This is a preliminary review of the Rep Fitness AB-5000 ‘Zero-Gap’ Adjustable Bench. It is extremely thorough and should answer most questions, but it is not complete.
The reason I don’t consider this review complete is because I just haven’t had the bench for very long. A week just isn’t enough time with a product to write a complete, comprehensive, and honest review. That having been said, interest levels around the AB-5000 were just too high. I’ve had sooo many questions so this review definitely needed to be fast-tracked.
Again, this is kind of a “first impressions” review. It’s thorough; all things considered; but it’s not the final word. I will be updating this article as I continue to use the bench. I encourage anyone with questions to use the comments section below to ask those questions.
Rep Fitness AB-5000 Specifications
The AB-5000 is a fully functional flat/incline/decline bench. It is loaded with features; one of which is very unique; and sells for an amount that currently cannot be touched by any other manufacturer. It’s not only a great garage gym option, it would do very well in a commercial facility as well. As you’ll see, it’s just that damn beefy.
- 11-gauge steel frame with a 1000 lb+ weight capacity
- 7 back pad adjustments with laser-cut position markings (0º, 15º, 30º, 45º, 60º, 75º, 90º)
- 5-seat pad adjustments with laser-cut position markings (-15, 0º, 15º, 30º, 45º)
- sliding seat eliminates the gap between the seat and the pad in all positions
- wheels and handle for easy mobility around the gym
- available in four frame colors (blue, black, red, silver)
- optional leg attachment ($89) converts all incline positions into decline positions
- retail price of $499
For reference and comparison purposes I’ve included some random measurements that I’ll surely be asked about as well.
- back pad dimensions: 12″ wide x 38″ (rectangular)
- seat dimensions: 12″ wide x 15″ tapering down to 8″ wide (trapezoid)
- total length of pads when flush and flat: ~53″
- rear foot width: 20.5″
- front foot width: 12.5″
- distance from floor to top of pad when flat: 18″
- distance your butt is from the floor when bench set at 45º/45º: 21″
- distance your butt is from the floor when bench set at 15º/75º: 19″
- seat sliding distance: 0-6″ (made up of 8 settings approx ¾” apart)
- total weight (without foot rollers): 117 pounds
Rep Fitness AB-5000 Review – The Sliding Seat
What makes the AB-5000 such a unique bench is the sliding seat feature, and it is exactly what it sounds like – a seat on rails that can be slid back and forth for the sole purpose of eliminating gaps between the back pad and the seat. It’s a fairly ingenious solution to that age-old issue of adjustable benches making shitty utility benches because of the massive 2-3″ gap created by both pads being lowered to their 0º position.
With 8 different lateral seat positions each about ¾” apart, the seat can travel a distance of 6″. This allows you to really fine tune the feel of the bench in every possible position, both flat and the various incline positions. So whether you are doing decline flyes at -15º, incline presses at 30º-45º, military presses at 75º, or Lord knows what at a full 90º, the bench can be set to have as zero gap.
Making these sliding adjustments is easy; simply turn and pull the selector pin and slide the seat to where ever you want it, then simply re-tighten. It literally takes seconds.
I’ve found that the easiest way to get the perfect positions is to slide the seat away from the bench, adjust to back pad to where you want it, adjust the seat (angle) to where you want it, then slide the seat up against the back pad. Voilà!
The only drawback to this sliding seat mechanism is that it generally requires you do adjust both the seat angle and lateral position each and every time you make changes to the back pad angle. It adds a few seconds to your adjustments but I think the fact that this bench can completely eliminate the need for a second utility bench makes it a worthwhile chore.
Rep Fitness AB-5000 Review – The Pads
The back pad is rectangular with no taper and measures 12″ wide x 38″ while the seat pad is more of a trapezoid measuring 15″ and tapering down from 12″ wide to 8″ wide. Together the total length of the pads is about 53″. This is a lot of surface area to work with, meaning the AB-5000 will never be too short. Even better, for military and shoulder pressing there is a really good chance that your head will have support.
