Exercise Equipment Review

A Guide to Weight Benches

Weight benches come in many forms, from your basic flat bench to machines representing a small multi gym.

Generally you'll pay for two things... firstly the number of attachments and adjustments (like a leg curl attachment or incline facility) and secondly the sturdiness on the bench. Weight benches that offer multiple attachments and cost less than $100 will be less robust than flat benches costing $150.

Determine also whether you intend to lift only dumbbells or barbells or both. If you're going to use a barbell you need upright stands to support it. And if you want to perform squats it may be worth finding a bench with higher uprights making it easy to replace the bar.

Decide also whether you want a leg curl attachment. In my experience leg attachments on multi-purpose benches tend to be fairly pathetic. They're awkward to use and rarely have enough room to add a decent amount of weight.

Other common attachments include the butterfly and preacher curl. The butterfly to me is an extra you can live without. Conventional flies with a set of dumbbells works your chest in exactly the same way and are probably more effective. Preacher curls are a great biceps exercise but there are so many other exercise you can do they're not worth the extra cost.

What is important to most weight lifters is an incline facility. It's particularly important for isolating the upper part of your chest muscles and if it inclines to 90 degrees it will support your back during overhead presses.