Bowflex Weight Bench Review 2016 – Bowflex 3.1 vs 4.1 vs 5.1

Bowflex had been around since 1986. Though the composition of the company has changed and it has acquired other companies along the way (most notably Nautilus) Bowflex has maintained their focus on creating high quality, affordable and innovate exercise equipment.

Today we’re going to look at three of their Select line of weight benches - the 3.1, the 4.1 and the 5.1 - to see if we can’t determine which one is the best overall Bowflex bench.

Bowflex Bench Review: Top Three

Bowflex still makes their polymer rod resistance training equipment but for the purposes of this review and comparison we’re going to limit ourselves to the company’s more traditional weight benches.

Bowflex 3.1 Bench Review

bowflex 3.1

Like all Bowflex products a lot of thought has obviously gone into how the Select 3.1 looks because it looks great. Its design is simple to be sure but looks like a bench that might cost twice as much. A true FID bench the 3.1 adjusts to 4 different positions with one being an intermediate position between vertical and horizontal.

It also has foot restraints for ab work and the restraint setup can be easily removed if you wish. The saddle is firm and comfortable and the bench is easily folded up and wheeled away to storage.

Key features include:

  • Adjustable to 4 positions
  • High density powder coated steel frame
  • Reasonably versatile, can be used in concert with racks and cages
  • Wide, low and stable

Bowflex 4.1 Bench Review

bowflex 4.1

The Bowflex Select 4.1 includes all the great features that make the 3.1 such an easy bench to enjoy and takes things a bit further in the versatility arena. The 4.1 adjusts to one additional position between declining and vertical and the seat also inclines to increase the number of potential positions. Constructed from commercial grade, high-tensile steel and with a maximum carrying capacity of around 500 lbs this is plenty of bench for 90% of the lifters out there.

Key features include:

  • Adjustable to 6 different positions
  • Attractive, high-quality, ultra durable upholstery
  • 15 year warranty on frame, 1 year on upholstery
  • Easily removable leg restraint for abdominals and added decline stability

Bowflex 5.1 Bench Review

bowflex 5.1 bench

The Bowflex 5.1 Select is yet another incremental step up in the versatility/quality spectrum. One that encapsulates the best in Bowflex design while offering the full range of exercises associated with the best FID benches. Lightweight, compact and built to last the 5.1 sports articulated upholstery, extra comfortable (but removable) leg restraints and is engineered to accommodate average to oversized athletes. The 5.1 also feels more stable than its siblings, probably because it is.

Key features include:

  • 30 year product warranty
  • Easily adjustable to half dozen positions
  • Most stable of the Bowflex Select benches
  • Posture-correct positioning maximizes effort, minimizes injury risk

Our Choice for Best Bowflex Bench

Bowflex Select 5.1

Bowflex 5.1

When considering the Bowflex bench 3.1 vs 5.1 it's not much of a contest. To find real competition for the 5.1 you have to go to the 4.1. Even then, for a measly $20 more, you can have the 5.1 with its extended warranty, wider, flatter profile, greater stability and taller, more attractive, more comfortable saddle.

The 5.1 is one of those rare pieces of workout equipment that does the job the way it’s intended to and looks great doing it. In the past a few of the Bowflex benches were known to have issues with stability but those days are long gone. This puppy feels like part of the floor and should provide you with a home gym experience that will be the envy of your friends at the fitness club.

Final Thoughts

Bowflex is one of the best known and most trusted names in fitness because they put thought into the engineering of their equipment and effort into making sure the product they ship to you lives up to the promises the design makes. Although it’s not one of those that are ready to go out of the box, this Bowflex 5.1 review showed us it’s one of the best FID benches on the market and more than that, one of the best weight benches in terms of value for money. To see another of the many Bowflex bench 5.1 reviews out there take a look at this brief video.

If you're looking for some similar affordable weight benches, remember check out York Barbell benches which are also very versatile. For serious weight lifters, Body Solid Adjustable Weight Bench will definitely something that they need. Those brands are among the top brands that we have put into review in this article about best weight benches in 2016.

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