134 of 139 people found the following review helpful
on November 4, 2008
In case you are not aware, muscles react 30% better to free weights then they do to machine weights. The problem for many people, is getting that free weight motion safely if you have to workout alone. This Smith Machine concept tackles that nicely.
I researched for weeks what would be the best free weight (or similar) home gym, at the lowest price possible, and as safely as possible without a spotter, but without sacrificing quality. This Marcy smith system won the toss. There were a few other possible runner-ups (like the Body Solid Series 7 Smith Machine at $2800, or the PowerTec Multisystem Leverage Gym at $1500). Both had their pros (quality) and cons (size/price), but in the end when I compared everything this Marcy gym won hands down. The Linear Bearings used in it dramatically increase the quality factor, and while some reviews said they were not "Thompson" bearings, I find them to be of very good quality and extremely smooth (besides, how "brand name" do you really need little steel ball bearings to be anyways).
Anyhow, there are a few things to note about this gym:
GREAT price at only $982 on Amazon w/ free shipping (and it arrived in a week)
EVERY major exercise you can think of. I pulled out my exercise routine I followed when I was a member of Bally's Gym, and I was able to do every single exercise on my list. I am still amazed at everything this gym has!
THE SIZE of it is even more compact than I thought. The frame is only about 5 feet wide by 5 feet long (but keep in mind that the smith bar extends about 7 feet across, and the bench sticks out about 2 feet longer than the frame itself).
LOOKS - it is probably the most stylish smith gym I have seen in blue and white (coincidentally, our walls are the same color blue, so that was a bonus)
You need to buy separate olympic weights. This is not actually a CON, since most of these free weight gyms require the same, but you can tack on a few hundred more for those (I found the best deal at Sears for 300 lbs + the bar at only $275)
The instructions - although they are fairly easy to read, they are aboslutely horrible for matching parts. NOTHING, not a single solitary part (and there are about 100) have labels. You have to actually hunt through the boxes to match the right piece with the right step and diagram you are on to make sure you have the right match. What were they thinking here? The good news is that ech part is pretty much one of a kind, so you shouldn't have too much trouble matching the piece, it's just finding it amongst 100 pieces that is the trouble. They could have made this much easier. The build time as stated in several reviews online said 5-8 hours, and yes it took me all 8 hours simply because of the hide and seek of matching parts. Proper labeling could have easily cut this down to 6 hours at a maximum.
Lastly, two of the frame pieces were bent when they got here (although no visible damage to the boxes). I had to hammer one piece back to it's correct shape, and the other had an elongated hole in it for a bolt to fit through, but because it was bent so much I had to drill about a 1/4" more space to accomomidate the bolt.
All in all, I would absolutely buy this again, as long as you don't mind an 8 hour build time and the "possiblity" of a little extra handy work.
My logic with this product was to buy it for $982, buy the Bowflex SelectTech dumbells (see my 2009 model review of those on Amazon) as well, buy the free weights, and buy an extra EZ curl bar but still stay under $2000. I did exactly that, while at the same time maintaing the ability to keep free weight quality and encompass all necessary exercises.
MISSION ACCOMPLISHED, AND WE ARE 100% SATISFIED!
62 of 65 people found the following review helpful
on January 17, 2009
I've had this Smith Machine for about 2 weeks now and one thing I can say for sure is that I am royally impressed with the quality-to-price ratio of this system. It does almost every exercise you could ever want or need. It also looks great sitting there in my family room. I have included a couple of pictures to give a closer and more detailed view of some of the attachment on the system because the picture that Amazon gives kinda sucks.
Well here is my rundown on this gym:
Pros are as follows:
1. Great quality/price ratio with it only costing me $969.94 and Free Super Saver shipping. It shipped with CEVA Logistics to get to me. (Just a side note here, be sure to call CEVA and have them lookup your tracking number because Amazon did not supply the correct tracking number and CEVA must contact you to schedule a delivery appointment or else they will not come out to deliver to you.)
2. This machine looks great in your living room, den, patio, or where ever you put so long as you have room for it.
3. Almost every major exercise known to man can be done on this system. I'm guessing there are at least over 100 different ones you can do on it.
4. Depending on your current weight collection, it will hold either regular 1" weight plates or 2" Olympic weight plates. It comes with these hard plastic adapters which slide over everything to make it Olympic size. It also comes with enough clips to go over every single weight peg; however, the set only comes with Olympic sized clips so if you want to use regular sized plates you have to get regular sized clips separately.
