Here at Smith machine UK, we've reviewed close to 50 different Smith machines and home gyms. And one thing that always strikes me is how the workout stations from the older, more experienced fitness companies are almost always superior to those from newer companies. It seems like the new guys are just trying to cash in on the home fitness trend if you ask me.
So naturally, when I learned about Tunturi's 100-year history, I was intrigued. Could this once small, Scandinavia exercise bike manufacturer have cracked the home gym code?
I decided to find out. I've talked with a variety of fitness experts and performed extensive research into the company's two home gyms. And I've published all of my findings in this Tunturi SM80 Full Smith review.
The Tunturi Smith Machine is ideal for home workouts because it combines 7 different workout stations into one machine. We get an adjustable squat rack, a 10-lockout-point Smith machine, a footplate-enhanced low row station, 2 independent high pulleys, a heavily-padded pec deck, a multi-grip pull-up station and a convenient suspension trainer attachment point.
If you're the type of person who, like me, enjoys having lots of variety in their weight training routine, then you'll thrive off the versatility offered by the Tunturi SM 80. It's the same size and price as many of the standalone Smith machine's that I've reviewed. Yet, it comes with 7x the features!
Even months after investing in the SM80, buyers were thrilled with their new home gym and even felt that it was comparable in quality to many commercial-grade workout systems.
This feedback isn't all that surprising considering that the SM80 is constructed with thick, heavy-duty steel so that it can resist damage (and thus, last much longer than ordinary machines). You can tell this gym is built to take a beating. Hence the above-average 150kg weight rating, which should be more than enough for most people to gain strength and muscle at home.
Tunturi has built the SM80 for intermediate and advanced lifters who're seeking the commercial gym experience at home. However, since both the squat rack and Smith station have adjustable safety catches, the SM80 is equally useful for weight lifting beginners because you can train—worry-free—without a spotter.
Of course, the safety catches are a great benefit for stronger folk, too. You can use the stoppers to set a predefined limit on the barbell's range of motion, meaning that—in the event of muscular failure—you can get yourself out of trouble by simply lowering the bar onto the safety catches. This ease of use actually encourages you to train harder and achieve more muscle growth, because you know that the Tunturi SM80 always has your back.
The Smith machine station is the hub of the Tunturi SM80, and it's tailor-made for a variety of muscle-building exercises, such as bench press, squats and yes, even leg press. Collectively, these exercises (and the many more that are available) will help you build a more balanced physique because you can work every single muscle group intensely. And since this is a Smith machine, in safety.
Which brings us nicely onto the lockout points (of which there are 10). The steel bar hooks enable you to train safely without a spotter because you can re-rack the barbell at any point during a rep with a small turn of the wrist. Naturally, this makes you more likely to train intensely and push to failure (thereby stimulating faster muscle growth) because you know that safety is always just a wrist turn away.
The Smith station is also useful for allowing novice lifters to learn the proper form without overstressing themselves too soon because the barbell weighs just 7kg. A low starting resistance also makes the barbell useful for isolation exercises like bicep curls, triceps extensions and lateral raises, where we typically don't need much weight to get a positive training effect.
On the flip side, the sturdy barbell is an equally useful training tool for advanced lifters because it has a whopping 150kg weight capacity, providing 187kg of resistance when you factor in the bar weight. If that isn't enough weight for bench press and squats, then I'm sorry, but you're just too strong for home gyms!
Tunturi also gives us plenty of choices when we're deciding what weights to buy. The Smith bar accepts both 1" standard and 2" Olympic plates (so basically, all types of weights), which enables you to shop for a better deal because you're not restricted to a particular brand or diameter of weight discs.
Having a Smith machine and free weight rack within the same machine saves you a lot of space (not to mention a lot of money). Up until fairly recently, however, it was almost impossible to find a home gym with such capabilities, You either had to buy a separate squat rack and Smith machine or just suck it up and go to a crowded commercial gym (no thanks).
But with advances in design and engineering, some select brands now offer 2-in-1 squat rack and Smith machine systems. However, some brands do it much better than others.
For example, the average squat rack weight capacity, when combined with a Smith machine is around 130kg. But Tunturi offers 150kg, which is a key indication that their home gym is much more structurally sound.
Likewise, most brands have just a basic Squat rack and Smith machine. Whereas Tunturi also includes cables, a pec deck and a pull-up station, to provide us with more training variety.
More on those in just a minute.
