If you are looking for a reliable and sturdy adjustable workout bench, the Bowflex SelectTech 5.1 Adjustable Bench is a great option. The bench looks nearly identical to the Bowflex SelectTech 3.1 but has a few more positions.
The 5.1 weight bench is also heavier and this means you will always be stable when working out. The excellent stability and variety of back support positions make the Bowflex SelectTech 5.1 one of the most popular adjustable workout benches in the market.
In this review, I will provide an overview of the design of the bench as well as some features. I will then finish up by sampling reviews of customers who have bought the bench on Amazon. Let’s dive in.
Features of the Bowflex SelectTech 5.1 Bench
1. Design Features
Whether you are looking for a workout bench that can slide under a Smith machine bar for barbell workouts or want one that supports a wide range of dumbbell free weight exercises, the Bowflex SelectTech 5.1 Series Bench is an excellent choice.
The bench is made from solid steel frames that make it strong and stable. The solid frame design and raised base support ensure the bench does not wobble when you are doing sets or reps. The bench”s seat and backrest are also well padded to ensure comfort during workouts.
The seat design is modern and the padding contoured to provide better support for the legs than lower priced weight benches do. You can also adjust the seat and lock it into the position you want during workouts with a locking pin.
Like is the case with the Bowflex SelectTech 3.1, the 5.1 bench has separate head and back support options. With the two supports separated, they make the bench longer and hence suitable for taller people. The separation also creates more space around your shoulders, which will come in handy when you need to engage in various motion range exercises such as dumbbell flys.
The Bowflex SelectTech 5.1 adjustable workout bench has transport wheels at the bottom. When not in use, you can easily move it out of the way by holding the curved handle and pushing or pulling in the direction you want. The handle and the wheels also make it easy to roll the bench under a Smith machine or power cage for barbell workouts.
2. Positions and Exercise Options
The Bowflex SelectTech 5.1 is similar to the 3.1 model. The main difference between the two benches is with regards to seat positions and back support. The 5.1 bench has more seat and back support positions.
While the Bowflex SelectTech 3.1 only has the vertical, include, decline and flat positions, the 5.1 bench has two additional incline settings (30° and 60°). Another feature that differentiates the 5.1 workout bench from the 3.1 model is that the angle of its seat can be adjusted. The ability to adjust the seat is important if you plan on using the bench in decline position, for example for exercises such as decline crunches.
You can reduce back pain and hence enjoy your workout injury-free by increasing the angle of the seat. If you do not plan on doing decline exercise, you can remove the detachable leg support of the Bowflex SelectTech 5.1. The detachable leg support is meant to make you stable while performing decline exercises. You have to slide your calves behind it to ensure you don’t slide down the bench when the back support is in decline position.
3. Bench Angles
The Bowflex SelectTech 5.1 has six different positions. The bench can be adjusted at -17° decline, flat, 30°, 45°, 60° and the full 90°. These six positions allow you to engage in dozens of exercise to build all your body muscles.
When you are working out on incline on the 5.1 weight bench, you can adjust the seat to two different positions. Adjusting the seat will help you get the most out of your workout. Your workout will be more effective and efficient when you are better supported.
The inability to adjust the seat in the Bowflex SelectTech 3.1 is one of the complaints that many people have. The weight capacity of the Bowflex SelectTech 5.1 bench is 400lbs. This rating is enough for most bodybuilders.
The Bowflex 5.1 measures 56″x 26″x 20″, which is the same as the 3.1 bench. Therefore, the bench will take quite some space in your home gym. The bench is also heavy, weighing more than 66lbs. The good news is you can easily move it around during workouts thanks to the built-in wheels.
The dimension of the bench is nothing to worry about when you consider its sturdiness and weight rating of 400lbs.
4. Quality of Materials
The Bowflex SelectTech 5.1 is a heavy-duty bench that is built to last. The bench is made from commercial quality steel and durable upholstery. Cleaning the upholstery is also easy as you will only need to wipe it down after every use.