The AB-5000 has very dense padding in the seat and the back pad; very reminiscent of the Rogue Utility Bench 2.0. It feels firm, semi-comfortable, and provides a very stable platform for pressing. The firmness will take some getting used to if you’re used to a cheaper, softer pad, but it’s worth it simply because it’s better. Zero complains about the feel or the density.
The vinyl covering is also of a high quality. It is not the grippy vinyl like what you see on the two FB-5000 pads, but it is still textured and isn’t slick. Keep in mind that in all positions but one (flat) you are held in position either by the seat or by the foot rollers, so in a way grippy vinyl isn’t actually necessary (though I’d still have been happy to see it.)
Overall I think the quality of the pads is well above average, and I see no obvious signs that they won’t last for a very long time. Even the stitching looks really good. Of course, I’ll keep an eye on the bench for pad/vinyl wear.
Rep Fitness AB-5000 Review – Pros and Cons
- Rep cut zero corners with the steel used in the AB-5000. The frame is the standard 11-gauge, but the base plates and the crescent-shaped adjustment arms are constructed of incredibly thick steel. This bench will definitely handle the weight, and it will last.
- The AB-5000 is an incredibly stable bench. The wide stance of the rear footing and the T-shaped front foot eliminates a lot of the rocking and the wobbling that you experience on incline benches that have just a single, small foot plate in the front. This is especially true when in a full upright position and all your weight is on that front foot.
- The rubber feet are the nicest that I have seen on any bench – flat, incline or otherwise. They are larger than usual, textured, and they sit flat and don’t slide. A very nice choice on the rubber feet.
- The urethane-coated handle and the wheels with squared off protectors are always nice to have on a bench this large and heavy.
- The stainless steel wear guards with the laser-cut angle numbers are a really nice touch to the pad and seat adjustment mechanisms. It not only looks super classy, but it should add to the longevity of these parts.
- The padding is super dense and the vinyl is textured and of a high quality. I suspect the pads will last for a long time.
- Regarding the padding, both the seat and the back pad are supported by an excessive amount of steel. The seat has an over-sized support plate, and the back pad has three (versus the standard two) steel supports.
- The decline attachment (the optional foot rollers) installs and uninstalls with ease. The attachment is adjustable for shin length and it functions exactly as it should. This is one of the only incline benches that does make for a nice decline bench. No you can’t really use all 7 positions for decline, but you will have a multi-position decline bench.
- Speaking of decline, the fact that the decline attachment is a separate purchase was a good move by Rep. Not everyone cares about or wants negative positions so having to pay for that should indeed be optional.
- The AB-5000 can stand straight up on its end for storage purposes without needing to lean against a wall for stability.
- The sliding Zero Gap seat is brilliant. Finally a full incline-decline bench can be used as a flat utility bench. The seat needs to be adjusted when you go between flat and incline, but it takes but a couple seconds and completely eliminates the need for a second, flat bench in your garage. And even with this extra functionality…
- The price is just stupid. It is impossible to get this heavy-duty of a bench for this kind of money anywhere else. Even those benches that are close in price don’t have nearly as many positions or extra features. $499 is a steal.
- Additionally, the AB-5000 does not have to be shipped freight like the other commercial benches. This is because the feet are not welded to the frame, rather we have to attach them ourselves (roughly a 10-minute job.) Fully assembled benches of this weight have to ship freight, but a bench broken down into 3 smaller pieces does not. We save $100 or more this way.
- The AB-5000 is a heavy bench that requires a decent amount of effort to lift, move, and re-position. It has the wheels and a handle, of course, but it is definitely heavier than the average adjustable bench and much, much heavier than your standard utility bench. Lift with your legs!
- The vinyl, while textured and of a very high quality, is not grippy vinyl. I would have liked to have seen that material used on this bench. This is just personal preference though.
- The final back pad position of 90º should probably have been 85º, as 90º puts the torso in a sort of forward-leaning position. That being said, the 75º actually feels closer to 80º, meaning it’s still a solid setting for shoulder/military presses.
