XMark Adjustable Weight Bench Review 2020
We reviewed full-featured weight benches elsewhere. If you are interested in an expensive weight bench, one approaching multigym status, we suggest looking there.
Some of these benches run up to several hundred dollars, and almost all of them include uprights for weight storage. One of the most clever features is an upright that comes loose to use as a standalone squat rack.
But perhaps you are just starting out, or you already have a premium bench that can do everything but answer emails for you. Perhaps you just need a utility bench, something simple that will let you do inclined pushups, chair situps, seated dumbbell exercises, and other bread and butter routines.
If so, this buying guide is for you. Put on your most comfy compression socks, because you'll want to spend some time sitting with our reviews and doing some comparison shopping of your own.
In a Hurry? The test winner after 20 hours of research
Extra thick comfy padding/backrest
Small footprint for small spaces
Marcy quality equipment
Powder coated finish
Rounded edges on the backrest
Best 10 Adjustable Weight Benches
1. Marcy Flat Utility
Extra thick comfy padding/backrest
Small footprint for small spaces
Marcy quality equipment
Powder coated finish
Rounded edges on the backrest
No available upgrades/attachments
Not height adjustable
Marcy's Pro smart design, affordable prices, and excellent customer service make them one of our favorites. This bench is durable and easy to use, like all Marcy's other products.Read more
With a little bit of study, you can easily train your whole body using just this bench and yourself. Dumbbells are not required, but it never hurts to have a set handy. And benches like this are great when you don't feel like planking or crunching on a hard floor.
Features include a steel frame construction and four parallel points of floor contact. You get stability and support, in a package that isn't hard to pick up and move around when you need to. The max capacity is 600 pounds, making this an ideal starter bench for just about anyone. Foam filling hides underneath the tough, stitched, upholstered backrest.
The backrest, as much as we love it, is the only body contact you get with the Marcy. Leg extensions, preacher curls, etc are impossible unless you have some serious DIY skills. It's the simplicity, though, that helps make this our top pick; while you can't fold it, the bench has a small footprint and won't take up valuable space in your home gym.
2. CAP Barbell
Box stitching for the backrest
Four rubberized points of floor contact, for weight distribution
Backed by CAP's track record of customer care and excellence
Taller than the Marcypro, still doesn't take up space
No height adjustment for taller users
Here is another simple, low-priced, durable flat weight bench, again with no height adjustments or weight plate storage.Read more
CAP Barbell is another brand we've come to trust, and clearly, they make a lot more than just dumbbells in spite of that name. This is the most affordable flat bench you can get this side of a scratch and dent sale. A bit bigger than the Marcy bench, this one is still compact at 18 inches wide, 46.5 inches wide, and 19 inches tall.
The weight capacity is 500 pounds, including both you and your resistance. Since a flat bench is not made for heavy presses anyway, we think this is plenty of capacity for folks of all sizes and shapes. A height adjustment, for those of us with longer legs, would have been nice, though.
Padding is tough and uses box stitching, meaning threads are combined by machine into a tough squarish lanyard shape. It gives you a comfortable backrest, one that will last the life of the unit and never need much more than a regular wipe down.
3. Fitness Reality X-Class
Three decline angles, plus flat
Padded pelvic pads
Pelvic/thigh pads are comfort adjustable, too
More declines/some inclines would be great
This is actually a residential/light commercial unit, suitable for institutional use and backed with a ten-year frame warranty.Read more
This bench specializes in back, chest, and core exercises. You can lock your legs in place using the ankle rollers and pelvic pads mounted on the front of the machine. Those ankle rollers don't have pegs, so no leg curls or extensions with the X-Class. But with adjustable height (finally!), almost anyone can convert this into a step up station, maybe with a light dumbbell in each of your hands.
The backrest foam is 2.5 inches thick, so you can be comfortable should you do ab crunches or use the bench for incline push-ups. You can keep the bench flat, or set it to one of three decline angles. This bench makes it easy to work your whole body, in a short amount of time, with minimal equipment.
Handlebars, attached to the pelvic pads, are covered and slip-resistant to keep you safe. The bench weighs just 55 pounds, and there are wheels installed to aid in transport.
