To build the best home gym possible, there are a few pieces of home gym equipment you should be investing in.
Whether that’s a flat weight bench for basic movements or an adjustable incline version for a more versatile bench; having a stable surface to bench press, row, and lift on is a must.
This guide will cover all of the best options on the market. Including the best weight benches for any lifter, regardless of your budget.
Table Of Contents
- 1 What Are The Best Weight Benches?
- 2 Best Flat/Utility Weight Benches
- 2.1 Best Flat Weight Bench Overall – REP FB-5000 Competition Flat Bench
- 2.2 Best Commercial Flat Weight Bench – Rogue Monster Utility Bench 2.0
- 2.3 Best Value Flat Weight Bench – REP FB-4000 Comp Lite Flat Bench
- 2.4 Best Folding Flat Weight Bench – Rogue Fold-Up Utility Bench
- 2.5 Best Budget Flat Weight Bench – REP FB-3000 Flat Bench
- 3 Best Adjustable Weight Benches
- 3.1 Best Adjustable Weight Bench Overall – REP AB-5200 Adjustable Bench
- 3.2 Best Commercial Adjustable Weight Bench – Rogue Adjustable Bench 3.0
- 3.3 Best Value Adjustable Weight Bench – REP AB-3100 Adjustable Weight Bench
- 3.4 Best Folding Adjustable Weight Bench – Fitness Reality 1000 Super Max Weight Bench
- 4 Best Flat Incline Decline (FID) Weight Benches
- 5 How To Pick The Right Weight Bench
- 5.1 Type Of Bench
- 5.2 Adjustment Style (Ladder, Guide Pin, Telescoping)
- 5.3 Assembly
- 5.4 Bench Height
- 5.5 Ease of Use
- 5.6 Overall Construction
- 5.7 Pad Compatibility
- 5.8 Pad Gap
- 5.9 Pad/Foam Quality
- 5.10 Portability
- 5.11 Price
- 5.12 Seat and Back Pad Adjustment Positions
- 5.13 Shipping/Packaging
- 5.14 Size/Space Needed
- 5.15 Stability
- 5.16 Vinyl Grippiness and Durability
- 5.17 Warranty
- 5.18 Weight Capacity
- 6 Types Of Weight Benches
- 7 How To Adjust A Weight Bench
- 8 Frequently Asked Questions
- 9 Conclusion
What Are The Best Weight Benches?
Best Flat Weight Benches
- Best Flat Weight Bench Overall – REP FB-5000 Competition Flat Bench
- Best Commercial Flat Weight Bench – Rogue Monster Utility Bench 2.0
- Best Value Flat Weight Bench – REP FB-4000 Comp Lite Flat Bench
- Best Folding Flat Weight Bench – Rogue Fold-Up Utility Bench
- Best Budget Flat Weight Bench – REP FB-3000 Flat Bench
Best Adjustable Weight Benches
- Best Adjustable Weight Bench Overall – REP AB-5200 Adjustable Bench
- Best Commercial Adjustable Weight Bench – Rogue Adjustable Bench 3.0
- Best Value/Budget Adjustable Weight Bench – REP AB-3100 Adjustable Weight Bench
- Best Folding Adjustable Weight Bench – Fitness Reality 1000 Super Max Weight Bench
Best Flat Incline Decline (FID) Weight Benches
- Best FID Bench Overall – REP AB-5000 Zero Gap Adjustable Bench
- Best Commercial FID Bench – Rogue AB-3 Adjustable Bench
- Best Value FID Bench – Get RX’d FIDAB-2 Adjustable Bench
- Best Budget FID Bench – REP AB-3000 FID Adjustable Weight Bench
Best Flat/Utility Weight Benches
Flat benches, also known as utility benches, are the bare minimum that you should be getting for your home gym.
While they may not allow for a ton of variety like adjustable incline weight benches, they’re going to offer the most stable surface to perform bench press variations, rows, split squats, and other exercises.
Here are my picks for the best weight benches on the market!
Best Flat Weight Bench Overall – REP FB-5000 Competition Flat Bench
REP FB-5000 Competition Flat Bench is perfect for your heavy lifting needs. It is designed to meet IPF height standards and is made of heavy-duty, 11-gauge steel. This flat, competition-style bench has a 1,000 lb weight capacity and grooved, rubber feet that protect your floor and keep the bench in place. The integrated steel handle and industrial roller wheels make it easy to move around your gym or home. While the narrow or fat pad options provide the perfect fit for every user.
