Weight benches are a classic piece of training equipment that are a staple for any fitness facility or home gym. Incredibly versatile, they come in many different styles from flat benches to adjustable benches (FID or Flat, Incline Decline), bench presses, utility benches, and specialty benches like the preacher curl bench and can be used for an endless range of exercises and strength based movements along, or with rigs, racks, a barbell and plates, and / or dumbbells.
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A weight bench of some kind can be found in almost any gym, and is a central piece of equipment in almost every weightlifting set. In its simplest form, a weight bench comprises a padded board (s) suspended above the ground on a frame of some kind. The lifter sits, lays downs on his/her stomach, or puts his/her back against the bench and does various exercises. The exercises would generally involve barbells and dumbbells (which is why the bench is called a "weight" bench) but it can be used for body weight exercises or similar.
Additional pieces of equipment can be added to or positioned around the bench (such as leg extension or preacher attachments) so that more exercises can be done.
Two primary factors to consider when assessing a weight bench are how sturdy it is (is does it wobble) and the strength of its frame. In order to support the weight of the lifter, dumbbells, and barbells while in use, the bench has to be strong and sturdy. The primary pieces of the bench should be made out of metal, and should be thick enough so as to not bend. The bench should also be balanced and supported so that, when in use, it does not tip. Since many exercises take place at one end of the weight bench, the bench should have sufficient support so that it does not fall over and injure the user when weight is not evenly distributed on top of it.
There are many different styles of weight bench. At Little Bloke Fitness, we stock flat benches, adjustable (or FID) benches, bench presses, preacher benches and various other styles.
Flat Benches are the most simple of the weight benches. With no moving parts, they tend to be stronger than similar FID benches, and more stable. Flat benches will almost always have a one piece backrest and solid frame underneath and can vary according to height, width and strength rating. For those looking to do a lot of heavy compound movements, with little to no isolation and incline / decline work, a flat bench may be a good option. If using with a barbell, you will generally need to pair a flat bench with a squat rack, squat stands, Smith machine, or power rack or cage.
Adjustable benches, often referred to as FID benches, are similar to flat benches in terms of their uses. But in addition, an adjustable bench typically can incline up to 90 degree, and decline, offering the user more flexibility in their workout. Adjustable benches vary considerably in their designs, not only in according to height, width and strength rating, but also in the mechanisms on which they pivot. When reviewing an adjustable bench, a good check of quality is to ensure there is no movement in the joints it pivots on. Adjustable benches tend to be a lot more common than flat benches, and generally cost a little more. For those who mix up their workouts a lot, an adjustable bench is a good option. If using with a barbell, you will generally need to pair an adjustable bench with a squat rack, squat stands, Smith machine, or power rack or cage.
The bench press comes in flat, adjustable, fixed incline and fixed decline styles. A bench press differs from the flat bench and adjustable bench as it has a built-in barbell rack at the head of the bench. This allows the user conduct barbell exercises like the bench press, seated overhead press, squat etc all from one piece of equipment without the need for a squat rack, power rack or smith machine. Bench presses tend to come in two widths – the standard width that will take a 6ft or 7ft barbell (these are the more common bench for home users) and Olympic width – that will only take a 7ft barbell. At Little Bloke Fitness, while, we do not carry fixed incline and fixed decline bench presses in store, we are able to order them in as required.
At Little Bloke Fitness, we stock a large range of gym and fitness equipment to suit all types of training purposes. We can offer personalised advice based on your needs and type of training, whether you’re a professional lifter or just starting out with weight training.
Call us on 03 9462 3943 or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org and we’ll be happy to help.