3.0 out of 5 stars | It's a Love-Hate Relationship
Color: 00) Gray
I found this bench particularly hard to review as there are certain things I love about it, then there are some things I absolutely hate. I found it best to split the review into different categories and provide my ratings for each. Ease of Assembly If you enjoy putting together Ikea furniture you'll have no problem putting this bench together. Quality (5-stars) The quality of this bench is impeccable. It perfectly hits that comfortable sweet-spot where the padding is buttery soft but still firm enough that you have a solid foundation to workout on and don't feel like you're sinking into the bench. It is super sturdy, reliable, and the craftsmanship is flawless. There is no wobble or tilting on any incline setting. No manufacturer errors or cosmetic blemishes. I feel safe using this bench and that allows me to clear my mind of unnecessary worries and focus on my workout. Price & Customer Service (5-stars) That leads me to price. For $360 and free shipping, you'd be hard pressed to find a better quality bench. I combined Customer Service because, personally, when I consider the price of an item it goes beyond the actual item but also for the reliability of the brand's customer service. Whenever I have a question, they reply promptly via email (I received a response within 24 hours) and they typically ship within 1 business day from the time of purchase. I have bought several items from X-Mark (barbells, Olympic plates, bench, rubber mats) in the month of July and have always been more than happy for what I paid for. Packaging, while it may be the last thing on some people's minds, is always top notch. In the era of online shopping, this is a huge plus. As stated, all my purchases have been large or heavy and I have never received an item that was damaged. Their packaging almost ensures that the customer will receive their products undamaged. Functionality (2-stars) I found that while I do love the quality and enjoy how comfortable the bench is, it somewhat impractical. The problem comes from the idea that you can use this as a decline bench. When companies do this, they try to do too much and turn what should have been a home-run product into something not as great. The added decline function led to the front seat being extremely wide (16 inches at the widest point) so you can hook where your knees bend and designed the bench to be higher overall (19 inches from floor to top of the bench when laying flat) to compensate for the function of being able to position the backrest lower than flat (decline position). Side note: This problem is then compounded by the fact that when you do position it in decline, the end of the seat is angled and raised higher but the foot peg is in a fixed position. Meaning, unless you have extremely long legs, there is no way you will be able to have your feet hook onto the foot pegs comfortably if at all to hold you in place while you do your decline exercises. And when when you think about the number of decline exercises that can't be done to the same effectiveness as doing them flat or on an incline, the number of decline exercises is zero - making the decline feature unnecessary for my workouts. My wife on the other hand, may use the decline feature for barbell hip thrusts (to lay on starting from the floor) and that's it. The wideness of the seat is my biggest gripe and I actually do not look forward to my chest workouts because of this bench. It is a lot more difficult than it needs to be to get in and out of the bench because you can't just stand up and walk away like you would in a commercial gym where the seat is actually narrower as it gets to the end (the complete opposite of this bench). You kinda have to stand up and wide stance shuffle your way past the seat or just place the dumbbells on the seat and swing one leg over the bench and dumbbells to get out. On paper this doesn't seem too bad but imagine having to this before and after every set, which gets a lot more troublesome when you have larger/heavier weights. As someone who primarily uses the flat and incline features, it's just not practical and becomes very awkward. I don't like to drop the weights and I feel unsafe when I have to get out with heavier dumbbells while holding them. Lately I have just decided to place them on the bench seat (even during incline) and just swing my leg over to save the stress on my lower body joints. The added height is a minor issue, but an issue nonetheless since most benches are around 17.5 inches - 18 inches, this one being 19 inches. After a month of use there is still some awkwardness of not really knowing where is the best place to put my legs for different upper body exercises and I find myself alternating between the foot rest or the floor. Not the biggest issue but it definitely felt better when there was no question on where to put my legs and I could better drive from the floor for all my exercises. Lastly I also want to point out that the gap between the seat and the backrest is pretty massive. From the lowest point of the hinge joints to the highest point of the bench padding while laying flat is 2-1/4 inches. The hinge joint gap between the seat and the backrest is 2 inches. The indent (where the cushion of the backrest and seat slope down towards the joints) is a whopping 7 inches from end to end. When I am using this as a flat bench, I almost have to treat the back rest as a separate bench entirely so my hip doesn't sink into the area of the gap which would lead to my lower back curving. My concern for this as a preventative approach to future back or hip pains. I have been bodybuilding since I was 17 y/o and have not suffered any major pains or injuries in the past 13 years and have only become more conscientious of my body as I get older. Overall, I couldn't be happier with the quality of this bench and X-Mark as a reliable brand but the functionality and design of this bench leaves plenty of room for improvement. If this bench was designed without having to accommodate for decline feature, it would be a home run product. But from my experience, I can't recommend this bench if you're trying to replicate a long-term commercial gym setup for heavy weight exercises. With regards to availability due to COVID-19, X-Mark seems to have the most available equipment online compared to their competitors (Rogue, REP, etc.). That isn't to say that they are in the same league but it is simply a commentary on needing a solid product now versus waiting indefinitely. I am 5'8" and 175 lbs.
