Best Weight Bench Guide
Adjustable weight benches are a lifesaver for workout enthusiasts who aren’t able to get to the gym all the time. But a lot of really incredible adjustable benches pose a fairly vexing question: Where do you put them when you’re not using them? Fortunately, there are a number of great portable weight benches that fold up and can be wheeled away after use.
In our detailed weight bench reviews, we found that current benches are created with highly innovative features. They redefine materials and design while keeping the same visual form that makes you want to train yourself on them. First let's have a quick look at some of the best adjustable weight benches.
In a Hurry? The test winner after 7 hrs of research
Bench Press Arms
Unilateral Arm Movement
- Powertec Fitness
- XMark XM-7630 Adjustable
- Rep Adjustable AB-3000
- Titan Fitness Flat
- Powerblock Sport
- Bowflex 5.1
- Fitness Reality 1000
- Marcy SB-670
- Nautilus Universal UB300
- Gymenist Exercise Bench
- Criteria Used for Evaluation
- Other Factors to Consider
- Frequently Asked Questions
Top 10 Picks
1. Powertec Fitness
Bench Press Arms
Unilateral Arm Movement
Tends To Lean
The Powertec brand comes out of the vibrant body-building culture of Southern California. They’ve been around almost 20 years now and their equipment has reached a certain level of maturity in that it looks great and there’s plenty to appreciate under the surface. Powertec benches are for people who are serious about fitness. They exhibit all the best qualities of the portable weight bench; affordability, outstanding build quality, ease of use. Their products bring a fresh perspective to bench design, one that engages the imagination and strengthens the body.Read more
The Powertec Fitness Lever Gym Workout Bench is more a home gym bench than simply a workout bench. Along with a high-end adjustable training bench, you also get a workout tower that includes lat pulldown, chest press, and squatting platform. This bench is suitable for Olympic weight plates. The multi-adjustable seat is adjusted by simply sliding the seat assembly on its sealed bearing carriage. The backrest can be adjusted at different settings while providing added stability. The Iso-lateral bench press arms can be used independently or locked together for bilateral movement. This machine comes with a host of add-ons to extend your exercises options to preacher bench curls and leg extensions/curls.
2. XMark XM-7630 Adjustable
11-gauge Steel Frame
1500 lb Total Carrying Capacity
7 Position Adjustable Seat
3-way adjustable saddle
XMark’s the spot where function and form coalesce. No time or attention is given to superfluous touches that don’t serve the larger purpose of creating a bench that exceeds your expectations by several degrees of magnitude. XMark benches are here to work.Read more
XMark XM-7630 is an easily adjustable weight bench, known for high durability, with a firm Duracraft seat upholstery and experience a great workout. You can do a range of exercises on this bench starting with a vertical military press down to the most extreme decline position.
You can do grueling ab workouts on this bench and keep things going with quick and easy adjustments. Take a seat on the firm Duracraft upholstery and settle in for an experience. Start with a vertical military press and work your way down to the most extreme decline position. Throw in some ab work for good measure and keep things going with quick and easy adjustment. The 7630 will accept whatever you can throw at it without skipping a beat.
3. Rep Adjustable AB-3000
Full FID Capability
High-Grade Steel Framing
Easy To Assemble
Rep Fitness is a small family owned business started by a pair of fitness loving brothers in 2012. They are based in Colorado, USA. They provide a full range of equipment for commercial and home use and are the supplier of choice for many gyms, schools, and government departments. They understand fitness is about how you look and feel, not about how your bench looks.Read more
The REP Adjustable F/I/D bench is a heavy duty 1,000 pounds ASTM rated adjustable weight bench It is fully adjustable so you can use it for flat, incline and decline work. This bench can also be used with a power cage, Smith Machine, barbells, and dumbbells. You get a total of 7 angle adjustments, ranging from -20% on the decline to 85% on the incline. This bench also allows you to adjust the seat to four different positions to allow for an ideal lower body and torso positioning. The REP bench features wheels along with a handy front handle for easy movement around your training area. Pad and roller covers are made from ultra-tough durable vinyl. The incline mechanics of this bench are designed to have minimal pad gap between your back and the ear.
