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Weight Bench Review and Ultimate Shopping Guide

weight bench ultimate review and shopping guide with comparisons

A weight bench is one of the first pieces of equipment you should buy when setting up a garage gym. A bench is not only needed to perform the barbell bench press and its many variants (which is all the reason you should need to own one), it’s also useful for loads of other common movements such as skull crushers, dumbbell rows, dumbbell flyes, and so on. When it comes to prioritizing your new equipment purchases, don’t simply think of the utility bench as an accessory; consider it a necessity.

You don’t just want any bench though, you want a high-quality bench. Remember that a bench not only has to support your weight, but also the weight of whatever you’re lifting. As you get stronger, the load that the bench needs to safely support goes up. You want a bench that can handle your gains; something strong and durable that will remain stable under any load.

Safety isn’t the only reason to buy a high quality bench, comfort is worth considering as well. If you’ve ever purchased a cheap, budget desk chair you know how uncomfortable cheap padding can be even after light usage. When you have 200+ pounds pushing your back into a foam covered piece of plywood, do you want to be on a $50 bench with ½” of dime-store padding, or a well-constructed, 2-3″ thick pad of high density foam?

Weight Bench - Shopping and Comparison Guide

Now that I’ve given you a couple things to consider when shopping for a bench, let me give you the rundown on a handful of benches that are likely to meet your criteria. I will cover standard flat utility benches and a small selection of adjustable incline benches. I won’t go into decline-only benches because I am of the belief that a decline bench is an accessory, and one that is not on most people’s radar.

Also, for the durability, safety, and comfort reasons discussed above, I won’t discuss any of the extremely low-end benches in this article. The goal of this site is to help you equip your gym with affordable but durable pieces of equipment that keep up with your progress year after year, and $40 box-store benches don’t meet that criteria. Hey, you don’t have to drop $400 on a bench, but you probably shouldn’t buy something that costs less than dinner for two at Chili’s.

(For referencing purposes, view the current IPF equipment specs here.)

Last Update: Aug 2017 – minor revisions;  added Vulcan Adjustable Bench.


Rogue Flat Utility Bench 2.0

Rogue Flat Utility Bench 2.0 Review

Rogue Flat Utility Bench 2.0 – firm Neoprene padding, commercial-grade stability, & American made – $175

Manufactured by Rogue Fitness in Columbus, Ohio, the updated Flat Utility Bench 2.0 is available in black, black, or black. The single piece steel frame is built with very strong 11-gauge, 2″x3″ steel and this bench has a weight capacity of more than 1000-lbs. The pad is high-density, firm Neoprene, and the pass-through legs are angled slightly outwards to improve stability (and it does improve stability). It weighs in at 40 pounds, is 18″ high, and has a footprint of 47″ x 14″.

I own this bench, and one of my favorite things about this bench is that the cushion is a full 12″ wide. Sure that’s supposed to be the norm, but far too many other mid-range (and even commercial) benches are going with narrower 10-11″ cushions to save a few bucks on foam and vinyl, and that’s not how it should be.

Side-by-side comparison of the Rogue Utility Benches

Along with all of the improvements that came with the 2.0, Rogue still managed to knock a few bucks off the price. The Rogue Flat Utility Bench sells for $175 and comes completely assembled via UPS. It has a solid 5-star review and it should be near the top of your list, if not the top. This bench is all pros and no cons.



CFF Flat Utility Bench

The CFF Flat Utility Bench has an 12-gauge box-steel frame – the base is 2″x2″ steel and the frame itself is 2″x3″. The bench has a total load capacity of about 700-pounds which is fine for most people, but stronger than average lifters will probably want to find a bench with a higher max capacity. The height is great at 18″, the pad is tolerable at 11″, but the length runs super short at only 43″ (versus the normal 47-48″.) Reviewers say the foam padding leaves a lot to be desired, which is a bummer.

The CFF Flat Utility Bench is a no frills, middle-of-the-road bench.

The CFF Utility Bench has wheels for easy mobility and rubber feet for better stabilization on uneven surfaces. It’s not a bad bench, but at the end of the day it is a very middle-of-the-road utility bench, and fairly overpriced. $150 is just a few bucks shy of the 11-gauge Rogue Utility Bench; a bench with no real load capacity, no frame bolts, and great pad.



Rep Flat Utility Bench

The Rep Fitness Flat Bench is made of 11-gauge, 2″x2″ tube-steel and has been tested up to 1000-lbs. At $149 with free shipping this seems like a solid deal. Well it’s certainly not a horrible deal, but with the entire frame being 2″ tubing rather than 2″x3″ and each part being bolted together rather than welded, it doesn’t offer the same level of stability as the fully welded, beefier benches.