4. Rep Fitness
1,000-pound weight capacity
Can be easily modded into a bench press platform
Made for joining with squat racks or Smith machines
Strong, resilient nonslip vinyl backrest
Bench really needs a height adjustment
With this bench, we are getting more into high capacity Olympic units, ones you can pair with a squat rack to do some serious lifting from a portable base.Read more
The bench has a 1,000-pound weight capacity, which is great, but if you want to do heavy bench presses, we still insist that you get a human spotter and some uprights for safety. But you can do almost anything with a dumbbell, and some seated barbell presses, too. This is a perfect blend of simplicity and versatility, made with your toughest workouts in mind.
The 12-inch pad is supported and held down by a four-cornered base of 16 inches. The total pad height is 17.5 inches; surprisingly, there is no height adjustment. The bench can realistically accommodate lifters from about 5 feet to about 6 feet, 4 inches tall. The backrest covering is vinyl, so it's easy to keep clean and won't get funky as long as you wipe it down after sweat sessions.
The bench weighs just 45 pounds, making it portable for most users. This is ideal if you have, say, two different multigyms with different stations. You can carry the bench between them instead of needing to buy a separate bench for each unit and still use the bench by itself if you wish.
5. Finer Form Flat
Thick, padded, still stable backrest
Four-way frame design for ultra stability
Easy to fold, easy to put away
Reviewers indicate the pad covering is not gym quality
Another gym-ready flat bench, this time with folding legs so you can take it anywhere. Backyard lifting Olympics, anyone?Read more
The bench comes in red or black color. It's enough to match most home gym decor, and sometimes it's refreshing not to have too many choices. The steel frame is powder coated, so the bench will not scratch or fade even after years of steady use.
The 4-way frame, which uses both a center mounting piece and two legs with two upside down "T" legs with two ground contact points each, means the bench is quite stable and has a weight capacity of 1,000 pounds. The bench costs a bit more than some folders we have seen, but the safety and stability of the platform are worth it.
The pad surface is 45 inches long, 12 inches wide, and 3 inches high. Your lifting or body weight sessions are uber comfortable, yet you can still toss the bench under a bed with no problems when you need the space clear.
6. Powerblock Travel
Has both a handle and a shoulder strap
Folds down to eight inches high
Gym grade black vinyl covering
No inclines or declines
With its oval shape, the Powerblock Travel Bench looks more like an ironing board than a weight bench. But that same shape makes the bench safe, easy to handle, and eager to come with you on all your travels.Read more
The welded frame is 14 gauge steel, 2 by 3 inches wide. It is quite stable and will help you stay in place during heavy dumbbell lifts. The oval shape takes some getting used to, but we can say the missing straight edges will help you find a greater range of motion on the bottom of your chest flys and presses.
After you fold the bench, for travel or storage, you can pin the legs in place for peace of mind if you are forced to put your bench in a cargo hold. And when you disembark the plane or step out of a Lyft ride, the bench even has a strap for easy carrying on your shoulder. It will fit in the trunk of almost any car. We'd bet some of you, too, are intrepid enough to strap this bench to a bicycle or motorcycle. If there's one bench on our list that will let you do the bike thing, the Powerblock is it.
The bench has a 550-pound capacity and folds to just 8 inches high. It weighs around 35 pounds fully assembled. The covering is low maintenance black vinyl, and reviewers liked its durability.
7. Gymenist Compact Folding
Flat, incline, decline bench
Padded ankle holders
Cylindrical base is easier on floors
Comes fully assembled
Looks a bit cumbersome to carry
We're getting down to the wire now, so we decided to include some incline/decline benches that are still simple and come in at great price points.Read more
This one is also a folder, though judging by the Amazon image, it doesn't look much fun to carry. Still, if you want a decline/incline bench for a hotel room or the like, this one is worth the inconvenience.
The base consists of two parallel cylinders, front and back, with four rubberized feet. It's a stable design, and the rounded steel is less likely to damage a floor. If you are a fitness instructor, this is a great choice for using in clients' homes, with or without a pad as long as the weight doesn't get too crazy.
