Flat or Adjustable Weight Bench? Make the Best Choice! – 2021

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Flat or Adjustable Weight Bench

“In the midst of an ordinary training day, I try to remind myself that I am preparing for the extraordinary.”

Shalane Flanagan

That is a quote from one of the best long distance marathon runners in the world – Shalane Flanagan. Not only was she the first woman to win the New York City Marathon since 1977 but she also holds an Olympic Gold as well.

I’m sure you’re wondering “How exactly does this help me choose between a flat or adjustable weight bench?”. It’s simple – you have to decide what your goals are and then work towards them in a seemingly mundane fashion everyday.

There are a lot of sales people out there that will attempt to sell you stuff that doesn’t really matter, or worse – equipment that you’ll never benefit from in the long term.

Luckily, the weight bench isn’t a super-niche piece of equipment. It can help you workout your core, chest, back and legs. And if you get really creative – you can even do whole body workouts!

But….there are two types of weight benches. Flat and adjustable.

Today, we’ll focus on what these two pieces of equipment can help you achieve.

Flat or Adjustable Weight Bench – Flat Weight Bench

A flat weight bench is like the ancestor to all gym equipment in a way, even the fanciest gym equipment has been inspired by the flat weight bench in some manner.

Flat or Adjustable Bench - Flat Bench
Flat or Adjustable Bench – Flat Bench

Need some examples for the types of exercises that you can do with the flat weight bench? Well, you can do:

  • Bulgarian Split Squat for your legs
  • Reverse Dumbbell Fly for your back
  • Barbell Bench Press for your chest
  • Straight Leg Raises for your core

Sound like a full body workout? You bet it does.

But that’s not all! The flat weight bench is kind of like a rock. You just have to make sure you wash it from time to time and it’ll get the job done. Since there are no moving parts, maintenance issues don’t really exist.

Furthermore, you won’t have to deal with the bumps that inevitably come up in adjustable weight benches – you’ll have nothing but a smooth flat surface.

Finally, there’s the central issue of any purchase decision: “How much does it cost?”. Luckily for you, flat weight benches start cheap.

With just $100, you can waltz in and out of a store in no time (or order one online!).

Here’s the thing though – that will only last a couple of years (fine if you’re just getting started).

If you’re looking to get the most bang for your buck then you really should be looking at the more higher end options. Not only are they going to be of higher quality but you’ll have to worry less about any potential maintenance issues.

Flat or Adjustable Weight Bench – Adjustable Weight Bench

If you’re looking for versatility, the adjustable weight bench does have an edge over the flat weight bench. That’s because you can control the degree to which the bench is set up, which means that you can target muscles that you can’t with a flat weight bench.

For example, lifting weights on a flat weight bench can help build your upper pecs but it’ll be much more difficult to build your lower ones.

For that, you’ll need the dependable adjustable weight bench on your side!

And it’s usefulness isn’t limited to your chest either.

With exercises like the bridge to ease your legs, the lat stretch for releasing the tension in your back, and seated ab crunches for your core you’ll be getting a total body workout in no time!

Seriously, check out all of these exercises!

Video Courtesy of Men’s Health on Youtube

Coming to the costs associated with the adjustable weight bench, they do tend to be a little higher than that of flat weight benches. This is because of the larger range of motion that they provide!

Naturally, this does translate into higher maintenance costs – but only when they occur (and that isn’t a common issue). As with flat weight benches, higher price ranges will get you better – not to mention longer lasting – quality.

But if you’re looking to just getting started, you can easily find one around $150 or so.

Flat or Adjustable Weight Bench – Additional Considerations

Alright, we’ve talked about each individual machine by taking a look at what they’re built for and how much they cost. But there are some grey areas that you should know about as well.

Let’s say that you’re recovering from a back injury.

If you’re thinking that hitting the chest press even with light weights is going to be easy – think again. With a flat bench, your back is going to take the brunt of your weight and the additional weights you carry.

However, with an adjustable weight bench, you can decide to focus solely on your arms without harming your back. Basically, you can ease into the tougher workouts instead of jolting your body into one.

Flat or Adjustable Bench - Adjustable Bench
Flat or Adjustable Bench – Adjustable Bench

A second scenario that you should consider is what is the reason you’re buying a weight bench in the first place. Both can provide benefits but flat weight benches are better for increasing raw power whereas adjustable weight benches can help you get that chiseled look since it can help you target muscles that the flat bench won’t.

Flat or Adjustable Weight Bench – For Beginners

Lastly, you need to think whether you’re a complete beginner or someone with experience when it comes to working out.

A complete beginner isn’t necessarily going to understand the nuances associated with creating a balanced workout – or understanding how to pick the right weights for a particular exercise. Experienced individuals however can actually get more bang for their buck since they won’t be limited to flat surfaces.

Final Words

Well, what do you think? Is the flat or adjustable weight bench more geared towards your needs?

Either way, make sure you have a spotter when you’re lifting heavier weights. Remember the wise words of Shalane Flanagan – it’s the consistent efforts that get you through the marathon of life!

Further Reading

What do you think? Did we help you decide between flat or adjustable weight bench? Check out these other great articles!

Want to Learn More About Aerobic Exercise?

Treadmill vs Stationary Bike – Which is superior?

Elliptical vs Treadmill – The cardio throwdown!

Ready to Start Building Your Home Gym?

Start Here! – Best Home Exercise Equipment For Beginners

Working out on a budget? – Best Home Gym Weight Benches Under $350

The original was a hit, check this new and improved bench!

All in One Solutions – 7 Best All in One Home Gyms

Interested in Some Anaerobic Exercise?

Front Squat vs Back Squat – Which is best?

Alternating Sets – Secret weapon in your fitness arsenal?

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