Reviewed in the United States on September 1, 2020 by ZerOxShadows
3.0 out of 5 stars | Just not right when using heavy weights
Color: 00) Gray
I can't recommend this bench. The reason I am giving it 3 stars and not less is that the third party seller let me return it. Also, like others have stated and the reason I initially bought it, it is sturdy. I have no doubt that it can hold a lot of weight. It did not wobble with initial use and all the bolts and weldings seemed very sturdy as well. I was looking for something well made and in that regard it fit the bill. There are two big negatives that should make you think twice about purchasing this bench. 1) Its height off the ground is too high and 2) The padding is too soft. For the former, when using incline the height makes you balance your feet on the thin, oddly placed, foot bar. Its just not a very good base for pressing heavy weight. Its also awkward getting heavier dumbbells into place in incline. I assume it is higher off the ground for decline, which is awkward as well because of the placement of the rubber foot bar. Its like they didn't consult anyone who uses even moderatley heavy dumbbells when designing it. For #2, the pad is just a little to soft. You shouldn't feel like your sinking in. Again, heavy weight problems. The real issue is it's a very well made bench that's uncormfortable or just not practicle. There are good benches out there that are less expensive and perfectly capable for those who use lighter weights.
Reviewed in the United States on October 8, 2017 by C Schott
5.0 out of 5 stars | Best pro level bench on the market, assembled in 45 min
Color: 00) Gray
The last bench you may ever need. Solid, comfortable, and easy to assemble. I am 6'2'' and 220 i bench between 315 to 385 and needed a bench that would handle the weight. i have tried a few from academy like the marcy, which is a good bench if your benching under 250 but when you get more weight on the bar that marcy just doesn't seem safe. There was was another marcy that i thought about buying but this one seemed to be put together better so i took a chance and bought it. ***review*** The bench took me 45 minutes to put together. after i un-boxed it i started the timer just to see how long it would take. i am mechanically inclined but this is not a jet engine its a weight bench. all the parts are professional quality, the welds are some of the best i have seen in the industry. the adjustability of both the seat and back rest are really nice, i have not tried the decline yet but i have with everything else, its not too wide for my shoulders as long as i keep my butt between the 2 seats.if i go up to high its a bit too wide for my shoulders which is a problem with my last bench. Its heavy but not too heavy, its made out of a much higher quality steel for structure and function. the wheels are nice to have more moving it around. i wish there was a way to lock the seat in place once you have chosen what eve degree you are going to use. It would also help when moving it around so you don't smash the crap out of your finger. the cushions are nice and solid, i hope the material they are made of lasts a long time. when i look at the price this cost and now that i have it and its all put together, i can honestly say its worth what they are charging for it. its definitely a $300 bench. I don't feel ripped off. install like this 1.open and unbox everything 2.leave nuts washers etc in package until you need them 3. move all trash out of the way, boxes, plastic etc 4. if you have a 18mm socket and a 16mm socket get them out and ready if not you can use the tools provided. 5. read the instructions about what parts to hand tighten and what parts to wrench tighten until its put together. 6. in the instructions is shows a bunch of other screw and bolts that are not included in the pre shrunk wrapping, don't worry they are already inserted into the bench where they are needed. 7. put the base together, watch your fingers 8.put the parts that hold the seats together and then attach the seats. 9. make sure the 2 top seat parts are even before fully tightening them down 10. watch for the little circular metal inserts that may fall out, you just slip them back into the bench assembly 11.when your done go back and maker sure to tighten it all down, the seat assembly doesnt need to be that tight, but the seats themselves do need to be tight. 12. get to work ****UPDATE******** 2/13/2020 FOOking tank of a Bench still going strong, use it 5-6 times a week, it has not torn or even come loose since i first put it together, the only thing is the little square things on the end caps fell out a long time ago.
Reviewed in the United States on June 6, 2017 by JFM