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Body Solid SCB1000 Pro Club Line Counterbalanced Smith Machine review

By James Jackson
Last Updated on 8th July 2020

Since we're trying to encourage safer home workouts, most of the posts on our website are home smith machine reviews. But today, we have something a little different on the menu.

As evidenced by its 11 gauge steel construction and huge 453kg weight capacity, the Body Solid Pro Smith Machine is very much designed for commercial use. And while it's certainly popular among health clubs, universities and even fire and police departments, those seeking the most durable Smith machine for their home gyms will also enjoy the SCB1000.

man training his shoulder muscles
Pros
  • 11 gauge steel construction prevents the frame from wobbling
  • Huge 453kg weight capacity
  • Counterbalanced bar has a starting weight of just 2.7kg
  • 6 Olympic weight pegs keep your plates organised
  • Lifetime warranty
  • Reverse pitch design keeps your joints in their optimal position
  • Adjustable spotter catches enable you to leverage safety and stay in control of the weight at all times
Cons
  • Have to buy a bench and weights separately

Body Solid Pro Club Line Counterbalanced Smith Machine Facts and Figures

The Body-Solid Pro Club-Line Counter Balanced Smith Machine has a sleek, modern look. Its frame comprises of heavy-duty, 11 gauge steel, which is the strongest metal used in fitness equipment construction.

The club-quality bearings ensure that the full-sized Olympic barbell remains stable at all times while also gliding smoothly along the case-hardened guide rods. Unlike with cheaper Smith machines, you won't experience any friction while lifting on the SCB1000. As a result, you'll feel more tension on your muscles and less strain on your joints. It's the perfect recipe for long term muscle growth and bone health.

side view of a large weight training machine

This counterbalanced Smith machine has a starting weight of just 2.7kg (6lbs). If you're a beginner or are getting back into training after a layoff, you'll quickly feel at home on the SCB1000 Smith machine. The bar has a full 49" of gripping space thanks to the non-slip knurling, which enables you to always stay in control of the weight and avoid injury.

Yet advanced weightlifters will also appreciate the familiarity of having a commercial-quality Smith machine at their disposal. Capable of handling 453kg (1000lbs), the SCB1000 will keep you safe even on max effort sets. And with dual adjustable safety stops and 16 lockout points, it's like having your own personal spotter—but without the clumsiness.

  • Dimensions: 127cm L x 218cm W x 213cm H
  • Unit weight: 284kg
  • Weight capacity: 450kg
  • Type of bearings: precision linear bearings
  • Warranty: lifetime
  • Estimated assembly time: 3-6 hours
  • Price: Click for Lowest Price

Body Solid SCB1000 design

The first feature you'll notice on the SCB1000 is the 12-degree angle. This minor slant encourages natural movement patters by aligning your joints in their anatomically correct positions. What this means to you is that you're able to benefit from free weight-like exercises while also enjoying the safety of a Smith machine.

Likewise, you spend less time trying to find that "sweet spot" for every exercise—the SCB1000 puts you in the optimal position from the very start.

athletic male doing an incline press

As mentioned, the counterbalanced barbell has a starting weight of just 2.7kg. Aside from removing the guesswork over the bar weight, the low starting resistance opens up a treasure trove of isolation exercises that lend themselves to light weights. Without any extra equipment, you can do bicep curls, donkey kickbacks and yes, even lateral raises.

But as a keen weightlifter, the best feature, for me at least, is definitely the linear bearings. Not only do the guide rods permit the bearings a full 68" of unobstructed vertical travel, but they also make lifting feel incredibly fluid—at all weights.

Considering that the SCB1000 is roughly half the cost of the average commercial Smith machine, I'm surprised at how effective the workouts feel. Even when I lifted heavy, I didn't experience any sticking points during my reps. As a result, I was able to achieve a much more reliable mind-muscle connection, which will hopefully translate into more growth in the near future.

Since Body Solid has a reputation for making home gym equipment rather than commercial equipment, they can't charge as much as the big guys. That's great for us because we pay less. It means that we can spend money on extras like a good bench and weights, which I'll talk about later.

athletic man performing an upright row

The 6 Olympic storage pegs eliminate the need to fork out for bulky weight disc trees, which saves you a lot of space and money. Also, the storage pins enable you to keep your workout area tidy, which provides a safe training environment free from trip hazards. Ultimately, this setup means that you're far less likely to injure yourself.

And, if you enjoy doing supersets like me, then you'll find the storage pegs extremely handy for quickly changing the resistance. No more trekking halfway across the gym (or your garage) just to gather weight plates.

