Picking a weightlifting bench isn’t easy since there are so many models with different features, specs, and qualities. After a good while of advising people on home gym equipment, I’ve got a pretty good idea of what works, what is good, and what to avoid. There are definitely benches you should avoid and some that are amazing value for money.
You can find a general recommendation for the best adjustable and fixed benches and then some alternatives if you’re looking for something a bit different.
Best Adjustable Home Gym Bench
Adjustable benches are benches where the angle of the backrest is adjustable. Sometimes the seat is also adjustable. In a home gym, an adjustable bench is usually the right choice. They cost a bit more but allow for many more exercises and exercise variations.
Here are the best options:
Keppi Duty Bench 1000 Pro
This bench provides amazing value for money that I’ve not seen anywhere else. Yes, you can find cheaper benches but they are not as solid and complete as this one. Or you get a bench from some company that doesn’t provide much in the way of customer service and aftersales.
Keppi is unknown enough that you can get this bench for a great price but they also provide good customer service.
The bench itself is very solid and well thought out. It’s a full FID bench so it can be flat, inclined, or declined. The load limit is 1200 pounds which gives you an indication of how sturdy this bench is.
The pads are thick and provide good support while also being pretty durable.
Alternative #1: Rep AB-3000 FID
Prefer a bench from a brand that’s better known? Rep Fitness is a highly-rated brand in the home fitness space. They make really high-quality stuff and their customer service is also top-notch.
The AB-3000 is an FID (flat/incline/decline) bench just like the the Keppi. It looks cool in red but is also available in black. The design isn’t complicated but it’s very well executed. All the metal parts are made with small tolerances and the pads/upholstery is high-quality stuff that grips and is easy to clean.
The backrest, seat pad, and leg rollers are all adjustable separately so you can find the exact position you need.
Alternative #2: Lusper Workout Bench
Don’t need all those fancy benches? There are plenty of cheaper and simpler options out there. This Lusper is a very good example of that.
It’s basic but handles 660 pounds of load and is adjustable. The pad isn’t too narrow like many other cheap benches and the extended headrest helps for extra tall people. It’s not the sturdiest bench out there but for the majority of people, this is plenty strong enough.
It’s adjustable from -30 to +85 degrees. While it doesn’t go to 90 degrees, 85 is actually perfectly fine for many exercises. As a bonus, it folds up easily which means this barely takes up any storage space.
Where you’ll see the price difference is the quality of the finish and the durability. It doesn’t look as nice as the more expensive benches and the upholstery will wear quicker. However, you can buy three of these for the price of a single Rep bench.
Best Fixed Home Gym Bench
Fixed or flat benches are much simpler than adjustable ones and therefore cost less. If you’re looking for a cheaper bench, a flat bench might be for you. However, flat benches often also feel more solid because they lack an adjustment mechanism. So people that lift very heavy sometimes also prefer fixed benches.
Here are your best options.
Rep Fitness FB-3000
Rep Fitness is taking the win here in the fixed flat bench category. Its massive 1000-pound load capacity is plenty for pretty much any mortal that walks this earth.
It looks like a simple flat bench and it is, It’s just well-built and that’s the most important thing. You’ll have to do some assembling when you get it but it’s fairly easy and straightforward. The top of the bench is 18″ from the floor which makes it perfect for bench-pressing
The pad is 47″ long and 11 3/4″ wide which is great for taller and bigger people. The larger-than-average pad means you’ll easily be able to find a stable and comfortable position.
There are no built-in wheels but it’s lightweight enough that this isn’t necessary. Rep sells a separate wall hanger so you can hang this bench on the wall after you’re done. that’s a nice space-saving touch.
Alternative #1: AmazonBasics Flat Bench
Just need a simple flat bench? This Amazonbasics one is cheap and does the trick. It doesn’t have the build quality or strength of the REP bench but, this one is less than half the price.
This is a bench for light workouts. Don’t expect to bench 300 pounds on this one while feeling completely solid and safe. However, if the heaviest dumbbells you use on a bench are about 50 pounds, this bench is a bargain that does exactly what you want it to do.
Alternative #2: SteelBody Deluxe STB-10101
On paper, this bench doesn’t look that great with an 800-pound load limit. However, unlike many other benches, this one is going to feel sturdy and solid right up to that limit.
Besides a very sturdy frame, it also has a thick and wide pad that supports you on heavy lifts. That extra wide pad is going to help you feel more stable and secure. The pad is 43″ long which is a little shorter than standard but is fine if you’re 6’2 or shorter.
The built-in wheels and handle make it easy to move around and you can store it on its end against the wall so it doesn’t take up too much space.
For the official list price, it’s still not that great a deal. Yes, it’s super solid but very expensive for a flat bench. However, there are fairly regular discounts on this bench that bring it to under +-$150. At that price point, it’s a very good alternative to the Rep bench.
How To Choose a Weightlifting Bench
Selecting the right weightlifting bench is crucial for your fitness goals and comfort during workouts. Here are some factors to consider when choosing the right weightlifting bench for your needs:
- Type of Weightlifting Bench:
- Flat Bench: A basic flat bench is suitable for exercises like bench presses and can be a versatile addition to your home gym.
- Adjustable Bench: Adjustable benches can be set at various angles (e.g., incline, decline, or upright) to target different muscle groups. These are more versatile but may cost more.
- Weight Capacity:
- Check the bench’s weight capacity to ensure it can support your body weight and the amount of weight you plan to lift. Keep in mind, this load limit is static weight so stay well under that limit with moving weights.
- Stability and Build Quality:
- Look for a bench with a sturdy steel frame and stable design. The bench should not wobble during exercises. Folding and adjustable benches have the tendency to feel less stable under heavy loads.
- If you opt for an adjustable bench, consider the number of adjustable positions and the ease of adjustment. Some benches have a ladder-style adjustment system, while others use a pin or knob.
- Padding and Comfort:
- Ensure the bench has adequate padding on the seat and backrest for comfort during workouts. High-quality upholstery materials can improve durability and comfort.
- Size and Space:
- Measure the available space in your home gym to ensure the bench fits comfortably, both when in use and when stored.
- Portability and Storage:
- If space is limited, consider a foldable or collapsible bench for easy storage. Some benches come with transport wheels for added convenience.
- Attachment Options:
- Depending on your workout preferences, consider if the bench can accommodate attachments like leg developers, preacher curl pads, or racks for weights.
- User Reviews:
- Read reviews and testimonials from other users to gauge the bench’s performance, durability, and user satisfaction.
- Check if the bench comes with a warranty. A solid warranty indicates the manufacturer’s confidence in the product’s quality.
- Determine your budget and explore options within that price range. While it’s important to stick to your budget, prioritize quality and features that align with your fitness goals.
- Brand Reputation:
- Consider well-established fitness equipment brands known for producing reliable and durable benches.