This post contains references to products from one or more of our advertisers. We may receive compensation when you click on links to those products. Terms apply to the offers listed on this page. For an explanation of our Advertising Policy, visit this page.
Finding a reliable bench for working out at home will make a large difference in your long term workout success.
When building out a workout area at home one of the items you’ll likely want is a weight bench. If you’re planning on doing much weight lifting then it will be an absolute necessity. However, even if you don’t plan to do a ton of weight lifting, you may still want to have a solid bench for other exercises that you may do.
If you’re not planning on weight lifting, then you could get by with using a chair, or other piece of home furniture for stepping up on, sitting on, or dips. The downside is that generally those items aren’t really made for someone to be getting up and down on, or abusing in the way that you will when you workout on them. They may start to feel flimsy (depending on the furniture) or simply not be solid enough for your use case. While you may be able to get by, it’s likely that you’ll want something more reliable.
Another piece of equipment that could allow you to get by without a weight bench is a yoga ball. It can be used as a backrest for most any chest exercises you want, and it can be used in many other ways. While not ideal when you want to lift really heavy weight, it will allow you to get by if you don’t have enough room for a true bench.
Choosing The Right Weight Bench
In order to choose a weight bench, you have to determine what exercises you’re going to use that weight bench for. While it’s likely you’ll be using your weight bench for chest exercises, and other standard exercises for laying down flat on the bench, you need to figure out other uses you may have for it. Will you be standing on it? Will you be jumping on it? Do you want to use it for incline or decline bench press? All of these are important things to consider when determining which bench to buy.
Most likely you’ll end up standing on your bench press at some point, so you’ll definitely want something strong enough to hold your weight when you stand on it. While you may not stand on it regularly or often, there’s a good possibility. Also, if you have kids, they will almost certainly be standing on it. However, they don’t weigh too much so that should be less concerning.
The bigger question to answer is if you plan to do incline or decline bench press on your weight bench as well. If you were going to the gym, you would have access to different weight benches for these items. At home, you likely won’t have the luxury of having all three different versions, so you’ll need to get a 3-in-1 system if you want them.
Which Weight Bench To Buy
Once you’ve determined what you need in a weight bench, it’s time to actually find the weight bench that meets your needs. Below are a couple of options that may fit your needs. I’ve found that these benches are reliable and worth the money.
Standard Flat Bench
If all you need is a standard flat bench, then you have a lot of options. You’ll want something sturdy, not too heavy, and that will hold a decent amount of weight. You’re going to need to move your bench around some, so finding something light is important. On the other hand, you’ll be putting your weight, plus some additional weight on to the bench, so you need it to be sturdy.
While you can go cheap, make sure you keep an eye on the total weight limit of a weight bench. If a weight bench only holds 250-300 pounds, that’s not going to leave much room for additional weight beyond yourself on it. This may not be a problem if you’re not doing a lot of weight on it, but could become a problem quickly.
I’d recommend this bench that comes with a 1000 pound weight rating on it. It’s absolutely solid and isn’t going anywhere. While it’s a bit more expensive, it’s also one of the best flat benches you can have at home. If you want something a little cheaper, then this 600 pound bench is also good (I’ve never used this bench, but have used other benches from this company and have always been impressed with them).
Adjustable Weight Bench
Adjustable weight benches are going to be in a similar price range as a flat bench, however, they’re going to be rated at lower weights. This isn’t overly surprising if you stop to think about it - there will be a bar that has to move where a large part of the weight will be on the bench. That bar simply won’t be as solid as a straight piece of metal that never moves. Also, you definitely don’t want to step or stand on the end of the bench that moves up and down. It’s far more likely to break the bench by doing so - these benches aren’t made to jump onto the end. You need to be stepping and standing on them in the middle, or at the end of the bench that doesn’t move.
There are two benches that I really like here. One of these benches is the one that I have in my home gym and have been using for 3+ years without issue, and that’s this adjustable bench from Marcy. It is rated up to 300 pounds, but I put 500 pounds on it regularly without issue. This bench is great because it works well for all forms of bench press, as well as for sitting shoulder press - an exercise that I hadn’t thought about doing with a bar in my home gym until I had this weight bench.
A similar bench, but with a higher rated weight limit is this bench. It has a rated weight limit of 600 pounds, and moves into all the same positions. It also has an additional pad at the foot of the bench for ab type exercises. I’ve found this to be good and bad - it’s great for ab exercises, but it gets in the way when doing some weights because of how I position my feet on the floor. Either of these options are good choices.
Finding the right weight bench for a home gym is important for what exercises you’ll be able to perform. Find something that meets your needs, that your kids can beat up a bit, and that will be sturdy in whatever exercises you do on it.