Leave the office warn out and sleepy. Get in your car. Drive towards the gym in rush hour traffic. Search for a parking space. Arrive in the changing rooms an hour later. Fumble with your padlock. Plug your earphones in and hope that nobody disturbs you like last time.
Finally, the moment of freedom that you've been waiting for since 9 am this morning has arrived—you're in the weight room. You've just taken your pre-workout, and you're ready to lift. Then, you look up. Every machine is taken by people staring at their phones. You start to wonder if working out is even worth it anymore.
This was my story for many years until I started working out at home.
But since I don't want to make you any more depressed, let's get straight into the review of the Marcy MWB1282 Platinum Smith Machine.
As you'll soon learn, it's a decent product. But it's definitely not the best Smith machine for home use.
If you're in a rush and just want the verdict, then skip to the conclusion to find out what I recommend instead.
The Marcy MWB1282 Smith Machine is a mid-range home gym that has everything you need for a full-body workout.
On the surface at least.
So what comes in the box?
Marcy gives us a Smith machine that has 9 lockout points and a starting weight of 10kg. Since this isn't an Olympic bar, it's only rated for 136kg, which admittedly isn't bad. However, it's clear from the outset that this home gym is more for the beginner crowd rather than the advanced lifter.
The package also includes a cable system with high and low pulleys. Hence this being a Smith machine home gym, not just a regular Smith machine. The cables have a 90kg weight capacity, and despite being in a fixed position, they still offer a variety of exercises that complement barbell training.
Tieing everything together is the adjustable bench. It has flat, decline, incline and shoulder press angles so that you can vary up your workouts and potentially build more muscle by hitting your body parts from different angles.
The major flaw is that the leg developer on the bench has a 45kg max capacity. While this is fine for beginners and intermediates, advanced weightlifters will quickly feel restricted if they work out on this home gym.
As mentioned, the Smith machine offers 9 safety hook positions and has a starting weight of 10kg. Naturally, the low starting resistance helps beginners to learn the correct technique without overexerting themselves.
But on the contrary, a low starting weight is also an indicator that the bar isn't as sturdy as your standard 20kg Olympic barbell. As such, the max capacity is 136kg on all exercises.
Yes, this is plenty of resistance for beginners and most intermediates. But if you have goals to exceed this weight in the future, then you might want to invest in something more robust (the Marcy MD 5191 is better).
On the positive side, the bar has plenty of knurling so that you can maintain a strong and stable grip.
Another useful feature is the Olympic adapter sleeves. They conveniently allow you to use both 1" and 2" plates on the Marcy Platinum Home Gym Smith bar and cables. Hence, you have more options and can shop for a better deal when it comes to buying weight discs.
Yes, this gym comes without plates. But so do most other products (even the Marcy Eclipse RS7000 Deluxe Smith Machine Home Gym). So it's not a deal-breaker by any means.
The Marcy Smith Machine MWB 1282 comes with a dual cable system. It consists of one high and one low pulley which each support up to 90kg of resistance.
Collectively, the pulley stations provide a ton of training possibilities. Since your range of motion isn't restricted as with a Smith machine, you can recruit more muscle fibres by getting an improved stretch and contraction on the cables.
With a good enough diet, this extra cable-based training volume will provide more muscle growth.
A potential negative (depending on which way you look at it) is the fact that both pulleys are fixed. On the one hand, this limits your training variety because you can't do exercises that require personalised cable positions.
On the other hand, the fixed position is ideal for exercises like tricep pushdowns and lat pulldowns, where you want a nice stable pulley to generate power.
On the topic of lat pulldowns, the upper pulley has hooks to hold your pulldown bar, which means that you don't have to leave it dangling overhead, which could stretch your cables over time.
At the heart of the Marcy Platinum Smith Machine sits the adjustable bench. It has a saw-tooth locking system and a foot pedal that allows for safe yet quick adjustments between bench angles.
While fast adjustments are helpful for everyone, it's especially useful if you're the type of person who likes to do supersets or circuit training.
