I wanted to write an in-depth review on the weight bench I purchased a month or so ago from Amazon.com, as I promised in a previous post. My wife and I both use this thing several times per week, and we are absolutely THRILLED with it.
One thing that surprised me was that it is actually A LOT more complicated than you would think it is buying a weight bench. So here goes the review:
Things To Avoid When Buying a Weight Bench
First let me cover the reason it is so difficult to buy a weight bench. It is because you want to purchase one that has all the features you need, while at the same time having good quality, good reviews, etc. One thing I learned early on is that there are certain things you definitely want to avoid, including:
- Low User Weight Limit–Don’t be fooled by these cheap benches. When you dig into the details, you can usually find out that most of them only have a 210 or 310 pound weight capacity. That may be fine if you are a 120 pound female who just wants to get in shape. But if you are a guy (or if you are overweight), then you will easily go beyond that weight limit soon. For goodness sakes, if you just weighed 200 and lifted 50 pounds in dumbbells (one on each arm), you would already be at the weight limit. So I knew I wanted something that could support the heavy poundages I may lift 5 years from now.
- No Barbell Catch Attached–Most simple weight benches have the part where you rest the barbell attached to the bench. The problem with this design is that if you ever move the bench to an incline or decline position, you often can’t reach the bar well, and it can interfere with your range of motion. So I knew I wanted an independent bench, so that later I can add a squat catch or power rack. This allows for a much better range of motion, and is a dream when using dumbbells.
- Incline/Decline/Flat Positioning–Some benches are only flat. Some have an incline, and some have a decline. You should opt for a bench with both incline, decline, and flat positions—BUT–you also want some different levels of “incline” in order to really get a good workout on certain body parts.
- Design–Obviously, if you are pushing heavy weights on a bench, you don’t exactly want it to break down. So you want good and tough metal design. You also want to make sure it doesn’t have some flimsy padding on the back, or else you will regret it when you start benching heavier weight.
- Leg Developer & Attachments–While I did NOT want a bench press catch, I did want a leg developer. This is always nice to hit those leg muscles after some squats, and I didn’t want to have to buy a separate machine for that.
Given all of the above requirements, I had a very difficult time finding the right bench. In fact, I probably researched and checked reviews for weeks until I finally made up my mind. So what did I choose (as if the title didn’t give it away)—The Best Fitness FID46 Incline/Decline/Flat Bench of course! Click here to check it out on Amazon.
FID46 Review: Best Fitness FID Weight Bench Review
So I finally stumbed upon the FID46 weight bench, and boy am I glad I did. It has everything I wanted exactly. Here are some of the awesome specs on this bench:
- Weight Capacity–1,000 pounds. Yeah, I’m not going to hit that in my lifetime! Due to the high weight limit, this is actually rated as a “commercial” bench. So don’t worry about every harming this bench–it is an absolute ARMY TANK.
- Warranty–Warranty isn’t really a big deal to me on something like a weight bench. But–they stand by their product with an incredible LIFETIME warrant. That sure beats the other pitiful benches I looked at that would say something like “1 year on parts.” Pfft.
- Padding/Design–The metal on this thing is THICK. It has both tubing and a few square metal parts–and it doesn’t feel like it is going anywhere anytime soon. Also, the padding is nearly 3 inches thick, and is supposed to last forever (probably not!).
- Leg Developer–This thing has a great leg developer (that works with either Olympic or Standard plates). It actually works REALLY well. Also, it has monster thick pads on it too, so it makes it more comfy.
- Excellent Reviews–The Amazon reviews were pretty much across the board good for this. I think it was 4 stars. The only complaints were silly (ie, it had a scratch when it arrived).
- Dimensions–28 by 31 by 75 inches (W x H x D). Also, this came in a flat black color, it was NOT gray like Amazon pictured. I was hoping it was black, and I was happy. By the way, a lot of people were wondering how high this is from the ground. I measured it—and it sits about 22 1/2 inches from the ground to the top of the pad when it is in the flat position. So there ya go!
My FID46 Review and Opinions
I love it. Pure and simple my wife and I both love it. It has helped me tremendously. Before I was doing bench press, flies, etc. on the floor. Now I have this bench, and I have noticed a big difference in my chest growth and it is much nicer doing it on a bench. Also, I am pushing up more weight every 2 weeks or so, which always feels nice (I hate it when I am stuck on a certain weight for months). Here is a break down on it:
The Pros of the FID46 Bench:
- Comfortable–Yes! The padding is definitely thick on this baby. So that is a huge plus. It is very comfortable.
- Leg Developer–Works great. Most weight benches have a terrible leg developer–this actually works nice. You can use a standard plate or olympic plate (although to use a standard plate you simply don’t bolt on the olympic chrome sleeve that it comes with).
- Sturdy–You betcha. It stays perfectly still, and shows no signs of weakness or instability.
