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

Safety is not the only reason to buy a high quality bench, comfort is worth considering as well. If you’ve ever purchased a cheap, economy 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 few things to consider 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 discuss any of the extremely low-end benches in this article. The goal here 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.)

Update: Oct 2018 – completely updated Weight Bench Shopping Guide published.

Rep Fitness FB-5000 Flat Competition Bench

The Rep Fitness FB-5000 Bench is by far the most popular utility bench on the market right now. At only $149, it’s the best-designed, most feature-heavy, and most versatile flat bench option that we have.

Rep Fitness FB-5000 Competition Flat Bench

Rep Fitness FB-5000 Competition Flat Bench with default 12″ wide pad.

Unlike most other flat benches, the FB-5000 is a tripod design; much like many commercial benches. This design eliminates any chance of the frame being in the way of our feet when benching, and it does this without sacrificing stability. It also makes the bench lighter, which when combined with wheels and a handle makes the FB-5000 super easy to move around the gym; much easier than the heavy Monster Utility Bench (below).

This Rep bench also has a shorter frame to accommodate the new, thicker pads; pads like the Thompson Fat Pad and Rogue Competition Bench Pad. The FB-5000 ships with a 12″ wide, 48″ long, 4″ thick bench pad. Rep also offers an optional 14″ wide pad (a Thompson alternative) for only $50, and those of you who own one of the Rogue pads will be happy to know that this frame is completely compatible with both of those pads.

Rep FB-5000 Competition bench with the optional 14" Wide Pad

Rep FB-5000 Competition bench with the optional 14″ Wide Pad

This is a great bench, and it has been my go-to recommendation since it was released. The 3″x3″, 11-gauge frame is strong, the included pad does have the grippy vinyl that you’ll only find elsewhere on the Thompson pads, and the frame itself is low enough to keep the top of the pad within IPF specifications (17″). This bench belongs on everyone’s short list.

Close up of Rep's FB-5000 pad textured, grippy vinyl

Close up of the FB-5000 grippy, textured vinyl.

See my full review of the FB-5000 here. See my thoughts on the 14″ pad upgrade here.

Rogue Flat Utility Bench 2.0

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

Rogue Flat Utility Bench 2.0 Review

Rogue Flat Utility Bench 2.0 – firm Neoprene padding, commercial-grade stability, & American made – $179

I own this bench, and one of my favorite things about this bench is that the pad is a full 12″ wide. 12″ is supposed to be the norm but too many other mid-range (and even commercial) benches are going with narrower 10″ pads; presumably to lower manufacturing costs. That is just not how it should be. 10″ is just too damn narrow.

Rogue Flat Utility Bench 2.0 now includes rubber feet which adds to stability even more!

The Rogue Utility Bench 2.0 now ships with rubber feet. This improves stability on uneven flooring.

The Rogue Flat Utility Bench 2.0 sells for $179 and ships completely assembled via UPS. It has a solid 5-star rating based on over 100 reviews and it should be near the top of your list if you are looking for a basic flat bench that will last two lifetimes. This bench is all pros and no cons.

There is also an optional wall hanger that allows you to store the 2.0 on the wall and out of the way. It sells for only $25.

Rogue Monster Utility Bench

The Monster Utility Bench is an American-made, heavy-duty utility bench built with massive 11-gauge, 3″x3″ steel tubing. It has an extra wide, 24″ footprint and sports giant rubber feet that are great for uneven surfaces. It is available with the normal 12″x47″ Neoprene pad (as found on the Rogue Utility Bench discussed above), or you may upgrade to the Thompson Fat Pad or Competition Bench Pad for only $30 more.

rogue fitness monster utility bench

The two upgraded pads are much thicker than the default pad (at 4½” thick versus 2″), and because of this extra thickness Rogue offers a “shorty” version. The shorter frame allows us to get the extra stability, size, and the grip of the improved pads while keeping the height of the bench within IPF specs. If you’re a plus-sized dude or a veteran powerlifter, the Monster Bench with the Thompson or Comp pad is definitely the way to go. Of course you may also want to consider the above-mentioned Rep FB-5000.

Custom sized Monster Utility Bench w/ Thompson Fat Pad

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 $265 for the standard pad and $295 with the Fat Pad (making it the cheapest way by far to acquire a Thompson Fat Pad.)

