Marcy MD-857 Surge Olympic Weight Bench

One of the main problems with Olympic weight benches is that many of them offer zero safety features. If you fail on one of those presses, you’re in trouble, which is why I don’t usually recommend people to go too cheap when looking for an Olympic weight bench.

The Marcy MD-857 isnt a heavy-duty option, but it’s not a cheap bench either.

Spending a bit more on a bench such as the Marcy allows for some important extra features such as spotter bars for safety and the all-important adjustable seat, so we have support when incline pressing.

And at just under $300, the Marcy MD-857 is getting close in price to a mid-level Olympic bench, yeah it’s still a long way off commercial grade, but for the price point, this thing is impressive.

Marcy is Known for High-Quality Gear & Affordable Prices

Marcy specializes in building high-quality, affordable gear for home gyms.

If there’s one company that can pull off a decent Olympic bench for under $300, it’s these guys. I’ve reviewed tons of their gear over the years, and they always impress me.

Today I want to take a close look at the MD-857 and everything it has to offer.At the end of the review ill also compare the Marcy with the slightly more expensive Xmark International Weight Bench, as it will be interesting to see how it matches up.

First, let’s take a quick look at the Marcy Olympic bench product specs!

Product Specifications

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Product dimensions – 80 x 47.5 x 60 inches

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Weight – 115lb

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5 back pad positions for weight bench which includes decline

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 Adjustable seat

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Includes leg developer and preacher curl for the bench

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Spotter bars included

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Weight capacity – 600lb combined – (user plus weight load)

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Olympic and standard weight plates can be used for attachments (preacher curl leg developer)

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Olympic adaptors provided

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Catches for for suats

Why Do We Like The Marcy MD-857 Olympic Weight Bench?

What I like most about this bench is how much it weighs because its weight is a big clue to the overall quality of the thing.

And at 115lb, the Marcy is heavy for its price. And when compared to the Body Champ Olympic Bench, a popular Olympic bench that only weighs 78lb and costs 50 more than the Marcy. You start to realize how much bench for the money you get with Marcy.

The extra weight of the Marcy is going to help keep the bench planted to the floor. The heavier, the better when it comes to stability.

Stability is the no.1 one most important thing we need to look out for when buying a bench for home as the last thing we need is for the bench to move around when we’re lifting heavy.

Another feature that contributes to stability is the design of the bench. Many Olympic benches are two-piece sets ‘the bench and barbell rack are separate.’

While the two-piece sets have their advantages, such as using the bench and rack separately, stability is comprised because the rack wobbles more than it would if attached to the bench.

One-piece units such as the Marcy MD-857 are solid units because the rack is attached to the bench.

Plus, we have storage horns on either side of the Marcy rack. We can load the storage horns evenly with weight plates. This will add some weight to the rack, again improving stability.

Versatile – 5 Back Pad Positions  & Adjustable Seat

Something I love about the Marcy is that the back pad adjusts to the proper angle for military presses there are so many benches out there that only adjust to 70 degrees, which isnt high enough to target the shoulders fully.

If we want to hit the shoulders hard, our bench must adjust to 80-85 degrees.

The Marcy adjusts to 80 degrees which is just about right. We dont want it too low or too high as a full 90 doesn’t give us room to arch our back.

80 degrees will allow you to slightly arch your back, putting you in the best position to press from.

The bench also includes decline for sit-ups and presses plus a flat, and a couple more in incline. The bench adjusts by moving it along a track. This you can see in the video above. It’s easily done. Just remove the pin to adjust.

man adjusting seat of Marcy MD-857 bench
man adjusting back pad of marcy olympic bench

Adjustable Seat For Support When Incline Pressing

But what’s best about this adjustable bench is that Marcy designed the bench with an adjustable seat.

Adjustable seats are vital for support when low incline pressing. They stop your butt from slipping down the bench and provide you a stable base to press from, thus increasing your pressing power.

The Padding

The padding on the bench is made from high-density foam. This is the good stuff usually reserved for high-end benches. It’s 2″ thick and does the job. It’s not too hard to be uncomfortable or too soft to cause stability issues. I haven’t heard of anyone complaining about the thickness of the padding.

A good quality adjustable bench, as you would expect from Marcy.

600lb Weight Capacity – Can It Take it?

The Marcy MD-857 boasts a 600lb capacity for the bench thats combined user and weight load.

600lb is realistic for a well-built bench like the Marcy. I shouldn’t think anyone needs to worry about this bench breaking under that kind of weight load.

