If you’ve spent some time at the gym, you may be familiar with weight benches. Like regular ones used for sitting, weight benches have additional features designed to optimize your training. They come in different designs with optional add-on equipment and are manufactured by different fitness equipment companies. The choices and brands on the market also differ in quality and price. If you’re looking to purchase one, read our complete buying guide thoroughly to find the best weight bench for you and your home.
Top 10 Best Weight Bench Comparison Table
|Name||Warranty||Weight Capacity||Adjustment Positions||Our Rating||Price|
|Bowflex SelectTech 5.1 Adjustable||30 years||600 lbs||6||
|Bowflex SelectTech 3.1 Adjustable||15 years||600 lbs||4||
|Rep Fitness FID||10 years||1000 lbs||4||
|Body Solid GFID225||Lifetime||400 lbs||5||
|Cap Barbell Flat||?||300 lbs||1||
|Marcy Diamond Olympic||?||300 lbs||4||
|PowerBlock Sport||?||550 lbs||5||
|Body-Solid Powerline Flat/Incline/Decline Folding||lifetime||500 lbs||7||
|Ironmaster Super Adjustable||10 years||1000 lbs||11||
|Marcy Utility Flat||?||300 lbs||1||
Benefits of Workout Benches
Prior to the invention of the weight-lifting bench, the most common way to work your pectoral muscles was to lie with your back on the floor, also known as a supine press. Workout benches offer much more to the trainer than standing exercises or the antiquated supine press. Here’s how:
Targeting Different Angles of the Muscles
Hyperextension in different weight exercises is the most difficult part of the workout, and weight benches assist by keeping your posture straight, thereby strengthening your lower back muscles and improving your core stability during training.
Targeting Hard-to-Reach Parts of the Exercise
Some exercises are harder to complete fully due to inflexibility of the muscle. Sitting, instead of standing, sometimes allow easier access to these muscles, for example, when exercising your rear deltoids using dumbbells. Sitting on a weight-lifting bench stabilizes your body, which will make exercising your rear deltoids easier.
Weight benches are not only sitting apparatuses to use with weight equipment. They can also be used for step-ups, pushups, core exercises, and calisthenics. Making them great for those who like to workout in their own home gym.
Great for Beginners
Those that are new to the weight training world will find that maintaining proper posture, technique, and breathing at the same time is quite difficult. Workout benches offer beginners a crutch to learn new training exercises without falling over or using the momentum of their body or exercise.
Features to look for
Invest in a bench that has great build quality. They are meant to provide stability, and poorly-built ones will wobble quickly. Look for ones made from steel and heavy-gauge tubing. Also, check the manufacturer’s product specifications to see if the user weight and weight load capacities fall within your range.
Weight benches can be broken down into two categories: utility and benches with racks. The utility version comes without a rack. Most utility benches are adjustable, but flat, fixed ones exist as well. They are often used with dumbbell exercises, and are less expensive because they do not require as much hardware. Consider that they are not designed for heavy lifters, because there isn’t a safety “catch” to return weights to at the end of a lift.
Workout benches with racks are geared towards heavy lifters who use barbells in their weight training. Barbells give more stability to compound movements, and racks offer the safety “catch” that utility ones lack. Racked benches can be fixed or separated. Separated models with racks are more versatile and can be used with dumbbells, as a squat rack, or combined.
The weight-lifting benches offered today do not take up much floor space in your home gym, and can easily be stored out of sight. Some models can be folded down to a smaller size when not in use, so you can use more of your floor space for other important things. Options with a rack take up more room than utility ones, and are not as easy to tuck away and store.
If you want the most effective workout, then you should get a weight bench with a wide range of back pad angle adjustments. These adjustments will enable you to exercise with a flat, incline and decline angle. With the added angles, you get a wide variety of training exercises you can engage in, thereby targeting different muscles more efficiently.
Thin padding on the seat and back pads make for a less than comfortable workout. Make sure the workout bench you choose to buy has upholstery that is at least an inch thick for a more pleasant bench to exercise on. Also, make sure the upholstery is sewed on with a box stitch. It’s the best stitch against wear and tear.
As mentioned before, the options with racks offer more safety for the weight trainer because the racks help provide a safety catch. If you are exercising with a bar or with heavy weights, you should opt for this version, especially if you are working out at home.
Regardless of what kind of bench you choose to buy, you are going to need some sort of weights to use with it. As mentioned before, dumbbells go great with utility models. Weight benches with racks need much more equipment – a barbell and a weight set. Make sure the length of the barbell you purchase is compatible with your rack, that the length of the bar is wide enough to fit the width of the rack.
Some weight benches also offer additional features such as leg developer attachments for leg curls and extensions, preacher pads for bicep and forearm exercises, and high pulley stations for exercises lat pulldowns and tricep pushdowns. These make a very useful home gym almost in themselves.
Top 10 Weight Bench Reviews
One of the most popular weight benches on the market, the Ironmaster Super Bench is both strong and versatile. This weight bench adjusts into flat, incline, decline, and upright positions with 11 lock out angles from 0 to 85 degrees. Ironmaster manufactures a variety of compatible attachments including dumbbells, barbells, and a weight training cage. The frame is composed of 11 and 12 gauge steel and is rated at 1000 lbs. Although the Super Bench is strong, it’s also relatively light, weighing in at 60 lbs.
Installation of equipment is pretty quick and easy. The Super Bench has a swivel feature that is innovative in bench technology. Users note that this bench is well-built, comfortably padded, and sturdy. Others complain that the height of the bench is a bit too high. So if you’re shorter, your feet may not touch the floor. Another complaint is the space the bench takes up when using the full range of adjustments. Lastly, buyers must buy attachments in order to have full use of the Super Bench. Most notably, the bench does not decline without the sit up attachment.
