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How Did Smith Machines Become More Popular Than Ever?

Last year, when COVID-19 hit the world by storm, everything changed – these changes did not spare the fitness industry

The fitness industry was estimated to be a $34 billion industry in 2019. Market studies have shown that approximately 20% of Americans had a membership to commercial gyms or other fitness facilities. However, during the 1st quarter of 2020, when Coronavirus spread throughout the world, governments like in the US ordered a lockdown to control the transmission of the deadly pathogen. This caused the closure not only of restaurants, malls, bars, but also both large and small gyms and fitness centers. Many people were left without a choice but to shift their physical activities in the comforts of their own homes. This, in turn, has made significant changes in the market sales of gym equipment including the smith machine. This paved the way for the smith machines to gain its popularity.

(Source: Elements.envato.com)

So, if you want to learn further how the smith machine became very popular recently, you should keep on reading!

 

Impact of COVID-19 on the Fitness Industry

It is important to know the impact of COVID-19 on the fitness industry in order to understand how it affected the popularity of the Smith machine.

One of the most significant impacts of COVID-19 last year was the shutdowns and stay-at-home orders by the government. This resulted in commercial gyms and other fitness studios to shift to an online service delivery model literally overnight. This was an almost impossible job for companies pitched toward large facilities, specialized equipment, and personal training. As the lockdown stretched for a few months, market sale data showed that many consumers were becoming more interested in doing home-based workouts. Due to this shift, sales of personal fitness equipment and technology have increased in record-breaking sales, along with online subscriptions for virtual classes and streaming fitness courses.  

As the stay-at-home orders were slowly lifted, the consequences of the lockdown are expected to continue, especially in some commercial gyms and studios. In fact, many of these large and small businesses have filed for the Chapter 11 bankruptcy. Confronting excess capacity, negative cash flow, and an uptick in contractor-filed mechanic liens, these companies intend to use Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection to restructure debt, right-size their footprints, reduce workforce, and renegotiate overly burdensome leases, while pursuing the additional financing necessary to fund the post-pandemic re-openings. In addition to that, recently, even if many nations in the world are now in the recovery phase of the pandemic, many people are still continuing to do home-workouts for the reason that more people are now comfortable and accustomed to doing their fitness activities inside their own homes. This post-pandemic trend was highly expected by many experts and that this should continue in the next few months or the year to come. 

 

Smith Machine and Its Increasing Recent Popularity

As you may know by now, the smith machine is a gym equipment designed in order to be used for strength and resistance training. The smith machine consists of a barbell with weights that are positioned between two steel rails. This permits the machine to move on a straight line. 

The smith machine has been increasing in popularity in the past year. Other than it offers a number of different benefits and provides a wide array of exercises, the smith machine has been famous recently due to the impacts of the pandemic stated above. For many people, the COVID-19 pandemic has been an opportunity to pivot fitness programs from the gym to the homes. With gyms shut down and personal trainers prohibited from face-to-face interactions with most of their clients in the past year, did most people do? For starters, they purchased a number of different home gym equipment, including the Smith machine!

Market reports and auction sites like eBay.com have shown an increased number of people purchasing gym equipment. In fact, between 1st and 2nd quarter of 2020, online sales of fitness equipment rose up to 20 times in some categories compared to the same timeframe last year. Gym equipment that had an increase in sales include dumbbells, Weight Plates, Kettlebells Pull Up Bar Benches, Barbells & Attachments, Power Racks & Smith Machines, Equipment Mats & Flooring, Weight Storage, Push Up Stands which had a 1980%, 1355%, 1000%, 640%, 530%, 355%, 315%, 300%, 285%, and 200% increase, respectively.

(Source: Elements.envato.com)

In addition to that, many people also had a demand for online fitness sessions with personal trainers. Since the lockdown was introduced compared to the same period in 2019, Market studies have observed that there was approximately 2000% increase in online bookings. This increase in interest for such activities has also paved the way for the increase in the popularity of Smith machines across social media networks. As most personal trainers advise clients to buy gym equipment for their home workouts, many people became more knowledgeable and interested in investing in the smith machine.