Specifically, the backrest has flat, decline, incline (multiple) and shoulder press angles, thereby enabling you to achieve full pectoral development (with good enough form).
That said, the bench is much less useful for lower body workouts than it is for chest training. Although you can do leg extensions and leg curls, you're restricted to 45kg. This is a shame since most of us are naturally much stronger on leg exercises than we are on upper body movements .
This gives it much greater versatility than the likes of the Marcy TSA-5762 Half Smith Machine and Weight Bench.
Made from thick 14 gauge round and tubular steel, this home gym with weight bench will stand up to many years of heavy workouts if you stay within the weight capacities.
The frame has a powder coat finish to fight off wear and tear, which also gives the unit a more premium look and feel.
To reduce friction, the guide rods have a consistent 1" diameter which enables the bar to glide up and down somewhat smoothly. Since these are plastic rather than steel bearings, however, don't expect commercial quality at this price.
The aircraft cables boast an impressive 907kg tensile strength, which although very much the industry average, is still impressive considering that it rivals some of the big guns in durability .
The storage pegs are another helpful feature. You'll find two on either side of the machine so that you can keep your workout area tidy and quickly change the bar weight without carrying plates across the room.
The Marcy MWB1282 Platinum Smith Machine Home Gym measures 201cm L x 208cm W x 216cm H and weighs 100kg. These dimensions include the bar width, and the length is measured from the back of the cage to the front of the bench.
Overall, I wouldn't call it compact, but it's not that space-hungry either. Especially when you consider how many workout stations Marcy combines into one machine.
As a side note, just make sure to leave enough space around the back and sides of the unit so that you can load your plates onto the various weight horns. This rule of thumb applies to almost any home gym, and it's always worth keeping in mind before you assemble your machine, since moving the unit can be tricky if it's heavy.
Marcy tackles safety from three angles with their MWB1282 Platinum Smith machine. First, they include 9 safety hooks to enable fast re-racking of the barbell at virtually any point during the set.
Second, they include adjustable safety catches that allow you to prevent the bar from travelling past a certain point. And while it's always best to train with a spotter, these safety stops will get you out of trouble if you fail a rep—providing that you don't exceed the 136kg weight capacity.
Finally, Marcy includes a workout chart with 27 exercises demonstrations. It's very detailed, offering both pictures and text as a way for beginners to learn the correct form without having to consult Google for every little technique-related query .
Here are the weight limits so that you can stay safe:
In the assembly manual you'll find a total of 11 steps; 6 steps for the central unit and 5 steps for the bench. The instructions themselves consist of text and schematics and the important parts (such as when to tighten the bolts) are bolded for extra clarity.
Marcy has also labelled the parts from the hardware pack and provided the precise measurements so that you can check if you're using the right ones (some nuts, bolts and washers tend to look similar).
It'll take you around 5-7 hours (less if you're mechanical) and I recommend having a second person in the early part of the assembly, where you'll be dealing with the heavier parts that make up the cage. The rest you can do by yourself. It's a very similar setup job to the Marcy MP3100 Smith Machine with Weight Bench, which takes the same amount of time.
There's no such thing as the perfect home gym, but I think that the Marcy MWB1282 ticks most of the boxes, all things considered.
It replaces a Smith machine, pulley system and also includes an adjustable bench. With a decent pair of dumbbells and some weights, you'll have everything you need to work out at home. However, it seems that Marcy has recently discontinued this model in the UK.
But after testing 50 different Smith machine, it's clear to see that there are better options anyway. For example, the Powerline PSM1442XS, which is popular among personal trainers, has 50kg extra weight capacity, more lockout points for enhanced safety and a much sturdier 12 gauge steel construction.
And all of this is while being significantly more compact than the Marcy MWB1282. Sure, compactness might seem trivial if you're a bodybuilder, but we don't all have a two-car garage to house our home gym gear!
Plus, I really like the fact that you can upgrade your Powerline Smith machine with over 5 attachments. This customisation puts you in the driver's seat and effectively lets you create your very own home gym the way that you want it.
Plus, with the current package deals on offer, you can get some nice discounts when you buy the cable attachments or a bench.