Recommended for those that want the best weight bench on the market overall
The REP FB-5000 Competition Flat Bench is the best weight bench on the market.
Rep Fitness has been knocking it out of the park with their innovations with their squat rack systems, and they have some of the best weight benches as well.
Also, if you’re wondering if you need a power rack to go with your weight bench, this guide will help you figure it out!
Considering how many awesome features this weight bench has combined with its low price point, there’s a reason it is so widely recommended by the home gym community.
This weight bench is specifically built to handle the heaviest weights possible with a high weight capacity of 1000 lbs. Considering it’s constructed with 3×3″ 11-gauge steel, this isn’t very surprising at all.
This heavy-duty weight bench also has 7-gauge plates connecting everything together and is around 17 inches tall. It also meets the IPF specs for its height, length, and width. So if you want the highest durability weight bench for your competition bench press, here you go.
The standard weight bench comes with a very grippy vinyl pad to prevent sliding when setting up for your bench press. It’s also compatible with Reps Thompson Fat Pad, as well as their Wide Pad options. Which, if you want the widest, most stable bench platform possible, are highly recommended!
The thick foam pad is very similar to Rogues Competition Fat Pad and while it might not be as nice as Rogue’s, it gets the job done exceptionally well for a much lower price.
The FB-5000 is available in a bunch of different colors as well. You have a choice between metallic black, red, blue, matte black, and a clear coat finish. Every cool color you could possibly want!
Overall though, if you want the absolute best weight bench on the market, the FB-5000 is what I recommend above all others.
Best Commercial Flat Weight Bench – Rogue
Monster Utility Bench 2.0
Manufactured in Columbus, Ohio, using 3x3” 11-gauge steel, the newly redesigned Rogue Monster Utility Bench combines the stability of an extra wide 26.5” rear base with a new single-column front foot, giving athletes more room for setting their feet during a bench press.
Recommended for those that want the highest quality flat weight bench regardless of the cost
The three-post design allows you to get better leg drive to bench bigger weights and the single post allows you to set your feet up in the optimal position for the most stability possible. The only downside is that this monster utility bench can shake around when setting up with heavy dumbbells.
Other than that, it’s definitely solid as it’s constructed with the same 3×3″ 11-gauge steel used to construct Rogues Monster Racks, which are the highest-end power racks they offer.
No matter how much weight you can move on the bench press, the Rogue Monster Utility Bench is going to be able to handle it easily.
Another issue I’ve heard some have is the vertical storage solution being a little wobbly with the thicker pad options. If you don’t need to store your weight bench this might not be a big deal but for others, it might be something to pay attention to.
The final problem I want to mention is that this solid workout bench is powder-coated. And if you know anything about powder coats, they don’t last as long as other coats do. I have Rogues TB-2 Trap Bar and the powder coating is chipped off all across the sleeves.
All in all, though, the Rogue
Best Value Flat Weight Bench – REP FB-4000 Comp Lite Flat Bench
The FB-4000 is a competition-style bench built to meet IPF height standards, featuring a tripod foot design for lifters who want more foot clearance under the bench. The FB-4000 is sturdy, made from 3x3” 14-gauge steel. It boasts a weight capacity of 700lbs, yet the bench itself weighs only 50lbs.
Recommended for those that want the best weight bench on the market at a solid price point
The Rep FB-4000 is very similar to their FB-5000 model but with lighter 14-gauge steel. It has the same height, wheels, wide pad option, and a three-post design. Making this the perfect weight bench for those that don’t plan on benching over 700 lbs anytime soon but still want a high quality bench.
The FB-4000 also comes in multiple colors; those being metallic black, red, blue, and matte black. So other than not being compatible with the Thompson pad and the lower weight capacity, it’s basically a more budget version of the FB-5000.
The single post design at the front of the bench allows you to find the best foot position for optimal leg drive. Rep also included an angled handle on the front post for easy maneuverability in your garage gym. It can be stored vertically like all of Rep’s benches, making it super easy to store when not in use.
Overall, for the price, the FB-4000 is one of the best weight benches on the market and has the best value overall. Sure, you can absolutely find workout benches cheaper than this, but the quality is going to drop significantly.
Best Folding Flat Weight Bench – Rogue Fold-Up Utility Bench
The Rogue Fold-Up Utility Bench introduces a new hinged leg + detent pin design that makes the unit uniquely collapsible for improved space efficiency. A custom, wall-mounted steel Bench Hanger is also included, enabling athletes to store the Utility Bench securely on a gym wall when not in use.
