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Weight Bench Review – Legend #3103 Adjustable Bench

Legend Fitness 3103 Adjustable Bench Review

Are you looking for the last adjustable incline bench you’ll ever need to buy? I’ve owned the Legend #3103 3-way Adjustable Incline Bench for many years now, and I have decided that I have spent more than enough time with this bench to do a review and share my thoughts on this insane, commercial-quality piece of equipment. So let’s get to it!

Update December 2017 – Rogue used to sell this Legend bench, but discontinued Legend equipment. When they did, they redirected the Legend pages to similar Rogue products. In this case, the AB-2. I apologize for the confusion if you clicked a link and landed on a different product page.


Why a Commercial Adjustable Bench?

Let me tell you why I opted to spring for a commercial bench rather than a less expensive, economical model. The short answer is that I wanted it to last forever and not ever need to be replaced. Having said that, there were also some features I wanted that I was not going to get buying a box-store incline bench.

For starters, I wanted thick, comfortable padding with quality upholstery that wasn’t going to fall apart and need duct tape in a couple years. I also wanted a frame beefy & solid enough to eliminate the chance of even the slightest bit of wobbling. Additionally, I wanted a bench that used pop-pins for holding the bench into position rather than the cheaper, ladder-styles that hold each position by gravity. I feel less secure on a bench I could actually nudge out of position accidentally, and budget benches don’t lock into position.

Adjustable Bench Review - locking mechanism for back pads and seats - ladder versus pin

I had some other preferences that most commercial benches would meet as well. I wanted wheels for moving the bench around the gym because heavy-duty benches like this one are heavy. I already have a heavy flat utility bench I lug around, I didn’t need another bench that weighed three times as much to lug around as well. I also wanted the unit I ended up with to be made in the USA if possible, and the best chance of finding that was to go commercial (Legend, Rogue, etc.).

Of the handful of commercial models that met my requirements, the Legend #3103 was the best price at $650. Matter of fact, the only other model I gave serious consideration to was the Precor Super Bench; a model that is very popular in commercial gyms, but that bad boy was over $1000. For the record, the Rogue AB-2 is also very nice, but at $850 it just wasn’t competitive in terms of price (though it truly is quite nice).


Legend Bench Review – Pros

I absolutely love this bench. I personally use it for two different incline bench presses (30° and 45°), seated shoulder press, military press, incline db curls, face-down delt flyes, and incline flyes. I also occasionally use it as a utility bench, but since I have an excellent flat bench already I tend to use that for flat benching and dumbbell presses, pull-overs, skull crushers, and so on.

I have yet to run into any problems with this bench and I have never felt unstable or unsafe using it under any load. The only feature of this bench I don’t think I’ve ever used is the 15° backrest position.

Seat Adjustments

The large back pad adjusts to seven different angles from flat (0°) all the way up to 85°. I thought I wanted a bench to go up to 90°, but 85° actually feels vertical enough for me; it’s absolutely perfect for seated shoulder presses and Arnold presses. Having 7 angles rather than just three or four gives you access to more variation in exercises; namely the incline bench press at different angles. The seat adjusts from flat (0°) to 15°or 30°, and can be set one higher closer to 35-40°.

Legend Adjustable Bench Review - My Legend Adjustable Bench at 45 degrees incline

My black on black Legend 3103 Adjustable Bench at a 45° incline. The back pad adjusts to the following positions: 0° (flat), 15°, 30°, 45°, 60°, 75°, and 85°.

Padding & Cushions

The high-density padding is extremely comfortable. It’s super thick at 3″ deep and 10″ wide. I have yet to see any wear and tear on the upholstery and there are no dents or soft spots anywhere in the padding. I’ve also never had to clip a thread. It’s just as comfortable and attractive as the day it showed up at my home. It also cleans up nice; just as commercial equipment should.

Construction

The bench sits on top of an 11-gauge 3″x3″ steel tubing frame. I’d say this is overkill, but it is commercial, and commercial gear is intended to be used by many people day in and day out and not show signs of wear. The pop-pins that hold the seats in position are 3/8″ steel; the unit has plastic feet which stops the bench from sliding around and protects floors from scratches; and of course it has both wheels and a padded handle for moving it around the gym easily.

Legend's 3"x3" 11-gauge steel frame

The bench sits on top of a super beefy 3″x3″ steel frame that is completely welded. No bolts, no wobble.

Because the bench is welded rather than bolted together, the bench ships fully assembled. While this makes for a much stronger bench, welded items tend to cost more to ship since they can’t be broken down and shipped in a smaller package. To my surprise, this bench was not shipped LTL freight and arrived via a normal UPS truck. Shipping was still pricey though.