- Directions–This thing was AWESOME. It had great assembly instructions that were clear and easy to read. Also, the hardware & screws were placed into different packages for each step, which made it go by really fast (ie, step 1 had a special package with the bolts for step 1 that corresponded to the written directions).
- Price–While I wished I could have gotten it for cheaper, I cannot complain because you get what you pay for with these, and Amazon’s regular price was nearly $400. For a commercial rated bench, you usually have to spend mid hundreds or almost a $1,000. I got this for $232 shipped straight to my front door via UPS. Not bad at all. Again, this is one thing where you really get what you pay for. This is a great deal considering the quality and rating of this bench. Also, considering this will probably last AT LEAST 20-30 years (or longer), that makes it about $8-12 per year, which isn’t bad at all, and sure beats a gym fee.
- Incline/Decline/Flat–It has a great flat position, has 1 decline position, and has several incline positions. It works great for me, and has enough positions that I feel I am getting a complete workout for sure. It goes up to almost 90 degree incline, and many in-between.
- No Problems with Assembly–No parts were missing, all the bolt holes lined up perfectly, and it arrived in one piece. Also, this thing was AMAZING at how it laid the directions out. It actually had a separate package for each of the screws for each section. For example, for step one, they had a ‘step one” package of screws. So that helped a lot. Also, the directions are very thick magazine paper, printed in high quality, and very easy to read. They did a great job making the directions so well organized.
- Handles Under Seat–It also has 2 sets of handles (at the front and back of the seat), which allow you to grip them when doing leg exercises. that is really useful, and that was a unique feature that I didn’t see on most other benches.
First let me say that I am 100% happy with this purchase. I have no real cons. There are a couple of things I could nit-pick, but they don’t bother me at all. I’ll go ahead and list them.
- Assembly time–It probably took me about 2-3 hours–BUT–I took breaks, helped me wife do a couple of things, etc. I also like to assemble things SLOWLY, because I have learned that if you don’t read the directions VERY carefully–then you usually find out 3 steps later that you messed up and have to disassemble everything. But this didn’t happen this time. It didn’t bother me at all, because I was prepared to spend some time assembling it. I turned on the radio and took breaks–no big deal at all. Again, everything is laid out nicely, so it makes it easy.
- Tools–It includes an allen wrench, however, I had to use a ratchet and wrench from my own tool box to get it up and running. No big deal at all, but I just thought I’d throw that out there.
- Scratches–There was like 2 small scratches on the metal part. Not a big deal at all. If I recall correctly, a couple of people were boohooing about it in the reviews. The bottom line is this: The thing is going to get scrached anyway if you actually use it–so get over it. That’ s my philosophy. Plus, it was the cheapest deal on the web I could find. So if it bothers you if a minor scratch is on it, then by all means get a $1 can of spray paint (or touch up brush on paint) at Walmart and fix it. Sheesh. It isn’t like it is going to be in a beauty contest.
- Height–Because this is so sturdy, it does sit a little higher than other benches. But–it isn’t a big deal at all. If it bothers you, you can rest your feet on the U-Bar on the lower frame (something I saw someone point out in the reviews). I am 6′ tall, and it works great for me. My wife is only 5’5″, and she has no trouble doing bench press at all. As an alternative, you can rest your legs on a leg developer bar if you wanted too. Again, a lot of people were wondering how high this is from the ground. I measured it—and it sits about 22 1/2 inches from the ground to the top of the pad in the flat position. So there ya go!
FID46 Bench Pictures
Here is a picture of it in the decline and flat positions. Oh, by the way, you noticed that in the picture I have an old black comforter folded in half to protect the flooring. I plan on moving this to the basement eventually, but I have to remodel it first (which I hope to do in the next 1-2 years).
Conclusion: FID46–Is it Worth it? Absolutely
If any of you are in the market shopping around for a bench, this one is amazing. It should work great with a power rack, or stand alone. I plan on getting a rack in the next year or two, but not for benching (only for squats maybe). I only use dumbbells for benching, because it works so much better.
This is a great bench, sturdy, heavy-duty, thick padding, and feels comfortable. My wife and I absolutely LOVE it. You can work your legs, chest, shoulders, abs, and just about a full body workout on this thing. So if you want a bench with the features I described, this may be your ticket. Again, Amazon has a great deal, and you can help support this site by buying through my referral link.
My wife and I have dropped almost 20 pounds each at this point. I am around 151, and actually building muscle–which feels great.
Quick Update on Hives
Hives are doing great still. I have been experimenting with diet, and I plan on starting another post series in a week or two on some of my experiments and some general food allergy issues I have discovered. But it will be a week or two. Sorry it takes so long, but as always I am trying to juggle 10 things at once. I hope some of you are getting relief from your hives.
The best advice I can give anyone suffering is this: Don’t stop. Keep trying things, keep tweaking your diet, get into shape if you can do it without suffering attacks, and remove any and all signs of inflammation from your life (whether it is inflammation caused by food allergies, visceral fat, environmental allergies, etc.). I think this has been the key for me by far.
Till next time,