Recommended for those that need the best weight bench for small spaces
Rogues Fold-Up Utility Bench is by far the best weight bench that folds up. While others are of very low quality, this has the same high standards that Rogue is known for.
Even though it folds up, it’s constructed of 2×3″ 11-Gauge Steel and has the same solid construction that the standard Rogue Flat Utility Bench offers.
The neoprene pad has high-density foam to provide a solid platform to bench on, while also preventing slipping, unlike cheaper pads.
The most important feature of a foldable weight bench is of course how much space it saves while folding up. That’s the entire point, being able to store it in small spaces.
The legs fold into a locked position using the orange detent pins. Plus, this weight bench comes with a laser-cut steel Bench Hanger that you can mount to your home gym walls for even more space. Considering it only extends around 8″ off of the hanger, this is pretty incredible.
All in all, if you want the absolute best weight bench that’s foldable, Rogues Fold-Up Utility Bench is your best option.
Best Budget Flat Weight Bench –
REP FB-3000 Flat Bench
Recommended for those that want the best weight bench on a budget
The FB-3000 from REP Fitness is the best budget flat weight bench on the market. Not only is it super cheap at $149, but it also has a 14-Gauge steel construction with a weight capacity of 700 lbs.
Another awesome feature is the vinyl pad they use on this that is comparable to others that REP offers. It’s incredibly grippy so you can set up properly for any strength training you need to do.
The grooved rubber feet are also a nice addition as some cheaper flat benches can slide around pretty easily. Especially if you don’t have some type of rubber flooring in your home gym.
There are just two issues with the feet that you need to consider, the first is that because the feet aren’t actually welded to the weight bench, you need to bolt them together. This would be fine but if you don’t tighten them properly, they’re going to loosen over time. This will cause the bench to wobble, rock around, and prevent it from being level altogether.
Other than that, it’s a great workout bench that can even be stored vertically with the included wall hanger. That way, you can clear up as much space as possible when not in use.
At this price point, there isn’t anything quite as good as this solid flat bench.
Best Adjustable Weight Benches
For the majority of lifters out there, I recommend adjustable incline benches over anything else. By just upgrading to this type of weight bench over a standard flat version, you’re going to be able to do way different exercises overall.
Obviously, with all of the moving parts on an adjustable incline bench, they’re going to be more expensive to build correctly. I’ve used a bunch of awful adjustable benches in the past so I know for a fact what you need to look for in a high-quality weight bench.
That being said, let’s check out the best adjustable benches now!
Best Adjustable Weight Bench Overall – REP
AB-5200 Adjustable Bench
Recommended for those that want the overall best adjustable bench on the market
This is the absolute best adjustable bench on the market and the one that I personally use. Here are a couple of reasons that I recommend it so much!
It has 7 different back adjustments from 0-85 degrees. I and many others agree that a 90-degree bench is just too vertical to press from and isn’t a great idea for overhead movements anyways. There are also 3 different seat positions which is pretty much the standard for adjustable incline benches anyways.
Another cool feature that a lot of other adjustable benches don’t offer is a wide pad option. In general, a wider pad is going to allow you to have a more stable platform to press from so this is an awesome addition to the
The frame itself is constructed of a combination of 2×3″ 11 and 7-gauge steel which is probably why it’s built like a damn tank! Seriously! This thing weighs 125 lbs which can definitely be difficult to move around in your home gym.
But hey, you’re never going to have to worry about your weight bench shaking around while benching again. I do a ton of incline bench presses in my training and it seriously does not budge at all.
Luckily, it includes a handle, wheels, and a back brace for vertical storage so you can wheel it around and get it out of the way when not in use. This is great because this bench is incredibly long at 55.25″ which takes up a ton of space.
You would think because it’s so damn heavy that it would fall over pretty easily while being stored vertically, but it’s surprisingly stable unless you intentionally try to knock it over.
The single front post allows you to position your feet much better than a dual post setup. This will allow for much better leg drive without sacrificing the stability of the weight bench as a whole.
One of my favorite features of the
There’s also a spotter platform that you can add on which can definitely be helpful for spotting. The diamond pattern on top allows for better grip so your spotter doesn’t slip and cave your chest in.
You can also get the
The only issues I really have with this bench are how long the backrest is and how short the seat is. It can be hard to set up the incline in your rack as you have to position the weight bench back much further than a shorter bench.
Plus, for larger lifters, the seat is just a little too small. Not enough to mess with the functionality of the bench, but it’s definitely noticeable.
Regardless of these issues, I recommend this weight bench over any others.
