The Rogue flat bench is one of the most popular benches on the market for anyone with a home gym.
It's reasonably priced, it's easily portable, it's well built, and it works just fine…
Wait… just fine, you ask?
Yes, in my opinion, it works just fine.
I've owned this bench for over two years now, and it that time it has served me pretty well.
At the time, the Rogue flat bench offered a nice design that wasn't overly unique. It was overbuilt like most Rogue products, it was fully welded, and it supported a lot of weight (1,000 lbs). Not to mention it was priced under $180.
So, what's not to like?
In this review, I'm going to break down what I like about this bench, but more importantly, I'm going to break down two big things that I don't like about this bench.
In the end, it's a good, but not great, all around bench.
It works just fine.
- Rogue Flat Utility Bench Overview
- Overall Construction
- Bench Height
- Foot Design
- Rogue Flat Utility Bench vs. Rep Fitness FB-5000
- Pros & Cons
- Full Rating
At one point in time, this was arguably the best bench to buy if you didn't want to fork over $250+ for a flat bench.
There are several qualities of this bench that I really appreciate, such as the welds, the weight, and the pad firmness. On the other hand, there are a couple of things that I don't like about his bench, including the frame height and the design of the feet.
The specs of the bench are as follows:
Frame Material: 2×3 11 gauge steel
Frame Dimensions: 48″ long, 15.5″ tall (not including pad), 14″ wide
Pad Material: Hard foam with vinyl upholstery and plywood bottom
Pad Dimensions: 48″ long, 2.5″ thick, 12″ wide
Total Bench Dimensions w/ Pad: 48″ long, 18″ tall, 14″ wide
Weight: 40 lbs
Design: 4-footed design with fully welded angled legs
One of the biggest benefits of the Rogue flat bench is the fact that it's fully welded. Unlike some other benches, this allows for an extremely minimal setup time. In fact, my bench shipped entirely assembled. I literally pulled it out of the box exactly as pictured. Today I think you may have to bolt the pad onto the frame, but that is still very minimal.
The legs of the bench are slightly angled outward to accommodate a more stable position, according to Rogue. They're affixed to the feet via a pass-through joint, which also according to Rogue, is an upgrade over the original butt joint. I would agree with that, but I'm not convinced that the angled legs will make a meaningful difference for 99% of the population.
Perhaps they did that because they used is 2×3 11 gauge steel instead of 3×3 11 gauge steel. Otherwise, why wouldn't their Monster utility bench offer the same angled design if it does, in fact, make it more sturdy?
Regardless, it's a very sturdy bench that's been tested up to 1,000 lbs without fail.
Another nice benefit of this bench is that it weighs only 40 lbs. Because it doesn't offer wheels, this is particularly nice when moving it around the gym. The bench also offers attachable rubber end caps to the feet, which is great to prevent scuffs. Rogue states that this also adds another element of stability, but I think that's a stretch. Maybe I threw mine away by accident because I don't even have them on my bench. I haven't really noticed anything negative in terms of stability as far as that's concerned though, so I think the real benefit is cosmetic.
With regards to the pad, it is a little thin at 2.5″ but it's also very dense. It's 12″ wide, which is pretty standard, and overall I think it's comfortable despite its firmness. The vinyl is seemingly high quality, but it's a little slicker than I would like. When I added the Moving Over Boundaries Limitless Grip, it made a big difference.
With these positive features discussed, let's take a look at two aspects of this bench that I don't like.
To preface this, if you're not someone who competes in powerlifting or you're not someone who wants to train as though you do, this may not be a big deal to you.
If, on the other hand, you are a competitive powerlifter or you want to train as though you are, this is possibly a very big deal to you.
The frame of this bench is 15.5″. When you add the 2.5″ thick pad, you get a bench that measures a total height of 18″. According to the IPF, a bench is to be no less than ~16.5″ and no more than ~17.7″.
Out of the box, this bench is already too tall. Now, I'm a pretty short guy at 5'8″, and I could absolutely tell a difference. This bench has always felt too tall for me. That said, if you're tall or you have long femurs, this may not matter to you that much.