- It’s necessary to adjust the seat (both the angle and the slider) each and every time you switch between incline and flat. It sounds more annoying than it actually is, plus it’s just the price you pay for no gap in any position.
The Rep AB-5000 vs the Average Commercial Incline Bench
In the image immediately above and the image immediately below this paragraph you’ll see the REP AB-5000 next to the Legend #3103 Adjustable Incline Bench. The #3103 is a fairly typical commercial adjustable bench in terms of its size, quality, adjustment method, and so forth. It’s a high-quality, almost entirely welded, heavy-duty bench with three seat settings & seven back pad settings, durable pads, and a hefty price tag of about $800 delivered.
The Legend (and others like it) are great benches; very reliable and extremely durable. Hell mine is about six years old. If I took a duster and a wet rag to the entire bench it would look brand new still. Not a single tear, rip or hole in the pads either. I have zero complaints about the durability and reliability of my Legend.
That said, the Legend #3103 was (and still is) horrendously expensive by today’s standards and the same goes for other commercial brands like Precor, Hammer Strength, and Cybex. Paying $800 to $1200 for an adjustable bench used to be the only way to get a high-quality adjustable bench, but even since the release of benches like the Adjustable Bench 2.0 and of course the Rep AB-5000, it’s just madness to consider the commercial brands; especially for a garage or home gym.
The irony about commercial benches versus the Rep AB-5000 is that the Rep is the better bench. It’s just as strong while offering more seat and back pad adjustments, wider pads, a more stable stance, a decline feature, and of course the price is lower. Just look at the two pictures. How tiny does that $800 Legend look next to the $500 Rep?
Rep Fitness AB-5000 Review Summary
This is a commercial-grade adjustable bench at what I can only call an economy price. Now I realize that $499 is not a small amount of money, but when you consider what all the other commercial adjustable benches sell for I’m sure you can see what I mean.
Whether you shop Sorinex, Legend Fitness, Rogue Fitness, Precor, Elite FTS, or any other commercial dealer, you will pay hundreds more delivered for something comparable (and in many cases these benches are not even comparable in terms of features and adjustability.)
Like with the FB-5000, Rep Fitness knocked this one out of the park. You can not do better than the AB-5000 for the money if you want a strong, stable, functional, versatile, and even stylish adjustable bench. I just cannot see where anything was overlooked.
I have literally no reason to not recommend the AB-5000. The AB-5000 is practically all pro and no con, and of the very small amount of cons that exist (and I had to really reach to get as many as I did) not a single one of them makes the bench less appealing.
To put all this another way, I have a Legend Fitness Incline Bench that I paid approximately $800 for delivered. I’ve owned and used this bench for years now. It will be replaced by the Rep AB-5000 as my gym’s only adjustable bench. Actually, I should just say that it already has been.
Another great review JB, thanks for this!!
RepFitness has been knocking it our of the park for some time. Despite manufacturing in China it appears their QC is on point. I hope other manufacturers take note, value for my dollar means everything. I’m sure that others would disagree, stating that it MUST be manufactured in North America in order to get quality items, but that just isn’t so anymore!
I can’t wait to read how this compares to the competition. I think the others don’t stand a chance…
They are very consistent for being an importer, and pricing is great – amazing even sometimes. I’ve been very impressed with them lately… this bench, the FB-5000, and even the PR-5000 are all great products at super reasonable prices.
I agree 100%. I own the FB-5000, and if REP continues to knock it out of the park with their new releases, I’ll be a buyer with no concerns on where it’s manufactured
Thanks for the initial impressions. Can’t wait to see how it feels for flat benching and if the seam between the two pads is distracting or a non issue. Barring that consideration it’s definitely on my wish list for 2019.
The foam is too dense to even notice that seam. I mean you probably can if it’s your goal to notice it, but without an actual gap it’s basically like being on a flat bench. It really does feel like a Rogue Utility Bench. The firmness and vinyl are so similar.
Awesome first look/review. I’m eagerly awaiting comparisons to other adjustable benches.
Thanks! Yes I’ll get that stuff added. I just wanted to get what I could get out ASAP because I really am getting a lot of inquiries about this bench.