Rep Fitness - Flat Utility Bench rated to 1000-pounds

 

The Rep Bench has great sizing specifications. The pad is 47″ long and the ideal width of 12″. The foam is 2½” thick and the distance from the ground to the top of the pad is 17½”. The frame is warranted for 10-years, but sadly the pad is only warranted for 30-days. I suspect the pad will last longer than 30-days, but that short of a warranty does not instill much confidence.

This bench does have a lot of positive feedback so it’s certainly not going to be a disaster or anything like that, but like the above CFF Bench, it’s just so close to that Rogue Utility price that it’s hard to not just spend the extra few bucks to remove any chance of having regrets.



York Barbell ST Flat Weight Bench

Manufactured by York Barbell, the York ST Flat Bench is offered in white or silver. It has a strong 2″x3″ frame, high-density foam padding, and load-bearing rubber feet. This bench can handle some real weight, but it’s of a very bizarre size. At only 40″ long, 10″ wide, and sitting 19″ off the ground, I have no clue who this bench was designed for.

york st flat weight bench

I just don’t see recommending this bench to many people. You’d have to be looking for a super small pad for some reason, but I don’t know what that reason would be. The price is okay at $189 since the build is near-commercial, but there are better deals out there for sure.



American Barbell Flat Utility Bench

The American Barbell Utility Bench is pretty solid. It is a bolt together unit just like the Rep bench, but it has a wider, more stable stance and beefier steel. I think this is a contender in the market at its current price of $175; a very reasonable upgrade to the Rep and CFF benches, but I do not believe that it offers everything that the Rogue Utility Bench does for the same $175. I think the American Barbell bench would be an auto-buy for most folks if it were $25 less or so.

American Barbell Flat Utility Bench

This bench weighs in at 60-pounds. It has a 2½” thick pad that is 48″ long and 12″ wide, and the pad height is pretty standard at 18″. The reviews for the American Barbell Flat Bench are not many, but they are overwhelmingly good. Sadly this is not American-made.



Rogue Monster Utility Bench

rogue fitness monster utility bench

American-made by Rogue Fitness, the Monster Utility Bench is a heavy-duty utility bench made with massive 11-gauge 3″ steel. It has an extra wide 24″ footprint with giant rubber feet which are great for uneven surfaces; ridiculously stable. It is available with the normal 12″x47″ Neoprene pad (found on the Rogue Utility Bench) or the Thompson Fat Pad for $30 more.

Custom sized Monster Utility Bench w/ Thompson Fat Pad

The Thompson Fat Pad is larger at 14½” x 50″, and due to the extra thickness the pad is further off the ground (19¾”.) If you’re a real big dude or veteran powerlifter, the Monster Bench with the Donnie Fat Pad is absolutely the bench for you. FYI, for about $40 you can customize the height of this bench frame to bring it back to 18″ with the Fat Pad (see above image).

Thompson Fat Pad for Monster Flat Utility Bench

Thompson Fat Pad on the Rogue Monster Bench – no more rotator or pec tears.

Regardless of which pad you choose for this bad boy, this is one beefy bench, and the last flat bench you’ll ever buy. It’s $255 for the standard pad and $295 with the Fat Pad (making it the cheapest way by far to acquire a Thompson Fat Pad.)



Vulcan 3×3 Flat Bench

As an absolutely fantastic alternative to the $255 Rogue Monster Bench, Vulcan also offers a beefy 3″x3″ 11-gauge bench, only it’s far less expensive at $199 – with shipping included! It’s not as over-engineered and massive as the Rogue Monster Bench, but it’s not going to fail even the strongest and heaviest of lifters.

Vulcan Flat Utility Bench 3x3 11-gauge

The Vulcan 3×3 Bench has a wide 21″ stance and rubber feet for added stability. It has a heavy-duty 2½” pad that measures 12″ x 47″, and that pad sits 17½” off the ground. This is a very nice bench for the money. Actually, it’s an amazing bench for the money – very stiff competition for the Rogue and American Barbell benches, and a no-brainer upgrade from the CFF and Rep benches. Go Vulcan!



Legend 3100 Utility Bench

Legend Fitness makes commercial-grade gym equipment, and all Legend equipment is made to order (which means there is a lead time.) Waiting sucks, but the upside is that your bench will be any color you want. There are 16 frame color choices, and about 90 upholstery color choices. If you’re really hardcore, you can have logos embroidered on the cushions of your Legend Fitness gear.

legend-fitness utility bench 3100

The 3100 Utility Bench is 19″ high, 45″ long, and weighs about 56 lbs. It uses thick, high density foam in the cushion and it is very comfortable (I know!). I think default width is 10″, but 12″ is an optional upgrade. In my experience, the best price on Legend gear is by buying direct from Legend. This bench will run you about $349 before freight (and it will be freight – as in LTL).



