Bench Press Reviews, Benefits, and Technique Breakdown
You can hardly find a gym without a bench press lying around somewhere. This unique yet very common machine brings you numerous ways to work on your upper body, and it's definitely something you need to have in your own gym. The bench press is an important piece of equipment for your garage gym. We have carefully analyzed all of the benches on the market and put together the best bench press reviews that you will find. We have listed the 10 top bench presses that are currently on the market below.
In a Hurry? The test winner after 11 hours research:
7 Different Adjustable Positions
Dense Foam Pads
Dual-action Leg Developer
U-Shaped Leg Stabilizer
- Body Champ Olympic Weight Bench
- Body Champ 2 Piece Combo Bench
- Marcy Adjustable Olympic Weight Bench
- Ironmaster Super Bench
- Marcy Diamond Olympic Surge Bench
- Valor Fitness BF-7
- XMark Adjustable FID Weight Bench
- AmazonBasics Flat
- Marcy Flat Utility Bench
- Marcy Pro PM-507
- Criteria Used for Evaluation
- Other Factors to Consider
- Frequently Asked Questions
Top 10 Picks
1. Body Champ Olympic Weight Bench
7 Different Adjustable Positions
Dense Foam Pads
Dual-action Leg Developer
U-Shaped Leg Stabilizer
This weight bench has a super sturdy construction, supported by a steel frame made out of 2.5-inch wide tubing. It was simply created to challenge you by allowing you to raise up the weight limit until you can lift no more!Read more
The padding is made out of high-density foam, thick enough to cushion your back, yet still thin enough to not cause any problems. The backrest is no different from the seat, and it can be adjusted to sit in a flat, incline or decline position, challenging you even more. It can be adjusted into 7 different positions! There's a leg developer attached to this bench press, so you can work on your whole body with just one machine. The leg developer has huge foam pads to cushion you while you build your lower body! The weight rack is also adjustable, working as both a simple rack and as an upright bench press. Do not worry about the weight toppling down on you, as the rack has a security pin to prevent all of that from ever happening. An ab crunch is also included, equipped with foam grip handles.
2. Body Champ 2 Piece Combo Bench
Good Weight Capacity
Single Piece Design
Contour Wrapped Cushions
No Wheels For Transportation
Body Champ surprised us with one more adjustable weight bench that is fit for champions. This bench is designed out of one single piece, giving it both stability and security, something very important for your own safety. You don't want the weights to fall down on you while you lift or just lay on the bench!Read more
The uprights of this bench are freestanding, and if you feel like you want to work on your legs a little bit, there is enough room for you to squat and enough weights for you to choose from! You can even do sit-ups on this bench, thanks to the locking leg lift pin! The backrest can be adjusted however you like, and you can work on every upper body muscle group you feel like developing. The cushions and foam rollers are deluxe, making discomfort very unlikely. The weight capacity of this bench is 300 pounds for users, 300 pounds for added weights, and the leg extensions can support up to 150 pounds.
3. Marcy Adjustable Olympic Weight Bench
Five Bench Positions
Arm Curl And Pad
Adjustable Bar Height
This two-piece bench will challenge both your upper and lower body, utilizing the rack for squats and deadlifts, while the bench serves its original purpose. The back pad is fully adjustable, allowing you to change the position quickly for a more difficult session.Read more
This bench can give you a full leg workout too, and the foam leg rollers make supporting all of that weight with your legs a breeze. Even the height crutches are adjustable, and they can be detached with a knob lock. The arm curl pad is padded and can be moved around, giving you the chance to work on your arms however you like to.
