Aside from a free weights set, a weight bench is the most important piece of equipment in a home gym. Strength training should be added to your weekly fitness regimen for a well-rounded exercise program that allows you to shed fat, burn calories and tone muscles. Training with free weights can strengthen the bones, promote easier weight loss and boost the metabolism. There are a number of benefits that come with working out with free weights and a weight bench, regardless of your fitness goals.
Many people will spend hundreds of dollars a year on a gym membership they’ll rarely use. Some people find that a trip to the gym doesn’t fit into their busy schedule, while others feel uncomfortable working out in front of other people. Regardless of the reason why you never make it to the gym, the odds are you’ll always come up with an excuse. Because of this, purchasing your own fitness equipment will not only save you hundreds of dollars a year, but you’ll also be more motivated to use this equipment since it’s conveniently close by and can be used whenever it works with your schedule.
Weight Bench Buyer’s Guide
Now that you have a home gym you can enjoy the same type of versatility you enjoyed at your local gym, but from the comfort of your home. A set of free weights and a weight bench is all you need to start your fitness regimen. It’s important to purchase a model that includes all of the features you need and want. Important factors to consider include durability, adjustability, and price. You should also purchase a bench based on how heavy you lift. If you can lift hundreds of pounds then you’ll need to spend more money and purchase an Olympic weight bench. If you can bench 200 pounds or less then you can buy a standard or FID model.
These benches come in a variety of styles, each with their own limitations. Adjustable benches that can be placed in a few different positions are great for versatility and can be used for strength training and core workouts.
The different styles of benches can handle greater or lesser amounts of weight. If you want to bench more than two hundred pounds then you need to check out a model’s weight capacity and make sure that it can handle the load.
Some of the most common styles of benches include the ab bench, hyperextension bench, flat bench, FID, multipurpose and Olympic bench.
An ab bench is a freestanding model that can be inclined to a variety of angles in order to provide a challenging core workout. This type of bench isn’t used with free weights so it’s not as sturdy as a weight bench.
A flat bench also referred to as a standard bench, is a simple model that’s perfect for free weight workouts. The design is durable and simple and usually less expensive than an Olympic bench. Most models aren’t able to handle power lifting, so be sure to check the weight capacity before you buy. Typically, this type of bench is recommended for beginners.
A hyperextension weight bench is a compact inclined bench that’s equipped with foam rollers that allow you to brace your feet for improved stability. This is the perfect type of bench for working the hamstrings, lower back muscles, abs, and glutes.
An FID bench is very versatile and one of the most expensive types of weight benches. This model can be adjusted to four difference positions for a more challenging workout. This style of bench is also usually equipped with foam rollers and can be used with free weights or ab exercises.
The multipurpose bench can also be placed in a variety of positions and can be used with a variety of accessories including dip bars, lat towers, leg curl implements, sit-up attachment, pull-up bar and squat rack.
A lat tower allows you to work on the sides of the back while a leg curl implement can work the front and back of the thigh. A chest fly implement will allow you to strengthen the pecs. Bar dip handles work the backs of the upper arms while a preacher curl attachment will work to isolate the bicep for a more intense workout. A squat rack can be used with this type of weight bench to strengthen the back and chest. Without the bench, the squat rack can be used for leg strengthening squats. Because the multipurpose bench allows you to use so many different types of attachments to work a number of muscle groups, you can customize your strength training program by purchasing attachments for areas on your body that need the most improvement.
An Olympic weight bench is commonly used by bodybuilders or people who do Crossfit. These benches are designed to easily hold several hundred pounds, whereas the average bench can only hold a couple hundred. This type of bench is probably the most expensive and is definitely necessary if you lift heavy.
Once you’ve decided on the type of bench you need you can find several models for sale online. Purchasing a model from a local sporting goods store will probably be a little disappointing. Often, they only have a few to display in order to save floor space and these models are nothing to brag about. They typically only carry standard or FID benches, so you’ll need to shop around online for better variety.
If you’re on a tight budget and want to spend most of your home gym money on a large set of free weights, then purchase a simple flat bench to start out with. If you’re a beginner this bench will be a perfect choice. If you already have a home gym and are looking for equipment to improve an existing workout, check out the ab board or the hyperextension bench. A multipurpose bench gives you the most options but it can also take up a lot of space if you want to use it with a squat rack, so keep this in mind if you’re short on space. If you’re still unsure which weight bench is right for you, visit your local gym and try out their benches so you can get a feel for the type of bench you want and need.