Any clear flat bench winners?

I like the Vulcan Utility and Rogue Utility benches the most. Both of these units are strong, stable, supportive, comfortable, and 12″ wide. There are no max loads to be concerned with, and they are both very reasonably priced. After shipping, these two units cost just about the same so it’s six of one, half a dozen of the other. However, the Vulcan is 17½” which is within IPF spec, whereas 18″ is not.

The Monster Utility Bench with Fat Pad is a personal favorite, but it’s not as cost-effective as these other two.



♦ ♦ ♦ 

Adjustable Incline Benches

Adjustable benches will set you back a little more cash than flat benches, that is assuming you buy one of a reasonably decent quality. Anything under about $200 in the adjustable world is pretty much garbage, and there is a pretty good chance you’ll be disappointed in the stability, feel, and available settings of something that cheap.

It’s helpful to have an idea of what angles you expect from your incline bench before you pull the trigger on one. My suggestion is to make sure that your bench has at least four or five settings ranging from 0º to about 85º. You won’t actually need a full 90º setting as that setting puts your torso in a forward-leaning position; 85º is fine. Also consider the angle of the seat relative to the pad. The closer you get to having a perpendicular seat the better. Benches with seats that are always flat (or close to) it are the worst.


York ST Adjustable Incline Bench

This is the adjustable version of the York ST Bench (above). York’s ladder system allows you to easily switch between the six different back positions. This bench is made of heavy duty steel with a powder coat finish, has wheels for easy mobility around the gym, and has high-density foam padding just like the flat ST. It is available in white or silver, weighs about 100 pounds, and is 57″ long by 19″ off the ground.

York ST Adjustable Incline Bench

This isn’t a bad incline bench for the price. It’s nearly-commercial grade for about $399, it has ample position variety, and the seat creates a nice and secure angle with the pad so that you don’t slide out or feel like you’re sliding out. The handle and wheels are nice, and the gap created between pads isn’t excessive.

You used to be able to pick this bench up at Rogue Fitness, but they’ve switched to only selling the flat variation of the ST. My guess is because they now manufacturer many of their own adjustable benches (many of which are in this guide.) You can still get it at a competitive price at Amazon. They offer the pictured bench in white, and a silver version with an alternate pad shape that I personally think is silly.



Rep Fitness FID Adjustable Bench

The Rep Fitness FID Bench is a fully adjustable bench. It has an 11-gauge steel frame, an easy to use adjustment ladder, and it sports seven total back pad angles ranging from -20º to +85º. This bench is heavy, strong, and rock-solid. It’s also affordable.

Rep Fitness FID Adjustable BenchThe Rep Adjustable Bench is sort of a jack-of-all-trades, master of none. I mean the price is incredible considering the variety of positions and the use of strong, heavy-gauge steel, but the bench doesn’t really excel in the flat or incline positions. It has the typical seat/pad gap, the seat only comes up to about 20º, and there is only one decline setting. It’s both versatile and functional, but you have to remember that this is a $300 bench, not $600.

Rep Fitness FID Adjustable BenchTruth be told I think this bench is a good value, and I don’t question its durability (maybe the pads, but not the frame.) The single decline position is at least a good one (-20º), the flat setting is tolerable despite the gap, and it has the proper incline angles. The seat angle is a joke, but it can be made to work. You can spend a lot more and still have at least some of these issues. [full review]



IronMaster Super Bench

One of the most interesting and versatile adjustable benches on the market has got to be the Ironmaster Super Bench. This bench has the advantage of both a rectangular back pad and removable seat; two features that allow this bench to excel in both incline and flat positions. With the addition of the optional crunch attachment, the bench functions just as well in decline as well.

IronMaster Super Bench can handle decline too

Another thing that makes this bench interesting is the method of adjusting the pad. It’s as simple as pushing down on a metal lever with your foot. It’s easy to use, sturdy, and out of the way when you’re actually on the bench. There are 11 angles available ranging from 0º to 85º, and whether or not you have the crunch attachment or the seat currently installed dictates whether you’re in decline or incline. Pretty simple!

Ironmaster Super Adjustable Bench - Flat to Incline 85 degrees

It’s not all good news though. IronMaster has deviated from standard bench specs with the Super Bench, and serious bench pressers may want to steer clear because of this. When this bench is flat it sits a whopping 20″ off the ground. That’s too high for leg drive unless you’re either a monster, or you artificially build up the floor around your feet. Also, the pad itself is only 10″ wide, which doesn’t provide enough surface area to dig in the lats and support the shoulders. This is not a powerlifter-friendly bench.