The bench really imposes an issue when you add a Thompson Fat Pad to it, which can easily be done. The problem is that the Fat Pad is 4.5″ thick, which makes for a total bench height of 20″. This is really freakin' tall for a bench, even if you're a taller person. Not to mention it's way out of spec when it comes to competitive lifting.
Even with the standard pad though, this bench may be too tall for you.
If you're going to be using this bench to bench press with, you may find the foot design to be less than optimal.
Using leg drive in the bench press is really important if you want to move the most weight. Depending on your personal leverages and setup, the feet of this bench may pose a very annoying problem.
The issue is that the bench is designed with feet that measure 14″ in length. Because of this, they are very likely to get in the way of your own feet when initiating leg drive. Now, some of this can be avoided if you set up a certain way, you widen your feet enough, or you have enough range of motion to shorten your stance to avoid it altogether.
Some federations require you to lift with a completely flat foot, whereas others allow you to press with your heels off the ground. Depending on your personal setup, one or the other may cause a bigger problem. For me personally, flat-footed leg drive was very hard on this bench.
Either way, the foot design of this bench is one that you may find problematic, and potentially very much so.
If you've read my review of the Rep Fitness FB-5000, you'd know that I think it's one of, if not the best benches on the market. It was a clear upgrade in my eyes, and it offers several distinct advantages over the Rogue flat bench.
Firstly, the Rep bench has a tripod base design where the front is supported by a 7.75″ post. This completely eliminates the issue with foot positioning, and it allows me to setup however I want.
Secondly, the Rep bench's frame is 13″ vs the 15.5″ on the Rogue flat bench. Because the standard Rep pad is 4″ thick, this offers a total bench height of 17″, which is excellent. Even if you add a Thompson Fat Pad, the total height only goes to 17.5″, which is in-line with the IPF and still less than the Rogue flat bench with the standard pad.
Thirdly, the Rep bench is built with 3×3 11 gauge steel. Yes, it is heavier, weighing in at 62 lbs, but it also offers wheels to easily move the bench around.
Fourthly, the Rep bench has three horizontal braces under the pad as opposed to only two on the Rogue flat Bench. This may not make a difference to everyone, but if you're a heavier person and you sit in the middle of the bench, you can expect some minor bowing of the pad on the Rogue flat bench.
Lastly, the Rep bench is priced at $149 vs the $179.50 price tag on the Rogue flat bench.
All in all, I think the Rep Fitness FB-5000 is just the better choice. It's designed better and it's priced better. That's not to say the Rogue flat bench isn't a good choice, but I do think it's behind the Rep bench when it comes down to it.
- The bench frame is fully welded, which allows for virtually no assembly.
- The bench is plenty sturdy and it's been tested with 1,000 lbs without failure.
- It weighs only 40 lbs, which makes it very convenient to move around.
- The end caps are nice in that they help prevent scuffs on your floor.
- At under $180, it represents a pretty nice value (not the best), and Rogue typically has great resale value.
- Nothing on the bench is plastic except for the end caps. All other pieces are metal.
- The pad is high quality and very dense.
- The bench height is potentially a major issue depending on your measurables, whether or not you compete, and whether or not you plan to add a Fat Pad.
- The foot design is potentially another large issue depending on how you set up and whether or not you're using leg drive.
- The vinyl could be a little more grippy. I've certainly felt worse, but I've also felt better. Adding the limitless grip would be a great investment if you own this bench.
At the end of the day, the Rogue flat bench is a good, but not a great option. For me personally, the bench height and the foot design are pretty big drawbacks. I certainly noticed them, but it wasn't until I got the Rep bench that it really clicked for me.
As I said, it's served me well for the past two years, and I think it would serve a lot of other people well also, especially in the home gym space. But I can't tell you that there aren't better options out there, because I think that there are.
On the whole, I think the Rogue flat bench is just fine.
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 Rogue flat bench and you want to chime in with your own thoughts, please do so!
As always, I appreciate any feedback.
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