The Best Weight Benches for Supporting Your Training Needs

2022-10-15 11:56:03 By : Ms. Linda Zhong

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Lay the foundation for superior muscle sculpting with these top-performing workout benches from some of the industry's best brands.

When you're building out your perfect home gym, odds are your eyes will first go to a proper set of dumbbells or plates. But what's a great strength training setup without the proper foundation? Weight benches provide that comfortable backing you need to really push your physique to new heights, with plenty of convenience factors built into each impressive silhouette.

Weight benches can be great for building out a versatile workout regimen, but before you go to brace for a new PR, it helps to understand which seat best suits your fitness needs.

While workout benches might seem like a universal piece of fitness equipment, they can become rather complex once you dig into the nuts and bolts of each build. For one, there are three basic types of weight benches to know, each with its own characteristics and features designed to get the most out of every sweat-riddled set.

This style of bench can be a great introductory course to strength training. The padded cushioning sits perpendicular to the legs, creating a flat training surface ideal for presses and other modalities. If you're looking to work on your bench press or just need to add a well-cushioned structure to your home gym setup, consider these versatile silhouettes.

Adjustable benches are the second most versatile benches out there, allowing athletes to set up inclined and seated exercises for more training possibilities. This style of workout bench can be signified by the adjustable notches across the crossbeam and seat, creating a plethora of angles to target different muscle areas across the body. If you want to step up your training from the traditional press or curl, consider this option.

FID stands for Flat, Incline and Decline, meaning these are the Rubik's Cube of the weight bench realm. The increased range of potential angles allows for inclined and declined movements, creating a wider range of workout possibilities. While there's no true price difference between adjustable and FID benches, it is something to consider, especially if you really want to target those lower pectoral muscles with decline bench presses.

When thinking about a weight bench, it helps to consider just what you intend to use the bench for. As stated above, there are differing silhouettes between workout benches, so having the possibility of varying angles is critical when purchasing one for your home gym.

While flat benches are plenty versatile for novice athletes, I still recommend opting for an adjustable bench that allows for inclined exercises. These weight benches can be useful in a number of scenarios, and while FID benches offer more versatility, you're likely to find inclined exercises more popular in your routine than declined modalities. If you're more serious about strength training, however, and understand the benefits of declined exercises, FIDs are your best bet.

Because of their metal construction and ability to stabilize hundreds of pounds, it's not uncommon for weight benches to feature a bulky, cumbersome silhouette. This can make moving your equipment around your space more of a workout than your training session itself. To ease this strain, look for weight benches that feature wheels at one support beam. This can make adjusting your setup much easier, especially when rearranging your power rack from bench presses to squats. Some workout benches also feature metal handles, adding another sense of convenience to their effective profile.

The last thing you want when pushing your muscular limits is to have your structure come crashing down underneath you — gravity is undefeated in that particular matchup. To create that rock-solid setup for big gains, you need a weight bench that can easily hold not just your bench total, but your body weight as well. The average weight capacity for a weight bench is around 600 pounds, but many benches can support upwards of 1,000 pounds, so there's some range to consider when making a purchase. Think through your training capabilities and goals, then choose a bench that can accommodate those totals and then some. After all, you don't want to be on the wrong end of a bench's max load.

Throughout my years in strength training, I've taken a seat on a number of the picks included in this list, highlighting key features like pad comfort, adjustability and maneuverability. From dumbbell press PRs to breath-catching breaks between sets, I've been around plenty of benches to understand what separates a quality piece of workout equipment from just a structure to house my tired frame for a few seconds.

If you’re looking for one weight bench to add to your home gym, I’d definitely consider the AB-3000 from Rep Fitness. Boasting 21 potential setups thanks to an adjustable back and seat cushion, there’s virtually no exercise you can’t hit atop this structure. Additionally, I appreciated the built-in leg attachment, which made stabilization during decline modalities much easier.

The ladder-style adjustments are easier to configure, and Rep Fitness even offers this bench in a variety of colors for that added sense of personalization. While this bench might not be the most space-saving option — total length stretches over 6 feet — I dare you to find a more suitable structure for any brooding garage gym.

For those heavier strength training workouts, you need a bench that’s ready for the load. The Commercial FID Bench is there for support and then some, thanks to a whopping 1,300-pound capacity. I like the 12-inch pad width that covers enough of the back for proper bracing, and the adjustable backrest can be tweaked between -11–85 degrees for optimal training.

The one drawback (emphasis on back) of the Commercial FID Bench from Force USA is its lack of a leg attachment. This can make for an unbalanced feel when lifting in a declined position, which can potentially compromise both form and safety. Still, though, it’s plenty hard to find a weight bench that’s built as tough as this gym gem.

Budget workout benches can be fickle, offering wallet-friendly prices without any sense of durability baked into the silhouette. Thankfully, this adjustable bench from Flybird Fitness shakes off those stereotypes with a profile that’s plenty sturdy without putting a dent in your finances. The frame has a max weight rating of 880 pounds, and I also like how the FB299 folds up easily for added storage convenience.