See my review of the Thompson Fat Pad here.

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 as well, only it’s far less expensive at only $199 – including the shipping! 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 powerlifters.

Vulcan Flat Utility Bench 3x3 11-gauge

The Vulcan 3×3 Bench has a wide 21″ stance and rubber feet for 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 – stiff competition for the Rogue and American Barbell benches, and a no-brainer upgrade from the CFF and Rep benches I’ll discuss below. Go Vulcan!

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. The York can handle some real weight, but it is 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. This thing is too narrow, too short, and also too tall.

york st flat weight bench

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

American Barbell Flat Utility Bench

The American Barbell Utility Bench is pretty solid. It is a bolt together unit just like the Rep FB-3000, but it has a wider, more stable stance and beefier steel. I think this is a contender in the 12″ wide market at its current price of $175 (a reasonable upgrade to the FB-3000 or CFF bench discussed below) but I do not believe that it offers everything that the Rogue 2.0 Utility Bench does for the same $175, plus the FB-5000 kind of forces us to rethink both the AB and the Rogue.

American Barbell Flat Utility Bench

This bench weighs in at 60-pounds. It has a 2½” thick pad that is 48″ long x 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 as you might be inclined to think.

Rep Flat Utility Bench FB-3000

The Rep Fitness Flat Bench is made of 11-gauge, 2″x2″ tube-steel and has been tested up to 1000-lbs. At only $99 this seems like a decent deal. Well it’s certainly not a horrible deal, but with the entire frame being 2″x2″ square tubing rather than 2″x3″, and each component being bolted together rather than welded, it doesn’t offer the same level of stability as many of the other benches discussed; like the Rogue 2.0 or Rep’s own FB-5000.

Rep Fitness - Flat Utility Bench rated to 1000-pounds

The Rep Bench does have great sizing dimensions. The pad is 47″ long and it has an ideal width of 12″. The foam is 2½” thick and the distance from the ground to the top of the pad is 17½ inches. The frame is warranted for 10-years, but sadly the pad is only warranted for 30 days. I suspect that the pad will last longer than 30-days, but it’s not nearly as nice as what Rep used on the FB-5000. It is only a $99 bench though, so what else can we expect.

This bench does have a lot of positive feedback so it’s certainly not going to be a disaster or anything like that. I think the FB-5000 is 3x the bench for only 50% more cash though, and I suggest making that jump even if you have to save a little longer.

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 product with a higher max capacity. The height is great at 18″, the pad width 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 Bench has wheels for easy mobility, and rubber feet for improved stabilization on uneven surfaces. It’s not an awful 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 and $1 more than the FB-5000; both infinitely superior products. I do not really recommend the CFF weight bench at this price point.

Titan Fitness Flat Utility Bench

The Titan Utility Bench is probably about as cheap as you should allow yourself to get, and maybe even too cheap. At $119 it is very inexpensive, but it doesn’t feel much different than any other cheap, Chinese bench you can get for half the money in a box store. If budget is a serious concern of yours, I’d recommend looking at the FB-3000 for $99 over this Titan. If you do have to go this route for some reason, try to make it work for as long as you have to until you can afford something better; something more supportive/comfortable.

Titan Economy Flat Utility Bench - Imported

Some common complaints are this bench not sitting level, the vinyl being razor thin, and the pad being much narrower than the 12″ it claims to be. I’m also fairly certain that this bench is made from 14-gauge steel, so that 1000-lb capacity is probably quite optimistic, but even at half that it will be enough for the average bench presses. This is definitely imported – for those of you who try to buy American.

I strongly recommend Rep Fitness over Titan Fitness for those with limited budget. Rep still imports, but their prices are competitive and they tend to design superior products that are more durable and comfortable.

Legend 3100 Utility Bench

Legend Fitness makes commercial-grade 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 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).

Would I recommend commercial equipment for a home or garage gym? Not usually, and certainly not in the case of a simple, flat utility bench. $349 + shipping is a complete waste of money, I’d say.

Vulcan Prime 3×3 Flat Bench

Joining the beefy frame, thick pad collection is the new Vulcan Prime Bench. Currently in pre-order, this bench is reminiscent of the Rogue Monster Bench in terms of the 11 gauge, 3″x3″ steel that’s used, the bolt-together assembly method, and just the overall design.

