Bowflex SelectTech Adjustable Bench 3.1
Bowflex SelectTech Adjustable Bench 3.1

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  • Transform any space into a personal free weight fitness center
  • Adjusts to four different positions for over 30 different exercises
  • Comes with a removable leg hold-down brace for added decline position support
  • Corrects posture and stabilizes positioning for a safe, muscle-building free-weight workout
  • 15-Year warranty on frame, one-year warranty on upholstery

 

Standard removable leg holds down brace for added decline position Ideal for maximizing different workouts in a space-efficient machine Excellent muscle-building results with free-weight design Manufacturer’s warranty included.

About Bowflex For more than 20 years, Bowflex has helped people achieve amazing results. The Bowflex home gym is a space-saving machine designed to combine all the strength-building equipment found at your local gym. Patented technology provides smooth, consistent resistance through the entire range of motion, a principal ingredient in developing lean, strong muscle. Bowflex’s SpiraFlex resistance technology is so good, it’s even used by Astronauts at the International Space Station. With a wide range of fitness equipment and fitness accessories, Bowflex is a company on the cutting edge of strength and cardio training. Used for over 30 different exercises. Adjusts to 4 different positions. Corrects posture and stabilizes position.

Measurements: 56L x 26W x 20H inches. Manufacturer’s warranty included (see product guarantee).


Review 1 – Very nice… but not perfect

ASSEMBLY

Assembly time took just over 45 minutes and illustrations were clear. Assembly was easy and straight-forward. Only issue with assembly was that one of the leg cushions were a little too snug and I had to keep on twisting and turning it to get it to slide into the pole, but eventually I got it to go in with a lot of twisting. Bolt holes all lined up nicely and inserted quickly. Assembly tip: when assembling the frame to the board it is easiest if you turn the boards upside down and then place the frame on top of it instead of placing the board on top of the frame, just easier to align holes that way.

QUALITY

Supporting staples on the underside of the boards seemed to be clustered closer in some regions while other regions a bit farther apart than what I would have preferred. I would have like to see more staples used to support the vinyl to the board. Not really a big deal though as it probably looks good enough for now, maybe I’ll dig out my staple gun and add a few more for extra measure.

While other reviewers noted tears in the vinyl or other folds in the corner, my boards and vinyl were in pristine condition, no rips, tears or folds.

The vinyl is nice material because it wipes clean easy but again I worry about long term durability. My previous bench was by Weider and it had some type of really durable molded firm rubber/foam material for the boards so never had to worry about vinyl coming loose or ripping, wish Bowflex made this bench with that same material (maybe version 2.0 :)).

The ease of changing from incline/decline/flat positions is very quick and smooth, a real pleasure to use. The engineering quality there is top notch, bravo. My old bench had a metal rod I had to pull out and insert into the frame and ohhh what a pain because it would never line up right and I would have to pull the bench board on a slight angle to get it to line up and then the rod would make a metal-to-metal screach sound (think of running finger nails across chalk-board) when I pulled the tightly position support rod out to change to incline… none of that with the Bowflex design, there is no pins or rods to pull out, simply lift board and swing support arm. Very very nice and quick.

FEATURES

The four positions (90 degree, 45 degree, 0 degree, and -10 degree) are plenty enough for my workouts and probably for the majority of other lifters. I wouldn’t spend the extra money for the 5.1 bench, just no need for the extra positions as the 3.1 model is more than sufficient.

This bench has a 90 degree position and that is extremely helpful in doing seated overhead presses because it provides strong and high support for the back, something my older bench didn’t have. I like this feature alot.

The decline angle seems sufficient but I would have preferred a bit more of a steeper decline for doing my sit-ups. That brings me to the next feature the leg holder/support.

The leg holder/support comes with this bench and can be easily detached by removing the support pin. I am disappointed with the engineering / positioning of the leg support. It seems to have been an after-thought feature that was thrown together at the last minute by Bowflex. It is just not comfortable as other reviewers on here have already mentioned. This is really unfortunate because it would have been a really nice feature if it was executed better (maybe improved in version 2.0?). The problem is that the leg support makes it really uncomfortable on your legs when you perform sit-ups on this model. I have tried various positioning of the leg support (tried putting pad closer to ankles, closer to calfs) and all of them have been uncomfortable. Even though it is uncomfortable to use I think it is still bearable to use the leg support for sit-ups (it also becomes annoying/irritating after using it for a while). Now I am an ectomorph and real skinny at the moment so I can imagine that a heavier individual would probably be even more uncomfortable in using the leg support for sit-ups.

