Bowflex is one of the best known names in the fitness industry and they spend millions on advertising so it’s really no surprise that the Bowflex SelectTech Adjustable Bench Series 3.1 is the best selling adjustable weight bench on Amazon. Sadly it is no longer being made.
You can find some affordable alternatives here.
But big advertising budgets don’t make a product good and a lot of people buy based on brand or name familiarity. So I wanted to do a Bowflex 3.1 bench review and see if it will be a good piece of gym equipment to buy.
The Bowflex 3.1 does have almost 300 user reviews and has a 4.5 out of 5 star rating so it does seem most people are happy with it.
Do You Really Need A Weight Bench?
Some folks may be just starting out and are not even be sure they need a weight bench. If you are going to workout with free weights you will definitely need an adjustable weight bench for some exercises like flyes or some incline presses.
But more importantly you will want one to support your body and prevent injury. Because your body is supported you will be able to lift more and grow more than without a weight bench.
If you have back or shoulder issues you will definitely want the added support a weight bench gives you. Besides all that, they make a great place to hang your cloths! Here’s a quick video and some tips on how to use a weight bench.
A Closer Look At The Bowflex SelectTech 3.1
- Adjusts to four different positions 45°, 90°, flat and decline
- Corrects posture and stabilizes your body
- Used for 30 different exercises
- Comes with a removable leg hold-down brace
- Wheels for storage
- Maximum Load 480 lbs
- Dimensions 56″ L x 26″ W x 20″ H
- Bench Weight – 55 pounds
- Some assembly required (easy)
- Warranty is 15-years frame, 1-year upholstery
Bowflex 3.1 Pros:
- The 56 inch length accommodates even tall users. The PDF says capacity is 600 pounds including weights.
Nice and sturdy for you big guys
By TW on August 29, 2008
My biggest question when buying a bench or any piece of exercise equipment is, “Will it be big enough for me?” At 6-3 255, this can be a problem. Seems exercise companies these days think only small people work out! Source: Amazon Customer Reviews
- The construction is heavy and the bench is very stable.
Well-constructed and great value
By Patrick D. Goonan on September 10, 2007
This is a very nice bench by any standards and as other reviews mention, it was very easy to put together. The instructions are well-written, the diagrams clear and the whole thing is well-engineered and heavy duty construction. The manual says it can hold a 300lb. person plus 300lbs. or weight and I don’t doubt that at all. It is also very easy to adjust and doesn’t have a lot of little parts. It took me about 50 minutes to assemble it and I went very slowly. Source: Amazon Customer Reviews
- Overall Good Quality
By Mookyon October 10, 2014
I have never bought a Bowflex product before, and I was surprised at how well-built this bench is. It’s heavy and feels very sturdy. Definitely more like pro gear than your average home gym bench. The price matches the quality.
Minor con: The wheels should jut out about two inches more. When rolling along a soft gym mat, the pointed feet tend to get caught on the mat. Source: Amazon Customer Reviews
- Many benches don’t even offer a decline position which is great for ab work, but this one does. Many pictures show the Bowflex 3.1 weight bench without the removable leg hold-down brace, but it does come with one for ab exercises and it’s easily removable.
- You have to admit this Bowflex weight bench looks pretty sharp.
Bowflex 3.1 Weight Bench Cons:
- Unfortunately the Bowflex 3.1 weight bench doesn’t fold for storage although it does have wheels to move it around.
- It only offers 4 fixed positions although you can get 6 if you buy the Bowflex 5.1 bench instead.
- There is only a 1 year warranty on the upholstery, longer would be better.
- Some users commented on the gap between pads in flat and decline positions. One buyer said she simply rolled up a towel to put in the gap.
Should You Buy The Bowflex SelectTech Adjustable Bench Series 3.1?
I think the Bowflex 3.1 bench will satisfy the needs of most people including those that are taller and bigger. It’s not a perfect weight bench but after reading a ton of reviews I think it offers good value and should last quite a while.
If you want more angles the Bowflex SelectTech Adjustable Bench Series 5.1 can adjust to six different positions: 17° decline, flat, 30° incline, 45° incline, 60° incline and 90° incline.
I don’t think there will be any problems with the frame. Everyone seems to agree this weight bench is sturdy. Some buyers expressed concern that the upholstery might not last but I could not find any cases of this. But because of this concern and several mentions of a gap between cushions I am only going to rate this at four stars.