Vulcan Prime 3"x3" Utility Flat Bench

While the Prime doesn’t have any additional wide pad options like the Monster Bench does (the default pad on the Prime is 12″ wide by 4″ thick), it does have a textured, non-slip vinyl, a lower price shipped, and best of all – wheels and a handle for moving it around.

I’ve not seen this bench yet so I have no opinion, but it looks very promising. It is basically a Monster Utility Bench with the Competition Pad for $100+ less (Vulcan’s price does include the shipping; Rogue’s does not).

Any clear flat bench winners?

My favorite is definitely the Rep FB-5000. Whether you upgrade the 12″ pad to 14″ or not, I think it’s the last flat bench you’ll ever buy. The tripod design is the best, it has wheels and a handle, and it can take any of the currently available thick pads; including Rogue’s. The FB-5000 consistently sells out, and for good reason – it’s one hell of a bench at a great price.

I also like the Vulcan Utility and Rogue Utility bench. 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 reasonably priced. After shipping, these two units cost just about the same so it’s six of one, half a dozen of the other. That said, the FB-5000 Competition Bench is still a lot more bench for less money, in my opinion.

The Monster Utility Bench with Fat Pad is a personal favorite, but it’s not as cost-effective as these others. I would avoid the CFF, York, and Titan bench for the reasons discussed in their respective sections.

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. Any bench under about $200 in the adjustable world is pretty much garbage, and there is a good chance that you’ll be disappointed in the stability, feel, and available settings of something that cheap.

It’s quite 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 80-85º. 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 inclined 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, and features 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 the adjustable ST 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 found in this guide.) You can still find it at a competitive price on Amazon – they offer the ST 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 Incline Adjustable Bench

Vulcan’s new Flat to Incline 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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{ 105 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

    • malu June 1, 2020, 11:34 am

      Hi. I found a flat bench which is low enough to the ground so I can use it for hip thrusts. It’s only 15.6″ tall. Would you recommend a height like this for my home gym? This is the Hoist Flat Utility Bench

      • jburgeson June 3, 2020, 9:24 am

        If you don’t mind a 15.6″ high bench for your non-thrusts, then it’s all good. That’s pretty low if you ask me though, but not like impossible-to-work-with low. As a personal answer, I wouldn’t want something under the lower end of normal – 17″

  • 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.

      • chris November 25, 2017, 11:01 pm

        According to my Johnson Magnetic Angle Locator the positions on my York STS adjustable bench at 0°, 25°, 38°, 51°, 66°, and 81°.

        It’s also worth noting that this bench also has a big brother built to pair with York racks. Much heavier at 150+ lbs and even more solid. I have both and the only concern is the adjusting ladder and the kids fingers should they ever decide to play with them.

  • 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?


    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


      • 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

    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,


    • 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.


        • 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.

  • Isaac August 24, 2017, 6:00 pm

    Should I go for an incline bench first or flat bench first? as a purchase?
    my goals are for strongman and powerlifting

    • jburgeson August 24, 2017, 6:14 pm

      I’d say just a flat bench unless you’re already in the habit of incline benching and don’t want to stop. I believe most people prefer to bench press on a wide, single-pad bench rather than have to deal with the narrower pads and gap between back and seat of an adjustable. So unless you’ve got a huge budget, I say start with a flat bench and add an adjustable down the road if and when you care to.

  • Jeff October 19, 2017, 8:06 pm

    Been thinking about buying this bench. It has solid reviews. What are your thoughts?

    • jburgeson October 19, 2017, 8:28 pm

      It’s a fine beginner/early intermediate bench. The padding and cover is pretty cheap though.

      All in all I’d say that this bench is priced appropriately for what you’re getting. If you’re on a serious path with your training it probably won’t be the last bench you buy.

  • Tony November 6, 2017, 7:38 pm

    If you could only have one bench for everything you do, which would it be? Seems like there is no “perfect” bench for both flat and incline. I looked at the Rogue 2.0 for the minimal gap, but saw some reviews that indicated the incline positions were not ideal, among other things. The super bench is tall, and the Rep FID bench has a wide seat with an awkward angle. Is there one that is just right, even if it’s expensive? Also I’ve noticed most adjustable benches are around 10″ wide whereas the preferred standard for the flat bench is 12″. Looks like there’s no getting around that either? I’d prefer to have one bench for everything due to space, if possible.