The seat is adjustable independently of the backrest. Gymenist throws in a free movable pad with purchase. You can put the pad anywhere on the backrest for added comfort. Perhaps best of all, this bench comes fully assembled!
Offers incline and decline presses
Stable, nonmarking base
Ankle pads for different kinds of crunches/back exercises
Seat is adjustable, too
500 pound weight capacity smaller than other benches
Adjustable, portable, and simple--this bench has everything we were looking for when we started this buying guide!Read more
It's low in our rankings just because its complexity makes it pricy. Our goal was to show you the basic, stripped-down, flat and utility benches that we feel every home gym needs. We knew some of our readers would want more, so we have included a few incline/decline benches that still don't come with any leg or other attachments.
This one offers an amazing 7 settings for the backrest, plus another three for the seat. You can target muscle groups from almost any angle, all with a simple pin and latch system. Once locked in place, the backrest and lifting surface is quite solid and will not give you any problems.
The bench requires no assembly, which seems to be a trend for folding units. It's as welcome and convenient as everything else about the Flybird. Construction is from thick commercial-grade steel, you get a 500-pound weight capacity, and the Flybird's shape makes it easier to carry than the other folders we saw.
9. Amazon Basics Flat
Super inexpensive for what it is
Weighs just 24 pounds
Comes with a warranty from Amazon
PVC top not as durable, comfy as vinyl
Amazon's zero frills entry in the flat bench contest is reasonably priced and comes with Amazon's one year in house warranty.Read more
It comes in black, with no trim or accent colors. The top pad is made of PVC, with a tubular steel frame. This one has the upside down "T" design for the base. The straight legs necessary for this design cut down on the bench's footprint inside your home.
This bench does require assembly. It looks like the leg pieces have to be bolted to the bench bottom, then the top of the "T" attaches to the straight legs with two bolts for each foot. The bench is 42" long, 11" wide, 19.7" wide overall, and a very typical 17.9" with no height adjustment.
The biggest point of difference, for us, is the weight of the Amazon bench. Once assembled, it weighs just 24 pounds. This makes it ultra-portable, though Amazon did not include a handle or shoulder strap to aid in transport.
10. Relife Rebuild Your Life
Can be folded and put away
Incline, decline crunches and other exercises
Comes with resistance bands and handles
Handles on side help you do incline push ups.
Fixed pad height--leaves out very tall/short users
"RELIFE REBUILD YOUR LIFE" is the most awkward brand name we've encountered, but it's real; we checked their Amazon store. The quality and versatility of their products is real, too, including this ab-shredding slant bench.Read more
The attractive red and black padding is a bit thinner than we're used to, and there is a curve in it, so this is not actually a flat bench. The benefit is that you keep a slight arch in your back, which helps protect your spine by encouraging your shoulders to roll forward when you perform a crunch or similar abdominal exercise.
The bench has both foam ankle pads and, up top, pelvic/thigh pads. All four pads are the same roller style. The blocky soft foam ones, which we saw on some other units, seem more comfortable on the pelvic bone. In addition, the weight capacity is a bit light at 260 pounds.
The bench folds for easy storage. The bench is slanted, meaning it lets you work at inclines and declines. The overall height is not adjustable, and there is no seat to speak of. This is a bare-bones slant board that we feel will still unlock a lot of upper body exercises for you.
Criteria Used for Evaluation
A home weight bench doesn't have to support a powerlifter.
What we mean is, the benches you use in your home are lighter, less techy, and more affordable versions of the ones pros use. So while they need to be durable, safe, and comfortable, the capacity isn't always the most important consideration. It is important, though, especially since we don't want to assume that everyone reading our guides has the same level of fitness and experience. Capacity is something to keep in mind and, typically, it is best to have more than you need at first. That way, as you get comfortable lifting more weight, the bench will be ready and you will not need to spend money on an upgrade.
Even the most featureless weight bench will offer some comfort.
Things like padding, ergonomic design, and nonslip handles are important. Without them or if one of them is lacking, you may not want to use the machine. Most of us will not keep doing things that are uncomfortable or painful, especially since recreational fitness is a completely elective pursuit.
Let's not forget, too, that comfort features are also safety features. Padding that is too thin, or a covering that isn't able to move with you, can lead to injury.
