 250kg of weight plates. It's as if Body Power designed the Multi-Function Machine for a prime Ronnie Coleman.

large workout machine with many attachments and workout possibilities

I've reviewed close to 50 home gyms, including the popular BodyMax CF380 Smith Machine Multi Gym and not a single one provides anywhere near 250kg of resistance. But, then again, maybe that's because the average home workout enthusiast can't do 250kg lat pulldowns?

Anyway. Body Power divides the cable system into three sections: a fixed lat pulldown station, for broadening your lats and performing pushdowns; a cable row station, for thickening your back and building upper body muscle via curls, lateral raises, upright rows and other such exercises. Also, you get a dual adjustable pulley, for expanding your chest with cable crossovers and adding virtually limitless exercise variety to your workout routine.

side view of a weight training machine with many different workout stations

But besides lifting free weights and pumping up your muscles with machines, you can also use the Body Power Multi-Function Machine for performing bodyweight training. The built-in multi-grip pull-up station promotes complete back development by enabling you to hit your lats and traps from different angles. Yet you can also use the pull up handles (which easily support 265kg) to sculpt a more defined six-pack by performing hanging leg raises.

Similarly, the height-adjustable dip station allows you to add mass to your chest, shoulders and triceps by performing what's often referred to as the upper body squat—bodyweight dips. But with a sturdy 200kg weight rating, you can also strap on a dipping belt and do them weighted to add even more size to your pushing muscles.

Build quality

One thing's for sure. The Body Power Multi-Function Smith Machine is sturdy. It's rare to find a home Smith machine that supports 200kg of resistance, nevermind 250kg!

a comprehensive strength training machine with various attachments and exercise options

What this means to you is that you can confidently test the limits of your strength because you know that the 234kg frame won't wobble around and cause you to be overcautious. It's just as durable as the Primal Strength Commercial Monster Rack System but much cheaper.

And when you're done lifting, you don't have to worry about placing the bar down gently (not least because there's no eagle-eyed gym staff watching your every move) because the J-Cups that hold the barbell have a textured rubber surface, enabling them to absorb the impact of your barbell re-racking.

Safety features

The Body Power Multi-Function Machine is useful if you often train alone like me because it has 12 lockout points that enable you to re-rack the bar at any point during a rep with a simple wrist turn.

Yet even if you're training in the free weight rack, you still won't need a spotter because the adjustable safety bars will catch the weight if you fail on a rep. This built-in safety gives you the peace of mind to push your muscles to failure, and hence, stimulate faster growth because you know that the safety catches have always got your back (even if your spotter hasn't).

Pros
  • Replaces more than 7 different gym machines
  • Sturdy Smith bar supports 250kg of resistance
  • Squat rack has adjustable safety catches so you can train without a spotter
  • Pulleys can hold 250kg of weight plates
  • Comes with a built-in pull-up station and dipping handles to develop your bodyweight strength
Cons
  • Doesn't come with a bench or weights
  • Expensive

2. Body Power Smith Half Rack (best budget choice)

If you're on the market for a home gym that provides the most bang for your buck—that is, the most features for the lowest price—then the Body Power Smith Half Rack is a highly-rated, reliable choice. It comes with a squat rack, Smith machine, pull up station, dip handles, landmine attachment, resistance band pegs, suspension trainer attachment and four weight plate holders.

It's faster and easier to install than the Multi-Function machine that I reviewed above, while also being less than half the price.

Design

free weight rack and workout machine

The Smith half Rack is essentially an upgraded version of the Body Power Compact Smith Machine. And by upgraded, I mean better in every conceivable way. For example, the previous version was basically just a Smith machine and nothing else—which is fine, but it wasn't much of a home gym.

The Smith Half Rack, on the other hand, is more of a home gym than it is a Smith machine because, with it, your exercise possibilities are virtually limitless.

Anyway. Let's start with the Smith station since that's probably why you're here. The Smith bar comes engraved with durable knurling that enables you to maintain a safe, firm grip on the bar and thus increase your pushing strength by generating more tension.

Better still, the barbell provides a smooth, fluid range of motion that makes achieving a pump ridiculously easy, and which also keeps your joints out of trouble, thus enabling you to recover quicker.

But if you want complete control over the bar's range of motion, then you can train inside the squat rack and use its adjustable J-Cups to perform a variety of upper and lower body exercises, which collectively, will lead to a proportional, muscular physique.

a barbell resting in a gym rack

And if you want to make lifting free weights even harder, you can create variable resistance by hooking up some bands to the steel pegs that reside on the frame's base. Not only does this kind of training provide a mind-blowing muscle pump, but it also improves your lockout strength on exercises like squats, and especially on the bench press.

Yet if you want to test and develop your bodyweight strength, you can do that too. The integrated pull-up station offers all manner of grip options. You can use these grips for building a complete back, developing your lower abs with hanging leg raises and even trying your hand at muscle-ups [1].