    • jburgeson November 6, 2017, 8:03 pm

      If I could only have one bench forever for some reason, it would be a 12″ wide flat bench if it had to be on the cheap, but preferably the Monster Utility cut down for the Fat Pad. I would not give up access to a good, solid flat bench with no gap just to have access to incline settings, and I wouldn’t choose the Super as my only bench ever.

      Is this like a limited space question? As in no room for two benches?

      • Tony November 6, 2017, 8:17 pm

        Yeah, basically. I have the Adidas flat bench ($20 on CL – still really happy with it) and the Bowflex 5.1 (got it for free basically) and don’t really have room for both. The 5.1 is sturdier/higher quality than I expected, but is pretty much useless as a flat bench due to it’s design. It’s also not able to store upright like I can with the flat bench and has a large footprint so I have it in another room and have to wheel it in if I want to use it… Not ideal. You’ve confirmed what I suspected, which is that there’s no real replacing a good flat bench, so thanks.

        • Tony November 11, 2017, 4:31 pm

          Have you used the rogue adjustable bench 2.0? For some reason I’m having a hard time giving up on the idea of one bench to rule them all.

          • jburgeson November 11, 2017, 7:26 pm

            The gap is indeed very minimal. I think it’s a great bench. Only thing you have to ask yourself is how you feel about that single seat adjustment and how little of an angle it creates. If that’s okay by you, then that’s the bench to rule them all, as you say =p

  • Marc November 22, 2017, 9:53 am

    This Strencor bench appears to be a stout option worth considering, no?

    – Height: 16.5″ from floor to top of pad
    – Pad Dimensions: 47″ x 12″ x 3″ thickness

    • jburgeson November 22, 2017, 10:41 am

      Width and length is good, shipping is fair, and price is reasonable. I assume it’s 11-gauge based on unit weight. Height is a little lower than normal, maybe even by a lot if that 3″ pad isn’t very dense. Flat feet like that don’t always sit flush like you’d assume, and may require some pounding out. Of course that may not be the case with this unit, just something I’ve noticed in the past when those saucer feet are used. Rubber is way better.

      I think Strencor is the brand that Juji is always getting on the cheap to show off and advertise in his videos.

      • Marc November 22, 2017, 12:05 pm

        Yeah, I recall the Juji webisode where a Strencor Dual Cable Column arrived.
        I was like – “Really? Where’s the dual stack Tuff Stuff or FreeMotion Functional Trainer?” (that could have been acquired used for similar outlay.) He’s got the space for it and who wouldn’t want a huge, dual armed, robot-looking friend to greet you upon working-out, I ask?

        As for that Strencor “Commercial Bench” –

        I did notice (after some squinting at one of the pictures) that it has wheels that appear to have actual ball bearings in them, like a rollerblade wheel (similar to wheels I’ve been seeing used on rack-mounted, recovery devices, as of late)

  • Isaac January 3, 2018, 3:16 pm

    With the Vulcan 3×3 flat bench what do you think the weight capacity is?
    And if there was a final decision would you take the Rogue flat or Vulcan 3×3?

    • jburgeson January 3, 2018, 5:30 pm

      A 3″x3″ 11-gauge bench like the Vulcan or the Monster doesn’t really have a weight limit. But well over a thousand for sure.

      With no plans to add a Thompson Pad, the Vulcan is more appealing to me than then Rogue Utility. It’s the same price considering shipping is included in the Vulcan, and it has a stronger frame (barely, but technically) than the Rogue Utility. Rogue uses a neoprene pad that is super firm, so that may be a selling point for you.

      I’d definitely buy the Vulcan over the Rogue Monster Bench with regular pad because (well aside from a $65 pre-shipping price difference) the Monster is really a challenging bench to move around. It’s heavier than the Vulcan, and it literally has to be picked up to be moved because of the massive rubber feet. It won’t slide.

