Universal UB300 Five Position Weight Bench

7.5
7.5 score
[Editors rating (7.5)] = (Garage Gym Ideas - Ultimate Home Gym Design) score (7.5)/10


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Universal UB300 Five Position Weight BenchReview Facts

Universal is known for making solid, reliable, entry-level weight lifting equipment and the Five Position Bench is certainly that. Built to introduce the novice to the many benefits of dumbbell routines the Five Position Weight Bench construction is of ample quality to appeal to veteran-heavy lifters as well. Big boys and girls may find the 430 lb total carrying capacity a tad limiting but for most people, especially most beginners, that won’t be a problem.

Editor's Pros & Cons
Pros

Holds a nice stable position on any type of flooring

The upholstery is a comfortable but firm faux leather that wipes down easily

The bench achieves the low, stable profile you want in a weight bench

Because of the leg retainers, the bench can be adapted to dozens of exercises

At less than $120 it makes financial sense

Extremely good value

Durable yet very lightweight

Does not wobble

Cons

No upright 90-degree position

Leg holder not too comfortable

Decline position is unsupported

Setup is a bit difficult

Might be too short for taller users

Adjustability

Adjustability

Once you have the Five Position Bench assembled there’s nothing complicated about getting the most out of it. It adjusts easily and is effective at every position. The Five Position Bench has, well, 5 positions ranging from a -10-degree angle to a 45-degree angle, and slides easily from one setting to the next. Sadly, this bench does not have a completely upright angle, so you won't be able to sit up when lifting on this unit. The leg restraints bring an added dimension to your workout missing on many more expensive benches and can also be easily removed should you want free space for your legs. The decline position is not extreme but is fine; unless you’re into the extreme. The Five Position Bench comes with leg restraints that provide added stability on decline lifts and allow you to incorporate an abdominal component to your workout routine. These restraints are well placed and comfortable with ample padding to protect your shins. They are also easily removed if you find them limiting for any reason. There are stabilizer levelers attached to the base that make sure the bench stays put, so do not expect to feel any wobbling as the weight you handle slowly goes up.
Build Quality

Build Quality

The Five Position Bench is ostensibly made by Universal. However, today Universal is a wholly-owned subsidiary of Nautilus. Nautilus is not going to sanction second rate equipment so you can be certain the build quality will be up to snuff. And it is. At the end of the day, Nautilus is the company of record here and as such you can be certain you are getting the best build quality possible for the price. A minimum of moving parts and an assembly process that’s easy to understand means you shouldn’t suffer any wobbles or instability during your routine. The robust steel frame can handle users that weigh up to 250 pounds, and it can carry up to 430 pounds of combined weight. While this may be enough for intermediate users, and for beginners alike, it might be an issue for more seasoned lifters. The frame has a good two-year warranty, and although this might not be up to everyone's alley, it's remarkably good considering how cheap this bench actually is. The seat and backrest are generously padded with plush, and the upholstery is durable and easy to clean. The upholstery has a 30-day warranty.

This adjustable bench is rather compact, with a footprint that takes up only 17 x 25 x 51 inches. This means that you will be able to put it into tight spaces with ease, and a small apartment should not stop you from using this bench. But this compact size can be the downfall of this bench because taller users will not be able to use the bench comfortably, as their heads will hang from the back support when the bench lays flat. Then again, the bench weighs only 33 pounds, which is much, much less than how much benches usually weigh! You'll be able to move the bench around with ease, no help required. The quite sturdy base has plastic caps on the ends to keep the floors safe from damage, and to keep the bench stable on the ground. The onsite foot rollers are quite helpful, as they hold you down and save your back from any additional stress when you're lifting heavy in the decline position. Some users might not like the leg rollers, but they cannot be removed, only folded away.
Stability

Stability

Adjustable weight benches need to be safe and stable. After all, you will be lifting a lot of weight, and it will hang over your torso, so the bench must stay upright if you want to remain injury-free. Since the UB300 is amazingly lightweight, measuring at 33 pounds, you might worry about how such a small bench can keep up with plenty of weight and a lot of movement. Well, Universal solved that by adding stabilizer levelers that sit attached to the base. These levelers extend the footprint and give the bench a bigger surface to lean on, essentially removing any safety hazard that you believe existed. Plus, the base has rubber caps on the ends that not only keep your gym floors safe but also make the base grippy as it holds tightly to any surface you place it on!
Setup

Setup

While it would be nice if the bench came preassembled, the fact is this Universal Weight Bench comes in pieces, and you will have to spend some time trying to put the pieces together. While it does not include wheels, it is incredibly light at 33 lbs so when you’re good and pumped at the end of your routine folding the bench down and carrying it to storage won’t present any type of challenge. Luckily, this bench is rather easy to put together. The package includes everything you might need to put the bench together, including a very detailed manual that is easy to follow. You will need just 20 minutes to half an hour to get the bench up and ready to go! Plus, the bench is relatively easy to maintain too! All you need to do is check if everything is in order once you piece the bench together. Then, after you're done using it, inspect the nuts and bolts again to see how everything is holding up. It wouldn't be too shabby if you cleaned the upholstery and the steel surfaces from sweat every time you're done using the bench.
Versatility

Versatility

When used in conjunction with a complete dumbbell set the number of different exercises you can do with the Five Position Bench is pretty amazing and includes inclined curls, hammer curls, flat presses, dumbbell pullovers, lateral raises, declining sit-ups and more. As we mentioned above, this bench does not support a 90-degree angle, so doing exercises like shoulder presses will be more complicated, but it will not be impossible. This bench is surprisingly small, so it will fit neatly under most Smith machines and power racks to give you even more ways to use it. The bench itself does not come with any kind of accessory, but we really do believe that there's no need for any accessories, as you can make do with most barbells and weights you already have laying around your home.
Value

Value

Adjustable benches are usually pricey, if not very pricey. You're probably prepared to spend over 500 dollars, if not over a thousand dollars on a good, high-quality adjustable bench. So, one may expect that the UB300 will cost over 500 dollars, but we're here to say that's just simply not the case! The UB 300 costs about 120 dollars, which is way less than most benches we reviewed, including the flat ones! Not only will you be saving a ton of money, but you will get an amazing bench with tons of money as an added bonus. Not everyone new to lifting will necessarily be sold on the virtues of this type of workout for the long haul. If for some reason you decide a different type of exercise routine is more suited to your personality and needs you haven’t spent all of your vacation money for nothing. Also great if you’re just on a tight budget.
The Final Word

The Final Word

Anyone new or relatively new to the world of weight bench routines can’t go wrong having the Universal Five Position Weight Bench in their arsenal. It’s an uncluttered, uncomplicated workout tool that will make you appreciate the many virtues of a good bench and set you on the road to a lifetime of fitness. The UB300 is an amazing bench for beginners, or for someone who is looking for their very first bench. The bench supports a lot of weight, but it itself is very lightweight and small. The bench does not have a 90-degree angle though, and you will need to spend some time trying to piece it together, as the instructions are not too clear, and the tools that come with the package could be better. All in all, the UB300 is an excellent budget bench with awesome value!