Weight Bench Buyer’s Guide

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Let’s talk about weight benches, also sometimes called workout benches.

We are also going to look at adjustable weight benches – because they are the most versatile.

Having a stable, comfortable weight bench is an essential for a variety of exercises including the mighty bench press.

The redesigned Rogue Flat Utility Bench takes the weight bench back to basics, featuring 2x3” 11-gauge steel construction, a high-density Neoprene pad, and a pair of angled, wide-set legs for maximized stability.
The redesigned Rogue Flat Utility Bench is an example of a robust, sturdy (and simple) flat bench. Great for heavy bench press, and more.

And while it’s true that the bench press has fallen out of favor in recent years because it’s not a “functional exercise”, it’s still a huge mass and strength builder without equal.

Take that, CrossFit.

(Actually, recently the bench press made a rare appearance in a CrossFit WOD – so maybe they’ve come to their senses.)

Let’s look at what makes the best weight bench – whether for your home gym, garage gym, or commercial facility.

In doing so, we’ll present some of the best workout benches (both flat benches, incline benches, and adjustable benches) available from Rogue Fitness and Rep Fitness.

We’ll also look at the ultimate weight bench option – the FID bench (Flat, Incline, or Decline.)

Here’s the weight benches we’ll review in this article.

Rogue Flat Utility Bench A fully welded, simple but robust flat bench. Nothing to tighten – ever. Outstanding Rogue Fitness quality.
Rep FB-4000 Comp Lite Bench A great value – a robust flat bench in 14 gauge steel that should be sturdy enough for most (rated to 700 lbs). Available in several different colors too! This is our top pick for a flat bench for your home gym.
Rep FB-5000 Competition Bench All the great Rep bench features – space saving three post design, wheels and handle for ease of repositioning – and made from 11 gauge steel – rated to 1,000 lbs! It also has a wide pad option for better upper body control.
Rogue Monster Utility Bench 2.0 The Monster Utility Bench gets much better in version 2.0 - It has wheels, a tri-post design, and you can store it upright (vertical) when not in use! Great for constrained spaces.
Rep Fitness AB-5200 - Adjustable Bench The AB-5200 is brand new from Rep Fitness- it's a full featured incline or flat bench (no decline) that is easy to adjust, and easy to move. Even better, it can be stored upright (vertical) without damaging the pad.
Rogue Adjustable Bench 2.0 An 11 gauge steel bench with 6 adjustable incline positions – from 0 degrees to 85 degrees. Minimal pad gap for the adjustable seat.
Rogue AB-3 Adjustable Bench Rogue’s most versatile bench – This is a full FID (Flat, Incline, Decline) bench. Includes the decline foot catch – which is removable.
Rep AB-5000 Adjustable Bench A full FID bench with patented ZERO GAP feature – you can fully adjust away the pad gap in any configuration. These are super-sturdy benches that are also a great value. This is our top pick for a home or garage gym – it is the most versatile design. Available in several colors.

What To Look For In a Good Weight Bench

First of all, a few things.

A weight bench has to be the right height – not too high and not too low.

The defacto standard is somewhere around 17″ and 18″ in height.

Secondly benches can come in a variety of widths. 10″ to 12″ width benches are most popular.

In general, you really don’t want a bench wider than 12″. Why? Because it’s not a bed. You’ve got to be able to move your limbs with a degree of freedom that a too wide bench can’t provide.

But, there options up to 14″ in width, if you think you need that.

A weight bench needs to be strong. Besides your body weight it needs to safely support the amount of weight you are lifting too – and it’s pretty easy to load up a heavy bench press with only a moderate amount of training.

2″ x 3″ or 3″ x 3″ 11 gauge steel is commonly used to make workout benches, but other options exist too.

What’s most important is that the bench is rated in excess of the amount of weight you are likely to use (along with your bodyweight.)

When benching big weight, you need to have your feet on the floor with the proper foot positioning (despite what you may see in your local gym benching with your feet up on the bench isn’t really correct.)

