We’re glad you stopped by, most likely you’re on a quest for the best Olympic weight bench to add to your home gym; or perhaps a public gym you own. Whatever the case, you’re at the right place!
With so many fitness programs and types of equipment on the market, it might cause some to wonder if owning an Olympic weight bench is worthwhile.
A quick review of the benefits of owning a weight bench will assure you that it’s more useful than ever, and a summary of the popular workouts and muscle groups they work will give you a glimpse of what’s possible on the bench.
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Highest Rated Olympic Weight Benches
An essential and vital piece of equipment, the Olympic bench is a true bodybuilders best friend.
Each of the below is a prime contender for the best Olympic weight bench and has been tested and tried by thousands of fitness pros and amateurs who attest to their effectiveness.
#5 – Competitor Olympic Bench
- Five back pad positions enable a variety of workouts.
- Leg developer is included
- Utilizes Olympic weight plates
- Limit of 600 lbs.
The Competitive Olympic Bench is a sturdy, yet affordable weight bench from a reliable brand. Very simple overall, the only extra you’ll find is a leg developer which will allow for hamstring curls and leg extensions.
The adjustments are easily made using pull pin knobs, and all materials are strong and built from steel.
Who Makes It?
Competitor is one of multiple brands under the umbrella company, Impex Fitness. Impex has been around since 1980, and manufactures numerous Olympic weight benches of varying types.
Competitor is the most masculine of the Impex brands, with others such as Hers and Gym Dandy being marketed towards women and kids.
One drawback that is immediately noticeable is that the Competitive Olympic Bench does not come with a barbell. This probably caused initial disappointments in many customers, but considering that you can buy barbells of various weights, you can see it as an opportunity to customize.
Otherwise, the Competitor Olympic Bench is a solid deal for the price, and the only other drawbacks would be lack of clever portability options and other extras.
If you want a strong, versatile weight bench with none of the bells and whistles, then this one will give you a lot of bang for your buck.
At just over $100, it’s one of the least expensive on the market, while still providing solid workouts for amateurs and hardcore lifters alike.
If saving money is among your top priorities in a weight bench or if you want a basic and reliable starter bench, the Competitor Olympic Bench is an optimal choice.
#4 – Phoenix 99226 Power Pro Olympic Bench
- Full-size Olympic Weight Bench
- 400 lbs weight limit
- Built-in Preacher Curl & Lat Tower
- 3 Olympic Weight Plate Adapters
For a very elaborate weight bench that offers more than your standard bench options, the Phoenix 99226 Power Pro Olympic Bench includes a Preacher Curl stand and Lat Tower.
This significantly broadens the amount of upper body exercises that can be done, and considering that it can be purchased for around $250, this is an above average bench that will exceed expectations.
Who Makes It?
Phoenix Health and Fitness Inc. has been a wholesale distributor of fitness equipment since 1998. Specializing in new and safe home gym equipment, the company produces everything from inversion machines to exercise bikes.
With tons of extra features compared to a standard bench, you might expect a hefty price tag to be a negative, but it’s still a pretty good deal. One prevalent and somewhat odd critique was that the instructions were difficult to follow, but once the assembly is complete, complaints are few and far between.
With heavy 3-in steel frame construction, useful extras, and an affordable price, the Phoenix 99226 Power Pro Olympic Bench is a phenomenal deal.
For anyone building a home gym, the vast array of upper and lower body workouts available on the Pheonix 99226 Power Pro Olympic Bench makes it the best deal for under $300.
#3 – XMark International Olympic Weight Bench
- 700 lbs weight limit
- Preacher Curl and Leg Extensions included
- 14-gauge steel frame construction
- 6 Reversible Crutch positions
A top-notch weight bench suitable for professional gyms, the XMark International Olympic Weight Bench has all of the extras and adjustments you’ll need for a thorough workout.