The Tunturi SM80's free weight rack, in particular, is not only sturdy (as evidenced by the 150kg weight rating) but also incredibly safe—even if you don't have a spotter.
Both the bar hooks and safety catches are fully adjustable, meaning that, not only can you perform a wide variety of exercises, but you can also prevent the barbell from travelling a below a certain point (that you choose), which significantly reduces your injury risk.
The only downside is that you need to buy your own Olympic bar and weights. But this is the same with virtually all gym equipment (such as the Weider Pro 8500 Smith Weight Cage) since companies can't predict how much weight people will need.
Related post: Inspire Fitness FT2 review
The low pulley comes with a large, stability-enhancing footplate so that you can generate more power during rowing movements by pushing your feet in the opposing direction to your line of pull.
The hidden benefit of this is that you also get a deeper stretch in your back because the footplate affords you extra range of motion. This design is particularly helpful if you have long arms because cable stations on most home gyms seem to bottom out before many people can get a full stretch in their lats, which limits muscle growth.
With even a modest amount of imagination, however, you can do much more than just rowing. For example, you can perform lateral raises, to broaden your shoulders; bicep curls, to fill your sleeves; and upright rows, to simultaneously add mass to your traps and side delts.
The best thing about the two high pulleys is that each side functions independently. This is a breath of fresh air because you wouldn't believe how many other home gyms force you to use both sides together, which makes tricep pushdowns impossible!
The Tunturi SM80 comes with a short bar and two handles so that you can make the best use of the high pulleys and achieve a full-body workout.
You can perform lat pulldowns, to improve your v-taper and broaden your back; tricep pushdowns, to build up your arms without hurting your elbows; and cable crunches, to develop more prominent ab muscles. Of course, there are many other effective exercises, but these are just a few of my favourites for building a foundation of muscle mass.
As with the high pulleys, each pec deck arm functions independently. In this sense, the movement feels a lot like performing dumbbell flys, except you get constant tension and a far more potent peak contraction.
Naturally, a potent peak contraction helps you to develop a stronger mind-muscle connection. And as any bodybuilder will tell you, the mind-muscle connection is vital for building size, especially in your weaker body parts.
Additionally, you'll naturally build more proportional pecs because you know that each side of your chest is receiving equal work. This should go along way to preventing uneven chest muscles, which can ruin even the best of physiques.
I also like that Tunturi includes protective foam padding on the pec arms to prevent the metal from digging into your forearms and causing you pain.
As you can tell from my website, I'm a big believer in Smith machines. My 50 reviews and years of bodybuilding tell me that they're one of the most underrated training tools for building muscle fast.
But do you know what my second favourite type of training is?
If you answered free weights, then you'd be wrong. But if you answered callisthenics, then you'd be correct.
Since pull-ups are one of my all-time favourite mass-builders for the back, I was pumped up when I discovered that the Tunturi SM80 comes with a multi-grip pull-up station—especially when I found out that there were 2 neutral grip options.
With this heavy-duty pull-up station, you have a large variety of grip options: wide, medium, neutral, close neutral and regular close. When combined, these grips will lead to complete back development from all angles.
I like to use a medium-overhand grip for working my lower lats without stressing my shoulders, and I use a neutral grip for hitting the bulk of the lats and thus developing overall mass.
You can also use the pull up handles to sculpt a more defined set of lower abs by performing hanging leg raises.
And with the metal hook, you can add yet more variety to your workout regime by connecting a suspension trainer or punch bag (hence why the Tunturi SM80 is more of a home gym than a regular old Smith machine).
When I first heard about Tunturi—a little-known Scandinavian brand at the time—I was sceptical as to whether they could compete with the American big gun, who dominate the fitness market both domestically and throughout Europe.
Well, as good as American fitness equipment is, my research shows that Tunturi, who were founded in beautiful Finland almost 100 years ago, can definitely compete with the best in home fitness.
The SM80 is constructed from damage-resistant steel, which provides you with a solid foundation for stimulating new muscle growth by performing hard, heavy, compound lifting.
Likewise, the frame can easily fight off wear and tear in the form of scratches, dents and moisture, because it comes with a protective—and rather luxurious—matte black powder coat finish.
Similarly, Tunturi prevents the SM80 and its hefty 124kg frame from damaging your floor by including protective rubber pads on the base. That said, for a machine this size, I recommend investing in some gym flooring to reduce the impact that intense workouts will inevitably create.
