I've said it before, and I'll say it again…
Rep Fitness is making the best benches out there.
The quality is top-notch and the prices are great, making them practically unbeatable in terms of value.
In the past year, they released and refined their FB-5000 flat bench, which I positively reviewed here. In my opinion, that flat bench is easily the best there is for the money.
They set the bar on that bench with an innovative design – something that is becoming more and more common with Rep Fitness as a company.
Well, I'm happy to say they've done it again… but this time, even more so.
The Zero Gap adjustable bench that Rep has created is downright awesome. For the price, again, I think it's unbeatable.
In this review, we'll take a deep dive into what makes this adjustable bench tick, how it stacks up with some competing pieces, and why I think it's the best FID bench on the market.
Let's dig in…
- Rep Fitness AB-5000 Overview
- Design & Construction
- Adjustment Possibilities
- Rep Fitness AB-5000 vs. Competitors
- Pros and Cons
- Full Rating
This Rep adjustable bench offers a truly unique design that takes the traditional FID bench and flips it on its head.
Up to this point, nearly every adjustable bench has suffered from essentially the same drawback: pad gap. Due to the industry largely producing the same style of bench design, we've come to almost accept that an adjustable bench is going to have some amount of an uncomfortable gap between the seat and the back pad. While there have been some nice improvements on certain models and some innovative design qualities added over time, nobody has really figured this problem out. The best we've come to see is a diminishing pad gap on a select few benches.
That is, until now.
The Rep Zero Gap bench, as the name explicitly implies, rather brilliantly solves this problem once and for all… and for under $500 to boot.
Move over adjustable bench market, there's a new sheriff in town, and her name is the Rep Fitness AB-5000.
Frame Material: 2×4 11 gauge steel main frame and 2×2 11 gauge steel pad support
Frame Dimensions: 57″ long, 15.25″ tall (not including pad), 20.25″ wide (back support), 14″ wide (front support)
Pad Material: Dense foam with vinyl upholstery and plywood bottom
Back Pad Dimensions: 38.25″ long, 12″ wide, 2.25″ thick
Seat Pad Dimensions: 15.25″ long, 12″ wide in back, 7.5″ wide in front, 2.25″ thick
Total Bench Dimensions w/ Pad: 57″ long, 17.5″ tall, 20.25″ wide (back support)
Weight: 117 lbs
Weight Capacity: Rated to 1,000 lbs
Design: Fully adjustable FID bench with sliding seat to create a zero gap
Assembly Time: Around 15-20 minutes
From both a design and a construction perspective, the Rep Zero Gap bench is very impressive. Its build quality is evident from the moment you open the box and, once assembled, it's an absolute tank. Similarly, its design qualities are well indicated. Headlined by a patent-pending adjustment mechanism in the seat, this Rep adjustable bench leaves no stone unturned. In fact, this bench required numerous iterations of trial and error to perfect the virtually seamless experience. The features that are more common on other adjustable benches, such as the telescoping spine, are improved upon by Rep with the AB-5000. It's just well done. Here's a look of the overall design:
Without question, the #1 design quality to consider with the Zero Gap bench is the seat. Unlike other adjustable bench seats that only tilt to the desired angle, the AB-5000 tilts and slides. On the underside of the seat frame is a system that utilizes two guide rails, two bearings, 8 cutouts, and a selector pin. If that sounds intimidating, it's not. It's actually remarkably easy.
The seat adjusts by loosening the selector pin, sliding the seat to the prescribed hole, and tightening the selector pin. It only takes a few seconds. Each hole is spaced approximately 0.25″ apart, which gives you a total of 6″ to play with (heeeey now!). The hole you select to achieve a zero gap will depend on the angle of the seat as well as the angle of the back. I have a table in a below section which details each possibility.
I can't say enough good things about how seamless this adjustment actually is. It's a fantastic design decision that simply works. The seat has virtually no unwanted movement except for some very minor play where it connects with the back joint. In use, you would never feel it, especially in the zero gap position where it has nowhere to move radially.
Design Quality #2: The Frame
The overall frame of the bench is built using 2×4 11 gauge steel, which yields a tested weight capacity of 1,000 lbs. At the front of the frame is a urethane coated handle that is used when maneuvering the bench. Near the back of the frame on the angled connector is a 8″ tall post with a rubber end cap. This serves to hold the back pad firm when it's in the 0° position. The total length of the frame is 57″, largely due to the feet qualities mentioned below.
The back spine is attached to a 2×2″ steel frame that includes three connection points to the back pad. Each of these three braces is 8″ in length, which gives great coverage on the majority of the back pad.