      The Vulcan is just a solid bench and at a really competitive price point. It’s not trying to do anything special or new, it’s just a solid piece at a great price. It also happens to be competition height, whereas the Rogue is technically 1/2″ too high. I mean not that it matters really. End of the day, neither are bad buys. I’d take any of the three mentioned over the rest of the flat benches listed.

  • Richard Biley February 22, 2018, 3:39 pm

    Which bench would you prefer, Vulcan or the Rogue Adjustable 2.0? Another thing, since they both work find flat, would this make purchasing a flat bench redundant? $700 is the max I can spend, realistically, but I don’t want to buy a great flat bench and go cheap on an incline when I do like incline barbell/dumbbell exercises.

    • jburgeson February 22, 2018, 3:46 pm

      I like the Vulcan more as an incline because I’m a big fan of the Super Bench (Precor) and it has more seat and pad settings, but the 2.0 has less gap for flat benching, and it’s wider. That’s a tough call, and I think since you’re going to use a single bench for everything you have to ask yourself which positions/lifts you care more about. If it’s flat it needs to be the Rogue.

      • Richard Biley February 26, 2018, 5:30 pm

        Okay, so I ordered a dedicated flat bench, Vulcan. I also got the curl bar, Vulcan, but shipping damaged knurl and Vulcan offered me a discount on a new purchase. So now the question, Vulcan Incline or Rogue Adjustable 2.0? Is the gap more for flat benching or does that affect a lot in incline?

        • jburgeson February 26, 2018, 7:43 pm

          The gap is irrelevant for anything but flat benching. So if you have the flat bench don’t buy an incline bench based on gap, buy it based on number of adjustment positions for seat and pad and whatever other features matter to you. The gap only matters for those with a single bench that they’ll use for flat and decline.

  • Marc March 24, 2018, 7:52 am

    Thursday evening I got a “back in stock” email alert from Rep Fitness about their Rep FB-5000 Flat Bench. It now includes their new, internally-glued, grippier vinyl, thick pad by default. I ordered one immediately for $119.00 (with shipping, my total came to $167.xx delivered to central Florida.) Anyway, I revisited the Rep FB-5000 product page on their website a moment ago and it appears that the price has increased to $129.00. Just a head’s-up.

    • jburgeson March 24, 2018, 10:07 am

      I have one on the way as well. I’m excited to see how this gripper pad is. Saw the price change too. Price was amazing before, now it’s just a ‘really good’. After buying a Monster Frame cut to size, you’re not gonna hear me complain about the price until it’s a little higher than $129 =p

  • Marc March 24, 2018, 8:16 pm

    I hear ya! My tracking info just posted today –
    It’s looking like it will be delivered this Thursday.
    What delivery day are you looking at for your Rep FB-5000?

    Back on 3/9/2018, I asked Rep about their rumored AB-5000 adjustable bench.
    Their reply –
    “The AB-5000 is doing it’s final revision and we’ll be taking a lot of photos and releasing all the details here in about 2 months. This was a much more complicated bench for us because of even more moving parts, pivot points, extra adjustability, amazing decline function, etc. Both of these benches are going to be awesome and really resonate with those who want high quality benches and zero sacrifices. We are really proud of both of these.”

    • jburgeson March 24, 2018, 8:39 pm

      Looks like Tuesday – but everything is always a day late for me. I think I’m on the “never deliver on time list”.

      My last shipment of a couple things came in yesterday and on time, but they left it at my neighbors house instead. Someone doesn’t like me haha.

      I actually don’t know anything about the 5000 Adjustable. You know way more than I do it seems.

      • Marc March 24, 2018, 8:53 pm

        My last reply was the extent of what I’ve heard about the AB-5000.
        It looks like Rep is listening to the marketplace (and probably reading your helpful, real-world, reviews, too) I’m looking forward to seeing what the AB-5000 is all about. Maybe I’ll even end-up selling my Ironmaster Super Bench! (we’ll see)

  • Tony March 26, 2018, 1:51 pm

    Hi J. Thanks for providing all your great articles. I’m stumped on whether to buy the Rogue Flat Utility bench 2.0, the Vulcan 3×3, or the Rep Fitness Flat Competition bench. I obviously LOVE Rogue stuff and own some of their equipment, but I really like the Vulcan too. I spoke to them on the phone and it’s NOT made in the USA (China, I imagine). It’s powder coated (black) and currently out of stock for a month. The Rep Fitness one looks great and now comes standard with the gripped pad covering (it also jumped up to $129). It’s not made in the USA either, but it does look like a beefy bench. I know you have said you really like the Vulcan, but I’m n to sure what to get. The Rogue 2.0 bench is great too but one thing I do not like about it is the thin portions of the welded piece. Not sure about that. I could also get the the Rogue Monster bench but it’s also much more expensive. Thoughts?