If you want to learn more, check out my REP AB-5200 Adjustable Bench review.
Best Commercial Adjustable Weight Bench –
Rogue Adjustable Bench 3.0
Recommended for those that want the best commercial adjustable incline bench on the market
The Rogue Adjustable Bench 3.0 is the newest version of their exceptional adjustable incline benches. Constructed with 3×3″ 11-gauge steel and 1,000 lb max weight capacity, this is exactly the kind of quality you expect from Rogue.
Just like the
While it is incredibly heavy at 125 lbs, the horizontal handle and wheels make it much easier to maneuver in your gym. Plus, it can be stored vertically just like a premium adjustable workout bench should.
The tripod design is super sturdy and allows you to position your feet properly for maximal leg drive. That, combined with Rogues grippy pads, will ensure you have the most stable training possible.
Speaking of the pads, you have a choice between a normal vinyl foam option that’s less expensive but still offers a ton of grip. They also offer a molded foam pad that is a little more narrow but is more durable and even grippier.
The other great thing I like about this bench is that the gap in the flat bench position is only 1″. Which is definitely nice considering some adjustable benches are 2″ or longer.
You also have a solid amount of customization options between the colors and the finishes. You can get this bench in blue, black, or red; with black powder coating or stainless steel finishes.
The other difference between these two is that the black powder coat version has standard bench wheels; while the stainless steel version has premium rubber wheels. These options are $100 more which I don’t think is worth the extra cost, but if you have the cash, might as well go all out!
Overall, the Rogue Adjustable Bench 3.0 is the best commercial adjustable weight bench on the market, and the premium choice if you want the most adjustment options possible.
Best Value Adjustable Weight Bench – REP
AB-3100 Adjustable Weight Bench
Recommended for those that want the best value adjustable weight bench on the market, perfect choice for beginners
The AB-3100 from Rep is an incredible value at $269 shipped. It’s constructed of a combination of 11 and 4-gauge steel for a high weight capacity of 1,000 lbs.
It uses a ladder-style system with 6 back positions from 0-90 degrees, as well as 3 seat adjustments. This makes adjustments super quick which saves more time for heavy lifting. The only issue with it is that its lowest adjustment is 30 degrees. Multiple users have complained and prefer having a lower 15-degree option angle as well.
The 10-year warranty covers the frame and they also have a 30-day warranty on the upholstery. Luckily, REP has pretty solid customer service so you won’t have to worry about them honoring these at all.
Tripod designs are usually going to be better for most users as it allows you to get a better foot position and leg drive as a result. The only issue with the
All in all, if you want the best value adjustable incline bench under $300, I highly recommend the
Best Folding Adjustable Weight Bench – Fitness Reality 1000 Super Max Weight Bench
Recommended for those that need a solid folding adjustable weight bench that saves space
The Fitness Reality 1000 Super Max Weight Bench is one of the most popular and best weight benches on Amazon. Most likely because of the solid price point, the ability to fold up and save space in garage gyms, and the fact that it’s adjustable.
This weight bench uses a ladder-style system for fast adjustments and adjusts from -15 to 85 degrees. The seat only has two positions but it’s a budget weight bench so that’s to be expected.
The only major issue I have with the adjustments is that it doesn’t have a 30-degree option which is one of the best positions for incline bench presses. If you need this bench for other movements and don’t incline bench press much it’ll be fine, but for others, I would recommend going with something else.
Considering this weight bench can fold up and only costs around $110 it is definitely a good option for those lifting in a small space.
Fitness Reality should definitely work on their quality control though. There are a ton of reports of upholstery being torn up, the pads being completely cracked, and other minor issues.
Other than that, this should get the job done fine for most.
Best Flat Incline Decline (FID) Weight Benches
An adjustable FID Bench, or Flat Incline and Decline bench, has the highest number of adjustments available. For most people, sticking with a regular flat or adjustable weight bench is going to be fine.
However, for some of you, the ability to do decline pressing variations, and different ab work might just be worth the investment.
Here are my top picks for the best adjustable FID Benches.
Best FID Weight Bench Overall – REP AB-5000 Zero Gap Adjustable Bench
The REP AB-5000 ZERO GAP Adjustable Bench has a patented zero-gap feature that eliminates the gap between the seat and back, allowing for multiple back angles and seat positions. This bench also has seven back angles from flat to 90 degrees and five seat positions from -15 to 45 degrees. While the optional leg roller attachment allows you to convert this bench into a FID bench with a maximum decline up to -75 degrees. The bench is made of 11-gauge steel with a durable paint finish and 1,000 weight capacity.