The overall height of the frame allows for a total bench height of 17.5″ measured from the floor to the top of the pad. This height is in line with IPF standards, and it's overall a comfortable height for most. To be fair, you may not be using this bench to practice a competition bench press, but it's something to note nonetheless. The Rogue adjustable bench, for comparison, is 18″, which is not IPF compliant and not as comfortable, in my opinion. For what it's worth, I'm 5'8″ and I can still get very good leg drive on the Rep adjustable bench. I will add, I don't personally intend to use this bench when flat pressing since I own the FB-5000 with a Thompson Fat Pad. But rest assured, this AB-5000 will accommodate flat benching better than most other adjustable benches.
Design Quality #3: The Feet
The feet of this bench have a few features worth mentioning.
The first is that both feet have very nice rubber caps at each end. In fact, I'd say they're nicer than any that I've seen. They're thick, they sit perfectly flat, and they have a grooved pattern on the bottom, which will likely help reduce any slide.
The second feature is that the front foot base has a ‘T' design, where the vertical piece extends out from the bench. By adding this extra piece, Rep has increased the stability of the overall bench. This will be most helpful when the bench is set up in certain ways such that tipping would otherwise be a concern.
The third feature is that the back foot base has wheels. Considering the bench weighs a beefy 117 lbs, this is a massive help. Unlike the Rogue AB-3, the Rep Fitness AB-5000 has heavy-duty steel wheel guards that serve two purposes. The first is that they're flat on the top, which will allow for someone to actually stand on top to spot the lifter. The second is that they're flat on the front in order to stand the bench up for storage purposes. Considering this bench takes up a fair amount of space, this is a really nice benefit.
Design Quality #4: The Telescoping Spine
The adjustments of both the back pad and the seat are possible through the use of the telescoping spines on each. This isn't a particularly unique design since a lot of adjustable benches offer this, but Rep did take it a step further by adding stainless steel wear guards on the pop-pin side. Each wear guard offers numbered cutouts that are legible and easy to identify. The pop-pins they use are also steel and they have a very nice metallic blue finish.
The back pad offers 7 adjustments, including a 90°, 75°, 60°, 45°, 30°, 15°, and 0°. The seat offers 5 adjustment options, including a -15°, 0°, 15°, 30°, and 45°.
In general, the adjustments can be made very easily and quickly, and the pop-pin has a great feel to it.
Design Quality #5: The Pad
Both the seat and back pads measure 2.25″ in thickness and are generally quite firm. The seat pad measures 12″ in width and 15.25″ in length, with a taper towards the front bringing the width to 7.5″. The back pad measures 12″ in width and 38.25″ in length. A 12″ pad is pretty standard these days, as many find the 10″ pads to be too narrow and 14″+ pads are generally reserved for specialized pieces like the Thompson Fat Pad or the Rep Fitness Wide Pad.
In terms of the vinyl, I compare it favorably to the Rogue Fitness Flat Utility vinyl which I found to be a little slicker than the Rep Fitness FB-5000. The textured look and feel of the Rep Fitness AB-5000 vinyl is nice, but it's not quite as sticky as I was hoping. Again, I'm going to be using the FB-5000 for flat benching, so this isn't a big deal for me. But if you're going to be flat benching on this, it's at least something to consider, even if it's not egregious. You can also look into adding something like a Moving Over Boundaries Limitless Grip to remove the issue alltogether.
Design Quality #6: The Leg Extension
The $89 optional leg extension piece slides into the top of the back pad's base and it's held in place with a pop-pin and a set screw. The set screw is a very important piece here because with just the pop-pin inserted, there is a noticeable amount of wiggle. With the set screw, however, it's rock solid.
The leg pads themselves are made of a dense foam that seemingly looks identical to the Rogue AB-3. In fact, the entire piece looks like that from Rogue minus the adjustable holes on the Rep adjustable bench. The pads slide onto a rod that slides into one of three hole options and they're affixed with a set screw collar on each end. The hole options are very important, as the distance will play a role based on the height of the user.
Also of an interesting note, you can flip the leg attachment and use it for Nordic curls when the bench is in a 0° position. Talk about versatility! Also of note, check out how there is practically no impression on the bench pad when the full weight of my body is near the end of the pad.
Design Quality #7: Aesthetics
Woah – does the Rep Zero Gap Bench deliver in the aesthetics department! Not often do you get a bench where you have the option to pick from multiple colors. I think it's really cool that Rep has offered this level of ‘customization.' The bench frame currently comes in four colors: Black, Silver, Hammertone Blue, and Hammertone Red. I think they all look awesome, but I personally stuck with black just as a matter of preference with the rest of my space.
Aside from the color options, Rep added a couple of unique branding touches to the bench. the ‘Zero Gap' steel overlay on the front foot and the ‘Rep' steel overlay on the frame look classy. The blue pop-pins and the stainless steel wear guards also give this bench a very refined look that you simply don't get with most bench offerings.