The padding is also sturdy and will not rip or tear easily. However, if you are working out every day, the padding is bound to get some wrinkles and make the bench look older that it really is. If you need additional support while doing decline position exercises, you can use the removable leg hold-down of the bench.
Some people do not like having the brace attached. They say the feel of it against them while working out is uncomfortable. Other people even feel the removable leg hold-down is a distraction to their workout.
The good thing is the leg is removable and hence it’s up to you to decide whether or not you need it attached to the bench. To remove the leg holder, you simply need to pop the pin holding it. The bench will still remain stable even after removing the leg holder.
Summary of Features of Bowflex 5.1 Bench
- Comes with a 30-year warranty for the steel frame and one-year warranty for the upholstery.
- The bench ensures you are in the correct posture and stabilizes your positions for safe muscle-building free-weight work out.
- There is an added removable leg hold-down you can use to increase support when working out on decline position.
- Has 6 different adjustment options, starting from 17 degrees up to 90°.
- Can be used in compact space to transform the area into a personal free weight fitness center.
Installation and Assembly
The Bowflex SelectTech 5.1 is shipped as parts and hence you will need to assemble it. Your shipment will include all the nuts and bolts needed to assemble the bench. After assembly, you can easily adjust the bench to different positions.
The Bowflex 5.1 comes with a 30-year warranty for the frame and one-year warranty for the upholstery. The long warranty is testimony of the sturdiness and durability of the bench.
Like is the case with the Bowflex 3.1, the 5.1 weight bench is highly rated on Amazon (click here to check the ratings). Over 200 customers have given the bench a 4 or 5 star review. There are different reasons why people are happy with the weight bench. I have summarized the reasons into the following points:
Pros of the Bowflex SelectTech 5.1 Adjustable Bench
- High quality , wipe clean vinyl upholstery
- Comfortable for various types of workouts
- Ideal for performing decline crunches
- The backrest pad is very supportive on your back
- Easy to switch to different positions
- Easy to assemble (will take you less than 20 minutes)
- Good width and length support and hence is also ideal for taller users.
Cons of the Bowflex SelectTech 5.1 Adjustable Bench
The Bowflex has very few cons, if any. These cons usually come down to personal preferences of the customer and can be easily avoided. Here are the major cons customers have indicated about the weight bench.
- There is a gap between the seat and backrest when the bench is in flat position. To avoid the inconvenience of the gap, some people put a small towel in between.
- Sometimes, moving the bench can be a challenge when the wheels lock up. To avoid this, you need to lift the bench slightly higher to make it sit properly on its wheels before you start moving it.
- If you lift weight every day, the padding is likely to get some wrinkles although it will not tear since it is made from durable, high quality vinyl.
- The bench is a little bit long. Short people may view the length as a problem.
- Sometimes, your shipment may not arrive with all the nuts and bolts. This usually happens but the good news is you can easily get the items shipped to you. Alternatively, you can simply buy them for a few dollars at your local hardware store to save time.
Generally, I will give the Bowflex SelectTech 5.1 4 out of 5 stars (see how customers on Amazon rate it). The main drawbacks I find with the bench are the gap between the bench and its long length that can frustrate customers that are shorter than 5 10”.
Bowflex SelectTech 5.1 Adjustable Bench Review Summary
While the Bowflex SelectTech 5.1 has a few design issues, it is a sturdy and reliable bench that is built to last. The adjustable bench offers a number of workout options, including a lot of different incline presses and decline work.
The price is very reasonable for a bench from such a trusted and reliable brand (check current price). The bench is also great for correcting posture and ensuring your stability during workouts. The Bowflex has great customer reviews on Amazon.
Majority of the customer give it either 4 or 5 stars for build quality, performance and price. With its 30 year guarantee, you should not have to buy any other bench when you have the Bowflex SelectTech 5.1 in your home or garage gym.
I highly recommend the Bowflex SelectTech 5.1 Adjustable Bench for anyone. Check the bench on Amazon.