A flat bench is maybe the simplest home gym equipment, but if you want to do weight training at home, it is a must-have. With the help of it, you can perform the most effective strength training exercises such as bench press and ones that require a stable and comfy place to sit on such as biceps curl. It takes up a little space as well.
If you are someone who has never bought a gym flat bench before, you may find overwhelming buying one from the hundreds of products available today.
How do you know which is the best for you? What should you check out? Is the equipment worth its price? These are typical questions of a newbie.
But, I'm here to help you with this buying guide in which you will find the answers to your questions and reviews of the best flat bench presses to find the most suitable piece for you.
Comparison of Best Rated Flat Weight Benches
1. Marcy Utility Flat Bench - Best cheap weight bench
I put this item on the top of my list because SB 315 is the best utility bench for garage gym for beginner/mid-level athletes. Even if its price is low, it provides a pretty good user experience.
The max capacity is 600 lb which is enough for most home trainees to perform middle-level dumbbell, barbell and bodyweight exercises.
The backrest length is 43 inches enough for an average user. The height is 17" which is the perfect height for stabilizing your body. Although the width is 14" which is maybe a bit broad, I think.
A few problems come from the assembly, because of missing bolts, washers or badly-drilled holes leading to an unstable frame. But, in most of the cases, everything is OK with it.
To sum up, this Marcy flat bench is a good price/value product that is suitable for an average level trainee, but not for pros. A more massive version is the Marcy SB-10510
2. Rep Fitness Flat Bench Press (FB-3000) - Heavy-duty item for powerlifting
REP is the best flat bench alternative to Rogue Flat Utility Bench at a lower price.
This commercial flat weight bench is the one that I mostly recommend. It has a high max capacity which is 1000 lb making it a right choice for professional weightlifting. That max load is perfect to barbell chest press with huge weights with the help of a power rack.
The dimensions are 47x12x17.5 inches. So, the pad has the optimal length, width, and height. FB-3000 is an excellent choice for even taller users.
The backrest is covered with 2.5 inches non-slip and durable upholstery that provides a convenient training experience for the back even under heavy weights.
Thanks to the 11 gauge steel frame with a thick plywood base layer, it is a durable piece that can be used in commercial gyms.
FB-3000 Rep fitness bench is also rock-solid thanks to the professional frame, stabilizers, used materials and the thick rubber caps.
Of course, the price is high, but you will get home gym equipment that lasts forever. The manufacturer is so sure in the product that gives 10-years warranty on it.
To conclude, this is a perfect purchase for everyone providing excellent workout experience. Really recommended.
3. Titan Fitness Flat Olympic Bench - Portable & Heavy Duty
Titan Fitness is a real competitor of the previous one. Very robust, perfectly-sized and even easy to relocate. It meets the requirements for an Olympic flat bench.
The backrest size is perfect! The length is 48" making it a good choice for tall guys. The height is 17" which is the standard for a heavy duty Olympic bench. And the width is 12" which is not too wide nor narrow.
The max capacity is 1000 lb which is far enough for even pros to bench press with the help of a power cage.
As you see from the picture above the stabilizers and the whole frame is thick providing excellent stability and durability. But, I think, the stabilizers would be a bit longer.
Finally, it comes with handles and wheels, so you can quickly relocate where you want.
This sturdy item is without a doubt a good purchase for everyone, even for professional weightlifters and its mobility is just an extra point.
4. Valor Fitness DA-7 - The most comfortable
This bench is made of 12 gauge 2x3 tubing, a bit stronger than typical, and thanks to that the weight limit is 500 lbs. That amount is enough for most of the people who want to lift at home safely. (But, I would not recommend it for big guys who lift very heavy.)
The backrest is quite unique compared to other benches since it has two layers. There is a thin soft layer at the top and a thicker layer of dense foam under it. That feature provides comfortable and durable backrest while you lie on it. Also, it supports the body so that you can focus on the flat bench exercise itself much better.
The width is 10 inches, which is 2 inches shorter than standard Olympic benches. This way, guys with a big upper body may find it narrow. Although some people, like me, prefer narrower equipment because during dumbbell pressing, I can lower my shoulder blades deeper to get an extended range of motion.
Valor DA-7 has a low profile design, the backrest is 16.5" from the floor. That low level makes it easy to lift the dumbbells from the sides. Although tall people may find it inconvenient to sit on.
The length of the bench press is 43.5" (110.5 cm), so even bigger men can use it comfortably.
The assembly of this flat weight lifting bench is easy as well. There are only 7 bolts and washers that you need to put into the holes.
If comfort is essential for you, Valor Fitness DA-7 is worth to check out for you.
5. Powerblock Travel Bench - Foldable
Even if we are talking about a portable weight bench, Powerblock is very stable because of its extended rear stabilizer and the low center of gravity. It comes with a folding mechanism, but wobbling is minimal, which is crucial for safe and convenient weight training.
What is more surprising is its 550 lb weight capacity thanks to its 2″x3″ 14-gauge steel frame. With that, even though you are a big guy over 200 lb and want to use heavy dumbbells, you do not have to be afraid of breakage.
Of course, such robustness makes this travel bench suitable strength equipment to use with a power rack or a smith machine as well. Relocating it is very easy since it has rear-mounted transport wheels and a carry handle.