Ideal for heavy lifters, this bench has a high weight limit at 700 lbs. This is significant since a lot of benches can only handle half that.
The addition of a preacher curl extension allows for bicep exercises and the variety of incline and decline settings will satisfy every fan of the bench press.
Who Makes It?
This elaborate weight bench is made by XMark Fitness, a company that specializes in a wide range of home gym equipment. Producers of declined ab benches and $2500 power towers, XMark is dedicated to making innovative machines for homes and gyms.
Their website expresses the quality inherent in their steel parts and thick padding, and further explains details regarding XMark equipment.
The majority of complaints about the XMark International Olympic Weight Bench mention wobbling in the preacher curl, seat, and leg roller attachments.
These are common issues in highly-affordable, self-assembled weight benches, primarily because the push knobs that facilitate easy adjustments also aren’t as secure as more expensive equipment.
Overall, this is a solid weight bench with a lot of features but should still be compared only to affordable home gym equipment, because it’s not as sturdy as the expensive equipment found in gyms.
Much more advanced than a standard weight bench, the XMark International Olympic Weight Bench offers numerous extras that distinguish it from the rest. The price matches these extras, as it will cost around twice the price of a basic weight bench.
With that additional cost comes a squat rack, preacher curl, leg roller, and a much higher maximum weight limit than most benches at 700 lbs.
#2 – Best Fitness Olympic Bench with Leg Developer
- Powder coated steel frame
- Supports 6 or 7 foot barbell
- Three incline positions
- Folds into a flat vertical position for storage
A sturdy, simple bench with a useful storage option, the Best Fitness Olympic Bench with Leg Developer offers all the basics you expect in a weight bench.
Three incline positions enables different chest muscles to get an effective workout, while the leg developer is sufficient to work the hamstrings and major leg muscles.
The most notable aspect of the Best Fitness Olympic Bench with Leg Developer is that it can be moved into a flat, vertical position to conserve space.
Who Makes It?
Body Solid has been producing a wide-variety of home gym equipment over the last 20 years. From ab benches to glute and ham machines, Body Solid understands the needs of different clientele, and has become highly-respected within the fitness industry.
Interesting features on the Body Solid website include a room planner which allows you to organize your home gym, and a body focus guide that allows you to plan your workout by muscle groups.
The most common criticism of the Best Fitness Olympic Bench with Leg Developer is that it has no real decline bench function. Another common yet minor complaint mentioned how the gap between seat and bench was greater than average. If you’re planning on incline and standard bench presses and dumbbell workouts, then this bench should be sufficient.
If you’re working with a limited amount of space and money, then the Best Fitness Olympic Bench with Leg Developer by Body Solid is a worthy purchase.
Providing just enough to facilitate all of the typical bench workouts along with an easy folding option, this bench by Body Solid is ideal for a porch or bedroom.
#1 – Marci Diamond Olympic Weight Bench
In this workout bench, Marci has produced a one of a kind aesthetically pleasing and functionally superior product.
- Improves on standard bench with bicep pad
- Barbell rack raises to enable additional exercises
- 5-position adjustable back pad
- Heavy duty steel construction
While not the absolute cheapest option on the market, the Marci Diamond Olympic Weight Bench still offers a solid weight bench with a few extras at a fair price.
Several notable features separate this from a basic weight bench, including a bicep pad and a barbell rack that raises enough to enable squats and lunges.
To top off the notable advantages of the Marci Diamond Olympic Weight Bench, it has standing posts for a spotter and a high-quality leg roller as well.
Who Makes It?
A subsidiary of Inpex Fitness, Marcy has been in the business of making fitness equipment for almost 75 years.
With a slew of exercise bikes, elliptical machines, and innovative weight benches, Marcy has been in the game longer than most, and are highly-respected within the industry.
It’s also worth mentioning that they’re so confident in their products that Marcy offers a 100% guarantee and worry-free returns to all customers.