Three post (or tripod) bench designs are common – because they ensure you can put your feet where it suits you best – with no support legs in the way.

The pad supporting the bench should be firm and dense, and not too luxurious.

Again, this is a workout bench, not a bed.

But it should give you a comfortable place to check your texts between sets.

That was a joke.

But you know you do it.

Do you need a flat bench or an incline bench?

Or do you need both (an adjustable bench)?

A flat bench is versatile for many lifts, including not just the mighty bench press but also makes a convenient rest for doing dumbbell rows, bulgarian split squats, and of course many seated press variations (with your back unsupported.)

Dumbbell rows on a flat bench - a staple of muscle and strength building workouts for the ages

The french press or tricep extension is an excellent exercise to do on a flat bench.

Tricep extension on a flat weight bench - a great exercise for triceps and strength

But for an improvement in versatility and variety you might want an incline bench. These benches usually serve as a flat bench when needed but are adjustable to various degrees of inclination.

Look for a range of motion from flat to 90 degrees.

These incline benches allow you do to bench press variations such as the incline press, but also various chest supported rows, dumbbell flyes, and much more.

An incline bench that can adjust to 80 or 90 degrees can also be used for a wide variety of back supported seated presses.

A good adjustable bench can be used for seated and back supported exercises such as the dumbbell press

And lastly, the decline bench is a thing too.

These have really fallen out of favor (for pressing) in recent years, but they provide some interesting variations on exercises.

They are certainly useful for various decline abdominal exercises.

A variety of abdominal and core focused workouts can be done with a decline bench - harness the power of gravity!

And, we should mention some of these benches can do it all – flat, incline, or decline.

So, really the ultimate bench is what is known as an FID bench – Flat, Incline, or Decline Bench – at your choice.

Used weight bench for sale? Used weight benches are easy to find on craigslist, facebook marketplace, or even your local second hand sports equipment store. You’ll save a lot on shipping and can probably find one for less than $50. Having said that – don’t expect to find a really good adjustable bench in the used marketplace – those go fast.

The Best Flat Benches For Your Workout

Let’s start out simple and look at some robust flat bench options.

Flat benches, lacking any adjustable parts, are robust, simple, and usually significantly cheaper than incline benches.

The Rogue Flat Utility Bench is a simple, robust flat bench.

The redesigned Rogue Flat Utility Bench takes the weight bench back to basics, featuring 2x3” 11-gauge steel construction, a high-density Neoprene pad, and a pair of angled, wide-set legs for maximized stability.
ModelRogue Flat Utility Bench
Height18″. Pad Width – 12″, Pad Thickness – 2-1/4″

Not a bolt-together design – it ships assembled and the frame is one piece. This is a tough bench that will never require maintenance or tightening of bolts.

It’s 18″ tall and 12″ wide.

Made with 2″ x 3″ 11 gauge steel – this item will support any average trainee’s workout endeavors.

Being a simple flat bench, it’s also quite economical.

If you want a simple flat bench, the Rogue Utility Bench will get the job done.

If you want a few more bells and whistles – here’s an option for you.

Rep Fitness FB-4000 Comp Lite bench - probably the flat bench you need for your home gym or garage gym

ModelRep FB-4000 Comp Lite Bench
Weight48 lbs

The Rep FB-4000 Comp Lite Bench is 17″ tall and 12″ wide. It’s not made from 11 gauge steel (it uses 14 gauge) but it’s still rated at 700 lbs.

And that’s probably enough for most trainees.

Wheels on a Rep FB-4000 Flat Bench

For special features, it’s got wheels and a handle on the front – for easy re-positioning.

And it’s a tripod design. This three post design means there’s nothing to get in the way of your feet on one end of the bench.

And that is a nice feature, because you can bench with your feet wide or narrow – your choice.

ModelRep FB-5000 competition bench
Weight48 lbs
Height17″ (4″ thick pad)

If you are hell bent on 11 gauge steel they also have the FB-5000 competition bench that is rated for 1,000 lbs and meets IPF specs for a powerlifting competition bench.

