Posted by Jay.D | Weight Benches |
When we buy a workout bench, we need to make sure that we first choose the right type of bench for our workout needs. There are a ton of different types of bench on the market, and choosing the right type can make a huge difference in what exercises we can perform with the bench.
An adjustable workout bench will allow you to perform a wider range of workouts than, say a flat bench.
- Adjustable weight bench – Incline decline and flat workouts
- Flat Bench – limited to flat workouts – Usually recommended for heavy bench pressing
- Olympic bench – comes with a rack behind the bench – takes up more room but is a good option if you want to barbell press.
Adjustable Benches are The Best Choice if You Want To Get The Most From Your Workouts.
Even if this is your first workout bench, I’d always recommend going with an adjustable bench. They dont take up any more room than a flat bench and give you incline and decline exercise options.
Owning a bench with an incline option is essential if you want to develop your upper chest muscles. It’s also useful for seated shoulder presses and many other important exercises. Exercises you dont want to miss out on if you take your training seriously.
You can get hold of a full FID (flat, incline decline) bench now for under $150, something that was unheard of a few years ago.
And when you consider you’d have to pay around $100 for a decent flat bench, paying a little extra for an adjustable bench that offers so much more is a no-brainer.
I’ve reviewed well over 50 adjustable benches in the last few years, and I’ve come across some great entry-level adjustable benches, a few of which were better than some costing twice as much. (all the best ones are in this guide)
So, we’ll keep things affordable in this review and focus on the best workout benches under $150. All the workout benches in this guide are adjustable.
Best 3 Affodable Workout Benches
Flybird Adjustable Weight Bench
- Weight – 32lb
- Back Pad Positions – 7
- Weight Capacity – 620lb
- Adjustable Seat
- Our Rating – 4.8/5
Mevem Adjustable Weight Bench
- Weight – 53lb
- Back Pad Positions – 7
- Weight Capacity – 1000lb
- Adjustable Seat
- Our Rating – 4.5/5
Marcy SB-670 Weight Bench
- Weight – 50lb
- Back Pad Positions – 6
- Weight Capacity – 600lb
- Adjustable Seat
- Our Rating – 4.5/5
1. FlyBird Folding Workout Bench
There’s a good reason the Flybird Adjustable Bench is so popular, and thats because it’s one of the only lightweight benches on the market that doesn’t suffer from stability issues because of its lightweight build.
This bench is stable thanks to its extra-wide stabilizing feet at each end of the bench.
Its also one of the most versatile entry-level benches you’ll find, with 7 adjustable back pad positions that include the all-important near vertical for support when performing seated shoulder presses, plus 2 decline positions for decline sit-ups and presses, and 3 other incline positions for exercises such as incline presses and incline dumbbell curls, etc.
But what’s most important is that the Flybird includes a 3-way adjustable seat, an essential feature that will give you support when performing incline workouts.
An adjustable seat will stop your butt from slipping down the bench and provide you a stable base to press from.
And there are no worries about storage either because the Flybird bench is light. It’s easy to pick up and move, plus its folds to almost half its original footprint, allowing it to be stored under a bed in a large cupboard or up against a wall.
The Flybird weight bench punches way above its price tag in both features and quality. It’s the No.1 selling workout bench at the moment, and it looks like it will stay that way for some time.
I haven’t come across anything else that matches the Flybird in the entry-level foldable bench range.
An excellent adjustable bench for light to medium dumbbell workouts and with a 660lb capacity, it should suit most users’ needs.
7 back support adjustment angles
3 position adjustableseat, great for incline workouts
Foldable, light bench, makes for easy storage and moveability
Shortwarranty on upholstery
Our Full Review: Flybird Weight Bench
2. Mevem Adjustable Weight Bench
Weighing nearly twice as much as the Flybird bench, the Mevem is a heavy-duty option. Built from commercial-rated steel, this thing is surprisingly well built for a bench that carries such a low price tag.