Been keeping my eye out for this review.
Looks like it delivers.
Have you seen ironmastee just released an updated bench also? I think it has a 12” pad and sits at 17” flat which were two of the main flaws of the original not sure about the pricing yet but could it be an alternative to the new rep bench?
Have you looked at Titan Fitness? Their bench is good, and a fantastic value for less than half the cost.
Oh I’ve looked at Titan. Not a fan. I know too much to take them seriously.
Good review! I’d like to see side-by-side pictures with the Legend as it looks like you have one leaning against the wall. Can this bench be stored out of the way like that too?
The seat pad looks longer than average, the front foot is… uh.. unique, and it sounds a bit heavy to move (wife considerations), but a very stout offering for big guys if you have the room and $$$!
Yeah I’ll show the Legend alongside the Rep. The Legend will look small with it’s tiny seat and 10″ wide pads.
The Legend has to be against the wall when upright. It can’t balance on its own. The Rep can be upright in the middle of the room. Not sure if that was intentional (I doubt it) but yeah it stands straight up.
The seat is huge! I’ve got notes on that for the review but I’m still on the fence about whether I want to call it too big, so I’ve left it alone for now. The front foot is interesting but it’s not in the way at all. It does actually help with stability… the Legend has just a normal little foot and it wobbles when in the higher positions that put all of my body weight on that front foot. I like the Rep front foot.
I just gave my $155.00 used Cybex 5435 and my
$300 used Power-Lift lever adjustable benches a big hug.
Damn! That blue-colored, Rep Fitness AB5000 Zero Gap would match my Rogue Bright Blue RML-490C really well, though…. I wish they offered their FB5000 in that blue!
All 5000 series products will have the same color options within the next 30 days.
As always another fantastic review. This bench seems almost too good to be true. I have the Rep FB 5000 with Thompson Pad and really love it so I know that the quality is there. Question, I was looking at the Vulcan site and came across their premium AB offering https://www.vulcanstrength.com/Vulcan-Flat-to-Incline-Adjustable-Bench-p/vr-75.htm and it looks very comparable. It appears to also offer a sliding seat to avoid the dreaded gap for flat bench. The description of the bench is really lacking on their website though which seems to be a major disservice to a product that looks so stellar. At $599 with “free shipping”, cost wise it’s in the same ballpark as the Rep. Have you laid hands on this? If so what are your thoughts?
Hey Rob, that’s basically a copy of the Precor Super Bench – something you’ve probably seen and even used in a Lifetime or Golds back in the day. It’s a great bench for sure, but the seat is not sliding and there is indeed a moderate gap when flat.
I actually wanted that bench when it was only a Precor *back when I bought my Legend many years ago) but Precor wanted like $1050 for their version so I had to pass. It really is a nice bench but it isn’t very similar to the Rep when it comes down to it. That doesn’t make it bad, just different. Definitely more of a contender for those who have both a utility and incline bench around.
I currently have a Rep FB5000 with their regular comp pad (wide still OOS) & a Rogue Adjustable Bench 2.0 that replaced my Rep AB3000. I then recently snagged a brand new Rogue AB-3 on Facebook Marketplace. Paid $550 for it which is a bit cheaper than the Rep bench shipped. It does have the seat gap in flat position but is otherwise incredible. I’ll obviously be selling the Rogue adjustable 2.0 and will always keep a dedicated flat bench although I will eventually add a Thompson Fat Pad. I do include decline work in my training.
Buy the Rep Zero Gap (in green if they ever wise up) to compete with the AB-3 or just stick with the AB-3 based on your experience?
You have an AB-3, I’d just keep that. It’s what the AB-5000 is supposed to be competing with, and since you already have a flat bench the extra perk of a sliding seat will be lost on you. Matter of fact, you’d actually be adding a step to your adjustments when you don’t need since any back pad changes require the seat to be adjusted.
Sounds good. I would have definitely gone with this one if I was purchasing new but the AB-3 fell in my lap. I did have a few reservations as I liked the AB3000 when I first got it but a lot of its inadequacies began to show through the longer I used it. Sounds like they knocked it out of the park with this one.
