Homy Gyms 101

Bowflex SelectTech 5.1 and 3.1 Adjustable Benches

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.

bowflex selecttech 3.1 5.1 adjustable bench

Although at first sight, these weight benches look very similar, depending on the store, their price can differ significantly - 5.1 model can cost twice as much when compared with 3.1 model.

Since weight benches can play crucial role in any home or commercial gym, it is very important to know exact differences between these two benches.

Comparison of their features and specifications are given in the following table:

Model Bowflex SelectTech 3.1 Adjustable Bench Bowflex SelectTech 5.1 Adjustable Bench
Photo bowflex selecttech 3.1 adjustable bench m bowflex selecttech 5.1 adjustable bench m
 Number of positions 4 6
 Positions -10°, flat, 45°, 90°  -17°, flat, 30°, 45°, 60°, 90° 
Dimensions (LxWxH)  56 x 26 x 20 inches
~142 x 66 x 51 cm
56 x 26 x 20 inches 
~142 x 66 x 51 cm
Bench Weight 55 lbs (~25 kg) 66 pounds (~30 kg)
 Maximum User Weight  300 lbs (~136 kg) 400 lbs (~181 kg)
 Adjustable Seat No Yes
Removable Leg Attachment Yes Yes
Warranty 15 years frame, 1 year upholstery  30 years frame, 1 year upholstery 
Check Price on Amazon Bowflex 3.1 Adjustable Weight Bench Bowflex 5.1 Adjustable Weight Bench

Note: Amazon affiliate links in the table open in the new windows.

As one can see, although physically very similar, Bowflex SelectTech 5.1. Adjustable Bench is 11 pounds (5 kg) heavier, but it also has 2 more positions and can support 100 pounds more. Also, it has adjustable seat, which is very useful when doing incline exercises - it prevents user from slipping down.

Both weight benches have removable leg attachment for additional support when doing decline exercises.

Warranty for upholstery is one year, which is excellent warranty for such benches. Frame warranty is 15 years for 3.1 model and 30 years for 5.1 model - both benches are strong, sturdy and durable, hence such frame warranty.

Note on maximum user weight - this is weight of the user with weights. For example, if you are 200 pounds trainee and you like to do bench flies with 2x50 pounds dumbbells, Bowflex SelectTech 3.1. Adjustable Bench can handle it - barely. Bowflex SelectTech 3.1. Adjustable Bench can handle 200 pounds trainee benching 200 pounds. If you plan on lifting more, you should get yourself even stronger and hence more expensive, adjustable bench.

bowflex 5 1 benchNumber of exercises one can do using these two benches is almost endless - various flies, presses, crunches etc. target many muscles under different angles, leading to increased strength and stamina.

Both models are relatively stable on flat floor, but it is highly recommended to keep both feet firmly on the floor during exercises with heavy weights. When the feet are in the air (abs exercises, for example), benches are stable enough for most exercises, just be aware that they can flip over.

Models 3.1 and 5.1 have transport wheels for moving benches around the gym when required.

Since adjustable weigh benches are so important, each gym should have at least one.

Between 3.1 and 5.1 models, I would choose 5.1 model. It costs almost double, and thus, it is larger initial investment, but Bowflex gives 30 years frame warranty on it, and although it is heavier than 3.1 model, it has larger maximum user weight, more bench positions and adjustable seat. Enough reasons for me.

Note: there is also a Bowflex SelectTech 4.1 Adjustable Bench, which is very similar to 5.1 except it has 5 positions (one less). Their price is very similar, so people choose either 3.1 or 5.1 model.

For more reviews and recommendations, check Bowflex 5.1 Adjustable Weight Bench Amazon link (link opens in the new window).

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