Without a doubt, the Bowflex 3.1 bench is one of the most popular weight benches among those who need a versatile and cheap yet reliable equipment for at home training. It is adjustable to 4 levels. Hence it provides a lot of possibilities to exercise. Also, it has a design and upholstery that gives comfortable and safe training experience. It is not for lifting very heavy weights, but a perfect choice for an average trainee to have strength workouts at home. (Mainly with dumbbells.)
- Good value for the money.
- Versatile thanks to its adjustability.
- Comfortable and safe usage.
- Acceptable maximum weight capacity.
- Long warranty.
- Not foldable.
- Not suitable for heavy lifting.
- The seat is not adjustable.
- Dimensions: 56L x 26W x 20H
- Total weight capacity: 480 lbs
- Warranty: 15 years on the frame
For our detailed review, read on.
Best features of the Bowflex 3.1 bench
1. Four bench positions for versatility
Since it is a FID bench, it can be adjusted to 4 levels: 30-degree decline, flat, 40 and 90 degrees. This way you can perform far more types of exercises as if you were using a flat bench.
For example, you can do various dumbbell presses. The decline version will work your lower chest, while the incline targets the upper part of your pecs.
The 90 degree setting is particularly useful to perform free weight dumbbell exercises safely and comfortably since your back is supported.
The manufacturer state that we can do 30 Bowflex bench exercises with it, but I think it is suitable for far more than that.
2. Special basement for stability
There is nothing worse when you train on a weight bench, and it wobbles and moves here and there. As you can see on the picture above the Bowflex 3.1 adjustable bench has a basement that looks like a horn. This provides extra stability for the equipment.
Also, the rubber caps at the end of the rear and front stabilizers help to keep it in its place when it is under usage.
3. Leg hold-down brace for safety
This feature is beneficial when you want to do decline exercises. If you have ever done for example decline bench press, you may have experienced that you slipped down. This problem is not only annoying but also dangerous since you may lose the control over the free weights. By placing your feet in the leg hold down you can avoid that.
Also, a few people use this feature to have decline sit-ups, but I think, it is not comfortable because the seat and the back pad are not to the same degree. Although, for horizontal sit-up, it works fine.
You can quickly remove the leg hold if you do not need it, though.
Problems with Bowflex Selecttech 3.1
The seat is not adjustable
While the back pad can be adjusted in 4 positions, the seat is not adjustable at all. And that is maybe a problem when you want to use the bench at the 45 or 90-degree position. Why? Because if you do exercises in an inclined state, you have to push yourself up with your legs a bit to keep the correct posture and your balance.
So, it would have been good if Bowflex had added an extra adjustment to the seat to set it upward a bit. The Bowflex 5.1 adjustable bench has this function.
The maximum weight limit is not so high
The Bowflex 3.1 bench weight limit is 480 lbs, including the user. So, if you are heavy, above 250 pounds, or you want to use heavy weights, you have to keep this in mind.
As I mentioned before, 3.1 is not for powerlifters or bodybuilders who want to use it for lifting hundreds of pounds. For that you need a more robust product that has much higher capacity.
However, the 480 lbs max load for an average guy who wants to work out at home is more than enough.
– Is it easy to move around?
The Bowflex Selecttech 3.1 adjustable bench comes with transportation wheels that help you to move it around. However, users think they are not the best quality ones.
– Is it folding?
No. But you can safe space by setting it into the flat position, and standing it up.
– How easy is it to assemble?
You can quickly put it together if you follow the manual. You do not need special tools either.
– Does it support other attachments such as preacher curl?
– Is it compatible with a power rack?
Yes, but not for bench pressing hundreds of pounds.
The Verdict | Is it for you?
The Bowflex 3.1 weight bench is a good value and versatile piece of exercise equipment for a home gym. It has its limits and a few minor problems, though. It is perfect for a beginner and medium level strength training at home particularly with dumbbells.
Functions & Features
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Last update on 2020-08-14 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API