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Marcy SM4000 review: Is this "deluxe Smith machine" a good choice for British buyers?

By James Jackson
Last Updated on 19th August 2020

Over the last 30 days, I've reviewed over 10 different Marcy home gym systems that are available on the UK market.

Only 4 are worth your money.

In my Marcy SM4000 review, you'll soon learn if this popular European Smith machine is worth it for Britsh buyers (or if you're better off saving your hard-earned money).

Let's get into it.

In a hurry? See the verdict now for the results.

big strength training system with various workout attachments
Pros
  • Commercial-grade bench has 6 backrest positions
  • Smith bar glides smoothly along the chrome guide rods
  • 14 gauge steel frame has a charcoal powder coat finish to fight off wear and tear
  • 6 Olympic plate storage pegs help keep your workout area tidy
  • Safety stoppers allow heavy lifting without the need for a spotter
  • Includes 6 attachments and a workout poster
Cons
  • 45kg max capacity on leg developer
  • Need to buy weights separately

Marcy SM4000 Smith Machine facts and figures

Marcy is an incredibly popular home fitness brand in America. Ever since legendary weightlifter and health club pioneer Walter Marcyan created the brand in the 1950s, they've enjoyed massive success across the pond.

After founding a series of health clubs in Los Angeles, he realised that not everyone had the time to visit a gym. So in 1959, he designed a revolutionary machine that's come to be known as the all-in-one gym (or in England, as the multi-gym).

diagram explaining the features of the machine

However, despite producing more than ten UK products, Marcy is still relatively unknown to the British public.

In my opinion, their SM4000 gym is one of their best products. It's essentially the European version of the immensely popular MD901G (see our full Marcy Diamond Elite Smith Machine review).

But today I'm focusing exclusively on the Marcy SM4000 Deluxe Smith Machine.

As the name suggests, the SM4000 comes with a Smith machine. But Marcy also gives us a squat rack, cable system, pec deck and a weight bench with arm curl and leg attachments. Add in the countless accessories, and it's clear to see why the American version of this home gym is such a prolific bestseller—the SM4000 is versatile.

  • Dimensions: 254cm L x 198cm W x 210cm H
  • Unit weight: 157kg
  • Weight capacity: 135kg
  • Workout Stations: Smith machine, squat rack, high pulley, low pulley, low row footplate, pec deck, preacher pad, leg developer, adjustable bench
  • Accessories: lat bar, short bar, tricep rope, v-bar, d handle, ankle strap
  • Warranty: 2 years
  • Estimated assembly time: 6-10 hours
  • Price: Check Current Price

Marcy SM4000 workout stations

Smith machine

The first thing you'll notice about the Smith machine is the slant. But unless you measured it with your old protractor that brings back such fond memories of GCSE maths, then you probably wouldn't realise that it's slanted at a 7-degree angle.

front view of the frame

What this means for us is that we're able to get a better workout and stimulate more muscle growth. How?

Because when we press, squat and row, we do so through a more natural range of motion. In other words, humans aren't meant to lift straight up and down; hence why most people believe that free weights are superior to machines.

On the bench press, for example, arcing the bar backwards as you lock out the rep makes you stronger since you can utilise the full power of your triceps.

a gym machine with weights on the bar

Back to the SM4000. You'll also notice that there are 9 hook points for the barbell. These safety zones are distributed evenly down both sides of the frame and enable us to re-rack the bar with a small turn of the wrist at virtually any point during a rep. As such, a home gym like the SM4000 is useful for staying safe if you train with a spotter.

If you're a keen weightlifter like I am, then you'll also appreciate Marcy's inclusion of ultra glide bushings. These are the components that actually allow the Smith bar to travel vertically, and they produce a remarkably fluid lifting motion. I find that it's much easier to focus on the muscle when there's no friction. So this is a real bonus to have for a home gym.

Squat rack

The squat rack stands opposite the Smith machine and utilises the main frame for support, giving it a decent 135kg maximum weight capacity.

Like a commercial rack, it works with 7-foot barbells. You'll need to buy your bar separately (more on that later), and it's definitely worth the extra investment if you want to unlock the Marcy SM-4000's full potential.

free weight safety stoppers

There's also a pair of adjustable bar holders and safety catches. The bar holders allow for precise height adjustments so that each exercise has a comfortable start and end position. This ease of use is essential because there's nothing more terrifying than locking out a grinding bench press rep only to realise that the bar holder's too high.

Thankfully, if you ever do get into this pickle, the safety catches have got your back because they stick out further than the bar holders. It's funny how two steel planks can be the difference between a new personal record and dropping the bar on your chest. So far so good for the Marcy Smith SM4000 (see my Marcy RS7000 review if you want a home gym with a pull-up station).

