Buying a Bench Press
Within our new Covid-19 affected world, getting that home gym setup sorted is becoming more important than ever. As good as getting out and improving your cardiovascular endurance is, the benefits of improving muscular strength, endurance and power also need to be paid attention to. Luckily for you, this can be easily done with the purchase of a bench press setup, suited to your own home gym. Here at SportsPower Geelong, we realise investing in such equipment can be a big deal. Therefore, we have put together our guide to buying the bench press perfect for your home and fitness goals!
A bench press is ultimately the core piece of equipment for performing a range of exercises targeting different major muscle groups. Once sorting yourself out with a bench press, you have access to numerous different exercises regardless of your weight-lifting experience. However, it is pivotal that the bench to suit your needs is found, ensuring the right sized bench including necessary features are obtained. Key features of a bench press include a comfortable back rest, upright arms and safety cups. Often, the back rest can incline to different angles. This allows for different muscles to be targeted, enabling a bench press workout incorporating a variety of muscles rather than just the chest predominantly. Furthermore, the upright arms are able to be adjusted in height, providing the perfect height for your lift depending on the lengths of your arms. Some upright arms will also extend to heights which ultimately act as a squat rack, giving the chicken legs some work to do! Added features to benches can include butterfly wings, arm curl units (for the beach muscles) and leg curl units. The numerous added features allow for a variety of muscles to be explored when working out.
There is plenty to be considered when buying a bench press setup. The main priority when seeking a bench is to ensure it is stable enough to hold your weight, whilst also being the right size. Another consideration to keep in mind is the available room you have at home. These benches can take up large amounts of space, especially ones with additional features. However, some benches are able to be folded back up, serving as a much more compact and easier to store piece of equipment. Your budget is also something which needs to be taken into account for such a purchase. The pricing of a bench will usually reflect its additional features, as well as its quality of build. For individuals relatively inexperienced in terms of weightlifting, benches at the lower scale of the price range will likely be desired, as the build quality isn’t going to be as high on the agenda, based on the fact they won’t be lifting as much weight. It’s important to have a go at using a bench before making a purchase. This will allow you to get a sense of how it feels, as well as comparing it to other benches. Your feeling of stability and comfort should be the first priorities to tick off, whilst the height of the back rest should also allow for both feet to be flat on the ground when lying fully on your back. As mentioned earlier, the upright arm holders should also be at a height which can be reached by the user or be able to be adjusted to such a height. Also, the width of the arms should be observed. Having arms positioned too wide or narrow will cause uncomfortable gripping techniques of the barbell, potentially causing poor lifting technique. Some benches do offer features which allow for the arms to vary in terms of their width, allowing for people of different sizes to adapt to using such a bench.
Along with the bench press setup, a barbell is a must. The use of the barbell along with the bench press will allow exercises such as a chest press, incline chest press and barbell squats. Furthermore, the barbell can prove to be versatile in use for exercises external to the bench. Exercises such as barbell deadlifts, barbell RDLs, barbell shoulder press and bicep curls can be performed with the help of a trusty barbell. However, there are some features to consider when purchasing a barbell. Barbells can be either standard or Olympic sized. The differences are in their size and weight. An Olympic sized bar is 20kg and 2.2m whilst a standard bar typically weights from 8-12kg, with lengths varying. Furthermore, the diameter of an Olympic bar is 55mm, whereas for the standard bar it is 25mm. Due to this, weight plates must be purchased accordingly for the specific bar purchased. It’s essential to have that snug fit of the plates on the bar, allowing for maximum safety measures put into place whilst lifting. More experienced lifters panning on lifting high volumes of weight usually utilise Olympic sized bars, whereas a less experienced individual is more suited to using standard sized bars. This is mainly due to the Olympic sized bar having the ability to withstand greater amounts of weight. Another key aspect of owning a barbell is to ensure collars are purchased with the bar. These will ensure that weight plates are secured properly on the bar, leaving no risks of dropping weights. Check out some of our bars !
As mentioned previously, bench setups will come in many different shapes and sized, with varying features. Another thing to be aware of are some of the different brands available to purchase benches through. Some top brands include:
Hopefully this guide will help you in building that dream home gym, with the bench press at the core of the setup. Remember, find the bench suited for you. Consider its’s practicality and cost, the room available at home and finally your fitness goals in conjunction with your current weightlifting experience. And hey, before you know it, you’ll be throwing around iron like a prime Arnold Schwarzenegger!