Another day, another new bench from REP Fitness.
Did I need it?
Did I want it?
You better believe it!
The AB-4100 is REP's latest adjustable bench offering, and it's one that just may hit a sweet spot for home gym owners.
This bench is more compact, lighter, easier to move around, and practically just as functional. In fact, it may actually be more functional for some users… and yet less functional for others.
It also comes in a variety of colors that are unique to this bench only – not even the more expensive 5200 offers them.
In this review, I'll tell you everything you need to know about the REP AB-4100. I'll compare it to the AB-5200 as well as some other popular bench options out there. By the end, you should be able to tell if it's the right bench for you.
Let's dig in.
REP AB-4100 Adjustable Bench
The REP AB-4100 has big shoes to fill – quite literally – the AB-5200 is a big bench with an equally big reputation.
When I first saw the 4100, my gut reaction was something along the lines of “that's cool, a scaled-down AB-5200 with more color options.” I wasn't sure where it exactly fit since the 5200 isn't that much more expensive and REP offers some more budget-friendly options underneath the 4100.
It wasn't until I received the bench and put some good use to it that it began to click.
Even after my first couple of uses, I wasn't entirely sold. But as I've used it more and more, I've found that there are qualities about it that I legitimately like more than the 5200.
And to be fair, the opposite is also true.
But in general, I think I have a good understanding of this bench now and especially its positioning within a very strong lineup of REP benches.
Before we get into the finer details, let's have a look at the specs of the AB-4100:
|Back Pad Angles||0, 15, 30, 45, 60, 75, 85|
|Seat Pad Angles||0, 10, 20|
|Back Pad Length||36″|
|Construction||14 & 7-Gauge Steel|
Design & Construction
The REP AB-4100 is generally a well-designed, spec'd, and constructed adjustable bench. As mentioned above, it's a smaller and more economically-priced version of the AB-5200.
This translates to a lighter frame, a shorter profile, and a lower weight capacity. All-in, the 4100 weighs just 85lbs, making it very user-friendly and easy to move around. It's built primarily with 14-gauge steel, which is what contributes the most to the leaner build. There are some 7-gauge components as well, bringing the overall weight capacity to 700lbs.
As an adjustable bench, the 4100 is capable of flat and incline positions that I'll discuss momentarily. It does not have decline capabilities, so if you're looking for that you may want to look into the AB-5000 Zero Gap or the AB-3000 if you're on more of a budget.
Let's now take a closer look at the main features of the AB-4100.
The AB-4100 uses a ladder mechanism to adjust the bench, which is one of the most popular adjustment types. The benefit of a ladder-style bench, as opposed to a telescoping spine bench (e.g. REP AB-5000), is that you can generally adjust it quicker and easier.
By simply lifting up on the back pad, you can effortlessly adjust the angle with no need to fiddle with pop-pins. You can technically accomplish the same with the seat, but due to the angle, you will likely need to push the support arm into the designated slot. When reducing the angle of either the back or the seat, you can simply lift up and draw the arm out.
A great feature of the AB-4100 is that it includes a ladder enclosure. The purpose of this enclosure, often called a cage, is to prevent the support arm from getting “out of bounds”. It keeps the arm in a confined space so you can't overextend, and it just makes it more efficient. Compared to the AB-3000, which doesn't include the cage, it's a better and more enjoyable experience. The cage also makes vertical storage much easier and sturdier.
When I received the 4100, I noticed there was a bend at the 75-degree mark. After hearing from and speaking to other early 4100 owners, they all had the same bend. REP did confirm that this was not intentional or by design. In some cases, this will prevent a smooth adjustment because it may get caught on that bend as you progress up the ladder. Think of it as a speed bump.
The good news is that it's easily remedied by pulling up on the cage or using a rubber mallet. It's also an issue that REP is aware of and is escalating to prevent in the future. For clarity, it's likely the result of shipping stress.
The articulating arm has two plastic end caps that, when pushed all the way in, prevent metal on metal contact. This not only keeps the powder-coated finish looking good, but it reduces noise.
The ladder itself accommodates several adjustments. On the back pad, you have seven options including, 0, 15, 30, 45, 60, 75, and 85 degrees. On the seat pad, you have three options that include 0, 10, and 20 degrees. The back ladder cage includes laser-cut numbers for easy identification, but the seat does not due to the REP logo.
The frame of the AB-4100 uses a combination of 14-gauge and 7-gauge steel to create an 85lb bench. The resulting 700lb weight capacity is more than adequate for the vast majority of lifters. Keep in mind that this is total capacity, including body weight and loaded weight. For example, a 200lb lifter would be able to lift 500lbs on the AB-4100.
