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How To Maintain a Smith Machine And Keep It 30 years And Longer!

Smith machines are one of the best gym equipment that you can invest in. Other than it provides a wide range of exercises for you to perform in the comforts of your own home, it can also last you for a very long time. 

(Source: Elements.envato.com)

However, just like all things, as you use the Smith Machine, it can also develop some wear-and-tear. With that, it is important to take some steps in order to maintain the Smith Machine and even keep it longer as it should.  So, to avoid the smith machine from malfunctioning and being damaged early, a proper maintenance and care protocol should be done to continue your usage of the amazing gym equipment. 

So, if you are a fitness enthusiast who just like to maintain or develop your physique at home, or you are a new business owner of a commercial gym, or just someone who simply do not have an standard operating procedures for gym equipment maintenance, then this article is definitely for you for this will surely be able to give you ample knowledge on how you can start off with properly maintaining your smith machine and keep its life longer!

  1. Check Your Home or Commercial Gym’s Humidity And Temperature
    One of the most vital factors that affect the shelf life of your gym equipment is humidity and temperature. Too high or too low of either can cause your equipment to degrade faster than usual. Most gym equipment manuals will recommend suitable ranges of relative humidity and temperature in order to properly store your smith machine. The International Fitness Association and the American College of Sports Medicine have suggested that weight training equipment should be placed in areas with temperatures at about 65 to 68 degrees F. Humidity levels for all areas should be around 40% to 60%. With that, it is vital to find the ideal balance between your smith machine manufacturer’s suggestions and the IFA’s suggestions and monitor your levels regularly in order to make sure that you stay constantly close to those ranges. 
  2. Read Smith Machine’s Manual
    Always read the smith machine’s manuals in order to know how to go about maintaining the gym equipment. Prevent presumptions, as this may jeopardize your equipment and probably cause injuries to you. It is only gym equipment manufacturers and maintenance and repair crews that are knowledgeable on how to maintain the equipment properly. So, do not think of your gym equipment maintenance, repair, and maintenance as a DIY project. It is vital to always follow the instructions in the manual consistently. If there is something you do not understand, it is better to ask and contact the smith machine manufacturer for clarifications.
  3. Do Not Misuse The Smith Machine
    It is important to always remember to avoid using the smith machine for any other purpose other than what it was designed for. The Smith machine can serve more than one purpose, but the equipment shouldn’t be used for exercises that they weren’t designated to handle. With that, you should not use the gym equipment for fitness exercises that were not included in the manual. It may be true that some exercises can still be executed in the smith machine even if it is not stated in the manual. However before performing them, it is vital to research well in order to make sure it does not damage the machine and also not harm you. Misusing the smith machine may cause the equipment to work extra hard, thus decreasing the life of the equipment by years. To make sure that your smith machine lasts, you should ensure that they are utilized for their proper purpose.
  4. Keep and Regularly Clean The Smith Machine
    After each and every use, it is vital to ensure to thoroughly clean your smith machine. Allowing moisture and bodily oils to remain on your machines may not only leave unsightly stains, but also may damage parts over long periods of time. Use cleaning rags to wipe off any secretions or sweat that may have landed on the machine during your workout. Always have some cleaning rags or dry towels within reach in order to do quick spot-wipes after using the smith machine.

    (Source: Pexels.com)

    A microfiber cloth is highly recommended to be used when wiping the smith machine, along with a mixture of a few drops of non-abrasive dish soap and water. Put the mixture in a spray bottle to avoid saturating your cloth and wipe down the equipment with the cloth. Furthermore, in order to thoroughly clean your Smith machine, get a bucket of water, warm it if possible, and add a mild detergent or non-abrasive dish soap. Take the microfiber cloth, make it damp by dunking it in the bucket and then squeezing the excess liquid out. Wipe down all the parts of the machine. Good thing that the Smith machine does not have any electronics so you do not have to worry about that, however do not get everything too wet. It is also important not to let the smith machine air dry completely, as that is not as effective as wiping it down.

  5. Lubricate Your Smith Machine
    After cleaning the smith machine, do not forget about lubricating it. The lubricant on a Smith machine is used for the guide rods. Guide rods are made from a hardened material and have a polished surface.  Lubricate these moving parts of your smith machine on a monthly basis, or more often depending on how regular you use it.

    It must be noted that a grease or other runny lubricant is not ideal for a Smith machine because it will all drip down over time. The machine requires something that makes a protective layer so the guide rod or bearings do not get damaged. The best option for a smith machine is a spray lube with PFTE (Teflon). This is easy to apply, does not cause a mess if applied correctly, and it sets on the surface quickly. With this type of lubricant, you get the hard protective layer on the guide rods that protects both the rods and the bearings. You can also spray other silicone-based lubricant on pulleys, smith tracks, and any other moving parts. Adding silicone-based lubricant will permit for a smoother range of motion during each repetition. The lubrication will also ensure the pulleys and all moving parts last longer because friction is significantly reduced.

    Lastly, lubrication is usually not required regularly, however, the smith machine will definitely last longer and work smoother if you do this frequently. To lubricate your smith machine, make sure first that the guide rods are clean of dust and dirt, then put the barbell in the lowest position. After that, spray the guide rods from top to bottom from about 6” away. Spray both front and rear. Holding a piece of cardboard behind the rod while spraying will help prevent overspray. If there are any drips forming, take a dry, non-abrasive, lint-free cloth in order to wipe off the excess and distribute the lubricant. Then, wait 10 minutes for the spray to set, then your smith machine is good to go.

  6. Weekly Overall Inspection
    Other than proper usage, cleaning, and lubricating the smith machine, performing periodic inspections to keep them in optimal shape is also vital. For the Smith machine, you will have to inspect every part that contains screws. Also, include inspecting the bench that comes with your smith machine. Since more laborious exercises and weight bearing workouts can occasionally put a strain on these pieces of equipment, their screws can start to loosen. If this happens, tighten them firmly. Also, check for other aesthetic problems such as chipped paints or corroding metals, so that you can contact professionals to fix such issues.  

References: 

  1. Home Gym Resources. 2019. Smith Machine Maintenance What’s The Best Lubricant?. Retrieved from: https://homegymresource.com/smith-machine-maintenance-whats-the-best-lubricant/. Retrieved on 18 November 2021.
  2. Morgan Sports. 2019. Gym Maintenance: How To Care For Your Gym Equipment. Retrieved from: https://www.morgansports.com.au/guides/gym-maintenance-how-to-care-for-your-gym-equipment/. Retrieved on 18 November 2021.
  3. Precor Home Fitness. 2020. Tips On How To Maintain Your Home Gym Equipment. Retrieved from: https://www.precorhomefitness.com/blogs/blog/tips-on-how-to-maintain-your-home-gym-equipment. Retrieved on 18 November 2021. 
  4. Vapor Fresh. 2021. How To Properly Maintain Gym Equipment. Retrieved from: https://www.vaporfresh.com/blog/how-to-properly-maintain-gym-equipment/. Retrieved on 18 November 2021. 

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