The Super Bench has a footprint of 17″ x 41″, and the pad dimensions are 10″ x 44″. It is rated for 1000-pounds flat and 600-pounds for incline. While not a commercial bench, it does have a good price and a lot of positive reviews on both Amazon and the IronMaster site, so I’d say most people are willing to overlook those shortcomings. $320+ [full review]



Vulcan Flat to Decline Adjustable Bench

Vulcan’s new Flat to Decline Adjustable Bench is a fully commercial incline bench. The frame is made of strong 2″x4″ 11-gauge tube steel, and the adjustment slide is even beefier at ½” thick. The back pad adjusts to seven different positions from flat to 90º (including 85º), and the seat adjusts to five different positions.

Vulcan commercial Flat to Incline Adjustable Bench

The Vulcan Adjustable Bench is 10″ wide x 54″ long when flat, and sits 17″ high. It weighs 96 pounds and has a handle and wheels for easy mobility around the gym. The Vulcan retails for $649; which is pretty hefty price for an incline bench, but this is one of the best commercial incline designs on the market; better than Legend even. This would definitely be your last incline bench purchase.



Legend Fitness 3103 Adjustable Bench

I own the Legend Fitness 3103 Bench; had it for going on five years now and I can tell you that it is a beast! The pad is mounted on an 11-gauge 3″ steel frame, and that pad is nearly 3″ thick and extremely firm and comfortable. It has a total of seven back angles and three seat positions. It weighs about 100 pounds and it’s measurements when flat are 21″ high and 55″ long. The pad is 10″ wide by default, but it can be ordered with a 12″ pad as well. While amazing as an incline bench, I admit that I don’t care for it when flat.

Legend Fitness 3103 Adjustable Bench

As with all Legend products, there are hundreds of possible color combinations that you can select from when ordering. Unfortunately there is also a lead time since it is made to order. Order directly from Legend for the best price. MSRP is $649, but you’ll have to call Legend to get an actual quote.



Rogue AB-2 Adjustable Bench

The Rogue AB-2 has the most possible seat adjustments with 6 seat positions and 9 back angles that range from flat to 85 degrees. Made with strong 11-gauge steel just like all Rogue benches, the adjustable bench also has a handle and wheels for moving it around (nearly 100 pounds), load-bearing rubber feet, and a thick, firm pad.

The total length is 52″, and the height is 17.25″. This bench is a little too pricey at $815 if you ask me, but it is sturdy as hell. If you like this bench but not the price, see below!



Rogue Adjustable Bench 2.0

I guess the AB-2 Bench from above wasn’t a very good seller considering that $800 price tag, so Rogue introduced the 2.0 at a much, much more affordable price.

The 2.0 doesn’t have nearly as many positions as the AB-2, but it still has enough. There are six incline positions ranging from a flat 0° to about 85°, and the seat can be set in two positions; either flat or at an angle for incline positions. Both models have the rubber feet, wheels, and a handle for moving it around the gym.

One of the key benefits of this version other than the lower price is that there is practically no gap between each cushion. Nobody likes the large gaps in incline benches, and that’s not a problem with the 2.0. As per usual with Rogue, this bench is made with 2″x3″ 11-gauge steel, and it measures 11.25″ x 17.5″ x 52″. $545



Any clear incline bench winners?

Ideally you want a commercial incline bench like the Vulcan Adjustable, Legend 3103, etc. These things have all the right positions, the best pads (quality of stitching, comfort, and support), and the strongest frames with no max capacities to ever worry about. The issue is, of course, the price of commercial equipment. Not everyone can afford it, even if they know it’s the way to go for the long-term.

If you’re on a budget and can’t afford a $500+ adjustable bench, at least hook yourself up with something like the Super Bench or the Rep Adjustable. These two cost half as much as commercial, will last for many years, and although they don’t have all the same bells and whistles as a commercial unit, they will get the job done. Whatever you do, don’t buy some flimsy, rickety, 14-gauge piece of garbage from Wal-Mart or off Amazon.



Bench Guide Summary

There are a lot of options out there, and a wide range of prices when it comes to weight benches. You can spend less money than any bench that I’ve discussed here, but I’d think twice about doing so. If you want a stable, reliable, and safe bench under you, and you don’t want to buy new benches every few years of your life, invest a little now and be done with it.

If you have experience with any of these benches that you’d like to share; either good or bad, please do. Or if you have had a great experience with a bench not covered here, bring that up as well. Leave a comment below. Thanks for reading, and please share this site with a friend (seriously).

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{ 53 comments… add one }
  • Jason December 20, 2013, 2:14 pm

    Thanks for the reviews man, I’m definitely leaning towards the York st flat incline because York is practically the founders of getting yoked

  • Ryan March 6, 2014, 11:22 am

    Anyone know the lowest incline angle you can set on the York ST adjustable bench? I’m a personal believer in very low inclines (<30 degrees) for upper chest.

