Oh, what's that?
You need a new flat bench?
Well, that's good because this Rep Fitness bench is rocking the flat bench world.
Yep, this bench is completely awesome.
Not only does it offer one of the best designs around, but it has one of the best values of any bench you'll find.
I've been using the Rogue Flat Utility Bench for the past 2 years, and it's been fine, but when this Rep Fitness FB-5000 competition flat bench was released in late 2017, I was immediately smitten.
It was time for an upgrade.
After a while of waiting for it to get back in stock with their new “gripper vinyl”, I finally have this bad boy in my garage!
In this review, I'm going to show you why I think this Rep Fitness bench is the best buy out there, and why it deserves all the attention it's getting.
- Video Review
- Rep Fitness FB-5000 Overview
- Design Qualities
- Overall Construction
- Pad Configurations
- Rep Fitness FB-5000 vs. Rogue
- Pros & Cons
- Full Rating
To put it simply, I think this Rep Fitness bench, priced at $149, is almost impossible to beat.
The specs of the bench are ideal, it's very well made, it's heavy duty, and it performs incredibly. Rep Fitness delivered a design that offers a few unique attributes, all of which combine to push this one to the top of the list.
Frame Material: 3×3 11 gauge steel
Frame Dimensions: 48″ long, 13″ tall (not including pad), 24″ wide (back support), 7.75″ wide (front support)
Pad Material: Dense foam with vinyl upholstery and plywood bottom
Pad Dimensions: 48″ long, 4″ thick, 12″ wide
Total Bench Dimensions w/ Pad: 48″ long, 17″ tall, 24″ wide
Weight: 62 lbs
Design: 3-footed bottom with welded end caps and wheels
Assembly Time: Around 10 minutes (socket wrench is very helpful)
This Rep Fitness bench offers several unique design qualities that I absolutely love. They've seemingly thrust themselves out of the typical flat bench design by creating a bench that offers three distinct advantages.
Advantage #1 – Base Dimensions
The first thing I love about this bench is that it has a 3-footed design, with the front base/foot being very narrow. It's actually 7.75″. This is hugely beneficial because it practically eliminates the risk of the base getting in the way of your feet. If you're utilizing leg drive, you know how annoying it can be when the base interferes with your foot placement. With this bench, that is not an issue at all.
Advantage #2 – Portability
The second thing I love about this Rep Fitness bench is that there are wheels on the back of the frame. This makes it SO much easier to move around the gym. No more lugging around my old bench. The handle on the front of the frame makes it almost effortless. Considering this bench is on the heavier side compared some other benches out there, this is another nice benefit in favor of Rep.
Advantage #3 – Bench Height
The third thing I love about this bench is that the frame is ideally built around the 4″ thick pad. The foresight here shouldn't be understated, as it is a clear advantage. By having a 13″ tall frame, adding a Thompson Fat Pad does not result in a bench that is too tall. That is a problem with a lot of the other bench options out there. Not the Rep Fitness bench – adding a Thompson Fat Pad leaves the total height at 17.5″, which is in-line with IPF specs.
I'm extremely impressed with the overall build quality on this bench. The use of 3×3 11 gauge steel provides a very heavy duty frame that is built to stand basically whatever you throw at it. While Rep Fitness doesn't explicitly state a maximum weight tolerance, I have no doubt it will hold a lot of weight.
Speaking of weight, as mentioned above, this bench weighs in at around 62 lbs, making it one of the heavier options out there. That's why having those wheels on the back is such a nice convenience. Despite the 3-footed design, the bench itself is very well balanced. There is zero amount of wobble on my surface, which is, of course, good when you have a bunch of weight above your face.
The pad itself is mounted to two (of three) horizontal braces that sit perpendicular to the cross-beam. They help by providing additional support to the pad, and ultimately the weight impressed upon it. The cross-beam, mind you, is attached to the two ends with four total bolts. You can additionally bolt the bench to the ground for a more permanent solution using the pre-cut holes on the back feet.
All-in-all, the FB-5000 is built like an absolute tank.
The Rep Fitness bench is smartly designed to also accommodate other pad options, most notably the Thompson Fat Pad and the Rep Fitness Wide Pad. You can also mount Rogue pads to this bench, although I'm not sure of the benefit there.
With the Thompson Fat Pad, the total bench height is increased from 17″ to 17.5″ while the pad width is increased from 12″ to 14.5″. If you've ever used a Thompson Fat Pad, you probably know the benefits that it offers. If you haven't, it essentially promotes a safer shoulder experience while also providing for increased mechanical leverages. The cost of the Thompson Fat Pad is $155, so while it's not particularly cheap, it's an amazing product.
If you're on a budget, the good news is that Rep Fitness also has a similar pad they call the “Wide Pad” (found here). This pad comes in at only $50, but you still get some of the same benefits as you would with the Thompson Fat Pad. The primary differences are that the Rep Wide Pad is 14″ wide (vs 14.5″ on the Fat Pad) and the Wide Pad isn't as firm or grippy as the Fat Pad.