Customized Colors

One of the best things about ordering a commercial piece of equipment is that commercial equipment is made to order. That means you get to specify the colors of the frame and the upholstery. Legend has one of the largest assortments of available colors that include 28 frame colors and 87 different fabric colors. Now I’m a boring guy who chose black on black, but you don’t have to be as boring as me. Get colorful with it! There are some photos at the end of this review of less boring color schemes along with the current color charts.

My black on black Legend adjustable bench


Legend Adjustable Bench Review – Cons

There are a couple minor downsides to buying this or any commercial equipment. The first goes hand-in-hand with being made-to-order, and that’s that there is a production lead time. It can take up to 8 weeks to receive commercial equipment. Fortunately this particular unit is one that has a shorter lead time than most equipment because it’s a frequently sold item. What that means is that Legend tends to keep this bench prepped and ready to assemble, paint, and upholster so they can get them out the door quickly. I got mine in 3 weeks.

The other downside is merely the higher price of commercial gear over “home” equipment. This bench runs about $650, and that is a lot more expensive than an economy adjustable bench that you can buy in a box store or off Amazon. I personally had to budget this bench out and watch my expenditures for a bit after buying it, but I don’t regret that one bit. I am completely happy with this bench and I wouldn’t do it any differently if I had to do it all over again.

Eeven at $650, this bench was by and far the best deal for a commercial adjustable bench. As I already mentioned, the Precor Super Bench sells for over $1G and is more or less the same piece of equipment as the Legend. The inferior Cybex commercial adjustable bench has less of a max incline (80°), a very bizarre back rest shape, and still sells for $200 more than the Legend. Finally, like I already mentioned, the Rogue AB-2 is also over $800 so I ruled that one out as well.

commercial-bench-comparison

Update 2017: It is worth pointing out that Vulcan has their own version of the Super Bench that sells for the same price as the Legend at $650. This is actually a pretty sweet deal, and there is a good chance that had this Vulcan Adjustable Bench been available at the time, I would have snatched that up in a heartbeat. As much as I love my Legend, I was always a bigger fan of the $1000+ Super Bench. Go Vulcan; undercutting those commercial dealers.


Where can you buy it?

Rogue Fitness no longer offers Legend equipment. You’ll get the best price by asking for a direct quote from Legend Fitness. You will probably even get it direct for less than from any re-sellers since there is no additional mark up, but feel free to shop around with re-sellers as well. You never know.


Legend Bench #3103 Image Gallery

Here are some images to show you different views of this bench and some different color combinations. Some of these pictures are from the Legend website, so credit goes to them for those.

Legend Fitness Adjustable Incline Bench #3103

Legend Fitness #3103 Adjustable Incline Bench

Adjustable Incline Bench #3103 by Legend Fitness

The Legend Adjustable Bench #3103

Random Red and Black #3103 Adjustable 3-way bench

Legend Fitness frame color options chart

Legend Fitness Upholstery color options chart


Legend Adjustable Bench Review – Summary

When it comes down to it I can honestly say I recommend the Legend #3103 Adjustable Bench. I realize that realistically the price may be prohibitive for some people, but it really is one hell of a durable, comfortable, safe, and versatile piece of equipment, and the price is what it is. Sure I wish it was only $200, but I’m also glad it’s not like a $200 bench.

If you have any comments, questions, or suggestions about this review feel to leave them below in the comments section. Want to share a photo of your #3103 bench, let me know!


 

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{ 31 comments… add one }
  • Steve June 9, 2015, 5:14 pm

    I bought a Rogue Adjustable Bench in an order of about $2,000 of equipment. They didn’t tell me that 3 days later they were bringing out a new Adjustable Bench 2.0 that fixes a number of the issues raised in this and other reports. They even released the 2.0 Bench before they shipped my order and still didn’t let me know that the new bench was available. They just wanted for me to clear out their old inventory at a high price. I think this is dishonest and I just won’t do business with people like that.

    • jburgeson June 9, 2015, 7:40 pm

      Did you ask them to swap them? You can return practically anything to them.

      • Steve June 9, 2015, 10:11 pm

        Yes, I did. They wanted me to pay $150 in shipping, more than the shipping for the entire purchase. I really believe they wanted to reduce their inventory and sell their remaining stock at the higher price. If nothing else, it was terrible customer service.

        • jburgeson June 9, 2015, 10:19 pm

          Yeah I wish I knew what to tell you about that… that’s shitty timing. Call in and ask for a supervisor maybe?

          Just out of curiosity, what do you like about the new one? No doubt the price is way better, but isn’t the original better overall? I guess you’ve heard some complaints about it that I haven’t though. I’m not trying to make you feel better about it, don’t get me wrong. I’m just curious.