Cable system

lat pulldown bar

The Marcy SM4000 Deluxe Smith Machine has both high and low pulleys, with each pulley providing up to 90kg of resistance. As impressive as this resistance level is for a home gym in this price range, you'll need to source your own weight discs to enjoy the full benefits.

Let's start with the lower cable station. It has a footplate that you can use for low rows (an excellent movement for thickening your back). While you can do cable rows on just about any low pulley, the footplate increases your stability and range of motion, which ultimately leads to more muscle growth.

However, with a bit of imagination, you can use the lower pulley for much more than just back training. For example, some of my favourite exercises are one-arm lateral raises, cable curls and overhead triceps extensions—all great exercises for bringing up your weak body parts.

low row station

As for the high pulley, there's also a lot of exercise possibilities. We can widen our backs with lat pulldowns, fill our sleeves with tricep pushdowns and even sculpt our quads with standing leg extensions (yes, there's such a thing).

Moreover, Marcy includes a hook on top of the high pulley so that we don't have to leave our pulldown bar attached to the cables, which could weaken them over time.

Pec deck

Ever since I watched Arnold do chest flys in Pumping Iron with more weight than I could bench press, chest isolation work has been a key part of my routine.

Pec deck flys in particular are an especially effective exercise for achieving full pectoral development because they emphasise the one thing the bench press can't—the glorious contraction.

peck deck station

To enjoy the fruits of this glorious contraction, however, you need to be able to bring your arms all the way across your body and then SQUEEEEZEE.

This is another reason why the Marcy Smith Deluxe SM4000 is a great choice for bodybuilding. It allows you to bring the pec deck arms all the way together, which in turn enables you to generate an intense chest contraction.

Also, since the pec deck arms function independently, both sides of your chest will naturally receive equal work. As a result, you're less likely to develop muscle imbalances. And if you add in some incline pressing, you'll have a very symmetrical chest, too.

Weight bench

The weight bench is the lifeblood of the Marcy SM4000 Deluxe Smith Machine. It makes benching pressing possible, supports your spine and comes with preacher curl and leg attachments.

weight bench with a preacher curl pad

The main disadvantage (depending on how strong you are) is that the leg developer and preacher curl have a 45kg max capacity (same story for the Marcy SM1050). For most intermediates, this is plenty of resistance to build serious lower body muscle, especially considering that these stations are for isolation exercises.

However, more advanced lifers may find the weight capacity limiting. If this is the case for you, then you can easily remedy the problem by training one leg at a time. Ironically, unilateral training will probably produce even better results than if you worked both legs together since you'll have a more reliable mind-muscle connection.

preacher bench with leg developer

Also, Marcy has made the arm curl pad adjustable so that you can find the sweet spot for your biceps. You'll know that you've got the right position when your biceps feel like they're going to knot up after the second rep.

As for the rest of the bench, the backrest has 6 positions, including decline, flat, incline (multiple) and upright and angles. This adjustability gives you the tools to build a more proportional physique because you can hit your muscles from all angles and recruit the extra fibres that would otherwise go untapped. Of course, you still have to put in the effort to reap these rewards.

Marcy SM4000 accessories

The Marcy Smith Machine SM 4000 comes with a truckload of attachments that allow us to enjoy its best effects.

The package, which comes in 3 boxes, includes a lat bar, short bar, v bar, triceps rope, d-handle and ankle strap.

Besides offering hundreds of exercise possibilities, the accessories are also very easy to use—or more accurately, easy to grip.

cable workout accessories including a rope and bar

That's because the lat bar, short bar and d handle all have foam grips to prevent the attachments from flying out of your hands when your palms start to sweat. As a result, you won't annoy your non-lifting neighbours with any weight plate slamming!

Other products, such as the Marcy SM600, don't include half as many accessories.

Although advanced lifters will undoubtedly enjoy the training variety offered by the 6 attachments, beginners will also feel at home because Marcy includes an exercise chart with 13 tutorials in the accessory bundle. These colourful picture demonstrations enable novices to achieve faster results and avoid injury by learning the proper form.

Moreover, It's much more convenient to have an SM4000-specific workout chart than it is to trawl through internet advice, which is always dubious, to say the least.

Marcy SM4000 parts and frame

As mentioned, the frame of the Marcy 4000 Smith Machine has a 7-degree slant to promote the proper lifting biomechanics. However, it's also remarkably sturdy, especially for a home gym.

close up of the machine's frame

The cage and bench are constructed from damage-resistant 14 gauge steel, and the main unit benefits from an off-the-floor base so that the weight is distributed evenly across your floor. This structural-soundness naturally makes your workouts safe. But it also increases the unit's weight capacity, which is great for us weightlifters.

Likewise, the cables have a 907kg tensile strength, making them extremely resistant to wear and tear. Like with any home gym, however, you'll still need to lubricate the cables with WD-40 now and then to keep them running smoothly.