4. Ironmaster Super Bench
Many Attachments Available
Durable Stitched Vinyl Upholstery
Small And Portable
A Little Narrow
This super bench from Ironmaster is a simple bench, with a small number of extra attachments. This does not make this bench less worthy though! This actually makes it very convenient and ideal for people who are lacking space, or for people who just want a bench to sit on.Read more
Do not let this simple bench deceive you though! It can support up to 1000 pounds, so it packs quite a punch! The frame and every other piece of this amazing bench is heavy duty and durable, yet the bench itself is lightweight enough for you to simply pick it up and move it around wherever you want it to be. It can be adjusted into 11 different positions, and it can all be done thanks to a very simple foot lever design. It slides around on a curved rail that shows you which angle you've chosen. Unlike other adjustable benches, this bench has a pad that is made out of just one piece, so you won't have to suffer on uncomfortable two or three-piece pads. Although the bench itself doesn't come with a lot of attachments, there is a huge variety of the available for you to order, more than any other bench can accommodate.
The frame is powder coated and chromed, increasing its resistance to sweat, tears, and abrasions. The upholstery is made out of vinyl, stitched together with extra strength. It actually ships to your home pre-assembled, you only need to attach the feet, so as soon as it crosses your threshold you can have a go!
5. Marcy Diamond Olympic Surge Bench
Adjustable Bar Catch
High-Density Foam Pads
Comes With Assembly Instructions
Dual-Function Leg Developer
The Marcy Diamond Olympic Surge Bench has a backrest that can be adjusted into four different positions and combined with the arm curl support pad and arm curl bar you get the whole package just made to keep you on the edge of your seat! Both the seat and the back pad slide around on a track, placing you just where you need to be to execute proper form.Read more
The maximum weight capacity of this bench is 600 pounds - enough for some advanced movements, but it still may lack support for our more advanced users. The roller pads are contoured, while a dual-function leg developer engages your legs all the time. There are two catches present on the frame, so you can do squats if you feel like it! The pads are two-inches thick, reducing the fatigue while you exercise.
6. Valor Fitness BF-7
Solid Steel Spotter Stand
High-Density Back Pad
This heavy-duty bench features a tripod stand, boosting the stability while you conquer heavyweights. This is the first bench on our list that has zero moving parts. The 2"x2" steel frame is made out of 12-gauge tough steel, compact enough to fit in most home gyms. The tripod has rubber base caps to prevent it from sliding around.Read more
The uprights have a solid steel plate that allows you to change from two positions, welded into the steel frame on all four sides, supporting up to 550 pounds. The pads are made out of high-density foam that is three inches thick. It's wide enough to support your shoulders and high enough to let your knees rest in a proper position. The solid steel foot plate allows a spotter to join you for a very safe and effective session!
7. XMark Adjustable FID Weight Bench
Dual Back Support
Sweat And Tear Resistant Upholstery
Bolted Feet And Wheels
Ergonomically Designed Seat
The Padding Is Too Soft
This FID Weight Bench has an unparalleled weight capacity, withstanding up to 1500 pounds! This is more than enough room for you to work on your physique and stamina. The back pad can be adjusted into seven different positions, while the seat has three ergonomically designed pads for optimal comfort.Read more
The padding is extra thick, measuring at 3", and it's enveloped by Duracraft vinyl, which is both sweat and tear resistant. This bench has dual rails reinforced by heavy-duty steel tubing, promising prolonged life and resistance towards heavy abuse. The bolted feet and wheels allow you to move this bench around wherever you want it to go while preventing your feet from sliding off of the bench.
8. AmazonBasics Flat
Durable Steel Tube Frame
Smooth PVC Upholstery
Fast And Simple Assembly
1-Year Limited Warranty
Faulty Provided Hardware
And now we've come to the flat benches - classic, plain pieces of gym equipment that just give you a place to lay down or sit, so you can work on your upper body strength and stamina. The AmazonBasics flat bench is small and portable, yet it accommodates a lot of different routines and movements.Read more
The heavy-duty steel frame can withstand a lot of weight, while the smooth PVC outer layer provides you with luxurious comfort and it's quite easy to clean, so you won't have to spend a lot of time doing this after every session. It weighs only 24 pounds! This bench can be assembled quite fast, and once it is assembled you can just transport it from place to place, thanks to the low weight and no attachments!
