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If you’re looking for a weight bench, but not sure exactly what you need, then the Fitness Savvy buying guide is for you. Read through, learn what to look for, then filter to find the perfect bench for your needs – and then compare prices on lots of models from top brands.
Types of Bench
There are several types of bench you will encounter. While some are versatile, others have very specific functions and should only be purchased for those specific reasons.
Adjustable Bench – these are the most versatile and popular benches. You can adjust the bench from various angles. Usually, there are at least three settings – decline, flat, and incline. These allow you to perform exercises at different angles to hit specific muscles. While you might get more adjustable positions on one bench, others with fewer positions might be able to take more user weight
Flat Bench – these are exactly what they say – a flat bench. You won’t be able to adjust to incline and decline bench presses.
Decline Bench – these benches are not adjustable. They are solely for exercising in the decline (lower angle, head towards the floor) position. This angle is aimed at developing the lower chest area during pressing movements.
Olympic Bench – these can be flat, decline, or incline (as an example) but are made to Olympic specifications.
Ab Bench – these benches are specifically designed with ab training in mind. While some might have the ability to perform other exercises, this is the primary function of the ab bench.
Combo Bench – these benches come with accessories such as leg curl or arm curl attachments, or a rack for the barbell to go on.
Incline Bench – as with the decline bench, these are not adjustable. They are solely for exercising in the incline (raised angle, head higher) position. This position is typically adopted to hit the higher part of the chest during pressing movements.
Features to Consider
When buying a bench for your commercial or home gym, you will need to consider the primary use, your budget and available space, foremost. However, there are other important considerations.
Wheels/rollers – if you need to move the bench around a lot, it is useful to have wheels or rollers to make this easier
Bar type – some benches come with a shelf for the bar to go on. If you are opting for this type of bench, you should check what size bar the product accommodates to ensure it matches your current equipment or the equipment you are looking to buy.
Maximum Weight Load – this is the maximum amount of weight the bench can take. If you weigh 100kg and you typically bench 150kg, this is a total weight of 250kg. A bench with a maximum weight capacity of 200kg will not be suitable. Please note, that we highly recommend using a power rack to lift weights safely.
Racking Positions – those benches which come with a rack for the bar may have a single position, or multiple positions.