It is not an adjustable weight bench, it is mainly made for flat exercises, but by folding the front leg, you can use it for incline or decline exercises.
It has the following dimensions: 40L x 9.5W x 15H inches.
The 40″ length is absolutely acceptable. It is long enough for an average height user. The 15" low profile makes the bench more reliable, and maybe more comfortable for dumbbell training. Although tall guys may find it a bit low while sitting on it. The 9.5″ width is the only issue since big men may find it too narrow.
A great feature is that it folds to 8″ so you can easily store it, for example, under your bed. Also, it is compact enough to put it in the booty of your car if you travel. And, the handle makes it easy to bring it where you want to use it.
To sum up, it is the best portable weight bench for the price, particularly if you need a piece of portable equipment.
Which is the best buy for you?
If you are an average level trainee who needs something for light or moderate weight training with dumbbells, Marcy is a good option for you.
In case you are serious about strength training and want to bench press with big weights, get Titan Fitness or Rep.
Why did I not list more items?
Well, I only want to show you the best ones which come with almost no problems and work as they are described. I know, there are so many other products out there such as CAP strength flat bench, but the benches on this list have already proved they work as they should. Plus, the prices differ just a little bit.
I also did not list any adjustable weight benches since I wanted to help you buy the best strength equipment for you. That is another topic which requires more factors to check out and more care.
Flat Weight Lifting Bench Buying Guide
How to find the best workout bench for home?
1. Maximum weight capacity
It is maybe the most important factor since that is the sign of durability and if the garage gym equipment will support your needs in the long run. The higher the max capacity, the better. It is as simple as that. Although, more heavy-duty items cost more.
The capacity is usually from 300 lb up to 1500 lb. You need to keep in mind your weight, and the amount of weight you would like to use.
If you are a big guy who wants to use it for flat bench press with big loads, evidently you should get one which will stand that training. Don't go under 1000 lb.
If you are someone who wants to use light dumbbells, it is OK to get one with 300 lb.
But I prefer a minimum of 500 lb since it is going to be safe to use and last forever for an average user. Plus, the difference in price is minimal.
2. Stability - Wobbling is a big no-no
A wobbling and moving bench is not just annoying to use, but also dangerous. Just imagine how serious injury you can get if you fall off. Plus, if it is rocking, you cannot focus on your flat bench workout routine.
The stability depends on the design and length of the stabilizers, and of course the used materials.
Typically, the more extended the stabilizers are, the better since they avoid swaying to the sides. Also, it is essential to have rubber caps at the ends for even better stability and floor protection.
Finally, in my experience, the heavier the bench, the better. That is a sign that reasonable amount of steel is put into the equipment, so it will not bend and break.
3. Dimensions to know if it suits your height
Firstly, check out the length and bench width to know if you have enough space to use and store it. Do not forget that you need a few feet around it as well while working out.
Another thing to look at is the backrest length. Typically, it is between 40-50 inches. If you are taller than average (over 6 feet), get a longer utility bench (above 45") to have enough space to lie comfortably and safely.
About the height. The standard height of an Olympic weightlifting bench is 17-18 inches which provides comfortable usage for most lifters. But, some strength equipment is higher than that even up to 21 inches. That is a problem for shorter people since they cannot plant their feet while doing basic weight bench exercises like chest press with bar.
Finally, the width of the pad. The standard size is about 12 inches which is suitable for most trainees. Only buy broader than that in case you are a huge guy.
4. The upholstery of the pad
If the cushioning is too thin, it might be uncomfortable to lie on it, mainly, if you lift heavy weights. If it is too thick, it may lead to imbalance since you sink into it.
However, the thickness depends on your taste. I think the best depth is 2.5 inch which is not too thick nor too thin. High-density foam padding is typically used.
Flat vs adjustable
Naturally, an adjustable workout bench provides more possibilities for dumbbell exercises since you can perform incline and decline moves. But, you can also use it at a flat position.
However, in most of the cases, the flat position is not so comfortable to use since there is a gap between the backrest and the seat. Plus, non-commercial adjustable utility bench has lower weight capacity, more willing to wobble and costs more.
I think, for a good weight lifting home gym both a flat position and adjustable bench is needed (or a quality adjustable one.)
Can I use it for cardio exercises like jumps or step ups?
That largely depends on the stability and your weight. If the equipment is rock solid, it might be used for that type of training.
Can I get attachments?
Simple benches come as they are, and you cannot add any accessories to them. However, some models let you add leg curl/extension attachment or preacher curl.
Exercises to do on a weight bench?
Well, it would be hard to list all the practices you can do with such a simple home workout equipment. Mainly, we use it for strength training with dumbbells such as dumbbell chest bench press, shoulder presses, etc.
Also, you can use it for bodyweight training, for example for elevated push-ups, bench dips or leg raises.
Finally, use it for endurance and cardio training since you can perform high jump variations.
A bench is simple yet very versatile equipment for home workouts.
Check out this guide for a lot of weight bench exercises.
To sum up
I hope you find this buying guide useful, and you will be able to pick the best flat bench for home gym. This simple home workout equipment is more than it seems. It is a fundamental tool for weight training.
Do you need more help? Feel free to ask below within the comment section.
Last update on 2020-10-19 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API