9. Marcy Flat Utility Bench
Rectangular Steel Parts
Sturdy And Boxed Upholstery
Marcy surprised us with a flat utility bench, small and convenient yet strong enough to support moderate amounts of weight. The padding is soft, cushy, made out of high-density foam with boxed upholstery.Read more
The frame is sturdy and strong, coated with a powder to protect it from scratches and tears. The tubing is rectangular, made out of 14-inch gauge tubing! This bench has virtually no attachments, and it can't be folded or take apart. It's just a flat bench for you to sit on!
10. Marcy Pro PM-507
14-Gauge Steel Frame
Small And Foldable
Two Pairs Of Foot Pads
Can Be Angled
Low Weight Capacity
The Marcy Pro PM-507 is made out of strong 14-gauge steel giving you a lot of time to spend working out from on top of it. This little bench can become even smaller - it's foldable, and it can be stored away so you don't even know it ever existed in the first place!Read more
This little bench can withstand 250 pounds, and not a pound more. This is actually problematic since many users will push through this limit easily, even when they combine only lightweight dumbbells or other kinds of free weight. You must keep this in mind before you opt out for this bench. There are two pairs of foot foam pads, comfortable and sturdy enough t keep you anchored down.
Criteria Used for Evaluation
Gyms can be pretty intimidating for newcomers. They visited the gym for the first time, yet they barely have any idea what to do first other than following the instructions they have read from the internet. The question is, are you doing it properly? The bench press is one of the most popular pieces of exercise equipment (next to the power rack) known to build up massive and strong muscles in the upper body. But what newbies do not know very well is that when their bench press techniques are done wrong, it can lead to aching muscles, missed routine time in the gym and serious injuries. The best lifters in the world have perfected their bench press techniques because they have spent a lot of time to know which of the right muscles should they use in order to get into the right positions, and even move the right equipment at the most efficient path as possible. For people who have little to no knowledge about the right path in putting up the weights, they stray from the goal they were trying to achieve.
There are a few things you should avoid doing if you want to have a successful session at the gym. Bouncing the bar – when you bring the bottom portion of this equipment, avoid bouncing it to your chest or body. This will cheat you into thinking that you have successfully lifted the bar back up when all it did was create a momentum that makes the barbell lift easier. Doing so will not only hinder your progress, you are raising the possibility of hurting your rib cage, especially if the weights are too heavy. If you always end up bouncing the bar towards your chest, it means that the weight is too heavy. Try reducing the weight first, until the weight is enough to touch your chest lightly. Put more emphasis on your strength by pausing the barbell on the chest, before you push it upwards.
Elbows are too high – if you do this exercise with the elbows directly at your sides, you are placing too much strain on the elbows and shoulder capsules. Looking at your posture from a distance, this can lead to a shift of the path of the barbell over the collarbones rather than over the sternum, which will increase the travel distance of the bar. Rather than doing the aforementioned, grip the bar a little bit narrower and then keep the elbows close to the ribcage as you bring the bar down. Overhead, from the upper-arms into a 45-degree angle together with the torso.
You will find more mistakes committed by rookies mostly, but if you approach a gym instructor, they will help you improve your posture and position, and then show you a way to properly handle the bench press.
Properly handling the bench press equipment will activate a lot of muscles in your body, particularly the upper part. This is why many people add the bench press equipment to their garage gyms or home gyms because they get to reap the benefits out of it. It builds up your strength for performing push-ups, improves power in your performance for sports and even builds up the bone density of the upper body. Various medicine schools encourage middle-aged and higher age groups to focus on free-weight, multi-joint exercises as this is the way to improve bone mass, muscular endurance, and muscular strength. These statements were shared by various bench press reviews from various online stores.
Build-up power – power is the main measure of fitness in many competitive and recreational athletes. This is the ability to exert strength or force, through a given distance as quickly as possible. By using the bench press added to your daily exercise, it will increase the strength of your upper body. The more your strength grows, put more focus by repeating the exercise as fast as you can. Do this exercise in six sets of 3 to 6 quick repetitions in order to increase power.
Improve density of your bones – Several studies suggest that the mineral accumulation of the bones peak during puberty, while the peak density of the bone reached in the late twenties. Add the bench press into your daily exercise routine of the main upper-body, as it will cause the bone cells in depositing bone tissue, which is involved during the bench press: chest, shoulder, hand, and arm bones.