As I mentioned earlier in my Tunturi SM80 review, both the squat rack and Smith station come with adjustable safety catches so that you can reduce your injury risk by preventing the barbell from dropping below a certain point, which you can define.
Naturally, having 2 sets of heavy-duty bar stoppers to keep you safe gives you the peace of mind to push yourself harder and aim for new PRs. Over time, and with an appropriate diet, this extra training intensity will result in greater strength and more muscle on your body .
And you didn't even need to take pre-workout!
The Tunturi SM80 Full Smith Machine also comes with 4 weight plate storage pegs so that you can keep your home gym free from trip hazards by maintaining a tidy workout area. Of course, this saves you money (and space) because you don't need to buy any weight disc trees, which would just clutter up your house anyway.
On the theory side of safety, Tunturi includes detailed guidance in your user manual so that you can achieve your desired results without causing harm to your body . Here's what you'll learn:
Now for the most fun part of my Tunturi SM80 review—the installation.
Ok, so unless you're a mechanic, you probably won't find the assembly fun. However, it's not exactly complicated, either.
The Tunturi SM80 Full Smith comes in 3 boxes:
1: 207cm L x 34cm W x 20cm H/61kg
2: 104cm L x 50cm W x 21cm H/38kg
3: 123cm L x 51cm W x 19cm H/32 kg
There are 102 parts to connect in total. Or to put it another way, approximately 7 components per step .
Each step includes a list of the parts that you need, their quantity, a helpful identification image and a corresponding part number for reference. From here, you simply follow the diagrams and then check that everything's tightened up.
Admittedly, some text might have been useful to clear up certain parts of the assembly. But since the diagrams include arrows and are very clear-cut, you're not going to be left scratching your head. It's a remarkably straightforward installation because Tunturi uses higher quality parts than most other brands that I've tested.
The SM80 is much more versatile than their old home gym, the Tunturi Pure Compact Smith Machine. As such, you can perform a much wider variety of muscle-building exercises, such as:
Compared to the Tunturi SM60, the Tunturi SM80 Full Smith is 69kg heavier and has a higher weight capacity by 40kg, making it a better choice for developing advanced level strength.
The SM80 also has a cable system, a free weight rack, a pec deck and a pull-up bar, whereas the SM60 has none of those things. However, along with a Smith machine, the SM60 includes a preacher curl and leg developer—unlike the SM80—making it a better choice for lower body isolation exercises, such as quad extensions and hamstring curls.
Additionally, the SM80 is more conducive to maintaining a safe, tidy workout area because it includes 4 storage posts for your weight plates.
However, the SM60 is more compact, has a shorter assembly and is roughly half the price of the Tunturi SM80 Full Smith.
This accessibility makes the Tunturi SM60 an excellent choice for beginners and intermediates who're on a budget, but who still want to achieve a full-body workout at home .
No, the Tunturi SM80 Full Smith only comes with a Smith bar.
I recommend investing in the Tunturi UB60 Utility Bench because it has a leg developer (which is just about the only feature that the SM80 lacks).
With it, you can perform lying hamstring curls and seated leg extensions, which will add size and detail to your lower body (especially when you combine them with squats on the Tunturi SM80 Full Smith).
The bench also has an adjustable seat and 6 backrest positions—including decline and upright—which enables you to achieve a faster rate of muscle growth by hitting your body parts from different angles .
Considering that the Tunturi SM80 replaces 7 workout stations, yet is cheaper than many standalone Smith machines, It's a wonderful investment for those who want commercial gym variety in their own homes—without breaking the bank.
The heavy-duty Tunturi SM80 replaces a Smith machine, squat rack, cable row station, lat pulldown machine, cable crossover system, pec deck and pull up station.
The highly-resistant steel frame and its protective powder coat finish removed all the scepticism that I had about this Scandinavian home gym. When you add in the affordable utility bench that I mentioned above, you have all the key ingredients for an intense full-body workout at home.
However, the Body Solid Series 7 Linear Bearing Smith Machine is still a better option if you want to buy a quality home Gym.
As good as the SM80 is, it just doesn't compare to the 8 workout stations, selectorized weight stack or commercial-grade construction offered by the Series 7. This is the home gym to invest in if you never want to spend money on workout equipment again because it comes with a legit lifetime warranty on everything.
Anyway. I hope that you enjoyed my Tunturi SM80 Full Smith review. It's a great gym from a great company, but for the price, I much prefer Body Solid.