Similarly, the height-adjustable dipping station offers a convenient and safe way to add mass to your pushing muscles while simultaneously developing your bodyweight strength.

The landmine attachment is a unique piece of gym equipment that you don't usually find on Smith machines. But thanks to the Half Smith's stable base, Body Power can integrate one without compromising the unit's stability. It's useful for a wide variety of functional training movements. But my personal favourite landmine exercise is heavy t-bar rows, which are virtually unbeatable for adding thickness to your back.

Build quality

Although some users experienced minor movement during pull-ups, which is normal for a machine this compact, all of the buyers agreed that the Body Power Smith Half Rack is solid, stable and well worth the money.

bodybuilder doing a shoulder press

Like the Multi-Function machine, the Smith Half Rack comes with bar holders that have a textured rubber surface, thus preventing them from chipping, while also reducing the impact as you re-rack the barbell.

Naturally, this cushioned design also limits the noise, which might not seem like a huge benefit. But if you've got people living next door to you like I do, some noise reduction allows you to enjoy your home workouts without setting off your grouchy, non-lifting neighbours.

The 3-year warranty is another excellent advantage of going with a British brand like Body Power because the average Smith machine warranty, based on over 50 reviews, is only 1-2 years.

Related post: BodyMax CF484/CF680T Deluxe Smiths System

Safety features

As with every Body Power product that I've personally tested, the Smith Half rack has safety built into every workout station.

On the Smith machine, which has 12 lockout points, you can re-rack the bar at absolutely any point during a rep with a small wrist turn, making it ultra-convenient if you usually train alone like me.

And you can sack your spotter now (if you have one) because the free weight rack provides inbuilt safety catches that enable you to push yourself to the limit without worrying about having to re-rack the barbell. If you fail on the rep, the adjustable safety stoppers have you covered. And they're much more dependable than your average meathead spotter if you ask me [2].

Pros
  • Smith bar provides a frictionless lifting motion so you can get a better workout
  • Squat rack has adjustable safety stoppers so that you can train safely
  • Comes with a pull-up station so you can add muscle to your back
  • Includes dipping handles to improve your chest, triceps and shoulders
  • Easy to install
  • Three years warranty
Cons
  • Doesn't come with weights or a bench by default
  • Some minor movement while doing pull-ups

3. Body Power Smith Half Rack with Bench and 135Kg Weight Set (best for free weight training)

If you're looking to invest in a reliable home gym that'll last as long as your lifting career, then the Body Power Smith Half Rack with Bench is one of the best value choices available in the UK.

It comes with everything the standalone Smith Half Rack does—squat rack, Smith machine, pull-up station, dip handles, band pegs, landmine and suspension trainer attachments—but also includes an adjustable bench and a 135kg Olympic weight set.

Design

a strength training system with a barbell and weights

This product comes with everything I just mentioned in my Body Power Smith Half Rack review. So to avoid repetition, let's dive straight into the bench and weights.

Body Power includes their popular Heavy Duty Utility Bench (BPBEHDUB) to add another dimension to your workouts. Like the Smith machine itself, this heavy-duty bench is rated for a hefty 250kg and is constructed from damage-resistant steel so that you can lift heavy to grow.

As with any top-tier weight bench, the Heavy Duty Utility Bench has a multitude of adjustable angles, including decline, flat, incline (multiple) and upright. Collectively, these adjustments enable you to develop a more proportional physique because you can work your muscles from different angles, and therefore, recruit the maximum number of fibres.

The bench measures 130cm L x 81cm W x 82cm H and comes with a convenient handle and transport wheels for quick repositioning. Obviously, this is incredibly useful because it means that you don't have to strain your lower back and biceps by trying to move the sturdy 35kg bench yourself!

As for the weights, you get a 135kg set that consists of a 20kg Olympic barbell, quick lock collars for safer training and 115kg of plates: 4 x 20kg, 2 x 10kg, 2 x 5kg and 2 x 2.25kg. This is plenty of weight for me and it should be enough for most people. But if you need extra weight plates, then you've got plenty of choices because the bar is compatible with any 2" discs [3].

Build quality

Again, I'm going to focus on the build quality of the bench and weights because I've covered the main unit in my earlier Body Power Smith Half Rack review.

resistance training device with a bench and weights

As mentioned, the adjustable bench is rated for a solid 250kg and enjoys a heavy-duty gauge steel construction for greater stability. Naturally, this built-in stability means that you can lift heavier—and lift in confidence—because the bench won't shift around as you press the barbell, row the dumbbell or lift whatever else you might use your new bench for. Like the central unit, it comes with a three-year warranty.

The Olympic weights are exactly what you'd expect from something made from dense metal—durable and sturdy. However, just as importantly, the weights are accurate, and the plates are finished to a high standard, giving them an air of commercial-quality.