Still, this isnt a heavy-duty Olympic bench. Those things cost at least twice that of the Marcy, so to be on the safe side, I’d recommend staying 100lb under the max capacity of the bench and the rack.

And remember, 600lb is for the bench, the spotter bars, and the catchers have a 300lb max weight load.

So although the Marcy may not be best suited for seasoned weight lifters, it’s a great bench for beginners and intermediates. There’s more than enough room there for a good few years of growth before most people would even need to think of upgrading to a heavy-duty option.

Barbells & Plates

You might be disappointed to hear the Marcy bench can only be used with 7, and 8ft Olympic bars. The distance between the uprights is too wide for standard bars.

And sadly, only Olympic plates can be used with the Preacher curl and Leg developer.

man using squatting rack of marcy md -857 olympic bench

Barbell Rack Includes Catches and Spotter Bars

Great to see Marcy Included spotter bars for the barbell rack; this gives you some safty when pressing.

There’s no need to worry about getting pinned under the barbell, spotter bars allow you to lift heavy in solitude without the need of a training partner. This is how to train at home.

And unlike Marcy’s compeditors in this price bracket, the Marcy includes adjustable catches for squats.

Anything I didn’t Like?

The only feature I’d question with the Marcy bench is how the back pad adjusts.

This sort of adjustment that uses a pin pull-type system to adjust a back pad that rests on a support bar is not designed for super heavy weight loads.

Now, this isnt a deal killer by any means. Just dont take it up to max capacity.

As I mentioned, you can go close to max, say 500lb, on this Olympic bench, but as with any bench, even heavy-duty benches, many become unstable when taken to their max. It probably won’t break. It’s just off-putting.

The Good

High quality for price point

Vesitile bench that inculdes decline and near vertical plus an adjustable seat

Adjustable spotter bars – allows you train safely

High density foam padding for the bench

Preacher curl and leg deveoper

Can use the storage horns to add extra weight to the bench, increasing stability

Most found assembly to be relatively easy

The Bad

Squat rack catcher positions may be a little high for some users

Bench not suitable for serious lifters

Some users mentioned quality issues when they received the bench

                                                                                         

man performing squats using squat rack of xamrk olympic bench

Xmark Olympic Weight Bench

You could say Xmark are the kind of company you go to if you want heavy-duty gym gear, but you don’t want to pay Rogue Fitness prices.

I’ve always like Xmark Fitness. Most of their gym gear is heavy-duty and built to last a lifetime, it is not always the best designed, but it’s hard to fault them when it comes to build quality.

The Xmark Olympic bench is a mid-range Olympic bench. It costs around 100 more than the Marcy and to be honest it doesn’t boast that much more in features, but the overall quality is better.

It weighs only 15lb more than the Marcy, which is surprising for Xmark; most of their stuff is usually built like a tank. But this Olympic bench is made from powder-coated 14 gauge steel, not the thicker 11 gauge steel like most of their other equipment.

However the 14 gauge frame of their Olympic bench is tough, and it includes quality welds, which is a good thing.

Designed to handle a max combined capacity of 700lb, the Xmark is still a long way off commercial grade, but it’s not a mile away. This thing shines quality and durability, so it won’t feel too different from something you might have used in your local gym.

The Xmark, although not super heavy-duty, has been designed with the more serious lifter in mind.

And if you think the Marcy might not cut it with your training schedule and want something that can handle a bit more weight, the Xmark is a good bench to consider especially as it still well under $500.

                                                                                         

To Sum Up

For Under $300, you won’t find a better Olympic bench than the Marcy MD-857. The bench includes features (spotter bars, adjustable seat) of Olympic benches costing twice as much,

Still, I fear the mistake people might make is excepting too much from this bench. Yes, it looks heavy duty in the pictures, but in reality, this isnt even a mid-level bench its good, but it’s not that good.

Don’t expect a heavy-duty Olympic weight bench. This thing costs $300, and it’s an impressive deal at that price, but it’s not heavy-duty and will have a few issues coping with heavy weight loads.

If you are a 250lb guy who is currently benching 220lb, this isnt the bench for you, it won’t allow for any growth and it might feel unstable coping with that weight load every other day.

This is an excellent Olympic bench for beginners and intermediates looking at getting into barbell lifting at home.

It’s affordable and is the perfect stepping stone for someone who wants to transition from dumbbell workouts to barbell lifting at home but doesn’t want to pay high prices. It should last years if looked after.