Recommended for those that want the sturdiest and overall best adjustable decline weight bench
REPS AB-5000 Zero Gap Bench is the best
There’s a reason I and so many others recommend REP weight benches so much. For the price, quality, and innovation that they bring to the table; it’s no wonder they’ve become so popular in recent years.
Let’s go over the most important feature first, the zero-gap design. Most adjustable benches have a gap between the seat and back pads. This can be an issue for some lifters depending on your height.
Luckily, REP completely fixed this issue with a sliding seat. This allows the seat to tilt and slide for any adjustments you need. The only real issue with the sliding seat is that it doesn’t use a pop-pin and requires you to unscrew it and screw it back in.
If they could fix this by changing it to a pop-pin it would be an even better bench overall! Some users have complained that you have to adjust the zero-gap manually and it doesn’t do it automatically.
The telescoping spine and pop-pin adjustment system are perfect for this type of weight bench. You can adjust the back seat from 0-90 degrees in 15 lb increments and the seat adjusts from -15 to 45 with the same adjustments.
If you want to use this as a true decline bench as well, you have to invest in the leg attachment separately. But if you do, it attaches to the back of the weight bench, allowing you to use way more decline options than cheaper weight benches.
The pads included are covered in grippy vinyl which can be found in all of Reps’ weight benches. It really allows you to lock in while benching and prevent slipping out of your arch. Plus, the foam pads are pretty dense and give you a nice stable surface to lift on.
The front foot of the AB-5000 is actually t-shaped to allow for better support when using the decline option. This is definitely a great feature that I’m glad they included. The only issue is that it tends to get in the way of the vertical handle when you need to move it around.
One thing I need to mention is that this bench is super heavy just like the
If you want the absolute best FID adjustable weight bench on the market, I highly recommend the AB-5000 Zero Gap Bench from REP.
Best Commercial FID Weight Bench – Rogue AB-3 Adjustable Bench
Recommended for those that want the highest quality flat, incline, and adjustable bench on the market
The Rogue AB-3 Adjustable Bench is by far the most premium FID bench on the market. This bench brings everything to the table you’d expect to find in a high-quality bench.
Right up front, this bench is expensive. At $950, there are definitely cheaper options that bring a lot of value to the table. However, if you want the most premium option with the most adjustments and a lifetime warranty, the AB-3 is definitely what you should be getting.
Between the 9 back adjustments (0-78 degrees) and 6 seat adjustments (-15-40 degrees), you’re getting a grand total of 54 different adjustment options. Considering you get all of these different choices built into a Rogue flat, incline, and decline bench is pretty incredible! Some might have an issue with the highest setting which is 78 degrees, most probably prefer closer to 85-90 which is totally understandable.
Here are the different adjustments if you wanted a closer look!
- Back pad adjustments – 0, 8, 18, 28, 38, 48, 58, 68, and 78 degrees
- Seat pad adjustments – -15, 0, 10, 20, 30, and 40 degrees
The AB-3 is incredibly heavy-duty, with a 2×2″ and 2×3″ 11-gauge steel construction. A ton of users have mentioned how it does not rock around a ton as cheaper decline benches do. One user that’s over 270 lbs can perform weighted situps/crunches at 58 degrees and it has no wobble issues whatsoever. This is pretty incredible and shows just how high quality it actually is. Plus, considering it weighs 117 lbs and has a weight capacity of 1,000 lbs, you’re never going to have to upgrade your bench again.
The only major gripes that users have reported, is the pad gap being much wider than most weight benches. Because the pads have a sloped downward angle, if you measure across the top where this slope starts, it’s actually around 6″. Sure, for some this might not be an issue but it’s worth pointing out.
Another plus is that this bench actually includes a leg attachment with it, so you don’t have to worry about investing another $100 like you would with other companies. It can be removed and adjusted to your preferences and is of higher quality than those offered by REP and Get RX’d.
Rogues AB-3 Adjustable Bench is the absolute best FID bench on the market. It’s incredibly high quality, has over 50+ different adjustments, and has a lifetime warranty. So you’re covered even if you find a way to break this thing (good luck).
Best Value FID Weight Bench – Get RX’d
FIDAB-2 Adjustable Bench
Recommended for those that want a high-quality decline bench that is priced very well
The Ladder style system is caged and super quick to change. Plus, you have 28 different back and seat adjustment options.
The back pad has 7 choices ranging from 0-85 degrees, and the seat can be lowered to -15 degrees for movements like the decline bench press.
