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PowerBlock Sport Bench
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- Separate seat and back pad adjustment
- 5 position back pad adjustment
- Optional dip attachment available
- 550 LB weight capacity
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This PowerBlock Sport Weight Bench adjusts to five positions, including military, flat, and varying degrees. This weight bench is built durable of heavy-gauge steel and holds up 550 pounds. It sports a padded top with easy-clean black vinyl. Additional Information:Adjustments: flat, military, 30-, 45-, and 60-degree Built-in wheels for easy mobility Built-in handle 16-in. from pad to floor in flat position Flat position: 50L in. 21-in. at widest part of back leg Dimensions: 50L x 21W x 16H in.. 14-gauge 2x3 steel tubing. Padded top with black vinyl. Weight capacity: 550 lbs.. 5-position adjust.
Take your PowerBlock dumbbell workouts to the next level with the sturdy Sport Bench. Made of 2-by-3-inch, 14-gauge tubing, the bench is sturdy and versatile, with a five-position backrest that varies from flat to military position (with 30-, 45-, and 60-degree adjustments in between). In addition, you can adjust the seat pad downward when in the incline positions, ensuring that you won't slip forward while lifting. Best of all, the separate seat and back pads offer tapered upholstered cushions, helping you sit comfortably while performing bicep curls, shoulder presses, dumbbell chest presses, or leg lifts. The bench--which offers no removable parts and comes mostly assembled--measures 50 by 18 by 21.5 inches (W x H x D) when flat.
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I knew about this bench because I have the PowerBlock U-90 dumbbells which are simply excellent. This bench has a lot of nice features that got my attention. It's nice and low at 16". The bottom pad doesn't raise up in front, it drops down in back to ensure all users will have their feet firmly planted on the floor when doing incline exercises. The gap between the bottom pad and back pad when flat is just 1.5", half of what the gap on my Hoist was. The selling point for me though was the chin and dip attachments. I don't need them now as I have a power rack, but I may need them at some point to take back some space. The wheels on the back and handle make it simple to move around. And finally the lack of front legs and accessory attachment points means there is nothing to trip over or interfere with foot placement.
It can decline a bit, but it's really not made for that. This is first and foremost a dumbbell bench, and since doing declines with dumbbells is not really practical I don't consider it a flaw. EVERY bench has design compromises, especially in this price range.
Assembly should have been easy, as it just involves attaching the rear foot with two 17mm bolts. Unfortunately mine didn't fit very well and I had to use a mallet and quite a bit of force to get the bolt holes to line up.
Once set up I found it to be quite comfortable, but being 6'3" it's much shorter than I would like when doing incline due to the dropped bottom seat being about 13" off the floor. The good part of this is it is low enough for me to pick up and set down the dumbbells on the floor while remaining seated. The back pad is sturdy and adjusting incline is easy.
Overall stability of the frame is good, but I can see why some people may complain. There are no rubber or plastic "feet" on the front or rear, it's just the metal on the ground, and it's a couple inches too narrow. This leads to a couple issues. On soft carpet or unlevel surfaces it won't be as stable because the rear brace is completely flat. A foot on each end would allow for some tolerance of unlevel floors and sink down into carpet better. It also slides around more than it should and could scratch hard surfaces. I've never seen another bench without some sort of feet on the bottom, so it's pretty puzzling as to why they wouldn't put something on there. Another issue with stabilty could come from the wheels. I have seen some people put the rear brace on upside down, so the wheels are supporting the bench, which will also affect stability. It should be assembled so the wheels don't touch the ground until you lift up the front.
I don't have an issue with the stability of the frame or the back. I tested this by doing a few awkward dips just holding on to the back of the inclined bench and lifting myself up. It's not rock solid, nor would I expect it to be given the design and price, but I found it to be plenty stable to do the job so I think the dip and chin attachment would work fine for me.
My local fitness store recently had this bench set up with the dip attachment and I tried it out. As expected it is not rock solid, but it is not unstable either. I had to swing myself pretty aggressively to tip the bench. I am not sure how the pullup attachment would be, but the dip attachment works fine.
