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Exigo Smith Machine: How this underrated British brand could level up your commercial gym

By James Jackson
Last Updated on 8th July 2020

Here at Smith machine UK, we make it our mission to shine the light on British fitness companies who create safe, durable gym equipment that also provides an effective workout for those who use it.

Today, we're shining the spotlight on Exigo. They're a well-known maker of strength, cardio and boxing gear, and they're also the UK's largest manufacturer of commercial gym equipment.

Unlike other companies, Exigo uses British steel and employs British welders and fabricators to produce its product line, which now consists of over 300 pieces of fitness equipment.

Exigo's story of humble garage beginnings in 1995, to their 25,000 square foot manufacturing facility in the present day is impressive, to say the least. But how do Exigo's two Smith machines stack up against their impressive resumé?

Let's find out.

Exigo Smith Machine facts and figures

Exigo Smith Machine (5 degree)

exigo smith machine with weights on the bar
  • Dimensions: 118cm L x 201.5cm W x 227.2cm H
  • Unit weight: 145kg
  • Weight capacity: 453kg
  • Type of bearings: linear
  • Lockout points: 9
  • Warranty: lifetime on frame, 2 years on bearings, 1 year on pins, handles and end caps
  • Price: Click for Lowest Price

Exigo Smith Machine (Counter Balance 5 Degree)

exigo counter balance
  • Dimensions: 141cm L x 201.7cm W x 237.1cm H
  • Unit weight: 205kg
  • Weight capacity: 453kg
  • Type of bearings: linear
  • Lockout points: 9
  • Warranty: lifetime on frame, 2 years on bearings, 1 year on pins, handles and end caps
  • Price: Click for Lowest Price

Design

The Exigo Smith Machine (5 degree) makes workouts more productive by providing a 5-degree slant that pre-aligns your joints in their biomechanically-correct positions. Naturally, this positioning spares your joints from excessive stress because the bar path mimics that of free weights by arcing backwards as you lock out each rep.

This design also makes the Exigo Smith Machine a solid choice for gym owners who want to give their members a stepping stone between traditional gym machines and full-on free weight training.

exigo barbell adjustments

Despite being the most durable Smith machine on the UK market, and hence, popular among serious strength training gyms, the Exigo 5 Degree is still remarkably easy to use.

Having 9 steel lockout points enables the Exigo 5 Degree to help beginners learn the proper form in a safe environment, while simultaneously allowing advanced lifters to test their strength without the need for a spotter.

Even in the event of muscular failure, you can simply re-rack the barbell with a small wrist turn. But if that's not possible, then your members needn't panic, because Exigo has equipped their plate loaded Smith machine with heavy-duty, fully adjustable safety catches for an extra layer of protection (you'll also find this feature on the Cybex Smith Machine).

But with Exigo, safety never comes at the expense of usability. Both of their Smith machines have integrated linear bearings to provide users with a smooth, frictionless lifting motion that increases their muscle activation while concurrently easing the tension on their joints.

exigo bar hooks

You wouldn't believe how many so-called "commercial Smith machines" put your joints through the wringer with their jolting bar paths. I suppose that's what you get when you outsource manufacturing to a certain Asian country...

The Exigo Smith Machine (Counter Balance 5 Degree) offers all the same benefits as their regular 5 Degree Smith Machine, but also comes with a beginner-friendly counterbalance system.

Like a competent spotter easing the weight up for his training partner, the counterbalance system lowers the barbell's starting resistance to make the Exigo Smith Machine more accessible to novice lifters who're still learning the ropes.

Yet, this doesn't make the Exigo Counter Balance Smith Machine any less sturdy than their standard model. Which brings us onto the next section...

Build quality

Did you know that the average weight capacity for a commercial Smith machine is less than 250kg?

And did you also know that these same machines are way, way overpriced for what you get?

Now, I'm not affiliated with Exigo in any way. But when I see a genuine, British fitness company blowing their competition out of the water, I think it's only right that I give them some exposure.

exigo weight storage horn

The Exigo Smith Machine (5 degree) is rated for a whopping 453kg while being more affordable than virtually every other commercial Smith machine on the UK market. While most companies overpromise and underdeliver, Exigo has bucked the trend by going above and beyond the mediocre industry standard.