And it’s the heavy-duty build that sells the Mevem Weight Bench, boasting a 1000lb max capacity even serious lifters can grab a bargain with the Mevem.
I’ve reviewed similar high-capacity benches that cost twice that of the Mevem, and some don’t even include an adjustable seat.
But it’s not all good with the Mevem bench. Something I don’t like about the Mevem bench is that the back pad doesn’t get close to a near-vertical or vertical.
Instead, it adjusts to a max of just 70 degrees, slightly too low to hit the shoulder hard for seated shoulder presses. You need a bench that adjusts to max around 80-85 degrees 90 is okay too.
Still, the lack of a full incline shouldn’t be a deal-killer, as the Mevem includes another 6 back pad angles with decline and an adjustable seat.
The Mevem doesn’t include a folding feature, not many heavy-duty benches do, but it does include transport wheels and a grab handle, a big help if you want to move the bench in and out of a power rack or just for storage after use.
One of the only budget beaches strong enough for both barbell and dumbbell workouts. The Mevem is a solid choice, a shame it lacks the full incline, but it’s still a great buy. A lot of bench for the price tag.
Heavy Duty Frame
Excellent weight bench for dumbbell & rack work
1000lb weight capacity
Versatile – 7 back pad positions & adjustable seat
Fantastic price for such a well-built bench
No full incline – adjusts to a max of 70 degrees
Our Full Review: Mevem Weight Bench
3. Marcy SB-670 Adjustable Bench
Marcy are known well for selling high-quality gym gear at low prices, and their SB-670 is no exception. This bench has been one of my favorites for years.
And thats what’s great about a bench like the Marcy its been around a long time. It’s stood the test of time, and people are still praising this bench years after owning it. Not many budget benches can lay claim to that.
Built from heavy-duty steel, the Marcy is a solid bench weighing close to 50lb, thats 20lb heavier than most benches in this price bracket; that extra weight will help a ton with stability, plus it’s a sign this bench is made from quality materials.
The Marcy also boasts 6 back pad positions in total, including a full inline and decline, which is more than enough for all our pressing needs, and an adjustable seat for support when pressing at low incline angles.
Another impressive feature of the Marcy SB-670 is that the padding is made from high-density foam.
High-density foam is the gold stand for weight benches. This stuff isn’t too hard to be uncountable nor too soft to be unstable. It’s just right and a nice surprise to find featured on a low-cost weight bench.
The back pad of the Marcy adjusts by using a ladder adjustment system. Ladder adjustment systems are faster to adjust than the pull pin type system, sturdy, and can take heavier weight loads.
Like the Mevem bench, the Marcy can be used for heavy barbell and dumbbell workouts as it has the build to support heavier weight loads, more so than the lightweight foldable benches. It’s a good choice for both beginners and intermediate lifters.
Full FID capability… flat inline decline, 6 adjustable back support positions in total!
Firm but comfortable wide saddle
Well made high quality, stable, solid
Powder coat finish will help reduce wear and tear
Durable high density, two-toned upholstery
600lb user and weight load
Adapts to fit most squat racks, half cages, and Smith machines
Frame warranty only 2years
No padded rollers for decline situps/presses? This might be a pro not a con for some
Our Full Review: Marcy SB-670
4. Gymenist Workout Bench
The Gymenist is another impressive little workout bench, and like the Marcy has been around for a few years and still is one of the most popular budget workout benches on the market.
If you’re after a lightweight bench, they don’t come much lighter than the Gymenist. This bench weighs just 26lb, making it extremely easy to move, and it’s also one of the easiest benches to fold. Just remove one pin, and the Gymenist folds to half its original size.
Okay, the Gymenist isn’t a heavy-duty bench, and it doesn’t pretend to be. This bench has been designed for beginners or people who just want a bench for light dumbbell workouts.
Still, even though the Gymenist is lightweight, it’s quite sturdy, with many users praising how solid this bench feels when in use which is great news to hear.
Stability is the most important feature of any bench. The last thing you need is the bench to move when lifting weights; it’s dangerous and offputting.