Unfortunately this system has some Cons (but that's ok, nothings perfect):
1. The chrome bars that the Smith bar and the rear cable weight slide up and down do not come with any type of lubrication so the smith bar makes an annoying grinding noise going up and down while the rear cable weight holder tend to kinda stick going either up or down. I highly recommend getting some lubricant for both of these areas. After I lubed'em up they slide up and down smoothly. Hey now, get your mind out of the gutter. :)
2. Build time for this system is staggering. Even though the instructions were not that bad and all of the nuts, bolts, washers, and bushings were labeled it still took 7 hours to put it together and that was with a buddy helping me the whole time. Be prepared to spend a lot of time building this if you get one.
3. It doesn't come with an Olympic weight set or regular Olympic bar but that didn't bother me any. I bought the 300lb O-Ring Olympic set from Sears for $250 and it works just fine.
I have another few tid bits of information, an "fyi" if you will, that I think everyone who is considering this gym should know. It has a spot on the bottom back support to hold an Olympic bar for storage. The smith bar has multiple locations to lock for varying heights and has adjustable emergency stops just in-case you can't stand back up. The big white Olympic bar holders in the very front can be moved to any location on the silver part of the front so you can stand and rack a bar if you are doing shoulders or put it low for declined bench presses. Last but not the least, its rated to support 600 pounds on the unit. That doesn't include the weight of the gym so it would come out to about 1100 pounds all together if you include the maximum plate weight and weight of the gym.
All in all I am 100% impressed and would buy it again if I ever needed to.
*UPDATE DEC 2014*
I sold the gym recently due to space issues with a new house I moved into but in the past 5 years I've owned it the only things that have broken or needed repairing was some of the pulleys having the bearing dust caps falling off and 2 of the plastic Olympic sized plate adapters breaking off but they were my own doing in both cases. I really wish I wouldn't have needed to sell it and miss it already but maybe I'll buy it again in the future space permitting. My original rating stands unwavering.
104 of 113 people found the following review helpful
on January 15, 2010
Price was crazy low, got it for 648 with free shipping over the holidays, crazy!
Pros: Linear bearings, multiple catches on the smith machine, having an almost complete gym for the price.
Preacher curls feel great, as do the leg developer exercises.
Squats on the smith machine can be done to perfection and create an excellent workout with less weight.
I have a lot of cons, but I truly enjoy the machine and use at least 3-4 components of it 3-4 times per week.
Cons: The bench does not fit all the way under the smith bar when you wish to attempt shoulder presses with the back support at 90 degrees, so shoulder presses must be done with the bench flat, without back support.
Positioning the bench has to be done frequently, it can be hard to put the bench exactly where it needs to be for the perfect bench press.
The bar is not scored for hand placement like a normal olympic bar.
The bar is light, certainly not 45 pounds.
The bar does not go down to the ground so you can perform a full deadlift. I solved this be standing on car ramps, but had to experiment with an empty bar until positioned perfectly (stand with your back to the machine!)
The lat machine sucks, no way to anchor your body to the ground, need a separate power tower.
The collars on the weight bar are plastic and wear down.
The weight holder for your pec dec, lat machine, cross overs, anything cable related, travels up and down a square tube which cause extra friction and less fluid motion. Grease does not seem to help
I have had trouble engaging the safety catches when performing squats, this would be trouble if I was lifting low reps and heavier weight. You need to have mirrors so you can ensure the bar is even on both sides when reracking.
14 of 15 people found the following review helpful
on May 27, 2010
The MD9010G rates well with me. from the beginning of the transaction. I bought the item it arrived one week later. It ships from Industry City, CA. and I live in Naples, FL. so it had to cross the entire nation. The shipping number that Amazon will give you to track the package will not work. You must call CEVA the shipper and get a tracking number that you can use to follow this item. also give them a phone number so the can deliver by appointment. IF you fail to make an appointment and they have to redeliver it will be very expensive, CEVA telephone number is 1 800 592 7489. they will set you up properly. I began to assemble with my wife, An invetory is neeed first, I was missing some items, however was able to assemble and use the gym. Reading the other concerns clued me into what to look for. Follow the instructions and put all the screws together loose until it tells you to tighten and you will have no alignment problem ( NO DRILLING AND NO BENDING)... The seat back was dented but after a day the foam expanded.... WD 40 was recommeded in the manuel and works to eliminate all binding and noise. The hardware will be coated heavily in a packing grease but that is good because the bolts wont rust and you simply have to wipe everything down once complete. There is no balance issue with the bar on my machine and the unit required a small section of rubber floor matting under one corner to level it. It is So very smooth and steady in all aspects with each exercise. It is top quality and works well within the limits as far as weight capacity... I feel it will work great as a home machine and will hold up to working a few hours a day but not in a facility where it would be used by many different people for 8-12 hours a day. Definely a job for the mechanically inclined and will take about 6 hours for two people to complete.