In either case, I think it makes sense to upgrade to one of these two pads. That's not to say the 12″ pad the FB-5000 comes with is unsatisfactory at all – I just think (and I think most would agree), that the wider options are superior. For the record, you don't need to be a large person to benefit from a wider pad, so don't let that scare you. I'm 5'8″ and Donnie has told me directly that the wider pads are still the better route. Since using the Thompson Fat Pad, I agree completely.
I mentioned above that I've used the Rogue Flat Utility Bench for the past two years. It's been a fine bench. It's affordable and, despite some design drawbacks, it's served me well in that time. That said, the Rep Fitness bench, in my opinion, is better in numerous ways when compared to that bench as well as the Monster Utility Bench.
The most notable advantage with the Rep bench is the 3-footed design. The Rogue Flat Utility Bench and the Monster Utility Bench have 4-footed designs that are 14″ and 24″ wide, respectively. Compared to the 7.75″ foot on the Rep bench, this is a huge difference. Even with the 14″ Flat Utility bench, my feet were constantly jockeying for position. I found it annoying and frustrating to find a good setup for maximizing leg drive. The 24″ design on the Monster Utility Bench is just silly in my opinion.
Another notable advantage is that the height of the Rep Fitness bench is better than both. The Flat Utility Bench, out of the box is 18″ tall, which is already above IPF specs. If you add a Thompson Fat Pad, the height becomes 20″, which is WAY too high. The Monster Utility Bench, out of the box is 17.5″, which is an ideal height. If you add a Thompson Fat Pad, however, the height becomes 19.75″, which is also WAY too high. If you buy the Shorty Monster Bench, you get an ideal height of 17.5″ with the Thompson Fat Pad, but without it, you're at 15.25″, which is WAY too short. To be fair, you would probably only buy the shorty version if you owned a Thompson Fat Pad. Still, the other design issues remain.
The Rep Fitness bench weighs in at 62 lbs compared to the 40 lbs and 52.5 lbs of the Flat Utility Bench and Monster Utility Bench, respectively. Not only are you getting a beefier bench, but you're also getting a more easily portable bench since neither Rogue product offers wheels.
If there's one area I think Rogue outshines Rep, it's that their pad is a little firmer. I'm not sure that this is entirely compelling, however, as I find the Rep pad to be a little grippier. So the question is slightly less firm/slightly more grippy vs. slightly more firm/slightly less grippy. This is, of course, a moot point if you upgrade to the Thompson Fat Pad.
It is incredibly simple to assemble this bench. The frame ships in 3 pieces: the cross beam, the back support, and the front support. They are fastened together with a total of five hex bolts. Three are located in the back and two are in the front. The pad is fastened to the cross beam's horizontal supports using four additional hex bolts. I definitely suggest a socket wrench or a driver – it makes it much easier.
Very important to note: If you're installing a Thompson Fat Pad, the provided hex bolts will not work (they're too wide). You will need to buy four 3/8″ (diag) x 1″ (length) hex bolts.
Total time to assemble is about 10 minutes with a socket wrench.
If this wasn't enough to convince you the Rep Fitness bench belong in the discussion as the top flat bench, maybe the price will.
At only $149, it's less than both the Rogue Flat Utility Bench ($179.50) and the Monster Utility Bench ($265). Considering the Rep Fitness bench is, in my opinion, better than both of the benches regardless of price, it's seemingly a no-brainer.
Even if you were to upgrade to the Rep Wide Pad, you're still paying $199, which is 25% less than the standard Monster Utility Bench. That also doesn't include upgrading the Rogue Pads, which would fetch you at least an additional $155.
The Rep Fitness bench is just a better value.
- This bench represents some of the best value on the market with a $149 price tag.
- The three-footed design is a huge advantage because it eliminates the risk that the base will get in the way of your feet when using leg drive.
- The wheels on the back are a welcomed addition, especially considering this bench weighs more than most. It makes moving the bench around much easier.
- The height of the frame is ideally built around a 4″ pad, which means it will remain within IPF specs even with a Thompson Fat Pad.
- The pad itself is grippy, which reduces the tendency to slide on the bench.
- The 3×3 frame is very strong, and I have no doubt it will hold a lot of weight.
- Three horizontal braces provide additional support for the pad.
- Assembly is painlessly simple with a few bolts and a socket wrench.
- Nothing on the bench is plastic except for the wheels. All other pieces are metal.
- The pad is not as firm as some of the other ones I've felt, such as the Rogue Flat Utility Bench.
When it comes down to it, I just think that this is one of, if not the best designed flat benches out there. It absolutely smokes both the Rogue benches, in my opinion, and it's priced below… well below in the case of the Monster Utility Bench.
The fact this Rep Fitness bench offers a 13″ frame is massively helpful. The narrow front base is equally helpful. These two features alone would be enough for me to recommend it over any of the others. But when you consider the wheels on the back, the 3×3 design, and the $149 price tag, it becomes an overwhelmingly attractive option.
If you're in the market for a flat bench, I strongly think the Rep Fitness FB-5000 is the bench to buy.
Let me know in the comments below if you disagree.
Other equipment used in this review:
If you want to read more about benches or powerlifting equipment in general, check out my ultimate guide to building a powerlifting home gym.
If you have any questions on this bench or flat benches in general, please leave a comment below. Likewise, if you own this Rep Fitness 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,