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FAQs about Weight Benches

by Wirnani Garner

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Woman lifting weights on a bench

Weight benches are standard fixtures bought and used in most home gyms. They are one of the most popular home gym machines on the market today. Your basic weight bench consists of a board that measures about 1 foot wide and about 3 feet long and is supported on metal legs. The board is padded for the comfort of the user. Most weight benches also include an affixed rack or stand on one end to hold weights.

Questions about Weight Benches:

  1. What should I look for when purchasing a weight bench?
    When purchasing a weight bench for your home gym, you should be looking at the bench's build, adjustability, ergonomics and durability. Make sure you weigh all these factors when selecting the one that is right for you. It's important that your weight bench is sturdy and not prone to tipping. The primary parts of your bench should be thick and made of metal so that they don't bend or break under extreme weight. As a rule, your bench should never tip, even when weight isn't evenly distributed over the top. Many exercises are performed on one side of the bench or involve using heavy weights on only one side of the bench, so stability is important.

  2. What equipment can I use with a weight bench?
    There are many pieces of equipment available for purchase that can be either attached to the bench or used while you sit or lay on the bench. The most commonly used accessories used with weight benches are barbells and dumbbells. Usually, large barbells are placed on a stand or rack at one end of the weight bench to add resistance during bench presses. These barbells are used to intensify workouts. Many models also are capable of accommodating attachments that are designed for one end of the weight bench and can be used to do leg curls and leg extensions. General bench extensions that can be attached to the bench in different positions are also available for some models. These hold the user in different positions when he is doing crunches, sit-ups and other specialized exercises.

  3. How large should the weight bench be?
    The size of the weight bench that you purchase will depend on what type of training program you choose. The heavier the weights you will be using when working out, the larger and sturdier the bench needs to be. For example, if you're only using a weight set of around 150 pounds, you can get away with a smaller model with only 2-inch-thick tubing. However, if you are looking at a weight set of 300 pounds or more, you may want to invest in something with thicker tubing that can support that much weight.

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