4. Titan Fitness Flat
1,000 Pound Weight Limit
Sleek Leather Finish
Questionable Quality Control
Titan Fitness is a small but solid manufacturer of fitness equipment based in the United States. They offer a full range of gym and home fitness equipment across the spectrum of price points. Titan Fitness are suppliers of gym packages to many commercial users across the United States.Read more
The Titan Fitness Flat Weight Bench is an extremely solid built flat home use bench. With a weight capacity of 1,000 pounds, it can handle anything you care to throw at it. This bench is built at the ideal height for bench pressing and features quality padding that gives you the right level of comfort and support without negatively affecting your lifting potential.
5. Powerblock Sport
Arrives Fully Assembled
14 Gauge Steel Construction
550 lb Total Carrying Capacity
Five Adjustable Positions
Heavy Duty Steel Frame
Powerblock was founded almost 25 years ago and began as a maker of innovative dumbbells. Since then they’ve branched out and today make some of the best adjustable weight benches available. Powerblock is probably best known to the fitness community as a maker of dumbbells but their benches and other equipment are worthy of note and, for the budget conscious lifter, represent some of the top value for money brands on the market.Read more
The Powerblock Adjustable Bench is easy to assemble and easy to use. For those reasons, it’s one of the best weight benches for home a gym. It’s thoughtfully engineered from the shape of the seat back to the adjusting mechanism and the way it hugs the ground. The Powerblock Adjustable Bench is a budget bench with a high-end, deluxe feel to it. It’s a true heavy duty adjustable weight bench and a must for any budget-conscious home gym enthusiast. Features include:
6. Bowflex 5.1
Frame Carries 30 Year Warranty
Adjustable To 6 Positions
Visually Pleasing Design
Easy To Store Away
117 Degree Adjustable Range
Gap Between Cushions
Say the name Bowflex and you’ll likely get two reactions. First, unlike many fitness companies, everyone will know who you’re talking about and second, they’ll also know the company’s most famous product. What they won’t know is that Bowflex also makes some pretty incredible traditional weight benches. Bowflex burst on the scene some 30 years ago with their resistance training equipment. They still make and sell lots of those machines but they’ve also branched out into more traditional methods of strength training i.e. free weights and free weight benches.Read more
Bowflex touts the 5.1’s ability to promote proper posture while lifting and it certainly feels like the back is getting a leg up (so to speak) when you’re going through the motions. A sharp, affordable fold up weight bench. The Bowflex 5.1 doesn’t try to reinvent the adjustable benches in the image of the company’s more famous resistance products. Wisely Bowflex has decided to accept the traditional bench for what it is and work within those boundaries.
The result is a nonsense-free bench that looks great, is incredibly stable and hits all the beats any good FID bench should hit in terms of adjustability, portability, lateral stability and versatility.
7. Fitness Reality 1000
Smooth 12 Positions
A Wide Incline Range
Three Detachable Positions
Leg Hold Bar
Does Not Lay Flat
Fitness Reality fitness equipment is the stuff of (good) science fiction. Compelling, beautifully engineered and unapologetically forward-looking. With the Fitness Reality Maximum-Adjustable bench design, materials, profile and attitude all work together to create a piece of fitness equipment that embraces what’s best about today.Read more
Versatile, attractive and extremely well built the Super Max Weight Bench is mechanical craftsmanship at its best. You’re going to pay more for it but Ferrari’s aren’t cheap. The bench itself has a maximum 800 lbs user capacity. There are a total of 12 different positions which can be smoothly adjusted. The backrest adjustment ranges from -20 degrees to +80 degrees, and they can be changed independently. There are three detachable positions and a leg hold bar for extra stability. It can be easily folded to be stored away safely.
8. Marcy SB-670
14 Gauge Steel Construction
Powder Coat Finish
Rack And Cage Systems
2 Year Limited Warranty
Quality Control Issues
Marcy has been around a long time. Back when lifting was considered an odd thing to do Marcy was there doing the research, improving the product. Today Marcy is well known for their affordable, high-quality benches as well as their line of fitness gear. Marcy makes everything from jump trainers to plates to exercise bikes and has been doing so since before WWII. You don’t last so long in such a market as competitive as the fitness market if you don’t know what you’re doing.Read more
The Marcy Deluxe Adjustable Utility Bench lost out as our “Best Overall Value” by the narrowest of margins. It’s a great FID bench for an unbelievable price. Marcy Deluxe Adjustable Utility Bench grips the floor and is easy to roll away and store. It’s adjustable to 18 total positions and sports the type of nice wide saddle we’d like to see on some other benches. It also looks like a much more expensive bench. Marcy Deluxe Adjustable Bench.
