It’s difficult to replicate a gym workout at home — I quickly learned I’d need a weight bench if I wanted to lift my adjustable dumbbells according to plan. And I specifically wanted an adjustable bench as an inclined sit would help me target my chest and shoulders. And given my smaller apartment, finding something that could fold was crucial.
Because I’m not lifting heavy weight at home regularly (yet) — I don’t do barbell work at home, for example — I didn’t worry too much about how heavy duty the bench was. Cost and ease of use were at the top of my priority list. When I found the Flybird Adjustable Bench while browsing Amazon, it seemed like a good fit for my workout routine — with its five angle adjustments, foldability for storage and reasonable price. Kristina Jennings, a certified strength and conditioning specialist, later recommended the bench in our guide to weight benches as a foldable space-saver, which definitely comes in handy in my small New York apartment. And while the bench doesn’t have as large a weight capacity as others we’ve recommended, it has met my needs well, and I’ve been able to expand my workout plan significantly, adding exercises like pullovers and three-point rows that I would’ve had difficulty performing otherwise.
The Flybird bench is simple to adjust — the back adjustments don’t require a pin like other models — and it’s structurally sound enough for my basic workouts. Flybird says the steel frame can hold up to 600 pounds, and I’ve been able to do dumbbell bench presses, dumbbell pullovers and three-point rows without feeling any instability or the bench moving while I lift. And in addition to the back adjustments, you can also adjust the seat to four different positions, which could be useful for core exercises.
Both Select editor Gideon Grudo and Select editor Morgan Greenwald have different models of benches from Flybird, as well as differing assessments. Grudo says this Flybird adjustable bench fits his needs well — it has a higher weight capacity and thicker foam than mine — as the wider bench works for his wider frame and he’s able to make use of the angle adjustments. He also says that being able to fold it for storage helps keep his workout space tidy.
Greenwald, on the other hand, says her Flybird bench hasn’t held up well when she and her husband lift heavier weights. Specifically, she says her bench slips on her floor and generally doesn’t feel sturdy, describing it as a “lightweight, flimsy bench” that she’s considering replacing. Foldable and adjustable benches are unlikely to have the same durability or weight capacity as their flat counterparts, said Greenwald, an avid lifter.
I personally have yet to experience many issues — sometimes the bench will slightly fold if I sit on one end of the bench — and the utility I get for a low price has definitely been a bargain. Until I’m benching 400 pounds like Greenwald’s husband — whose biceps are as big as her face, she told me — I expect the Flybird bench will be enough.
Other weight benches to consider
If you’re looking for a flat bench or a higher end bench, here are some expert-recommended options to consider.
This bench has a frame constructed from steel and uses high-density foam for the padding, the brand says. Abrasion- and stain-resistant Boltaflex upholstery covers the padding — the company also says it has antibacterial properties. The bench weighs 90 pounds and comes with rubber foot pads. Jennings recommended it as a solid flat bench in our guide to weight benches.
Jennings called this “splurge” option “top of the line” and said it’s a great choice for heavy lifters for its durability. You can adjust the bench back to five different angles — 0, 20, 35, 45 and 82 degrees. You can also adjust the seat to five different settings. The bench’s hydraulic piston assist helps with bench adjustments, according to the brand. The handle and wheels should help with moving the 100-pound bench. The welded frame also provides durability, Perform Better says.