Body Solid SCB1000 build quality

Behind its sleek, modern appearance, the SCB1000's frame consists of highly durable 11 gauge steel. While most companies opt for cheaper 12 or 14 gauge steel to increase their bottom line, Body Solid uses only the toughest metals in their manufacturing.

As a result, the frame is exceptionally sturdy. Even while attempting to beat my previous max—and dropping the bar on the safety catches—there was no noticeable wobble. Aside from confirming that I made the right decision to invest in the SCB1000, the sturdiness gave me the confidence to push myself even harder. It's only a matter of time before this extra effort turns into muscle growth!

But if you think that's impressive, then wait until I tell you about the linear bearings.

man doing a decline bench press

Make no mistake. These aren't your standard linear bearings. Body Solid has bucked the trend and equipped their SCB1000 with recircuiting bearings to enable the bar to travel further. What this means for us is that we can build more muscle by taking full advantage of the benefits of full range of motion training.

Unlike other Smith machines, you do can squats, Romanian deadlifts and loads more exercises on the SCB1000 without being obstructed by the base.

Compared to regular linear bearings, recircuiting bearings also have 3x the weight capacity (hence the 450kg weight rating) and 27x the travel life. If you wondered how Body Solid can offer a lifetime warranty at no additional cost to us, this is how.

Body Solid SCB1000 safety features

Just like a well-designed workout routine hits your muscles from different positions, Body Solid tackles safety from three angles.

First, and most importantly, the adjustable safety catches enable you to dictate your own range of motion. This personalisation helps you to avoid injury while subconsciously allowing you to push yourself harder because you know that the safety stops will always have your back.

man doing heavy squats

Secondly, Body Solid guides us through how to use and assemble the machine as safely as possible. These instructions are helpful if you're new to working out or haven't constructed a Smith machine before because their guidelines will minimise your injury risk.

Lastly, there are pages of thoughtfully illustrated workout tips to get you started off on the right foot. Of course, this guide will help you to avoid injuries by using proper form [1]. But it also gives you the tools to create a personalised workout program to achieve the fastest and best results. Here's what you get.

  • A directory of key exercise terms
  • Detailed nutrition advice
  • How to choose the number of sets, resistance, rest periods, exercise order and more
  • Training tips for beginners
  • Common training mistakes to avoid
  • Creating your personalised program
  • Training tips for each muscle group
  • A place for you to record your fitness goals
  • A weight training exercise log
  • Stretching guidance with illustrations

Body Solid SCB1000 assembly

The Body-Solid Pro Club-Line Counter-Balanced Smith Machine comes in 3 packages:

  • Package 1: 221cm L x 80cm W x 22.5cm H
  • Package 2: 220cm L x 71cm W x 26cm H
  • Package 3: 124cm L x 51.5cm W x 26cm H

The instructions themselves are surprisingly clear. Why do I say surprising? Well, when you've set up as many Smith machines as I have, you start to expect poorly-translated Chinese as the default method of instruction. Not the case with Body Solid.

Each of the 6 steps is broken down into manageable sub-steps (A, B, C) to help you digest the instructions.

Body Solid includes a convenient ruler on each page so that you can measure the bolts and washers to avoid the hassle of using the wrong components. Likewise, they bold the parts that you need at every step to prevent any confusion. This slashes the assembly time, and yes, it makes you think why IKEA can't do the same.

Body Solid SCB1000 exercises

man training his biceps

This counterbalanced Smith machine has a silky smooth vertical carriage to ensure a fluid range of motion. Naturally, it's suited to a wide variety of exercises including:

  • Chest: decline press, flat press, incline press, reverse-grip press
  • Back: deadlifts, barbell rows, underhand rows, single-arm rows, inverted rows
  • Shoulders: military presses, upright rows, lateral raises, front raises
  • Arms: bicep curls, drag curls, close grip bench press, triceps extensions, forearm curls
  • Quads: back squats, front squats, hack squats, split squats, lunges, reverse lunges, step ups
  • Hamstrings: Romanian deadlifts, stiff-legged deadlifts, good mornings
  • Glutes: hip thrusts, glute bridges, donkey kicks, kneeling squats
  • Calves: standing calf raises, reverse calf raises, seated calf raises

If you want even more training variety—i.e. a full home gym—then you can check out our other Body Solid Smith Machine review. I own this gym as well and it's just great for building muscle.

However, if you're on a tight budget, then definitely check out our Powerline PSM144X review. It costs less than five hundred quid and is surprisingly high-quality for the price.

Body Solid SCB1000 workout routines

athletic man workout out his leg muscles inside

Here are some sample workout routines for you to get the most out of your counterbalanced Smith machine.