    • jburgeson March 6, 2014, 11:53 am

      I looked around. Even York’s site doesn’t list the 6 angles. Honestly it doesn’t look like the lowest setting will be very low. If you want under 30 degrees, that’s probably not the bench for you.

  • Carl November 13, 2014, 4:07 pm

    When buying my bench I looked all around the internet and at reviews of available benches I knew about. The best offering I could find was by XMark. The XM-7472 which is an incline bench. I’ve been using it for almost a year and am very happy with it. Amazon has it at about $300 but I got mine at a Sears outlet I believe. If I knew now what I knew then I would have just bought a flat bench. Haven’t done incline much at all.

  • Petro December 15, 2014, 3:24 pm

    Thank you for the reviews! Very helpful. I’m in the market for an inclined bench. Any ideas about IronMaster Super Bench?

    • jburgeson December 15, 2014, 4:05 pm

      That is certainly one peculiar piece of equipment, Petro. Honestly, after looking at that, I’m still not 100% sure how that thing even works. Does that seat just come off when you don’t want to use it?

      There are some things about it that I wouldn’t like for myself, but maybe they don’t bother you. First I dislike incline benches that use notches rather than holes with pins. The whole system is just less secure (all but one of the incline benches i included have pins). Second, if I’m reading that description right, there is a foot lever for making the adjustments to the incline position? What happens when you toss your dumbbells after a set and they hit that lever? What “locks” it?

      I could be misunderstanding how this thing works. Perhaps you’ve already used one and know all the answers to these questions. I think that product description needs so many more pictures since they’ve gone completely against the grain with that bench. A whole lot more parts than is necessary for an incline bench. Price is good though =P

  • mike February 16, 2015, 5:18 pm

    Trying to keep within a budget here – Im debating between the Adidas Flat Bench ($80 free shipping) and the Rogue Flat Bench. Now I fully know the Rogue will be superior in every possible way – but could I get away with saving $150 by going with the Adidas?

    • jburgeson February 16, 2015, 5:26 pm

      Yeah absolutely. It’ll get you by for a while. Will have to treat it a little better as the upholstery and all that won’t be the same quality, but it will get the job done. You can upgrade down the road.

      • freeweightsam August 8, 2015, 8:17 am

        Don’t do it. My Addias bench is going back to Amazon. One of the welds was cracked open and the leg was bent so it wobbled. This was actually dangerous. No more Made in China for me.

  • Dylan Sinclair March 19, 2015, 11:14 pm

    Have you looked at this bench by rep at all?

    http://www.repfitness.com/strength-equipment/strength-training/benches/rep-fid-adjustable-bench

    I was planning to get the adjustable York due to budget constraints, but this is just barely reachable for me. What I don’t want to do is get it and wish I waited to save for a better incline/decline bench. Any help much appreciated!

    • jburgeson March 19, 2015, 11:40 pm

      I hadn’t looked at that before, but I did just now. I personally am not a fan of those ladder adjustments. It also doesn’t look like the seat itself adjusts very much. Maybe good enough for Military press, but incline bench is going to feel like you’re slipping out if that’s as high as it goes in that second picture. Other than that, it looks fine. The price is certainly decent. If those two things don’t bother you then they don’t bother me =p

  • Vince April 4, 2015, 7:42 pm

    Trying to find a short bench to fit into where I’ll be setting up my rack, any ideas? Thanks

    • jburgeson April 4, 2015, 8:32 pm

      yikes no, I don’t know of anyone that makes anything significantly shorter. How short are you talking about?

      • Vince April 5, 2015, 12:53 pm

        Measured out for where rack will go– Have about 40 inches of space to fit it onto this platform in my garage— can’t seem to find anything this short– maybe does not exist

  • @RUBESIG July 2, 2015, 8:07 am

    Hey JB,

    Have you ever heard of the Equipment RAW 3×3 Flat Utility Bench? It’s roughly $125 shipped, and the specs are:
    •750lb Weight Capacity
    •Heavy Duty 3″x3″ Steel Frame
    •Extended 12″x47″ Bench Surface
    •High Density 2.5″ Pad
    •Standard 17.5″ Bench Height
    •3-Leg Design for optimal foot placement
    •Extra-Large Rubber Foot Pads for stability
    •52″x23″ Footprint
    •41lb Unit Weight

    I like the price and the specs, but can’t seem to find a review. I would think the weight capacity would be more with a 3″x3″ build, but other than that, I can’t find anything wrong with it.