Most pad gaps on adjustable benches are too wide, the
The frame is built using a combination of 11 and 7-gauge steel, which makes this bench super beefy. However, since it’s so heavy duty, it weighs around 115 lbs. Some might have issues moving this bench around because of that so just keep that in mind.
Luckily, Get RX’d built this bench with a horizontal handle and wheels to make maneuvering it a little easier.
This bench is designed to be an FID bench, the only issue is that you have to buy the leg roller attachment separately. However, if you do that, you have a ton of decline options as well.
They also have a dumbbell/barbell holder add-on that attaches to the back legs so you can set up for chest-supported exercises much easier. It doesn’t work with every type of dumbbell though. If this is an important feature for you, make sure the dumbbells you use are compatible first.
You can even store the bench vertically which is always nice for these massive weight benches. Plus, they have a bunch of color options to choose from: black, blue, red, green, and yellow.
And finally, the pads are constructed with ultra-high-density foam pads and covered with an extra grip/non-slip cover.
For the price, this is the best value FID bench on the market. It is constructed well, has a ton of premium features, and is really just an all-around solid bench.
Best Budget FID Weight Bench –
REP AB-3000 FID Adjustable Bench
Recommended for those that want the best budget FID adjustable weight bench
Constructed with a combination of 14 and 7-gauge steel that supports up to 1000 lbs. At under $320, this is an awesome budget option considering it’s also a decline bench.
A lot of higher-quality adjustable benches weigh over 115 lbs. The AB-3000 is only 95 lbs with wheels and a handle. Making it perfect for smaller home gyms.
This bench has 21 different adjustment combinations. Ranging from -20 to 85 degrees for the back pads and the seat pads have 3 with a maximum of -20 degrees.
This isn’t enough for some users so it’s important to note. Another problem is that the leg roller doesn’t have enough adjustment options for all lifters. But for the price, that’s about what I expected.
Just like all of Reps home gym equipment, you have multiple color options – metallic black, red, blue, and matte black. For more premium benches like the
However, multiple users have reported that the colors on this version are dull and not as vibrant. Hopefully, these are quality control issues and nothing more.
Overall though, for the price, I highly recommend the
How To Pick The Right Weight Bench
Deciding on the best weight bench for your garage gym might seem daunting, but I can help you figure it out.
Once you ask yourself a couple of questions, you can narrow them down based on what you need for your goals.
Let’s start with the most important factor.
Type Of Bench
This is an easy one to figure out.
Do you just want something cheaper to do flat bench and other similar movements? Then get a utility bench!
Are you interested in having more variety in your training? Getting an adjustable weight bench allows you to expand your training options considerably. Plus, most people will benefit from getting a single bench that can do it all, rather than investing in a separate flat bench.
Finally, do you want a bench that can decline for different pressing variations, ab work, and other movements? If so, then getting an FID bench is what you want to get. Simple as that.
Adjustment Style (Ladder, Guide Pin, Telescoping)
There are three main types of adjustments available if you choose to get an adjustable bench. Of these three, Ladder and Telescoping Spine systems are the most widely used.
Ladders are by far the fastest and most convenient adjustments by far. Telescoping spines are a bit slower but are generally more secure overall. Guide rods aren’t as widely used but tend to be pretty fast and secure overall.
I recommend Ladder-style adjustable benches for their quick adjustments, but Telescoping spines are known for how secure they are. So it’s mostly up to preference.
Usually, a bench will either be shipped completely assembled, while others will have some assembly required. From all of my research, most benches can be put together in less than 20 minutes.
Depending on the company/manufacturer, some tools may be required so make sure you find out before buying. Don’t buy without researching and get mad/leave a bad review. Many do it and they’re worse than Karens.
Finding out the bench height is definitely important. Some benches will be too tall for shorter lifters, and you’ll have to put weight plates under your feet to get proper leg drive. This is mainly going to be important for Powerlifters that compete in the IPF and other federations.
In the International Powerlifting Federation (IPF), the benches they use must be between 16.5-17.7″ (or between 42-45cm).
Naturally, if you want to train in the same conditions you’ll be competing in, getting a bench around this height is a great idea. Luckily, some of the best weight benches are going to be around 17-17.5″ with most adjustable options being 18″ or higher.
Ease of Use
Some benches are going to be lighter and easier to move so they won’t need wheels and a handle. However, heavy-duty weight benches are going to be really hard to move for some, even with those features.