However, I think I’ve likely tried more equipment than just about any non-equipment reviewer out there so it might be hard to resist the temptation if they come out in green.
I also own a FB-5000 and a Rogue Adjustable Bench 2.0 and I’m contemplating selling the flat bench to save space in my home gym. Would you recommend selling the Rogue bench for this if I’m only going to have one bench? I like the back pad firmness on the Rogue bench and it feels like a beast, but I don’t like that it has a 11″ back pad, which my shoulders definitely notices compared to the 12″ pad width on the FB-5000. The idea of selling my Rogue bench to replace with a Rep bench seems so silly in my head.
haha I think you just might cave if green was offered
Awesome review! Do you have any trap bars up for review? (Maybe Im just blind and havent been able to find them on the site!)
Thank you! I don’t, no. Not yet anyway. I’ve been thinking of grabbing a few of the more popular trap bars and doing a piece. I get so behind! haha
Thanks for the review on this bench. Just pulled the trigger now that they are back in stock! I am not sure I would have had the guts to buy a $600 bench online with no first hand experience without this. Coincidentally, my next gym purchase will be a trap bar so Blake is not the only one interested. The Rogue TB-2 looks like a beast but I’m afraid its just too big to justify. Thanks again.
Thanks Ben. I’ve gotten a ton of feedback about this bench following this review, and all of the feedback from buyers I’ve received has been great. No regrets that I’ve heard of. I can’t imagine that you’ll be unhappy with it.
Can you do dragon flags with this bench? Meaning: does the bench lock from upward tension in addition to downward tension?
It’s a pull-pin locking system, not a ladder, so in any given seat or back position the pads cannot move in either direction.
Your reviews are making me spend way too much, lol. Any problems in construction or use starting to reveal themselves after these few months? I’ve read some reviews that mentioned wear and tear on the corners and sides of the Ironmaster bench and wonder if the Rep has more durable vinyl and pads. Also read that the Rogue AB-3 foam leg rollers on the decline attachment end up splitting apart at the seams, are the Rep’s better quality? It would have been nice to have vinyl covers on them.
Not a one. Zero issues. Rep used pretty tough vinyl.
I got rid of the IronMaster after a few months so I don’t know how well that one holds up over the years. The pads never felt overly cheap or anything but that doesn’t mean that it is super durable.
Have you heard that about the rollers from multiple sources? I’ve had a number of products with those dense foam rollers and I’ve never had an issue. I actually have come to really like those vs the stitched vinyl. I had an Abrams for years and years and that too had those rollers. Of course that doesn’t mean that it’s not possible that they fail; especially in a higher traffic gym. I just haven’t heard that so I can’t confirm it.
So I was going to purchase this bench but it is out of stock, however, it seems there is a new (maybe not new?) AB-5100 – but it doesn’t appear to have the zero-gap slide on the seat? The AB-5100 sells for $399 instead of $499. Any idea if the 5100 is replacing the 5000? If so, wanna sell me your 5000? lol…
They came out at the same time. It’s just the version available to those who use a separate flat bench and don’t need the zero-gap feature. I actually recommend that version if you use a flat bench as well. If you need a single bench for both incline and utility/flat work, you’ll just have to wait until its back in stock haha. Sorry.
Thanks! I have their FB-5000 v2 with their fat pad (they replaced my v1 for free due to it being uneven). I still may want to wait for the zero-gap feature being a completionist and all lol…
lol well there is that
Hey jburgeson, thanks for your reviews. Have you found the Rep AB-5000 backpad and seat to be completely rock solid, no wobble? I’ve seen some videos showing wobble, and Rep has a wobble-fix video to address issues some people have been experiencing. I’m wondering if there is some inherent play in there – or if there are quality control issues. Also do you find it just as solid (from a hinge/wobble perspective) as the Legend 3103 and the Precor Super Bench. Thanks!