    • jburgeson July 2, 2015, 10:57 am

      I had not seen that before, no. I appears reasonable. Probably the reason why the weight capacity isn’t high for the steel size is because the steel gauge may not be very impressive. They didn’t list it as a spec. I guess it’s also marked down because it’s a scratch and dent; or at least that’s what I see on their site, which may not even be where you’re seeing it.

      • @rubesig July 2, 2015, 2:02 pm

        You’re right, they do mention the item may come scratched, scuffed, or marked during shipping. They have an ebay store and of course their website has it. I think I’d be better off, and feel more confident with the Rogue 2.0 flat bench after you made a very good point on the gauge of steel possibly being unimpressive.

        thanks for the feedback

        • jburgeson July 2, 2015, 2:23 pm

          Yeah you know, it doesn’t say so I don’t know. I just believe that if it were actually 11-gauge, it should hold well over a 1000 pounds.

  • ssmmgg July 31, 2015, 7:24 pm

    One thing I need point out is that, seems the Adjustable Bench 2.0 is not update for AB-2 but for old Adjustable Bench, which you can find in the some pic of R3 rack: http://cdn.roguefitness.com/media/catalog/product/cache/1/image/9df78eab33525d08d6e5fb8d27136e95/r/m/rml3-1.jpg?_ga=1.264295311.1875090829.1417569951

    and that price in fact not reduced much. only improvement is smaller gap and more positions.

    • jburgeson July 31, 2015, 11:07 pm

      Indeed, still a much more reasonable price than the AB-2 though. At the very least it’s more competitive with the commercial units. That old one looks awful though.

  • Bruced September 3, 2015, 1:41 pm

    Have you had any experience with the Rae Crowther PRO GOLD AWESOME Utility Bench? A lot of people like it due to it’s ability to be used as an incline. It’s about 1k and has some lead time so it’s definitely on the higher end of the scale!

    • Bruced September 3, 2015, 1:43 pm

      *decline

      • jburgeson September 3, 2015, 3:36 pm

        I’ve not seen that bench to be honest. It is indeed pretty expensive. I have the Legend 3-way and it’s like $600’ish, but I’ve never even looked at decline benches as I’m just one of those people that don’t see the point to them. Also that thing has a massive gap in between the seat and backrest. Would be awful as a flat/utility position for me.

        • Bruced September 3, 2015, 4:05 pm

          Care to elaborate on why you don’t use decline? I use them for sit-ups and the occasional bench. I just want to “buy once cry once” and not regret not having a decline should I need it later.

          Your site has been immensely helpful! Do you get any referral kickbacks if we use your links? I’ll definitely share with my buddies that lift. Thanks again!

          • jburgeson September 3, 2015, 5:02 pm

            I just never saw any benefit to decline presses back in the gym days when I had access to those benches. Incline and flat were always where the growth was. Even if there was moderate benefit to it, I am not personally willing to buy a decline bench. Ab work is another reason to get one I suppose, but I have a GHD so it would be a redundant piece. Don’t get me wrong I’m not suggesting that you shouldn’t own it, I’m just here playing devil’s advocate. Plus, and I know I’m not alone on this one, but the large gaps in benches is really uncomfortable when using the bench flat. I own the Rogue 2.0 bench almost exclusively because I can’t stand using my Legend as a flat bench, and the gap isn’t even that big. I’m also tall, so there is really no way for me to get my ass out of the gap. I can’t speak to how shorter folks feel about it though =P

            Also thanks, I’m glad it’s been helpful. Well there’s the Rogue banner on the right sidebar there, and there are a other banners and links on the site. I don’t run too much in the way of annoying ads because I think it kind of cheapens the site and I want people to have the information, not leave because the sites irritating to be on. The more people that visit and click on just whatever, the more likely I am to be recognized for it. I absolutely always appreciate any kind of sharing.

  • scott November 20, 2015, 5:04 am

    CFF FID Bench
    https://christiansfitnessfactory.com/cff-flat-incline-decline-bench.html

    This caught my eye several days ago. Their Black Friday calendar listed their flat bench on sale. But if you hit the link it showed this was on sale as well. I think it was about $260. (Rumor has it all their BF stuff will be on sale again during Cyber Monday.)

    Very streamlined and minimalistic. It’s almost as if an Apple engineer built it. I’m like you, I’d much prefer a huge pin over a gear and sprockets.

  • Ross April 25, 2016, 1:02 am

    So what’s the best width for an adjustable bench where I expect to do both bench press and dumbbell work? Rogue seems to tout their 12″ width. The Legend has a 10″ width but you can ask for a 12″ wide pad. CFF doesn’t seem to care if I know the width of their pad. The XMark offerings on Amazon seem to be narrower than 10″ around the shoulders but I can’t tell the exact width either.

