How to choose the best weight bench for home use
You’re starting your own home gym, you bought and set up your squat cage, unpacked your brand new olympic plates, wiped off oil from your brand new olympic barbell. But, then you quickly realize that something is missing, a vital piece of equipment: the weight bench.
The weight bench is the second most important piece of fitness equipment in your home gym after a power rack. Without a bench, you wouldn’t be able to perform the most important fitness exercises such as:
- Bench press
- Shoulder press
- Step ups
- Bench jumps
- Incline / decline bench press
- Dumbbell bench press
- Dumbbell rows
- Ab workout
- And many more...
Main types of weight benches
There are lots of options available on the market, but what weight bench should you choose? There are a couple types of weight benches which exist in the fitness industry. Let’s talk about each type.
A flat bench is the most basic weight bench you can get. Usually it doesn’t have any attachments, just a frame and a flat pad. Thess type of weight benches cannot be angled or adjusted in shape. There are 2 types of flat benches available on the market: light duty weight benches and heavy-duty weight benches. Light benches usually have a 400-600lb of weight capacity and a heavy duty can take over 1000lb. The light benches designed for entry level users and budget home gyms. The heavy-duty benches are often used in commercial gyms or crossfit studios. A flat bench is desirable for athletes since it does not have any gaps between the pads, and is ideal for bench pressing. The flat bench is usually purchased as a second option, solely for the purpose of bench pressing.
Pros: You won’t break the bank with a flat bench, it is the most affordable option.
Cons: Doesn’t allow for much versatility.
Adjustable or FID bench
FID stands for FLAT/INCLINE/DECLINE. However, not all adjustable weight benches have the decline option! With an adjustable bench you can train the same muscle groups under different angles. Set your bench at 90°and try the Military press, make your bench flat and try some dumbbell rows, lower it to -20 ° and try some ab workout or decline bench press. The FID bench is the most common weight bench in the home gym setups.
Pros: very versatile piece of equipment, you can perform more exercises.
Cons: more expensive than a flat bench
An Olympic bench is a heavy-duty weight bench, allowing you to lift Olympic weights. Usually these types of weight benches comes with optional attachments like a preacher curl or a leg developer. Most of these benches have a safety features like spotter arms, to make your workout safe. Some Olympic benches can be folded to save space when it’s not in use, so it is the perfect addition for your condo or apartment.
Pros: add attachments and you will get a mini home gym.
Cons: bulky, needs a lot of space
Pretty much an adjustable bench with an option to be folded down into a smaller size for easier storage. Usually the seat cannot be adjusted on these benches.
Cons: not as sturdy, less weight capacity
All-in-one benches, which allow you to perform a full body workout. These kind of benches usually come with a lot of attachments, such as preacher curls, leg extension, dip bars, fly and an ab crunch harness. Often, these benches have a narrow distance between the barbell holders, so using a common 7ft olympic bar imposes an issue. For these weight benches you should get a smaller 5ft barbell.
Pros: doesn’t take too much space, affordable price
Pons: cannot use 7ft barbell with this benches.
How to choose the best weight bench for your needs.
Now let’s talk about the key points of a bench, determining which one is right for you needs.
Do you want your bench to move through different angles in order to trigger various muscle groups? Are you planning on benching heavy weights? Do you want to buy a bench in order to get bigger and stronger? Do you want your weight bench last long?
If the answer is yes then our AB100 FID bench is what you are looking for.
Don’t want to spend lots of money on a home gym? Do you need all in one station? Or, are you just looking for something to keep your muscles toned during the day?
How much weight can a bench actually hold? Would a 500lb capacity be enough to suit your needs?
All benches come in different sizes. Here are the three measurements you want to keep in mind when looking for a weight bench: -length, height and pad width. In most cases the length of the weight bench is not an issue, unless you are over 6’5”. The distance between the floor and the top of your pad is really important. For example, when you are doing bench pressing, you want your feet to be able to plant firmly on the floor. As for the pad, the perfect width size is 12”. It should not be too wide or too narrow.