Universal 5 Position Weight Bench Review
This Universal weight bench features a combined user weight and maximum load of an impressive 430 pounds. The bench can be adjusted to five different positions for a more challenging workout. The built-in leg stabilizers are designed to keep you well positioned as you lift at an incline or during and ab workout. With a width of seventeen inches and a height of just twenty-five inches, this is a mid-sized bench that doesn’t take up a whole lot of room but is large enough to accommodate users of all sizes. Designed for beginners and experienced lifters, this bench is also a great choice for heavy lifters. Because of its versatility it can be used for a wide variety of exercises including such body weight exercises as decline push-ups and ab exercises such as decline sit-ups and crunches, this bench is a great investment that can provide you with a well-rounded workout. The seat and backrest are both covered in a thick contoured padding that promotes shoulder range of motion. The ability to move freely is important because it allows you to maintain the correct form. Poor form can have a major impact on the effectiveness of a workout. Other exercises that you can try with this bench include hammer curls, dumbbell flies, tricep extensions, dumbbell curls, seated side lateral raises and elevated lunges. The versatility of this model and higher than average weight capacity are both huge selling points. Some users were disappointed that this bench couldn’t be placed in a vertical position for shoulder presses while others loved that this bench was affordable and offered the type of versatility you could normally expect from a higher-end model. Because it can be incorporated into a number of different workouts and it’s built to last, this bench is the last weight bench you’ll ever have to buy.
Cap Barbell Strength Standard Weight Bench Review
The Cap Barbell strength standard weight bench is a basic model that’s designed to adjust into three positions for light weight lifting workouts and challenging core exercises. Equipped with handles that extend from the top of the rollers, this model is perfect for a number of ab exercises. The built-in storage hooks for dumbbells can securely store your barbells that weigh up to twenty-five pounds and places the weights close enough that you can easily grab one once you’re in position. It’s also a great feature that can keep your home gym looking clean and organized.
The padded rollers can also provide much-needed stability as you work out. To use, slide your legs between each set. This significantly helps to prevent sliding when in the decline position and helps to keep the body pressed firmly against the bench as you lift or do core exercises.
Because this model is more designed for beginners or light lifters, you can expect a lower price. This is the perfect bench for individuals who want to lose weight and get toned.
Featuring a weight capacity of 250 pounds, this bench isn’t approved for heavy lifters. Most people aren’t aware that the only type of weight bench style that can handle several hundred pounds is an Olympic bench, which is usually more expensive than a standard model. While some consumers did have complaints regarding the weight restrictions for this bench, keep in mind that this is very common for this type of bench. Overall, the adjustability of the bench allows you to do many of the same types of exercises that can be done using an expensive FID model. These exercises include leg raises, crunches, seated dumbbell shrugs and curls, decline sit-ups and lying tricep extensions. A great bench that provides adequate back support during a workout and allows you to easily execute a number of challenging exercises, this Cap bench is a great choice for the beginner or intermediate level lifter.
CAP Barbell FID Weight Bench Review
The Cap Barbell FID weight bench features a weight capacity of 250 pounds and weighs in at just twenty-six pounds. The bench can be adjusted to four different positions, which allows you to include a variety of exercises in your workout regimen. These positions include incline, upright, decline and flat. The frame of the bench is made from heavy gauge steel, and the top of the bench is covered in dense foam padding for improved back support while you lift. This model is also equipped with handgrips which can be used for improved stability when doing core exercises with the bench in the decline position. Like other models of Cap Barbell benches, this FID also features built-in barbell holders that make it convenient to switch out weights as you lift. It also neatly organizes and store your weights when not in use. The foam covered rollers can also be used for increased stability as you lift weights or work on your abs.
The size of this model is designed for users up to six feet in height and measures in at a length of forty-nine inches and is twenty-four inches wide. Some consumers reported that the 250-pound weight capacity is inaccurate and that the true weight capacity is somewhere around 300 pounds. Typically, the manufacturer will list a rough weight capacity that’s usually a little under what the bench can safely handle.
FID benches are among the most popular style of benches in the fitness world because their versatility allows you to use it for so much more than just weight lifting. Most models of FIDs are pretty expensive, but this bench by Cap Barbell is reasonably priced and very well built. This weight bench is our highest rated product and received a perfect consumer rating.