Overall, both the back pad and seat pad are very secure with little wobble to speak of. That wasn't necessarily the case out of the box, however. It's possible that after you initially assemble your bench, there will be some wobble, especially in the back pad. Don't be alarmed. A simple socket and wrench in the joint between the seat and back tightens it up beautifully to eliminate practically any wobble.
One of my favorite features of this bench is that it has a total height of 17″. Not only is this uncommon among most adjustable benches, but it's also within IPF specs. If you plan to use this bench for flat bench pressing, this will likely appeal to you. As a shorter lifter myself, I find great benefit in the 17″ height even compared to 17.5″ (AB-5200). You can get better leg drive and, again, if you're training for competition, specificity is important.
On the back of the bench, attached to the rear base, is a metal extension piece that provides additional support for the bench when in the flat position. This piece also serves as the vertical support arm, which is an excellent feature of the 4100 compared to less expensive adjustable benches. When not using the bench, you can simply stand it up along the wall and keep it out of your way.
💡 Quick Tip
After assembling the AB-4100, tighten the hinge between the seat and the back pad with a socket wrench to increase rigidity
The Pads & Gap
The pads on the AB-4100 are the same as you would find on their more expensive benches, but just shorter in length. The back measures 12″ wide, which is a common width that most lifters will find comfortable. Anything less than this I find to be suboptimal on standard pressing movements. The pads also measure 2.75″, which helps to create a fairly firm, yet comfortable surface.
One of the key features of this bench is that it's a space-friendly option. As a function of that, the back pad is shorter relative to some other benches, like the AB-5200. With a 36″ length, it's around 5″ shorter in comparison. Still, that's plenty for most people to get full support from butt to head. In some cases, mine included, you can even use only the back pad for flat benching and still get full support. That said, you don't necessarily have to, which brings me to an important point about pad gap.
Sometimes on adjustable benches, the gap between the seat and back can be problematic in getting into a comfortable position. This is especially true when in the flat position. A common workaround is to only flat bench on the back pad itself, assuming you have enough pad length to do so. Some lifters will still be able to do that on this bench, but you may not have to…
That's because the AB-4100 has a minimal pad gap (1.4″) that largely eliminates the discomfort commonly found on other benches. This gap is a half-inch+ shorter than many other adjustable benches. It may not sound like much, but it truly makes a difference. The adjustment hinge also sits about an inch below the pad surface which further helps with comfort.
A downside to the AB-4100, however, is that you don't get the same wide-pad options as the AB-5200. Because the length is different, the 5200 wide pad will not fit the 4100 frame. You can use the AB-3000 wide pad, but keep in mind that this will increase the length of the bench, which will cause the bench to rest at an angle when stored vertically.
The Feet & Mobility
One of the things I love the most about REP benches is that almost all of them have a low-profile front foot design. That's true with the AB-4100 as well, and it's a huge benefit for creating leg drive. When you have a wide front base to contend with, you may find yourself constantly jockeying for position. That is very true for me because I like to keep my feet tucked close underneath the seat.
The front foot of the 4100 measures 6.6″ wide, which provides plenty of room to find an optimal foot position. It also includes a horizontal handle that allows for effortless maneuvering around the gym.
The back support base measures 20.3″ wide, helping to create a very stable bench with little concern for side-to-side rocking, tipping, etc… It also includes two wheels that, when combined with the handle and 85lb weight, make this one of the most portable and easiest-to-move benches on the market.
🚀 Fast Fact
The shorter back pad on the AB-4100 can make some movements, like chest-supported rows, easier and more enjoyable to perform
When designing the AB-4100, REP made a clear aesthetic decision to differentiate this bench from others in the lineup by offering exclusive colors. Sure, they have the same black (metallic and matte) and red, but the blue is a different shade and they introduced several new colors. This includes white, army green, and purple.
The white, in my opinion, looks outstanding. I feel that white is a very underrated gym color – it's super clean and creates a beautiful aesthetic that goes with anything. Considering white is a big part of my color scheme, it was a no-brainer for me. I think it looks better than any color on the AB-5200 except for clear coat. Of course, this is purely subjective, by my goodness do I love the way this bench looks.
Delivery & Assembly
The AB-4100 ships to your door via ground parcel unless it's part of a larger order that requires freight shipping. The box arrived at my house in South Carolina in very good condition, but as mentioned above, they may need to revise their packaging given the ladder cage bends.