    Two other considerations: my wife lifts and I have a boy who is a little too young to be doing compound exercises to failure, but it will only be a few years before he is ready to join his dad out in the garage and I’d like the bench to be useful for all of us.

    I’m leaning towards the Legend with the default 10″ pad, mostly looking to hear that it’s not too wide for dumbbell work and will also do a good job with smaller shoulders.

    • jburgeson April 25, 2016, 9:38 am

      Yeah probably 10″ in your case. I still use the 10″ on my Legend, and even though I keep telling myself I’m going to order the 12″ pad for it, I haven’t yet. If it were just you I’d still probably suggest 12″ for flat or incline, but it’s not just you.

    • scott April 30, 2016, 1:54 pm

      the CFF FID is 11″

      • jburgeson April 30, 2016, 3:42 pm

        You have one? Did I read it wrong or are the mfg specs just off?

        • scott April 30, 2016, 4:00 pm

          I have one and measured it before posting. Their utility bench, which I also have, is also 11″ as well.

          • jburgeson April 30, 2016, 9:13 pm

            I’ll update that in the post, thanks Scott

  • JC June 10, 2016, 3:14 am

    Would you have any reviews/suggestions for a bench that can do decline angles, as well? Thanks!

    • jburgeson June 10, 2016, 8:38 am

      I do not, sorry. Decline benches are really only necessary for a single lift, so it seemed like a bad item to recommend for a garage gym – very limited in their usefulness, yet expensive for the units that are strong and stable.

  • George October 31, 2016, 1:36 pm

    Hey there, as always on this website…great review! Very informative. I FINALLY purchased my floor mats, body solid dumbbell rack, and body solid dumbbell set. Now I’m saving up cash for my bench press.

    Originally, my intent was to buy an adjustable utility bench, mainly because they look cooler and sturdier than regular flat benches.

    But two things have made me think twice about purchasing an adjustable incline bench.
    1) my previous rotator cuff surgery (doc said I shouldn’t do incline presses ever again, but to practice caution if i every decide to).
    2) Cost.

    Other than using the adjustable bench for inclines, are there any reasons/advantages to having this type of bench, If I find myself doing flat bench presses 90-95% of the time?

    thanks again,

    george

    • jburgeson October 31, 2016, 4:46 pm

      George they are not very useful outside of incline bench and military press. They’re nice to have (if you don’t have a shoulder injury) but I’m fairly certain most people still do just fine with a flat utility bench.

      • George November 1, 2016, 9:09 am

        Thanks for the reply! In case I decided to go with an adjustable incline, are you able to tell me about the gap between the upper back and seat pads for both the York ST adjustable incline bench and the Legend Fitness 3103 adjustable bench? I recently saw a body solid incline bench at a local vendor store and the gap was huge! It felt awkward and uncomfortable.

        thanks,

        • jburgeson November 1, 2016, 10:14 am

          I would say both are relatively small gaps – not huge by any means. The new (expensive) Rogue adjustable has the smallest gap that I know of, but I wouldn’t spend all that just for less gap when there really isn’t anything wrong with the others.

          • George November 4, 2016, 3:38 pm

            Just wanted to let you know that I went ahead and purchased the Legend Fitness 3-way utility bench like the one you have. Red upholstery with silver vein frame coat. Went directly through Legend and saved about $100 as compared to buying online. Regional salesman told me the bench will outlive me (-:

  • Aron November 7, 2016, 12:07 pm

    I am looking for a high quality bench that can do all three: incline/flat/decline. I am 5’7″ so the Ironmaster Super Bench would probably pose a problem for me since it sits 20″ off the floor. Do you have any recommendations for me? (preferably something below $500…but if there aren’t any good ones that cheap, I suppose I could buck up and pay more). I definitely want this bench to be the last bench I have to buy. Thank you for all of your great articles!

    • jburgeson November 7, 2016, 3:46 pm

      I do not. What I suggest is buying a good adjustable (0-85 degree) bench that will last, and if you absolutely feel like you need a decline bench, then go buy a cheap decline-only bench on the side. Also, depending on the degree of decline you need, it does work to stack up to a couple 45-pound plates under one end of a flat bench. Of course you can’t get extreme because you’ll just slide right off, but it works for up to -10/-15 degrees.

      • Aron November 7, 2016, 5:43 pm

        That makes sense. I think I will do that. Thanks for the tip

        • jburgeson November 7, 2016, 5:47 pm

          Oh, *45-pound bumper plates btw. Most bench bases will just stick to the rubber and not move around. Probably doesn’t work on steel plates.

  • larry November 14, 2016, 6:43 pm

    I’m looking for an adjustable bench that when flat does not have a big gap at the adjustable point. Do you have any suggestions as most photos do not show an adj bench in a completely flat position.