If you plan on investing in a high-quality adjustable bench, wheels and a handle are definitely a necessity
The overall materials and construction of your weight bench will ultimately decide how durable/long-lasting it is. In general, for beginner lifters, you can definitely make do with a 14-gauge steel bench.
For everybody else, just get an 11-gauge bench and you’re set. If it has a combination design with 4 or 7-gauge steel like some of the benches in this guide, even better!
Another thing you need to pay attention to is if the bench is welded or bolted together. If the feet are welded to the frame, that’s a good sign. It most likely won’t wobble around and stay level.
A lot of cheaper benches require you to bolt the bench together. You need to make sure the holes line up properly and check to see if users report the bench not laying flat, especially if it’s a flat bench cause that’s kind of the point.
Trust me, it’s a pain having to tighten the legs to stay flush every couple of weeks.
This doesn’t matter as much for most people, but some bench frames are built with similar patterns.
If you want to buy bench pads from other companies to use on your bench, this might be something you need to offer some thought to.
Luckily though, a lot of companies like Rogue, Rep, and Get RX’d are offering different pad designs for their benches.
Pad gaps are one of the most important factors you need to consider for an adjustable weight bench. This is the gap between the back and seat pads that can be a problem for some.
The one bench as of writing this that doesn’t have an issue with a pad gap is the REP AB-5000 Zero Gap Bench, which I covered in this guide.
For those that still plan on using their adjustable incline bench for flat bench variations, a wider gap can be uncomfortable. In general, a pad gap of less than 2″ is going to be fine for most. Anything more than that will probably cause discomfort on flat bench movements.
However, there are some benches such as Reps
The quality of the bench pad is super important for comfort and performance. In general, the foam should be softer for comfort, while still dense enough for maximal stability. The pad itself should be durable and grippy.
Some pads are stapled to the bench which tends to fall apart over time. I recommend you get a bench that has high-quality stitching as it will last forever and withstand tons of abuse.
The best weight benches are going to be heavy duty, and tend to be, as the name suggests, pretty heavy! A lot of the adjustable options I mentioned come with wheels, and a handle so they’re much easier to move around in your home gym.
If you get the highest quality adjustable bench possible, it’s going to weigh over 115lbs so you’ll need those features.
For cheaper flat benches and budget adjustable benches, they tend to weigh less than 60 lbs. So you won’t need a handle or wheels as much.
Overall though, if you want to be able to maneuver your bench around your gym better, having those featured in the weight bench you choose is a great idea.
The price of your bench is going to be a major factor for most people. The majority of them are going to cost between $100 but can climb as high as $1,000.
The main things that will determine the cost, is going to be the specs and features offered, the quality of the materials, the manufacturer, and even what type of bench you’re interested in.
Flat benches tend to be the cheapest, followed by adjustable options, and finally FID (Flat/Incline/Decline) benches. So depending on what you need, you can save a decent amount of money.
I recommend an adjustable incline bench the most because its price is worth the amount of variation it offers your training.
Seat and Back Pad Adjustment Positions
Adjustable benches are going to have a decent amount of adjustment positions. The seat is almost always going to have 3 different options, while back pads usually have at least 6. However, some like Rogues Adjustable Bench 3.0, have up to 10.
These benches tend to have a couple of different angles from 0-90 degrees. Some have increments of 15-20 degrees, and some only adjust to 78-85 degrees rather than a full 90.
In general, though, I recommend you get a bench with at least 15 and 30 degrees as your lowest options, with 85 degrees as the max. This way, you have multiple different positions for incline bench presses, and you’re not completely upright for overhead press variations.
A lot of times, you’re going to be able to see how good or bad the shipping, handling, and overall packaging are for different pieces of home gym equipment.
You’re going to hear complaints if a certain company isn’t doing a great job with quality control especially. Nobody wants to drop $500+ on a premium bench and have it all scuffed up, missing hardware, etc.
Plus, a couple of companies such as Titan and Rep offer free shipping on all of their home gym equipment. A lot of great benches seem like they’re priced great until you include shipping as part of the equation. Definitely something worth paying attention to when buying.
Pretty much every bench on the market is going to have measurements listed so you can determine how much space you’ll need.
This will make it easy if you’re training in smaller spaces to figure out which bench is right for you. Plus, some benches also have the ability to fold up, and more often than not, store vertically. Saving you even more space in your home gym.
In general, the more stable you are when training, the more muscle you’ll gain and the more strength you’ll build.
The most stable benches are going to have welded feet to keep the bench super flat and prevent wobbling around. Plus, when setting up and benching properly for strength training, you want to be able to get proper leg drive, set your arch, and hold it there throughout your sets.