I've programmed antagonistic paired sets (A > Short Rest > B > Short Rest > Repeat) to save time and increase the cardiovascular demands of the workouts (gotta work those heart muscles too). [2]

Perform one set of exercise A, rest 30 seconds to a minute, perform a set of exercise B and then repeat for the prescribed number of sets.

Chest and back

This specialisation routine will expand your chest while adding both width and thickness to your back [3].

1A: Decline bench press — 4 x 6-8 reps

1B: Smith machine pull-ups — 4 x 6-8 reps

2A: Incline press — 4 x 10-12 reps

2B: Underhand rows — 4 x 10-12 reps

3A: Push-ups — 2 x 15-20 reps

3B: Inverted row — 2 x 15-20 reps

Upper body

A time-saving upper body routine for size and strength.

1A: Flat bench press — 4 x 6-8 reps

1B: Smith machine pull-ups — 4 x 6-8 reps

2A: Incline press — 4 x 10-12 reps

2B: Overhand rows — 4 x 10-12 reps

3A: Drag curls — 3 x 12-15 reps

3B: Triceps extensions — 3 x 12-15 reps

4A: Lateral raises — 3 x 15-20 reps

4B: Front raises —3 x 15-20 reps

Legs

A simple yet effective lower body workout for sleek, powerful legs.

1: Back squats — 4 x 6-8 reps

2: Romanian deadlifts — 4 x 6-8 reps

3: Reverse lunges — 3 x 12 reps

4: Standing calf raises — 4 x 8-10 reps

FAQ

How well does the bar glide up and down on the SCB1000?

Out of all the commercial Smith machines that I've tested the SCB1000 is the smoothest. There's no friction, and you can feel the muscles working immediately. This is the benefit of recircuiting linear bearings.

I often train alone. How easy is it to re-rack the bar if you get stuck?

The frame has 16 lockout points so re-racking the bar is exceptionally straightforward—just turn your wrist about 15 degrees. Plus, if you do get stuck, the safety catches will take the load since they're rated to over 453kg (1000lbs). Just remember to set them before you begin your set.

Will the SCB1000 tolerate heavy use in a commercial gym?

Absolutely. That's what it's designed for. The recircuiting bearings have more than 25 times the lifespan of regular linear bearings. So it'll definitely stand up to daily use in a commercial gym.

What bench should I get for my new Body Solid SCB1000? I'd like something adjustable.

man doing quad extensions

If durability is important to you, then I recommend getting the Body-Solid Flat/Incline/Decline Bench. It has a 272kg weight capacity, and like the SCB1000, it comes with a lifetime warranty. Best of all, its stable base will help you generate more power.

You can also adjust the back and seat pads across 8 positions, and you can even equip it with preacher curl and leg developer attachments for extra training variety. Essentially, this bench turns your Smith machine into a fully-fledged home gym.

I've just ordered my SCB1000 but forgot to buy floor protection. What do you recommend?

close up of a body power gym mat

Go for the Body Power Heavy Rubber Gym Mat because it's specifically designed for heavy-duty machines such as the SCB1000. At a weight of 42kg, it isn't your ordinary gym mat—it's a thick layering of protection.

What weight plates go best with the SCB1000?

100kg olympic weight set

Personally, I'd get the Body Power Tri-Grip Olympic Disc Kit. They're reasonably priced, comfortable to hold and are available in packages from 17.5kg to 165kg.

Should you invest in the Body Solid SCB1000?

The Body Solid SCB1000 Counter-Balanced Smith Machine is a commercial-quality workout station with a price tag that's affordable to many home workout enthusiasts.

It has the smoothest lifting motion of any Smith machine that I've tested (and I've tried a lot). You can feel your muscles working from the very first rep, and because there's no friction to irritate your joints, you naturally achieve a better pump and reduce your aches and pains.

This is great because, after all, we want our muscles to be sore, not our joints!

And while the SCB1000 isn't the cheapest product, I definitely think it's worth the investment if you're serious about getting results. With the addition of the Body-Solid FID Bench and its attachments, you practically have your own, personalised home gym.

I hope that my review gave you the information you were looking for. The link below will get you the lowest price and the fastest delivery. Thanks for reading!

Editor's Choice
Body Solid SCB1000 Pro Club Line Counterbalanced Smith Machine
man training his shoulder muscles
  • Unrivalled 453kg weight capacity
  • Reverse-pitch design places your joints in their optimal positions
  • Lifting motion is extremely smooth
  • Lifetime warranty on everything
  • Available at the lowest UK price until the end of 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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