Smith Machine Bar Weight: How To Measure Weights Yourself In 2024

Most gym goers are familiar with the standard 45-pound barbell that is used to squat, deadlift, bench press, and more. The Smith machine is similar to a squat rack but the barbell is attached to vertical steel guide rods to provide stability and is great for those who are alone or don’t have a spotter for safety. It also provides a definitive tract that can help create a natural movement path. The Smith machine is an alternative to using a free-weight barbell, but it’s important to know how much the bar weighs before you jump into an exercise. There are a few techniques that you can use to get the true Smith machine bar weight which we will cover in this article.

How Much Does A Smith Machine Bar Weigh?

You would think that most gyms throughout the world use standardized bar weights. But unlike standard barbells or trap bars, the weight of a Smith machine bar varies. Smith machine bars can be as light as six pounds and as heavy as 45 pounds.

For example, Planet Fitness uses bars that are either 15 pounds or 20 pounds and LA Fitness uses bars that weigh between 15 pounds and 25 pounds. Many manufacturers make Smith machines that can vary in weight so make sure you check before you load weight plates onto the bar.

Common Smith Machine Bar Weight

Common Smith Machine Bar Weight
Most Smith machines are between 15-25 pounds. Photo: vladee/Shutterstock

Many brands make Smith machines and the weight of the bar varies. Most Smith machines are between 15-25 pounds but can range from six to 45 pounds!

Many Smith machine brands will have the bar weight written on it somewhere, but if they don’t, you can reference our guide for assistance.

Planet Fitness

The Planet Fitness Smith machine bar weight is normally between 15-20 pounds and is a  commercial machine.

LA Fitness

LA Fitness uses a commercial Smith machine with a bar weight between 15-25 pounds. 


Marcy Smith machines are for residential use. Most of their bars weigh 16 pounds but they also make models with a 25-pound bar and a 36-pound bar. 

Body Solid 

This is a brand that sells to residential homes and commercial gyms. Most of their models have a bar weight of 25 pounds but have a few 36-pound models and one model with a 6-pound bar.

Matrix Fitness

Matrix Fitness sells their Smith machines to commercial gyms with a bar weight of 25 pounds. 

Hammer Strength 

The Hammer Strength Smith machine’s bar weight is 20 pounds and it is another commercial machine.


Nautilus makes residential Smith machines using a 15-pound Olympic bar. Olympic barbells are longer and wider to be able to handle heavier loads. 


Hoist is a residential and commercial Smith machine brand. They have three options on their machines: a 25-pound Olympic bar, a 30-pound bar, and a 45-pound bar.

Force USA

This is a residential Smith machine brand with a 45-pound bar.

Weight Of Smith Machine Bar: Why It Matters?

Weight Of Smith Machine Bar Why It Matters
There are a couple of reasons why you should want to know how much Smith machine bars weigh.Photo: FabrikaSimf/Shutterstock


Imagine you’ve been going to a gym for about one year where the Smith machine bar weighs 15 pounds, then you switch to a gym where the starting weight is 25 pounds. Not a huge difference, but it’s enough that it could make a noticeable difference in the lift and potentially make it more dangerous. One study showed that squatting with a Smith machine may be better for your back,[1] but that could be undone by not knowing what you’re lifting.

Tracking Progress

Tracking how much you lift in each session is important to keep you motivated and watch progress. If you don’t know the bar’s weight in a different gym, you won’t be able to load the correct weight plates to continue on the same trajectory.

It’s also important to know some common types of Smith machines.

  • Vertical (ka linear) Smith machine: the steel rails of this Smith machine are straight up and down, and this type is typically used for an overhead press or bench press.
  • Angled Smith machine: the steel rails of this Smith machine are angled which may help with certain patterns of movement such as a squat or lunge.
  • Counterbalanced Smith machine: this type of Smith machine uses a counterbalance system to offset the weight of the bar using a pulley system. This is a great option for beginners.

How To Measure Smith Machine Bar Weights Yourself?

Since there is no standardized weight of the Smith machine bar, you are left to figure it out for yourself. Many Smith machines will have the weight written on it somewhere, but if you can’t find it there are a few ways to determine the total weight.

Using A Hanging Scale

With a hanging scale (also known as a fish scale), you attach the strap of the scale to the Smith machine barbell and hold the scale above the bar so that it hangs suspended from the scale, allowing the weight to register on the scale.

Using A Rope With Plates

Set the bar up at about chest height. Tie one end of a rope to a Smith machine bar, then throw it over the crossbar on top of the machine. Load plates one by one until the bar barely lifts off the rack. 

Using A Bathroom Scale

Stand on a bathroom scale to see how much you weigh. Make sure the barbell is at the height you would put it at to do squats. Put the bathroom scale under the Smith machine and stand on it with the barbell on your back. Then subtract your weight alone from the weight of you supporting the Smith Machine bar to get the weight of the bar itself.


The weight of a Smith machine bar can vary greatly, therefore you need to figure out how much it weighs before you start the exercise. If you’re using one of the more common Smith machines that we included above, you can reference this article to be more confident in the starting weight of the bar!  And if all else fails, you now have a few tricks to help you figure it out on your own.

Frequently Asked Questions

How much weight should I start with for a Smith machine squat?

This is highly dependent on your skill level, but after figuring out the weight of the bar, start with low weight and then give it a shot! Then slowly add weight until you feel challenged.

What is the benefit of a home gym Smith machine?

Most residential Smith machines allow you to do many exercises safely without taking up a ton of room. 

What is the Smith machine bar weight at Planet Fitness?

Planet Fitness is one of the largest commercial gyms in the country and their bars are normally either 15 pounds or 20 pounds.

Why is a Smith machine good to use?

Smith Machines are safer than free barbells due to the fact that they are on a track. If you drop them, they stay on the track and do not roll away.