As for the back pad positions, the Gymesit shines here, too, with 6 for the back pad and 3 for the seat.
Just remember with lightweight foldable benches it’s best not to take them up to their max capacity as most of them dont have the build quality or heavy gauged frames and welds to take super heavier loads.
Keep 100lb or so below the max capacity of (budget) foldable benches, and they should last years.
6 adjustable back support positions
Pin lock adjustment system slows adjustment times
Staples on padding tend to come lose some owners have reported
A $100 bench is a $100 bench, lightweight benches will always have some stability issues under heavy loads
Our Full Review: Gymenist Weight bench
5. Yoleo Workout Bench
Yoleo havent been around long, but they have made a big impact with their entry-level benches. Their benches are outselling some top brands, which isn’t surprising when you see the price.
The original Yoleo bench, the one in the picture above, costs around $60, and it’s not too bad. It’s been designed for light workouts, and the max capacity reflects this at just 330lb, making it a great choice for beginners.
And unlike other cheap benches, the Yoleo includes a lot of back pad positions 7 in total, with decline and a fast-to-adjust ladder adjustment system.
Still, there’s no adjustable seat which may be a deal-breaker for a few, but overall, this bench is unbeatable for the price.
Yoleo also has an upgraded version of this bench built from thickened heavy-duty steel, which allows for a higher weight capacity, and includes an adjustable seat and high-density foam for the padding. And the good news is the upgraded version only costs about 20 more than the basic version, which is a bargain.
Lastly, both benches fold easily for storage. Just remove a single pin.
Well built for price point
7 adjustable back pad positions
2″ dense foam padding
Folds for easy storage
Ladder adjustament system for back pad – fast to adjust
Great Bench for beginners and dumbbell workouts
Super light bench – easy to move but being so light will affect the stability of the bench especially in incline positions
No adjustable seat
6. Pasyou Adjustable Weight Bench
The Pasyou weight bench has a lot going for it. It is certainly one of the most impressive you’ll find for under 100.
Boasting a ladder adjustment system, 7 adjustable back pad positions, a low profile design, a folding feature, a 500lb capacity, and a sturdy steel frame, the Pasyou is worthy of some serious consideration.
A surprising feature of this bench is that it includes high-density foam padding, the only bench I’ve seen under 100 to include this.
But there are a few drawbacks, as there are with most workout benches under 100. The first is the seat doesn’t adjust.
Also, the beckpad only adjusts to a max incline of 65 degrees, so not perfect for seated shoulder presses, and the back pad is quite short, which means taller users may have issues with the bench.
However, this is a bench for beginners, so if only using light dumbbells the need for adjustable seat lessons, and if you’re under 6ft, the length of the back pad won’t be an issue.
The positives of this bench far outweigh the negatives, and for the price point, the Pasyou is right up there with the best. Another impressive foldable workout bench at a very affordable price indeed.
Folds for easy storage
Stable – wide front and rear stabalizers
High-density foam padding – provides stability when pressing
Lightweight build makes it easy to move from one room to another or for storage
7 adjustable back pad psotions- great to see on a low cost bench
Ladder adjustment system quick and easy to adjust back pad positions, also more study than the pull-pin type
No near-vertical or vertical incline angle for seated shoulder presses
Seat has no adjustment angles
What To Look Out For When Choosing a Workout Bench
Hers is a quick guide as to the most important features you should be checking before choosing your workout bench.
It’s important to choose carefully when selecting a bench for your home gym as the quality and features of weight benches can vary hugely from one company to the next. Still, if you know what you’re looking for and what features are important, the choice becomes much easier.
1. Versatility- How Many Back Pad Angles? Adjustable Seat?
Usually, I recommend a minimum of 3 adjustable positions for a back pad of a weight bench, flat decline, and an incline. Thankfully most benches, even budget benches, usually have no less than five.
The more adjustable back pad positions, the better as it allows for more exercises, but we need to ensure that our bench includes a near-vertical or vertical so we can perform seated shoulder presses with the correct form.