    • jburgeson November 15, 2016, 9:21 am

      Rogue AB 2.0 has the smallest gap

  • Terrence B. Harden January 4, 2017, 12:03 pm

    I’ve been looking at the Vulcan “Heavy Duty Flat Bench” and for all intents and purposes it seems like it would be equivalent to the Rouge Flat Bench 2.0. I’m just a little leery since the bench has zero reviews and it doesn’t list the bench pad material.

    Has anyone had any experience with this bench? I own Vulcan alpha bumpers and Vulcan OLY bars and they are great product.

    Link to bench: http://www.vulcanstrength.com/Vulcan-3×3-Flat-Bench-p/vflb-.htm

    • jburgeson January 4, 2017, 12:45 pm

      I actually asked Vulcan this question because your question made me curious as well, but they weren’t exactly sure; which means it’s likely nothing unique. It’s probably just standard, high-density foam like you’d find in most other benches. I’ve actually received a small amount of feedback on this bench and from what I heard it’s pretty great, but maybe someone will chime in with more than second-hand information.

  • Konstantinos April 3, 2017, 10:14 am

    Hey all! First off I’d like to say thanks for this detailed and informative site. Very well put together. On to my question. This is the first time in 15 years of working out constantly I have not bought or even contemplated working out at home. Although I don’t plan on full time working out at home I’m starting to feel it’s a necessity with my new born. This is more home equipment for a day or two a week so I won’t miss a workout/body part. Nonetheless I feel I’m so far into working out that I don’t want anything crappy either. Working out solely at gyms my whole life I haven’t used anything really under commercial grade. So although it may be overkill I need something that is going to be sturdy. I’m benching Anything from 25-125 “b dumbells and anythin from 135-365 on flat. I’m 6’2” 200lbs. I have used York and Icarian most my life at the gyms and don’t really have any complaints. I’m currently researching online and it seems everyone has their own piece about every thing other than rogue. Nothing really bad being said about rogue. And from the looks I understand why. I didn’t want to go crazy on the home, especially for a day a week but I also am a little picky, I have invested a lot into this. There are a few things I need and I think I might need. Ideally I want a flat, incline, decline bench. I definitely feel I need flat and incline and didn’t want to go crazy and spend over 500 but If it is necessary and worth it, I guess I would for the rogue incline bench 2.0. I have seen a few online that caught my eye. Xmark 9010 for the warranty flat incline decline and stability, iron master super bench for the same reasons along with the possible add one of dips and pull-ups again with a great warranty, and finally the rogue just for doing what is needed, flat and incline perfectly with stability warranty and comfort. Ideally I wanted to spend 300, but I would 550 if needed. The gap on xmark scares me and iromaster just seems a little weird or to good to be true. Also never see them at gyms. Let me now what you guys think. Maybe I should just suck it up and get the rogue flat bench for under 200. After all it is only a filler day.

    • jburgeson April 3, 2017, 11:35 am

      I say buy a flat utility bench, especially if you’ll still have gym access most of the time. If you ever transition into a full-time garage gymer, you can look into an adjustable.

  • Zach July 19, 2017, 2:56 pm

    Any suggestions for wall mount storage options for the Legend incline bench?

    • jburgeson July 19, 2017, 5:01 pm

      I don’t. I lean mine against the wall to get it out of the way. I mean, I’m sure there is something similar to the Rogue Bench Hanger out there, but do you really want to be lifting that thing day in and day out? It’s not so much that it weighs like 100-pounds, but it’s a massive and awkward 100-pounds.

      • Zach July 20, 2017, 8:09 am

        I’m planning to leave it out most of the time, but having the option to store it on the wall would help keep the gym space cleaner. I didn’t realize how heavy the bench is, though it doesn’t surprise me after you said it. I think I’d probably try and go with a wall hanger that was low enough to keep the wheels on the ground, so I didn’t have to lift the bench but it stayed fairly flush against the wall, similar to some wall mounted bike racks I’ve been looking at.

        Separate question: do you know how the colors compare between Rogue and Legend? I bought a dark blue Rogue rack and am thinking of going with dark blue for the Legend bench, but would probably pick a different color if they’re too dissimilar.

        Also, thank you for this site! You’ve motivated me to create my own garage gym, and the setup I’m going with is all based on the reviews and recommendations from your site.

        • jburgeson July 20, 2017, 10:03 am

          You can probably ask Legend for the Pantone number of the color in question and compare that to your Rogue rack. You could even try to ask Rogue for the same info on your rack color. If neither have or are willing to give that info and it really matters that they match closely, I’ll bet for a fee Legend would send you a sample piece of steel finished in that color.

          I appreciate that Zach, and I’m always happy to hear that the site has been helpful in some way.

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