12 of 13 people found the following review helpful
on September 8, 2012
I am thrilled with the Marcy Diamond Elite Smith Machine. Now let's be clear: If you are a gym rat looking to perform every exercise that you could at your local Gold's Gym, then this is NOT for you. You'll need to either spend a lot more money or buck-up for another gym membership. But if you're like me (experienced or not) and want a home gym that provides multiple options to help you stay in shape, then this IS for you. I'm not the indestructible kid who worked out like crazy trying to look like Arnold or Ferrigno anymore. Instead, now I work like crazy at my job, coaching just about every sport ever created, and trying to find a couple hours per week to stay healthy, fit, and maintain the few muscles I have left. So if you find yourself in this type of situation and/or mindset, then again I highly recommend this product.
As for the smith machine itself, the quality, weight, and sturdiness all exceeded my expectations. Before pulling the trigger and buying, I looked at this particular gym (and a few others) for about 6 months - trying to find out as much info as possible. I kept seeing customer reviews that complained about setup time and unclear directions. Well yes, it took me a few hours per night for 3 nights. But think about it, that's actually a good thing - it's a big bulky home gym with a ton of pieces that when completed, becomes an extremely sturdy smith machine. Would you want a smith machine that got thrown together in an hour or two, that is supposed to hold several hundred pounds of weights? Not me! So if you just put on your iPod, take your time, and follow the directions step-by-step, the manual will lead you to setup the machine without any problems. The whole process was actually fun, at least for me.
All said, I very strongly recommend the Marcy Diamond Elite Smith Machine.
17 of 20 people found the following review helpful
on October 11, 2010
I have some differences of opinion with some of the prior reviews so I'll just point out what appears to me to be the most important things. First let me say that there were a few things that might have caused me to rate this a 3 or 4, but I'm so impressed with the construction, I went ahead and gave it a 5 based on the final assembled product.
1) Very well constructed. The plastic olympic weight holders seem fine to me. This thing to me is built nearly as well as the commercial ones. I can't image ever having a problem with the stability or strength of the machine itself.
2) Comes with the bells and whistles. Attachments. I really just needed a smith machine for bench press, so I'm getting a lot more for a reasonable price.
3) Unlike what others have said, all three rails flow smoothly after applying some Heavy duty Silicone lubricant (in WD40 section of home improvement store). I first sprayed them down. Used a paper towel soaked with the spray to clean the circular and square rails. Then I spray the rails again without wiping it off. Moved the parts up and down the rails. There is no discernable catching/sticking on the cable system or the smith bar.
4) Bench comes with one of those screw in place holders, but it is spring based. Don't tighten it all the way, just tight enough to hold the bench. Then when you want to adjust, just pull the knob, and it will compress the spring, you can adjust the seat and then just let the knob go. No turning required.
5)I'm going to say construction again. It uses lots of plates/brackets to ensure no stress on the frame. Built like a tank.
1) Shipping. I'm going to break this down into several parts
a) Amazon does not give the shipper your phone number which the shipper requires for delivery.
b) CEVA (the shipper) sucks. They lost track of one of the boxes and delayed delivery because they had to find it and send it through.
c) Delivery box not sturdy enough to hold 230 lbs in one of the three boxes. Box ripped apart before being delivered on one side. CEVA taped it up and brought it to my house. Kinda scary to think I might have to pay to send 400 lbs of stuff back, but from the other reviews, sounds like Impex is good about spare parts. One of my packages of bolts & screws fell out of the ripped box and delivery guy came back and gave it to me right before they left. Praise God! I ended up having all the parts.
d) Two pieces of the bench had insignificant bends on the plates, 5 seconds with the hammer ironed that out. Funny thing is it wasn't from the ripped package
e) Leg cushions have some indentations that probably won't come out, but I don't really care. It's small indentations.