But since the cables benefit from accompanying 4" nylon pulleys with sealed ball bearings, the resistance feels fluid and consistent with only a small amount of maintenance work.

cable pulleys for exercise

As someone who likes to feel discomfort in their muscles—not in their bones and joints—I'm relieved to see that Marcy includes thick padding on the leg developer. This way, we can do quad extensions and hamstring curls without accumulating any questionable looking bruises on our lower legs.

The adjustable bench follows the lead of the leg developer and includes 6.5cm thick foam padding to gives us extra back support during the likes of bench press and shoulder press.

Marcy SM4000 size and weight

Including the width of the bar and the length of the bench, the Marcy SM4000 Olympic Smith Machine measures 254cm L x 198cm W x 210cm H. The bench itself checks in at 175cm L x 74cm W x 126cm H.

It's a large home gym (much bigger than the Marcy SM1000). But considering that it replaces a squat rack and virtually all other strength training equipment, I think that the footprint is justified.

dimensions of the gym

You'll need some extra room at the front of the machine to use the bench comfortably (especially if you want to use it with dumbbells).

However, since you can load weight plates onto the cables from the side, you can reclaim the space by installing the unit against a wall—more on the installation in just a minute.

Marcy SM4000 safety features

Since you probably read all the latest European policies, I'm sure you're delighted that the Marcy Smith Machine SM4000 is EN-957 compliant.

Wait. Don't you read that stuff? Are you kidding me?

Then what on earth do you do for fun?

Ok. So admittedly, that string of numbers and letters doesn't tell us much. And like most, you probably don't give a toss either.

But how it benefits us is that the SM4000 has been tested to verify the claimed weight capacities, which I'll list below. Ultimately, this certification means that you can confidently load up the bar without worrying if the machine can take it.

  • Smith machine: 135kg
  • Free weight rack: 135kg
  • Bench: 133kg (not including bar weight)
  • Cables: 90kg
  • Leg developer: 45kg
  • Preacher curl: 45kg

As mentioned, the free weight rack has adjustable safety catches to prevent the barbell from travelling below a certain point, which you can fine-tune to the specific exercise.

Likewise, the Smith machine has 9 evenly-spaced lockout points that enable you to re-rack the bar at any point during the rep with a simple turn of the wrist.

Another underrated safety feature (if you can call it that) is the storage pegs. There are 3 pegs per side, and they enable you to reduce trip hazards by keeping your workout area tidy (the Ironmaster Smith Machine has this feature too). They're also a great space and money-saving feature because you don't need to fork out for bulky weight disc tress.

resistance training machine weight capacities

Marcy SM4000 assembly

Now the fun really begins. Let's talk about the assembly.

The Marcy SM4000 manual has 9 major steps, which are then broken down into a total of 47 sub-steps to make the instructions more digestible and the workload more manageable.

You'll find that the parts from the hardware pack are labelled at the start of the manual along with their exact measurements. By using the provided ruler (it's printed onto the paper), you can avoid any headaches by easily differentiating between similar looking bolts and washers, which saves you having to redo entire sections due to mistakes.

Overall, it's a long assembly that'll take the best part of a day. But considering that you're essentially putting together 7+ different gym machines, a bit of manual labour on the weekend is a small price to pay for getting a fully-fledged home gym.

Here are the box dimensions:

  • Box 1: 212cm L x 53cm W x 20cm H
  • Box 2: 109cm L x 51cm W x 51cm H
  • Box 3: 101.5cm L x 61cm W x 19cm H

Marcy SM4000 exercises

Along with the 13 movements on the Marcy SM4000 exercise chart, you can perform virtually any exercise that you'd do in a commercial gym. I'm going to start with chest so that I can maintain the attention of any meatheads reading.

  • Chest: decline presses, incline presses, flat presses, reverse-grip presses, pec deck flys, dumbbell flys, pullovers
  • Lats: pulldowns, cable rows, underhand barbell rows, lat pushdowns, Smith machine pull-ups
  • Traps: shrugs, high rows, rack pulls, deadlifts
  • Shoulders: overhead presses, seated shoulder presses, BTNP, upright rows, rear delt rows, face pulls, lateral raises
  • Triceps: close-grip bench presses, skull crushes, pushdowns, overhead extensions, cable kickbacks
  • Biceps: preacher curls, standing curls, hammer curls, reverse curls, dumbbell curls
  • Quads: front squats, hack squats, back squats, split squats lunges, step-ups, leg extensions
  • Hamstrings: lying leg curls, standing leg curls, Romanian deadlifts, stiff-legged deadlifts, good mornings
  • Glutes: hip thrusts, glute bridges, cable kickbacks, hip abductions, kneeling squats
  • Abs: cable crunches, cable wood chops, oblique side bends, sit-ups

Marcy SM4000 workout routines

The Marcy SM4000 Deluxe Smith With Bench caters to virtually any workout routine (except maybe CrossFit).

