Looking for a good, solid adjustable bench that won’t break your budget? So was I. After researching I eventually purchased the Powerline PFID125X Adjustable Bench. After using it for a while here are my thoughts.
The Quick Overview
- Inexpensive (I searched around a lot and the best price I found was $139.94 on Amazon with free shipping).
- Very solid
- Easy adjustments
- Small wheels in rear feet of bench for moving around
- Pre-assembled and ready to go
- Good feedback from hundreds of other users.
- Bottom part of bench doesn’t tip up – so on an incline press you can feel like you’re going to slide off. There is a ‘shin lock’ to prevent this at the bottom of the bench – which I’m fine with. But it’s probably a personal preference.
The Bottom Line: Would I Buy The
Powerline PFID125X Again?
Absolutely. So far I’m really happy with the purchase and it fit’s my needs well. Of course, if you have the space it would be nice to have a bench solely dedicated to seal rows as I have to Jerry-rig this one. But sometimes that’s the price you pay for a lack of space.
Details And Pictures
Over the last few months I’ve directed my training towards getting stronger and have focused on barbell and weighted bodyweight exercises. Two of the exercises I wanted to incorporate were incline bench press and seal rows.
But without an adjustable bench that’s impossible. So I went searching for something to fit my particular needs.
Inexpensive. I didn’t want an ultra-expensive bench right out of the gate. Something under $200 was more my budget to get started. You can certainly spend more. There was a York adjustable bench I was looking at but at over double the price it just didn’t seem worth it to me. I guess time will tell.
It had to stand up to decent loads. At one time I was inclining 225 pounds for reps. I’m assuming I can get back up to those levels within the year. I weigh 185-ish pounds. So, taking your body and your loads into account – things can start adding up quickly.
In addition to being sturdy – that also meant that it had to have decent padding levels.
Good feedback and reviews from other users. Over the years I’ve bought a lot of equipment. One of the things I always do now is peruse user reviews. The Powerline PFID125X had a lot and most had good things to say. At the time of purchase there were over 340 reviews on Amazon and the average rating was 4.4 out of 5. So plenty of feedback was available.
Overall, my review would be pretty much in line. There is no perfect product – but the Powerline is a good, solid, adjustable bench for someone starting out with their own home gym. And may even be a good choice in the long term.
Needed to Have a Flat Bar Section To Do Seal Rows. A lot of the benches I found had all sorts of bars going everywhere underneath the bench. I honestly don’t know if all that was needed – or if it just made them look like they were stronger – but it immediately turned me off from them because I needed a flat section to perform Seal Rows.
On a seal row you lay on your chest/stomach on the bench and then pull a weighted barbell up towards your chest until it hits the bottom of the bench. Martin Berkhan is a guy I trust when it comes to strength training. He swears by these for building your upper back. But with all the bars on the other other benches I would have never been able to do seal rows. It would have meant buying another bench.
And remember, if you have a garage gym you’re really a minimalist at heart. So I needed a two-for-one. The Powerline PFID125X was good in this regard. It would have been nice to have a less intrusive (read: smaller) bar under the bench but beggars can’t be choosers.
Nice To Have’s
Small Footprint. In a garage gym space is usually at a premium. Mine isn’t any different. So a bench that could fold up and be stored out of the way would be nice to have.
As you can see the front support of the bench is actually held in with a pin. Pull the pin out and put the support up or down depending on if it’s in use or not.
Honestly, it will probably stay down most of the time because the bench is still ‘out of the way’. But if I did ever need to put it up and out of the way I can with little time or effort.
No Assembly (minor). It was weird. When I was checking out on Amazon there was an offer to have the bench assembled for $88. I’m a handy guy so I passed on that.
However, when the bench arrived it was already fully assembled?! So not sure why they wanted to charge me for assembly. That was probably an Amazon snafu but something to keep in mind.
At any rate, the only real assembly that’s required is actually taking the bench pads OFF so you can remove the plastic around them. It looks to me like they wrapped the bench pads in plastic and then attached them to the bench at the plant and then shipped it that way.
I guess you could just cut off the plastic with an exacto knife but I thought that would look like crap so I quickly disassembled them, took the plastic off and screwed the pads back on. Total time: 5-7 minutes and required nothing but a wrench.
Simple and Easy Adjustment. If you spend any time looking at adjustable benches you begin coming across more of them that look like you need a PhD to just get them set up.
I wanted simple and functional. The Powerline PFID125X fits the bill. The adjust with a simple slot system. Just let the bar fall into the desired slot (based off the incline you want) and let it sit.
If you want to go to a decline you have to push the extension flush with the bench, lock it in with a spring pin and then let it go all the way down.
For the regular beginner and even some intermediate lifters the Powerline PFID125X will serve you nicely. If you want to get into serious powerlifting you’ll need to upgrade. But my guess would be that 9 out of 10 users will be more than happy with it.