While this can be a great do-it-all bench for most home athletes, I would caution about the pinned adjustment systems. The sliding mechanism can stick at times when off-plane, and if you want to make any angle changes mid-set, you need to hop off the structure, whereas ladder-style adjustments can be done on the fly, albeit with some practice.

As the brand states, this adjustable bench isn’t well-built; it’s overbuilt. Seriously, train once on the Prime Adjustable Bench from Vulcan Strength and you’ll notice how prepared this structure is for some big-time lifting sessions. I thoroughly enjoyed the tapered pad design that helps limit spine and lower back torsion when pushing through lockouts, and the convenient adjustments allow for a wide variety of angles and body placements.

The Prime Adjustable Bench also boasts two wheels and an ergonomic handle for convenient maneuvering around your training space, but don’t think this is like pushing your vacuum across the hardwood. The bulky, 96-pound profile takes some muscle to move, so if you need to rearrange your setup, consider this a superset.

As stated before, FID stands for Flat, Incline and Decline. Well, the AB-5000 Zero Gap takes that last initial to heart, boasting up to -75 degrees of decline for a setup that’s great for declined exercises (when paired with the leg roller attachment). I also like the zero-gap structure of the pads when in an angled setup, as some adjustable benches can create a pinching sensation if they have too much space between the backrest and seat cushions.

Another perk to Rep Fitness’s AB-5000 Zero Gap is its weight capacity. With 1,000 pounds to play with, even the most dedicated lifters can feel secure when chasing new totals with this great piece of fitness gear.

Weight benches featuring a wider pad width can be great for those wanting added security at the base of their lifts. This can be especially pertinent for more broad-shouldered athletes that may feel unbalanced on skinnier pads. With over 14 inches of width to play with, the Thompson Fat Pad makes the Monster Utility Bench 2.0 from Rogue a true standout in this subcategory of workout benches.

The Thompson Fat Pad makes it easy to find the right setup for any intense lift, and isn’t an expensive add-on at just $50. While this doesn’t feature the adjustment perks like others on this list, if you’re looking for a well-executed flat bench with more comfort between the shoulder blades, look no further.

To be an effective powerlifter, it helps to train at competition standards. The Bench and Squat Rack Combo from Titan Fitness is built to those regulations, creating a performance-laden training environment for anyone chasing those three white lights. Having lifted on one of these impressive rigs, I appreciate how rock-solid the build is thanks to the sturdy 11-gauge steel frame.

The 1,000-pound capacity is another added perk, especially for those advanced powerlifters eyeing a four-figure squat total. While the silhouette is rather stagnant — it can be difficult rearranging the 225-pound frame — if you’re getting into competitions, this is a great do-it-all profile that takes up much less space than your normal power rack.

Nordic curls can be a great addition to any workout regimen, particularly for athletes looking to build their hamstring strength. The Nordic Weight Bench from The Tib Bar Guy features a wide seat pad that can create a welcome brace for your knees during this specialized modality, all while still delivering the versatility you’d want in an adjustable weight bench.

The leg pads are also comfortable in securing your ankles, making this a great pick for ATG Training enthusiasts. While it’s not the most durable weight bench in this roundup — 700 pounds is still an impressive weight capacity — if you want to change up your lower body training, consider this top-quality weight bench as a good starter.

While I really like this bench from Marcy for the included preacher curl attachment, adding another layer to your arm day, it takes just one look at this structure to see it’s far more capable than just that bicep-targeting modality. Featuring a leg developer and barbell rack for barbell bench presses, this silhouette is a great pick for budding athletes that want the full experience of strength training.

There’s a reason, however, that I didn’t choose this as my go-to weight bench for powerlifting, and that lies in the Olympic Weight Bench’s lighter weight capacity. 600 pounds might seem like a lot, but for more advanced athletes targeting higher totals, it might not be enough to withstand the rigors of intense training. For most fitness enthusiasts, though, there’s plenty of meat left on the bone for worthwhile workouts.

Editor’s note: Marcy also offers the Olympic Weight Bench in a two-piece model that allows the bench to be slid out for squat modalities, adding to the versatile nature of this effective rig.

Yes, weight benches can get a lot more use in upper-body modalities, but that doesn’t mean these fitness structures can’t work your legs, too. Take the MyBench from Force USA, featuring staggered leg pads that allow for a multitude of lower-body exercises including leg extensions and leg curls.

While this can be a fine rig for any training day, I do wish the maximum seat angle was a tad higher. When performing any shoulder exercises like dumbbell shoulder presses, I like to have the seat set as close to 90 degrees as possible. The 75-degree max left me slouching back more to achieve optimal security, which made the strain fall less on my shoulders and more into my pectorals. Still, if you want a worthwhile bench that also delivers some lower-body versatility, I’d recommend this effective silhouette from Force USA.