Whether you’re building a home gym or you just want your own bench for those days you can’t make it to the gym, we’ve got you covered. Weight benches are the staple behind any decent resistance workout program. A vast number of exercises, all of which target completely different muscle groups, can be completed with this simple piece of workout equipment. It doesn’t really matter whether you’re already a hardcore athlete who is dedicated and has been working out consistently for years, or you’re just starting out – finding the best weight bench is essential to not only keeping you comfortable when training, but to help you maintain proper form and avoid injury.
One of the main reasons why these weight benches are so popular for home use is that when used properly with a barbell or some dumbbells, allow the user to target muscle groups from the entire body – all from your own home. The fancy machines and other bulky equipment is nice, but if you break it down to just the bare minimums, you’ll soon realize that in addition to a treadmill and possibly even a squat rack, having a top-quality weight bench is definitely one of the essentials for a home gym.
In this one-stop-shop for the best weight bench, we cover a variety of topics beginning with some self-reflective questions to answer before beginning the search, proceeded by a discussion of some must-have weight bench features as well as a closer look at the different types of weight benches out there. This complete guide for the best weight bench has all the information you need in order for you to feel confident in making a decision on what bench is best for you.
Best Weight Bench Complete Guide
|Picture||Name||Adjustable||Weight Capacity||Folds Flat||Price||Rating|
XMark 11-Gauge (FID) Flat Incline Decline Bench XM-7472
Body Solid GFID225 Folding Adjustable Weight Bench
Competitor CB 729 Olympic Weight Bench
Bowflex 3.1 Adjustable Bench
Universal 5 Position Weight Bench
How Many Positions Are Needed?
Not all weight benches are made the same – some maintain their flat position. Other benches are adjustable in varying degrees. If you’re just looking to do a flat bench press, then a flat bench is probably all you need and you’ll probably save yourself some money. If you want the opportunity to have a full-body workout in your home, you’ll want the most functionality you can find with your bench. Finding a bench that can incline and decline in varying degrees is essential in this situation. Some adjustable benches will only incline, so it is important to take note if you want the decline position. The decline position is essential for a variety of abdominal exercises, the decline bench press, and others. Incline is equally important and is needed for many upper body workouts including the incline bench press, incline pectoral flyes, reverse flyes and many more. Finding a bench that inclines all the way to 90 degrees (seating position) is also important if you want to shoulder press or do any seated bicep curls or tricep extensions. As you can see, the more serious you are about lifting weights and staying in shape, the more important it is to find an adjustable bench that has varying degrees of both incline and decline positions.
Weight Bench Must-Haves
All branding and designs aside, there are a few fundamental characteristics that all of the best weight benches share. You’re weight bench should be durable, and have a strong enough foundation so as not to flip over getting on and off the bench, or through normal use lifting weights in a variety of positions. A tipsy-turny bench is a dangerous bench especially when you’re trying to balance heavy dumbbells right above you. As you’ll see, the best weight benches should be built with a dense metal such as steel, and should have a wide frame. Generally, the wider the bench, the sturdier it will be. Benches with a high weight limit also tend to be those with a sturdier design and are much more stable. Be mindful of the bench’s weight limit as it’ll not only need to support your own body weight but also any weight you’ll be working out with.
If you decided you’ll be using your bench in a variety of positions and for many kinds of workouts, you’ll want to be sure it is adjustable in many inclining and declining positions. Higher-end weight benches may come equipped with various arm or leg curl extension features, allowing you to maximize your workouts even more. Some of these are built-in to the frame, and others are removable. If you’re looking to get the most out of your bench, this is a great piece of equipment to have.
Your next home weight bench should also be generously padded on both the seat and the back portions. While most benches come with some sort of padding, the quality varies, and you’ll be pissed to find out your new bench is uncomfortable to sit or lay down on. Padding varies in thickness and material, so be sure to consider this factor when shopping for a weight bench. Tear resistant material is a plus because repairing your bench down the line is not only a hassle but can be costly. Non-skid feet is another feature that should be included on your bench. This is especially important for home-use if you have wood floor or tile. The quality of this varies as well, some will be a simple rubber stopper that is placed under the bench, while others may be built into the frame itself.
All home gym equipment should be relatively easy to take apart and assemble. This can be one of the biggest concerns for someone who has little space or moves a lot. The best weight benches should take very little effort to assemble. Portability is also useful in these situations, and many highly recommended home weight benches can be folded flat and slid into the closet or behind a dresser or carried from room to room. If limited space is an issue, find a bench that can fold.