    • jburgeson March 26, 2018, 4:12 pm

      There’s nothing wrong with any of these options, but the Rep Bench is super appealing right now considering the price, the pad they put on it by default now, and the fact that it accepts Thompson pads (while still being under 18″ from floor to top of pad). The Vulcan is nice if you don’t care about the thick pads, as is the Rogue Utility 2.0. I’d probably grab the Vulcan out of those two though. Monster finally comes in two heights, but you’re right it’s a little more expensive, and the legs are actually kind of huge and sometimes in the way.

  • Jeff Lawshe July 8, 2018, 2:03 pm

    Great reviews! Do you think the Rogue AB-2 (or AB-3) could replace a flat utility bench? I already have a flat bench (first gen Rogue flat utility), but I’m thinking about upgrading to the incline bench, and unfortunately I don’t have room for both.

    • jburgeson July 9, 2018, 7:37 am

      Thanks Jeff. Yes I think it can. Of course the little seat gap will take some getting used to when used flat, but when it is your only bench you will eventually find that ideal position on the bench and never think about it again. Having both is still ideal, but if you don’t have the space you don’t have the space. I’d personally rather have a 12″ wide adjustable like the AB-2 as my only bench than the Rogue Utility.

      • Jeff Lawshe July 9, 2018, 10:15 am


  • Andre July 16, 2018, 2:31 pm

    What’s the significance of the various angles in the incline positions? I suppose to hit different parts of the pecs? If so, which angle, if any, should a beginner focus on – the higher angles or the lower angles?

    As far as bench pressing in decline positions, I hear they tend to give one “hanging”, female-looking breasts, but realize that I don’t know what I’m talking about.

    • jburgeson July 19, 2018, 8:46 am

      Most people would tell you that you only need to bench flat. I tend to agree with that. That is, if the idea is to just improve your bench. Bodybuilders are more likely to incline and decline but they have entirely different goals, plus they are fine-tuning an already impressive physique usually.

  • Tony July 31, 2018, 11:01 pm

    Hey just a heads up the Vulcan adjustable bench is flat to incline, not decline. Still plotting future purchases that I can’t afford yet… sigh…

  • andrew August 14, 2018, 8:37 am

    looking for a good solid flat bench to upgrade from my adjustable xmark bench with the largest pad gap in the universe. I like the Rogue flat benches but at 5’6″ I really would like a 17 inch height. Any experience with the elite FTS flat benches? Thanks.


    • Richard Biley August 14, 2018, 10:05 am

      I have the rep fitness FB5000 paired up with Rogue Thompson fat pad (competition 12” width)… best combo around! The grip is AMAZING. The review about this has it paired with the wide pad but I’m 5’8” and the 12” width works just fine for me. I got mine used online and the total price was the same as the FB5000 alone, so I got a good deal. It sits 17.5” high. I def would recommend the FB5000 in either standard width or wide.

      • jburgeson August 14, 2018, 1:02 pm

        Just to clarify for Andrew, the Thompson pad is 0.5″ taller than Rep’s thick pads. So with the FB5000 frame and default pad you’re looking at 17″ high, but the same Rep frame with a Thompson is 17.5″ high

    • jburgeson August 14, 2018, 1:00 pm

      Yes, but it’s been a while since I’ve dealt with their products.

      Elite benches and racks are decent, but they aren’t priced very well and they notoriously take a very long time to receive once ordered. The Rep FB-5000 is also 17″ high with the default 12″ pad, $30 less than Elite’s cheapest flat model, and won’t take 2-4 weeks to receive. You’re right though, Rogue’s Flat Utility is 18″ which isn’t much problem for taller folks, but a little much at 5’6″ – which is an interesting move on their part being that far more people are in the mid 5’s than 6′ or more.

