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Gym Gear Elite Series Smith Machine review: Which model is most worth it for you?

By James Jackson
Last Updated on 8th July 2020

Today at Smith machine UK, we're comparing two Gym Gear Smith machine systems so that you can decide which is most worth it for your facility.

Both machines are part of their Elite Series of strength equipment, which is a full-commercial product line used by countless fitness facilities across Great Britain.

Some of Gym Gear's clients include IKEA, the University of Central Lancashire and Greater Manchester Fire & Rescue, who all have high praises for Gym Gear's customer service and equipment quality.

So with that said, let's get into the comparison.

Facts and figures

Gym Gear Elite Smith Machine

grey resistance training apparatus
  • Dimensions: 135cm L x 226cm W x 236cm H
  • Unit weight: 178kg
  • Weight capacity: 200kg
  • Type of bearings: linear
  • Warranty: 5 years frame, 1-year parts & labour
  • Price: Click for Lowest Price

Gym Gear Elite Series 3D Smith Machine

large strength training system with pull up handles
  • Dimensions: 200cm L x 141cm W x 218.5cm H
  • Unit weight: 199.4kg
  • Weight capacity: 200kg
  • Type of bearings: linear
  • Warranty: 5 years frame, 1-year parts & labour
  • Price: Click for Lowest Price

Design

The Gym Gear Elite Smith Machine has a user-friendly, walk-through design that allows easy access to the main workout area from both sides of the frame. Naturally, this open design provides users with extra space so that they can exercise comfortably, instead of feeling caged in or claustrophobic. There's also plenty of space for a training partner to stand, which is helpful for those who like having encouragement while they work out.

interior of a gym with fitness equipment
Installation complete at the Fire & Police Service Training Centre, Derbyshire

Yet, with 10 steel barbell re-racking points, you don't need a spotter to enjoy the Gym Gear Smith machine's best effects. One simple wrist turn, and you can hook the barbell onto any of the lockout points, regardless of where you are in a rep.

Like an Olympic barbell, the Smith bar weighs 20kg and will instantly make advanced lifters feel at home, while also allowing them to accurately track their strength progress. But at the same time, the 20kg bar is useful for beginners because it fully prepares them for the world of free weights and its accompanying 20kg Olympic barbells.

But Gym Gear doesn't stop there. They enhance the free weight feeling of their Smith machines even more by equipping them with linear bearings and commercial-grade guide rods, which provide a friction-free bar path for the user.

cliffs hotel gym
The Cliffs Hotel equipped its fitness area with a Gym Gear Smith machine and more

Obviously, this smooth lifting motion provides higher levels of muscle activation, and thus, a more effective weight training workout. However, it also spares your joints because there are no jerky sticking points in the range of motion.

On the storage side on things, Gym Gear has equipped their Smith machine with 6 weight plate pegs to encourage your facility users to put their weights away, which results in a tidier gym floor that's free from unnecessary trip hazards.

The Gym Gear Elite Series 3D Smith Machine has everything offered by the standard model but with the addition of a multi-grip chin-up bar. Also, as a Smith machine with horizontal movement, it provides more dynamic training capabilities than the regular version and thus, offers a better stepping stone between machines and free weights.

It's a well-established fact that 3D Smith machines provide higher core activation and a more extensive range of motion than the regular type. Of course, this a great benefit if your facility is more geared towards functional training than physique enhancement because 3D Smith machines (such as the Halo model) have more carryover to free weight and bodyweight training.

hotel with strength training equipment
The Gym Gear 3D Smith machine is part of The Netherwood Hotel's functional training area

On the flip side of this, you could argue that 3D Smith machines are slightly worse for building muscle because you need to put effort into stabilising the weight, energy which you could otherwise use to focus on the working muscles. I spoke about this in my Star Trac Max Rack review.

Build quality

The Gym Gear Elite Smith Machine is constructed from impact-resistant 11 gauge steel, which is the toughest metal used in gym equipment production [1]. As a result, the frame has a solid 200kg weight capacity that can withstand tough commercial training environments, making it a popular choice among corporate and educational fitness facilities, as well as health clubs and gyms.

Gym Gear has also given each Smith machine an electrostatic powder coat finish, which has even been heat-cured for extra durability. What all this means to you is that your Gym Gear Smith Machine will be more resistant to chipping, impact, moisture and ultraviolet light.

interior of a school gym with various fitness equipment
Smith machine safety in action at Sydney Russell School

As such, you'll save money because you won't need to upgrade your fitness equipment for a very long time.

One again, the Gym Gear Elite Series 3D Smith Machine benefits from the same sturdy construction as the standard model, which is important considering that the 3D Smith machine offers moire vigorous, dynamic exercise possibilities.

Related post: Jones Machine vs Smith machine

Safety features

As mentioned, the Gym Gear Elite Smith Machine comes with 10 steel barbell hooks, which are dispersed evenly down the frame. These lockout points enable you to train safely without a spotter because you can re-rack the bar at any point during a rep with a simple wrist turn [2].

However, even if you lift beyond muscular failure—and can't even drum up the effort to turn your wrist—then you don't have to panic and shout across the gym for help. Gym Gear has equipped their Smith machines with a pair of adjustable, heavy-duty safety catches that will always have your back (yes, even if you drop the bar).

inside a gym with various machines
The Gym Gear Smith machine is part of the incredible Joint Service Training Centre

Its the same story for the Gym Gear Elite Series 3D Smith Machine, except that you can re-rack the barbell on both the front and the back of the frame thanks to its horizontal bearings.

The Impulse IT7 Smith Machine is another good option for British gyms (as is the Indigo Smith machine). Still, Gym Gear offers incredible value for money compared to most of its competitors.

Which Gym Gear Smith Machine is most worth it?

One thing's for sure. Gym Gear makes some of the best gym equipment in the UK. Not only are their machines durable and beginner-friendly, but they're versatile enough for advanced athletes, too.

Plus, their resumé speaks for itself. It's rare to find a British fitness company with so many positive testimonials from such notable clients. I've reviewed over forty Smith machines, so I don't get swayed easily, but even I was impressed by their record [3].

Now it comes down to deciding which Smith machine is right for your facility.

If you just want a dependable Smith machine without the bells and whistles of horizontal movement, then I recommend going for the Gym Gear Elite Smith Machine. It has 10 racking points for safe, independent training, a sturdy 200kg weight capacity and 6 storage pegs to encourage users to replace their weights. It's also the most affordable of their two Smith machines and is ideal for smaller-sized facilities.

If you want to give your facility users a more realistic stepping stone between machines and free weights, then the Gym Gear Elite Series 3D Smith Machine is a sound investment. It offers everything that the regular version does but also comes with a chin-up bar for back and ab workouts. Plus, it allows complete horizontal movement for better core activation.

It's pricier than the regular Gym Gear Smith Machine. But if your facility's geared towards functional training, then it might be worth the extra cost.

Editor's Choice
Gym Gear Elite Series Smith Machine
grey resistance training apparatus
  • Space-saving design
  • Sturdy 200kg weight capacity
  • Heavy-duty frame and barbell can easily withstand wear and tear
  • Company has a proven track-record in Britain
  • 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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