Assembly was ridiculously simple. The bench basically comes pre-assembled. All you have to do is attach the rear support base and the two pads. It took me about 10 minutes and I actually super-setted with lat pulldowns. I think I've put all of REP's benches together like this unless I'm assembling with my son.
REP AB-4100 vs. REP AB-5200
The AB-4100, as mentioned, is the scaled-down version of the AB-5200. Let's take a closer look at how they compare spec by spec.
The most noticeable difference between these two benches is their size and weight. The AB-5200 is over 7″ longer than the AB-4100, and it weighs a whopping 40lbs more at 125lbs. The 5200 is legitimately tank-like. It's one of the sturdiest, beefiest, and most badass benches I've ever used. That does come with a downside, however – it's not nearly as easy to move around. Both of these benches have a handle and wheels, but the difference in maneuvering them is night and day. I much prefer the 4100 in that respect.
The adjustments on these benches are the same on the back pad, but slightly different on the seat. Where the 4100 has 0, 10, and 20 degrees, the 5200 has 0, 15, and 30 degrees. I find that I prefer the steeper seat angles on the 5200.
When it comes to flat bench pressing, I find that the AB-4100 is better to use. That's because the 4100 has a noticeable smaller pad gap, which is a big benefit. To be fair, however, the 5200 has a longer back pad that almost anyone can flat bench directly on – this isn't necessarily the case with the 4100. The other reason I like flat benching on the 4100 more than the 5200 is that it has a 17″ height vs. a 17.5″ height. I get better leg drive this way. For clarity, the 5200 is 17.5″ tall despite the REP website showing 18″.
In terms of other features, the AB-5200 is the clear winner. The wide pad option is, in my opinion, a big selling feature. And while you can use the AB-3000 wide pad on the AB-4100, it's not designed for it. I would love to see REP come out with a wide pad specifically for the AB-4100 as they have on their other benches. The AB-5200 also includes an optional spotter deck as well as some premium features including a stainless steel handle, etc…
Pricewise, the AB-5200 is around $100 more expensive. As of this review, you can buy the 5200 for $499.99 and the 4100 for $399.99. Both benches ship for free.
If you like the idea of the AB-5200 design, but you prefer a lighter, smaller, and easier-to-use frame, the AB-4100 is a great alternative. If you're looking to spend a little less money as well, it's a very solid buy.
If, however, you have a bigger budget and you don't mind the bigger and heavier frame of the AB-5200, I do recommend that bench over the 4100. To be clear, both are great benches, but I think the 5200 is overall the better bench given its features.
REP AB-4100 vs. Rogue Adjustable Bench 3.0
The Rogue Adjustable Bench 3.0 is an interesting comparison. It's closer to the AB-5200 than it is to the AB-4100, but considering the relationship between the 4100 and 5200, I think it makes sense to look at these two side-by-side.
Right off the bat, the Rogue 3.0 is $195 more expensive than the AB-4100 and that doesn't consider shipping. To my house in South Carolina, that comes out to an extra $45. Then, you have to pay another $100 if you want stainless accents and another $10 if you want the molded foam pad. So, the Rogue Adjustable 3.0 could be as much as ~$350 more than the AB-4100. That's enough to buy a quality barbell for your home gym.
Now, the Rogue bench isn't more money just for the sake of being more expensive – it's a very high-quality bench with several excellent features. For starters, it's very beefy with 11-gauge steel construction and it weighs in at 125lbs. It also includes 10 back pad angles, which is more than the 7 on the AB-4100. The seat has the same adjustments as the AB-5200 which, as I mentioned above, I prefer over the 4100.
Both benches have narrow front foot bases, they both have ladder cages, a handle, a wheel set, and vertical storage capabilities. The AB-4100, however, does have a wider pad gap. I don't think the difference between 1″ (Rogue) and 1.4″ (4100) is as noticeable as 1.4″ (4100) and 2″ (5200), but it's a distinction nonetheless.
The REP 4100 does have the better pad width, in my opinion. Depending on the pad you buy from Rogue, you'll either get 11″ or 11.25″ in width instead of the 12″ on the REP. I like a 12″ (or greater) pad width as a matter of personal preference. The narrower pads like on the Rogue bench are great for accessory movements, but I don't like them as much on standard pressing movements.
Aesthetically, both benches look great. The Rogue Adjustable 3.0 has three colors (black, red, blue) and also three versions with stainless accents instead of black. The stainless option will set you back another $100.
All in all, the Rogue bench is excellent. Compared to the 4100, though, I'm not sure the $240-$350 upcharge is worth it.
REP AB-4100 vs. REP AB-3000
On the other side of the coin is the REP AB-3000, which is a less expensive adjustable bench from REP.
