Bowflex SelecTech 3.1 is a great mid-range bench aimed at the beginner/intermediate weight lifter. It’s a nice looking well-made stable bench if you can get hold of it for under a $120 new then it’s well worth a serious look.
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The shoulder press is another exercise the cheaper benches can’t offer you and certainly one you will want in your workout routine, a big thumbs up from me. Remember to measure your space before purchasing this bench, it is relatively large and heavy, measuring 52 inches without the leg hold brace and weighing 55lbs.
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Leg Hold Down Brace
Do I like the brace? It’s ok but from past experiences, I find they can be quite uncomfortable but the good news, the leg brace is detachable. Some benches don’t give you the option to take them off, so if you have trouble getting along with it, then just remove. Now to the all-important company rep!
Bowflex has been around for many years, since 1986, when they released their first home gym equipment. Bowflex has built a loyal and trusted reputation since and produces some of the best fitness products on the market.
They offer long guarantees with their benches, this particular model has a 15-year frame guarantee and 6 week trial period, which is great customer service. If you don’t get along with it in 6weeks you can send it back. But you will have to pay return shipping.
Not everybody likes a tapering back supports why? Some larger guys feel they need more support when flat pressing but personally I prefer them especially for inline pressing, because it’s wider at the bottom near the butt, it will give you the extra support you need and because the back support is narrower at the top, this, as I said earlier, will give more freedom of movement for certain exercises, a great bit of design by Bowflex…
You might think the heavier the bench the harder it is to move around but you shouldn’t see this as a minus. I think a heavier bench gives more stability and tells quality.
Bowflex have given you the wheels on the back making it much easier to move this bench around if need be. All parts of the Bowflex bench are well made and with a 480lb weight and body load this bench should be good enough for most us and at a guess, I should think it would take more but I won’t recommend you try.
Having a seat you cannot adjust is this bench’s only problem, you will find when incline pressing, your butt might slide forward a little.
Hopefully, you should have no problems assembling the bench with easy to follow instructions, the only complaint being they do not supply any tools for the job. You will not need much, just a screwdriver and a wrench should take around 20 – 30 minutes for construction.
Bowflex’s Bench is built to last. Like most benches in this price range upholstery is always questionable, thankfully Bowflex gives you a year guarantee. Doesn’t sound a lot but it’s much better than 3 months like some other brands offer. Bigger guys might grow out of this bench quickly but for most of us, this bench will certainly be good enough for a good few years.
Bowflex Bench Exercises
Pros & Cons
ALTERNATIVE TO THE BOWFLEX 3.1
Marcy SB670 Adjustable Bench
The Marcy also includes an adjustable seat, an adjustable seat is something most serious weightlifters will not go without. It will keep your butt from slipping down when bench pressing at low angles, giving you a solid base to press from.
Whats more the Marcy has 6 adjustable back support positions making this bench as versatile as benches twice the price. It doesn’t have the long warranty of the Bowflex but the quality is there, with a powder coated steel frame and high-density foam padding it’s certainly one to check out.