Valor Athletics Smith Machine BE-11
|Valor Athletics BE-11|
Check Discounted Price
|258 lbs||1,000 lbs||35+||Frame: 3 years
Bar: 3 years
Parts: 1 year
A Smith machine is a great addition to any home gym as it opens a wide variety of exercises based on lifting weights. Plus, it’s versatile as it doesn’t require a custom weight stack such as a cable weight machine, and you can use your own Olympic or Standard weight plates.
When it comes to Smith machines, currently one of the highest rated models is the BE-11 from Valor Athletics. This particular model features a simple setup, including the bar and the supports for the weight plates, but just as the BD-7 Power Rack, it does not include the plates, nor a bench.
Technical Details and Specifications
- Assembled dimensions: 53″D x 73.25″W x 80.5″H inches (135D x 186W x 203H cm)
- Shipping weight: 258 lbs (117 kg)
- Max. weight capacity: 1,000 lbs (453.5 kg)
- Possible exercises:
- Warranty: Frame 3 years / Bar 3 years / Parts 1 year
Frame construction and parts
To begin with, the BE-11 Smith machine features a solid steel configuration, actually being able to support up to 1,000 lbs (453.5 kg) of weight. This being said, it’s a machine suitable for power lifters as well, not just for beginners or intermediate users. Naturally, its frame is made of thick steel tubing, double coated with corrosion resistant gray paint. Most of the bars and other small parts have a chrome finish though.
The frame itself has a footprint of 53″D x 55″W (135 x 140 cm), however, the final width of the machine is actually given by its barbell, which is 73.25″ (186 cm). Evidently, you’ll have to add at least 2′ (61 cm) of space on each side, for the proper use of the machine and to be able to load plates on the bars and supports without any hindrance. Also, in case you’ll be using a bench, you’ll probably need a couple of feet clearance for it at the front.
The space between the vertical bars of the machine is approx. 45″ (144 cm), wide enough to accommodate users of all sizes.
The bases of the frame integrate rubber foot pads, which offer a firm grip onto the floors, also preventing any damage to the flooring. There are no holes drilled in the bases for securing it to the floor with bolts though. But if you do want to bolt the frame to the floor, you can always drill a few.
When it comes to the machine’s height, it’s only 80.5″ (203 cm). This particular aspect has its pluses and minuses. On the one hand, the machine will fit in a room with a 7′ (213.3 cm) ceiling. But on the other hand, a tall user (over 6’5″) may not be able to perform proper calf raises.
The bar supplied with this Smith machine features Olympic sized sleeves, for weight plates with 2″ holes. However, the bar itself is not an Olympic size bar. As we’ve mentioned above, it’s only 73.25″ (186 cm) long, and weighs only 30 lbs (13.6 kg). The bar’s sleeves offer approx. 16″ (40.6 cm) of space for loading plates. Therefore, considering that most Olympic plates measure between 2″ and 3″ in thickness (5 – 7.6 cm), you’ll be able to load 5-8 plates on each side.
The frame also has a set of 4 plate storage pegs (2 on each side), also meant for Olympic plates with 2″ holes. The storage pegs are 8″ (20.3 cm) long.
One last aspect regarding the bar is its finish. It features a chrome finish, with knurled grips. A barbell cushion pad for squats is not included though.
Like in most Smith machines, the frame features a set of two shafts to which the bar is attached via a set of 4 linear ball bearings. These offer maximum stability for pressing exercises or squats, supplying a very smooth glide of the bar on its shafts. Also, the bar has a set of two thick j-hooks welded directly onto it, designed to facilitate a quick and easy catch, via bar rotation. The frame features 14 catch positions, with solid stainless steel pins.
Evidently, the gliding shafts of the main bar also feature a set of safety catches attached to them, in order to provide the maximum safety for all exercises. They also integrate a set of two springs, meant to absorb a great deal of the shock of dropping the bar, this way prolonging the life of the safety catches.
The Valor Fitness BE-11 Smith machine does not come with fitness bench. Also, it does not include weight plates. You’ll have to purchase these additionally, in case you don’t have them already.
