How To Decide Which Weight Bench Is Ideal For Your Home Gym
When we look at weight benches (also known as workout benches) there are so many alternatives and options in the market, so it is understandable that the decision as to which weight bench is ideal for your home gym set up is not always straight forward.
Aside from weights, a workout bench is probably the single most important piece of home gym equipment that anyone who is wanting to lift weights can invest in. There are many exercises that are done while standing, but weight benches allow you to perform an even greater number of exercises to help you achieve your training goals. A good weight bench can make your workout much more effective and enjoyable. However, in contrast, the wrong bench could make your workout uncomfortable, frustrating, and on occasions even dangerous. We’ll highlight the different weight bench options and some key things to consider before investing in your new weight bench.
Different Types of Weight Benches
Looking at weight benches at a quick glimpse, it’s easy to identify there are a few main alternatives; an adjustable bench, also known as an FID (flat, incline, decline), flat bench and speciality benches.
- Adjustable Benches | FID Benches
Like the name hints, an adjustable bench is one that the angle of the back rest can be changed to allow a variety of positions for different workouts. Along with the adjustability of the backrest, the seat can also often be adjusted to ensure you don’t slide off.
Being able to change the angle of the back rest significantly increases the number of exercises you can do using your weight bench. Adjustable workout benches also tend to be heavier and bigger than flat benches, so make them easier to move, many adjustable benches have wheels so you can simply tip and roll them around your home gym space.
Adjustable benches come with a range of options to accommodate not only budget but also space availability with foldable bench options like the Xpeed D-Series FID Bench which can be folded and stored with ease. Along with these options, some adjustable benches offer the ability to add extra’s like a preacher curl and/or leg extension to really allow you a variety of exercises like the Xpeed X-Series FID Bench and Force USA MyRack MyBench FID Bench.
- Flat Benches
Flat benches provide a solid platform for a wide range of barbell and dumbbell exercises. They can be used in conjunction with smith machines, in a squat or power rack, and with cable machines. Flat benches can also be used for bodyweight exercises such as bench dips, rear-foot elevated split squats, or seated leg raises for the abs. One key benefit for these benches is that they are quite compact which makes them ideal for use in smaller spaces. A great entry level bench that is space conscious is the Force USA SP1 Flat Bench or for a more heavy duty option the Force USA Commercial Flat Bench not only offers a stronger frame work but can accommodate a higher weight capacity.
If there is a downside this bench option, it is that it cannot be changed for different exercises. For example, you can only do horizontal dumbbell presses and flyes. If you do exercises like biceps curls or shoulder presses, you’ll have to do them without the luxury of back support which in turn can cause injuries if not performed correctly.
- Speciality Benches
Speciality benches usually have a dedicated function that may or not be possible with other workout benches. Speciality benches don’t tend to offer a wide range of exercises but, instead, allow you to performance one specific movement. Examples of speciality benches are Preacher Curl Benches (also known as Scott Curl Benches) like the FFITTECH Preacher Bench and Ab/Sit Up Benches like the Xpeed X-Series Sit Up Bench.
Speciality benches can be very useful, allowing you to train specific muscles in comfort and safety. However, most have very limited functionality which means they may end up taking up space that could be better served with a more versatile bench like an adjustable bench. If space allows, speciality benches can be a very useful addition to any home gym.
Set Your Budget
Obviously, everyone sets themselves a budget when it comes to setting up a home gym and achieving a good set up with the magnitude of options in the market in today’s day and age is very achievable. When investing in a home gym weight bench, it is important to consider which bench will accommodate your current fitness goals the best as well as having the ability to ensure that it can cater to future goals and lifting strength.
What are your fitness goals?
The next crucial consideration to make is what your fitness and weightlifting goals are. Identifying this will assist in ensuring you focus on purchasing the correct weight bench to accommodate your goals. Are you looking at lifting as much weight as you can? Then a sturdy home bench is vital. Or are you wanting to maintain your current strength levels? Then a bench to handle your current weight limits would be suitable for your needs. Aside from the strength and sturdiness of a bench, you also need to consider what versatility the bench can offer you; a flat bench is exactly that as mentioned above, so your workout options have its limitations, however an adjustable bench, will not only provide the benefits of a flat bench, but also allow a variety of different workout options.
What are your needs?
Next, we look at needs based on your fitness goals. While it would seem great to have a bench with all the advanced features. That may not be what you need and furthermore it could inhibit your ability to perform certain exercises that may be key to your training routine. So, an important step in choosing the perfect weight bench, is establishing your needs. List down all the exercises you want to do, consider any other equipment you have, and then read our descriptions of the types of weight benches below to help decide the right type of bench for you.
Think about size and space
How much space do you have for the bench to fit in? Bear in mind you need space for your arm span fully extended when you’re performing chest flyes or the length of the barbell when bench pressing. You also need space for your legs to hang off the end of the bench. We recommend measuring the space you have. Then taking a close look at the size dimensions of any bench you look at to make sure it’ll fit.
Finding the best workout bench for your home gym setup can seem like a daunting experience, however it doesn’t have to be. Sticking to these key considerations will help you to make the most educated decision when purchasing your new weight bench. Discover your ideal weight bench here and start working towards your fitness and lifting goals.