          • Steve June 9, 2015, 10:24 pm

            Yes, I did talk to a supervisor. Not helpful at all. I think the adjustment mechanism is a lot better than on the original one. I may be wrong, but ti looks like a more positive lock and has more adjustment positions. I just don’t understand why they did not let me know the new one was available, which it was before mine shipped.

            • jburgeson June 10, 2015, 12:04 am

              The Ab-2 is a much nicer bench in my opinion, but there is no doubt that the price difference is absurd, and its more than enough cash to warrant considering the newer model.

              If you already spoke to a supervisor, I’m not really sure what else to suggest. Sometimes people get lucky and upper management or even store owners see this kind of feedback on sites like mine, or more commonly on the CrossFit or bodybuilding forums, and take care of things customer service failed to take care of. I’ve seen plenty of that on the equipment board in the past.

              • Steve June 10, 2015, 7:57 am

                Thanks for your thoughts. It is very hard to get through to the owner, but maybe someone will do the right thing. In the mean time, thanks for your reviews, they are very thoughtful and informative and have been very useful to me in selecting equipment.

  • Quinton September 29, 2015, 11:56 am

    Do you know how much Legend charges for shipping? I’m debating either getting this or a Rouge adjustable bench.

    • jburgeson September 29, 2015, 12:05 pm

      I really don’t remember. I’m sure it depends on where you are. You’ll get the best price quote by calling them direct though now that Rogue stopped offering Legend equipment.

  • BRodX December 27, 2015, 9:27 pm

    Hey there, thanks for the review. I wanted to ask what bench do you use for decline and is there a bench you recommend which does all three, an FID bench. I have a Powertec leverage machine which came with an FID bench, however, I noticed that after a year of use, the seat cushion is slightly tilted, probably less than a 1/4 inch, not completely noticeable. I thought about getting the Rouge bench but after this review the Legend bench is a better choice. The only thing holding me back is that it doesn’t have a decline setting.

    • jburgeson December 27, 2015, 10:57 pm

      I don’t use the decline myself. It’s not really advantageous to decline bench, and the few other things that can be done on it I can do with other equipment.. like a GHD for the ab stuff. Most benches with all three features fail to make for a good upright bench, like at 85 degrees… and I’d rather seated press/military than decline bench personally. In gyms, the decline bench is usually its own piece of equipment. I’m even sure Legend has one, but it’s not a combo unit.

      Unfortunately I just don’t have any recommendations in that department, I’m sorry.

      • Billy Boyd March 10, 2017, 11:14 pm

        Actually they do, it’s the Legend 4 way bench. You can google it or look on their website. The Rogue AB-3 and the original nebula or Rae Crowther are other great options. The Rae Crowther has a new design now that doesn’t look as good as the original.

  • Brian January 6, 2016, 8:50 am

    How is the grip on the bench? I’m torn between this and Rogue AB 2.0. The rogue one is more expensive by a significant margin but one thing I hate about other commercial benches is that I slip when I set up for my bench if I don’t chalk.

    • jburgeson January 6, 2016, 11:27 am

      Are you asking how slippery the vinyl is? Actually there is a pretty good chance the material is exactly the same for both benches. I literally never use the Legend as a flat utility bench. I’ve got the Rogue Utility for all flat bench work. It’s wider and firmer, and doesn’t have the gap in the bench when it’s flat. But yeah, I don’t think you’ll notice a significant difference in the actual vinyl. Both Legend and Rogue use a very high quality commercial vinyl that’s intended to last, and I’m sure both lose their grip if gotten wet from sweat, but I’ve personally never thought to myself that either of these benches need a better, grippier material.

      Does that help at all or am I answering the wrong question?

  • Aron November 16, 2016, 5:15 pm

    Is this bench the same as the one you own? https://store.schoolspecialty.com/OA_HTML/ibeCCtpItmDspRte.jsp?minisite=10206&item=1857623 I am trying to compare this one to the three-way utility bench on Legend’s website and, while both products are labeled with the same name, the dimensions and product weight are different. School Specialty is going to give me a break on Hawaii shipping, but I wanted to make sure it is the same quality commercial bench that you recommend.

    • jburgeson November 16, 2016, 5:54 pm

      It looks like it. Legend has re-sellers, but I don’t know what to make of conflicting specs and weight. Did you call Legend direct and get a quote to you? If not, do that, and also ask them if this company is a valid re-seller.

      • Aron November 16, 2016, 6:04 pm

        I called previously and received a quote from Legend, but I will call again to inquire about the legitimacy of this re-seller. Thanks again for your help and quick replies!

  • Matt K February 28, 2017, 10:39 pm

    JBURGESON – Thanks for this review, you convinced me to get this and after trying a dozen different benches, I am thrilled! What a beast!