One of the accessories specific to this particular machine that requires mentioning here, is the counter weight set for the machine’s bar. The name of the accessory is BE-11CB, and consists of a set of two thin, rectangular plates, with cables attached to them, which are meant to be inserted in the frame’s vertical tubes, with cables crossed over the top pulleys and attached to the machine’s bar assembly.
This counter balance set is meant to nullify the weight of the bar, offering the possibility of a weight lifting start lower than 30 lbs (13.6 kg), which is the actual weight of the bar. It’s a useful accessory if you require recovery training, for example.
The small pulleys at the top of the frame’s vertical bars that are visible in some of the attached photos, do come with the machine. However, the counter weight accessory is sold separately.
- Bench presses
- Incline presses
- Shoulder presses
- Rear deltoid rows
- Deep squats
- Front squats
- Single leg squats
- Calf raises
- Seated calf raises
- Biceps curls
- Drag curls
- Bent-over rows
- Stand-up rows
- Rear deltoid rows
- Stiff-legged deadlifts
- Triceps dips
- Hanging knee raises
- Wide grip pull-ups
- Muscle pull-ups
- Behind head pull-ups
- Around the world pull-ups
- One arm pull-ups
- Weighted pull-ups
- Close grip chin-ups
- Wide grip chin-ups
- One hand chin-ups
- Weighted chin-ups
- Leg presses
- Donkey kicks
- … and more.
Evidently, this is only a short list of exercises that can be performed on this machine. The list can always expand depending on how inventive you are when it comes to exercises. Some of these require a bench or other accessories.
Assembly and Maintenance
First of all, this Smith machine is shipped in five boxes, with the following dimensions:
- Box 1: 51lbs 80″L x 12″W x 4″H (23kg, 203 x 30.4 x 10 cm)
- Box 2: 51lbs 80″L x 12″W x 4″H (23kg, 203 x 30.4 x 10 cm)
- Box 3: 66lbs 59″L x 11″W x 10″H (30 kg, 150 x 28 x 25.4 cm)
- Box 4: 44lbs 50″L x 7″W x 6″H (20 kg, 127 x 17.7 x 15.2 cm)
- Box 5: 46lbs 26″L x 9″W x 8″H (20.8 kg, 66 x 23 x 20 cm)
In other words, the transport of each box into the room where the machine will be assembled, may require two people. The assembly itself is not difficult, but due to the many parts, it will definitely take several hours. A hard copy of the user’s manual is supplied with the machine, which provides comprehensive step-by-step instructions for the assembly. Thus, putting it together yourself shouldn’t be a problem.
For maintenance, the linear ball bearings may occasionally require lubrication. Also, it’s recommended to inspect the joints, bolts and nuts of the machine from time to time, and re-tighten them if it’s the case.
- Extremely solid frame, being able to support loads up to 1,000 lbs (453.5 kg);
- Frame bases with large rubber stabilizers for floor protection, offering a superior grip onto the floor and preventing the frame from sliding over;
- Gliding barbell assembly, integrating four linear ball bearings, for smooth operation and maximum stability;
- 14 sets of safety pins, for various catch positions of the barbell and catches;
- Catch plates with stainless steel coils for shock absorbing;
- Olympic sleeves on the barbell and the 4 weight plate storage supports;
- Offers the possibility to perform a wide array of gym-quality exercises;
- Straightforward assembly process;
- Little maintenance required.
- It’s only 80.5″ tall. Thus, taller users (over 6’5″) may not be able to perform proper calf raises for example, especially if using a calf step accessory;
- Counter weight accessory for the bar, not included.
The Valor Athletics BE-11 is a Smith machine that offers the required training setting for all users, including power lifters, as it has a weight load capacity of 1,000 lbs. It features an extremely sturdy construction, with a solid safety system, a gliding bar with linear ball bearings and Olympic sleeves, and 14 catch positions for the bar. It offers the possibility to perform a wide array of gym-quality exercises, basically all exercises that can be performed on a basic Smith machine, without any cable assembly. It’s not the most affordable model that you can find out there, but the quality in its construction, its overall sturdiness and durability definitely match its price. Even though it was released over two years ago, it continues to benefit mostly from 4-5 star reviews.