Rep FB-5000 Competition Bench - Why a 3-Post Flat Bench? Nothing in the way of your feet, at powerlifting competition spec height, and rated to 1,000 lbs at an incredible price

This bench has a wide pad option as well – this helps with upper back positioning and will be helpful for heavy benching, in most cases.

If you want a “monster” rated Rogue Bench, the Monster Utility Bench 2.0 should work.

This is a major re-design of the original Rogue Monster Utility Bench.

Rogue Monster Utility Bench 2.0
Rogue Monster Utility Bench 2.0 is a tri-post design, with wheels, and can be stored upright.
ModelRogue Monster Utility Bench 2.0
Pad Length47″ with standard pad, 50″ with fat pad
Width12″ with standard pad – other options available
Height15.25″ (Short option) or 17.5 (Standard option)”

This bench is made from 3″ x 3″ 11 gauge steel and is available in a variety of configurations, including standard height 17.5″ or “shorty” option that is only 15.25″ high. We don’t recommend the shorty option unless you know you want that specific height for some reason.

It also provides some other back pad options.

This is a tri-post design – so there are no supports to get in the way of your bench stance.

It also has wheels (and a handle) so you can move it around easily.

But, this is the only bench that can be stored upright (vertically).

This is a great option for a home or garage gym where space is scarce.

Rogue Monster Utility Bench 2.0 can be stored upright (vertical)
Rogue Monster Utility Bench 2.0 can be stored upright (vertical). This is a great option for a space constrained home or garage gym.

Narrow Pad vs Fat Pad vs Wide Pad For Bench Press

You may have noticed many of those flat benches (like the FB-5000 and Monster Utility Bench 2.0) have a fat pad or wide pad option.

Why would you want this?

In short – it helps for heavy bench pressing. The idea was first created by Donnie Thompson, a world record holding powerlifter.

The Thompson Fat Pad is wider and thicker than your average bench pad.

The Thompson Fat Pad helps for heavy bench pressing by optimizing back and upper body positioning
The Thompson Fat Pad helps for heavy bench pressing by optimizing back and upper body positioning

Having a wider, thicker pad ensures:

  • Promote Scapular movement
  • Eliminate Shoulder Hangover
  • Optimizes Back and Upper body Positioning
  • Increases mechanic leverages
  • May eliminate common benching injuries

That pad will work with any Rogue flat bench.

So, the fact that it is thicker and wider helps.

Rogue’s Competition Fat Pad is a hybrid of a sort – it has the 4.5″ thickness, but is narrower than the Thompson Fat Pad.

This is the option if you want the pad thickness, but want a narrow width like a normal bench pad.

It will work with any Rogue bench.

The Rogue Competition Fat Pad™ features the same "Grabber" vinyl material and 4.5" thickness as the Donnie Thompson Fat Pad™ adapted into a slightly narrower design (12.5" width vs. 14.5").
The Rogue Competition Fat Pad™ features the same “Grabber” vinyl material and 4.5″ thickness as the Donnie Thompson Fat Pad™ adapted into a slightly narrower design (12.5″ width vs. 14.5″).

Lastly, the Rep benches like the FB-5000 have a wide pad option as well.

Both options are 4″ thick, but vary in width.

The Rep FB-5000 competition bench has a narrow pad and wide pad option.  Both are 4 inches thick and will help with heavy benching.
The Rep FB-5000 competition bench has a narrow pad and wide pad option. Both are 4 inches thick and will help with heavy benching.

If you are looking for a bench for your home gym or garage gym, a flat bench can be OK.

But you’ll get more out of your workout space with an incline bench.

The Best Incline Benches

If you want the ultimate in versatility and variety for your home or garage gym, and don’t to take up too much space we recommend an adjustable incline bench.

We’re going to skip non-adjustable incline benches. Those are great for a commercial facility – but don’t make much sense for a home gym or garage gym.

We’re going to start with a brand new model from Rep Fitness – the industry leaders in weight benches.

The Rep AB-5200 Adjustable Bench is a great incline and flat bench (it does not do decline.)

