Last updated on August 13th, 2018
In this guide, you will learn everything about workout benches to know how to pick the right bench for you that will serve your needs.
What types of weight benches are there?
1. Flat Bench
This is the simplest equipment. You can use it for exercises that require a stable and comfortable bench to lie or sit on. Such exercises like flat bench press with dumbbells or shoulder presses in sitting position. But, you can use it for bodyweight training as well to perform bench dips or leg raises for you stomach.
- Typically they have high maximum weight capacity.
- They are compact.
- Easy to assemble.
- Compatible with other equipment such as power racks.
- Good stability.
- Easy to move around.
- A flat bench does not lets you to perform exercises in decline or incline position such as decline bench press. Hence, provides fewer exercises.
- For barbell training you need a power cage or other equipment to work out safely.
To sum up, a flat workout bench is a good option for you if you want to perform dumbbells exercises and do not require incline or decline levels.Recommended: Check out the best flat weight benches here
2. Adjustable Weight Bench
Compared to the flat, an adjustable bench provides more ways to exercise since you can set the back pad in various positions. Some products can be set into just flat or incline position. While FID benches can be set to flat, incline and decline so they are even more versatile.
Also, depending on the product, you can set the back pad in various angles. The basic ones usually support 4, for example, – 30 decline, flat, 40 and 90 incline degrees. While more professional items come with 6 or more settings. The more levels an adjustable bench has, the more you can tweak it for the exercises you want to do.
Obviously, they are bigger than flat benches.
But, since they are adjustable there might be more problems with them, particularly if you buy a low priced product.
Typical issues might be:
- complicated assembly.
- gap between the sitting and the back pad in flat position making the flat position uncomfortable.
But, the best adjustable workout benches do not have these problems above and they provide excellent training experience.
Since, adjustable workout benches do not have bar holders, you need a rack to use it safely for barbell training. Hence, they are more suitable of dumbbell workouts.Recommended: Find the best adjustable workout benches here
3. Olympic Weight Bench Set
This home gym equipment is the best among the benches for strength training. Typically, they are longer and wider than the previous ones having high maximum weight capacity. Some products have over 1500 lbs capacity. Hence, they are suitable for pro weightlifters.
Also, in most of the cases Olympic benches come with bar holders so you do not need to buy a rack for barbell bench press. Moreover, besides the flat position you can set the back pad into incline or even decline positions.
- The most versatile.
- High weight capacity.
- Let’s you to train without the help of a spotter.
- Great stability.
- Very comfortable.
- Big footprint, require a lot of space.
- Might be hard to assemble.
- Higher price
An Olympic workout bench is without a doubt the most useful bench of all that is suitable for any type of free weight training and more at any level.
4. Sit up benches
Finally, a little bit about ab benches. This type of equipment is designed to have abs exercises in decline positions. You can set the level of resistance by modifying the angle of the board. Also, thanks to the leg rollers, you can keep the proper position of your body while you move.
In most of the cases, these benches are only suitable for core training, but a few can be set to flat position and has rather high weight capacity. So, they can be used as a workout bench.
However, do not forget that they are made for abdominal exercises and not for lifting weights. So, I would not use them for weight lifting purposes.
What to look for when buy a weight bench?
1. Weight capacity
Each product has a maximum capacity that is added up by the weight of the user and the amount of weight is used. So, if the manufacturer says that the maximum load is 300 lbs, and you are 180 lbs, you can lift 120 lbs safely with it. Overloading an equipment may lead to breaking and injuries.
Obviously, in the long run it is better to buy a bench with higher weight capacity since you do not have to care about the limit as you develop.
For normal fitness purposes and for an average user a bench with 300 – 400 pound weight capacity will do. For serious weight lifting 800-1000 lbs is the minimum.
2. Size of the bench and pad
It is important to know if you have enough space to store and use your new bench comfortably. So, check measure twice before purchasing. Do not forget that you will need extra space around the bench as well to move around. I suggest to have at least 4.5 feet around.
If you are a taller person above, 6 feet, it is important to check out the length of the board. If it is too short it will be uncomfortable to lie on the bench because your head do not get support. That is not only annoying but also a possibility to get an injury. So, get a longer bench if you are tall.
Another crucial factor that you should keep in mind when you buy a workout bench. Most of the products come with T-shaped stabilizers which is OK if the they are long enough. If they are narrow, the bench will wobble which is annoying and dangerous. Better models come with wide horn-shaped stabilizers that provide great stability.
At the end of the stabilizers caps are added to protect the floor and to avoid moving. Rubber caps are the best.
Where to buy a workout bench?
It is not hard to find a fitness store online or near to you. In my opinion these are the best sites to buy quality gear online.
- Rogue Fitness – They sell the highest quality workout equipment, even for professional gyms, built with the highest standards. Although, their products are more expensive, but you get length warranty and excellent items.
- Amazon – The internet biggest store is a great place to look around because you can choose from hundreds of workout benches, in any type and price range. The prices are good and you can bumped into great dismounts and deals even on top rated products as well. Also, you almost always get free shipping?
- Wallmart – Similar to Amazon, just fewer products.
- eBay – If you cannot afford to buy new equipment, you can check out eBay for used weight bench for sale. If you are lucky, you can bumped into used products at low price that are almost new.
Questions to ask yourself before buying
To sum up this guide, let me list the questions to ask yourself before buying a weight bench.
- What kind of exercises you want to do with it? Just dumbbell or barbell as well?
- Will you use it for light weight training or you will use heavy weights?
- Will you have enough space to use it?
- Is it big enough for you?
- Have you checked the customer reviews to know if it wobbles, comfortable, etc.?
- Can you shop at a lower price somewhere else? Or get free shipping?
- Have you checked the customer reviews?
On workoutia.com we give honest reviews, so look around to find the best workout bench for home.