We did not shortchange you. We are confident saying that we would use any of the benches in this buying guide and rely on it completely to keep us comfortable and keep us moving.
Ease of Use
Multiple accessories are great, but so is being able to use the equipment without much fuss.
This is especially true when it comes to flat weight or utility benches. You want to be able to lie, sit, or stand on them. You want to grab your weights, or use your bodyweight if you prefer, stabilize yourself either with your own strength or with rollers and pads; you want to do your reps and sits quickly, building strength and setting yourself up to avoid injury.
Putting the priority on ease of use, then, actually made this buying guide a bit topsy turvy. We looked for simplicity and placed the more advanced benches at the end. Whatever you are looking for in a bench, we hope our guide helps you make an informed decision.
It isn't hard for a manufacturer to get high marks for materials.
A thick steel frame (usually tubular), 1.5 inches or thicker seat and backrest foam, machine stitching, and a thick, durable cover to keep the foam in. These are mostly what we look for in reviews. The material used in the cover makes a difference, too. Usually, we prefer vinyl, for its pliable nature, but also the fact that it won't stretch so much that you lose support.
The powder or other coatings that go on most bench frames count as a material, too. Without it, the frame is vulnerable to scratches, rust, corrosion, and eventual failure.
The last thing you want to think about, during a dumbbell press, is whether or not the bench will tip over.
And so, the ones on this list will not tip or fall over as long as you are using them according to directions, not exceeding the capacity and not working out at a weird angle.
We noticed the upside-down letter "T" configuration is the most common for benches. The part contacting the floor is rectangular, with sharp edges. The folding benches, though, favored cylindrical feet, as you might see on an old ironing board. The cylinders are easier on your floor but also result in a lower weight capacity overall.
Expert Interviews & Opinions
It seems every time we turn on our TV or open a web browser, we are bombarded with things like "Do This One Ab Exercise Every Day And Watch Your Six Pack Grow" or "The Ultimate Ab Move Your Trainer WON'T Tell You About."
We're exaggerating, but only a little. What most of these clickbait-y pieces have in common is that they don't cover the rudiments of ab exercises. For one thing, a twisty spine will not increase the effectiveness of a crunch. In fact, it will twist your spine, and we can't see any benefit in doing that over and over again.
In addition to avoiding those crunches that Blast Your Core From Seventeen Amazing Angles, we urge you to keep your neck safe during any ab exercise. Putting your hands on the back of your neck or head, fingers laced tight, is not the way to do this. Having your hands there will encourage you to yank on your neck in order to complete a rep.
Instead, keep your hands above your head or on the sides if you want maximum effort. Keeping your arms on your chest will make the crunches less intense.
Our other tip is to rely on your muscles, rather than momentum, to complete and body weight or resistance exercise. This means moving the resistance slowly and deliberately. When you snatch your head forward to try and complete the crunch in a hurry, you are also putting your neck at risk of injury.
Have you ever seen someone using a park bench as a workout surface? Maybe you have done this yourself. As long as your bench is stable and you are confident in your balance skills, you can do this same style workout, at home, with your flat weight or utility bench.
Here are a few of the moves you might try:
Incline push ups-like a regular push up, but with the palms of your hands on the edge of the bench. This targets your lower back and chest.
Bench step-ups--just carefully step up on the bench and then back off. Be careful with this one. Take your time, and consider dismounting by stepping forward, landing on the other side of the bench, instead of stepping backward. We can't stress enough, too, that the benches on this list are not for box jumps. Check out the best plyometric boxes.
Tricep dips-- you don't always need a dip bar for upper body conditioning. The tricep dip focuses in on your tricep, but your back and shoulders will benefit too. All you have to do is sit on the edge of the bench, then slide your legs off until your sneakers are touching the floor. Then place the palms of your hands, folded, on the edge of the bench. Now you can use your arms to raise and lower yourself. We suggest two sets of eight to get started.
Finally, if the bench is suited to your arm length and height, you can do a plank with your feet on the bench. Try holding for as long as you normally do, if you do floor planks. Placing your feet on the bench will ensure you are isolating your core muscles, and, for many of us, it is easier to get up from a bench and the floor than to get up from just the floor.
