Buying a weight training bench can be a cost effective way to keep in shape. It removes the need for a costly gym membership or large investment in a home gym set up but still gives you a near complete workout. A weight training bench can provide you with a number of workout opportunities and will not take up vast amounts of space. There are a number of things to bear in mind when purchasing one.
Firstly, don’t even think about looking at a Smith machine model. They bars limit your motion, forcing you into unnatural movements that do not promote proper muscle growth, particularly for bench pressing or squatting. Any sports professional or gym goer should tell you to steer well clear.
Next, consider what you plan to use the bench for. A standard flat weight training bench is likely to be fine if you’re just starting out. You’ll be able to use dumbbells to do bench press, and you could use it for tricep dips and such like. You may want to think about investing in a bench that can be manoeuvred into sitting positions. This way you’ll be able to do dumbbell shoulder press and incline bench press as well.
Look into buying a weight rack for your weight training bench so you can use a barbell for your bench and shoulder press. Bodybuilders swear by a barbell; claiming it is far more effective than using dumbbells as you can really rack up the weight. It’s worth investing in a bar that you’ve tested or at least seen. Find one that you’re comfortable with as you’ll be using it over and over again.
Once you’ve invested in the bench, you’ll need to buy the weights. Make sure you allow for growth and an increase in strength. There’s no sense in only buying a set of weights you can lift now as once you’ve gotten stronger, you won’t be able to push yourself any further. You’ll need to buy plates for your barbell and dumbbells if you wish to use them too. Don’t bother investing in the more expensive weights; just look at how much they actually weigh. There’s little sense in paying more for a brand name in this department.
Look to see how much weight your bench can take before purchasing it, most will come with a guide, and be sure you have room to fit it in. Another thing to look for is the feet; are they non stick or will they shred up your floor?
In short, look for an adjustable bench that can take the amount of weight you want to be lifting. Invest in a good bar but don’t splash out too much on the weights. Consider buying a weights rack but make sure you’ve got room for whatever you buy!