1. I don’t need a spotter. When it comes to lifting weights, I’m fairly antisocial. I workout just before work, and am the king of keeping a schedule. I don’t have time to switch out between sets and chat leisurely during this time.
2. Focus and awareness. Because smith machines only allow vertical motion, I’m forced to pay extra attention to my form while lifting. It’s extremely easy to sacrifice your form on a smith machine because of the built in spotting design. Just because the bar is supported by a giant metal frame, does not mean you get to let your core slack off, or your feet chill wherever you’d like. Bend those legs, get that butt down, and let the bar touch your chest before you push that weight back up. Stay challenged.
3. Variety. Three out of my five lifting days, I follow a stronglifts routine. Lucky for me I get into the gym early enough to hog the smith machine – knocking out the first few lifting sequences in peace and undisturbed. I always start with squats (because they suck), then bench, and finish with some barbell rows; this takes me about thirty minutes. If I can sweat my ass off without having to move very far, I’m all in.