And if you’re someone who likes the idea of decline sit-ups for strengthening and toning up your AB’s you’ll need a bench with a decline option as well.
An adjustable seat is something I think is essential, as it gives you support when incline pressing, and stops your butt from slipping down the bench.
Not all workout benches include adjustable seats. If you think your workout routine will include many incline exercises, you’ll need first to make sure that the bench you choose has an adjustable seat for support.
Space – Do I need A Foldable Bench?
Weight benches aren’t the largest pieces of gym equipment, but the heavy-duty benches will need a permanent space to house them as many of them dont fold for storage.
If you dont have dedicated space to store a weight bench, then a foldable bench is your best option. These benches are normally light, so they’re easy to move, and the good ones fold in half, which allows them to be stored under a bed or up against a wall.
The only downside to a foldable bench is that the folding feature makes them slightly weaker than a normal weight bench. This usually means they are not suited to heavy barbell/rack work, but they make great dumbbell benches.
There are heavy-duty foldable options avivbalbe such as the Fitness Reality 2000 and Bowflex Stowable bench both great benches but cost around twice as much as the benches featured in this guide.
Weight Capacity – Includes Body Weight
A bench’s weight capacity can be tricky as many of the cheap benches love to claim high weight capacities, but in reality, if you took one of the budget benches up to its max weight capacity every day, it wouldn’t last a month.
When we purchase low-cost weight benches, foldable or not, we must be careful with the weight capacity, which is why we always recommend not to take a bench (budget) put o its max often try and keep a 100lb or so below the max capacity if you want a low-cost bench to last.
I’ve seen and heard of many low-cost benches breaking under heavy loads. This is usually due to weak welds or the pin pull adjustment system snapping.
High-weight capacities are reserved for heavy-duty high-end benches made for heavy gauged steel boasting high-quality welds. Benches like this cost $300+, and if you’re going to lift heavy and use your bench for power rack/barbell work, then a heavy-duty bench is your best option.
Low-cost benches are best suited to dumbbell workouts, and if you own a set of 50lb Bowflex or Powerblocks, then a $150 adjustable workout bench is a perfect match.
And another thing to remember is that the weight capacity of a bench includes your own body weight. So if you’re a 180lb guy and own a set of 50lb dumbbells, you’ll need a bench that can take at least 400lb in weight to allow for growth, etc.
You want as little movement as possible when working out on your bench. Look for wide stabilizing feet (bars) at the front and rear of the bench. These are great for keeping the bench stable. Also, some benches have adjustable levelers on each corner of the stabilizers, a handy feature that helps keep the bench level on uneven floors.
Low-profile benches are hard to find in the budget ranges, but if you can, try and find a bench with a height of 17-18″ from pad to floor when in the flat position.
17-18″ is the height of a commercial flat bench and at this height, not only does the lower center of gravity aid stability, but it also allows shorter uses to place their feet firmly on the floor, enhancing stability and pressing power.
To Sum Up
There’s a surprising amount of impressive low-cost workout benches out there right now. Yeah, there are quite a few disappointing ones too, but 6 or 7 benches that really stood out from the rest.
The Flybird Adjustable Bench was by far the most impressive. This thing shines with both quality and versatility. It has everything you want, from a workout bench and more. Plus, it includes a folding feature, so it’s a great choice for anyone who lacks the space to house a bench permanently.
The Marcy SB-670 is another excellent workout bench, and if you want a bench thats been out for a few years and has stood the test of time, the Marcy is that bench. Some people get confused about the max capacity of the Marcy bench (bad listing on Amazon), but I spoke to the guys at Marcy, and they assure me this bench can take 600lb, and with its heavy-duty build, I dont doubt them.
And if your budget is tight and you dont want to spend over 100? Go for the Y0leo. This is a great starter bench and one that will last. The build quality is better than anything else under a 100, and yes, the weight capacity is low, but it’s realistic, which is a good thing, and if all you need a bench for is light workouts, then you can’t go wrong with Yoleo bench.