Portable Weight Bench: Buying Guide
If you’re an experienced bodybuilder or just want to keep your abdomen flat, you certainly need your own weight bench. However, not all models on the market are really good. Some are too flimsy, made with low quality materials. In this buying guide we’ll explain everything you need to know to choose the best weight bench.
1. Type of exercises
Before choosing any model, you should know well the exercises you need to practice to obtain the desired results. Then carefully study the design and main functions of the weight bench.
Some models are versatile and let you vary the position of the backrest and the seat at your convenience. With these models, you can easily perform a wide variety of exercises. However, the options are reduced in the case of flat weight benches.
A flat weight bench is the cheapest and most basic option of all. If you don't have too much money and don't intend to perform too complex routines, this may be a good option for you. However they aren’t as comfortable as the adjustable models. Also, they can seriously affect your back when they aren’t used correctly.
2. Weight capacity
Another aspect that you need to consider before buying is the max weight capacity. This number determines the maximum load that the bench can support without collapsing. To determine the weight capacity you need, you should first know your own weight and the maximum weight you can lift.
Then, add both values. Finally, add 20% of the calculated value as a safety factor. That way, you have a little more freedom to exceed your weight limit without overloading your bench.
The resistance of the bench mainly depends on the material, thickness and quality of the welding. In these cases, commercial-grade steel is the material par excellence. It's highly resistant to impacts and doesn't deform so easily.
This type of steel tends to rust in too humid environments. In addition, direct contact with sweat tends to accelerate the corrosion process. So, in these cases, it’s convenient that the metal is protected from external agents to guarantee its durability. In these cases, a powder coating is the best option.
To guarantee stability and prevent bending, the steel should have a minimum thickness of 1.5 mm. So, any gauge less than 15 will provide the required amount of steel to withstand heavy loads.
Knowing the space available for installation will also help you choose the correct size. If space isn’t a problem, you’re free to choose any model you want. However, in the case of tight spaces, it’s better to choose something compact.
In these cases, a collapsible weight bench is the best choice. This kind of bench can reduce 80% of its size after being folded. In addition, it’s light and easy to store.
5. Ergonomic design
Above all, a weight bench should be ergonomic. This means that its design should adapt to the shape of your body. Make sure cushions are soft to provide comfortable support.
Also, the backrest should be longer than the total length from the base of your back to the tip of your head. The backrest should also be wide enough to support your shoulders.
Choosing the best upholstery goes beyond a matter of aesthetics and comfort. The durability of the backrest and the seat depends on choosing the best cover material. In these cases, synthetic leather and polyester aren’t the best options. Both materials tend to degrade with friction and direct contact with sweat.
Genuine leather is by far the best material in these cases. Leather is waterproof and resistant. It’s also easy to clean. In the case of weight benches, it’s recommended to choose a textured material to prevent accidental slipping.
Before choosing a certain model, you need to consider how much money you’re willing to spend. If your budget is less than $100, you may consider buying a flat weight bench.
However, if you want something more advanced, like an adjustable weight bench, you’ll have to pay much more. Usually, the cheapest ones don't cost less than $200. If you find something cheaper than that, it's probably a second-hand bench or a piece of trash.
If you aren’t an expert user and it’s the first time that you use a weight bench, it isn’t necessary to buy something too expensive.
Benefits of Portable Weight Benches
Certainly, having your own portable weight bench at home has many benefits. Below, you'll find a list with some of them:
Training on a weight bench helps you burn fat, eliminate toxins and improve your blood pressure. In addition, physical exercise helps tone your muscles and shape your figure.
Exercising stimulates the release of endorphins in your body. When this happens, you feel in a good mood and full of energy.
Weight lifting helps strengthen muscles and bones. Over time, you’ll be able to lift heavier loads with less effort.
The load application helps strengthen muscles and tendons. When the tendons are thicker and denser, there’s less risk of joint injuries.
It’s a fact that people who do physical exercise look younger than those who don’t. Exercising also improves the appearance of your skin because it improves tissue oxygenation.
Care & Maintenance Tips
- Clean the surface of the weight bench at least once a week. The abrasive particles in the powder tend to scratch the surface.
- Don’t use abrasive cleaning products or harsh chemicals to avoid damaging the surface. Also, harsh chemicals tend to damage upholstery.
- Lubricate the moving parts when necessary. Frictions tend to wear down the metal parts.
- Apply lanolin cleaners and Teflon lubricants on leather covers to keep the surface hydrated and shiny. Dried leather tends to crack with friction.
- Never exceed the maximum weight capacity of your bench to avoid damage to the frame and pins.
Tips for Beginners
If this is your first time using a weight bench, there are some tips that you should follow to prevent injuries and get the best results. Here's a list with some of them:
- Don't lift something too heavy
At first, start by lifting something light to condition your muscles. Then gradually increase the weight and the number of repetitions to gain muscle mass.
Maintaining a good breath will help make things easier. Exhale when you lift and inhale when you lower your arms.
Make sure to execute each exercise in the correct way. Maintaining a good posture will help you avoid injuries and get better results.
Training the same muscle group during two consecutive days isn’t recommended. Doing this increases the risk of injuries. It’s better to wait at least 2 days between workouts to let the muscles rest.
It's Time to Wrap Up
After reading this valuable information, you’re better prepared to choose the best portable weight-bench. Before making a decision, make sure to consider some important factors such as material, weight capacity and size. Also consider if the bench design is suitable for the type of exercises you're going to perform.
If this is your first time using a weight bench, make sure to follow each of our tips for beginners. That way you’ll avoid unnecessary injuries and you’ll get the best results. Also remember to do regular maintenance to your bench to extend its useful life.
1. How much weight should a beginner bench press?
Ans. In the case of beginners, it’s recommended to start with 30% to 50% of body weight. Over time, weight can progressively increase in 5-10 lbs portions.
2. What are the most popular workouts you can do with a bench?
Here's a list of the most popular exercises:
- Triceps extension
- Tilt dumbbell press
- Bulgarian split squats
- Bench squat jump
3. How long should a weight bench be?
Ans. The distance between the tip of the seat and the tip of the backrest should be at Least 47 inches to guarantee an optimal support. The backrest width should be 10-14 inches, depending on the proportions of your body.
4. Should I buy a flat bench or incline bench?
Ans. It all depends on the area of the body that you want to train. For example, if you want stress to be distributed evenly in the upper and lower parts of your body, you need a flat bench. On the other hand, an incline bench focuses stress on your upper body. This includes abdomen, chest, back, shoulders and arms.
5. How tall is a gym bench?
Ans. Usually, the standard height of a gym bench is 17-18 inches.