What is the Best Olympic Weight Bench?
It’s Monday, and you’ve decided to hit the gym for chest day, only to find out that pretty much every other person who works out also had the same idea.
I don’t know what it is, but really, everyone picks Mondays for chest days, and you’re out of luck if you want a bench.
Do you feel my pain? This is one of the main reasons that I decided to invest in my own home gym, as nothing is as frustrating as not being able to work out like you want.
A standard piece of equipment in the home gym is, of course, a weight bench. But not all weight benches are created equally, and the stand-out choice for heavy lifters is the Olympic weight bench.
If you have been frequenting the gym, then the benches you’ve been exposed to are likely Olympic style, since they hold the most weight and provide the most options for use.
But, if you’ve been shopping for home gym equipment, then you’ve probably stumbled across one or two or thirty standard weight benches.
Why? They are smaller, cheaper, and easier to store; all of those can be major pros depending on your space available, budget, and needs. So why would you choose an Olympic bench over one of these benches that are smaller, cheaper and easier to store? Well, it all comes down to what it can offer you...
The Pros and Cons of Olympic Weight Benches
If you're trying to decide between a standard weight bench and the usually pricier Olympic weight bench, there are a few things you should know to help you make your decision.
- Can grow with you
Let’s start with durability. The Olympic bench is typically constructed from high-grade composite steel that can handle the stress of very heavy weight, whereas the standard bench is usually thin tubing that is made from composite alloy or aluminum, minimizing their capacity for heavy lifting.
What this translates to is that if you’re a serious heavy lifter, you’ll quickly become frustrated and outgrow the standard weight bench.
On the other hand, if you are a beginner who doesn’t plan to go for heavy sets, then you can happily achieve general conditioning and casual use with the standard bench.
- Designed to comfortably support you
Another key difference related to the bench construction is the amount of padding; since Olympic benches are designed for heavier weight loads, the padding is often thicker in order to provide extra support.
- Able to take on bigger, greater weights
Finally, there is a difference in the bar that comes with each bench; the standard bench’s bar weighs only about 25 pounds, five feet long, and is smaller in diameter and length, whereas an Olympic bench’s bar is 45 pounds, seven feet long, and as most are accustomed to in fitness centers, has a wider diameter for heavier weights.
The bottom line is that the heavier you plan to lift, the more you will need to invest in a strong quality bench.
- Takes up space
The major downside of the Olympic bench is the amount of space that it requires, as well as its bulkiness. It is not a piece of equipment that you can easily store or move, so ensure you have enough space in your home gym before buying.
Best Olympic Weight Bench Reviews
There are a whole lot of weight benches out there but why pick through the riffraff when you can choose from the best?
To help you get started finding the perfect Olympic bench for your needs, here are reviews of the top 3 Olympic benches on the market!
Best Olympic weight bench
At $549, this Ironman Olympic Weight Bench is the grandmaster of Olympic benches, thanks to its extreme versatility and high quality; in fact, this bench could pretty easily replace all of your other home gym equipment and serve as an all-in-one center.
It also comes with a manufacturer’s lifetime warranty, so you know you are making a solid investment in a piece of equipment that will last a lifetime.
Wondering about the weight capacity? It’s 1500 pounds, so you probably won’t outgrow it unless you are a serious competition lifter!
This bench can easily be transformed into the ultimate home gym, as it features 24 unique exercise options that challenge major muscle groups or isolate specific muscles as needed. The adjustable backrest can move into 9 different positions: 1 decline, 1 flat, and 7 incline positions.
We can’t leave without mentioning the detachable leg hold-down; it helps you whittle the middle as it provides you the framework to perform crunches and sit-ups for a challenging core workout.
This Olympic bench is constructed with a 2 x 3inch steel-tube frame, so you can feel comfortable in its stability. One thing you definitely need to know before buying - and maybe pull out your measuring tape - it’s pretty big and requires a significant amount of floor space (79”L x 67”W x 66”H). On a positive note, this bench could be the only piece of equipment that you need to buy since it provides so much versatility.
Finally, you may be intimidated when you think of assembling such a big piece of equipment, but fret not - it’s actually very easy to put together and includes a detailed how-to guide that will walk you through it from start to finish.
Most affordable Olympic weight bench
Coming in at a much cheaper price point of $180, this is an excellent value Olympic bench for those who do not plan to go beyond the listed 300 pound user weight capacity + 300 pound weight capacity (total 600 pounds maximum).
The lower weight capacity can be attributed to its size and feature versatility, as the dimensions for this bench are 65.75L x 65.50W x 64.50H inches.
Despite not having as many options as the aforementioned Ironman bench, the MarcyDiamond is designed to exercise most major muscle groups, as it comes outfitted with its uniquely independent utility bench and barbell crutches; this means that you can utilize the bench as a squat and lunge rack, or you can use it in isolation for preacher curls or lower leg development.
The back pad adjusts to five different positions and offers comfortability thanks to its contoured foam roller pads. It is user recommended that you keep plates on the holder racks at all times in order to feel the maximum stability, especially for heavier lifts. It is easy to assemble and is best suited for fitness hobbyists and those pursuing general conditioning needs, especially thanks to its lower price tag.
Most versatile Olympic weight bench for the money
The mid-range model: it will cost you $229, but you get a much higher weight capacity at 400 pounds weights + 300 pound user weight (total 700 pounds). It’s also versatile; the bench can be used in flat, decline, or incline position, and it comes with leg lift, lat tower, and preacher curl attachments.
Additionally, there is a built-in squat rack in the rear, and your purchase includes three Olympic weight plate adapters and spring clips. Despite being a lower cost than the Ironman, this bench is also constructed with a heavy-duty three-inch steel frame to ensure stability and longevity.
The dimensions are as follows: 88W x 83H x 60D inches, and it includes a one-year frame warranty. This bench set is slightly more difficult to assemble, but you can purchase the assembly for an additional $100-ish.