I always recommend following a program that's specific to your goals. But in case you need some inspiration, here are three of my go-to home workouts [1].

exercise chart showing common resistance training exercises

Chest and back

A mass-building chest and back routine. We'll begin with incline presses (since you can never have too much upper chest) and then progress into pulldowns to widen the lats. The overall chest will broaden with flat bench presses, and our backs will thicken with cable rows (remember to squeeze). [2]

We end the workout with a final superset to pump maximum blood into the biggest muscles of our upper bodies. Side effects include thinking you need to walk through the door sideways and invisible lat syndrome [3].

1A: Incline press — 4 x 8-10 reps

1B: Lat pulldown — 4 x 8-10 reps

2A: Flat (or decline) bench press — 3 x 10-12 reps

2B: Cable rows — 3 x 10-12 reps

3A: Pec deck fly —3 x 15-20 reps

3B: Lat pushdowns — 3 x 15-20 reps

Arms

A specialisation routine designed to add size and shape to your arms. Side effects include ripped t-shirt sleeves and narcissism [4].

1A: Standing barbell (or dumbbell) curl — 4 x 6-8 reps

1B: Close-grip bench press — 4 x 6-8 reps

2A: Preacher curl — 3 x 10-12 reps

2B: Overhead extensions — 3 x 10-12 reps

3A: Reverse curls — 3 x 15-20 reps

3B: Triceps pushdowns — 3 x 15-20 reps

Legs

A lower body routine that attacks your legs from all angles. Side effects include excessive buying of shorts and questions such as "are you a rugby player?" [5] [6].

1: Barbell back squat — 4 x 6-8 reps

2: Romanian deadlift — 4 x 6-8 reps

3: Reverse lunges — 3 x 10-12 reps

4A: Leg extensions — 3 x 12-15 reps

4B: Lying hamstring curls — 3 x 12-15 reps

5: Standing calf raises — 4 x 10-12 reps

FAQ

How smooth is the Smith machine bar while lifting?

Since the Marcy Smith Machine 4000 has ultra-glide bushings, the resistance feels remarkably smooth. You'll be able to focus more on the working muscles since there's no annoying friction to distract you.

Can you confirm the dimensions? I'm working with limited ceiling space.

Sure, the total dimensions are 254cm L x 198cm W x 210cm H.

Does it come with weights?

100kg olympic weight set

No, you'll need to buy weights separately.

If you want a weight set with a barbell and collars, then I recommend investing in the Bodypower 100kg TRI-GRIP Olympic Weight Set. I've been using their plates for years now and have no complaints. Really easy to carry too.

If you need something heavier, say for squats and deadlifts, then they also do a 170kg Weight Set.

What floor protection do you recommend?

a pile of foam interlocking gym mats

I recommend these Extra Thick Foam Mat Tiles since they're designed for heavy equipment like the SM4000. Each tile is 60cm x 60cm, so you'll need two packs to cover SM400's footprint. However, if you just want floor protection for the cage (and not the bench), then one pack is enough.

Also check out these Heavy Duty Large Rubber Mat Checker Plates if you want something that's specifically for garage gyms. Again, these mats are very heavy-duty and have a non-slip surface. They aren't like the cheap exercise mats you'd get from a sports shop—that's for sure.

Is the Marcy SM4000 worth buying?

The Marcy SM4000 Deluxe Smith Machine is an excellent home gym, all things considered. It's effectively a replica of what is probably America's most popular home gym—the Marcy Diamond Elite. It's definitely a quality fitness investment if you can afford it. Much better than buying a load of supplements.

Although the 45kg leg developer weight capacity is a bit low for advanced lifters, training one leg at a time is a quick and easy fix that might actually produce better results (your mind-muscle connection is stronger while training each limb independently). [7]

Most importantly of all, the Smith machine and cable resistance feel fluid and smooth. Too many companies build Smith machines that make every bench press rep feel like four separate reps. Thankfully for our chest gains, there are no such sticking points with the SM-4000.

Overall, this home gym is hard to beat considering how much variety Marcy packs into it. And if you can get one while it's still in stock, then you'll soon enjoy some of the best home workouts of your life.

I hope that my Marcy SM4000 review was helpful. As you can see, It's a great gym for both beginners and advanced weight lifters that offers lots of exercise possibilities.

Editor's Choice
Marcy SM4000 Deluxe Smith Machine
a gym machine with weights on the bar
  • Really smooth Smith machine bar path
  • Built-in free weight rack with safety catches
  • Bench backrest is heavily padded and offers 6 adjustable positions
  • Comes with an exercise poster & 6 training attachments
  • Includes 6 integrated weight plate posts for Olympic discs
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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