9. Nautilus Universal UB300
Adjustable To 8 Different Positions
Integrates Fully With Fitness Gear
600 lb Total Carrying Capacity
8 Padded Foam Rollers
Seat Tears Quickly
No Assembly Instructions
The Universal UB300 Adjustable bench is a reliable entry-level weight lifting bench. It provides you with levels of incline adjustment.Read more
The stabilizer levelers on this bench ensure that you will have a stable base regardless of the type of flooring that you are working out on. The contoured shape and five-inch foam rollers provide comfort and safety. The maximum user weight on this bench is 250 pounds.
10. Gymenist Exercise Bench
3-way Seat Adjustment
Duraguard Vinyl Upholstery
Wide Footprint For Exceptional Stability
Wobbly When Inclined
Gymenist is a USA based manufacturer of high-quality sports and fitness equipment. They are especially proficient at producing high quality, low priced home fitness equipment.Read more
The GYMENIST foldable fitness bench is a six position adjustable bench which can be adjusted to flat, incline and decline positions. The seat can also be adjusted to three different positions. There is also a cushion that can be adjusted up and down on the bench to provide maximum support. The Gymenist foldable bench is a great all-around bench that allows you to effectively target the major muscle groups of the core. The saddle is wide enough to accommodate larger lifters and the whole thing stores away easily in your closet.
Criteria Used for Evaluation
Style matters with good features
There are a few basic styles of weight lifting benches you can choose from, but no matter which one you end up selecting, you will see some substantial muscle growth. Here we will outline the aspects of those basic styles and what you can expect when purchasing them.
First, we got the super simple flat bench. This is a very basic bench, but it’s still very useful. Using this bench, you can perform very beneficial exercises for the upper body that require you to lay still in a flat position, such as a chest press with dumbbells or barbells, and so on and so forth. You can also use this bench like a regular bench, to sit on it. Once you are sitting, you can do the bicep curls or shoulder presses. So the flat bench is super cool for weight lifting. But, this versatile bench can also be used for cardio, like for stepping up or high jumps. Quality flat weight benches have a high user weight capacity, and they should be very stable, simply because there is no adjustment mechanism present. This also means that you can safely lift very heavy eights when sitting or laying on them. Also, they are quite small and they don’t take up a lot of space. The bad part about this bench is that it is not adjustable, so you cannot perform incline and decline exercises, so you have a smaller list of available activities to do on this bench. Remember that the flat bench does not have a stand for weights, so if you want to do presses make sure that you actually have a rack before attempting to do so! All in all, the flat bench is good enough for everyone, but it misses a power cage if you want to lift weights effectively.
Adjustable benches are the most popular kind simply because you can set them to incline and decline levels. Just because of those few simple settings, the range of exercises you can do expands greatly, and you can target your upper body more efficiently. As an example, inline presses are a common exercise that people do on these benches, focusing on your upper chest, or decline presses that work on your lower pecs. Usually, the models support five or six different positions plus the flat one, but some models go up to ten, or even more. Don’t let the adjustments worry you, they are easy peasy and can be manipulated with just a pin, or a ladder that is considered the safest way to adjust your bench. And lastly, even though they do have many features, they do not need a lot of space, which is great if you live in a cramped up space. But that flexible board can also bring problems to the table. Most of the times, there is a gap present between the cushions when the bench rests in the flat position. The backrest and the seat, when placed flat, need to rest in a horizontal position, and so naturally, a gap appears between the two. If that gap is too big, it will bother your back and you won’t be able to focus on working out. You should also mind the price - the cheaper models might not be so stable, so you might even fall over when working out, which is the last thing you need when carrying heavy weights. Again, you need to get a power rack, since these benches do not come with one. Always check the weight capacity before buying the bench! The cheaper models can sustain only 300 pounds, which is definitely not enough for serious lifters.