2) Directions - While the directions seem to be much improved over the version the first reviewer had when he bought, there were one or two items that weren't exactly right/clear. Overall, it didn't really cause me to waste any time, pretty easy to figure it out from the pictures. The thing I really didn't like about the instructions, although it doesn't cause me much headache was that there was not a diagrammed parts list. There was a screws & bolts list. You could check the screws & bolts before getting started, but not the other parts. Just had to verify with the diagram for the step, which wasn't horrible. Just kinda scary not having a full pictoral parts list. FYI there is a text/word based parts index.
3) Build Time - Know how long it takes to build a tank? Very well constructed and you put in the time it takes to build a beautiful machine like this. Took me 9.5 hours for the machine and 2.5 hours for the bench...OK yes I was moving slowly by the time I got to the bench, but that's because my body was aching so much from the marathon effort the day before on the machine. BTW if you're even moderately coordinated this should not REQUIRE two people to put together.
Overall I am very pleased. Everything functions as it should. If the delivery guy had not come back with my nuts & bolts before leaving, I probably would have rated this a 3 star. Final product meets all my expectations. I'm a happy customer.
7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
on January 27, 2013
To echo another reviewer I'm also a middle age (44) former lifter. When I was in the Marines I could bench, squat, and deadlift over 400 lbs. Not big numbers I know but hey, they ran us to death every day. I know my way around weight equipment but haven't touched a weight in 10 years due to marriage, work and a mortgage. I bought this Marcy Diamond set on craigslist from somebody who also bought it used (people buy exercise equipment and do not get around to using it - big surprise). So - it has been moved at least twice. Now it's in my garage and I could not be happier with it. The bearings, cables, and actions are all very smooth and the frame is very solid. I applied a little WD-40 to the moving parts and everything works better than I expected. You may not be able to perform every single exercise imaginable but you can properly work out each muscle group and then some.
My wife has also been working out with me on this machine. It's quick and easy to switch out the weights and she also enjoys and is impressed by this equipment.
You get what you pay for - if you want gym level high end equipment it will cost you several thousand dollars more than this machine. However, this set is very well designed and solid and more than adequate for home use. If you are an elite level lifter (in which case you will not be working out at home anyway) than this product is not for you. If you are in the 99% of individuals looking for a free weight workout at a reasonable price than purchase this without reservations. I highly recommmend this product. Buy it and get back in shape like I'm trying to do.
10 of 11 people found the following review helpful
on October 23, 2012
We bought our set locally for the price difference. It was a good chunk of change we spent elsewhere.
For a home gym it's not bad. It's not commercial quality, but to have commercial quality equipment you would be paying much more.
They recommend 2 people put this together, and so do I. Not only for holding parts and what not, but to help you hunt down the parts you need. I think we spent more time hunting down parts and digging through boxes than we did actually putting the darn thing together. I also recommend having a tape measure on hand for some of the brackets; they are differentiated by size, and they are not marked. I took a star for the difficulty in finding parts. Labeling would have been super helpful.
We bought our set new in the box from a local retailer. The outside container was not damaged; but to our dismay the parts in side were dinged, chipped, and scratched. We thought about taking it back; but those boxes were supper heavy, and we were tired from hunting down parts.
I would have taken another star for missing parts, but when called they shipped the parts to us. We have yet to receive it, but they did start the process. I will update if the parts are not received. The missing and damaged parts didn't prevent the machine from working, just left us with a few weights not on the storage pegs.
I will say customer service was a bit curt, I don't know if they get a lot of complaints or damaged parts calls, but there is no excuse for such a disposition when speaking to customers. From the initial script reading, it sounded like she hated her job, and anyone who dared to call by proxy. I did remove a star for customer service, since it's part of the purchase.
If you can over look the QC issues, inevitable customer service calls, and hunting down parts. The machine isn't bad.
From a purely function point of view. This machine works fine, but there is a definite limitation on the range of motion. The lack of range of motion is most noticeable for me when rowing and doing cable cross overs. I'm 5'3" so imagine someone taller trying to do the same.
The other issue we had was some moving parts liked to stick, it was easily remedied with a spritz of WD-40 on the high friction points.
It didn't occur to me the angle of the barbell guide would have had such an impact on my workout, but I find certain exercises dangerous for me to attempt with the severe angle. Shoulder presses can be dangerous as the machine forces the weight further away from your body as you press up if you face out of the machine. If you face the back of the machine you work more of your chest than your shoulders. If you don't use the machine for this purpose then it's not a big deal. I'm sticking with my dumbbells.