Built form 11 gauge steel, it supports 1,000 lbs. The bench itself weighs 125 lbs – so you know it is built solid.

Rep Fitness AB-5200 Adjustable Bench - available in colors.
The AB-5200 is an adjustable flat and incline bench. It supports 1,000 lbs, and can be stored upright for maximum space savings.
ModelRep AB-5200 Adjustable Bench – Incline
Weight125 lbs
Length55″ (Pad Length)

As you can see above, the AB-5200 is available in your choice of 3 colors.

Here’s the essential stats:

Maximum inclination is 85 degrees – which is perfect for overhead exercises.

Rep AB-5200 at maximum incline of 85 degrees
The maximum incline of 85 degrees on the AB-5200 is perfect for overhead exercises.

There are a total of 7 back adjustments: 0, 15, 30, 45, 60, 75, and 85 degrees.

The seat is adjustable to 3 different positions.

Rep AB-5200 bench at 0 degrees (flat)
The AB-5200 bench can be used as flat bench, of course.

And this bench is super-mobile. It has a set of wheels, and a handle. But what is best – you can safely store this bench standing upright. In this vertical orientation it takes an absolute minimum of your precious floor space, but is still not going to tip over.

Rep AB-5200 can be stored upright
Store the Rep AB-5200 weight bench vertically for the minimum use of your precious gym floor space.

Let’s move on and look at Rogue’s incline bench offerings.

The Rogue Adjustable Bench 2.0 is the basic adjustable incline bench offered by Rogue Fitness.

ModelRogue Adjustable Bench 2.0
Weight128 lbs
Length52″ (Pad Length)

Made from 2″ x 3″ 11 gauge steel, it weighs in at 128 lbs. So you know it’s tough. It’s also made in the USA.

Made from 2x3" 11-gauge laser-cut steel with a bolt-together construction and full portability, the redesigned Rogue Adjustable Bench offers more options and comfort than the original model, all at a lower price.

But, the most important aspect of an adjustable bench is just how many options it gives you. This model can be inclined from 0 degrees (flat) to 85 degrees (nearly, but not quite, fully upright). This gives you just enough “layback” for back supported presses with a barbell or dumbbell.

As with many adjustable benches, there is a gap between the seat and the upper part of the bench. But, in this model it’s minimized for the most comfort on incline presses.

And, it has wheels so you can easily re-position this bench when needed.

This is Rogue’s “no frills” adjustable bench option, but let’s look at another.

If you want to step up to a fully adjustable bench that let’s you also do decline, take a look at the Rogue AB-3 Adjustable Bench.

First of all, it’s got the specs you are looking for.

The Rogue AB-3 Adjustable Bench introduces a new decline setting to go along with the 50+ seat and back-rest position combinations from the popular AB-2. Ideally suited for dynamic training or for gyms serving multiple athletes, this compact, 11-gauge steel weight bench offers a rare combination of sturdiness and maneuverability, with boundless customization options.
ModelRogue AB-3 Adjustable Bench

Made with 11 gauge steel, it has 6 seat positions and 9 back pad settings.

It’s 18″ in height, and the pad is 12″ in width.

It is also very easy to adjust the seat and back pad angles.

But, the real standout feature of this design is the decline bench option.

That’s right – this is what is known as an FID bench – it does Flat, Incline, or Decline options.

A telescoping foot catch assembly locks firmly into place using a pop pin, and sets the user up for movements including the decline bench, decline dumbbell press, and decline sit-ups, and more.

Rogue brought this design to market after purchasing Nebula fitness gear – it’s based off the Nebula 1080 “Awesome” Utility Bench.

And, like a lot of Rogue’s high quality gear it is made in the USA.

The Rogue AB-3 bench is indeed “awesome” – and competitors have taken notice.

Rep Fitness AB-5000 ZERO GAP Adjustable Bench

The REP AB-5000 ZERO GAP Adjustable Bench is the best adjustable bench, period. Commercial grade paint, steel, vinyl, and padding is combined with rock solid stability. This adjustable bench incorporates a unique patent-pending adjustment mechanism for zero pad gap in all positions. The seat is able to slide along the frame and completely eliminate the traditional annoying seat gap found on virtually all competing products.