Both of their Smith machines come with a protective epoxy powder coat finish, which makes the already durable frames even more resistant to scratches, heavy impact, moisture, light and general wear and tear from the commercial gym environment.

Unsurprisingly, all Exigo Smith machine frames come with a lifetime warranty, which is must-have for any British fitness facility owner.

Exigo also equips both of its Smith machines with custom moulded feet, which are doubly beneficial because they prevent the unit from slipping while also protecting your gym floor from unnecessary damage.

exigo custom moulded feet

As mentioned, this Exigo plate loaded Smith machine is manufactured in the UK with the highest quality British steel available for gym equipment production. This construction is the deal-maker for me because I'd much rather give my money to a wholesome British company that employs our home-grown talent, than to some shady fitness operation that doesn't even touch its own products.

The Exigo Smith Machine (Counter Balance 5 Degree) has the same sturdiness and durability offered by Exigo's standard Smith machine. If I'm being really picky, though, I could argue that this counterbalance version is actually a bit sturdier because it weighs 60kg more than their regular 5 Degree Smith Machine (145kg vs 205kg).

That said, the regular Exigo Smith Machine is clearly an extremely durable piece of equipment because it weighs virtually half of what the average commercial Smith machine does while offering double the weight capacity!

Safety features

The Exigo Smith Machine (5 degree) gives users the peace of mind to push themselves hard by including a pair of easy-grip, adjustable safety catches that limit the barbell's depth, and thus, significantly reduce injury risk.

As a result, your members won't need a spotter to lift heavy. If they've reached the point of exhaustion and can't even muster up the energy to perform a simple wrist turn to re-rack the barbell, then they needn't panic and shout across the gym for help, because Exigo's heavy-duty safety stoppers have always got their back.

At a glance, the 6 Olympic weight plate horns, which come fitted on both Exigo Smith machines as standard, might not seem like much of a safety feature. However, by encouraging users to put their weights away, these steel storage pins actually keep your gym much safer by reducing trip hazards.

And, of course, what proud fitness facility owner doesn't love a clean gym floor?

As with before, the Exigo Smith Machine (Counter Balance 5 Degree) includes all the safety features offered by the standard version. The only difference between these models is the price and the counterbalance system.

Related products

Which Exigo Smith Machine is right for your facility?

Right now, as you're reading this, competing gym owners and lazy CEOs of big fitness chains with more money than sense are shortchanging themselves. That's right; they're paying through the nose for what is, at best, average quality gym equipment.

Just walk into any gym or health club chain, and you'll see what I mean.

Ironically, 70% of supposed home-based Smith machines have a higher weight capacity than so-called commercial Smith machines. I know this because I've reviewed and tested them all!

But as you've learnt in this article, Exigo doesn't conform to fitness mediocrity. Both of their Smith machines have twice the weight capacity of the average commercial Smith machine while also being significantly cheaper. Hence, Exgo Smith machines (and Exigo equipment in general) is popular among independent gym owners [1].

If you just want a quality Smith machine for your facility and don't need the counterbalance, then you can save some money by going with the Exigo Smith Machine (5 degree). It's rated for a heft 453kg, provides silky-smooth linear bearings and offers 9 steel lockout points so that your members can train safely without a spotter.

If you're willing to spend a bit more to get a counterbalance Smith machine, which could be beneficial for novice lifters, then the Exigo Smith Machine (Counter Balance 5 Degree) is what I recommend investing in. It provides all the same benefits—easy to use, sturdy frame, smooth bar path—as the regular 5 Degree Smith Machine but has a lower, more manageable starting resistance.

I hope that my comparison shed some light on which Exigo Smith Machine is right for you and your gym members. If you want to support a tremendous British fitness company while investing in a quality Smith machine, then I definitely recommend checking out Exigo [2].

Editor's Choice
Exigo Smith Machine (5 degree)
exigo smith machine with weights on the bar
  • Unrivalled 453kg weight rating
  • Comes with a protective powder coat to minimise wear and tear
  • 6 weight storage pegs to maintain a tidy gym floor
  • Lifetime frame warranty
  • Available at the lowest UK price 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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