Three post benches will allow you to position your feet in the best spot possible, to maximize leg drive and power. Some benches are going to sacrifice some stability to allow this though. So look for those that have a wider front foot.
Vinyl Grippiness and Durability
The type of vinyl cover will determine how grippy the bench actually is. Some covers are slippery and don’t provide much grip at all. Others like Rep are known for how much grip they offer.
This is important because the more grip you have while setting up and benching, the more stability you’ll have, and the stronger you’ll become.
If you have a choice between a slick vinyl cover and grippier options, get the grippy ones. They’re much better and you’ll definitely notice a difference in your training.
Usually, the better the bench’s quality, the better its warranty is going to be. A warranty is like a vote of confidence. If they have a 10-year or lifetime warranty, they know their bench is going to last forever or they’ll replace it.
Stay away from any gym equipment required to train safely that has less than a year. This shows that the manufacturer doesn’t have confidence in their product and neither should you.
A bench’s weight capacity is going to determine just how sturdy the bench is supposed to be. Whether or not they’re telling the truth is another story entirely though.
A good rule of thumb for those that want to lift heavy, is to only invest in benches with a higher weight capacity than 1,000 lbs. This will ensure you’re never going to have to worry about the bench failing on a heavy lift. Also, if you notice a bench isn’t constructed with 11-gauge steel at minimum, it most likely doesn’t have a weight capacity of 1,000 lbs. Just a heads up.
For most people that just want to lift, build some muscle, and get stronger; you can most likely get away with 600-800 lb weight capacity benches. These will work fine for most and tend to be budget options so you can save some money as well.
Types Of Weight Benches
Flat or utility benches as they’re sometimes known are just what they sound like. A simple flat weight bench with no ability to adjust for incline decline movements.
The main exercise most use this type of bench for is a basic flat bench press but there are a ton of other movements as well. Some such as dumbbell flies, step-ups, other dumbbell bench presses, dumbbell rows, split squats, and more!
Flat benches are going to be the cheapest due to their lack of extra features.
Adjustable Incline Bench
An adjustable incline bench is what I recommend for most people. They allow for different movements in either the flat, incline or even an upright plane.
Because of these adjustments, they offer much more variety to your training such as incline bench presses, overhead pressing, chest-supported row variations, and a bunch more!
If you want to get the best bang for your buck, a standard adjustable incline bench is what I suggest you go with. These are going to be more expensive than flat benches but I think they’re well worth the investment.
Adjustable FID Bench
Finally, we have an adjustable FID bench. FID stands for Flat Incline Decline, which is just another type of adjustable weight bench that allows for decline movements as well. Decline pressing, sit-ups, Russian twists, and more just to name a few.
Most people aren’t going to need this type of bench but if you want to spend a little more, this will give you the most options in your training. Naturally, these are going to cost the most, so only invest in one if you really think you’ll use the decline option often.
How To Adjust A Weight Bench
Guide Rod w/Pop-Pin
Guide rods with an included pop-pin are much less commonly seen than the other two types. This is basically just a piece of steel tubing that slides up and down vertically to make adjustments.
The steel tube sits inside of an upright for support and tends to be pretty quick and stable to adjust. It’s just like adjusting typical machine seats, you pull the pin out, slide the bench up or down to your desired setting, and the pin pops back in.
Ladder-style adjustable benches are by far mine and many others’ favorite because of just how convenient, fast, and secure the entire system is.
This one is super simple, you just lift the bench by the back pad, and grab the handle of the ladder adjustment. Then, when you move it to the right position, you ensure the ladder is in contact with the ladder and it locks into place. Super easy.
When I adjust my AB-5200 from flat to incline, I can use one hand and lift. It will automatically follow the ladder into the position I need, and it’s heavy enough to stay contained in the cage without another hand. Talk about convenience!
I think a telescoping spine is the most well-known adjustment type, especially in commercial gyms. It’s incredibly secure and even though it’s not quite as fast as a ladder-style bench, it’s fast enough.
This one is really easy to adjust as well, you simply pull out the pop-pin and use your other hand to adjust to whatever angle you need. Then, you allow the pop-pin to click back into place, and most usually allow you to screw them into place, which gives you even more security.
Frequently Asked Questions
Now I’d like to hear from you!
Which weight bench in this guide are you going to get for your own training?
Or maybe I didn’t mention a bench that you plan on getting?
Either way, let me know what you think in the comment section below, right now.
Until next time,