The wheels is an okay feature I guess but really how often do you need to roll around your bench. Even if you do have to move it, you can just as well lift it up (it is about 55-65 pounds). One nice feature to have for those living in very limited space would have been a fold-up version where the frame and legs fold for real compact storage and sliding under the bed or tossing in the closet (maybe version 2.0).

The overall aesthetics of the bench is nice, sexy. I like the touch of red near the top of the board.

OVERALL

This is a very nice bench but with a few of the above suggestions this could turn from very nice to perfect. This is a good value for the money, get this bench you won’t be disappointed. And last but not least don’t waste your money on the 5.1 model.

Review 2 – Nice and sturdy for you big guys

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!

I bought this along with the 552 dumbbells and stand. I found that this bench, just like the stand was much easier to assemble than some reviews say. The only part I had trouble with was putting the seat on, which can be explained by my body size. I’m sure there is a better way to do it, but I just picked it up and sat it on a table and put the seat on that way, instead of laying in the floor, cursing the little guy that decided to make this seat require me being under it to install the seat.

Trust me, that is part of the fun!

All of the instructions were clear, and it really wasn’t that much that needed to be assembled. The parts as packaged, the seat, the back rest pad, the front stabilizer, the rear stabilizer and the rest was assembled. Well except the leg hold downs, which only requires sliding a pin and bar through a hole and putting the pads on each side.

You bolt the main part to the rear stabilizer, then the front stabilizer, bolt the back pad and seat on and that is it.

For a few measurements, and why I am more than impressed with this bench.

The seat at its widest point is 15 inches wide, at the front (under your thighs in incline) and 12 inches wide at its most narrow point. The back rest is also 12 inches wide. The back rest is nearly 3 inches thick and the seat is a little over 3 inches thick.

The material used in the frame is very sturdy. It says 300 pound user with 300 pounds of weights, can be supported and I believe it. The construction and design itself is excellent.

What I did was pull the stand in front of the leg end of the bench. It is narrow enough to fit that way, with the stand and dumbbells right in front of you when you sit down.

The incline is also very easy to use. You just slide the bar (that you can see in the picture) it has wheels on the bar and each setting has a gate/wall that the wheels stop at. That is it. No more pulling pins out, turning hex wrenches, or anything like that.

Mainly what I am saying is that I am an old school lifter that is used to narrow benches that require work to adjust during the workouts, this bench takes all of that extra work out of it and it looks nice as well.

Looks aren’t a big deal, but trying to convince my wife that I really need this bench in the garage, near her artwork, made the looks matter!

I also have reviews of the stand and dumbbells up, so check those out too. I’m very pleased with all 3 and recommend each of them as highly as possible.

Review 3 – Well-constructed and great value

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.

It is true that there are only four positions you can use on this bench, but for most people that is plenty. Also, it is a perfect product to use with a dumbbell workout. If you go this route, I recommend either Pair of Personal PowerBlock Adjustable Dumbbells – 5-45 Pounds in 5 Pound Increments or PowerBlock SportBlock Dumbbell Set. These adjustable dumbbells are rugged, less expensive than other brands and the safest that I know of.

Some other details about the bench… the material is a medium thick vinyl and mine came with a 1 inch tear. I did not consult customer support yet, but I will update this review to reflect my experience of them when I do. I think a better material and padding would improve the product overall, but at this price point I think it’s plenty rugged.

If you get this bench, you can eventually get a power rack that can be used with your bench and as a squat/deadlift rack. One that I like is Phys-x Half Rack 10418, but you there are others depending upon your needs.

If you are new (or old) to this type of training, I recommend Build Muscle Lose Fat Look Great: Everything You Need to Know to Transform Your Body and Starting Strength. These are probably the ONLY two books most people will ever need on strength training, building mass, etc. They are BOTH dense with great information systematically laid out. I have other suggestions on my listmania lists, check my profile if you are interested. I also reviewed most of the adjustable dumbells on available on here.

 

 

 

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