But best of all the weights have inbuilt tri-grips. So it's really easy to load the plates on the bar, even when your biceps are fatigued.

Safety features

As you'll already know if you read my Body Power Smith Half Rack review, this home gym comes with a lot of integrated safety features.

strength training system with a bench and barbell

For one, there are 12 lockout points on the Smith station, making it ridiculously easy to re-rack the barbell, even if you've reached the point of muscular failure.

Moreover, the squat rack comes with adjustable safety catches so that you can perform heavy barbell exercises without needing a clumsy spotter to watch over you. So next time you go for a new max, you'll know that it was YOU who got that new PR—not someone else's biceps.

Also, since the weights have tri-grips, they're much less likely to fly out of your hands than those cumbersome, traditional weight discs. As a result, you'll avoid painful foot injuries, and your vocabulary will be much much cleaner.

Pros
  • Smith bar provides smooth resistance and offers a high weight capacity
  • Squat rack bar holders and safety catches have a textured rubber surface to reduce impact and noise
  • Comes with 4 weight plate storage posts
  • Adjustable bench has decline, incline, flat and upright positions
  • Weights have convenient tri-grips for easy carrying
Cons
  • Not always in stock due to high demand

4. Body Power Smith Half Rack with Bench (best if you already have weights)

This home gym package is similar to the one above, except it only comes with the adjustable bench, making it a top choice for those who already have weights at home.

Design

This Half Rack Smith Machine package is virtually the same as the one above (minus the weights) so I won't bore you with the repetitive details.

However, it's a fair bit cheaper than the bench and weight combo. So if you already have some weights lying around, then this home gym might be the best option for you.

Just note that you'll need 2" Olympic discs because 1" standard plates aren't compatible with any of the Body Power Smith machines.

Build quality

a strength training system with a barbell and weights

If you invest in this package deal, you'll get the same heavy-duty weight bench (BPBEHDUB) featured above.

The adjustable bench has a sizeable 250kg weight rating like the Smith machine and also comes with padded upholstery so that your joints remain comfortable even when your muscles are on fire.

Again, this extra comfort enables you to push yourself harder because your mind isn't preoccupied with a lack of spinal support or uncomfortable angles. Both the seat and backrest are fully adjustable, so you can also find the most comfortable position for your height and build.

Safety features

As with Body Power's other Smith machines, this home gym package includes a variety of safety features to keep us out of harm's way.

The squat rack comes equipped with adjustable safety stoppers that stick out much further than the bar hooks. So even if you reach the point of muscular failure and can't re-rack the barbell, you don't have to panic because the safety catches will get you out of trouble by taking the weight.

Pros
  • Smith machine has 12 safety lockout points and offers a fluid bar path for better muscle activation
  • Squat rack has adjustable safety catches so that you can train independently at home
  • 250kg-rated adjustable bench offers countless angles
  • Weight bench has a handle and convenient transport wheels so that you don't hurt yourself trying to lift it
  • 3-year warranty
Cons
  • Need to buy weights separately
  • Not always in stock

Which Body Power Smith Machine should you invest in?

Overall, Body Power is an excellent British brand that produces some of the most durable, high-weight capacity Smith machines on the UK market. Considering that many so-called commercial Smith machines have lower ratings, Body Power is offering a great deal for those of us who train at home, especially at the current low prices.

But which is most worth it?

If you're on the market for a solid all-around home gym and want to buy your weights and bench separately, then I recommend going for the standard Body Power Smith Half Rack. It comes with a 250kg-capacity Smith machine, a squat rack, multi-grip pull-up station, adjustable dip handles and more—all while costing less than the average standalone Smith machine.

If you want the full package, then I recommend investing in the Body Power Smith Half Rack with Bench and 135kg Weight Set. It has all of the above but also comes with a heavily-padded adjustable bench that has decline, flat, incline and upright angles, enabling you to achieve complete chest and upper body development.

But if cable training's your thing, then the Body Power Multi-Function Smith Machine is also a sound option. It includes the main Smith Half Rack unit but also comes with 3 integrated cable stations that support up to 250kg of resistance. However, it doesn't come with weights or a bench, so it's probably not the most economical choice unless you're dead set on having cables.

Editor's Choice
Body Power Smith Half Rack
free weight rack and workout machine
  • Frictionless lifting motion
  • Adjustable safety catches for testing your strength without a spotter
  • Solid 3-year warranty
  • Built-in pull-up and dipping stations to maximise your bodyweight strength development
  • Offered at rock-bottom UK pricing during October 2020

 

James Jackson
I'm a former academy rugby union player who specialises in strength and conditioning for competitive athletes. I split my time between coaching the next generation of British talent and creating hands-on gym equipment case studies at Smith Machine UK.
At Smith Machine UK, we create in-depth tests of the latest and greatest gym equipment on the British market so that you can create your dream home gym.
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