Different Kinds of Home Weight Benches
A flat bench is the most simplistic and often the most inexpensive kind of weight bench there is. While they tend to be relatively sturdy, a flat bench doesn’t allow for the wide range of exercises that and adjustable bench can offer, and they tend to lack any special leg curl or bicep attachments. An adjustable bench is the more popular of the two, not only functioning as a flat bench, but can be adjusted to function as a decline bench or an incline bench, depending on the model. Some will even be able to go completely upright to a 90 degree angle, while others get close but will never reach the upright position. Some adjustable benches are also referred to as a folding weight bench because of their ability to fold flat. Folding weight benches are highly recommended for home-use, especially for those where space is limited or when a dedicated room for the weight bench is not possible. An Olympic bench is generally longer and wider than a standard bench, and may be pre-attached to an olympic barbell bench-press rack or squat rack. These are generally more expensive because they may come equipped with a greater number of features and are built with higher-quality more durable materials. The typical at-home consumer would probably not find an Olympic bench to be necessary – unless forgoing the barbell bench press and Olympic weight plates is out of the question.
Best Weight Bench Reviews
1. XMark 11-Gauge FID (XM-7472) Review
The XMark 11-Gauge FID Bench XM-7472 is very well made with an 11-gauge scratch resistant steel frame and feels as if it can support just about any weight you can throw at it. In fact, it probably can with its 1500-pound weight capacity. The XM-7472 is adjustable from decline up to seated full-military position (7 positions in total), while the seat itself has 3 of its own positions it can be adjusted to. Both the backrest and the seat are covered in 3-inch Duracraft padding that is not only comfortable, but resistant to scratches and tears. XMark Fitness also leaves you the option to go and purchase Preacher Curl or Leg Extension attachments for your bench. If you simply want the best weight bench for your home with all the bells and whistles, the XM-7472 is your best bet.
2. Body Solid GFID225 Review
Body Solid’s GFID225 is a commercial-quality adjustable weight bench and allows for 8 different backrest positions. The GFID225 is the perfect home gym folding bench. It is highly functional, compact and portable when needed, and durable enough for even the most serious of weight lifters. Another benefit to this foldable design is that it can be used straight from the box, requiring no assembly. With a weight limit of 1000-pounds, you can rest assured that your bench wont tip over when you’re maxing out on the bench press. This is the perfect bench for beginners up to the serious home-gym athlete with limited available space. The pins are relatively large and adjusting the bench into different positions is easy. The cushions on the seat and the backrest are comfortable enough to not worry about soreness during a workout and the vinyl wrapping them feels resistant to tearing or breakage. To top it all off, it comes with a full-warranty that covers everything, forever. This is the best folding adjustable home weight bench, and would be an excellent addition to any home gym.
3. Competitor CB 729 Review
The CB 729 is a solid Olympic weight bench and a great piece of equipment for a home gym. If you’re looking for something that can easily be moved or folded flat and hidden away, the Competitor CB 729 is not for you. If you’re looking for a sturdy, and reliable bench that comes with 5 adjustable backrest positions and can handle up to 600-pounds, then you may have just found a new friend. Aesthetically, this Olympic bench looks as if you’d find it in an exclusive hotel gym. The vinyl cushions are comfortable and the steel frame is covered with a matte black finish. The attached barbell stand can be adjusted with the included two large bolts, and ensures your arms are never strained trying to re-rack the weights. Another feature is the included leg developer, which utilizes contoured foam roller pads to help you develop the leg muscles. Your Olympic sized weight plates can also be used on the leg developer. The Olympic barbell and Olympic weight plates are not included, so should be purchased separately. For the price, you get quite a lot from the Competitor CB 729 Olympic Weight Bench, and for those who have the space, we highly recommend you add it to your home-gym.
4. Bowflex SelectTech 3.1 Review
Next up on our list is the Bowflex SelectTech 3.1, which is an adjustable bench and the best mid-range home weight bench you can find. Bowflex is a long-trusted name in fitness, as they design high quality products that consumers love. While the 3.1 lacks some of the functionality that some higher-end more expensive benches have, the Bowflex 3.1 still provides you with all the necessities, including 4 different adjustable positions to choose from (-10 degrees, flat position, 45 degrees, and 90 degrees). While other benches allow for more changes in back-rest position, the Bowflex goes with the four main angles that most weight lifters would utilize anyway (no changes in seat position). Changing the angle positions is simple and intuitive. The included, detachable leg brace is useful during workouts in the decline position. While it doesn’t fold away, there are wheels attached which allow for easy movement. The maximum weight capacity for this bench is 600-pounds (user weight + lift load), so if you are into some seriously heavy weights you may have to invest in something a bit more like the GFID225 or the XM-7472 we reviewed above.
5. Universal 5 Position Review
The Universal Five Position weight bench is the best home weight bench you can find when on a budget. With a combined user weight and lift load of 430-pounds, you should have no problems hitting some moderately heavy bench presses. As you might have guessed by the name, this bench has 5 adjustable positions (-10 degrees, flat position, 15 degrees, 30 degrees, and 45 degrees). Unfortunately, no upright position is supported so for those who plan to do shoulder presses on the bench will have to do without the backrest support, or go for another more advanced weight bench. Beginners or those who plan to only occasionally workout at home would do best with the Universal 5 Position weight bench. Anyone looking for a more advanced workout or more stable frame should probably look elsewhere.