With all that said, as long as you know what you are buying and it's limitations; it's not a bad machine.
13 of 15 people found the following review helpful
on May 25, 2010
This may be a good gym for its price, but it's not nice enough to replace a gym membership.
I did not expect the smith rack to be on at least a 15 degree slope toward the back. The back set of weights used for all cable exercises does not move smoothly on the vertical chrome box track causing jerky resistance. A linear bearing should have been used in this location! I will try WD-40, but the movement is rough and both sides have to be perfectly balanced with weight to prevent the plastic sleeve from sticking. The cable motion is also poor. The seated chest fly range of motion does not go far enough back to properly workout, but can be used without hitting the smith bar. I am 6'3" and I hit the top of the smith rack at the top of my squat. The center bench needs to have wheels to assist moving, the rubber feet keep falling off when I slide the bench into position. The chrome slider bar began flaking after the first adjustment of the bench, movement is difficult and needs WD-40. A liner bearing would have been nice here too. The weight holders are all plastic and seem cheap. The smith bar is nice, I like that the bar has a lot of independent movement up and down between the left and right sides. They included chain links with a center nut rather than the chain links with a spring that allow quick replacement of accessories. The overall structure of the gym is nice, but it's the small size, cheap accessories and lack of design detail that cause buyer's remorse.
I built this gym by myself which is a small miracle. The directions are pretty horrible. I am an engineer and a contractor so can follow instructions, but the exploded diagrams have poor resolution and are hard to follow. I was also very careful when sorting the bolts which I'm sure was a huge help.
There are many places to hang weights on this gym; I should have bought more than 355-lbs of weights. I also need to find a simple bench with wheels to replace the one that is included. I will use the included bench for it's accessory features off to the side.
6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
on October 17, 2012
First I'd suggest buying this equipment from Costco online. I orginally bought it from a "distributer" on Amazon, and when it arrived at my house it had a Costco Shipping label on it. I discovered the "distributor" had just purchased it from costco online and just had it shipped directly to me, all while charging me a couple hundred dollars profit. Costco.com offers it for $675 (without a costco membership there was a $30 service fee) with free shipping! At about 700 dollars this equipment is an awesome value.
Assembly of the machine is a pain and time consuming (took me about 10 hours), but it is worth it at the end. I put it together completely by myself so if you are alone it can be done. The instructions were not bad, although they were vague at a few steps.
I've been working out with this equipment for about two weeks now and I love it. It has exceeded even my high expectations. I recently moved to a more rural area with less gyms in the area. Plus, I work nights and like to workout later than most. Having the equipment in my basement has made it so convienent to workout I have zero excuses not to get to the gym. The versitility of this equipment makes it so much better than similarly prices home gyms that target only specific exercises like leg press, lat pull down, peck deck, and seated chess press.
The equipment really stacks up against gym quality equipment. I don't know how it will hold up (as I've only had it two weeks), but the equipment feels very solid at this point. The bearings on the smith rack roll easily and freely. The cable exercises feel similar to exercises on equipment at a gym designed specifically for that one exercise. The pully system also offers enough resistance so that you don't have to try to completely overload it with weight. Between the uppper pullies and lower pully you can do so many different exercises (seated rows, standing cable curls, seated cable curls, skull crushers, tricep extensions, tricep kickbacks, overhead tricept extensions, peck-deck flies, cable cross overs, and the list goes on...). I have found I can change some minor things to make exercises work that I wouldn't have expected to be done on this equipment. For example I used to do standing lateral cable raises at the gym, but found the range of motion wasn't far enough on this equipment from the low pully. So instead I must do them seated. You can really come up with a ton of different excercises to do on this equipment. Someone in a different review commented that the lat pull down doesn't hold down your legs so it is useless. I have found that if you put the smith bar down on your legs and lock it into place using the pins for racking a free bar to the front of machine, it will hold your legs down. So again sometimes it takes just a small change to make an exercise work. When you add an olymic bar, a set of adjustable dumbells, and a pull-up bar to the mix, the list of things you can do includes nearly everything I would do at a gym. I guess the one shortfall of the equipment would be exercises for legs. The bench has the leg extension equipment on it, but the length of my legs make it diffcult to use.
All in all if you are thinking about buying a home gym get this one!