Hardcore powerlifters might ought to look elsewhere since the max weight handled by the Marcy Diamond Olympic Weight Bench is 300 lbs. While this won’t be an issue for mere mortals, it’s pretty common for heavyweight bodybuilders to lift more.
Other criticisms of the Marci Diamond Olympic Weight Bench consist of small things, like the seat not being adjustable and the bench not lying completely flat.
At less than $200, the Marci Diamond Olympic Weight Bench has enough extra features to make it well worth the price. In addition to the fundamental presses and leg workouts enabled by a standard weight bench, this one adds options for preacher curls, lunges, and squats to offer a more complete home gym experience.
Throw in the top-quality guarantee from Marcy, and you can’t really go wrong with this purchase, especially for the modest price.
Beginners Guide to Olympic Weight Benches
Read on to get informed on the most commonly asked gym questions when it comes to using an Olympic weight bench. The more you know the better decision you will be able to make.
What Are the Benefits of a Weight Bench?
The ideal customer for a weight bench will be bodybuilders who regularly use a bench for bench presses and dumbbell workouts. That said, lighter lifters can benefit from a bench as well.
Female athletes will find the bench useful for the wide variety of abdominal workouts it offers, and cross training athletes who play other sports will still benefit from strength-building workouts.
Ultimately, assuming the exercises are done properly, anyone can benefit from proper workouts on a weight bench.
Three Biggest Reasons to Use Them
Not everyone needs a bench to stay strong, but to some athletes, they’re an absolute necessity.
- Chest Gains: The primary reason that you’d want a bench over other equipment is for the support they offer when doing chest workouts.Nothing is as good as a bench when doing incline, decline, or traditional bench presses.
- Versatility: This would be the second advantage of a bench, because there are dozens of workouts you can do with it. From dumbbell curls to ab workouts, the bench enables a wide-array of effective exercises.
- Convenience: Finally, benches are compact compared to most workout gear, proving convenient for those with little room. Most benches fold up and free weights can be organized to take up as little space as possible.
To summarize, the three most significant reasons to own a bench are support for chest workouts, versatility, and that it’s a good deal for the space it consumes.
How to Use a Weight Bench
While each of the dozens of bench-related exercises will have specific tips for proper execution, the bench itself aids in basic instruction of techniques.
For example, keeping the back strait during dumbbell exercises is important, and weight benches are often designed at heights that make excellent posture easy. Furthermore, bench presses are user-friendly on a weight bench, with a post for holding a barbell and padded plank that ensures support.
The final word on properly using the bench is that each workout is different, and qualified instruction should be sought to avoid injury.
When you first get a weight bench, there are a few things to keep in mind. First, you’re going to want to know how to properly adjust it, which will be a simple process that varies depending on the brand.
Trying to do an exercise with the wrong posture can cause some nasty aches and pains, so the correct position is important. Second, it’s important to completely lock any free weights to the bar when using them, because one of the most common causes of injury is weights falling off of barbells mid-lift.
Following those simple rules will save you from the most common injuries associated with a weight bench.
Muscle Groups Worked
Primarily, the upper body, legs, and abs are all easy muscle groups to workout using the weight bench. The staple for working out on the weight bench is bench presses.
Depending on whether your bench is in the inclined or declined positions, you can actually work different muscles within your chest. Dumbbell exercises that work the arms and shoulders, such as dumbbell rows and hammer curls, are also very popular bench workouts.
Finally, a lot of people prefer the bench for ab workouts, probably because the range of flexibility for leg raises, flags, and similar workouts is greater on a weight bench.
Weight Bench With Leg Extension
Although the bench is clearly optimal for upper body workouts, many weight benches come with leg rollers which enable highly effective leg exercises.
The most common leg workout done on a bench is known as leg extensions, and involves sitting on the edge at a 90 degree angle and straitening the legs to lift the weight on the roller. It’s important to be careful with the amount of weight used for leg extensions to avoid pulling or tearing a ligament in your legs.