I don’t have that wobble, no, but when I assembled mine I actually went around the bench and tightened everything that was pre-assembled. I’ve had enough equipment come through here to just have gotten in the habit of doing that because this stuff gets shaken around and is subject to the vibration of being transported in trucks, and things just have a tendency to come a little loose.
There’s always some play in adjustable benches simply because there is a pivot point. Even a mm of play at that pivot will equate to many mm of movement at the other end of the pad, but it should only really be evident or bothersome if you’re actually looking for it.
The Legend was especially wobbly just by design but it wasn’t unsafe or about to fall apart, so once I just learned to ignore it it was like it wasn’t wobbly anymore.
In other words, I wouldn’t think any less of the bench because people are having to re-tighten a few nuts and bolts from time to time. Any pieces of equipment with moving parts technically requires a little bit of maintenance from time to time.
I know there were a couple of mentions above about this bench being able to replace a flat utility bench with the zero gap feature. I want to get An AB-5000 as soon as it’s back in stock. I was about to purchase the REP FB-5000 before reading this.. Do you think a flat utility bench is completely unnecessary and superfluous if I had this?
Off-topic question… I was going to consider the AB-5100 (also out of stock) since in the 90-degree position the seat looks low enough to enable a seated triceps press. This is the only exercise that necessitates an upright bench, I think.. But it seems like a waste of space for me if that’s the only exercise I’d use it for. Would you have any suggestion for this? I don’t do it frequently, maybe once a month, so was thinking of using some random chair at home – which I realize is nowhere near stable as a weightlifting bench. In the decline position the AB-5100 seat pad does not appear flush with the back pad – do you think this would be a problem for decline press?
I would personally never get rid of my flat utility bench, even with my adjustable bench being the AB-5000, and this is mostly because I can never go back from the fat pads.
As a matter of fact, I have too have been pondering the 5100 to replace my 5000 for the sole purpose of not having to mess with the sliding seat feature to adjust the bench.
All that said, I do think the 5000 is the best option for someone who doesn’t have room for or even want two benches and/or who is fine with a 12″ pad for their flat bench. If you’re going to have two benches, the 5100 might actually be a better option because it removes a step from making adjustments (you cannot move the back pad on the 5000 without sliding the seat first.)
As far as the seat not being flush, I seriously doubt that would ever matter. It is kind of annoying to look at though – who knows. Also, Rep has yet another bench coming out in a week or two so who knows what that’s about. Maybe its good things are out of stock so you can see this other option before picking one.
I just purchased this bench based on many reviews like this one. Super excited to get my hands on this bench when it ships.
It’s a sweet bench. Glad you were able to get your hands on one during this insane shortage of equipment too!
I have to say that I really appreciate the frankness in your reviews, so I’m going to ask for some of that here. Before encountering this website, I was setting up my home gym and wanted to support the “hometown team” aka York Barbell (About an hour from my house). That means that I got the York ST bench, which you capably described as “It’s too narrow, too short, and too damn tall.” I agree now.
But, if I were looking to augment/replace that bench, would this AB-5000 be suitable for a predominantly powerlifting focus (so it’d be nice to have the ability to do incline at various angles as an accessory movement, but mostly flat benching), or should I just target the FB-5000?
Unless you have a real need for the angles, I’d stick with the FB-5000. Plus, I’d personally rather have the AB-5200 over the AB-5000… even as my only bench. The adjustments are just soooo much faster on the 5200, and now that bench even has a wide back pad available (and seat, but no need to change the seat).
How well does this handle ab work in the higher to highest decline settings? I considered just getting a ladder ab board, though while less ideal, this could fill both roles (the AB-5200 and an ab ladder board would be ideal). I’ve used those a lot in gyms and appreciate how the extreme decline reduces lumbar compression while also adding difficulty. This doesn’t have a handle for to help with mounting, so I would probably just use the rack or FT pull-up bars and then finagle my legs in, then lower myself. Getting out could be interesting.
I think it would work, if you could get into it… and you weren’t all over the place because it’s obviously going to be a bit less stable with your center mass so high off the ground on legs/feet that were never intended for that, but I do think it would work… I just don’t see how you’re getting in and out of that position haha.