Bowflex SelectTech Adjustable Bench Series
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- Adjust to 4 positions: decline, flat, 45 degree , 90 degree
- Built strong to last long with heavy duty commercial quality steel
- Removable leg hold down brace for added decline position support
- Corrects posture and stabilizes positioning for a safe, muscle building free weight workout
- Wheels away for easy storage; You can stow it almost anywhere
- 56 x 26 x 20 inches (LxWxH)
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From the manufacturer
Adjusts to four different positions for total versatility: 45°, 90°, flat, and decline.
|Bowflex 3.1 Adjustable Bench||Bowflex 5.1 Adjustable Bench||Bowflex 5.1S Stowable Bench|
|No. of Positions||4||6||6|
|Adjustable Seat Pan||✓||✓||✓|
|Leg Extension/ Curl||✓||✓||✓|
|Max User Weight||480 lb. / 217 kg.||480 lb. / 217 kg.||600 lb. / 272.16 kg.|
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Style Name: Bowflex 3.1 Bench
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If you have a 1” x 4” piece of lumber, a couple of wood screws and some glue, you can fix that. See the photos.
I made mine about 6” long. The length you use will determine the angle of the inclination. I was too lazy to actually pull out the protractor, but I think it’s pretty close.
It works for me; maybe it will work for you too — very stable and sturdy!
In the fully declined position with seat lifted, decline sit-ups feel just right with the ankle bar. The flat position is rock-solid when doing bench presses, and it's very nice to have several options for incline. The mechanism for raising/lowering the bench is a spring loaded "pull pin" type which allows the upright support arm to glide easily up and down the floor leg - no grinding or scraping sensations. Once your desired position is selected, you can allow the pin to pop in place which fully secures the back rest. Optionally, you can twist the same handle to lock the support arm and leg together to eliminate any play between them. The seat has two position options, flat of course, and then raised. In the raised position, it's high enough to fully prevent sliding down the seat when doing incline work but not so high as to be distracting. With the seat raised, it's also set at the same angle as the backrest when fully lowered, providing for a great base for decline work or for decline crunches/sit-ups. The seat mechanism is simple. Lift the seat up to lock it into the up position. Lift a small red lever to allow the seat to drop back down to the flat position. The rounded edge of the seat has plenty of flex to it, almost like I'm sitting down in my favorite recliner at first. I worry that this flex may lead to long term wear and tear issues, but without knowing the internal design of the cushion (no, I'm not tearing it apart) I have no evidence to suggest that my worries are true. The ankle holders are foam, not super soft, and they seem like they'll hold up for a good while - time will tell on both items.
The ankle holder folds up for storage, but the mechanism which allows it to fold up also allows for some free play. You can get it to rattle quite a bit and make some noise if you grab it and shake it, though good security of the mechanism is apparent, and I expect it to be very reliable.
The feet of the bench are adjustable, so if you don't have a perfectly flat floor, it will allow you to compensate. Some have indicated that the gap between the back rest and the seat is very wide. There is truth to that; the gap is 4" when the bench is fully flat and 2" at a 45 degree incline and raised seat. At a 90 degree incline, the back meets the seat. It would have been possible for Bowflex to eliminate this gap, but it would have required a much more complex mechanism resulting in either a higher cost or a lower quality product. To be honest, I find that my butt rests perfectly in the gap on a flat bench when my ankles are under the ankle supports which allows the back rest to provide support to the arch of my back, sort of like how a good car seat provides just that little bit of much needed support. Because the seat is roomy though, there is some space to move around a little bit, perhaps to locate the gap directly under the arch of my back, but there was no way that I could completely eliminate the feeling of the gap. The best that I could actually come to getting a "gapless" sensation was to actually lie on the bench backwards with my head on the seat and spanning the gap with my neck, though even that wasn't perfect. If you require a bench with minimal gap, definitely look elsewhere.
Beyond that, the quality of the material looks solid, and I'm not worried that I'll damage the upholstery. It also looks very sharp. Oh, when it's on the casters, it doesn't *quite* fit through a standard 30" doorway unless the door opens a full 180 degrees. The total width of those legs is probably 28 1/4" wide. If you can turn it and pick it up though, not a problem.
I'll update my post if any issues come up.
5/6/2020 (ISSUE): The wood in the lower seat cracked while doing seated military presses. Wow! what a piece of %#@#. My seat is now unstable and cannot support any weight. Not covered under warranty. DO NOT BUY.
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Cons: Overall the quality is okay but felt a bit more "sloppy" than I expected from a brand-name company like Bowflex.
- As some mentioned, there seems to be some quality control issues with the welds. There are 2 metal beams supporting the bottom seat cushion, and on my unit one of them weren't welded properly so it slanted inwards slightly (they're supposed to be parallel); as a result I was only able to get 3 of the 4 screws in to secure the seat cushion. These issues are just luck of the draw, but judging by the number of other reviews bringing it up, it really does seem like they need to put more effort into quality control.
- The seat and faux leather wrapping feels cheap and didn't give me the impression they'd last long past the 1-year upholstery warranty.
- In case it matters for some people, the package came unsealed with only plastic bands keeping the box closed, which seems a bit unusual, but there wasn't any damage and all the parts were there.
The padded bench is actually better than my 5.1 because it's all 1 piece, my 5.1 has the head part a bit separated which serves no purpose and can get in way when doing bench dips.
Great bench for the price. It's a real Bowflex, not a knock off!
There's a large gap between the seat and the backing when in the flat position, but as long as you position your butt correctly before laying down it's unnoticeable.
When building it I chose to flip the front feet 180° so you don't run the risk of rolling your ankle on the outward facing feet they designed it to have. No difference in terms of stability either.
I find the bench comfortable and stable.
The two bolts at your feet that you assemble need to be tightened to the point that the main frame steel grips the square tube foot. It takes some torque but will remove all the wobble. I also used red thread glue on all bolts. There are rubber feet to adjust level at all 4 corners.
I find the back length plenty long enough to support my head.
I cut a small wood block to get more angles out of the adjustment steps for the back piece.
I would recommend this bench for substantial home use.
This is probably the best bench before going to a true commercial bench.
It has three height settings and for most will get the job done. At $200 CAD, it is a fair product you will not be dissapointed with.
The only issue with this model is the incline is far to upright. It is too upright to do incline dumbbell press or to perform bench dumbbell rows. There is a model which has 5 height settings, however it comes with a higher price tag.
This bench will suit most people's needs, but if you are looking into investing in a permanent at home gym- skip this one.
Easily assembled in 20 minutes, but you will need a wrench to hold the nuts in place (not included). The instructions say that you and the weights should be less than 480lbs.
There is another one that has more positions for adjustment, but for the $200 savings on this one, I use a wood block to make additional adjustments for back height.
Overall: For general home use this is great. If i could, I would purchase something a bit better as it will last a LONG time, so spend $ and buy something good.
-Good for home use
-Does what it's intended for in a decent manner, could be better
-The seat screws will become loose, you have to tighten them every now and then
-The gap between the seat and the back part is too great, if you go on decline position the gap is too big, if you have long knees it will be problematic as your buttock and lower back will be near the gap which has no padding
-I've found the seat and back rest to be a bit wide, reducing activation of stabilizer muscles