So, what exactly is the market sales of the smith machine recently?

As stated above, Smith Machines had a 315% sales Increase from 2019 to 2020. According to the market data, the amount people are spending for gym equipment, including the Smith machine, is also increasing. Most customers are now spending $110 on 75% more purchases than before.

Furthermore, even if the lockdowns and closures were already fully lifted recently, many commercial and fitness facilities still face a wide range of difficulties as they start to open again for clients. Following social distancing guidelines, continual sanitizing of equipment, instructing face masks and more can be such a challenge, especially for a number of smaller gyms and fitness studios, who also may find themselves short-staffed during these times. With that, currently, in 2021, there are still many people who are purchasing the gym equipment like the smith machine. So, the increase in popularity of smith machines is expected to still continue to 2021 and even in the following year. 

 

In 2021, here are the most sold Smith Machines in the US: 

Currently, as more people invest in gym equipment, the smith machine has been definitely one of the most sought machines for home gyms. According to market sales, here are the most sold smith machines in the US: 

  1. Inspire Fitness FT2 Functional Trainer and Smith Station – This one of the most versatile options on this list of the best smith machines. This comes with a total of 8 different pull points in order to maximize its efficiency and versatility. With that, one can perform a number of different exercises in the Inspire Fitness FT2 which includes exercises such as standing chest presses, incline presses, flies, close grip presses, shoulder presses, squats, bicep curls, lateral raises, and many more. 
  2. Marcy Smith Cage Workout Machine – This smith machine system is made with heavy-duty steel with a sleek, powder-coated finish. It is also built with aircraft cables. It comes with multi-functional press arms, supporting a variety of chest and arm exercises. It effectively trains the biceps, triceps, and pectoral muscles alongside developing specific muscle groups in the legs. 
  3. Valor Fitness BE-11 Smith Machine –  This smith machine has a 1,000-pound weight capacity. It features a solid cast hardened set of solid steel bars that maintain the precision linear bearings on track. Because it comes with a track and linear bearings, it is the machine ideal to perform exercises such as bench presses, military presses, shrugs, squats, curls, lunges, and many more.
  4. Body Solid GS348Q Series 7 Linear Bearing Smithdy Workout Machine – As its name implies, this smith machine features a linear ball bearing system. With that, the Smith machine allows for the bar to move up and down easily. It comes with 20 cross member lockout points to provide safety. It also features a free weight gun rack system with 14 lift-off and racking points with solid 17-inch extra heavy-duty safeties. The Body Solid GS348Q Smith Machine is constructed with premium parts and has a solid frame which is fit for heavy weights and also provides a whole lot of stability.
  5. Deltech Fitness DF4900 Linear Bearing Smith Machine – This smith machine is not as expensive as others, yet it features precision linear rolling bearings that ride on solid steel bars. Even if priced slightly lower, the Deltech Fitness Smith Machine is still made out of high-quality steel. It can support up to 700 pounds and also features rear supports that hold the weight plates that are not in use.

References:

  1. Am Trust Financial. 2021. Gyms & Fitness Centers: COVID-19. Retrieved from: https://amtrustfinancial.com/blog/small-business/fitness-industry-covid19. Retrieved on 8 October 2021.
  2. Eisneramper. 2020. COVID-19’s Impact on the Fitness Industry. Retrieved from: https://www.eisneramper.com/covid-19-impact-fitness-industry-0720/. Retrieved on 8 October 2021.
  3. Fit & Me. 2021. Best Smith Machines of 2021 – Buyer’s Guide & Reviews. Retrieved from: https://www.fitandme.com/best-smith-machine-reviews/#1. Retrieved on 8 October 2021.
  4. Sports Illustrated Reviews. 2021. For the Thrill of Pumping Iron: Your Guide to Bringing Home the Best Smith Machine. Retrieved from: https://www.si.com/review/smith-machine/. Retrieved on 8 October 2021. 
  5. ZDNet. 2020. How much gym equipment are we buying right now?. Retrieved from: https://www.zdnet.com/article/how-much-gym-equipment-are-we-buying-right-now/. Retrieved on 8 October 2021.

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