The biggest difference between these two benches is that the AB-3000 is an FID bench, meaning it has decline capabilities. If you require decline, the AB-3000 is the way to go.
Otherwise, I think the AB-4100 is better in every way except for the price. Starting with the adjustments, the 4100 has more back options and, in my opinion, better angles. For example, I like the 45-degree angle more than the 50-degree angle on the 3000. The AB-3000 does have an extra seat option (15 degrees), but both stop at 20 degrees.
On the AB-3000 is a leg attachment, which is used for decline movements. It also includes the handle for portability, so it's a necessary component. Some users, myself included, find this attachment to be cumbersome when using the bench in the flat and incline positions.
In terms of height, the AB-3000 is almost a full inch taller than the AB-4100. Not only is this outside of IPF spec, but it also makes it harder for shorter lifers to generate leg drive. The 3000 also has a larger pad gap and is generally less comfortable in my experience.
Aesthetically, the AB-4100 wins hands down unless you like the specific shade of blue on the AB-3000. Otherwise, the 4100 offers the same two blacks and red while also offering three other exclusive colors.
Pricewise, the AB-4100 is currently $70 more expensive than the AB-3000. My recommendation is strongly in favor of the 4100 unless you need decline and you don't want to spend the extra money. In my experience, the 4100 is a noticeably better bench.
Who Should Buy the REP AB-4100?
In my opinion, the AB-4100 strikes a nice balance between economical adjustable benches and high-end adjustable benches.
I love the low-profile and lightweight frame – something I was really hesitant about at first. I think if you're someone who places a premium on space savings and ease of use, the AB-4100 is an excellent choice.
This bench hits on the main adjustment angles, and the ladder system is very easy to use. It is a bit unfortunate that the ladder cage came bent, but again, it's easily remedied and REP is actively working on preventing this in the future.
If you're someone who has a specific color scheme in your gym, the AB-4100 may provide some better options relative to REP's other benches as well as those from other companies. The white color looks outstanding. And with the other exclusive colorways, this bench may check your aesthetic box.
Lastly, if you want a quality adjustable bench with high-end features at a mid-tier price, I think the AB-4100 is definitely one to consider. This is especially true if either of the above points is true for you.
RELATED: Best Benches to Buy
The REP AB-4100 is still a new bench, so there aren't many reviews available just yet at repfitness.com. The reviews that have been posted are very favorable, however, and feedback from others I've spoken to has also been very positive.
- 7 back pad angles and 3 seat angles create a highly adjustable experience
- 1.4″ pad gap is better than most
- 85lb weight is strong (700lb capacity), yet very easy to move around
- Narrow front support base & a 17″ height combine for great leg drive
- Vertical storage is a huge benefit in home gyms
- Several exclusive colors create a very aesthetic bench offering
- Assembly is extremely easy
- Price tag of less than $400 represents solid value
- The ladder cage arrived bent, which can create friction when adjusting (REP is addressing)
- No 4100-dedicated wide pad option is available
- While a 700lb capacity is plenty for most people, it lacks the bomb-proof feel of heavier-duty benches like the 5200
In summary, I think the AB-4100 from REP is a great and affordable option for a high-quality weight bench. At first, I wasn't sure quite where this bench fit, but it's clear to me now, and I think it hits a sweet spot for a lot of lifters.
It's a compact adjustable bench with a great height, a condensed pad gap, lots of adjustments options, and a small footprint at a solid price.
I do still prefer the AB-5200 for my main work, but the AB-4100 is a more-than-capable bench, and I like it in some ways more than the 5200 (e.g. flat benching and chest-supported rows).
Overall, I definitely recommend this bench for home gym owners.
Should I Buy an Adjustable Bench for my Home Gym?
Adjustable benches are a great option for home gyms because of their versatility. You can perform many more movements on an adjustable bench compared to a standard flat bench. If you plan to take advantage of those movements, then it's wise to buy an adjustable bench for your home gym.
Is the REP AB-4100 Worth it?
If you're a home gym owner looking for a mid-tier adjustable bench with solid features, I think the AB-4100 from REP is worth it. It has very nice qualities for a bench at this price point, which puts it in a unique class.
Does the REP AB-4100 have Decline?
No, the AB-4100 is a flat and incline bench. If you want a decline option, the REP AB-3000 and REP AB-5000 series benches are great options.
If you have any questions about this adjustable bench or adjustable benches in general, please leave a comment below. Likewise, if you own the Rep Fitness AB-4100 Bench and you want to chime in with your own thoughts, please do so!
As always, I appreciate any feedback.
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The bar is loaded,