I wonder if people complaining about stability aren't able to do dips using good form to begin with? Regardless, keep in mind you can buy a power tower for the cost of the chin and dip attachments that will work better and save the hassle of changing them out.
What I do have an issue with is the stability of the bottom seat. You can see in the pictures on each side of the frame it is sheetmetal supporting that pad. Well, there is no crossbracing or other support other than that thin metal and it flexes in a twisting motion a fair amount. The front hinge is also a bit on the loose side. This isn't really an issue when doing flat bench, but it is annoying when doing incline. Thankfully it's low enough that your feet are firmly on the ground. Even in this price range I find this to be an inexusable flaw. It's not terrible and I wouldn't call it wobbly, but there is more movement than there should be.
Powerblock sells a "Pro" bench, which appears to be identical to this one with one-piece foam rubber pads. I don't think that would be worth the extra money unless there are other upgrades they don't list in the specs. Older models also had this pad design. If you like this design but want something more commercial quality, they also sell a "Serious Lifting" bench which would appear to address my main concerns, although at a very high $700 price and it doesn't appear to have the dip/chin attachment ability. That one is made in the USA, which is nice to see. This one is of course made in China. Pro-Elite and Rogue Fitness also sell heavy duty benches of a similar design for $400-$600. You get what you pay for, but the SportBench should meet most people's needs.
All in all, if not for sharing with my wife, I probably would have bought the Ironmaster Superbench instead for a bit more money. I realized this SportBench is not going to measure up to my old Hoist in terms of build quality, seeing as how that bench cost $500 over ten years ago. I don't know if you'd be able find a bench that is necessarily better at this price point, as like I mentioned they all have compromises of some sort. Still, I expected better from PowerBlock. This is an OK bench that is ideal for shorter people and worth the asking price.
1) The weight bench sustains up to 550lbs of weight. I had to call Powerblock to confirm this since it does not say otherwise.
2) Seat cushions are very comfortable and the leather seems like it will not easily crack or tear during the life of the bench.
3) Plenty of incline to flat choices.
4) Bottom seat adjusts down to support your body when doing upright and inclines.
5) Metal base is VERY strong, yet easily picked up to move without needing the extra handle and wheel kit ($60).
6) Adding the dip attachment is a nice feature, but there is a negative side to this in the con list. ($70)
7) Backrest is very wide and should support a wide range of body types.
8) Only assembly required is to attach the rear bottom support bar which will take you less than 5 minutes with a socket wrench.
1) The bottom portion of the seat has a slight wobble because the tilt feature is nothing more than a pin that slides back to lower the seat down.
2) The backrest does give a little left to right movement because of how the bar does not lock into place. Dont worry, because of the construction it would never pop out of place during workouts.
3) No decline option. I would never use it, but it was a little surprised for the price you did not have the option.
4) Dip attachment has more wobble than i would like. The dip attachment holds up to 250lb (Impressive), but it does have almost irritating wobble when using it. Although, it does force you to use more muscle to stabalize yourself. I would complain more, but I got the attachment for $15 on eBay!
5) Overall stability. This is the main reason why i did not give a perfect 5 stars. The bottom back bar is wide enough, but i just wish the front would have been the same width. I'm confident this will not affect your workout saftey, I just normally use the benches at the gym that are bolted to the floor and feel solid as a rock. Also, I'm using it on carpet and it would probably be better on harder floors.
This is an excellent quality bench for the price and the top notch brand name like Powerblock. I wanted to give this 5 stars (I love Powerblock), but i would have liked a little more stability with a wider front base. It is also notable that you can not have the bottom seat flat with the backrest in a complete 90 degree upright position. When you are upright the bottom seat still has to be at the tilted position. This is still very comfortable and probably safer, that is why this was not included into the cons list.
Final word: I do not regret this purchase, and I would probably order it again if given the change. Every bench in this price range will have a few little quirks, but I still wouldnt hesistate to recommend this bench to any of my friends!
UPDATE 4/15/09: I have moved the bench from carpet to hard laminate floor with a mat and the stabilty is a ton better! However, i have noticed when you have the bench in the flat position it is actualy slightly declined.