Other Factors to Consider
We mostly looked for simple models this time around, ones without many features. The goal is to help you whether you are just starting with fitness, rounding out your home gym, or looking for something you can add to a Smith machine, squat rack, or multigym.
The benches we looked at that aren't fixed angle, the incline and decline ones, are all designed for portability and easy storage. We stayed away from the more complex weight benches, with attachments and uprights, because they were not the focus of our guide.
Value is not just price. If you pay 30 or 40 dollars for a utility bench that you love, and that you can use several times a week, you did well. Does it really matter if the bench doesn't have a lot of extra features? Would it have been worth it to spend 20 or 30 dollars more for one that inclines and declines, or lets you do back extensions with pads? If you aren't interested in those features--that style of exercise is painful for a lot of us--then, of course, you got the best value, because you only have what you need and what you will use.
Frequently Asked Questions
q: Why have more than one weight bench?
There are several reasons. You may want one you can devote to bodyweight exercises, while your bigger, more expensive bench is actually for benching with a spotter. Or you may have a multigym that is missing a bench, or you may just not like the one that came with it. If you have a Smith machine or squat rack, you can open up new possibilities just by adding a movable bench.
q: Will I do OK with an off brand weight bench?
Well....we don't want to make your decisions for you. But just remember, you get what you pay for. It's like when you buy a department store weight set, with a standard bar and concrete filled plasticized weights. It feels great to get such a good deal, and you will get some use out of it. But over time, either the features will disappoint you or the equipment will show signs of wear.
You don't have to spend exorbitant amounts of money to get a quality bench, especially a utility bench. But we do think you should be willing to invest more, even if it means saving for a bit, rather than being stuck with something you can't even upgrade.
q: I saw a video where a guy was doing Roman Chair situps. What's the deal with those?
One thing about the Roman chair is that it just looks cool. If you aren't familiar with it, a Roman chair situp involves laying on the bench, securing your ankles and/or calves behind the rollers, and just sitting up, usually with your arms crossed over your chest.
Roman chair situps are great for your abdominals and chest. However, we advise you to avoid them if you suffer from back pain. There isn't a way to do them without putting a strain on your back. Since the back is not secured at all, there's nothing keeping it from moving in ways it shouldn't.
Because it works so many ab muscles at once, and because the motion is simple, many fitness enthusiasts prefer the Roman chair. It's probably fine, as long as your practice proper form each time, don't do it every day and, as we said, avoid the whole exercise if you have back pain.
If you do have back pain and still want to work your core--which may relieve the back pain-- we suggest the bird dog, which requires no equipment. You just get comfortable on all fours, with your head facing down to avoid neck strain and your back neutral. Then lift your arms and legs. That's it. Start by lifting your right arm and left leg. Do 10 or 15 reps, then switch, lifting your left arm and right leg. You will be surprised how much this simple move can help with back pain and mobility.
q: What are some barbell exercises I can do, safely, on a basic bench?
Your best friends will be the chest press, similar to a bench press but with much lighter weight. You can also do seated overhead presses or plain old barbell curls. Being seated, you will get the whole benefit of the curl in your arms. Your back won't be tempted to get in on the action, and your legs will not be bearing any of the resistance.
q: Can I upgrade a basic bench later?
It depends on the bench! We suppose buying a Smith machine and placing a bench in the center of it counts as a massive upgrade. But other than that, we suggest checking the manufacturer's specifications and reading customer reviews. Many of the flat and utility benches in this guide do not have upgrade options. You may also consider going the DIY route, as long as your homebrew attachment won't be bearing your bodyweight or an otherwise heavy amount. Fitness equipment is rated to certain weight capacity, for safety; you don't have the ability to do that in your garage or home workshop
- Warning! DON’T do these exercises if you have lower back pain, Long Running News Outlet ,
- Weight Bench Buying Guide, Education Page for Fitness Supplier ,
- 5-Minute Bodyweight Workout on a Bench, Women's Fitness Site/Teaching Video ,
- The Best Dumbbell Exercises For All Levels Of Gym-Goer, Long Running UK Fitness Magazine ,