Flat Utility Benches
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This review of the Rep FB-5000 Flat Bench is done by our friend, Brandon Campbell Diamond. You can subscribe to him on YouTube here.
In this review, I want to talk about what I think is one of the best flat benches on the market, which is the Rep Fitness FB-5000 Competition Flat Bench. Not only is it a great performing bench, it has a very low entry-level cost of $149 and if that's not enough for you, it's comfortable to sit on between sets. I'm going to talk a little bit about specs, but I don't want to harp on those just because specs don't always tell the whole story in terms of performance, but I will say that this does meet IPF powerlifting competition standards. What that means for you is the pad itself is 17 inches off the ground.
In addition to the proper height, it's 12 inches wide and 48 inches long. It can handle up to a thousand pounds (supposedly, it can likely handle much more), which is more than I would ever need and the unit weighs over 60 pounds, which is pretty impressive because my own unit doesn't even weigh that much (cue the drums.) Now that being said, it is a competition style bench and some of the design actually carried over into that as well. So if you take a look at the front, it has a single post design, which is great, especially when you're setting up your feet. Traditionally speaking with a lot of the competition from let's say Rogue Fitness or Titan Fitness as well as other manufacturers, they would often have a flat foot design in the front. I always tend to hit my feet on those. In fact, I mentioned that in my Strength Shop Flat Bench review. I don't like that. I don't like having to set up around the bench, number one, because it's annoying.
And, number two is because when you go to competition, that's not going to be the case where that is there; they all have a single post designs and that's another huge win for me. The fact that you can train on something that's very similar to what you'll see in a powerlifting competition makes a big difference. Because, in my previous commercial gym days, I trained on benches that were higher or lower, thinner or wider, whatever the case may be, and then going to compete and the bench is different. I'm used to training a certain way on a certain style bench with certain dimensions and if the dimensions are vastly different or even an inch because an inch does make a big difference despite what people may have told you, it can definitely throw you off. So I like to be able to practice how I play, so to say.
This makes a big difference for me and I really like to see that they carried it over this single post design in the front. I also mentioned before that this thing weighs over 60 pounds. That being said though, there's a handle and two wheels on the back so you can easily pull it in or pull it out on the rack of your choice. It's moved around very easily, which is nice. Speaking of the frame itself, it's heavy-duty and that's because it's 3"x3" 11-gauge steel, the same kind that's actually on the uprights of my Rogue Monster Lite Rack. Again, that's really nice to see. As oftentimes you'll see companies go with a lesser gauge steel or 2.5"x2.5" design, so 3"x3" 11-gauge steel. That's a win for me.
Another big thing for me is the way that the frame mounts to the pad. There are four mounting points and they're actually jutted out so you get some real good stability with the pad. For example, if you take a look at the Titan Fitness Flat Bench, there are only two mounting points and they're right in the center of the bench, similar to what the Strength Shop Bench had. I found that that leads the pad and the bench itself to be pretty unstable and a little bit wobbly, if you will, and I'm definitely not a fan of that. So, I'm glad to see that that's not the case here with this Rep Fitness FB-5000 Bench. Speaking of the pad, there's a couple of different ways to mount it depending on where you want it. The pad itself is 4 inches thick, so it's considered a fat pad or a fat bench similar to the Rogue Thompson Fat Pad.
Despite being thicker, the padding itself is pretty firm, not on the same firmness as you would get with Rogue for example, but again, given the price of this bench, which is $149, I don't think you'll have any complaints about it. The vinyl on it is also a very grippy, hence the competition specs and competition type grip. That's nice to see. I believe when Rep first released this, they had some complaints that the vinyl wasn't as grippy as it should be. So they re-released it and upped it. I've gotta say it's really nice and allows you to dig your shoulder blades into the pad when pressing.
Overall this bench is phenomenal as is. So for $149 you get a lot. One of the great benefits about Rep Fitness and this particular benches, they also offer an alternative if you want a wider pad, which I do have and that's actually the one that's mounted on here right now. It has the same general specs except it's 14" wide. It's very similar to what you might find with a Rogue Thompson Fat Pad, as previously stated, so a little bit more room for your shoulders. However, you could also use the standard pad as well, depending on what you want. And, the nice thing about this particular wider pad is that it's only a $50 upgrade and you can buy it whenever you want as opposed to let's say the Rogue Thompson Fat Pad which retails for $155 I think this one is a no brainer, especially if you want to get into it and not really sure if it's worth the investment.
It's a good idea to go with the Rep Fitness one just because again, the price point is so much lower. Another big benefit of going with the Rep Fitness design is they specifically designed this frame to accommodate a fat pad. Traditionally with Rogue, who didn't initially have anything designed for the Fat Pad, you'd have then a bench that was like 18 inches or taller. They have since released the Rogue Monster Bench 2.0, but it's much more expensive. So, it's really nice to see Rep Fitness kind of take some things into consideration in their design and put out a bench that's not only to spec, but it also performs very well with a very low entry cost.
Of course, the FB-5000 isn't perfect. Number one, even though I really liked the single post design, if you're sitting on the end, you do get a little bit of instability. Rep actually addresses this on their website though and says this is normal and I can vouch that if you're laying on the bench and using it to bench press, you don't notice that because you're getting equal points of pressure across the whole bench itself. The padding, as I mentioned, it's not overly firm. It's not overly soft, but I think it could be a little bit firmer. Lastly, the vinyl seems just a little bit looser than I would like. I think they could've done a better job fitting the vinyl to the pad. But other than that, I don't really have any complaints. The Rep FB-5000 is one of the best flat weight benches on the market and I highly recommend it.
The Rep Fitness Competition Flat Bench is designed to handle the heaviest weights, and has compatibility with the Rep Fitness Wide Pad or the Thompson Fat Pad (with 4-bolt mounting pattern, please check yours) for those seeking an extra-wide pad.
A heavy-duty bench for big lifts.
Why a 3-Post Flat Bench? Nothing in the way of your feet, at powerlifting competition spec height, and rated to 1,000 lbs at an incredible price.
3x3" 11-Gauge Steel
17" high (top of pad), 48" long (pad), 12" wide (pad)
Handle & Wheels for Transportation
30 days on pads, 10 years on frame