Marcy Combo Smith Machine Review

Marcy Combo Smith Machine for home gymFor people looking to keep their fitness at a relatively advanced level without leaving their basement, a Smith machine can be pretty tempting. For those unfamiliar with Smith Machines: picture a squat rack on rails. It’s essentially a squat machine that offers a series of traditionally free-weight exercises with the convenience and safety of a gym machine.

I decided to try out this machine and write my Marcy Combo Smith Machine review because it’s a relatively unique product and there are probably plenty of people out there considering it. Whether or not this machine is right for you probably depends on what your needs are, so let’s get that out of the way first.

Who is Marcy?

Marcy’s history can be traced back to its founder, Walter Marcyan. In 1946 he began opening his first seven strength training gyms in L.A. He was a huge proponent of strength training, and was big on personal trainers and one-on-one help. After participating in his own series of body building competitions in the 50’s, Marcyan decided to use his fitness experience to build his own machines. The brand’s been around for 50 years and is still offering new at-home gym products on an international scale.

In my experience, Marcy products are a slight step below bigger name brands like Bowflex or Body Solid. I wouldn’t dismiss them outright—their market just tends to skew a little cheaper and this machine is no exception.

Features

First off, let’s talk specs.

  • 82 x 98”, 59”
  • Four weight storage posts.
  • Removable bench for flexible workouts.
  • Many accessories including: V bar, shiver bar, triceps rope, ankle strap.
  • Safety catches in case of drop.
  • Pull-up bar and various other features to target whole body.

So, what are some of the features of this machine? Well, like we discussed, this thing is primarily going to help you with squats, deadlifts, bench presses, etc. It’s a barbell on a rig, essentially. Some features it offers includes an adjustable back pad, which lets you hit your upper body at a few different angles. The cables are apparently made from the stuff used on air crafts, and the accessories I mentioned in the specs lets you hit a little bit of everything. The pull-up bar is a nice touch that comes with most at-home gyms but is surprisingly missing on many Smith Machines. Overall, this thing boasts some nice full-body features.

Who is This Machine For?

Marcy Combo Smith MachineThis machine is for anybody looking to do the big lifts in the comfort of their own home. Some “serious” lifters condemn Smith Machines outright, but the fact is that for people who just want to keep barbells in their routine, it isn’t all that bad.

Smith machines can help people maintain proper form, keep people doing lifts they would otherwise avoid, and make heavy weights a little less dangerous. In that sense, the Marcy Combo does a pretty decent job. It also includes options for people looking for a well-rounded workout, so it sort of has to be considered as competition for other home gym machines like the Bowflex.

The price, however, is cheaper than many other Smith Machines. With that in mind, it’s probably important to set your expectations appropriately. This isn’t going to be a top-of-the-line, best equipment ever. More expensive stuff will likely take you farther.

With that in mind, we can dive a bit deeper into the specifics of this machine.

Pros

  • Pretty cheap for a Smith Machine
    • We talked about why this might be an issue, but to be fair it really is affordable. People who are hesitant about dropping a huge amount of money might do well to consider this one.
  • Lets you do free-weight workouts
    • Put simply: it does what a Smith Machine is supposed to do. You can squat, bench, deadlift, whatever.
  • Offers more than a traditional Smith Machine
    • This thing resembles a home gym and a bow flex smashed together, and for some people, there’s nothing better. If your routine is barbell heavy but relies on other lifts too—why not go for both in one?

Cons

  • Does not come with plates
    • This seemed really counterintuitive. You have to buy your own Olympic plates. Not great.
  • Assembly was a pain
    • I’ve dealt with worse, but this wasn’t great.
  • Not very smooth
    • You’re going to need to do some serious greasing to combat the sticking issues I was dealing with.
  • No lat pull-down or preacher curl attachment.
    • Seems trivial, but it mattered to me. Was sorely lacking them in my workout.

Similar/Alternative Products

The Valor Athletics Smith Machine

The Valor Athletics Smith MachineThis machine has significantly less features, but it functions a bit better as a Smith machine.

You can use it to do squats, shrugs, calf raises.

It can also be used for flat, decline and incline benching, overhead pressing or curling.

Not a terrible deal, and worth checking out if you want a traditional Smith Machine.

Caribou III Smith Machine

This one is a bit more similar to Marcy’s but is a bit more expensive.

It includes a bench and leg workouts but frankly felt a bit worse to me.

It sort of lacks the complete workout feel that the Marcy Combo machine has, and the price hike isn’t really justified.

Worth considering, but definitely not my recommendation.

My Final Call

This machine is alright for the price. Honestly, though, you may need to look up a Marcy Combo Smith Machine assembly video or something to figure it out. Most people seem to have issues with the setup.

Overall, compared to a more expensive machine, this one sort of fell flat. It’s good for people with a tight budget, but if you have the money to spare you should absolutely consider a better one—ideally one that’s a little smoother and a little more sturdily built.

This certainly isn’t the worst Smith Machine out there, but there are definitely better.

About the Author Dumbbellsgeek

Hey! My name is Paul Sheldon. I live in Nashville, TN and I love all things related to sports. Naturally I love workking out and I do it every day. If you want to talk feel freee to hit me a message or if you happen to be in Nashville we can get a coffee, I know a great place. Peace!