  • Michael September 28, 2018, 1:01 pm

    Thanks for such an extensive review. I just ordered the Rep Fitness FB-5000 bench.

    • jburgeson September 28, 2018, 2:50 pm

      Of course. Awesome, you’ll love it. Have yet to hear a complaint and they sell the hell out of those

      • dunkman October 12, 2018, 12:58 pm

        Just ordered one too. You better be right Mr Garage Gym!! Lol. Thanks for making the options so clear, even with several good benches to choose from.

  • Fedguy December 2, 2018, 10:42 pm

    Have you heard anything about the Fitness Reality 1500 light commercial adjustable bench. Says rated to 1500 lbs. Looks pretty good on Amazon. I have a Rogue flat utility 2.0 but I would like a adjustable bench w/o spending $500+

    • jburgeson December 3, 2018, 8:45 am

      I haven’t, but I personally don’t like that design. The front legs are all kinds of in the way, and that back pad is incredibly narrow. It says that it’s 11-gauge steel which is good, so it probably is fairly strong, but the design itself is lacking and it’s still a fairly expensive product for having those two design issues; not to mention the seat itself looks barely adjustable; which I find to be a big turn off on incline benches.

      I didn’t list all of the Rep adjustable benches in this article. You might look at their actual bench section. You can spend $500 sure, but you don’t have to. The AB-3000 – 3100 is $189-$249 and the upcoming 5100 is $399. These are pre-shipping prices but they’re all better options than this Fitness Reality 1500 in my opinion. Valor makes the same bench as the 3000 that you might find for less on Amazon.

  • Ronald N January 15, 2020, 7:05 am

    Maybe you should make a link to the review of the red ab-5000? One of the best ab’s right NOS, right? https://www.garage-gyms.com/rep-fitness-ab-5000-zero-gap-adjustable-bench-review/

  • Luis March 25, 2020, 8:17 am

    Great info! Wish I would have found this site before buying my amazon rack….. question for you. Looks like REP came out with the FB-400,similar tripod stance and marketed as the FB-500s cousin, thoughts?


  • Garage Boy May 13, 2020, 2:13 pm

    Hi JB, I already own the newer Zero Gap with grippy vinyl. I’m pondering about purchasing the FB 5000 since the price is reasonable and that it is 17″ instead of 17.5″ tall (not sure how much difference this makes), mainly for flat bench pressing. I’m a smaller guy so I’ve no need for the fat pad. Do you think owning these 2 benches would be redundant in my case? Thanks! You’re the best!

    • jburgeson May 13, 2020, 3:03 pm

      If you’re not going with the fat pad I don’t personally see much of a point. The .5″ height difference isn’t going to change anything really.

  • Matt P June 5, 2020, 1:57 am

    Hey bro,
    Here I go again with another product that I think should be looked into. Currently everyone is looking at the FB-5000 from REP. I don’t deny that its the best bench at its price point the problem is that its sold out until sometime in July. So I did some digging, not to much I actually found this bench on the third website I went too. It doesn’t have a fat pad but I believe its a good alternative to the sold out FB-5000. I couldn’t find weight limit but it appears to be made out of 11gauge steel and with in IPF specs. The best part of all its in stock if anyone is looking for a flat bench. Hope it helps someone out. Do you have any opinion on this bench before I decide to buy it I personally never purchased from Getrxd https://www.getrxd.com/getrxdflatbenchblack.html

    • jburgeson June 5, 2020, 7:53 am

      This article has been updated. There is a link at the top of the article, but it’s here https://www.garage-gyms.com/weight-bench-review-ultimate-shopping-guide-v2/

      The bench you mentioned is in that updated version. Keep in mind that these guides were never written around a Covid-shortage situation. With no inventory anywhere, not great things that are in stock seem not so bad when compared to better things that won’t be in stock for a long ass time.

  • Ron Szczepanowski January 27, 2021, 7:04 am

    Any thoughts on the Xtreme Monkey Adjustable FID Bench XM100 versus the Inspire Fitness SCS-WB2 Weight Bench for FT2

    • jburgeson January 29, 2021, 12:22 pm

      Based on the prices of either of these… about $450… I’d say you can do way better that either of these for the money.

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