    • jburgeson March 1, 2017, 12:13 am

      It is a beast – and it doesn’t appear to age at all. Three years now with mine and other than dust on the hard to reach places it looks new still – even the pad.

  • Apollo August 15, 2017, 12:24 am

    Great review! Lots of love for this bench everywhere I read. The shipping to CA is killer though. Have you heard anything about the AB adjustable bench? Thanks!

    • jburgeson August 15, 2017, 12:31 am

      I personally think it’s too expensive for being a basic import bench. There are other benches like the AB for closer to $300, or if you want full commercial like the Legend here, Vulcan just released one that’s basically the Precor Super Bench for like $650 instead of $1050. The Super Bench is actually what I wanted when I bought the Legend, but it literally is $1050. Forget that.

      • jburgeson August 15, 2017, 12:47 am

        Also, 75 degrees as max leaves a little to be desired. 85 is what it should be, and what you’ll find on just about anything else. I love American Barbell, but that adjustable bench is just not a compelling product of theirs.

        • Apollo August 15, 2017, 11:14 am

          Thanks for the insight! I’ll take a look at the Vulcan along with this 3103. I’ve just come across your site and it’s fantastic, keep up the great work!

      • Eric July 30, 2019, 10:11 pm

        @jburgeson what do you like about the Vulcan over the Legend? You clearly seem to prefer the Vulcan (Precor). Thanks for all your reviews!

        • jburgeson July 30, 2019, 10:59 pm

          Having used the Precor Super Bench in Lifetime for years, and having owned the Legend for jeez, like five years or more before I finally let it go, I just liked the size and feel of the Precor pads and the stability of the entire bench over the Legend (not having had the Super to side-by-side in the gym, I always assumed it was just a matter of assembly tolerances in the adjustment components).

          I didn’t buy a Super Bench when I bought the Legend because the Legend was $650 and the Super was $1050 – a difference that was too hard to ignore. Now to be fair I wouldn’t say that I was ever unhappy with the Legend because it was still a good bench, and it never showed much in the way of its age even after years of use, but if the prices had been equal (or less! as in the case of the Vulcan “Super” Bench) I would have definitely favored the Precor.

          Legend used to be a good place to get things back before Rogue and some of these other newer players had the large selections that they do. They had high-quality equipment at prices that were very competitive with the likes of Precor, Hammer Strength, Life Fitness, etc. Nowadays, with benches like the Rep AB-5000, Rogue Adjustable, and the Vulcan Bench, well, Legend just isn’t as appealing.

  • Darby February 1, 2018, 11:31 am

    Great article, just the information that I was looking for! Have you heard any good reviews on the Vulcan? I like that it goes upright a full 90 degrees. It is between the Vulcan and Legend for me, touch decision at the moment.

    • jburgeson February 2, 2018, 5:11 pm

      The Vulcan is just as good as the Legend, only it lacks the customization of Legend gear. Of course it also lacks the lead time and heavy delivery charges. I’d actually own the Vulcan if it were released prior to my purchasing the Legend. of course to be fair, I’m not at all disappointed in the Legend, though the irony is I ordered it in all black haha, so may as well not be custom.

  • Matt August 24, 2018, 12:38 am

    And now this enters the fray:
    http://wfathleticsupply.com/cap-7-position-utility-bench-with-wheels-black/

    $350 and free shipping vs. $725 + $55 shipping for the Legend (shipped to CA). I had to look around a fair amount for those prices.

    • jburgeson August 24, 2018, 9:09 am

      Interesting. I wonder if anyone who owns or has at least used a #3103 has purchased that. I’m rather anti-CAP so I’m not that turned on by it, and as a #3103 owner I see many differences just in the pictures, but $350 is fairly pricey for a CAP product so maybe it’s better than their other (usual) stuff?

      • Matt August 24, 2018, 12:19 pm

        I ordered one, I’ll report back once it arrives. For $350, if I’m not happy with it I’ll just order the Legend and give the CAP to a high school. Side bonus, I ordered it last night and it shipped this morning; I’d have a month or two of waiting for the legend. The main differences I saw were bolts on the CAP where there are welds on the 3103, but I’m not a 3103 owner.

        • jburgeson August 24, 2018, 12:57 pm

          Yes that CAP is a bolt-together, which is cheaper to ship at least. Legend ships the #3103 fully-assembled via freight. Not sure where you got your quote, but direct from Legend the #3103 should be in the $550 neighborhood with anywhere from $140-$180 in freight charges. Your quote of $700+ $55 shipping sounds like a third-party re-seller. You can probably do better direct, but the lead time is going to be ridiculous either way. Maybe longer from a third-party because you now have to wait for them to process the order with Legend.

          You ordered the CAP anyway so hopefully that bench works out for you, and yes I’d love to hear about it after you get some time with it.

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