Bowflex SelectTech 3.1 Adjustable Weight Bench
This weight bench adjusts to four different positions, 45 degrees, 90 degrees, flat and decline. The SelectTech 3.1 Bench comes with a leg hold-down brace, so you have added support in the decline position.
Assembly of the SelectTech 3.1 Bench is fast and painless. Users note that to change the angles of the bench does not require a pin and rod system for a smooth and quick transition. The quality is high, although the upholstery is held onto the board with staples and is made of vinyl, which isn’t very durable. Also, the leg hold-down brace is not very comfortable. The SelectTech 3.1 Bench requires a lot of floor space as well.
XMark Adjustable FID Dumbbell XM-7630
XMark claims that its Adjustable Flat-Incline-Decline (FID) Dumbbell Weight Bench XM-7630 offers unbeatable comfort and durability. The XM-7630 bench offers a back pad that adjusts to 7 positions and an ergonomically designed seat that adjusts to 3 different positions. With an upholstery of 3” Duracraft padding, the XM-7630 bench might just be the most comfortable one out there. A Duraguard Vinyl covers the upholstery and is tear- and sweat-resistant. This bench is made of 11 gauge steel with a weight capacity of 1500 lbs.
The bench package comes with all the tools needed, so assembly is a cinch. Also included is a bottle of paint to keep your bench looking like new. One complaint for the XM-7630 bench is the smell from the upholstery, which is described as overwhelming. The price tag is also not for the faint-of-wallet.
Bowflex SelectTech 5.1 Adjustable Weight Bench
This adjustable bench holds six different positions, from a 17 degree decline, to a 90 degree incline. The Bowflex SelectTech 5.1 Adjustable Bench is made from steel, comes with a removable leg hold-down brace, and with wheels for easy storage, like its 3.1 sibling.
Assembly requires washers and bolts, which is quick and easy. Users note that the SelectTech 5.1 bench is sturdy, but has one design flaw. There’s an opening in the bench where the seat meets the back pad which is uncomfortable. One glaring downside, as reported by several users, is the quality of customer service.
Marketed as a weight bench for any strength routine for any level of weight trainer (including olympic), the 11-Gauge FID Bench XM-7472 offers 7 different back pad angles from 0 to 90 degrees, and 3 ergonomic seat positions for a weight load of 1500 lbs. Like the XM-7630, the seat is composed of a 3” Duracraft pad and covered in vinyl. For a complete weight training home system, users can purchase additional compatible features like the preacher curl or leg curl/extension attachment.
The bench is well-made, however, the assembly did not go easily for a few users. One customer complained that the holes of the tube steel did not line up with the back pad. The solution? He had to drill holes. Another complained that he had to grind some parts down to make the bench fit together correctly. If you’re not good with tools, perhaps the XM-7472 is not for you.
CAP Barbell Flat
The CAP Barbell Flat Weight Bench features a sturdy steel frame and a thick padded, boxed stitched upholstery for durability, strength, and comfort of up to 300 lbs. The CAP bench is great for not only dumbbell weight training, but tube and band exercises as well.
This bench is easy to assemble and is a simple bench for those who are not training with heavy weights. However, users complain that the stitching on the upholstery does not hold up, becoming loose and comes apart easily at the seams.
Marcy SB-315 Utility Flat
This utility weight bench is made from 14 gauge steel, high-density foam and boxed upholstery, with a weight capacity of 300 lbs.
Assembly of the Marcy SB-15 Utility Flat Bench is super-fast and easy. Despite the low pricetag, the SB-15 bench is sturdy and solid. However, some reasons complain that the bench does not always arrive with the right parts.
The Valor Fitness CB-6 Adjustable Arm Curl Bench is made from 12 gauge steel and pull-pins to lock adjustments for a bar weight capacity of 250 lbs. The bar rest, pad, and seat are all adjustable, which is the best selling point for this arm curl bench.
The CB-6 bench assembly is also uber fast and easy, with only four large bolts and four small ones. This bench’s design is sturdy and quite good despite its cheap price. However, users have complained of Valor Fitness’s customer service.
XMark FID and Ab Versa XM-7629
Like other XMark benches, the FID and Ab Versa Weight Bench XM-7629 offers great comfort and support. With a 1500 lb. weight capacity, this bench can convert to an ab decline with ankle and knee rollers. The XM-7629 offers 7 back pad and 6 ergonomic seat adjustments with vertically adjusted 4-position knee and ankle rollers. The bench is made of 3” Duracraft padding and covered in Duraguard vinyl in an 11 gauge steel frame.
The XM-7629 package comes with all the tools needed to assemble the bench. Users love that the bench is well-built and sturdy, and covers the design flaws found in most other FID benches. However, the rubber feet don’t offer as much traction as users would like. As with other companies, XMark reportedly does not have the best customer service.
Body-Solid’s FID bench comes fully assembled and ready for use. The bench features 7 adjustable positions from -17 degrees to 85 degrees, with wheels and a folding option for easy storage.
Users love that they can pack away the Powerline FID Folding Bench with little effort and that it comes pre-assembled. However, the cushions are stapled to the wood which will come apart easily. Other users complain that some parts are defective on arrival.
If you’re looking to add to your home gym, workout benches are effective and offers a slew of exercises to add to your fitness routine. Before you purchase, however, make sure to consider the quality (frame and upholstery), style, used space, adjustability, safety, types of weights, and additional workout stations. Armed with the reviews of the top 10 best weight benches, we’re confident that you now know which one is right for you!