As I mentioned above, there are a number of ways that you can adjust the bench in order to accomplish a zero gap. In the chart below, I have outlined each way. My suggestion is to adjust the back pad first, then the seat tilt, and then the seat shift. I recommend to actually extend the seat all the way out to begin with, and then bring it in based on the two other adjustments. After a few times, you'll get the hang of it.
For reference, I have numbered the seat holes such that hole 1 is the closest to the back and hole 8 is the furthest. I will also add – there are a few selections where you will see ‘3 or 4.' In these instances, a 3 will result in a small pad gap (about 1/8″) and the 4 will result in a position that is bit tight, forcing the vinyl to bulk up slightly. This “in-between” setting is one that you will have to choose. Personally, I use the 3 since the pad gap is minimal.
Keep in mind there are a few options that technically cannot result in a zero gap. These positions are generally ones that you wouldn't use in any normal setting anyway, so it's not of particular concern in my eyes.
There are a number of adjustable FID bench options out there ranging in price. For the sake of this article, I'm going to compare the Rep adjustable bench to three options that are most likely to garner the most attention in the home gym community: The Rogue Fitness AB-3, the Ironmaster Super Bench Pro, and the Titan Fitness Adjustable Bench.
Rep vs. the Rogue Fitness AB-3
The Rogue AB-3 has been one of the best options when it comes to an adjustable FID bench. Priced at $935, it's $347 more expensive than the Rep Fitness AB-5000 ($499 + $89 leg extension). In terms of design, it has 9 back adjustments and 6 seat adjustments, which gives it a few more options compared to Rep. What this bench lacks compared to Rep is the zero gap bench adjustment, the wheel guards, the stainless wear guard, and some of the other aesthetic qualities. It's also slightly taller than the Rep bench, which may make a difference for some.
In my opinion, the Rep Fitness AB-5000 is the winner based on design and price.
Rep vs. the Ironmaster Super Bench Pro
The Ironmaster Super Bench has long been a bench that achieves a zero (or close to zero) gap based on its design. This bench provides 11 adjustment options on the back spine, but no adjustment on the seat. The user actually places the seat onto the back to provide the necessary support, which is always perpendicular to the back. This is a limiting design factor when compared to the Rep adjustable bench. The pad itself is also 10.5″ wide, which is quite narrow compared to the 12″ on the Rep AB-5000. It does offer a 17.2″ bench height, a smaller footprint, and a lighter weight than the Zero Gap bench, while still providing a 1,000 lb capacity in the flat position.
In general I think the Ironmaster Super Bench is a pretty good offering at $399, but it still lags the Rep Fitness AB-5000 in terms of design, in my opinion.
Rep vs. the Titan Fitness Adjustable Bench
The Titan adjustable bench, priced at $446.95 (before any sales), is $141 cheaper than the Rep Fitness AB-5000. It has 10 back adjustments and 7 seat adjustments, giving it slightly more options than both the Rep and Rogue AB-3. One big difference is that this bench is only rated to 600 lbs (as stated on their website) vs the 1,000+lbs on the Rep adjustable bench. It weighs in at 92 lbs vs. 117 lbs, and it uses an 11″ pad vs a 12″ pad. Titan has attempted to fill their gap pad with an extra piece of removable material, however, this creates a clear height discrepancy between the seat and the back.
In my opinion, the Rep Fitness AB-5000 is significantly better than this bench from Titan.
- This bench accomplishes something that has been plaguing most adjustable bench owners for years: NO MORE PAD GAP!
- There are a total of 35 adjustment options, 28 of which result in a zero gap.
- Priced at $499, the AB-5000 represents unbelievable value for the offering.
- I like that the leg extension is a separate option that isn't priced into the base bench. Not everyone cares to use the extension.
- The seat adjustment mechanism is very easy and quick to use.
- At 117 lbs, the bench is very heavy-duty and it's rated to hold at least 1,000 lbs.
- The aesthetic touches including the stainless steel wear guard, blue pop-pins, and branding look great.
- The ability to select from four (as of now) colors is an awesome consideration that most off-the-shelf benches don't offer.
- Wheel guards act as spotter footings and they also allow the bench to be stored vertically.
- The leg extension rollers could potentially be improved to include a vinyl covering, although this would result in a higher cost.
- There are a few settings that a result in a decision to choose a 3 or a 4 on the seat. A 3 will result in a very small gap, and a 4 will result in a slightly snug fit.
Overall, I don't think there is a better adjustable bench on the market for the money. Rep Fitness absolutely knocked this out of the park. They continue to push the envelope when it comes to innovation and pricing. The value that this bench offers is borderline incomprehensible.
I've said it before, and I'll say it again… Rep Fitness is making THE BEST benches out there.
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 about this adjustable bench or adjustable benches in general, please leave a comment below. Likewise, if you own the Rep Fitness AB-5000 Zero Gap Bench and you want to chime in with your own thoughts, please do so!
As always, I appreciate any feedback.
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