Flat, Folding, Adjustable, and Other Weight Benches
Weight benches for home gyms come in various forms and sizes. They range from ordinary flat-weight benches to universal adjustable weight benches with leg developers and other attachments.
When buying weight benches not only for home gyms but also for commercial gyms, it is important to pay attention to certain details.
- Maximum allowed weight or maximum weight capacity is the maximum allowed weight on the bench, including both the weights and the user. Flat weight benches go up to, or even more than 1000 pounds (~450 kg), while various adjustable weight benches have a much lower maximum weight capacity. Although weight benches are relatively cheap, for safety reasons, it is better to buy an over-dimensioned weight bench than to have your weight bench collapse during heavy lifting.
- Frame material and warranty conditions - the frame should be made of thick steel, and the weight bench should come with 10-20 years or even with a lifetime warranty on the frame. Such benches are built to last, even if they are rated "for home use only." Warranty on the other parts varies, but a warranty of a month or two on pads and upholstery is normal. A 30-year warranty on the frame and a full-year warranty on the upholstery is a sign of an excellent weight bench, and although such benches come with a slightly higher price tag - go for them!
- Upholstery should be made out of several materials and should be durable and comfortable for use, but not too soft.
- Safety features - weigh benches should be wide enough to provide a stable working out platform. Also, various pins must be easy to use without any danger of injuries. IMHO, benches are simple pieces of gym equipment, and most of the injuries are caused by careless or too tired trainees.
Flat Weight Bench
A flat weight bench is a simple bench used for various exercises in home and commercial gyms.
It should be strong and sturdy, able to withstand large weights, and plenty of abuse caused by regular workouts.
Flat weight bench without bench-press attachment can be used for bench press using various racks, like squat racks, squat stands, bench-press racks, and similar.
Maximum allowed weight is rarely below 300 pounds (user AND the weights), with 1000-pound models being available, too.
Adjustable Weight Bench
Adjustable weight benches are often not as sturdy as flat weight benches, but they are more versatile - they can be adjusted in several incline, decline, and, of course, flat positions.
They are used in exercises that target muscles under different angles when compared with flat benches and for many other exercises that can't be done on a simple, flat-weight bench.
The adjustable weight bench can be a simple weight bench, or it can come with many accessories and attachments, increasing its price but making it almost a small home gym.
Weight Bench with Accessories
The most common accessories and attachments for adjustable weight benches are:
Other attachments depend on the bench model and manufacturer.
Of course, all other exercises that can be done on an ordinary flat or adjustable weight bench can be done on an adjustable weight bench with attachments.
Don't need an attachment for some exercise? Simply take it off.
Abs Weight Bench
The abs weight bench is suitable for various abs exercises, hence the name. It can be also used for some other exercises, depending on the model and its features.
It is a simple and sturdy weight bench with an adjustable incline level for varying the load on the trainee.
Note: to have perfectly visible abs, one needs to have strong abs, but without a proper diet and low body fat percentage, no exercise can help :)
When not in use, the abs weight bench can be stored easily since most of them require very little storage space.
Hyper Weight Bench
A hyper weight bench is a type of adjustable weight bench specialized for hyperextension and other core and posterior chain workouts.
Personally, I am not a big fan of hyperextension benches and workouts using them, but after heavy squats and deadlifts, it is nice to relax and 'reset' back with a few slower and controlled chin-ups and hyperextensions.
Instead of a hyper weight bench, some people prefer to use Roman Chair which can be used for similar exercises as well.
Preacher Curl Bench
The preacher curl bench is a very specialized weight bench used almost exclusively for one exercise - Preacher Curls and their variations.
Some people consider such bench to be overkill for a home gym, but they forget that people often have issues developing specific muscle groups.
If you have problems developing strong and aesthetically pleasing biceps and arms in general, a preacher curl bench can be of great help.
They often have adjustable pads (where arms are positioned during exercises) and sometimes seats.
They rarely come with weights, but if you find them on sale as a combo, remember that those weights can be used in other exercises, too.
The maximum allowed load is usually much larger than most people can lift, but check it before purchase, just in case.
Adjustable Height Bench
Adjustable height bench is commonly used in various plyometric workouts and exercises.
It can help build strength, stamina, and agility and can be very helpful for people practicing martial arts or for sports like basketball and similar.
One of the things that I personally don't like about such benches is the small footprint of the base - if you land on the bench with your feet not being in a perfect position, you will probably fall down. Been there, done that ... several times :)
Seriously - this is a very useful piece of exercise machine; just be careful ...
Roman chair is similar to a hyper weight bench, but it is more versatile.
It enables a trainee to work out abs, back, glutes, and hamstrings on a single bench. Of course, the main load is on the glutes and lower back when doing hyperextensions and on the abs when doing abs exercises.
Roman chair is also a very useful piece in any home gym, just be aware of the narrow base that most models have, especially when you do exercises with rotations - slight imbalance and you are on the floor.
Most roman chairs are highly adjustable to accommodate trainees of various sizes and to enable a trainee to work out muscles at different angles.
Maximum user weight is usually 250+ pounds, but there are models with much larger maximum user weight.
Which weight bench is the best for a home gym?
Well, if I have to choose one, that would be an adjustable weight bench with attachments and accessories.
However, this highly depends on individual preferences, personal goals, budget, home gym square area, and similar.
Reviews and recommendations of flat, adjustable, and other weight benches, ordered according to the date added or modified:
Universal Decline Bench is a cheap and relatively small, entry-level, decline bench suitable for abs workouts.
It takes little space but also has a very small user weight limit - only 200 pounds.
Note: Although relatively popular among users who don't need heavy-duty workout decline bench, the Universal Decline Bench has been discontinued by the manufacturer.
Updated: March 10, 2023.
If fitness enthusiast is looking to customize their exercise routine and bring versatile strength training to their home gym, the Weider Platinum Adjustable Bench is perfect for that purpose.
This is a multi-function weight bench that can be customized in a true sense by choosing between 16 combinations to dial in the best position for one’s exercise preferences.
Published: October 8, 2022.
If one is looking for building muscles, toning the body, or improving cardiovascular health, the Weider Platinum Standard Weight Bench is an ideal exercise machine.
It offers a range of workouts that can help one reach their fitness goal. Thanks to its affordable price and versatility, Weider Platinum Standard Weight Bench is a welcome addition to any home gym.
Published: June 3, 2022.
Marcy Diamond Bench and Weight Set (80-Pound) is a solid and cheap starter set suitable for home use. It will provide one with the opportunity to do most of the basic exercises for a good workout.
However, if you plan on buying this set, consider ordering more plates and/or some adjustable dumbbells.
Published: August 30, 2020.
Universal Five-Position Weight Bench is a good and solid adjustable weight bench, very good for home gyms. One of the best buy weight benches since one gets a lot for a very acceptable price.
Published: April 25, 2020.
Marcy SB-315 Flat Utility Weight Bench is classic flat weigh bench, suitable for many exercises and workouts at home gyms. It is simple, but strong, sturdy and affordable flat weight bench.
Bowflex SelectTech 5.1 Adjustable Bench and Bowflex SelectTech 3.1 Adjustable Bench are two very similar weight benches, suitable for most home gyms. They differ in several very important design details and of course, in price.