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Bowflex Selecttech 5.1 Adjustable Bench Review

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    Bowflex 5.1 Adjustable Bench in Details

    How can you adjust it?

    Features of the backrest

    It is an FID bench meaning flat-incline-decline. It has 6 positions for positions for total versatility. The incline levels are 30°, 45°, 60°, and the full 90°. There is only one decline angle which is -17°. And, there is a flat level. Altering the board is a piece of cake.

    Having some many angles to choose from, without a doubt, helps to have more versatile workouts. For example, you can do various presses to target the different parts of your pecs.

    Personally, I prefer 85° angle backrest while doing shoulder presses because I can focus on my deltoids instead of the proper body state. This Bowflex bench has 90° so you may need time to get used to it. (Although, others swear on that angle.)

    Adjustable seat


    You can also adjust the seat which makes incline press much more convenient and safe. Most of the other equipment has a seat that is parallel to the floor, so when you press, you should hold against with your feet to avoid slipping. You can set the seat of the Bowflex 5.1 bench to an inclined position so you will not experience sliding.

    How comfortable is it to use?

    About the backrest

    The backrest at the widest point is 12 inch which is a standard size for workout benches. That width is not too wide, nor too narrow for most of the people.

    The length of the backrest and seat together, in the flat position, is about 52 inches. That is rather long. People higher than 6 feet can work out on it comfortably.

    The padding of the bench provides a comfortable surface to lie and sit on. It is not too thick, nor too thin.

    The upholstery is made of a durable material that will never rip or tear. You can also wipe it down if you want to clean it. The only negligible problem is that after some time the padding may wrinkle, but that does not influence usage.

    Because it has two separate sections in flat position there is a gap between the seat and the backrest which is a bit wide. So, when you lie on it for flat bench exercises, you need to test positions to find a state where that gap does not disturb you. Some customers put a rolled up towel there. (This is a typical problem of adjustable benches, though.)

    Removable Bowflex bench leg attachment

    The leg attachment is useful if you do decline bench press or chest flyes since you can fix your legs to avoid slipping backward.

    However, I’m not the only who thinks it is a bit disturbing part for non-decline exercises. On top of that, we can set the seat to incline to avoid slipping. However, it is removable so you can get rid of it quickly with the help of a pin if you do not need it.

    It does not support any other Bowflex bench attachments.

    About the construction & design

    bowflex selecttech 5.1 bench specifications


    How stable is it to use?

    There is nothing worse than a wobbling weight bench. It ruins the workout and may lead to injuries. As you see Bowflex 5.1 weight bench has extended stabilizers, particularly the rare ones. Also, these are a sort of off-the-floor stabilizers which helps to avoid wobbling.

    Heavy duty bench

    The frame is made from heavy-duty commercial quality steel just like the stuff in the gyms. Bowflex gives 30 years warranty on the frame. So, durability is not a question.

    Weight capacity

    Well, the maximum user weight capacity is 480 lb which should be enough for most of the people working out at home. Keep in mind that maximum means your bodyweight and the amount of weight you would like to use.

    If you are a heavy lifter who can chest press with hundreds of pounds, with the help of a power rack, then I do not recommend it for you. You need a more professional workout bench for that.

    What are the dimensions?

    The item is 56″ L x 26″ W x 20″ H (142.25 L x 66 W x 51 H cm), so it is not a small piece. Do not forget to add a few feet around the equipment when you plan its place. You will need  quite a lot workout space.

    On top of that, it is not foldable and weighs 66 lb. However, it comes with transport wheels, so more accessible relocation is possible. Although, the wheels are not the best quality ones.

    Is it hard to assemble?

    It comes with an easy to follow manual. Also, there are not too many parts. People think the assembly is not complicated. They put it together in half an hour.

    Bowflex bench press


    What is the difference between Bowflex 5.1 and 3.1?

    3.1 has 4 positions while 5.1 6 adjustments. Besides, the 3.1 bowflex adjustable bench has a non-adjustable seat. Everything else is the same.

    Can I use it for sit-ups?

    It will not provide such an experience like a sit-up bench, but thanks to the decline position and the leg holders, you can use it for abdominal exercises as well.

    Bowflex bench exercises

    Virtually, 5.1 is suitable for any types of dumbbell exercises you could do at the gym. Benches presses for chest, split squats for legs, extensions for triceps, curls for biceps, etc. Here is the Bowflex 6 week challenge as an example.

    For who I recommend this Bowflex weight bench?

    It is the best workout bench for home for beginner and intermediate level people who are looking for a versatile home gym equipment for dumbbell and other strength training workouts. It is made by a trusted manufacturer. However, its max weight limit does not make it suitable for heavy lifters. Look around for more quality adjustable weight benches here.

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    Walter M. Forbes

    Hi! I'm Walter, a 36-years old gym owner. I've been working out since I was 15. Now I do calisthenics and boxing. On this website, I'd like to share my workout and home workout equipment tips.