T Nation

Buying a WAL-MART Bench: Good Idea?

Well, i’ve decided that I’m gonna save up and make the switch to olympic weights. Since I just had a standard bench, bar, and weights, i’m pretty much starting from scratch.

this is the bench i’m looking at:

what are your opinions of this bench? it looks like a good deal to me.
also, where can i get the best deal for an olympic bar/weights set?

I bought this bench 3 months because I’m 30 miles from the nearest gym. The bench isn’t long enough to perform declines or flat dumbbell presses without hitting another part of the bench. Other than that for $107 it’s a great deal. You just have to work with it and figure out what exercises you can perform on it. As far as Olympic weights Walmart has the best deal on that too.

Personally, I would put the money towards a power rack and a stand alone adjustable bench that inclines and declines at various angles. You’ll be able to do virtually anything with a power rack and bench. If you don’t have room for a power rack or its out of your price range for now, then try to locate a Wal-Mart that has a display model of the bench your looking at so you can check it out first hand. Everything always seems to look great on the internet but it might not be so good in person. If you’ve already looked at it and its what you really want, then go for it.

As for the olympic barbell sets, I purchased all of mine from a local Dick’s Sporting Goods. I was able to get 3 three hundred pound Cap barbell sets for $100 dollars a piece on sale. I think the regular price was $150 each. Check the internet or your local ads around Christmas and Father’s Day. You should be able to find barbells and other equipment for relatively good prices around those times.

Hope that helps.

I own one of these and other then the unsturdy lat tower its quite nice.

I had a weider version of this, with longer catches so that you could use it to spot your squat/bench. While I liked it for benching, and it didn’t take up a huge amount of space, I never felt comfortable squatting with it. Which is why I bought a power rack and adjustable bench, and sold the all-in-one.

Wow, never thought I’d endorse equipment from Walmart.

Seems like you’ve gotten two posts from people who already have this equipment.

You are obviously buying on a budget. If your choice is between this and not lifting at all, this is a good step in the right direction.

My suggestion is to not buy the Gold’s Gym bench you linked to. You want something solid and it does not look to be. I bought an Impex Powerhouse bench 4 years ago: good quality, adjustable angles, Preacher pad, squat-able. My “experienced eye” has learned to avoid the thing you linked to. Some Impex are better than others, I never use the leg attachment, bought Impex’s lat tower and is good quality. I have since bought a Body-Solid Power Rack used, and a Cybex stand alone adjustable bench. I bought my Olympic set from Dick’s Sporting Goods for $100, too. No complaints. If you have a want-ad type digest in your area you can get good equipment used if you are patient. My Body-Solid Rack is over $450 new, I got mine for $150 in mint condition! $125 used for the Cybex! Very expensive new.

Sporting goods stores really do specialize in … sporting goods.