There are more bench press techniques and benefits that you can get from this equipment. Research more about it, or preferably ask a gym instructor to guide you so that you will avoid committing mistakes that rookie deals.
A bench press doesn't come in just one shape and size. Bench presses actually have many varieties with their own set of pros and cons which should help you decide what model to choose. There are four categories that every bench press on the market today is put in, and they are adjustable benches, flat benches, specialist benches, and Olympic benches.
First, we will discuss the adjustable weight benches. Adjustable benches have a simple frame with two different mechanisms for adjustment, pop-pins or steps. These two mechanisms allow you to spice up your workout regime, so you can focus on a lot of muscle groups with just this bench in hand. It's usually made to withstand a moderate amount of weight, but you should probably avoid overloading them. These models have handles or wheels that make moving the benches around and transporting them an easy task.
Then we have the simple flat bench. Small, lightweight, and portable, it's the perfect fit for people who lack space in their home. Since the position of flat benches is fixed, you don't have to worry about it losing the position, letting you slam down along with it. You can actually do quite a lot of different exercises on it, provided you know how to use the flat bench correctly. Flat benches are shorter than adjustable benches, and you won't be able to change this height, so keep that in mind when choosing your model. Arguably the best part about flat benches is that the cushion is one solid piece - there will be no gaps in the deck like some adjustable benches have!
Olympic benches are a very popular model, simply because they are a great fit for people who need to equip their home or their commercial gym. These benches have a rack system that is built-in, making it safer than other types. Plus, you don't have to walk around to find the weight you're looking for since it's just sitting there for you to take! One problem these benches have is that their angle is also fixed, you don't have the possibility to change it - so what you get is what you will work with until it falls apart (if it does)! These benches do not have a lot of moving parts, so the maintenance is simple, and you won't need to check a million things before you sit on it. Their size is large, but they take up much less space than a regular bench plus the rack would!
And last but not least, specialist benches. These benches vary from the benches we just described, because instead of offering you various different ways to exercise on them, they will focus on just one muscle group or a few specialized exercises, hence the name. A good example of this kind of bench is the preacher curl seat. This bench focuses on your biceps while anchoring you into the correct position - you won't be able to move your hips, your back or your shoulders, which are all mistakes that a lot of beginners make! One more specialized bench we feel like we should mention is the abdominal bench. These work by changing you into an incline or decline position, while holding your legs securely with padded foot holders.
The weight of your bench, along with how much weight it can withstand, is something you should definitely consider before making your choice. No weight bench is going to be lightweight, since they are usually made out of durable steel, with accompanying elements that only make it heavier. Flat benches are probably the lightest, but you will probably be able to move even the heaviest benches around, thanks to convenient portable wheels that help it slide into the direction you want it to go.
But it's exactly this big number on the scale that makes the bench stable and secure, one more thing to consider when shopping benches. Imagine benching over 100 pounds on a flimsy bench - it's bound to collapse sooner or later! A good, sturdy weight bench needs to be able to support your body weight, plus the amount of weight you're working with, no matter how big that number is. You will be better and better at lifting heavy weights, and your bench needs to be able to support your progress instead of hindering it! Your bench should be able to withstand at least 500 pounds or so, and the bigger this number is the better! Do not settle for less, as this is a recipe for a plateau later in your regime.
Let's face it - weight benches are really not that cheap, with the cheapest quality benches being around 500 dollars! That's a big investment, and once you do make it it's logical to expect your product to last you at least two years or so. Luckily, most bench presses are very hardy, and they will last you a long time, so the price you will be paying is well worth it.
The very first thing to look at is the frame. The frame should be made out of sturdy steel, and it needs to be able to support your weight plus the weight you're going to be working with, which we discussed in the Weight section. The upholstery of the cushions, plus the cushions themselves also need to be able to do their job properly for a respectable amount of time. Usually, the upholstery is vinyl, while the pads are a type of dense foam, just thick enough to support you but not impact your session negatively. The screws, bolts, mechanisms for adjusting the benches and everything else that holds them together has to be durable, otherwise the sturdy frames and cushions are completely worthless. Plus, it's a risk hazard! You will know what to expect out of your bench if you check out the warranty. A long warranty that covers most of the parts, if not all of them, is ideal, and is something you should try to find.