And last but not least, the Olympic bench. This bench is definitely the most versatile one. They will give you the best possible user experience, since they combine all the features from the previous two benches we mentioned, while also having a power cage for safe presses. The boards here are adjustable as well, so you can easily do incline and decline exercises. Thanks to the power rack, which can be heavy by itself, the balance of the bench and the stability is improved. Also, these benches work just fine with Olympic bars, giving you even more ways to exercise. And they have quite the user capacity! The only con we can think of is their price - expect to spend a lot for this gem!
Effectiveness gets results
A weight bench is an effective tool that will help you target different areas of your body. The range of different angles at which you will workout will help you focus on different muscle groups. The bench will also keep your body stable while you meddle with heavyweights, and it keeps your spine straight, thus firming your lower back muscles for extra needed support.
Once you first start to weight-lift, you may notice that your body is particularly stiff. Also, your beginnings may be tough on you, since no session will be easy to do. The weight bench will let you do some of the exercises you might have considered hard without one. The adjustable bench is a lifesaver here since the various positions you can find yourself in will make some exercises much easier and comfier.
Also, let’s not kid ourselves when it comes to muscle building. We’ve all seen the perfectly chiseled athletes prancing in the gym, and have probably seen them use the weight bench more than once. The weight bench is a safe way to work with heavyweights, which is what you need if you want to have substantial muscle mass. So all in all, the weight bench is quite an effective tool that will definitely keep you in shape, in the safety of your own home!
Size gives weight
Since you will be using your weight bench for your home gym, one thing you should look at is the sheer size of your bench. If you struggle with space, a flat bench or an adjustable bench might be all that you could fit into your home or garage, since they are small, to begin with, with the flat bench being the smallest of them all. An Olympic bench will be too big for you thanks to the cage, so you shouldn’t even look at them in the first place.
Weight Rating: Weight lifting benches all carry a rating in accordance with the maximum amount of weight that they can handle. This max weight rating is a combination of your own bodyweight and the amount of weight that you are lifting.
A 180-pound guy who can handle 70-pound dumbbells will have a max combined weight of 320 pounds. Obviously, he wants to increase the weight lifted, so he should be looking for a max weight allowance of at least 400 pounds.
Bench Height: You do not want a bench that is either too high or too low. A bench height that is too high will make it tricky until your feet are flat on the floor.
This will prevent your ability to exert maximum power by having a solid base to push from. The positioning will also prevent you from getting the ideal lower back positioning while doing exercises like the dumbbell bench press. On the other hand, if the bench is too low you will not be in the ideal position to perform overhead presses.
Bench Width: If the bench is too wide, it will limit your range of movement on a number of exercises. Your lats will be restricted, preventing you from being able to fully stretch them out when doing chest flys. A wide bench will also impede movement on pressing movements when you are lying flat on the bench. As a result, you will not be able to lift as much weight and you will not get the ideal level of muscle stimulation.
Portability equals convenience
As we mentioned before, if you do not have a lot of space in your home, chances are that you will be putting away your bench as soon as you are done using it. And even if you do have enough room of it, you could still benefit from putting it away, simply because you will have more room to do other exercises, and you will keep the machine out of harm's way.
Let’s face it - weight benches are heavy, even the smallest ones. They will weight at least 60 pounds, which might not be that much for some people, but for beginners, it will be too much and they will struggle with putting the bench away. What happens when we talk about adjustable benches or even Olympic benches equipped with cages? Luckily, the benches usually have little built-in wheels that allow you to safely roll the machine away, without endangering yourself or flipping the whole thing over. The little wheels can be put away to help the machine remain stable. Also, many machines can be folded over or taken apart in a few easy steps, so you can store the machine in the closet if you want, but you will have enough room for it that’s for sure!
Comfort can enhance performance
While you might think that the thicker the padding on your bench, the better, that is not the case. Just the same as you need a solid, hard heel to push from when you are squatting, you also need a firm base to work from when you are working from a weight bench.
