Flat or adjustable weight bench, which one do you want to choose?

Flat or adjustable weight bench, which one do you want to choose?

Although many exercise benches may look similar, different types of designs may or may not be suitable for your training needs. Weightlifting benches generally fall into four main categories: flat, incline, FID (flat, incline, decline), adjustable, and folding.

Therefore, it is necessary to understand the differences between different types of weightlifting benches in order to choose the right weightlifting bench for your training needs. In addition to the different features offered on weight benches, they also vary widely in price and quality.

Should I Buy a Flat Stool or an Inclined Stool?
flat exercise bench

Flat benches are the most basic of weight bench designs, which usually means they cost the least, but are usually very strong and require the least amount of assembly. Traditional slab benches can be delivered integrally with the frame, meaning few maintenance parts are required, or come in a bolted-on design. They will follow a simplistic design, with a horizontal bench pad platform resting on support legs that cannot be adjusted. However, more advanced flat benches will include additional features such as handles and wheels for easy transport, as these benches can be heavier.

Another important consideration is the design of the bench. A typical flat bench has a traditional four-post design, while a competition weightlifting bench has a three-post design to ensure clearance around the foot positioning area. Additionally, some manufacturers will upgrade flat stools with wider and thicker pads, which can provide extra comfort, reduce injury and optimize user positioning.

If you want to do basic strength exercises and don't want to break the bank, a flat bench allows you to perform key movements such as bench presses, flyes, or shoulder presses in a standing, sitting, or lying position. Overall, flat benches do the bare minimum you need for strength training.

Adjustable Weight Training Bench

Adjustable weight benches offer more versatility than flat benches, allowing for better training space and great workout variety. Some adjustable bench designs only offer flat and reclined positions, while others are fully adjustable to the FID (flat, incline, decline) position. As the name suggests, these benches can be used as flat benches and offer both incline and decline positioning settings. There are also FI (flat, incline) benches available; however, if you are looking for a full range of motion, you will need an FID bench.

FID Weightlifting Platform
Essentially, the sloped setting moves the back pad up about 80/90 degrees from the flat setting, while the sloped setting lowers the bench pad towards the floor to about -15/-20 degrees. Additionally, the rear base frame of the adjustable bench will have a step mechanism that will allow you to adjust the height and angle of the mat before training. The decline setup is most commonly found on commercial weight benches and may have leg extension add-ons.
There are obvious advantages to having a bench that can be tilted and lowered, but mainly it gives you more options when exercising. By adjusting the position of your body on the bench, you can target different muscle groups in a number of ways. Training from different angles means you can change the direction of weight movement, which will activate and target different muscle areas.

folding weight bench

One of the most popular options for small home gyms, folding weight benches are perfect for storage and take up the least amount of training space when not in use. These benches can be folded down into a compact form and stored in a cupboard, under a sofa or hung on the wall, perfect for those who have no room to spare.

Folding benches are generally lighter in weight than traditional benches and can be moved more easily. However, this may mean they are less structurally strong, so it is important to be aware of any weight restrictions that may exist. They also vary in adjustability and comfort, so it's well worth buying a well-designed one.