As of January 2019 Rep Fitness has launched the REP AB-5000 Zero Gap Adjustable Bench.

ModelRep AB-5000 ZERO GAP Adjustable Bench
Height17.75″ (To top of back pad)
Weight99 lbs

Using 11 gauge steel frame with a 1,000 lb capacity, it’s the only bench you’ll ever need.

For adjustability there are 7 back pad settings (0 degrees to 90 degrees) and 4 seat pad (including -15 degrees) settings all using laser cut degree markings on a stainless steel wear guard.

Here’s a look at the great features:

Let’s review what makes the Rep AB-5000 such a great FID bench option.

The REP AB-5000 Zero-Gap bench can be used as a ZERO GAP flat bench, thanks to their patent pending design.

It can adjust a full 90 degrees for upright back support.

And what’s even better – use the pop-pin and bearing system adjustment for zero gap between seat and back pad. Everything can be adjusted in a few seconds.

The Rep AB-5000 ZERO GAP Adjustable Bench can adjust to a full 90 degrees

The other stand out feature of this bench is the ZERO GAP pad. The seat portion of the bench is mounted on quick-adjust sliding rails, and you can close the gap when needed.

Shown here is the bench (with red color, which looks great) showing the ZERO GAP, in action.

The REP AB-5000 Adjustable Bench is an excellent full FID bench option for your home gym or garage gym. The patented ZERO GAP feature means this is the best FID bench choice around.

This is a patent-pending feature that you won’t find on another bench.

And, you can even add the Leg Attachment to get the same full decline capability as the AB-3 bench.

Use the Rep AB-5000 Adjustable Bench as a decline bench with the optional Leg Attachment - this makes it a full FID bench Use the REP AB-5000 Adjustable Bench as a decline bench with the optional Leg attachment - FID Bench

One more thing we love about the REP AB-5000 – there is a choice of colors:

The REP AB-5000 Zero-Gap bench can be used as a ZERO GAP flat bench, thanks to their patent pending design.

For more details about this great piece of equipment, you can also check out our full review of the REP AB-5000 Adjustable Bench.

Lastly, if you really like the idea of a FID bench and don’t want the zero gap back pad, you can save about $100 by getting the Rep AB-5100 Adjustable Bench.

This model lacks the patented ZERO GAP feature, but as you can see from this picture it has a minimal gap – less than many competitors products.

But otherwise, you can add the optional Leg Attachment to make this a full FID bench, just like the Rep AB-5000.

Simple, stable and strong as an ox, the AB-5100 version is perfect for commercial gyms that just need a heavy duty adjustable bench, or someone who wants the best for their garage gym. Commercial grade features include an 11 gauge steel frame, high end metallic and hammertone color paint finishes, rock solid stability, thick vinyl and padding, laser cut numbers, and more. A full FID bench with the optional decline attachment, the solid steel pin locks into place at multiple angles for any bench workout - incline, decline, or flat. With other inferior benches at over twice the price - make the smart choice and go REP.

Best Weight Bench – In Summary

A good weight bench is a necessity for any home gym or garage gym.

There are many important exercises you can do with a bench – the bench press, dumbbell row, and a variety of seated presses – along with countless others.

For simplicity a flat bench will provide the minimum you need.

But an adjustable incline bench will really shine with it’s versatility and variety it provides for your workout.

And the ultimate in a home or garage gym bench is a full FID bench – Flat, Incline, or Decline.

Photo Credits

Some of the photos used in this article are property of the manufacturer.

We’re an affiliate of Rep Fitness and Rogue Fitness. If you click the links in this article and purchase we receive a small fee at no additional cost to you. This helps us to bring you great information to make the right choices for your health and fitness.

The REP AB-5000 Zero-Gap bench can be used as a ZERO GAP flat bench, thanks to their patent pending design.