Expert Interviews & Opinions
The maintenance of your bench press will ensure it lives a long life. There is a certain daily routine you must follow along if you want to be free of odors, bacteria and wear and tear. Your sweat and oil found on the skin can alone do significant damage by wearing down both the steel and the upholstery, so make sure that you wipe down your bench after every use. A damp cloth is all you need. If you feel like you need to clean it better, you can use mild dish soap. Do not let the equipment air dry - use a clean dry cloth to wipe it down instead in order to prevent corrosion. While you're doing all of this, inspect the machine once a week, or after every use, if you'd like. Check for any tears, cracks, and similar things, since only one simple chip on the bench can be problematic. Keep a good maintenance schedule and your bench should last a long time!
Bench presses are big - even the smallest flat bench can take up a lot of space when combined with every piece of weight that you use along with it! If you lack space in your home, you might have problems with using a weight bench. Luckily, most of them have transportation wheels, while some can also be folded or taken apart so they take up less space, or you can simply store them away somewhere. Some benches though are not portable at all, so make sure that you double-check the bench you've chosen before you make your decision!
Other Factors to Consider
The comfort of your machine is important, but not so much, since it doesn't need to be as comfy as your bed is - after all, this is where you workout, not sleep! The comfort of your bench will be affected by the cushions, of course. The pad itself should be firm, and dense, but not too thick, because you would sink into the bench, losing the support as a result. The gap on the adjustable bench is something to look out for as well. Some adjustable benches, when rested in the flat position, have a huge gap that is quite uncomfortable when you try to lay on it, especially under a heavy load. So make sure that your bench is just comfortable enough!
Frequently Asked Questions
q: How big should my bench press be?
Well, this all depends on how much space you've got in your home or gym, and what kind of bench press you need. Flat bench presses are definitely the smallest, but they do not have any attachments, and they are not adjustable, so you can only sit on them or lay down, and you will need a rack to store your weights. Adjustable weight benches are larger, and they will need more space than a flat bench, considering that they do not come with a rack either. Olympic weight benches are the largest, but they come with their own rack, so they're quite a space saver, considering you have enough room to store it properly. The size you choose will depend on what you want the bench to do, plus on how much room you've got!
q: Can a beginner use a bench press?
A bench press is a great starting point for people who never lifted weights before. They are not so hard to understand, even if they have a lot of settings. All you need is a set of weights, a barbell, and your own good will, and you're good to go! Of course, you must master the proper technique beforehand as well. Your back and abdomen must be straight and tight all the time, while your grip width should vary, depending on what muscle group you want to focus on. You can find more about this in our USe section, along with some common mistakes you should avoid!
q: How comfortable should my bench be?
It should give you plenty of support while cushioning you just enough so your spine doesn't feel the amount of weight you're lifting. You don't want your bench to have a pad that is too thick though, because you will sink into it, and won't get the support you need. A pad that is too thin, on the other side, will make working out too uncomfortable and you won't be able to focus on anything else besides the steel frame digging into your back!
q: What type of bench press is the best?
Any person who's into weight benches you ask will probably give you a different answer. There is no definitive winner here, as what you consider to be the best will depend on your individual needs and desires. If you're low on space and don't need your bench to move into an incline or decline position, your favorite would probably be the flat bench. The adjustable bench would be great for you if you want to have movement and choices while you workout. And Olympic benches are ideal for the people who want a rack that comes as a bonus with the bench!
q: Should I clean my weight bench press?
If you want your equipment to last longer, and if you want to steer clear of bacteria and bad odors, then the answer is yes! By wiping down the seat and powder-coated parts every day, either with water or very mild dish soap, you ensure the longevity of your bench, by removing the sweat that causes corrosion. Wipe down the bench once you clean it though because the water can also cause corrosion.