The second workout typically done with a leg roller is the hamstring curl. To execute the hamstring curl, simply lay on your belly facing away from the leg roller, hook your foot so it controls the weight, and curl your legs in a smooth, controlled movement.
Considering that each of these workouts can be done with alternate amounts of weight and with one or both legs, the Olympic weight bench clearly offers some effective leg options.
Related: 10 Best Leg Extension Machines
What Are the Drawbacks?
The biggest argument against using a weight bench would be its lack of functional workouts. What is meant by functional workouts are the Cross Fit style training sessions that often involve multiple muscle groups, such as Sumo Squats and Kick Pull-ups.
Athletes who train in cross-functional workouts would argue that traditional exercises like curls or bench presses are too limiting and unrealistic.
A second con of owning a weight bench is that free weights and dumbbells are required to do most of the workouts, and those get expensive quick. This is further impacted by the fact that you’ll want an abundant combination of 5, 10, 25, and 45 pound weights to toss on your barbell when needed.
Needless to say, this could quickly take a toll on your wallet.
What Differentiates Quality Benches
Anyone who has used weight benches of varying quality will agree that it’s important for a bench to be well-built. A flimsy or excessively small weight bench will not leave you with a sense of confidence when lifting heavy weights.
To confirm this, it’s recommended to find reviews such as the ones below, from users who have experience with your specific weight bench. Aside from stability, the other main consideration is that the bench has everything you need to fulfill your workout needs.
For example, if you’re a dude who just wants a bulky chest, a basic bench will suffice, but if you plan on using it as your primary fitness investment, then a bench with more features might be optimal.
How to Spot a Low-Quality Bench
As is the case with many products, the first place that a manufacturer of a cheap bench will skimp is in the materials. The cheapest benches feature lighter and less stable weights and construction.
In some cases, the weights will be coated in plastic rather than built from metal. Understandably, these lighter workouts are typically marketed to kids and teens, but many of the weight increments will be the same.
Ultimately, finding a weight bench that looks strong and versatile enough to suit your needs is an effective guideline.
Buying a Good Weight Bench
With major differences in materials, size, and extra features, there is a significant difference between a cheap Olympic weight bench and a top-notch one.
The least expensive benches will run you less than $100, but more elaborate versions will cost ten times that amount. That said, the average for a passable-quality, adult weight bench seems to be around $199, with the majority falling in the $150-250 range.
Some considerations for how much to invest in a weight bench include whether it will be your only fitness investment, and what workouts you’ll be using it for.
Will I Need More Than a Bench and Some Weights?
Many Olympic weight benches will include a basic barbell and set of weight plates, but there are a few other purchases you might want to make with your Olympic Weight Bench.
Weight lifting gloves are a favorite of many bodybuilders, as they greatly increase your grip and protect the skin of your hands. Although weight belts are more typically associated with squatting racks, they can be worn during other workouts to ensure no undue stress on your lower back.
Another consideration when buying your weight bench is where to put unused clips and weights, so various racks and storage options can keep everything organized.
Typical Recommended Extras
Much like with cars or any product with a wide difference in low and high quality, Olympic weight benches come with a slew of extras that might be worthwhile.
These include a spotter stand, high-quality padding, assisted barbell functions, and extra workout attachments. Advanced Olympic weight benches will typically have more adjustment options and more complex attachments, especially regarding the leg roller.
Portability is another factor that will be more advanced in some weight benches, as some benches include features that make them convenient to fold up and store in your closet.
Now that you’ve familiarized yourself with what the best Olympic weight bench ought to look like, we encourage you to do a little more digging and add one to your home gym collection.
One of the biggest aspects of a garage gym or a home gym is the weight bench, it’s a must have for all serious fitness enthusiasts, as the gains it offers are more than worth it!
Having a well developed chest will certainly earn you respect inside the gym, but it will also be more than noticeable in the outside world.
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