That means that the padding needs a balance between comfort and firmness. When you press your thumb into the padding, you should not be able to push right through to the baseboard. A cushy, comfy seat might seem like the stuff dreams are made out of, especially if we relate them to pillows and blankets. Do not be fooled by extra pads on your bench, since you definitely do not need them. But then again, you do not want to rest on the frame either, since that can be uncomfortable as well! You should also mind the gap, which is a problem many adjustable benches face. The incline and decline sit at an angle, which is why the gap needs to be there in the first place, but if the gap is way too big when the bench lays flat, you won’t be able to do anything on it! So explore all of your options before actually buying your bench, since the comfort will affect the quality of your sessions, and a bad one could put you off weight-lifting for good!
Expert Interviews & Opinions
At first, people did their presses from the floor, which was, of course, the most popular way of doing this. But in the 1900s George Hackenschmidt, who thought of the barbell hack squat, used a large 48 cm disc barbell, rolled it up to his face, and completed a floor press with an amazing 362 pounds! All from the floor! He held the record for eighteen long years until one man broke it by just 2.2 pounds! This is when people started to think of new methods to perform their presses. Many lifters realized that strong glutes could mean the difference between a successful and unsuccessful lift. Their strong glutes helped them lift the bar from the floor, which was positioned over their abdomen. All they had to do was perform one mighty glute bridge and then catapult the bar upwards, locking it down when it reaches the desired position. But then someone though, why shouldn’t we do this on a padded bench? And so the flat bench that gave much more support that the floor was introduced, and the rest is history!
Other Factors to Consider
The FID bench is a staple of any garage gym due to the fact that it’s the best adjustable bench for bodybuilding and will target more muscle groups than an adjustable flat bench can. While you can certainly pay more than a thousand dollars for a great adjustable dumbbell bench if you wish, the fact is there are many high-quality FID benches, like the ones listed above, that you can purchase for very reasonable prices.
If you’ve been holding off building your home gym or just buying a weight bench because you thought you didn’t have enough space or you’d have to disassemble it every night the time has come to think again. There are lots of great folding weight benches on the market today. You won’t have to break your bank to get a foldable flat bench either. So don’t wait any longer. Pick up a compact weight bench today and get to work.
Frequently Asked Questions
Truth be told, there isn’t really such a thing. Experts and pro athletes agree that the Olympic weight bench is the king, simply because it has it all - the bench, the adjustable angles and the power cage, which other types do not have. But what works for them may not work for you, and you must figure out by yourself which weight bench is just right for your needs. Especially if you lack some space in your home - an Olympic bench definitely wouldn’t be the right choice for you then!
Your shoulders will be the most hard-working joints when you perform bench presses and other exercises from the bench, so injury and pain are not uncommon. Before you actually get to lifting weights, you must properly warm up your shoulders with light weights and high reps. This will prepare your shoulders for the upcoming strain, invite blood into the surrounding muscles, get the synovial fluid in your joints moving, and give the warmth that will make moving the joints easier. If you still feel pain when you add weights, your grip could very well be the problem. Try changing your grip, or change the bar for the dumbbells. They give you the ability to change the position of your arms, which will help you avoid further muscle and joint aggravation. Maybe the change of angle is just what you need to exercise pain-free. You need to listen to the signals your body sends you, and you will be okay.
The different angles your bench can sit at will shift the focus from one muscle group to the other. As an example, when you do a bench press from the inclined position, your upper pectoral muscles will need to work more and the load on your shoulders will be increased as well. But when you do it from a declined position, your lower pecs will take all the weight and help your shoulders take a break. These benches are better than regular, flat benches because you simply have more exercise options for a fun and fulfilling routine. This will also develop your muscles even more, thanks to the involvement of every upper body muscle group!
Again, there isn’t a single option that will work better for beginners, compared to advanced users. A beginner can benefit the same way an advanced user can from every single type of bench, no matter how complicated it may seem. You must decide how much you are willing to spend on the bench, how dedicated you will be to it, how much room you have in your home, how big and tall are you, and how heavy you want to go. This will decide which bench is the best for you, and nothing more!
Just grab a weight and sit on it! Well, it’s not as simple as that, but it’s not too far from the truth. The most common way you can start your weight bench journey is with the bench press. Plant your feet on the floor, and lay flat on the bench. Hold the bar over your chest, or if you have dumbbells, hold them over your shoulders. Then lift the weight until your arms are straight, tensing your chest muscles. Lower the weights slowly back to where they were, and repeat this 12 to 15 times, for 3 or 4 different sets, depending on how much you can take.