Adjustable vs. Non-Adjustable Weightlifting Bench: Pros & Cons


Should you get a fixed or an adjustable weightlifting bench for your home gym? There are pros and cons to both types. Here’s what you want to know.

In most cases, an adjustable weightlifting bench is a better choice for a home gym. An adjustable bench provides many more exercise options for only a little bit more money. Fixed benches have a higher load limit, are smaller and sturdier for a lower price.

Below you can find what is best for who and what the pros and cons of both types of bench are.

Adjustable vs. Non-Adjustable Weightlifting Benches

The biggest feature of weightlifting benches is adjustability. There are two varieties: Adjustable and non-adjustable.

If you’re not sure if you need a weightlifting bench in the first place, read this article to figure out what works for you.

A non-adjustable bench is a simple straight bench with some padding on the seat. The seat will always be parallel to the floor. There is no way to change that. Non-adjustable benches are cheaper, sturdier and super simple. You can use them for many exercises like a flat bench or dumbbell press for example. There are a lot of things you can’t do on a flat bench however. All the exercises that require the backrest to be at an angle are out.

Read more about selecting the right workout bench in this post.

Adjustable benches have a mechanism that allows you to adjust the angle of the backrest from parallel to the floor to (almost) perpendicular to the floor. You can usually adjust the backrest in increments so you can find the best angle for what you want to do. The benefit of adjustable benches is that they are way more flexible and can be used for much more lifts than a fixed bench.

Adjustable benches are a bit more expensive and there are some moving parts that can break. If you get a good quality one this shouldn’t be a problem for home use however. A decent bench will last a very long time and the adjustment mechanism will likely outlast the upholstery on the seat (which is pretty easy to replace anyways). 

In a home gym an adjustable bench is the better choice. Most home gyms are quite small and there isn’t enough room for two benches. If you have to choose one, the adjustable version is the obvious choice. It’s just more flexible and is everything you need.

If you buy a fixed bench, at some point you’ll want to upgrade. At that point you probably won’t have enough space to fit both in your home gym and you’ll spend more money than necessary. Also, in a home gym, it’s unlikely that there are two people who want to use the bench at the same time, it’s not necessary to have two.

Looking for a good adjustable bench? Click here to find out which one I recommend.

Fixed Weightlifting Benches Pros & Cons

Pros

  • Cheap: Fixed weightlifting benches are very simple and therefore don’t cost much.
  • Sturdy: The simple construction means these benches can usually handle a lot of load, even the cheap ones.
  • Compact: Non-adjustable benches are a bit smaller than adjustable ones.

Cons

  • Limited amount of exercises: The main drawback is that you can not do quite a few exercises you could do with an adjustable bench.

Adjustable Weightlifting Benches Pros & Cons

Pros

  • Provides many exercise options: Adjustable benches provide the most exercise options.
  • Some can be folded: Fixed benches are just that. Some adjustable ones can be folded up so you can put them against the wall for compact storage.

Cons

  • Some can be less sturdy: The adjustment mechanism and how strong it is differs greatly between models. For high load limits and a sturdy feel, you need to pay a bit more.
  • Pad gap: Some adjustable benches have a gap between the seat and backrest in the flat position. Better benches don’t have this.
  • Costs a bit more than a fixed bench: Adjustable benches cost a bit more although they’re still not all that expensive.

Matt

Hey, I'm Matt. Welcome to HomeGymResource.com. I've been going to the gym for about 15 years and am now looking to build my own. In the process I've learned many things I'd like to share with you.

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